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April 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

Keller Williams kids can Quantum Leap
Have you ever wondered what direction to take next? Or feel like your life doesn’t have a purpose? Keller Williams Kids Care (KWKC) is the next step as a training and coaching company for Keller Williams Realty. KWKC is a nonprofit organization that inspires young adults to shape worthy careers, businesses worth owning and lives worth living. And now, KWKC is calling out all 18-24 year old’s in San Pedro who are exiting high school, attending college, or starting in the work force. International Guest Instructor, Margot Weatherford, will be teaching the “QL: World Changers Belize” event on Saturday, April 23rd at the Banyan Bay Conference Room. Gary’s Keller’s Quantum Leap, (QL) empowers students to live life to its absolute fullest. One of the many definitions of quantum include a sudden, important change. This program is for young adults in the stage of making a lot of life changing decisions, allowing them to live a life of purpose.

Belizean student heads to Harvard!
In the United States, many elite Ivy League universities like Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Stanford are dream schools for many high school students. For Belizean Angel Navidad, the future looks very bright as he will be living the reality of the American dream. Navidad graduated from Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk in 2013 and St. John’s College in 2015. He excelled in distinct achievements, including winning the Sagicor Visionary Challenge, a ‘STEM’ (science, technology, engineering, and math) regional competition. During the challenge, he was the team leader for the project called “Coconuts for Life”, and the Coconut Ecology Park impressed judges like Russlynn Ali, head of the XQ Super School project. Navidad then traveled to Barbados to represent Belize and “Coconuts for Life” took first place in the challenge.

BTB Appoints The Brighter Group as its European Marketing Representative
Belize’s marketing presence in Europe has been placed under the responsibility of well -established and recognized independent marketing consultancy- The Brighter Group. The firm is one of the biggest independent travel, tourism public relations (PR) and marketing consultancies in the United Kingdom (UK). The English company was recently awarded the European representation and PR contract for the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), following a highly competitive pitch process. One of the main initial priorities of The Brighter Group will centre on the UK, with secondary markets in France and Germany. In recent decades, Belize has been growing its presence internationally as a travel destination, thus, BTB brought The Brighter Group on board to leverage the country’s brand and presence in the western part of the old continent. The Brighter Group was established in 1995, and since then, has worked across every segment of the travel and tourism sector. The company is known for its expertise in public relations, representation, trade marketing, advertising and promotions. The agency has vast experience from inbound to outbound tourism, aviation to hospitality, car rental, trade associations, to ferry and cruise companies. These qualities are sure to provide great additional benefits when implementing a successful campaign.

WWF launches ‘Save Our Shared Heritage’ Global Campaign
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched their global campaign under “Save Our Shared Heritage” by the WWF on Wednesday, April 6th. WWF is one of the world’s largest conservation organizations and is active in more than 100 countries. The iconic panda bear on WWF’s logo signifies its mission to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment, while building a future where humans live in harmony with nature. In recent years, Belize has been home to the rising environmental issues such as offshore drilling, deforestation, loss of coral systems, climate change and pollution, which threatens the country’s ecosystems. Currently, Belize’s barrier reef and coastal zone are facing increased pressures from high-density unsustainable coastal developments driven by an increasing demand for tourism. As part of the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, WWF-Belize addressed the heavy duty task of strengthening the protection of said reefs. In Belize, 40% of the population in coastal areas are protected by coral reefs, mangroves, and sea grass. With more than 17,000 people working in Belize’s fisheries industry, Belizeans depend on the health of the reef for their well-being. The only way to truly protect the Belize Barrier Reef System World Heritage Site and Belize’s coastal/marine environment, is to have a full ban on oil exploration and drilling in Belize’s marine territorial waters.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The Island That Goes Beyond Environmental Awareness Through Restoration
Blackadore Caye, a wild, unpopulated and unchanged island is now a very popular scenery World Wide for the vast reason that Oscar Winner Leonardo DiCarpio is dedicating his life as an environmental advocate in restoring the island's former beauty with the help of Delos and McLennan. Now, Leonardo’s current project is the wonderful island of Blackadore. A 104 acre that is located at the west of Ambergris Caye and on the east of Belize. Leonardo has spotted the island in 2005 as he went for scuba diving in Belize. The island easily captures Leo’s attention for having this hidden beauty unseen by the public. Leonardo has decided to purchase the island not only to restore but to completely heal it from the abused it has experienced from the past years. Currently, Leo’s plan on restoring the island is in action as they plan to open it on 2018. As he stated, “This project is leading a new way in eco-tourism, development and green building and demonstrates that human development can be truly restorative and beneficial for the environment.” The new Blackadore Caye will feature numerous villas, 48 real estate homes and a private clubhouse. It is also designed with a massive platform that stretches all the way as an arc over the water that is built with artificial reefs and fish shelters located just beneath the arc. Aside from those, a nursery on the island will grow local “marine grass” to support the manatee protection area and mangrove trees will be replanted to increase the islands clean oxygen production.

Lazy Lizard not for Belizeans?
The following is a recent experience which happened to me and I felt needed to be shared with everyone about how staff at lazy lizard treat local customers. Today April 9, 2016 a group of university students took a trip to caye caulker to go snorkeling. After arriving after the tour, a small group of 7 including myself decided to go and eat at "the famous Lazy Lizard". As we sat, we ordered appetizer and main course all together because of the shortage of time. Even though our waitress had a bit of an attitude, we still continued on. 5 out of the 7 girls (including myself) ordered burgers 3 beef, 1 chicken and 1 fish all to be served well done. It was about 10 minutes after the appetizer when the main course came, when the waitress was bringing the food I noticed the color of the burger patty was grey. I opened the burger and took the tooth pick which was served with the burger to investigate the doneness of the burger. The burger was NOT RARE but RAW and still had sightings of blood in it. Bringing the raw food to the attention of the waitress, she gave me the worse attitude saying and quote, "well if it's not done, give me it back". I had then replied that I did not want the burger anymore because it is not what I asked for. After my incident, 3 more of the burgers ordered by my class mates was also not cooked. So everyone else told the waitress she didn't want it after which she did not reply.

Caye Caulker Ocean Academy students to Track and Field Nationals
3 students are going to the Nationals in Track and Field to represent the Northern Division! At the Regional Selection Competition held yesterday in Orange Walk, Sean placed 1st in high jump, Keyla placed 2nd in 200m, Adaly placed 3rd in Triple Jump and is going as an alternate. Wow! Amazing results for a "go slow" island!

Belize and Guatemala foreign ministers meet
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington who met his Guatemalan counterpart Carlos Raul Morales at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in the adjacency zone, later told reporters that in March a meeting was to discuss the various instances that were troubling the Belizean public in relation to activities in the Sarstoon River. “And at that time of the discussion with the Guatemalan counterpart we had agreed that we will try to meet as quickly as possible after the Easter vacation to try to further the discussion. “So this meeting was to do that and at the same time we decided that we will in fact try to deal with other issues which we have on a bilateral basis between the two countries,” he added. The Guatemalan foreign minister said the meeting is intended to build a “new relation between Guatemala and Belize. “We are aware that we have a goal and the goals is to have the best relation between both countries. We know we have a differendum and the differendum has to be sent to the ICJ (International Court of Justice) but in the mean time we have to build a very good relation between both countries and we have to avoid any kind of incidents between both countries.”

Blind white crab
One of the species found inside the Chiquibul Caverns is the blind white crab. This Belizean dark zone species is highlighted on the BBC Series: Planet Earth

The Ocean Club-Curaco to Belize Rally 2016 at The Placencia
A first of its kind sailing rally from Curaco concludes in Belize at The Placencia Marina.

Welcome to Belize Logan & Paul Mark Dohner !!
We definitely hope you enjoy your Belizean experience!

Amandala

Girl, 13, said “yes” to 4 men
Two of four men have been arrested and charged with unlawful sexual intercourse and harm after they engaged a 13-year-old girl in sex. The two men — a construction worker, 18, of San Martin, Belmopan, and a security guard, 20, also of Belmopan — were taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where they were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until May 30. Police say that the men took sexual advantage of the girl on separate occasions. According to police, on Sunday, April 3, a businessman of Belmopan and his daughter, 13, went to the Belmopan Police Station, and the girl told them that between November and December 2015, she had sex on different dates with four different men.

Woman nabbed with almost $300,000 at PGIA!
Three persons from the Corozal Free Zone (CFZ), a Mexican businesswoman and two Belizeans were released on bail late this afternoon after they pleaded not guilty in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) charges of failure to declare funds when leaving Belize. The arraignment began this morning before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, who read two charges levied against Mexican businesswoman Maria Jose Del Valle Rosado, the wife of Earnesto Alonzo de Miguel, a cigarette importer in the CFZ, who was shot and killed in Chetumal, Mexico, last November. Rosado entered her not guilty plea through the court interpreter, who translated from English to Spanish. The hearing had to be adjourned, however, because Senior Counsel Magali Marin-Young, who represented all three accused, was not yet served with the facts that the FIU is relying on to make its charges against the trio stick.

Judge orders Paumen to pay Modiri $300,000!
The land dispute between Michael Modiri, 57, an Iranian businessman, and Bradley Paumen, xx, an American investor and tour operator, has been playing out in the Supreme Court in civil claims which just ended this week, but there is also a dark side of what transpired between the two neighbors for which criminal proceedings have been initiated by the state against Paumen and three others over a purported plot to murder four individuals, Modiri included. Paumen has been charged with four counts of abetment to murder as well as perversion of justice and conspiracy to pervert justice. He is facing the charges with three other accused persons, two of whom are his employees. They were all released on Supreme Court bail. On Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith issued another court ruling in Modiri’s favor, this time awarding him $150,000 as compensation for the trespass on his land, which has been used for commercial purposes, and another $150,000 as exemplary damages. The awards were issued against Bradley Paumen and his two companies.

Guatemala, belligerent bully, stops SATIIM on Sarstoon!
“Is there a new international directive for traveling in the Sarstoon River?” That was the question posed by the Sarstoon Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, when the NGO reported aggressive acts by Guatemalan military which demanded that their patrol reports to them first before venturing into the Sarstoon River—part of which is Belizean territory, from the northern bank up to the mid-channel. “The Guatemalan military informed SATIIM on Tuesday, April 5th 2016 that all visits to the Sarstoon must be reported to them. This is a new break/chapter in park monitoring by SATIIM,” the NGO said. Froyla Tzalam, SATIIM Executive Director, told Amandala that she does not want to appear to be anti-government, but the organization, under the advice of Maya leaders, had expressed that the co-management agreement proposed by the Government was not in the community’s best interest, so they did not accept.

A tangled web: Belize law firm & an offshore agent also linked to Panama Papers
Since the revelation last weekend of the Panama Papers, the sensational leak of a bounty of information from the private Panama offshore firm, Mossack Fonseca, the repercussions are not only being felt across the globe, but also here in Belize. As previously reported by Amandala in our Tuesday issue, it is alleged that Lord Michael Ashcroft and several of his associated companies are featured in the Panama Papers as having done business with Mossack Fonseca. Belize Corporate Services (BCS), a subsidiary of Ashcroft’s company BCB Holdings, is reported to have begun using Mossack Fonseca to provide shell corporations for its clients in 2006. According to reports in British media based on the early reviews of the Panama Papers, in November, 2013, Belize Bank International established an account for a new International Business Company whose owners were Messrs. Jurgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca, the Panama firm’s founding partners, and another partner Christopher Zollinger. The new International Business Company (IBC) was called M.F. & Co. (Belize) Limited and cooperated with BCS in creating companies and acting as registered IBC agents in Belize.

DPM Vega comments on illegal fishing and illegal logging in southern Belize
Complaints continue to come to the fore of illegal fishing and logging occurring in southern Belize—and particularly near to Belize’s border with Guatemala at the Sarstoon River, where tensions continue to be high with Guatemala’s insistence that it will exercise sovereignty over what has long been established as Belizean territory. The matter was raised again this morning, when we interviewed a group of environmental activists on fisheries, who indicated that Belizean fishers continue to sound the alarm about illegal fishing in southern Belize. At an event right after that interview, we met up with the minister who holds the portfolios for forestry and fisheries — Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Hon. Gaspar Vega. We raised the question of whether Belize is properly exercising its jurisdiction in policing these activities in southern Belize.

Krem Classic winners revised after NADO disqualifications
On Saturday, April 2, the Cycling Federation of Belize (CFB) informed Krem management, race organizers of the 26th Annual Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic, that they had been given the “green light” by NADO (National Anti-Doping Organization) to award the prizes to the winners of the race. However, the CFB noted that it had been informed by NADO of the disqualification of two riders, Gregory Lovell and Byron Pope (due to positive test results for banned substances), who had been previously listed as the 2nd and 3rd place finishers, respectively, in the 2016 Krem Classic. With the disqualification of those two cyclists, it means that all cyclists previously listed beneath them, from 4th downwards, have moved up two places in the official finishing list, thus adding 2 new names to the Top 20 list; and, more importantly, it means more prize money for some of them according to the 2016 published prize listing for the top 20 finishers in the Krem Classic.

What’s up with the PLB and Closing Season playoffs?
We’re in suspense with the Premier League of Belize (PLB). From Monday we have been awaiting the official reports for the last 3 backmatches, which have set the stage for playoffs due to start this coming weekend. Sketchy reports indicate that there have been meetings and meetings at the FFB headquarters up to yesterday; but still there has been no official word as to the purpose or the outcome. At the end of the PLB Opening Season, when we thought we knew the standings and the teams that would meet in the semifinal playoffs, there was suddenly a report of a protested game from early in the first round being awarded to Belmopan Bandits, which drastically affected the standings and the playoff match-ups. In that case, the FFB Appeal Committee had over-ruled a decision by the PLB Protest Board. Is history about to repeat itself?

TIDE Fresh Water Cup 2016 in primary schools
Please be informed that the TIDE Freshwater Cup is introducing its games this season by preliminary games called “PLAY FOR FUN,” between participating FWC schools. The Play for Fun games are divided into 3 clusters: Cluster One: Plays at Bella Vista School field tomorrow, Wednesday, April 6. Teams participating are Bladen, Trio, and Bella Vista primary schools. Cluster Two: Plays at Cattle Landing field on Wednesday, April 13. Teams participating are PG Methodist, St. Peter Claver, St. Benedict, Seventh Day Adventist, Little Flower, and Forest Home Methodist schools. Cluster Three: Plays at a venue yet to be finalized. Games on Friday, April 15. Teams participating are San Marcos, San Pedro Columbia, San Miguel, Silver Creek, Big Falls, Indian Creek and Golden Stream primary schools.

One Young World hosts Belmopan Cricket Day
On Wednesday, April 6, One Young World Ambassadors, in collaboration with the Belize National Cricket Association and the University of Belize Sports and Recreation Department, hosted Belmopan Cricket Day at the Governor General Field in Belmopan. One Young World is a UK-based charity dedicated to empowering young leaders, with over 7, 000 ambassadors across 196 countries. The idea of Cricket Day came about at the 2015 One Young World Summit in Bangkok, when Laureus Sport Ambassador and former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh joined Kate Robertson (One Young World Co-Founder) on stage to discuss the role of sport in development. Together, they vowed to do what they could to make noise about the legendary cricketers that were once the West Indies team. And on April 6, the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, One Young World Ambassadors from 8 different countries in Central America and the Caribbean delivered on that commitment.

Editorial: Change and deception
The Belizean people cannot allow our ruling politicians to impugn the motives and malign the characters of Wil Maheia, the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), the Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV), and the Sarstoon/Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). The fact of the matter is that these brave Belizeans made the point, for all of us to see, that our nation-state of Belize was experiencing the violation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity at the Sarstoon River. Since independence, there has been an attempt to drug the Belizean people with cable television, various kinds of narcotics, wild concerts, casino gambling, and violence glorified. Our Belizean culture has been transformed before our very eyes. Meanwhile, the proliferation of electronic media, video appliances, super telephones, and social media have been mixed blessings in that they have surely reduced the amount of time we spend physically mingling with each other. In our pre-independence culture, we were able to mobilize quickly when undesirable developments took place on the foreign affairs (read, “Guatemala”) front. Such developments included the Thirteen Proposals in 1966, the Seventeen Proposals in 1968, and the Heads of Agreement in 1981. The Belizean people took to the streets. You will note that when the Maritime Areas Act controversy took place in 1991, ten years after independence, the Belizean people were confused. Hon. Philip Goldson, in desperation, had to leave the United Democratic Party (UDP) and form the National Alliance for Belizean Rights (NABR).

From the Publisher
When the evangelical Christians in Belize can create a public division amongst the Garifuna people, you know that the evangelicals have become very powerful indeed. How widespread or deep that division is, no one can really say. All we know is that, in defence of Scott Stirm and his videotaped comments condemning core Garifuna ancestral beliefs and practices, the evangelicals were able to bring out at least three of their Garifuna followers, including at least one Garifuna evangelical pastor, to defend Stirm, a white American who is probably a naturalized Belizean. Evangelical Creole Belizean pastor, Louis Wade, has claimed on his Plus TV that they have more such Garifuna evangelicals lined up to testify on behalf of Stirm and against their own people’s traditional beliefs and practices. Those of us who have interacted with the Garifuna people know that their loyalty to each other and to the Garifuna nation is serious and sustained. I have never seen anything so divisive happen before like what is happening today.

What’s the real size of Belize’s economy?
On Monday, April 4, 2016, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) launched a new survey, aimed at gathering business data through its new business establishment survey of over 4,000 establishments and enterprises across the country, out of an estimated 16,000. The last attempt at a Business Establishment Survey was in 2008 which did not yield the desired results for various reasons, the SIB said. “It is believed that the BES will result in a more robust calculation of the GDP which will reflect more accurately the true state of the economy of Belize. It will lend to more informed policy and decision making for the government, private sector and other stakeholders,” said the SIB in a statement provided to us. The survey questionnaire is broken up into 5 modules with the target industries being agriculture, mining and electricity, construction, trade, tourism, manufacture, real estate, and general/services.

Curfew may be good, but there are “legitimate concerns”
The Southside section of the Police Department, on March 17, under the leadership of Chester Williams, Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commanding Officer of Eastern Division, Southside Belize City, implemented a curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for children under 18 in an effort to curb crime. Williams told Amandala that since the commencement of the curfew, they have picked up about nine children off the Southside streets of Belize City. The female children, Williams said, were taken home and their parents were asked to bring them the following morning, while the male children were held in a nice area that is furnished with a television and mattresses until morning, then their parents and a social worker were brought in. “The parent received a warning letter,” Williams said, “which states the consequences if their child was to be picked up again.” Williams added that as a result of the curfew, there are not many children on the streets late at night.

Baby Brenae Timmons released from KHMH
After thirty-six days, 3 year old, baby Brenae Timmons was released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on March 5, 2016, and returned to her family. Earleth Shepherd, Brenae’s aunt, recalled the incident on January 29 that led to Timmon’s hospitalization. A gate (enclosing a compound on which the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence is located in the Lake Independence area) fell on her niece and caused injuries that could have killed her and changed her family forever, but it was also an opportunity for God to do a miracle, and he did, she said. Shepherd told Amandala that after the accident, her niece was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where a CAT scan revealed that “the gate had crushed a part of her skull and it was resting on her brain.”

World Health Day — “Step Up, Beat Diabetes”
“Sixty-two million people live with diabetes in the Americas; diabetes is currently the fourth leading cause of death in our hemisphere,” said Dr. Luis Roberto Escoto, representative of PAHO/WHO (Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization), at a ceremony held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel today to commemorate World Health Day. The theme for this year’s World Health Day is “Step Up, Beat Diabetes”. It is predicted that diabetes will affect over 100 million people in the Americas by 2040 if interventions are not implemented to control diabetes, Escoto said. “The first Global Report on Diabetes from the World Health Organization was launched this week in Geneva and Mexico City, which highlights the urgency of stepping up efforts to prevent and control diabetes,” Escoto went on to state. Citing the first WHO Global Report on Diabetes, Escoto said that the number of adults living with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults worldwide. “Factors driving this dramatic rise include being overweight and obesity,” he said.

APAMO Calls for Government support in protection of natural resources
The Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), in solidarity with its member organization Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), condemns the aggressive behaviour of the Guatemalan Armed Forces towards community members on a monitoring patrol led by SATIIM in Belizean territory. On a daily basis, our non-government and community-based organizations are undertaking the challenging work of protecting Belize’s natural resources within and outside protected areas, on behalf of the government and people of Belize. With the increasing sensitivity of the bi-national relations between Belize and Guatemala, these organizations operating in protected areas near the border need the support of the relevant government agencies to ensure the deterrence of the ongoing pillaging of our natural resources by non-Belizeans.

House collapses; family of 4 now homeless
A family of four is now homeless after their one-flat elevated lumber house fell to the ground, causing massive structural damages to the house, and destroying the furnishings of the home. Kenrick Young, the father of the family, told Amandala that at about 7:30 this morning, his two children were getting ready to go to school when the house suddenly collapsed. Young said that everything in the house, with the exception of their clothing, was damaged. He is unemployed and needs public assistance in trying to rebuild their home, and to cover immediate living expenses. Kenrick Young can be contacted at 636-2983; members of the public who wish to donate can see him at the remains of the house in the Bailar area on Mayflower Street, off Vernon Street in Belize City.

Husband, executed in front of wife and children, was wrong target, say police
Thirteen days after the senseless murder of Alwayne Cherrington, 27, of Giles Street, who was a husband and a lab technician at the BCVI (Belize Council for the Visually Impaired), Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, Commander of Eastern Division South, said that Alwayne was killed in a case of mistaken identity. The killer thought Cherrington was someone else, Williams said. Cherrington was sitting with his wife and children in his mother-in-law’s house on Lopez Street when a coldhearted assassin pulled open the door and shot him about 5 times in the head and body at about 7:00 on the evening of Holy Saturday. Williams said that they know who the killer is, but he cannot be arrested as yet because key individuals do not want to give statements, and police do not have the physical evidence to tie him to the murder.

Ditching the queue: Fisheries and Forestry launch e-Gov platform
Two very prominent government departments—the Fisheries Department and the Forestry Department—this morning launched their online application service for permits and licenses in what organizers say opens a new era of e-Governance for the public sector entities. Registered users will also be able to track their application status online, organizers said. Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, who said that the initiative represents “an important shift in governance,” told the press that they are demonstrating, through the initiative, their commitment to improving services to customers. Vega said that they are starting a new era, and doing business with government will be much easier. The government reps who detailed the system this morning explained why customers won’t have to burn holes in their pockets “running up and down to Belmopan” to, for example, apply for things like forestry permits.

The Reporter

Latest HIV report says men still not getting tested enough
The National HIV/AIDS Program, Epidemiology Unit in the Ministry of Health released its HIV Surveillance Report for 2015 this week. The data in the report was taken from the HIV case-based surveillance system for the period January to December 2015, and the rates calculated using the Belize Postcensal Estimates 2010-2020 of the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). The report shows that while there are more tests conducted, particularly within the ages 15-39 bracket, the program still fell below its target of 10 percent of the male population. The ministry attributed the continued increase of HIV testing in the number of females aged 15 to 39 to ongoing efforts in antenatal care. There were a total of 31,346 HIV tests done for 2015. Of these 64 percent were female and only 36 percent were males. “As similar patterns have shown in previous years, there is greater HIV testing in the female population, at a ratio of 0.5 to 0.6M:1F; highlighting male/female innovative strategies are needed to engage the male population in HIV testing,” the ministry said.

Charity eye clinic celebrates 10 years serving the west
A charity eye clinic in western Belize is celebrating a full decade of service this month. Dr. Robert Peets and Dr. Pete Jensen travel to Belize annually to hold a week-long clinic, providing free Cataract surgeries, Pterygium (carnocidad) excision, laser eye repair for diabetic retinopathy, and Glaucoma management to the underserved residents in San Ignacio and Santa Elena. This year, the clinic will screen 180 patients and is expected to perform 50 eye surgeries. The work to establish the free eye clinic, which has saved the eyesight of nearly 400 residents of the Twin Towns and the surrounding villages began in 2004. Rotarian André Lopez approached Rotarian and Optometrist Jim Jambour of Ohio, seeking help to establish a surgical eye clinic for the two towns. Dr. Jambour, who for many years had directed an eye-glass clinic in Succotz, recruited Doctors Peets and Jensen and the first surgical Cataract clinic was held in 2005 at the Good Shepherd clinic in Succotz.

Blogs

Stumbling Across a Dead Body Whilst River Tubing in Belize
I was less than a week into my G Adventures tour of Central America and we’d caught one of the local chicken buses from Caye Caulker to San Ignacio. San Ignacio sits at the junction of two rivers (the Mopan and Macal Rivers) and we were staying at a rustic eco-lodge surrounded by nature near one of the rivers. As soon as we arrived we were given the opportunity to spend an afternoon river tubing, so myself and a number of other people in my group eagerly accepted. We were dropped off, along with our tubes, without any instruction or safety briefing and told to get out of the river at the exit sign on the right-hand side of the river. There were no guides or activity instructors accompanying us down the river which didn’t even cross my mind as we all excitedly rushed down to the river and hopped into our tubes. Off we floated down the river through dense jungle – I lay in my tube looking at the scenery in awe and listening to the deafening hum of insects in the bush. As we made our way down the river we had a fantastic time laughing and chatting about our adventures so far. Just as we approached the ‘exit’ sign, I noticed a stench – what is that smell!? It smelt like a dead animal. My eyes were then drawn to 2 men in official looking uniforms with facemasks on standing on the bank of the river where we needed to exit. What is going on and who are these men? Apparently, the river is used by gangs to transport drugs north to America and there are often fights between the drugs gangs – leading to dead bodies turning up in the river.

International Sourcesizz

Scientists Set To Drill Into Extinction-Event Crater In Mexico
Fragments of rock from this event have been found on Albion Island, Orange Walk... A research team is now working to put a massive drill into the the Gulf of Mexico's seafloor to help peel back 65 million years of history. Their goal: to secure a nearly mile-deep core sample from the Chicxulub crater that's commonly linked to the end of the dinosaur era. "There's a lot of questions about mass extinction events, including all the extinction or kill mechanisms out there," says one of the research team's leaders, Sean Gulick of the University of Texas, Austin. If Gulick and his colleagues are successful, their work could bring insights into a range of topics, from prehistoric biology and planetary geology to Earth's current era of climate change. The impact of a miles-wide asteroid and the end of the Cretaceous period were catastrophic to life on Earth, erasing more than 70 percent of the planet's species, according to the most recent estimations. When it hit our planet, the impact must have looked something like an exclamation point, packing enough velocity and mass to make deep-seated rocks and other materials behave like water splashing in a pond after a stone is thrown into it. Using core samples, the scientists will explore Chicxulub's well-preserved peak ring — the rough circle of hills that's commonly seen rising above flat impact craters on Earth and other planets.

Mainstream coconut craze old news to Caribbean New Yorkers, who have known about its benefits for ages
The news that coconut water is naturally delicious and coconut oil is an invaluable, all-purpose moisturizer and more is not news to Caribbean New Yorkers, who’ve known the benefits for generations. But the wonders of the coconut have recently become big news and big money for mainstream America. Last week, a Wall Street Journal article titled “Coconuts Go Upscale, Boosting Price of Conventional Coconut Oil,” noted that the yearning for coconut products — such as coconut water, dish detergent, teeth whiteners and even medicine — has driven up the price of coconut oil substantially, more than 20% higher in March and more than 50% high than last year’s prices. The Wall Street Journal article focused on the Philippines, the world’s largest producer of coconut oil. Once a major supplier of the palm tree fruit, Caribbean nations — such as Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago — are working to restore the industry in the region.

Three Trends on Public-Private Partnerships in The Caribbean
Many small developing Caribbean states facing climate and social vulnerabilities are struggling to develop high quality, efficient and accessible infrastructure. While private investment in infrastructure is not new in the Caribbean, the governments in the region are increasingly turning to Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to develop and maintain infrastructure that supports national economic growth and delivers basic services to their citizens. In the context of low growth and global tailwinds, what can Caribbean countries do to invest in infrastructure and spur sustainable and inclusive growth? Here are some new trends on PPPs in the Caribbean: PPPs = a response to a huge infrastructure gap in the Caribbean Many PPP projects have operated successfully for years, delivering high quality roads, ports, airports, bulk water treatment facilities, and electricity generation plants. However, in many cases the complexity of the transaction and lack of capacity within governments has meant long delays in delivering projects.

Videos

  • Jungle Splash Pontoon Waterfall Adventure Tour, 2min. The Pontoon Waterfall Adventure Tour is the tour where you can see the waterfalls created from the rivers that go through Mountain Pine Ridge as they flow into the Macal. "Journey Deep in the mystical Mayan mountains and set sail onboard the pontoon, Jungle Splash! Be on the look out for various wildlife that call this tropical rain forest home as you explore 3 different waterfalls!"

  • BELIZE, 5min.

  • Belize, Thursday, March 3, 2016, 7.5min. Scuba diving

  • Tuesday, March 1, 2016, Belize, 16min. Scuba diving

  • Belize Vlog Pt one | RedZach, 6min.

  • Green Moray Eel (The Incedible Hulk) Belize, 4min.

  • Salt Water Crocdiles, Belize, 2min.

  • Belize 2015 Swim Throughs(unedited raw footage), 18min. This was filmed on The Diver's Direct 2015 summer dive trip! Ramon's Village. Outstanding Trip!!!!

  • Gopro: UnBelizeable Christmas With The Family | Belize 2015-16, 16min. Great place to spend Christmas with the family. This is the first 7 days of the trip which was spent in Belize We visited: The island of San Pedro, Snorkeling in Hol Chan and Shark-Ray Alley, Belize city, Belmopan Cave Tubing, ATM Cave tour, San Ignacio and then we walked through the boarder to Guatemala, where the adventure continues!

  • Belize Tourism: A Sustainable Treasure, 8min. Seleni Matus, Director of Tourism Belize, and Lindsay Garbutt, President/CEO of Tourism Belize discuss the present and future of their country. Ranging from what has proven to work and where there could be improvements made.

  • Belize Service Learning Project 2016, 4min. A group of students from the State University of New York at Fredonia traveled to Belize City, Belize in January 2016 where they stayed for two weeks, teaching in the schools and enjoying all Belize had to offer. This is a compilation of the highlights of the trip. Enjoy!

  • BELIZE BOAT PARTY 2014, 3.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 7min. On spring break I went to Belize and I had a great time, so here is a slide show of my entire trip.

    April 9, 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

    The Belize Zoo: The Best Little Zoo in the World Indeed!
    April 8th is observed annually as Nation Zoo Lovers Day. And here in Belize, we are proud to say we have the best little zoo in the world. This would be a perfect day to visit a zoo and be one of the millions of people who visit them each year. Enjoy seeing your favorite animals swinging from the trees or splashing in the water and have a fun-filled day. Here is our story on our adventures at the Belize Zoo! Junior Buddy was the gorgeous jaguar who presently sat purring above us, only a wire cage keeping him from joining us in the box we sat in. We were at the Belize Zoo, considered the “best little zoo” in the whole world. Junior was just one of the many animals we had seen during our behind the scenes visit with founder and all-around amazing Zoo director Sharon Matola. Our highlight was meeting one of the storied animals of the year: Bosch the rescued Black Jaguar. The sad story of Bosch, now renamed Lucky Boy, is an example of human cruelty to wild creatures – and his now-happy life is proof of the wonderful work of The Belize Zoo, and the wide network of conservation organizations that came together to save the life of this magnificent creature.

    Belize launches electronic Fisheries/Forest License and Permit System
    A fisherman or exporter, a broker or a corporate entity, can now get a Belize fishing license or fisheries export permit, or a forest permit from anywhere on the planet that has internet connectivity, thanks to a new online system: the Belize Electronic License and Permit System (BELAPS), which was launched at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Wednesday morning, April 6. As explained by Chief Forest Officer Wilber Sabido, walk-in applications will no longer be accepted; but a fisherman can now apply for a renewal of his fishing license from the comfort of his living room. He would simply log on to the system via the internet, and fill out an online application form, much like the process to apply for a U.S. visa. Once the necessary fees have been paid at the local bank, or online, the application will be processed, and voila! The fisherman can have his license. The same goes for loggers in need of a Forest permit.

    San Pedro High School announces candidates for their Miss SPHS Pageant
    San Pedro High School (SPHS) is hosting its annual Miss SPHS Pageant on Saturday, April 30th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The four contestants up for the title are Norma Lopez, Lisandra Novelo, Faith Edgar, and Janelly Aban. For the last two years Sheila Chi has been holding the title, and is ready to pass the title of Miss SPHS 2016-2017 to the winner of this year’s pageant. According to event organizer Philip Ramsey, the pageant promises to be a night of fun-filled presentations and entertainment. The show will comprise of six segments, with one featuring one of Belize’s ethnic group; the East Indians. The four girls are currently being coached in the art of pageantry and dance by former Miss San Pedro, Yakarelis Hernandez.

    SIB Releases quarterly economic indicators – cost of living on the rise!
    Since November 2014, consumer prices registered a successive decrease making Belizeans happy. However, the good life was short-lived, as on January of 2016 prices began to increase again, followed by February recording the second consecutive increase since price trends began to reverse. According to the report released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), the inflation rate for the month of February compared to last year’s one was higher by 0.3%, while the rate for January 2016 was recorded to be 0.4% higher than last year. The data, presented by SIB Statistician Stephanie Vasquez, showed that while there was an increase in economic activity during the same period last year, as it relates to this year, imports are down while exports have dropped a dramatic 43%. “In January to February of this year, Belize’s imports were valued at two hundred and twenty-nine point three million dollars, down 4.8% or 15.2 million from the 314.5 million recorded for the same period last year,” explained Vasquez.

    CDC detects Zika case in USA; links to Belize
    On April 6th, 2016 Ministry of Health officials received a communication message from the United States International Health Regulations National Focal Point regarding a confirmed case of Zika detected in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the transmission may have originated in Belize. The CDC reported that, “The patient is an adult female resident who travelled to Belize from 14 -19 March 2016. She had onset of fever and rash on 23 March, 2016. Zika virus RT-PCR was positive on serum at the health department of the state. The patient reported no other recent travel history and there was no evidence of possible sexual transmission.”

    Gary Grief re-elected as San Pedro Deputy Mayor
    Councillor Gary Grief has been re-elected to the position of Deputy Mayor for the second year since taking up office. Annually, at the beginning of the fiscal year, a new Deputy Mayor is usually elected by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) members. The election process was held on Wednesday, March 30th, where the majority of the SPTC voted for Grief to continue as the Deputy Mayor. “At first it was overwhelming. Coming off the election, I tried to do too much and over exerted myself. But once I got my rhythm, I started to venture out and be creative with my portfolios. I learned tremendously in my first year as Deputy. Heading into the second year with the title, I believe I can improve my work. Given my experience and everything I have learned I think I will do a better job for the island,” said Grief to The San Pedro Sun. He has sat in the council since the March 4, 2015 municipal election; along with Councillors Hector “Tito” Alamilla, Ruben “Rux” Gonzalez, Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez, Flora Ancona, and Severo “Severito” Guerrero, under the leadership of Mayor Daniel Guerro.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize and USA Sign Amendment for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Program
    U. S. Ambassador to Belize H.E. Carlos Moreno and the Right Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow signed the 16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement (LOA) implementing the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) program through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) on April 7, 2016. The U.S. Government has provided over $35 million in programs and grants to Belize through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) since 2008. The agreement provides USD $6,450,000 in funding to be used for the following projects: Improved Border Inspection, Vetted Units, Capacity Enhancement, Justice Sector Reform, and Community Policing. To date, the U.S. Government, through INL, has committed a total of USD $28.4 million since 2008 to these programs in Belize.

    Celebrity Spotting: Social Media Stars Logan Paul & Mark Dohner Visit San Pedro
    Huge social media celebrity whose rise to fame was through viral Vine videos, Logan Paul is in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, vacationing and celebrating his 21st birthday that just recently passed. Accompanying him is another social media star, Mark Dohner, who also entertains a huge following on major social media outlets. They are in town with a team from Oceana Belize and have been frolicking in the water and swimming with the sharks and manatees at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. “I have not seen so many sharks at one time,” commented Logan to Ambergris Today, as he spent a relaxed evening at the Truck Stop after a full day of swimming along the Great Barrier Reef of Belize. He says that he had only heard mention of Belize, but that he had to do some research before he came upon the invitation from Oceana. Nevertheless, Logan and his friend Mark are having a great time in Belize, giving the country a publicity boost while Oceana Belize and also creating marine conservation awareness along with Oceana. Both Logan and Mark have been touring the island on golfcart, up to no good fooling around and having fun. They have met up with lots of local fans and taken the time to take pictures with them.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    2016 CODICADER Games
    The 2016 CODICADER Games are slated to take place in Belize from July 6th-12th. The games will be played in Orange Walk, Belize City, San Ignacio and Belmopan in four sporting disciplines: football, basketball, volleyball and table tennis. All seven Central American countries will be participating in the games. A ceremony was held this morning at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City to launch the sensitization campaign for the games.

    Footprints in the Chiquibul Caverns
    From 1984 to 1999 exploration of the Chiquibul Caverns was conducted by Dr. Thomas Miller. Some 20 years later, FCD’s Karst Unit led by Gliss Penados return to explore the largest known cave room in the Western Hemisphere. Footprints of the first explorers are still mildly visible.

    Big cats in the jungle
    Part of Ya'axche's work involves mediating the conflict between jaguars and people. As humans move into the jaguars' territory, the big cats see livestock as food. In order to avoid farmers harming jaguars to protect their livestock, Protected Area Manager Marchilio Ack has been working with farmers to help deter jaguars from hunting livestock by improving the management of enclosures. Small changes, such as adding lighting and improving fences can go a long way to protecting the farmers' livelihoods. Check out these jaguars recently caught on camera trap!

    Comedy Nights for a Cause (FRI & SAT)
    World-reknowned comedic storyteller and 5-time Just for Laughs award nomineee Jon Bennett (Australia) comes to San Pedro with 2 of his multi-award winning shows for two nights only! International comedian Jon Bennett (Comedy Abroad!) will perform his amazing comedy sets, and guarantee laughter and tears (the good kind, we promise!) this Friday and Saturday evening only! The shows will be opened by Ben Popik (The Truck Stop and Olde English Comedy), and 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit San Pedro Food Bank, and the Saga Humane Society, Ambergris Caye Elementary School's special needs program. Friday evening's show is titled "Pretending Things are a Cock", which received a nomination for the Best Comedy by Just For Laughs (Montreal Fringe) and multiple awards by Uptown Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Hairline (UK), and Vue Weekly (CAN). Saturday evening's show is titled "Fire in the Meth Lab", which received a rating of 5-stars by Sunday Mail (AUS), Broadway Baby (UK), and Fringe Guru (UK). Tickets are available now: General Admission: $10bz minimum donation Bar Seating: $15bz minimum donation VIP Seating (Front 2 rows): $25 minimum donation (tickets for each show are sold individually)

    CJC Expo 2016
    Corozal Junior College does it again. We see a bright future in our young Corozal people. This year's Expo 2016 included 30 booths from the Corozal Junior College and 33 from the private sector. It is wonderful to see the private sector working hand in hand with our Corozal Youth. Nurturing the minds of these young students can only mean successful entrepreneurship and well rounded youth. The display and taste of culinary delights and products by the students was impressive. Not to take away anything from anyone else who took part, but our personal favourites had to be "Chicken Pluckers" and "Bite Me Brownies". The "Salpicon" was also one of our favourites. To be honest we were amazed by the professionalism and involvement. A lot of heart seems to have gone into this Expo planning. Hats off to the organizers and all the participants. I see this Expo growing into a major international event one day soon.Go Corozal!

    Rotaract Go Karting Fundraiser
    The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio is having a fundraiser tomorrow around Playa del Cayo. You can take a go kart ride along the new highway. They'll also have snacks for everyone. The fun starts at 8:00am. "A Fundraising Event All Proceeds go towards future projects. $3 Per Ride. Snacks on Sale: Nachos, Hot Dogs, Soft Drinks."

    BPP MEETS BREDDA IN LOS ANGELES!
    Representatives of the Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance (BREDAA) in Los Angeles, Nuri Akbar Estrada and Bilal Morris, met with the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) political leader, Patrick Rogers from Belize on Sunday April 3, 2016 at Mars Caribbean Gardens in Gardena, California. The meeting highlighted discussions pertaining to the recent Guatemalan military aggression and annexation on the Belize Sarstoon River and Island, the issues surrounding the taking of the Guatemalan claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), BPP’s official position on the issue, and ways forward of forging corporations between the two organizations in addressing critical issues confronting the country of Belize.

    Channel 7

    Man Murdered On Banks Of Rio Hondo
    A man was shot and left for dead in the Village of Santa Rosa. That's the northern most village in the country, at the edge of Corozal where it meets the Rio Hondo. The report came in at around 10:30 this morning when the lifeless body of 51 year old Gregory Espinosa, a farmer from Corozal, was found lying face-down near the banks of the Hondo. He had apparently been shot several times. His loader and his pickup truck were found not far from scene. Here is what police investigators know so far. Insp. Peter Serrano, Deputy Commander - Corozal: "The initial investigation so far revealed that the deceased who was a cane farmer, apparently had some mechanical problems with his cane truck. Sometime yesterday where he made his way into town and later left his house last night sometime about 11pm in a pickup truck. The deceased had no communication with his family and early this morning family members decide to go out and look for him. When they arrived at the area where he was, they actually saw his body floating in the Rio Hondo River face down."

    Teenager Murdered in Ladyville
    18 year old Merkel Pitts died this evening. The teenager had been shot last night in Ladyville. He was on life support, and his family was hopeful, but, he didn't make it. The shooting happened after 7:30 when Pitts was hanging out with friends at the corner of Marage Road and Compassion Lane when a gunman came up to the group and shot Pitts. Now, residents say this was not some random attack - the shooter wanted Pitts dead. Courtney Weatherburne has more: 18 year old Merkel Pitts usually hangs out in this yard with his friends. He would come over in the evenings after work to relax. But last night, that favorite spot became a crime scene. Inspector Juanito Cocom, OC, Ladyville Police: "Initial investigation reveal that Pitts and 3 other male persons were socializing at the area when a lone gun man approached them and fired several shots towards them"

    What Happens When the NCL Ships Go South?
    Yesterday, we showed you the local launch of multimillion dollar mega project at the Harvest Caye Cruise Port. The event also gave us an opportunity to ask Norwegian Executives about issues related to the project. The first is that most of the NCL Cruise ships, which used to call in Belize City, will now make that port call at Harvest Caye when it opens for business in the third week of November 2016. Viewers will remember that this wasn't the original plan when the project was first tabled back in 2013. When we asked the NCL executives about it, they told us that the change will allow for new cruise companies to fill the vacant slots in the Belize City Cruise calendar that they will leave behind: Daniel Ortiz: "Will the Norwegian cruise company be bringing cruise ships exclusively to Harvest Caye once this project opens?" Colin Murphy, V.P., Destination Development, NCL: "Well I think I just answered that, I mean the majority of our ships will be going to harvest caye yes. But we will have some ships to Belize City."

    Did Norwegian Take Shortcuts?
    You might also recall that the Belize Tourism Industry Association won a lawsuit against Norwegian Cruise Line and the Government of Belize. The Supreme Court ruled that the Government's environmental technicians took shortcuts to fast track the Harvest Caye project. So, we asked the NCL Senior Vice President if any other shortcuts were taken during the construction which could compromise the fragile environment that this cruise port occupies. Here's how that back and forth went: Daniel Ortiz: "Can you assure the Belizean public that in the scope of the Harvest Caye project that Norwegian did not skirt any of the environmental issues when it was constructed?" Colin Murphy, V.P., Destination Development, NCL: "Yes." Daniel Ortiz: "Is there any elaboration on that?"

    Dustin Bowen Hits Paydirt With Norwegian
    One Belizean businessman who's preparing for major success at Harvest Caye is Dustin Bowen. He's the owner of Riverside Tavern, the popular restaurant and bar in Belize City, but now he's been contracted as NCL's local partner to provide all the food and beverage for the entire island facility of Harvest Caye. That's an impressive 4 new restaurants and 9 bars that's under his portfolio. And, with the projected cruise passenger traffic that should dock at Harvest Caye, Bowen could well be on the way to creating a business empire comparable to his stepfather, Sir Barry Bowen. We spoke with him yesterday on the scope of planned operation in the southern cruise port:

    LAPD Killed Kisha
    "Black Lives Matter" - that's the catchphrase coming out the movement to agitate against the extraordinary number of persons of color killed by US police in the past year. One of those lives is Kisha Michael, a 31 year old Belizean born in Belmopan who migrated to Los Angeles in the mid 90's. On Sunday February 21st. police shot and killed her and a man inside a car on Inglewood Avenue. They say she was unconscious, but also had a gun. 6 weeks later, and her funeral was held in Los Angeles today. Now, this happened in California, but her brother Delon who lives in Orange Walk told CTV-3 why the story LA police have given the family doesn't add up. Delon Micheal, Sister shot by Inglewood Police: "The police said to her that they found her dead. Watching the news we saw that the SWAT team was out there along with the Inglewood Police and that's where we knew and we saw that it was them that did it. So I don't know why they went to my mom and told her that they found her dead when they were the ones that killed my sister."

    No Dean Dawson Toxicology Report Yet, No Charges For Pakeman
    Dean Dawson's toxicology report has still not been released. As we told you a sample was taken from both the driver Dorian Pakeman and the deceased Dean Dawson. Pakeman's report was negative for alcohol but Dawson's report is still pending and police need that report to send the complete file to the DPP's office. Ladyville police told us they have no further update on this case at this point. Inspector Juanito Cocom - OC, Ladyville Police: "The file has been prepared, we are still awaiting the toxicology report." Courtney Weatherburne: "So that has not come out as yet?" Inspector Juanito Cocom - OC, Ladyville Police: "Not as yet. When we get the toxicology report, the file will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions."

    MOH: Belize Still Zika Free
    The Ministry of Health maintains that Belize is still Zika free despite the very concerning report from the Centers for Disease Control in the US. The CDC had said that they will issue a Zika travel advisory for Belize - but when we checked their website today, Belize wasn't there - but every other Central American country and Mexico was. When we spoke to health officials today they told us they are still in consultation with PAHO. Health officials say that they are still not confirming this as the first case of Zika in Belize. We will keep updating you.

    Saldivar Endorsed By Women Of The UDP
    The date for the convention to elect a UDP first Deputy will be determined when the party meets tomorrow - but the way the campaign is going you'd think the convention was tomorrow! Both candidates are aggressively advertising, and John Saldivar is building his campaign around the endorsements he's roped in from Representatives and Standard bearers. This evening on his facebook page, he posted an apparent endorsement form the women of the UDP, Tracy Taeger Panton form Albert, Beverly Castillo from Belize Rural Central, and Dr. Carla Barnett form Freetown. It's a strong follow up after getting the entire Western caucus, but for his part Patrick Faber has maintained that his strength is with the delegates.

    Mexican Flour Now Legal On Belize Shelves
    Mexican flour can now be found on Belizean store shelves, and the news is that it was legally imported. Customs has confirmed that 1200 sacks of Bola Roja 12 kilo flour were imported through Corozal on the 14th of March and paid the required rate of duty, which is 100%. Previously only the locally brands produced by ADM Belize Mills could be sold in Belize, but last year the regulations were changed to allow imported flour into the market - but with high duty charges. Those high duty charges make the Bola Roja more expensive when compared to the local flour. One hundred pounds of local flour costs 81 dollars, while 100 pounds of Bola Roja would work out to about 108 dollars.

    Six Months For Buller
    Kevin Buller, who was accused of breaking into a woman's house and assaulting her, is in jail tonight serving a 6 month sentence. That's after he pleaded guilty to assault charges today in the Magistrate's Court. It happened on September 3, 2015, when Nicole McDonald testified that at around 12:30 p.m. that day, she was at her house on Antelope Street Extension when her mother told her that Buller had allegedly burglarized another of their family homes which is nearby. McDonald confronted Buller about it, and he responded by punching her and shoving her into a drain. The arresting officer also testified in the case, and today Buller told the court that he wanted to change his plea from not guilty to guilty.

    Alleged Murderer Smuggled Weed
    27 year-old John Martinez, a prisoner on remand for murder, is facing an additional charge of drug trafficking after he allegedly tried to smuggle weed into prison after a court appearance. Martinez was transported from the Prison to the Supreme Court for a court hearing on Tuesday. It would have been a routine adjournment except when he was transported back to the Prison, the on-duty officer performed the usual search. When Martinez was searched the first time, he found nothing. But, the officer observed that he had an irregular gait - he was walking funny, and so the officer did a second search. He ended up finding 17.6 grams of marijuana inside one of Martinez's sneakers. It was duck- taped to the sole.

    CODICADER Coming!
    It's official! The annual CODICADER games are coming to Belize. In February, officials from SICA, the organizing body of the Central American regional school tournament, hammered out an agreement with the Ministry of Sports to host the games here. And today the National Sports Council launched the drive towards the July Games and unveiled the logo for CODICADER 2016. Emanuel Pech Reports. The games will be played from 6th to the 12th of July and will focus on four disciplines: Football, basketball, volleyball and table tennis. And if you are wondering which 6 to 12 year olds will represent Belize, well that's still being determined. The National sports council will draw competitors from its primary school competitions. Secondary Schools will also compete in this regional tournament in September, but those games will be hosted in Honduras.

    Marion Jones, Still Not Ready
    The launch of the CODICADER 2016 Belize took place at the Marion Jones Stadium. Of course, Marion Jones still isn't finished - and, after countless millions spent, it stands mostly as a well-fenced monument to "PUDP" indifference to sports. So what's next for Marion Jones Stadium? Today we asked Minister of State Aragon about it:. "Right now we are having an investment of 5 million U.S. dollars from Mexico that has contributed to the building of the indoor facility. That is well under way in terms of the preparation for building, etc. so within the next 2 years or less we should see that building up completely finished. That will be a big compliment to the Marion Jones and hopefully by then we would have finished this building in terms of the other facilities. If you look at the floors, especially the floors that catered towards the people who visited the stadium, it's completed.

    MCC: Trading Sacred Sports For Gambling Greed?
    The MCC compound is turning into a parking lot. Well part of it anyway. In February the National Sports Council entered into an agreement with the Princess Ramada Hotel and Casino to allow them to use a portion of the MCC grounds for parking. The agreement was that the Management of Ramada would construct the facility and in turn they would be allowed to use it for customer parking - at a rental cost of course. But did footballers lose a sacred sporting space to greed and gamblers? The move has been much criticized, but according to Sports Minister of State Elodio Aragon, despite those critics, this type of public-private sector partnership is the way to go. "Partnering with Princess which will do many good things because one, it is going to alleviate the traffic congestion on that road. Two, we are getting close to anywhere between $80-$100 thousand dollars invested right now which is coming from the Princess Ramada company. They are investing in the parking area so we are getting a parking area for free. Apart from that, we are getting paid $2000 a month for them to use that parking area, and that $2000 a month goes right back into MCC to begin to put better lighting system, more care, and painting of the fence.

    The Santa Rosa Scene
    At the top of the news, we told you about the murder in the northern-most village in Belize, Santa Rosa. But, we weren't able to get footage of the crime scene in time. But here it is now, Gregory Espinosa's burnt Ford Ranger extended cab. It was discovered near the area that he was found dead. As police said Espinosa was found with several apparent pellet wounds to the right side of his chest and a large bullet hole to the left side of his lower rib cage. His body now awaits a post mortem examination. Police have no suspect or motive at this time. But the circumstances of death and the fact that his vehicle was found burnt have raised many questions and police investigators are following all angles.

    Mayans Vex With GOB, Again
    The Toledo Alcalde's Association says Government is not holding up its end of the agreement. The commission's role is to ensure the Mayan communities of the south are given their land rights -based on the Caribbean Court of Justice's judgment. Now the government should have been consulting with the Mayan communities on the best way to implement that judgment, but the Maya are complaining that the Government has done nothing to uphold the agreement. So, they say that they are left with no other option but to go back to the high court to force the Government to act. A statement from Toledo Alcalde's Association says that on Wednesday, the villages of Santa Cruz and Jalacte filed two actions in the Supreme Court to do just that. The association notes that the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission met with them a few months ago, but so far, that's all that has happened. The Association says that there has been, quote, "…No action to address the issues of current and ongoing interference with, and appropriation of Maya lands by a third party and by the government itself." End quote.

    Channel 5

    Belize and Guatemala Meet at OAS Adjacency Zone
    As hostilities mount in the Sarstoon, there has been some progress made in agreeing to specific confidence building measures and protocols for engagement in the Sarstoon, though not a definitive [...]

    Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales on Keeping the Peace
    The meeting today was especially significant in the wake of what the Prime Minister has called the ramping up of aggression by Guatemala in the Sarstoon, culminating in the interception [...]

    How Close are Belize and Guatemala to Establishing Protocols at Sarstoon?
    Belize attended the meeting at O.A.S. headquarters with draft Sarstoon protocols in hand, aimed at defusing a potentially dangerous situation in the Southern River. So after all the diplomatic speak, [...]

    OAS Representative Comments on Belize/Guatemala Sit-down
    So that’s where both country’s ended today’s apparently constructive meeting at O.A.S. headquarters – not exactly a breakthrough just yet, but according to representatives that point could be reached in [...]

    PUP Leader Meets with PM Barrow on Sarstoon Issue
    The Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow at the P.M.’s office on Coney Drive in Belize City this morning in light of the troubling [...]

    Is There Cause for Concern at Caracol Following BDF Shooting in Chiquibul?
    Another incident that has stirred tensions is the shooting of B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey in the area of Valentin Camp inside the Chiquibul Forest. The safety of soldiers and [...]

    Merkel Pitts is Murdered in Ladyville, Is it a Retaliation?
    There are two murders to report tonight. An eighteen-year-old Ladyville resident, Merkel Pitts was shot on Thursday night and by this afternoon he was dead at the Karl Heusner Memorial [...]

    A Canero is Shot and Killed in Corozal District
    Meanwhile, in the Corozal District sometime between Thursday night and this morning, the bullet riddled body of a cane farmer was discovered near the village of Santa Rosa.  Fifty-one-year-old Gregorio [...]

    Is Belize Still ZIKA-free?
    Is the ZIKA virus now present in Belize?  According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the recent transmission of the disease may have originated in Belize when an [...]

    CDC Says ZIKA Virus Detected in US May Have Originated in Belize
    The C.D.C. initially reported that the patient is, “an adult female resident who traveled to Belize from March fourteenth to nineteenth.  She had onset of fever and rash on the [...]

    Workshop on Vector Borne Diseases Concludes in Belize City
    A timely workshop on risk communication and community engagement around vector control and prevention of ZIKA, dengue and CHIKUNGUNYA concluded today at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. UNICEF is [...]

    Changes Within the People’s United Party
    On Wednesday the P.U.P. leader named new members to the executive of the P.U.P. who will now go on to get the blessing of the National Party Council. Briceño made [...]

    Where Does Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat Stand on Changes?
    Deputy Party leader, Julius Espat, was at the forefront of the campaign for the re-election of Francis Fonseca as leader last November. While Fonseca and other parliamentarians are moving forward [...]

    Patrick Andrews is Ready for Another PUP Leadership Convention
    Now the P.U.P. held a convention last November in which John Briceño and his team were decisively elected. But on social media this week, there is one standard bearer that [...]

    CODICADER is Coming to the Jewel in July!
    This year and for the first time, Belize gets to host the CODICAR games which are regional games that foster the integration movement in Central America. Belizean athletes have traditionally [...]

    What’s the Minister of Sports’ Take on MCC Parking Fee?
    Fans of football, those who have attended games at the M.C.C. Grounds recently, are outraged about parking inside the facility since there is now a fee of five dollars to [...]

    Marion Jones – Minister Vows to See It Through to Completion
    The Government of Belize, according to Aragon, has invested north of fifty million dollars in developing sports across the country.  Despite that much capital spending, the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, [...]

    UDP Holds Special Meeting to Determine Date of Leadership Convention
    This Saturday the U.D.P. will hold a special meeting to determine the date of a convention to elect the first deputy party leader. Both Ministers Patrick Faber and John Saldivar [...]

    Elodio Aragon Stands Behind Patrick Faber for UDP Deputy Leader
    Minister Saldivar claims he has the numbers on his side and so does Minister Patrick Faber who has received major endorsements for first deputy party leader of the U.D.P. Faber’s [...]

    A Growth and Sustainable Development Plan for Belize
    A World Bank diagnostic finds that Belize is thriving in some areas but failing in other sectors. On Thursday, a three-year growth and sustainable development strategy was launched at the [...]

    LOVE FM

    Thursday Night Murder: A Chavarria Retaliation?
    A man who was shot last night in Ladyvillle, succumbed to his injuries earlier today. Just before eight o’clock last night, a team of officers at the Ladyville Police Station responded to reports of a shooting incident at the corner of Marage Road and Compassion Lane. At the scene, the authorities found 18-year-old, Merkel Pitts […]

    Belize Officials Believe BDF Sergeant Was Shot by Guatemalan
    Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey who was injured in the Valentin Camp area remains on leave as he recuperates from the gunshot wounds he suffered. The case is one that continues to be investigated as explained by CEO George Lovell from the Ministry of National Security. When Love News had spoken to the Western Regional Commander, […]

    PM Barrow’s Name Not In Panama Papers; PP’s Effects on Correspondent Banking
    On Tuesday we told you of the millions of documents that were taken from the Mossack Fonseca firm in Panama that has fingered hundreds of leaders, officials and celebrities from around the world in the misuse of offshore services when it comes to hiding assets and related incidents. While Prime Minister did make it clear […]

    The Role of Nat’l Security in Chetumal Incident Involving Former Minister
    Just after the Easter holidays we had heard of an incident involving a former Minister of State where there was an attempt to extort him via telephone calls. We had gotten a name of whom that Minister was but when we contacted him, he had refused to give comment or confirm that he was the […]

    Duo Injured in Traffic Incident on George Price Highway
    Two persons are hospitalized following a road traffic accident on the George Price Highway earlier today. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details.

    Local Launch Held for Harvest Caye Cruise Port
    In about six and a half months, the southern portion of Belize will see a boost in economic activities as Norwegian Cruise Line will activate their Harvest Caye Cruise Port. It is a project that millions of dollars have been invested in and is located just off the Placencia Peninsula. In a media brief at […]

    Host of CODICADER 2016 – A First for Belize
    Belize is preparing to host the 2016 CODICADER Central American games for the first time. Belize has been confirmed to host over one thousand guests for the eight Sports Games, CODICADER at the primary level. The games are scheduled to be held July 6 to July 12 and athletes will be involved in basketball, soccer, […]

    Change in Prices at Fuel Pumps
    Seventeen days ago just before the long Easter weekend, the prices for regular fuel and diesel were increased by sixty two cents and twenty one cents, respectively. This past Tuesday at midnight, there were changes at the pumps again as regular fuel went up to eight dollars and ninety eight cents, an increase of twenty […]

    Corozal Sees Upgrades to Market and Streets
    The Belize Social Investment Fund and the Corozal Town Council officially inaugurated an annex to the Town Market as well as some refurbished streets in that municipality. The official ceremony took place earlier today. The market facility measures about two hundred and twenty square metres with fifteen market stalls, making the facility more spacious and […]

    Aragon is for Faber
    While some persons in the red and while political camp are shying away from making their preferred candidate publicly known in the upcoming Deputy Party Leader convention for the UDP, there are those who aren’t hesitant to pick a side and today, Minister of state in Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Elodio Aragon Jr., […]

    PlusTV

    Centers for Disease Control Says Zika Case Detected in the United States Links to Belize
    On April 6th, 2016 Ministry of Health officials received a communication message from the United States International Health Regulations National Focal Point regarding a confirmed case of Zika detected in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the transmission may have originated in ...

    Municipal Authorities to get training on ZIKA Virus Response
    In related news, Municipal Authorities in Belize will be receiving training on a ZIKA Virus Response. In response to the Zika virus outbreak in the region, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Health, Belize Mayors’ Association, UNICEF, and PAHO have partnered up and organized an on-sit...

    APAMO backs SATIIM
    April 8, 2016 at 10:19 AMYesterday we told you about SATIM’s encounter with Guatemalan Navy Boats on the Sarstoon. The GAF told the SATIM team tht they were no longer allowed on the SArstoon without permission from them. Needless to say, SATIM was taken aback by this new development and sent out letters to Belizean authorit...

    World Bank Group report warns Belize must make right choices for a brighter future
    The World Bank Group this afternoon issued a diagnostic report on Belize that is primarily intended to help the Bank forge its own strategy for assisting Belize in major initiatives. However, “Belize: Right Choices, Bright Future,” as it is called, also offers a unique look at all aspects of Belizea...

    El Espanol’s wife caught with quarter million dollars
    In November of last year, Ernesto Alonso De Miguel, known as “El Espanol” was executed in Chetumal while eating at a resturaunt. El Espanol was rumored as one of the largest contrabandistas in the the Corozal Free Zone and Mexico. On Wednesday April 6, 2016, almost 5 months after his death, El Esp...

    GOB launches Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy
    The Ministry of Economic Development today introduced a three-year Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy, its primary planning document, which seeks to guide overall development in Belize based on an integrated, systemic approach to sustainable development. The Ministry aims, among othe...

    Student dead after knocked down by a truck
    A young student of San Ignacio was knocked down by a truck on Thursday, April 7th. Around 12 noon as kids make their way from school, and in this particular case Sacred Heart primary School, a white dump truck owned by Bahadur & Sons Trucking knocked down a standard 4 student. The incident happe...

    United States Embassy and Belize sign Amendment to the Letter of Agreement- International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Program
    S. Ambassador to Belize H.E. Carlos Moreno and the Right Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow signed the 16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement implementing the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs program through the Central America Regional Security Initiative on April 7, 2016. T...

    Cancer Awareness Ride
    The Belize Cancer Society and the Belize Cancer Centre are hosting a Cancer Awareness Ride to raise funds to help combat cancer in the country of Belize. Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in Belize annually, and in order to raise awareness and support, the Belize Cancer Centre and the ...

    The Reporter

    Update: Youth dies of gunshot wounds
    Ladyville police informed the media shortly before 5:00 p.m. Friday that shooting victim, Merkel Pitts, 18, has died of his gunshot wounds. Pitts was shot while in the company of friends on Thursday night. He had been listed in a critical condition, with a bullet […]

    Man critical after shooting in Ladyville
    A Ladyville resident is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was shot three times Thursday night. According to Ladyville police, Merkel Pitts, 18, was shot shortly after 7:00 p.m., while socializing at the corner of Marage Road and […]

    WWF launches initiative to protect the barrier reef and other World Heritage Sites
    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), this week, launched its global campaign to strengthen and protect the economic sustainability of the Belize Barrier Reef. “Threats to World Heritage sites in places as diverse as Belize, Spain and Tanzania demonstrate how widespread the risks run and should […]

    Nine o’clock curfew for kids Minister “Boots” Martinez in favor! Mayor Darrell Bradley is against.
    City Mayor Darrell Bradley and Human Development Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez, this week, expressed opposing views on the controversial police curfew recently put into effect. Bradley opposes the curfew while Martinez supports it. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Chester Williams, Officer Commanding Easter Division South, […]

    Lottery machine goes berserk during Sunday lottery draw.
    Sunday’s lottery draw at the Public Building (Magistrate’s Court) caused a commotion among displeased gamblers whose number did not play. Police had to be called in to calm the crowd which became disorderly when the computerized lottery machine malfunctioned and failed to produce the second […]

    Trip Advisor gives San PedroTop Marks
    TripAdvisor, the world renowned travel website, has named San Pedro and San Ignacio as two of the best tourist destinations in the region. The travel site produced the list this month. It said that San Pedro is the best tourist destination in Latin America; besting […]

    Blame Accountant General for late audits Auditor General Dorothy Bradley says
    Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, in an interview with the Reporter this week said her office is still facing many of the same issues she has constantly complained about for the last several years. With regard to auditing government financials, she re-emphasized that it is not […]

    Accused Mastermind, Bradley Paumen Ordered to Pay $300,000 for Trespass…
    In a judgment which took just about an hour to deliver, Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith on Tuesday ordered an absent Bradley Paumen to pay compensation of $150,000 to landowner Michael Modiri for knowingly trespassing on his property at Frank’s Eddy. Paumen used the property to gain entry to the […]

    Expect no public report on deadly Youth Hostel Fire! Department Head says. Prelude to a cover-up?
    The outcome of the investigation into the deadly fire at the Youth Hostel which killed three young girls five months ago will not be publicized declared Chief Executive Officer Judith Alpuche, of the Human Development Department, On November 28 2016, three Teenage girls Shadisha Arnold, […]

    More weed off the streets
    Separate police drug raids last Friday yielded marijuana and cocaine and have landed three persons in custody for being in possession of controlled drugs. The first interception occurred between 5:00 a.m. and noon on Friday while members of the Intermediate Southern Formation (ISF) and the […]

    Police charge five for threats against officers on patrol
    Benque Viejo police have arrested and charged five men with ‘aggravated assault’ and ‘threatening words’ after they threatened to kill two policemen who had detained two of their friends for uncustomed goods. Merari Lopez, 29; Santos Osorio, 46; Herson Lopez, 35; Julio Portillo, 28; and […]

    World Banks says Belize has potential for real growth
    A new report issued by the World Bank Group this week, says that despite stagnating GDP per capita, low savings and high interest rates, Belize has great potential for economic growth. The report “Belize: Right Choices, Bright Future,” which analyses opportunities for development, along with […]

    GOB unveils three-year development strategy
    The Government of Belize this week revealed its strategic plan to grow Belize’s economy. It’s called “Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy” (GSDS), and it runs from 2016-2019. GOB, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, launched the strategy on Thursday at […]

    Editorial
    Sometimes we cling to nostalgic visions of ourselves, not realizing how radically some things have changed. . Changes come with alarming swiftness for our young people, teenagers especially, who have had to grow up quickly in a social environment fraught with danger and bad examples. . . Two recent arrests […]

    US claims Zika in Belize!
    The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States, this week, said it has reason to believe that a US national was infected with the Zika virus in Belize. The Ministry of Health said that it received an official correspondence from the United States […]

    Briceno reshuffles PUP heirarchy; Monchi out, Codel Hyde new Deputy
    People’s United Party’s (PUP) Leader John Briceno reshuffled the party’s heirarchy, starting with replacing party treasurer Ramon “Monchi” Cervantes with Chris Coye and appointing Cordel Hyde as deputy leader during a closed¬-door National Executive meeting on Wednesday. Briceno also made other changes as well. Legal […]

    PM Barrow says SATIIM incident is NO surprise
    The Reporter has confirmed that a meeting scheduled for Friday between Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and his counterpart, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, has been postponed until next week. That means discussions on the latest incident in the Sarstoon, between the Guatemalan military and a small skiff carrying […]

    Porn video suggests prostitution at BDF camp
    Another pornographic video, which can cause embarrassment for one of Belize’s law enforcement agencies, is being circulated. This time, the one¬ minute, 22¬-second-¬long amateur video, involves a fully naked woman and a man dressed in BDF camouflage pants and a grey undershirt. The encounter seems […]

    Municipal authorities receive vector control response training
    Today Friday, municipal authorities will conclude a two-day workshop on approaches to battling vector borne illnesses, such as the Zika virus. The training, entitled “Risk Communication and Community Engagement for Zika Virus Prevention and Control” is being held at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Corozal Market and streets upgraded
    The Social Investment Fund (SIF) has rehabilitated the Corozal Town Market Annex located at 1st St South & 6th Avenue, which was inaugurated this afternoon. The total cost of the project, including repaving both streets, is some 689 thousand 300 dollars and thirty cents. […]

    Belize, Guatemala foreign ministers meet; Belize speaks to OAS about Lambey shooting
    We were informed this afternoon that a meeting that was originally postponed took place in Benque Viejo Town today between Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington and his Guatemalan counterpart, His Excellency Carlos Raul Morales. While the exact details are not known, […]

    BDF sergeant was alone when shot by Guatemalan
    Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey of the Belize Defense Force was shot on Holy Saturday while on a water resupply mission near camp Valentin close to the Belize Guatemala border in the West. Following the leak of the BDF’s internal report on the shooting, there […]

    Merkel Pitts dies; investigation upgraded to murder
    In crime news, Merkel Pitts, an 18 year old youth from Ladyville died this afternoon while undergoing treatment at the KHMH following an attempt on his life last night. Investigators informed that he was shot three times to the body. Reliable sources say that […]

    U.S. couple caught Zika in Belize
    A release just before news time yesterday delivered some potentially devastating news for Belize. The Ministry of Health informed that they had received communication from US health authorities indicating that a zika case in the US may have originated in Belize. At the time, […]

    Cane farmer found dead in Corozal
    There are reports that a cane farmer whose name has still not been released, was found this morning with gunshot wounds to his chest on the Rio Hondo River bank in Santa Rosa Village, Corozal. The farmer was allegedly working in the fields when […]

    Four detained for Ladyville shooting
    Last night at around 7:40 p.m., Ladyville Police responded to reports of a shooting and upon arrival at an open yard near Compassion Lane, they saw 18-year-old Merkel Pitts bleeding from wounds. Initial investigations revealed that Pitts was socializing with three other men when […]

    Man charged for smoking pipe
    A Belize City man was arrested and charged on Wednesday afternoon for a rather rarely reported offense after he was seen throwing an object over a fence on Wednesday afternoon. 54-year-old Walter Flores was charged for ‘possession of utensil for smoking controlled drugs’ after […]

    Police seize weed found in Belize City
    An early morning police operation yielded 113 grams of weed. Members of the Belize City North Side Strike Team and the K-9 Unit searched an empty lot on Angel Street, where they made the discovery. Officers found the marijuana inside a black plastic bag […]

    Little boy run over and killed by sand truck
    Reports of a tragic incident emerged from San Ignacio Town yesterday afternoon when a primary school boy, Emil August, was hit by a truck belonging to Bahadur and Sons Trucking Company. The accident occurred in front of Trins Store shortly after mid-day and the […]

    Blogs

    Ready, Set, SWIM! Some of the Best Beaches on Ambergris Caye, Belize
    Ramon’s Village – Just south of town is one of the original and most famous resorts on the island, Ramon’s Village. They have a beautiful strip of beach (and a popular swimming dock for the kids in town) that is great for wading in. Central Park – Just recently, there has been a revival of Central Park in downtown San Pedro. An old palapa was torn down and the street vendors have been more to a designated area on the Back Street. It’s left Central Park’s beach looking beautiful. And, while shallow, it’s a lovely and convenient spot to sit in da wata. Boca Del Rio – This beach is also a road – and may be the prettiest street in the world. All along this stretch is gorgeous but when it comes to swimming, the northern area near the actual Boca Del Rio or “Mouth of the River” is the prettiest spot. And is filled with golf carts and locals wading and swimming on the weekend. X’tan Ha Resort – Now we are heading farther north…7 miles north of the bridge over “the river” – or cut in the island. The road now extends all the way up to the resort (not all paved but most in very good shape) and they have not only a great beach but a funky little over the water bar. It’s a fun place to stop. Tranquility Bay – This remote gem of a resort is even farther north…in fact, it’s the northernmost resort on Ambergris Caye. So when you are staying up there, you often have the beach and the gorgeous snorkeling areas basically to yourself…or you are sharing with a handful of guests. The reef is so close that you can easily kayak out but if lounging on the beach is your thing? It’s just gorgeous. Secret Beach – The name is pretty much tongue in cheek these days – the secret is TOTALLY out. About 4 miles up the road north, you will see this sign. Hook the left. The Sand Bar - The leeward side of the island is scattered with small cayes and south of some of them, sandbars form. Beautiful pinkish sand sandbars just barely peaking out of the water. Bring along some beach chairs and some well iced drinks AND LOTS OF SUNBLOCK and you are in business.

    International Sourcesizz

    Ed Paul: Optometrist, Teacher, Bridge To Belize
    Ed Paul is not one to be satisfied with the status quo. He’s focused on finding opportunities to improve and expand. This spring, the optometrist and owner of Landfall Eye Associates is preparing for a move to larger quarters, a rebranding and an expansion of his practice. In June, Paul will relocate to The Offices at Airlie, a new development at the corner of Military Cutoff and Wrightsville Avenue. His new entity, Paul Vision Institute, will occupy three times the space Landfall Eye Associates now leases. Running an entrepreneurial medical practice might seem enough to occupy anyone, but optometry is only part of Paul’s focus. He has another career as well, as the honorary consul of Belize for much of the Eastern United States. Belize, which was known as British Honduras until it won independence from Britain in 1981, has nearly the same population – about 300,000 – as Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties combined, Paul said. Although his title is “honorary” and his post is an unpaid one, Paul has the same capabilities as would a career consul regarding identification and document legalization, he explained.

    Expats May Be Able to Avoid Paying U.S. Income Taxes, Say Experts
    There are many good reasons for moving abroad, among them, the possibility of better weather, a lower cost of living, access to higher quality, lower cost healthcare and an improved lifestyle. However, another less well-known but significant reason more Americans are choosing to live abroad is to lower their U.S. income taxes, many times to zero. The way they do this is by using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, which allows them to exclude up to $108,000 from their U.S. taxable income in 2015. If the law doesn't change (and it has been in place for many years), they will be able to exclude even more in 2016. To explain how the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion works, Best Places in the World to Retire interviewed three specialists in this area, Don Nelson,a U.S. Tax Attorney and retired CPA with over 35 years experience specializing in U.S. international, expatriate and nonresident taxation, David McKeegan, founder of a business with 38 accountants and a staff of seven serving clients in over 150 countries, and Stewart Patton, founder of U.S. Tax Services, and a U.S. tax attorney now living in Belize.

    How an ancient civilization conserved water
    Collection, storage and management of water were top priorities for the ancient Maya, whose sites in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala were forced to endure seven months out of the year with very little rainfall. As researchers expand their explorations of the civilization outside of large, elite-focused research site centers, aerial imagery technology is helping them locate and study areas that are showing them how less urbanized populations conserved water for drinking and irrigation. The NSF-supported research by Jeffrey Brewer, a doctoral student in the University of Cincinnati's Department of Geography, and Christopher Carr, a UC research assistant professor of geography, was presented at the 81st annual meeting of the Society of American Archaeology. The UC researchers used a surveying technology called LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) -- along with excavation data -- to examine the spatial characteristics, cultural modifications and function of residential-scale water tanks -- a little-investigated component of Maya water management by commoners versus the more powerful and visible elites, says Brewer.

    De-risking by global banks already hurting Caribbean financial system
    The severing of correspondent banking relationships is having a severe impact on the Caribbean region, leaving many businesses and individuals cut off from their money and making it difficult for new businesses to establish operations. This was revealed by Central Bank of Barbados Governor, Dr. DeLisle Worrell as he presented the findings of a Caribbean-wide survey at the recent Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) meeting in Tokyo. According to Worrell, who attended the meeting in his capacity as co-Chair of the Financial Stability Board’s Regional Consultative Group, Americas (FSB/RCG_A), Belize has experienced terminations in correspondent bank relationships that account for more than half of their banking assets. Belize’s central bank has sought to provide assistance, but some customers in that country still have no access to their funds. While Belize has been the jurisdiction most affected, other territories in the region are also facing challenges. In Jamaica, where remittances are a major source of foreign exchange, the number of money transfer businesses and foreign exchange traders has declined as a result of the severance of correspondent banking relationships; Guyana and the countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union have experienced terminations; and business has slowed in the International Business and Financial Services sectors in the Cayman Islands, The Bahamas and Barbados.

    Almost Half Of World Heritage Sites Are Threatened, Report Finds
    Nearly half of the planet’s world heritage sites are threatened by development, despite international protections, according to a report released Wednesday by the World Wildlife Fund. The 229 heritage sites in 96 countries include Egypt’s pyramids, Florida’s Everglades National Park and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The WWF report found that 114 of these sites are under threat from oil and gas development, illegal logging, overfishing or other industrial activities. Roberto Troya, WWF director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said the report points out that natural capital isn’t valued as highly as industry in many regions, and some governments have lost sight of “what needs to happen now, versus what needs to happen in the future.”

    Videos

  • Socializing Dolphins in Belize (HD with audio), 30sec. This incredible video of wild dolphin behavior was recorded by researcher Eric Ramos in Turneffe Atoll, Belize. Here is what Eric had to say about the behavior captured in this video: "Socializing dolphins often encircle each other during sexual behavior, emitting series of buzzes and whistles as they prod each other with their beaks. In this clip the three active dolphins in the center of the frame are engaged in what is known as “goosing” or rostra-gential contact and “genital buzzing”, with streams of bubbles emitted after buzzes."

  • Belize mixes Maya Heartland and Mother Nature, 5min. Belize overnight tourists increased by a remarkable 17.2% and cruise arrivals up by a whopping 19.4% compared to last year. Even so visitors still have plenty of tranquility, as that represents 28,431 overnight tourists and 19,965 cruise stopping passengers. TravelMole catches up with Michelle Bowers of the Belize Tourist Board for this interview.

  • Women's Financial Health - Belize, 10min.

  • Spatar Belize, 7.5min.

  • Driving through the Hills of Belize near San Ignacio, 2min. Driving through the Hills of Belize near San Ignacio. Villages near San Ignacio vary. They might be Mayan, Mestizo, or Caribbean Creole, etc. The route to the Caracol Mayan Ruins goes through remote jungle and even a pine forest.

  • Still the Highest Building in Belize: Caana Pyramid at Caracol Mayan Ruins, 1.5min. Caracol Mayan Ruins. This vid is from the highest point in Caracol. One can see for miles around even into Guatemala (jungle behind start point). Caana (meaning sky palace) is the largest pyramid at Caracol. It holds 4 palaces and 3 temples and remains the tallest building in modern Belize, with a height of 141 feet.The remote Mayan ruins are deep in the jungle of Belize. A military escort is required due to regional guerrillas. Caracol is a massive site. Only 5,000 of the 37,000 structures are excavated yet there are lots of Mayan tombs, artifacts and pyramids to check out! The site was built and active from around 70-900 AD.

  • A Flowing Mountain River in Belize, 1/2min. A Flowing Mountain River in Belize: The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve 2016. The unique forest has pine trees and palm trees in Central America. Surprising flora in the tropics. This river contains crocodiles though they are not abundant.

  • Driving into San Ignacio, Belize, 2min. Driving into San Ignacio, Belize. The diverse town of 18,000 lies deep in the Belize jungle near Guatemala. San Ignacio and neighboring Santa Elena are towns in western Belize. San Ignacio serves as the cultural-economic hub of the sparsely populated Cayo District. The region got its economic start from Mahogany and chicle production during British colonialism.

  • Farmers Market in San Ignacio, Belize, 3min. The bustling Saturday Market in San Ignacio, Belize. The entire town and surrounding areas gather to sell fruit, vegetables, kitchen supplies and household items. The market is mainly occupied by Mestizos but Mayans, Caribbean Creoles and even white Mennonite farmers sell their goods here. A wide range of fruits, veggies, and spices can be found. Little makeshift restaurants sell freshly made quesadillas, burritos and local plates.

  • Water Slide at Caribbean Villas Resort in San Pedro, Belize, 30sec. Water Slide at Caribbean Villas Resort in San Pedro, Belize . The multi story water slide shoots you into the water very fast!

  • Frio Rio Pools and Waterfalls in The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize. Part 2, 1min. Frio Rio Pools and Waterfalls in The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize. Part 2 from afar. The scenic pools are nice for swimming. The water is pretty warm and you can hang out under the waterfalls.

  • The View from High Up Xunantunich Mayan Ruins in Belize, 1min. The view from high up Xunantunich Mayan Ruins in Belize. The ancient city flourished from 700-1,000 AD. Although Xunantunich is smaller than other sites, the main El Castillo structure is 130 ft tall. There are plazas, temples, artifacts, ball courts, and other ruins to explore.

  • Driving Through Belize City, Belize, 1.5min. Driving Through Belize City, Belize. This Central America city lying on the Carribean Sea has a population of about only 70,000 people. The country has less than 400,000 people now so Belize City is the main spot. The people are mostly Carribean Creole and speak their own version of Creole. Mestizo, Mayan and other ethnic groups also inhabit the port city. Many cruise ships and Western tourists briefly pass through Belize City to get to tourist sites such as islands, caves, and Mayan Ruins.

  • ABbundance Belize | Pilates, Yoga and SUP Retreat, 4min. A recap of our incredible retreat at Royal Belize.

  • EF Tours Belize 2016, 6.5min. On spring break I went to Belize and had a really great time, so here is a slide show of my entire trip.

    April 8, 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

    SP Justices of the Peace Association elect new executive board
    There are currently nine chapters of the Justice of Peace (JP) Association in Belize, and with San Pedro being one of them, an important meeting was scheduled for Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of the Supreme Court. The association gathered at the Sunbreeze Hotel Conference Room on Saturday, April 2nd, where the National President, Danny Madrid, gave an introduction and discussed the sequence of agenda to the members. Madrid proceeded in giving an apology for the inactive state of the association for the past two years, indicating that he hoped to revive the committee. The meeting also allowed Madrid to get a current database of the JP’s as some of the elderly have passed away. He expressed his goal for the association to be up-to-date. In an effort to form a healthy association, he also encouraged those who were inactive to either become active or resign.

    ‘Kite to Point’ – Kite surfing to Placencia: Friends of Jeffrey Eiley honor his memory
    In order to complete such a challenging journey, perfect wind conditions had to be present to carry them along to their destination. The trip left one day earlier than its scheduled date in an attempt to ride along with the strong trade winds. However, after the first leg of the trip, the wind suddenly shifted, then died down. Everyone thought it was a prank; given it was April Fools’ Day, but the wind never picked up again. It was impossible for the group of surfers to continue kite surfing to Placencia. “The whole idea of the trip was to stay together and due to the changes in the currents and wind we had to complete the remaining of the trip by boat. It was a very emotional trek admiring all the scenery the coast of our country has to offer, islands we have never seen, marine life, the mountains to the west, it was an adventure that I know Jeff would have loved so much to experience,” said MJ. During the journey riding on the Carpe Diem, Jeffrey’s mother Susana took in the natural beauty of her surroundings while remembering her departed son.

    Minister of National Security and Commissioner of Police visit San Pedro
    On Friday, April 1st the San Pedro Police department hosted the Minister of National Security, Honorable John Saldivar and the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie for an impromptu inspection of the guard followed by a quick meeting. The visit to the local police is part of Saldivar’s countrywide tour to re-assess and re-evaluate the effectiveness of the police and explore ways of improving the work of the Belize Police Department (BDP) in its fight against crime and its function of increasing safety and security throughout our communities. The official ceremonies for the visit were held at the San Pedro Town Council conference room, where the San Pedro police officers were inspected prior to the commencement of the meeting. The short meeting saw addresses from both Saldivar and Whylie, as well as a question and answer segment for the police officers in attendance. “San Pedro is a very important town in Belize. It contributes significantly to the economy, so we are always concerned when we see incidents of crime occurring on the island,” said Commissioner Whylie. He went on to indicate that the Belize Police Department is always taking special initiatives to ensure crime is kept in check on the island while trying to encompass a friendly community relationship.

    8-Ball Pool Tournament continues
    After the long Easter break, the pre-season 8-ball Pool Tournament continued this past weekend at one of the most popular local pubs in town – Cholo’s Bar. The different set of games were once again heated as teams battled it out to gain the extra points to advance to the semi-finals. The crowd of fans supporting each team is growing larger as the sporting activity continues to draw attention. The games continue this weekend at Mr. All’s Pool Room with games beginning at 7PM on Friday and Saturday, and beginning at 1PM on Sunday.

    Ambergris Today

    Municipal Authorities to Get Training on Zika Virus Response
    In response to the Zika virus outbreak in the region, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Health, Belize Mayors’ Association, UNICEF, and PAHO partnered up and organized an on-site training in Belize City for municipal authorities: Risk Communication and Community Engagement for Zika Virus Prevention and Control. The training starts today. Participants will review lesson learned from other countries’ effort, study the global Zika Virus Risk Communication and Community Engagement Guide, undertake field research, and formulate work plan to be implemented in their respective communities. The objective of the training is to strengthen the capacity of municipal authorities from all over the country with the aim of promoting evidence-based community-based vector control interventions to prevent Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya outbreaks.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    United States Embassy and Belize Sign Amendment to the Letter of Agreement
    International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Program

    Municipal Authorities to Get Training on Zika Virus Response
    The objective of the training is to strengthen the capacity of municipal authorities from all over the country with the aim of promoting evidence-based community-based vector control interventions to prevent Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya outbreaks. “Although Belize does not have a confirmed case of Zika virus we have been preparing a plan to effectively respond to the situation. And this event is, among many others, one of the activities we are supporting to strengthen the country’s capacity and readiness to deal with the issue.” Says Mr. Ivan Yerovi, UNICEF Belize’s Representative. On the last day of the event, participants will develop the Prevention Risk Communication and Community Engagement Municipal Plans for their own communities. With support from the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Health, Belize Mayors’ Association, PAHO, and UNICEF, the work plans, developed by the participants at the end of the training, will be implemented by municipalities all over Belize.

    Caye Caulker: Have any blue paint to donate?
    Anybody have blue paint laying around and willing to donate? need a little bit of blue paint on Sat. To complete the mural on the basketball court fence...

    KREM Awards
    Saturday, April 9, Bliss Center

    "Dreams to Reality" Dance Recital 2016
    Belize Dance Company, Ladyville April 9, 6pm. Ladyville Community Center.

    16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement (LOA) implementing the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) program
    Today the U. S. Ambassador to Belize H.E. Carlos Moreno and the Right Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow signed the 16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement (LOA) implementing the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) program through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) on April 7, 2016. The U.S. Government has provided over $35 million in programs and grants to Belize through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) since 2008. Today’s agreement provides USD $6,450,000 in funding to be used for the following projects: Improved Border Inspection, Vetted Units, Capacity Enhancement, Justice Sector Reform, and Community Policing. To date, the U.S. Government, through INL, has committed a total of USD $28.4 million since 2008 to these programs in Belize. In addition to INL programs, the U.S. Embassy has also provided over USD $6 million in CARSI Economic Support Fund grants to local and international NGOs operating in Belize. Programs have included entrepreneurship, vocational training and job placement, after school activities, educational assistance, skills training, and arts and culture. Another $1.2 million will be issued as grants again this year.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    The Finest Hours, Norm Of The North, Fifty Shades of Black, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

    First Case of Zika linked to Belize BUT Belize says "not confirming at this time"
    On April 6th, 2016 Ministry of Health officials received a communication message from the United States International Health Regulations National Focal Point regarding a confirmed case of Zika detected in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the transmission may have originated in Belize. The CDC reported that, “The patient is an adult female resident who travelled to Belize from 14 -19 March 2016. She had onset of fever and rash on 23 March, 2016. Zika virus RT-PCR was positive on serum at the health department of the state. The patient reported no other recent travel history and there was no evidence of possible sexual transmission.” The Ministry of Health at this time is not confirming that this is the first case of Zika in Belize. We are presently in communication with officials from CDC and the Pan American Health Organization Office in Belize to get more information in order to launch a proper epidemiological investigation. As soon as additional information is received, the Ministry will inform the public.

    Victor the kinkajou
    Victor the kinkajou had been brought to BWRC by Forest Department Wildlife officer Victoria Chi last year. He was only 5 days old when he was confiscated from poachers by the wildlife officer and he had no siblings to grow up with. Victor developed a typical behaviour of very young orphans - thumb sucking. BWRC tried to deter this behaviour for a long time and hoped that enrichment, upgrading into the pre-release cage and ultimately release would keep him "busy" enough to get over the baby behaviour - but he proved us wrong. At first he seemed to go through the process, showed no further interest in humans and thrived post release. For 2 weeks he was only seen on camera and in good condition. Nearly 4 weeks after release he returned and showed clear signs of stress, weight loss, continued thumb sucking and complete fixation on his previous human carers. Faced with an unreleasable animal BWRC - as an organisation whose focus is to return animals to the wild - immediately contacted The Belize Zoo to see if they could give a home to this patient... And fortunately they had just completed a wonderful new habitat for kinkajous and the timing was perfect! So today Victor transferred to his new home thanks to The Belize Zoo and hopefully he will help to educate more people about the sad plight of pet wildlife in the illegal trade.

    “The Big Deal” CEO Caucus Challenge 2016: Cancer Awareness Ride
    Cancer continues to be a Big Deal! It is a deadly pandemic plaguing the world and Belize is by no means exempted from this horrible illness as it continues to be the second leading cause of mortality in Belize annually. Most of us, in some way, are affected by cancer. In order to increase awareness and support the efforts of the Belize Cancer Center and Belize Cancer Society the CEO Caucus is hosting “The Big Deal” CEO Caucus Challenge 2016: Cancer Awareness Ride. The CEO Caucus pledges to raise $50,000 over the next month to support national efforts to combat cancer. On Saturday May 7th, the Caucus will culminate its efforts in an awareness ride. “The Big Deal” CEO Caucus Challenge 2016: Cancer Awareness Ride will start at Mile 25 on the George Price Highway and conclude at the Show Grounds in the City of Belmopan.

    Power interruption 7:00am to 10:00am, Sunday, April 10, San Pedro
    Southern portion from Sunbreeze Hotel to Island Cottage Resort and DFC Subdivision, Elliot Subdivision, San Pedrito, San Marcos, Escalante Subdivision & San Pablo. BEL to repair hotspots on power distribution system in area.

    Rotary Rainforest Reading Camp
    The Rotary Club of San Ignacio teamed up with the Rotary Club of Red Deer to do an educational camp. Thanks, Rotary! "Totally amazing Rainforest Reading and Adventure Camp in San Ignacio BELIZE this past week. 23 Albertans working with over 300 Belize primary school aged children and over 40 educators and community volunteers. In the 40 degree C heat the Canadians did an outstanding job. So many smiles of children and gratitude from Belize teachers and community members. The Rotary Club of Red Deer is doing some exemplary humanitarian work in the area of literacy with so many benefits for both Canadian and Belize participants. I am so grateful for the very talented literacy team that joined the Literacy Alive III project and is half way through their project work. Next week is Professional Development for Belize teachers. This weekend the group is enjoying R and R in the Caribbean Cayes or in the beautiful Cayo area."

    BAAS 2016
    The Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium will start on the 28th of June this year. It all happens at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.

    Challenging but possible
    FCD’s environmental educator visits San Ignacio Pre-schoolers to teach them about the beauty of the Chiquibul!!

    Belmopan Screen on the Green: "WALL-E"
    Belize Screen on the Green is next Thursday, April 14 at Governor General Field. Please join the U.S. Embassy and the Belmopan City Council for a special screening of the movie "WALL-E". About the Movie – WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying up the planet, one piece of garbage at a time. But during 700 years, WALL-E has developed a personality, and he's more than a little lonely. Then he spots EVE (Elissa Knight), a sleek and shapely probe sent back to Earth on a scanning mission. Smitten WALL-E embarks on his greatest adventure yet when he follows EVE across the galaxy.

    Belmopan Screen on the Green: "Akeelah and the Bee"
    Belize Screen on the Green in DANGRIGA is back this month with the screening of the movie "Akeelah and the Bee" on April 28th at the Slaughter House. Please join us!!!! About the Movie –Akeelah, an 11-year-old girl living in South Los Angeles, discovers she has a talent for spelling, which she hopes will take her to the National Spelling Bee. Despite her mother's objections, Akeelah doesn't give up on her goal. She finds help in the form of a mysterious teacher, and along with overwhelming support from her community; Akeelah might just have what it takes to make her dream come true.

    Channel 7

    PM Speaks on SATIIM's Sarstoon Showdown
    Last night we told you about SATIIM's Sarstoon showdown with the Guatemalan Navy. The Indigenous NGO which used to co-manage the Sarstoon Temash National Park, reported that the Guatemalan military showed aggression and attempted to stop them from entering the Sarstoon River. They were on a patrol of the southern portion of the National Park, but when they entered the Mouth of the Sarstoon, the SATIIM Rangers reported to the BDF soldiers what they intended to do. They believed that, since they had been given the nod from the BDF soldiers based at the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base, they were in the clear to conduct their patrol. SATIIM says that they've haven't been stopped by the Guatemalan Navy from entering the Sarstoon on patrol duty for the past 10 years, and so they had no reason to believe that Tuesday's trip would be different. SATIIM says they when they entered this time, however, the Guatemalans intercepted them, and attempted to stop their passage through the river, if they did not first stop in at the Guatemalan military base, which is right across the river from the BDF's base.

    PM Denies Guatemalan Annexation of Sarstoon
    Today, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), released a statement condemning the attempt by the Guatemalan military to stop the SATIIM rangers from entering the Sarstoon River. APAMO says quote, "With the increasing sensitivity of the bi-national relations between Belize and Guatemala, these organizations operating in protected areas near the border need the support of the relevant Government agencies to ensure the deterrence of the ongoing pillaging of our natural resources by non-Belizeans." End Quote. Given the recent confrontations between Belizeans and the Guatemalan military in the Sarstoon river, some suspect that all this aggression is an attempt to establish that the Guatemalans have and will continue to exercise their sovereignty over the river. The Prime Minister told the press that if that is the intent, they Guatemalans will fail if and when the territorial dispute goes to the International Court of Justice:

    Saldivar Says GOB Must Protest
    We also spoke with the Minister of National Security John Saldivar about this latest Sarstoon showdown. He told us that his ministry is investigating the incident and that he still has to meet with Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington to decide on the next step. But he strongly condemns Guatemala's aggressive approach in the Sarstoon. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "First of all let me say that this is unfortunate and certainly if this is the action by the Guatemalan military, this is unacceptable. As soon as we can ascertain exactly what to place, we will be making the necessary representations both to the OAS and to Guatemala. We're trying to get in touch with the minister of foreign affairs but we're definitely going to make a strong representation if this is the case."

    Saldivar Says Guatemalans Shot The Staff Sargeant
    And from these Sarstoon clashes to gun fights in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. We also asked Saldivar for an update on the Holy Saturday shooting of Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey in the reserve. Saldivar told us that they have confirmed that the shooters are Guatemalan: Courtney Weatherburne: "Shifting over to Sergeant Richard Lambey, he was shot on Holy Saturday in the Caracol Archeological Reserve. That's another very unfortunate incident. Is there any update on that incident? Can we confirm if Guatemalans were the shooters?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "I believe we have confirmed and that they are. Again it's another unfortunate incident, we've already made strong representations in this regard. We are happy that Mr. Lambey is safe and recovering and being given the best possible treatment for his injuries."

    Lovell Loathes Leaks, Wants Lawsuit
    He could not confirm, but Saldivar also could not deny. And the information that is fuelling the speculation, is from an internal BDF report, fed to the media by whistleblowers who have been leaking reports to the media. That's how the media got the details of Staff Sergeant Lambey's shooting, and the history of Guatemala's 10 year aggression toward the BDF in the Sarstoon River. Well, National Security CEO George Lovell wants to plug those leaks, because according to him, these documents compromise the national security apparatus. He made the case to us today: George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security: "It is very unfortunate that we are getting these type of clear breach of security which obviously comes from individuals who, firstly had access to these things. The entire system have people who are disloyal, in my opinion, who are dishonest, who even though they understand that they can have some adverse security implications, on not just the department or organization from which these things come from but the entire national security of this nation."

    GOB Seeking Guatemalan Help With Lambey Investigation
    And while the BDF have done a preliminary report, who's doing the investigation into the identity of the Guatemalans who ambushed Staff Sergeant Lambey? The Government's press release immediately following the Holy Saturday shooting stated that the Government intended to call in the Organization of American States to verify the details and evidence of the shooting. But what about the police investigation? Lovell told us that at this time, the main line of inquiry for the investigators is the Guatemalan angle: George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security: "Very unfortunate incident. One when you look at it, it may or may not could have been avoided. It depends on how one would look at it. I can tell you that there have been a series of investigations done. Whenever there is any criminal activity or occurrence. What normally happens is our police who has jurisdiction to investigate these matters, conducts an investigation which was done. And a report was provided to us by the commissioner of police in that regard. We had also, because this occurred in that area that we refer to as the adjacency zone, which is administered by Belize which is sort of East of where the border lies. "

    CEO Lovell Put In A Word At The OAS
    And while they have engaged the Guatemalans, Belize also spoke up to the OAS today when the member states held a meeting via Skype. National Ministry CEO George Lovell was Belize's representative. He told the press that he while he had their attention, he took the opportunity to voice Belize's position on the Sarstoon River, given the recent confrontations initiated by the Guatemalan armed forces. He read an excerpt of that speech to the media: George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security: "Belize shall maintain its position and continue to act always strictly in accordance with international law and the spirit of good neighborliness. We invite the Republic of Guatemala to similarly do so. Furthermore, the government of Belize reiterates its invitation, which we've already given to the government of the Republic of Guatemala and the OAS to join with Belize in the constructive engagement for the establishment of a set of confident building measures that are specific to the Starstoon. In order to ensure the maintenance of peace and stability and avoid future conflict between our 2 countries in that areas. Until such time that a definite settlement our differendum is reached by whatever means. I have to say through whatever means because we don't know how we will reach that settlement."

    Saldivar: Border Solution Cannot Be Military
    But are those types of interventions at the OAS, diplomatic protest notes and friendly military and ministerial visits actually making a difference? At the surface, it doesn't seem like they are because the border tensions are intensifying -. Well, Saldivar says that regardless of the border situation - the solution is diplomatic, not military. Courtney Weatherburne: "Looking at all these incidents, Sergeant Richard Lambey, the SATIIM confrontation and as well as several confrontation between the Belize Territorial Volunteers and the Guatemalan Navy. What is being done to regulate these issues? Its increasingly alarming looking at these cases." Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "First of all, it is clear that there's a new position that is being adopted by the Guatemalan, either the government or the military or both. This is of recent, we have to take the necessary actions diplomatically and otherwise to make sure that our case is heard. There is certainly, as we continue to repeat, there is not a military solution to what is happening here. We've got to continue to plow away at the diplomatic solution and that's what we're doing in the strongest possible terms. We are trying to make sure that we maintain the support of all our brothers and sister nations that have previously supported our independence and our continued territorial integrity and sovereignty, using the diplomatic channels. I am hopeful that we'll be able to resolve this."

    Securing The Border, The Broader Picture
    Now civil border relations and diplomacy can only go so far, there must be a strategic border security plan in place on the ground. Saldivar told us that with the Forward Operating Base at the Sarstoon, the 2 new Taiwanese helicopters and a new road that will be built along the border - they should be able to better protect Belizean territory. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "As you know, we've placed several forward operating bases, several conservation posts in place in that area. We're looking at putting a road, the Prime Minister has already announced that he is making the funds available for us to put a dirt road that will give us access to another crucial area. We're also contemplating a road around the border that will give us better access to the border areas. We're working at it, resources are scarce, and it's an expensive venture. National security is expensive and we've been increasing our budget in national security annually over the last 8 years but it's still not enough, we've just got to keep plowing away at it." Courtney Weatherburne: "As you said rightfully it's still not enough, what else is being done apart from increasing or bolstering the patrols in these specific or strategic areas along the border?"

    Belize-Guatemala Border, Open All Night...
    And while there's all this friction surrounding Belize's southern and western boundaries with Guatemala, at the Benque border, the Belize-Guatemala situation is actually being relaxed. Last night, for the first time in memory, the Melchor border station in Guatemala was opened for 24 hours. Usually it closes at 9:00 in the night and opens at 6:00 am. But as of yesterday things have changed - and we understand that the directive going forward is to open the border 24/7. That's how Belize's border with Mexico operates but because of our territorial dispute, it's always been different with Guatemala. We understand it is a political directive coming from the governor of Petén. Belize has reciprocated and customs and immigration are now also on the Belize side 24/7. And while it does open the door for greater trade and better relations, more security will be needed on the Belize side - since the border is a hotspot for all kinds of smuggling and trafficking. More than that, it's also going to be one heck of a headache on Friday nights when Benque barhoppers can stay over in "Champung" for as long as they want!

    CDC Says Belize Has ZIKA
    There's very bad news for the Belize tourism industry tonight: reports say that the Centers for Disease Control in the USA will issue a Zika travel advisory for Belize tomorrow. The CDC says that a female traveled to Belize from the 14th to the 19th of March this year began having fever and rash on the 23rd of March. She reports to have recently traveled to only Belize and tested negative for any possible sexual transmission of the virus. Now a press release from the Ministry of Health says they are still fighting it. They say that are currently in communication with the officials at CDC and the PAHO office in Belize to get more information in order to launch a proper epidemiology investigation. Again the Ministry reiterated that they are not at this time confirming the first case of Zika in Belize.

    Keeping ZIKA Awareness High
    But, regardless, the world will soon know Belize as having Zika. Undaunted, UNICEF is taking on the disease. Today in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of local Government and the Mayor's Association, UNICEF held the start of a two day training workshop for communication directors and town and city councilors in all 9 municipalities. The training was geared towards sensitizing municipal authorities in how to develop evidence-based and community-based vector control interventions. The workshop placed a particular emphasis on Zika. Today we spoke to the UNICEF representative where we learned about the communication strategies they are trying to promote and why it is that UNICEF has now joined the Zika fight. Denise Robateau, Education Officer - UNICEF: "UNICEF has an initiative with the Ministry of Local Government on sustainable child friendly municipalities. The municipalities as you know, have been looking at strategic plans for making their community safe for children. In light of that initiative, the municipalities have started a lot of the clean-up campaigns. They have started advocacy. So our purpose here today is to help, and is to give the ideas in terms of communication for development. So we have with us from the region, a communication for development specialist and he has been sharing a lot of the different ideas so as to reach to community at a local level."

    Hello, Harvest Caye!
    In November of this year, the country's cruise profile is set to change drastically when Norwegian Cruise Line officially opens its Harvest Caye Cruise Port. It's the much talked about, multimillion dollar facility on Harvest Caye, just off the Placencia Peninsula. Today, NCL invited the media and the Government to Placencia for a local launch of the project. No, we didn't get to visit Harvest Caye for ourselves; the executives have promised to do that a later date. But, we did get an update on the status of the project from NCL Senior Vice President Colin Murphy, who is in charge of Destination & Port Operations. Here's his presentation to the gathering the Belize Ocean Club Resort which happened this afternoon: Colin Murphy, V.P., Destination Development, NCL: "So this is the beach and the beach look fabulous I gotta say. More trees and more shade, but the beach came out extremely well and we are very happy with the outcome. We try to give the building a little bit of character and styles, so they are not boring and functional buildings. The bathrooms will have similar look. These are the early days of those beach fillers, we had landscape to go in to make them look very nice.

    Millions From US/Carsi For Justice/Crime Fighting
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow and US Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno invited the press to Belmopan today for the signing of the 16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement implementing the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs program. It's a part of the Central American Regional Security Initiative, through which the US Government has provided Belize with funding of 35 million US dollars in programs and grants since 2008. With today's signing, Belize is receiving another US 6.45 million dollars which will continue some of the CARSI funded programs in Belize. But, there is an allocation in that new disbursement which will go straight toward criminal justice reform. Ambassador Moreno explained how it will work: Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize: "We are very proud to offer through our international narcotics and law enforcement affairs office US$6.4 million dollars to the government of Belize to support citizens' security for fiscal year 2015 which extends into the present time. Now much of these funds will continue successful existing projects and programs such as improve border protection, capacity enhancement and community policing.

    PM: US Led De-Risking May Reverse Crime-fighting Gains
    And while he had the Ambassador at the same head table, Prime Minister Barrow took the opportunity to make the point that the issue of de-risking by the US tier one banks could threaten the progress in regional security that Belize and the other Caribbean Countries have worked hard with the US to foster. Here's his remarks on the fact that even though the de-rsiking crisis is well known, no tangible progress has been made to resolve the problem: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I will I'm afraid use this opportunity to say again that a solution must be found to that particular difficulty else, all that we do with respect to security will ultimately count for naught and it's an ongoing struggle as you well know Ambassador and while I must at the same time put on record my extreme gratitude at the facilitation that you helped to organized for when I visited Washington and the courtesy and understanding in which I was treated. The fact is there has been no real progressed and that's a point that I think also needs to be underscored. But, presumably one step at a time Ambassador and certainly this is a welcomed development, the additional funds and the expanded uses to which we are agreeing the funds must be put."

    PM Nonplussed On Panama Papers
    And keeping it on financial matters, the rest of the world continues to react to the revelation of the Panama Papers. As we reported, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have gotten their hands on 11.5 million financial and legal records from a Panamanian law firm known as Mossack Fonseca and Company. They say that the leak from Mossack-Fonseca shows how 140 politicians, public officials, and prominent business persons from 200 countries and territories around the world, have supposedly used tax havens to hide their wealth. So, what's the Prime Minister's reaction it given that Belize's name has been called? Here's his response: "Clearly my understanding is that there is a mix. There are people who from the develop world who use these offshore jurisdiction for legitimate privacy purposes, but there are just as clearly a few, I think its the minority that will take advantage of trust instruments, the various vehicles that are part of the menu that offshore jurisdictions offer and exploit loopholes for purposes that are certainly questionable if not outright illegal.

    Lovell Says Chetumal Extortion Was Isolated
    Since Monday, we've been telling you about the crazy story of the Belizean businessman who narrated his tale of extortion in Chetumal at the Fiesta Inn. The Mexican embassy said that it's an isolated case, affecting only one Belizean out of an estimated thirty thousand that travelled to Quintana Roo over the Easter weekend. Today, the National Security CEO told the press that his ministry had to get involved, and the information that they've been given from their Mexican counterparts suggests that this businessman's case is indeed isolated: George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security: "We do have our friends over in Chetumal you know, and so if a request is made for them to assist and quite often if there in danger or if life is being threatened we rendered assistance." Reporter: "Did the ministry get involved in this case?" George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security: "Yes we had rendered assistance."

    Arana Family: Pay Up, Jose Mai!
    The Arana family is calling on the PUP's Jose Mai to step up and pay up for knocking down their mother. Since the accident, the family hasn't gotten any financial support from Mai and they say prayers and words of support won't pay the mounting hospital bill. Today Julia Arana's son Nissan came to our studios and gave us an update on his mother's condition and to send that message to Mai. Nissan Arana, son of accident victim "Up to now the furthest that the doctors are saying is that she is still in a condition that's not recognizable so far. They are waiting for after the medication wear off what will be her response. But to talk to her she doesn't recognize anyone." Courtney Weatherburne: "So she's not responding?" Nissan Arana, son of accident victim: "Right now she is not responding and not talking at all. She listens, but she doesn't recognize anything."

    A Strategy For Growth And Sustainable Development
    How can Belizeans have a better quality of life now and in the future? Well the Government's Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy outlines specific goals that should secure that quality of life. The strategy incorporates ways to drive the economy forward, to improve government policies and citizen security and to better protect the environment among other key areas. Now another report that sort of compliments this new strategy is the World Bank Group Report called " Belize: Right Choices, Bright Future." Today at the official launch we spoke to Lead Economist Francisco Carneiro and he told us that Belize has quite a few areas to improve on especially financial sustainability.

    Saldivar Plays Sherriff In Deputy Race
    The race for UDP First Deputy Leader looks more like a sprint right now although no one knows where the finish line is. That's because no date has been set for the convention. But, both candidates, Patrick Faber and John Saldivar have been racking up the endorsements. Faber came out early with a press conference featuring three ministers and 6 standard bearers, but Saldivar has been racking up his own endorsements recently, with a powerhouse ad featuring the entire UDP Cayo Caucus endorsing him - and now he has the same from Dangriga's Frank Pawpa Mena. And while he's on a media blitz, Saldivar says it is more than just the ads, he says he has gotten a lot of support from delegates on his campaign. Today he told us how his campaign has been going:

    Belizean Produced Nicki Minaj's Hit "Anaconda"
    Another outstanding young Belizean is John Myvett, the music producer known as "Anonymous." He didn't go to Harvard, but he's been toying with computers and music since he was 14, and now, just in his mid - 20's, he's been nominated for a Grammy award as the producer of one of Nicki Minaj's biggest hits, and he's currently working on the score for a new Will Smith movie. He's in Belize right now helping out his cousin, Shyne Barrow. Yes, that's right, Myvett is another one of Michael Finnegan's nephews, and he's here to help Shyne out with a new program he's doing at the B-Tec Center called the music master class. Shyne and Anonymous told us more:… And John Myvette is the one who took the initiative when he produced the basic track for "Anaconda" - which is one of the biggest Nicki Minaj tracks ever. He told us how he put that together:

    Orange Walkeno Is Harvard Bound
    Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is one of the most selective - so only the brightest of the brightest can get in there. And it is also one of the most expensive, meaning even if you're brilliant, you've got to have long, long cheddar to get inside it's ivy walls. Orange Walkeno Angel Navidad had only one of those pre-requsities: he's brilliant. But, he had one other thing: he doesn't mind being rejected, so figuring he had nothing to lose, he wrote an admission essay to Harvard - and he ended up with a full four-year scholarship. Today he visited his old school in Orange Walk, Bishop Martin High School and told CTV-3 how he did it:.. Angel leaves in August. According to internet sources, standard annual tuition at Harvard is $45 thousand US dollars, with another 15 thousand for Room and board - bringing it to a total of $60 grand per year.

    Dealing With Diabetes
    Today in observance of World Health Day, the Ministry of Health in partnership with the World Health Organization made a global call to "Beat Diabetes." For some years, the non-communicable disease was ranked as the number one cause of death in the country. In 2014, it fell back to number three. But according to the Ministry of Health, regional and national trends seems to indicate an increase in the number of diabetes cases in the very near future. That is if behavioral change in the community is not sustained. In light of this and in commemoration of World Health Day, the Ministry of Health along with its partners hosted a Diabetes awareness forum and symposium at the Biltmore this morning. In observance of World Health Day, several regions will organize activities throughout the week including a Diabetes Walk in San Ignacio Town, Diabetes Information Presentations for Senior Citizens at Helpage Center in Orange Walk, and a Diabetes Health Session with schools in Punta Gorda Town.

    Channel 5

    PM Barrow Speaks on SATIIM Incident in Sarstoon
    A meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala scheduled for this Friday has been postponed for sometime next week. It would have discussed the new stance by Guatemala [...]

    Minister of National Security Says GAF Actions Are Unacceptable
    The Minster of National Security John Saldivar was also asked today about the most recent Sarstoon incident. He offered few details on the aggression by the Guatemalan Armed Forces against [...]

    National Security CEO Discusses Sarstoon with OAS Permanent Council
    The government, particularly Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, has come under fire for a perception of timidity where negotiations with Guatemala are concerned. There has been a consistent criticism that the [...]

    Is Guatemala Using Aggression as ICJ Strategy?
    There are differing viewpoints on the Guatemalan claim on the entire Sarstoon. Minister Wilfred Elrington has maintained that nothing has changed since 1939, where Guatemala’s position on owning the river [...]

    Minister Saldivar Says CBMs Have Defused Tension
    On a previous occasion in the Sarstoon between the B.D.F. and the GAF the B.D.F. said that they had secured commitment from the GAF, to stand off but the SATIIM [...]

    OAS Joint Verification Exercise Conducted in Shooting of BDF Soldier
    Today the Ministry of National Security confirmed that based on a Police investigation into the shooting of B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey, they believe that the assailants were Guatemalan citizens [...]

    CEO Lovell Says Lambey Should Not Have Been Alone
    The B.D.F. report into the incident revealed that Staff Sergeant Lambey was alone when he was ambushed by seven Guatemalan men, and the patrol he was leading came on the [...]

    Investigations Show Guatemalans Were the Shooters
    Today, Minister of National Security John Saldivar told the media that it has been confirmed that Guatemalans shot Staff Sergeant Lambey. He says that the problem in the Sarstoon does [...]

    US Hands Over US$1.4M for Justice Sector Reform
    The Central America Regional Security Initiative, very affectionately known as CARSI. We say affectionately because since 2008 Belize has received over thirty-five million in programs and grants. In fiscal year [...]

    Ambassador Moreno Says Prosecution in Belize Needs Strengthening
    Ambassador Moreno explained that there are very specific allocations for the funding, but all of it is geared to improving a justice system which has shown some wear and tear, [...]

    NCL Stakeholders Say Harvest Caye Project Means More Jobs
    The inauguration of the cruise port in Southern Belize is scheduled for November seventeenth 2016. The launch of the Norwegian Cruise Line’s project has been delayed somewhat but according to [...]

    Tourism Minister Says Southern Stakeholders Must Organize
    The idea of introducing cruise tourism to southern Belize was initially met with objection from various communities, primarily from residents of Placencia, as it relates to the Harvest Caye development.  [...]

    No progress in solving the loss of correspondent banking
    Earlier in this block we told you about the extremely generous donations to Belize through CARSI, a US initiative aimed ultimately at strengthening regional security. But the happy – happy, [...]

    Was Drug Cartel Involved in Former Minister’s Scare in Chetumal?
    Was a Belizean businessman and former Minister really targeted by a drug cartel as he vacationed in Chetumal at the Fiesta Inn a week ago? He claims he was, and [...]

    World Bank Analyzes Belize’s Economy
    The Ministry of Economic Development launched its National Growth and Sustainable Strategy earlier today, a few hours ahead of a new report by the World Bank Group which looks at [...]

    Financial Sector Dubbed Uncompromising
    While tourism and agriculture have both been identified as key pillars of Belize’s economy, there is a certain nervousness when it comes to the impact of both sectors on the [...]

    How Does Belize’s Dropout Rate Compare to Latin America?
    On a positive note where it concerns the education system, the completion rate at the primary level is significantly higher in Belize than anywhere else in Latin America.  While that [...]

    World Health Organization Focuses on Diabetes
    In 2015, health expenditure for diabetes in the Americas was estimated at three hundred and eighty-two billion dollars and that staggering figure will increase to around four hundred and forty-five [...]

    Healthy Living looks at how to prevent diabetes
    Earlier in our newscast, we showed you the World Health Day Forum held under the theme “Beat Diabetes”. When we talk about diabetes, we often focus on knowing your status [...]

    CTV3

    Prime Minister Not Surprised About Aggression
    The aggression that rangers from SATIM suffered yesterday at the hands of Guatemalan Armed Forces while patrolling the Sarstoon-Temash National Park, on the South of the Sarstoon River continues to make headlines tonight. As is reported the rangers were on their routine patrol when they were stopped by a Guatemalan naval vessel. The Guatemalan Authorities, in a very aggressive manner, told the rangers that they had breached the new protocol which indicates that any Belizean entering the Sarstoon must get permission from the Guatemalans at their base. The encounter prompted the Executive Director of SATIM to fire off a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs demanding to know which protocol the rangers had breached since in all its years of patrolling the area it was the first time that rangers were told they had to receive permission from the Guatemalan forces.

    Latest Aggression From The Sarstoon To Be Reported To The OAS
    As the news of the recent aggression lived at the Sarstoon by SATIM continues to be widely discussed today Minister of National Security John Saldivar weighed in on the issue. But he was as submissive as the Prime Minister and agrees that if the accounts of SATIM as to what transpired yesterday proves to be true it must be resolved in a diplomatic manner. “First of all let me say that this is unfortunate and certainly if this is the action by the Guatemalan military this is unacceptable and as soon as we can ascertain exactly what took place we will be making the necessary presentations both to the OAS and to Guatemala we trying to get in touch with the Minister of Foreign Affairs but we are definitely going to make a strong presentation if this is the case.”

    BMHS Board of Directors Applauds Former Student Accomplishment
    The Board of Directors of Bishop Martin High School is also proud of Angel Navidad’s latest achievement and today the Chairman of the Board, Jaime Briceno, told us how Navidad’s accomplishment puts Bishop Martin and Orange Walk Town on high standards. Jaime Briceno- Chairman of the board- BMHS: “Bishop Martin is been in existence over ten year and over that period we’ve had a number of achievements that has made us proud of the High School perhaps today is an official one and we are here to honor and to recognize the achievements of one of our fellow students, it is the reason why Bishop Martin exist, it is the reason it is here to provide each and every one of you with a foundation with education for you to make a better life, for you, for yourself and for the community and like the rest of the Board we are extremely proud and happy that Angel has made this achievement that we are her to celebrate with him.”

    Vendors Moved To Fort Carns
    Last week we told you about the initiative taken by the Orange Walk Town Council to relocate the vendors that lined the sidewalks at the corner of Arthur and Progress Streets. The decision was taken after the Town Council noticed that the problem created by traffic congestion in the area had become a hazard to all passersby especially students who frequently pass through the area. The vendors were today relocated to the Fort Carnes Market square, where they will still be able to freely sell their produce and the intersection is cleared for pedestrians and drivers to Travers freely, and according to the Mayor the decision is the best one the council could have taken as it benefits the vendors as well as the general public.

    BMHS Graduate Awarded Full Scholarship At Harvard
    He graduated at the top of his class from Bishop Martin High School and then went off to St Johns Junior College in Belize City from where he graduated with highest honors receiving an associate’s degree in Biology and now he is off to one of the most prestigious universities in the World, Harvard. We are talking about Angel Navidad, who becomes one of the first students in many years to be accepted and offered a scholarship to the high-status university. But the road to Harvard has not been an easy one for Navidad. Today he visited his former high school, where we got the opportunity to speak to him. He told us while it was tough for him to remain focused on his goals and aspirations, living in a society where drinking and partying are common past times for the youth at the end it all paid off.

    PlusTV

    Guatemalan military tells Mayan Community patrol that Belizeans must report to them
    SATIIM is asking if there is a new international directive for travelling in the Sarstoon River. That’s because the Guatemalan military informed SATIIM on Tuesday, April 5th 2016 that all visits to the Sarstoon must be reported to them. Froyla Tzalam, SATIIM’s Executive Director said that over its ...

    Keyren Tzib to be tried for manslaughter
    The first of two Supreme Court trials to involve 25 year old Coast Guard officer Keyren Tzib was confirmed today. Tzib will stand trial for a charge of manslaughter in the stabbing death of her common-law husband, Thytis Blancaneaux, in July of 2015 during a domestic dispute at their Lord’s B...

    Car Dealer must compensate for vehicle
    Western Avenue, Belize City car dealer Albert Wright cut short his trial in the Magistrate’s Court today on a charge of obtaining property by deception by pleading guilty. Now Wright must pay a fine of $1,500 and compensation of nearly 8 thousand dollars to Ken Dyer, the man whom he promised ...

    Teenager robbed in Belize City
    A 17year old female student was held up and robbed in Belize City. On Monday the 4th of April at around 10:30 a.m, a 17-year-old student of Belize City was walking alone on Princess Margaret Drive when she felt someone pulling her gold chain valued at $500.00 from behind her. When she turned around,...

    Teenager detained due to stolen gun investigation
    A 15 year old minor has been detained pending investigations of a stolen 12 gauge shotgun. On Tuesday the 5th of April, 74-year-old Windel Gilbert Lizama, a Belizean construction worker of Burrel Boom reported that at about 3:00 p.m that same day, someone stole his 12 gauge Bolt Action shotgun which...

    Belize Hosts 2016 CODICADER
    This year, the CODICADER games will be hosted and held in Belize. CODICADER is a part of the Central American Integration System (SICA) whose goal is to contribute to the strengthening of integration, solidarity and peace between our neighboring countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ni...

    Tropic Aid donates $400 to King’s Children Home
    Tropic Air donated $400 to the King’s Children Home in Belmopan as part of their Tropic gives back fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 would be donated to an organization chosen by the staff from that community. In February, $400 was donated to the Arms ...

    The Guardian

    When did the curfew for children start?
    The curfew came into effect and carried on indefinitely as between 1998 and 2000 Jackie Malic, Erica Wills, Sherilee Nicholas, Naomi Hernandez, and Jay Blades lost their lives to whom it was believed was a single individual believed to have been a serial killer. The response was a knee jerk reaction in implementing a curfew to a crisis that seemed to have had no end and which saw the cruel slaying of the little girls. But this knee jerk reaction had limited success. Even when the curfew was in effect, the killings continued. That was because all the little girls were being taken in broad daylight when the curfew was not in effect. As time went by the killings stopped and the fear of ‘Jack’ disappeared and so too did the curfew, but it was never taken off the books. Now a decade and a half later, Belize City is being plagued by a different problem. The problem is one where the very young people that the curfew was designed to protect are actually creating an unsafe environment for residents in the city. The police have identified that problem to be young people who associate with older gang members and are basically sucked into the gang-lifestyle often times committing serious crimes including robberies and murders.

    Johnny installs Cordel as his deputy and gets rid of those who do not support him
    It seems like Johnny is now set on getting rid of those PUP’s that did not support him in his recent leadership bid. All of those who did not support him may feel the edge of Johnny’s razor-sharp machete. At a meeting of the PUP National Executive, heads were falling left, right and center. Assistant Communications Director Vaughan Gill, a Julius Espat loyalist and Francis Fonseca supporter in the convention was replaced with whom we don’t know as yet. As far as we know Vaughan Gill may be the only person who has experience in the field of journalism, but that did not matter when it came time for him to face the machete. Vaughan was one of those persons who were always talking about those persons who he referred to as wanting to break up the party during the time when Francis was leader and Johnny was rebelling. Some rather nasty things were said at the time and Johnny it seems has not forgotten them.

    Grandma Busted with marijuana in margarine bucket
    Florence Choc, 54, of Carmelita Village must pay the court $10,000 by August 31 or serve three years imprisonment for trying to smuggle weed into the Belize Central Prison four and a half years ago. On September 4, 2011, Choc went to visit an inmate at the Kolbe Foundation with a margarine bucket for the person. Before she was allowed to enter, Prison Officer Reynar Valencio conducted a routine check on her. An inspection of the margarine bucket made officers realize that it had been altered. Valencio noticed that there were two buckets, one inside the other. He further inspected the bucket and found multiple parcels in the space that is between the base of both buckets. The parcels contained marijuana and as a result Choc was apprehended. She was held until Hattieville police arrived at the prison and arrested her for the marijuana found inside her bucket.

    Altercation leads to murder in Selena, Cayo
    The imbibing of alcohol in public places has always been discouraged by the authorities. There are good reasons for this, since alcohol lowers inhibition and can foment disputes with tragic consequences, such was the case in Selena Village in Cayo over the weekend. Police visited Selena village on Saturday, April 2, where they saw the lifeless body of an elderly Hispanic descent man, with multiple chop wounds to the under part of his body, in an open lot behind the Iguana Creek Government School. He was later identified as Edgar Alfonso Perdomo Aldana, a 63 year old, Guatemalan Laborer of Selena Village.

    Traffic fatality in Trial Farm
    Hilberto Coyoc, a 40 year-old resident of Trial Farm Village, was knocked down and killed on Thursday, March 31, almost 24 hours before Julia Arana was hit by PUP Deputy Party Leader Jose Mai (see story on page 4) The driver of a silver Mazda car, 60 year-old Benjamin Carillo Sr., told police that he was driving on the Highway between mile 55 and 56 at around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. He told police that he did not notice Coyoc lying in the middle of his lane until it was too late, when he ran him over with the vehicle. The accident killed Coyoc on the scene.

    13 year old harmed in Belmopan
    A concerned Belizean father from Belmopan has reported that his 13 year old daughter was having an affair. The 50 year old Businessman visited the Belmopan police station along with his 13 year old daughter, who is a student residing at his address, and reported having observed a black and blue mark around her neck. He suspected that she was having an affair. The daughter reported that between November and December of 2015 she had sexual intercourse on different dates with four different men.

    Five persons charged for attacking police
    On Monday of this week a special Western Regional Operation was launched, which involved Benque Viejo and San Ignacio Police and the Special Patrol Unit, which resulted in the detention of five persons from a Church Hill Street address in Benque Viejo. Caught within this sweep were 29 year old Merari Lopez, 46 year old Santos Osorio, 35 year old Herson Lopez, 28 year old Julio Portillo and 30 year old Mirahim Lopez. They were all arrested and charged for the crime of Aggravated Assault and the use of Threatening Words. This follows an incident over three weeks ago when chaos almost descended on the streets of Benque. A police report records that on Saturday 12th March 2016 about 12:30 pm; members of the Benque Viejo Police were conducting foot patrols by the Planting Patch Area, along the banks of the Mopan River, in Benque Viejo Town, and had detained two Hispanic men for uncustomed goods. Whilst having them detained, a woman along with eight other men ambushed the Police with rocks and machetes, demanding the release of the two men, where they were shouting in Spanish, “Vamos a Matar a los Policia” which means in English, “ Lets’ Kill the Police Officers”.

    Western Regional Commander commends Roaring Creek Police
    The Western Regional Police Commander, Andrew Ramirez, has commended the work from Roaring Creek Police; under the command of Inspector Octaviano Victorin, for their swift apprehension of culprits related to a daring daylight robbery in Roaring Creek last week. “[The] Western Regional Commander commends the swift work from Roaring Creek Police ...who all showed commitment, dedication and eagerness to find the culprits,” he noted. Roaring Creek Police responded to a call of a robbery in progress at the falls area near the river located in Roaring Creek Village at about 3:15 pm on Wednesday of last week. Shanda Mckoy 21 year old Belizean student of Roaring Creek Village reported to police that on the same day about 3:00 pm, she was walking up the steps that lead from the bottom of the river after taking a bath along with her 13 year old cousin and a male friend when they were approached by two dark skinned males.

    Glenford Soberanis chops landlord with a machete
    Tour guide Glenford Soberanis, 36, is lucky to be a free man after he pleaded guilty to one count of wounding for chopping his landlord, Lloyd Flowers, 69, with a machete just after midnight on Sunday, April 3. In a report to police, Flowers said that at about 12 midnight Soberanis was drinking in his yard and making a lot of noise. Therefore, he went to see what the noise was all about and put a stop to it. This caused an altercation to ensue between him and Soberanis. The argument escalated and Soberanis pulled out a machete and chopped him across the left side of his head. Flowers went to seek medical attention at the Karl Heusner Memorial and was later issued a medico legal form in which the doctor classified his injury as wounding. Soberanis was detained by police and charged for the offence.

    Solar panels stolen from Ministry of Works
    A set of solar panels have been stolen from the Ministry of Works. James Robinson a 63 year old Belizean Project Engineer for Road Safety, Ministry of Works, reported that on 29th March 2016 the solar panels attached to the radar signs between miles 38 and 39 on the George Price Highway were discovered missing. They are valued at $1,800.00 Belize currency, property of the Government of Belize. The Public is asked if they know the whereabouts of these panels, to contact the nearest Police Station or Roaring Police Station at 802-0402

    Keyren Tzib to stand trial for manslaughter
    Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled on Wednesday, April 6, that the prosecution has presented a prema facie case for former Coast Guard officer, Keyren Tzib, 25, to stand trial for the manslaughter of Thythis Blancaneaux. In a Preliminary Inquiry on February 24, Tzib’s attorney, Darrel Bradley, challenged the evidence put forward by Prosecutor Christopher Smith. Bradley submitted that there are a number of inconsistencies in the statements of two of the crown’s main witnesses. Chief Magistrate Smith said that is something for the Supreme Court to look at and ruled that there is sufficient evidence for Tzib to face trial. Thytis Blancaneaux, a 30 year-old resident of the Spanish Town area of Lord’s Bank Village, was found dead in his home on Saturday, July 18, 2015. It is believed that his common-law wife, 24 year-old Keyren Tzib, who was already out on bail for attempted murder, was his attacker.

    UDP Central Executive meets to finalize deputy leader convention date
    The Central Executive of the United Democratic Party met on Wednesday April 6 during which the final preparations were discussed for the extraordinary convention to select a new first Deputy for the Party. Among the discussed topics were the location of where the convention will be held as well as the date when the convention will be held. A final decision on either the location or the date has not been decided on.

    Lorenzo Garbutt, 26, allegedly had sex with 14 year old girl four times
    A fisherman of Bingo King Apartment #9, Lorenzo Garbutt, 26, is being accused of having sex with a minor on four separate occasions between the period of March 25, 2016 and March 30, 2016. The minor, in the company of an adult, visited the police station and reported that Garbutt had sexual intercourse with her on four different occasions at his apartment. As a result of the report, a police mobile unit visited Garbutt’s apartment in order to detain the accused. On Thursday, March 31, police visited Garbutt’s apartment and upon their arrival they heard a door slam shut. This caused them to become suspicious and they rushed into the apartment. The officers conducted a search inside his room where they found some green leafy like substance on his bed board that proved to be cannabis. Garbutt was arrested and taken to the police station where the cannabis was weighed in his presence. It amounted to 1.2 grams. He was charged for possession of a controlled drug. Later, he was charged for the original report with four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.

    Mexican woman and two Belizeans caught with over US$130,000
    Three persons were taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court on separate charges after they were found in possession of over US$130,000 at the Phillip Goldson International Airport on Wednesday, April 6. Mexican businesswoman, Maria Jose Del Valle Rosado, 42, was with Wilfrido Catzim, 36, a cane farmer of San Narcisco Village, and Nair Arjenis Balam, 25, an employee of the Corozal Freezone, when officials of the Financial Intelligence Unit stopped her. Allegations being made against Rosado are that on Tuesday, April 5, she attempted to leave Belize with US$137,130 in United States currency without making a declaration to an official of FIU. Balam was allegedly found in possession of US$9,900 and Catzim was found in possession of US$9,880.

    Missing person in Cayo
    An unemployed female teenager has been reported missing in Cayo. A Belizean worker of Bullet Tree Falls Village, Esther Teck reported that on Monday 4th April, 2016 at approximately 12:00 pm, she had texted her daughter Heidi Teck in an attempt to discover her whereabouts. At that point in time, her 16 year old daughter informed that she was going to Placencia with her friends to find a job. Teck had responded that she didn’t approve for her daughter to seek a job as she was a minor, so she asked her to come back home.

    Anthony Morris Jr. charged for burglary of Angelus Press
    Anthony Morris Jr. charged faAngelus Press Ltd. at #10 Queen Street was burglarized over the weekend and police believe that Anthony Morris Jr., 38, is the man responsible. On Saturday, April 2, the burglar broke in and stole a Gardex Safe valued at $3,000 which contained three cash pans with $1,064 in different denominations. The safe also contained a gift certificate book for Angeles Press. Police were called in to the establishment and reviewed the surveillance tapes. Based on these recordings, they apprehended Morris Jr. and charged him with burglary.

    Irvin Pitts accused of rape
    A plumber of #7254 Kraal Road is being accused of forcefully penetrating the mouth of a woman who he promised a ride home to. The victim told police that just after 3 a.m. on Saturday, April 2, she and her sisters were heading home from a night of partying when Irvin Pitts offered them a drop home. He took her two sisters home first and on their way to her home he diverted to his house. Pitts allegedly told her that he had to pick up something from his house. He left her in the vehicle for about 30 minutes and the woman became annoyed. She then decided to go to knock at his door to check on him. According to the woman, that was when Pitts ambushed her from behind and pushed her into his house. She fell to the ground and he tried to rape her. The woman told Pitts that she was menstruating. Pitts then told her that since he could not get sex she will have to perform oral sex on him. He then forced her to perform oral sex. The woman said she complied out of fear for her life.

    Ground breaking for Lake Independence Resource Center
    On Monday April 4 ground was broken in Lake Independence for the construction of the Lake Independence Resource Center. The center is a part of the Community Infrastructure Support component of the Youth and Community Transformation Project. This project is geared at reducing vulnerabilities of children and youth to crime and gang membership in the Collet, Lake Independence, Pickstock and Port Loyola division of Belize City. This will be achieved by providing services to enhance literacy and adaptive life skills, support conflict mediation, and improve inter-linkages and the sharing of best practices among participating agencies working within these communities. On completion of the resource center, which is scheduled in September of next year, it will have a 21,000 square feet single storey structure which will include training rooms for programs of pre-literacy and after school literacy programs, adaptive life skills programs, arts and cultural programs as well as indoor multipurpose sports programs. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche says the project will provide a safe space in the community focusing on young people and families.

    NICH launches National Cultural Policy
    In 2010 the President of the National Institute of Culture and History, Diane Haylock, approached two of her most senior officials to start a conversation about the need for a cultural preservation policy. Those individuals in the initial conversation with Haylock were Dr. John Morris, Director of Archeology, and Nigel Encalada, Director of the Institute of Social and Cultural Research. After five years the National Culture Policy was launched on Thursday, March 31, and some of those key individuals present at the initial discussion table looked back on their journey. “There were many questions about the cultures of Belize and we needed some guiding principles that could help us chart the way forward,” said Dr. Morris. “Everything on this document literally comes from the people who are on the streets, the people who live Belizean culture. We simply just put their words on paper.”

    PACT Shares $1.2 Million among 7 organizations
    The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), with the blessings of Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Sustainable Development, awarded over $1.2 million in new grant funding to seven organizations on Thursday, March 31: the Belize Audubon Society, the Fisheries Department (Hol Chan Marine Reserve Team), Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), Sarteneja Fishermen Association (SFA), Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association (STACA), Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group (CBSWCG) and Celso Poot. The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) is a statutory board responsible to encourage and promote the protection, conservation and enhancement of Belize’s natural and cultural resources. PACT awards grants annually through a competitive application and review process. There are four categories of grants: Large, Medium, Small and Research Grants. Two organizations received large grants this year; one received medium, three received small grants and two received research grants.

    Unicef is against the children curfew, but what is the alternative?
    “So I will be giving my officers direction that if you see any young person on the street after 9 - when I say young person, I mean anyone under the age of 18 after 9pm, we will take that person into the police station. Unless that person is with a guardian supervising him or her on the street. So we are now going to hold the parents accountable. Because we have this propensity of going out there blaming the government, blaming the police for crime, when in fact sometime we fail to look at the root cause of crime which is in our own home - the way we supervise our children.” These words uttered by then Sr. Superintendent Chester Williams on July 30, 2015 have since sparked an array of discussions both for and against what is now known as the Children Curfew. There have been many people opposing this initiative and now almost a year later, the child protection agency UNICEF has come out and made their position public. Luwani Cayetano, child protection officer with UNICEF in an interview with Channel 7 said, “From the UNICEF side, we wanted to make it very clear that moving forward we would like to work on some of those alternatives. How can we work more concretely on some of the things that are ongoing, but also how we can have some more inventive approaches?

    World Bank officials in Belize to release diagnostic report
    Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, Francisco Carneiro, World Bank Lead Economist for the Caribbean, and other senior officials of the World Bank are in Belize for the release of its latest diagnostic on the country’s economy and the launch of Belize’s “Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS)” for the period 2016-2019. The report to be released by the World Bank is titled “Belize: Right Choices, Bright Future”. Based on our conversation with individuals familiar with discussion between Belize and the Bank, the report points out that GDP Per Capita has stagnated since 2002 and high interest rates at the commercial banks have limited access to finance and caused negative impacts on the economy. The report points out that Belize has great opportunities for economic development with its young population, large land mass, access to the Caribbean Sea, attractive coral reef system and prime geographic location for access to key markets. However, Belize is too vulnerable to shocks from natural disasters; the public sector debt is concerning; unemployment rate is high and savings is low.

    Andrew Zimmerman unwinds in Belize
    The Food Network’s ‘Bizarre Foods’ show host, Andrew Zimmerman was in Belize vacationing. According to a post of Zimmerman’s Instagram page he was in the country for eight days and had the opportunity to visit San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Halfmoon Caye, the Great Blue Hole, Xunantunich and the Actun Tunichil Muchnal Cave. During his visit Zimmerman met at least one Belizean politician, Philip Willoughby who posted a picture of himself and the TV food program host on his Facebook Page. Zimmerman is the host of the popular Bizarre Foods program on the Food Network where he gets the opportunity to visit various destinations around the world and samples exotic and bizarre foods. He featured Belize’s cuisine back in 2009 when he visited the country back then as part of his show.

    Smart Belize Hurricanes top team into the National Elite Basketball League playoffs
    The 2016 National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the weekend with a number of games on the schedule. On Friday 1st April, 2016, at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium in Belize City, the host team Smart Belize Hurricanes won over its next door neighbour the Belize City No Limit Team by the score of 74-63. The top scorers for the Smart Belize Hurricanes were Farron Louriano with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal; Leroy Louriano with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 steals and Akeem Watters with 10 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. For the Belize City No Limit team, the top scorers were Jamaal Augustine with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and a steal; Michael Bables with 13 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists and Lennox Bowman with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. Meanwhile, out at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, the host team Cayo Western Ballaz won handily over the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 88-58.

    Belize will host CODICADER games
    Belize has been selected and has accepted to host the 2016 Central American Council of Sports & Recreation (CODICADER) Games. The games which are scheduled from the 6th to the 11th of July 2016 will be played across the country simultaneously in Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Belmopan and Belize City. Sporting disciplines which will be played are table tennis, football, basketball and volleyball. Athletes between the ages of 6 to 12 years from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize will participate in the games. CODICADER is an organ of the Central American Integration System (SICA) whose goal is to contribute to the strengthening of integration, solidarity and peace between the peoples of member countries. The Official Launching will be held Friday, 8th April 2016 at 9:00 am at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City.

    Softball Federation calls junior female softballers to training camp
    In preparation for the XV Central American Junior Female Softball Championship that is scheduled for August 11-14, 2016, at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City, the Belize Softball Federation is calling all junior female softballers, 19 years and under, to its training camp scheduled for Saturday, 9th April, 2016, at 9:00 am at Rogers Stadium. Junior softballers are asked to bring along an ID card, to verify date of birth, and their own softball glove.

    Raymond Garbutt Cayo Senior Female Competition opens
    The Raymond Garbutt Cayo Softball Association Senior Female Competition for 2016 opened on Sunday 13th March, 2016, at the Elston Galvez Stadium in Roaring Creek Village with three games on the schedule. This year’s Cayo Softball Association is featuring six teams namely: Esperanza Wolverines, Unitedville Rebels United, Camalote, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy, Belmopan Capital City Emeralds and the Belmopan Bandits. In the first game played, Belmopan Bandits made its debut by picking up an easy won via the default route over Camalote. In game two, Unitedville Rebels United won handily over Esperanza Wolverines by the score of 8-0. This game utilised the Run-a- Head rule. The winning pitcher was Nikita Perez and the losing pitcher was Shareenie Soberanis. Unitedville Rebels United’s Indira Ireland hit the 1st home run of the 2016 Season campaign.

    Special Olympics Belize to hold Fun Run on April 9
    Special Olympics Belize will be holding its Fun Run on Saturday 9th April, 2016, across the country of Belize. The Fun run will commence at 6:00 am in Corozal Town and will start at the Central Park. In Orange Walk Town, the run will commence at 9:00 am and will start at St. Peter’s Anglican School. In Belize City, the event will start at 6:00 am from Stella Maris School. In the City of Belmopan, the run will commence at 6:00 am from in front of the National Assembly Building. In Dangriga Town, the run will also commence at 6:00 am from the BTL Princess Royal Park while in Punta Gorda Town, the run will also commence at 6:00 am from the Central Park. Special Olympics Belize extends an invitation to all to join the Special Olympics Movement, a Unified Community that fosters active inclusion and participation of all regardless of their abilities.

    Rural Softball competition opens this Sunday in Lord’s Bank
    The Belize Rural Softball Association 2016 senior female competition will commence on Sunday 10th April, at 9:00 am out in Lord’s Bank Village in the Belize District, with the traditional showcase marathon. This year’s marathon competition will feature the seven teams that will be participating in the regular competition. The teams that will be competing in the competition are Lord’s Bank Sunrise, Double Head Cabbage, Sandhill, Burrell Boom, UB Jaguars, Flowers Bank Easy Does It and Lord’s Bank (new entrant). The champion and sub-champion of the Belize Rural Softball Competition will join the other champions and sub-champions of the affiliated associations that make up the Belize Softball Federation in August for the National Women’s Softball Championship.

    Pittsology 101
    I always find myself disappointed when I see Belizeans online, posting blatantly, negative things about our country. Most of these very same Belizeans glorify countries such as the United States, England and Brazil, as well as cities such as Chetumal and Cancun. I find it to be very ironic, as well as contradictory. Their Facebook and Twitter posts label Belize as one the most crime riddled, disease plagued, and bureaucratic countries on earth. In reality, the very countries they compare Belize to are countries with exponentially higher instances of the bad things of which they suggest Belize is riddled with. For example, In Belize, violence is (for the most) perpetuated by and against gang members, kidnappings occur perhaps once every 10 years and ‘drug-wise’, we only cultivate Marijuana for domestic consumption (which is popularly acceptable). It is fact that Belizeans enjoy easy access to the court, public departments and lending institutions. Residents enjoy hundreds of free and safe public spaces such as river sides, sea walls, basketball facilities, parks and playgrounds.

    The Hunt Begins (Prepping for your first Job?)
    As we approach the end of another School Year, we hope to welcome a batch of new employees to the workforce. While some of us might be privileged enough to find opportunities to continue our studies without having to work, a lot of students will have to work either to sustain themselves or their families. While the job hunt may be one that is approached with optimism by vibrant, enthusiastic, young minds, that optimism swiftly declines for the majority. Few students get jobs directly related to their respective fields of interest and even fewer actually like the jobs they end up doing. But without experience or qualification, we can’t all expect to be rocket scientists straight out of high school. There are many stepping-stone positions available that we can take up to build experience and aptitude; not to mention you’ll be earning money. Especially if you’ve never worked a day in your life before; this might be the hardest thing for you to do, to actually apply for and start a new job. A great number of people never actually complete and submit applications; some irrationally thinking that a quality job will come looking for them. Not all of us are born with silver spoons and how could you know what you like if you haven’t played the field a bit. Apply to as many jobs as you can and cross your fingers hoping the right ones answer.

    The Belize Times

    Who will be the 3rd Candidate?? – Faber wants it, Gapi got Saldivar’s back, but Barrow noh happy
    Is there going to be a third candidate for Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party? The answer is yes and it will be Barrow’s choice for who he wants to succeed him. Rumours and speculation have been flying within the UDP rank and file. Faber may have jumped out first in the race, but Saldivar got the Gapi northern connection and the West is all locked up. Those in the “inner circle” have been too silent but at this weekend UDP national party council meeting, sparks might fly when the UDP oligarchy reveals their hand-picked candidate who has the Party’s blessings to succeed the current leader. Some say it’s Mark Espat, who Barrow credits as his foremost economic guru and political genius, but the UDP insiders say they cannot trust a PUP-backstabber and they will have nothing of that, so it’s down to Carla Barnett. At the last Senate meeting, Carla Barnett pulled a Mark Espat-signature move when she lambasted her own Party’s position on the composition of the Senate. She called for an elected Senate, which Dean Barrow and the UDP had campaigned against in the 2008 elections.

    Pilfering BTL
    Ever since Belize Telemedia Limited was taken by force by the Barrow Administration in 2009, the company has been slowly pilfered away by the politically connected. The BELIZE TIMES has reported several instances in which the public-owned company has been making certain UDP-connected individuals rich. Some are given special contracts to sell BTL phones at a higher mark-up price than the original cost of the devices. The company loses. Others in very high places are given exclusive contracts to sell top-up credit to key ministries. Just another get-rich scheme. In other cases, services which were produced internally by the company are slowly being privatized through one-sided lucrative contracts.

    A UDP-induced Recession
    The philosophy of the UDP is an interesting one, but not a surprising one considering that the party’s leader, Dean Barrow, has been referred to as ‘glitter and no substance’ for years. Nobody denies that he talks pretty. Nobody denies that he’s a great storyteller and a great magician, but apart from that, is there anything of substance really? Just look around us, and there’s no need to look too far. The UDP is building streets and roads and roundabouts and sporting complexes. We won’t get into the fact that the roads have potholes just weeks after being paved, or that the cemented streets are cracking up, or that the roundabouts take months and months and months to complete. We won’t mention that the work done is lousy, and we won’t mention that the majority of the contracts are being given to friends and family. We won’t talk about bloated contracts. We won’t even talk about multi-million dollar projects like the Memorial Park given to special companies and then it just deteriorates because nobody can figure out what the hell was built in it or what those state of the art structures are for.

    Leaked BDF report reveals Guatemalans could poison key water source
    A leaked Belize Defence Force report dated March 31, 2016 has revealed how the security challenges along the western border could exacerbate as incursions by illegal Guatemalans are expected to continue and become even more dangerous for our security officers. Over the last two years, the lives of two security officers have fallen in jeopardy. There was the September 2014 murder of Tourism police officer Danny Conorquie at the Caracol tourist site at the hands of an armed Guatemalan, and now the Holy Saturday March 26, 2016 shooting of BDF Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey, some 334 meters east from the western border. Lambey was ambushed by a group of Guatemalans near a water supply area. The leaked BDF report containing the findings of an internal investigation into the shooting, explains that Lambey’s ambush and shooting was in retaliation to the March 3rd 2016 shooting and arrest of two Guatemalan nationals near the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park. In that incident, the BDF found 56 year old Luis Dias Alballeros and 51 year old Francisco Torres Sucup, Guatemalan nationals, almost 600 kilometers inside Belizean territory. The BDF reported that as they prepared to destroy marijuana plantations, Sucup charged at them with a 9mm pistol while Alballeros attempted to assault them with a 12 gauge shotgun. In defense, Sucup was shot in his leg.

    A Castrated Leadership
    This United Democratic Party government has always been considered by the vast majority of the Belizean populace as a party lacking the wherewithal to govern and lead Belize to the majestic heights it deserves to reach. This nation is becoming threatened by Guatemalan military aggression and its encroachment by its civilians in the western and southern frontiers. Danny Conorquie’s death and now Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey of the Belize Defense Force being shot underscores the severity of the border situation with Guatemala. Another serious challenge facing the Jewel is the approaching economic storm from various fronts: the recent “banking Armageddon”, i.e. the de-risking banking crisis, the matter of the world “sliding back into recession” cited by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. There is also the force of globalization and trade liberalization, as well as the winds of climate change, all of which is affecting Belize’s Agro Industry.

    BDF eliminates Verdes 1-0 in PLB football
    The Belize Defence Force virtually clinched their berth in the playoffs of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) closing season tournament by eliminating last year’s champions Verdes FC 1-0 at the MCC grounds on Sunday, April 3; in the last of a series of back matches played over the weekend. Verdes FC desperately needed the win to qualify to the playoffs, and Marlon Molina and Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton led their offensive supported by Richard “Cheety” Jimenez and Garrett Bermudez on the wing, and Jamil Cano and San Leobardo Mendez at midfield. But they got no reprieve from the BDF defense anchored by Vallan Symns, along with Ricky Ricketts, Leon “Chow” Cadle and Mark Arzu.

    Daniel Cano wins Weekend Warriors Cross Country Classic
    Team Santino’s Daniel Cano won the 6th annual Weekend Warriors Cross Country Cycling Classic, a 68-mile ride from the La Loma Luz clinic in Santa Elena, Cayo District to the finish line in front of Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway on Sunday, April 3.

    Corozal Rising Stars lead U-13 football
    The undefeated Corozal Rising Stars are leading the under-13 football with 7 wins, 1 draw in the tournament organized by Orange Walk Deputy Mayor Ladrick “Mad Bull” Shephard and the O.Walk Sports committee at the Orange Walk Technical High School field on Saturday, April 2. The Corozal Stars won 1-0 over Centaur Minions. Nigel Williams, Drnell Morgan and Alton Thompson have each scored 4 goals so far in the tournament and they led the attack, supported by Jair Williams and Fernando Vellos at midfield. The host’s defense held up to a scoreless draw at intermission, but they got no break from the Corozal defenders: Ian Velasquez, Jordan Casanova and Carlos Mendez who held them scoreless the entire game. Eventually the Corozal boys won a corner kick; and Alton Thompson centered the ball to Jair Williams, who flicked it into the net for the 1-0 win.

    Quotes of the Week!
    “When the Mayor of Belize City talks about doing streets, he is not talking about doing your streets but his list of show time streets” – M. Jackson “We don’t have cane farmers in the north under the UDP, we have been reduced to cane cutters” – Tomas Garcia, Cañero “Nepotism is not the granting of a favour to a family member or a close relative. Nepotism is what I say it is!!” – Dean Barrow “It does not matter how much press conference you have every month. IF you don’t tackle the root causes of crime the problem remains…” – Mose Hyde, Krem WUB Morning Show Host

    Family of accident victim demands justice! – GOB Press Office Director getting special treatment after killing cyclist
    The family of fatal traffic accident victim, Dean Dawson, is livid after the man behind the wheel of the vehicle involved, Director of the Government Press Office Dorian Pakeman, has been getting special treatment. Pakeman was driving his Government-assigned Isuzu D-Max towards Ladyville from Orange Walk Town when he knocked down the 44 year old mechanic in Gardenia Village around midnight on Wednesday March 30th.

    Saldivar/Faber camps get paranoid
    Paranoia is setting into both camps of the candidates of the United Democratic Party race for First Deputy Leader. Both camps have prohibited their close supporters from being seen or even contacting the other candidate, in an effort to prevent possible buy-out of support. Saldivar’s camp sent out text messages to his close delegates this week, threatening to cut them off if they are caught even thinking of Patrick Faber. It appears that Saldivar and his Belmopan ‘bossom buddies’ are experiencing full blown loyalty issues with his own people. Now an investigation has started to find out how the news of the text messages went out.

    The Garifuna Response
    Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experiences, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group endeavors. Culture is a way of life of a people and it encompasses in totality each member of the group. All of the above applies to the Garifuna culture and to us Garinagu. The Garifuna culture has been in existence for thousands of years, even prior to our acceptance and use of modern Judea-Christianity, because it served a purpose and provided all elements of life that the Garinagu required to live, to strive, and be happy. The culture of the Garinagu is what enabled our people to survive the attempted genocide that occurred on the island of Balliceaux in 1797, to survive the harsh conditions of the early years of enforced expulsion to the island of Roatan, to survive the social isolation when forced to move to the mainland of Honduras in search of arable land, and to survive the prejudice in our Belizean homeland.

    The Sarstoon – A Comedy of Errors

    Eulogy for Louis Edmund Humphreys
    Words cannot express how much it means to me and my family that all of you are here today to commemorate our father’s returning home to Our Creator and Eternal God, to dwell in the more Beautiful Beyond. In summing up our father’s life, we seemed to keep coming back to one thought. Never have we known a man who more faithfully lived and fulfilled his God given intellect and potential. In fact, in his lifetime, he never failed to amaze us as his boundless energy found yet another outlet from which to provide some service to his community, or engage in some business venture! Our father’s potential seemed endless. Please allow us to share a few of these with you.

    Thuli Madonsela Part II
    On May 4, 2014 I wrote a piece for the BELIZE TIMES called “Belize Needs a Thuli Madonsela.” She is South Africa’s Public Protector, and in March of that year she had called out South African President Jacob Zuma for serious corruption in that he had used over 216 million rand (US $23 million) to provide “security” upgrades to his home at Nkandla in KwaZulu Natal province. I know it is wishful thinking that Belize could have an Ombudsman who would be able to use constitutional power and moral suasion to demand integrity and the highest standards from public officials. But we should not give up on wanting this. Ms. Thuli is back in the news, because this past week on March 31, 2016 the Constitutional Court of South Africa ordered President Zuma to repay some of the multi millions in public funds that he had spent on lavish personal expenses. The court delivered a stinging rebuke to Zuma, who for two years flouted Ms. Thuli’s findings and dug in his heels. The arrogance of his refusal to heed her call is incredible, but this only proves the impunity with which so many political leaders operate and the hubris that so often results from the wielding of great power.

    Think About It
    Last week a report appeared in the British media concerning a decision of the United Nations. The United Nations has a Commission set up to determine the continental shelf of various countries as part of the overall law of the sea. The Commission is made up of 21 distinguished persons and experts. The Commission, after very careful study, reached a determination that the Continental shelf of the nation of Argentina stretched out from 200 odd miles to 350 miles. This decision has major implications for the country of Argentina apart from increasing its potential for oil and other mineral resources findings. It also means the tiny island of the Malvinas is part of Argentina. The British have been holding on to the island, which they call the Falklands, as part of their colonial legacy. They have started drilling for oil in the surrounding waters. They and Argentina fought a bitter war over Malvinas. The British Government last week quickly rejected the decision of the United Nations. This decision of the United Nations and the British, have implications for Belize.

    Trump Card
    I take a break this week from our local politics and problems to touch on a situation that is developing in the U.S. that will likely have huge implications; not only for the Republican party or the American people but indeed for the entire globe. A man who has become known simply as “The Donald” is making huge waves in the sea of politics of the world’s only remaining super power. Donald Trump however, is a dangerous man; he is bigot and a lunatic and has become concerningly popular. A columnist in the Global Times, an English language Chinese newspaper recently wrote: “The rise of a racist in the US political arena worries the whole world.” It does and it should! Whether you like Donald Trump (remarkably, even some Belizeans do) or dislike him (many absolutely abhor the man), what this man has done is nothing short of incredible and he has turned American politics on its ear. Trump’s rhetoric has resulted in what many consider to be a “demographic conundrum”, having offended just about every member of the United States’ diverse ethnic groups. His main target has been Mexicans, even threatening to build a wall along the entire length of America’s southern border with Mexico.

    This Poco Time UDP Government
    The reality that this UDP government insists on disregarding the gravity of this impoverished society. The Belizean Jewel has become poorer which speaks volumes to the POCO TIME government in office – the UDP. The 2016 Budget engenders no meaningful programs catering to alleviate the lives and conditions of the poor, the marginalised, the elderly, the sick and the youths on the OUT SIDE. Except for the old vested interest of the UDP: BOOST, FOOD PANTRY and the CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFERS (CCTs). In 2008 in its first term UDP launched its “pro-poor” policy. This was not a novel idea of this government. Organizations such as the World Bank, the International Labour Organization (ILO), World Health Organization (WHO), Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and recently, the access to $325 through the generosity of the late Comandante Hugo Chavez and the Petro-Caribe program bought into those programs.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Letter to the Editor: Local law firm linked to Panama papers
    It has been several days since the story broke of the Panama Papers, the unprecedented leak of information from the infamous Panama offshore firm, Mossack Fonseca. The implications of this leak are already being felt far and wide. So far as it relates […]

    New World Bank report warns that Belize must make right choices for brighter future
    The World Bank Group this afternoon issued a diagnostic report on Belize that is primarily intended to help the Bank forge its own strategy for assisting Belize in major initiatives. However, “Belize: Right Choices, Bright Future,” as it is called, also offers a unique […]

    Governor General leaves for Jamaica
    A press release from the Governor General’s Office dated April 7th, states that Sir Colville Young left the country today for a launching at the University of the West Indies, which is starting its Week of Global Giving. The initiative aims to raise funds […]

    Atlantic Bank Sign and Drive Pre-Owned Auto Show
    The Atlantic Bank Belmopan Branch is holding its Semi-Annual Pre-Owned Auto Show on Saturday April 16, from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Garden City Plaza. Atlantic Bank encourages all its customers to take advantage of its unbeatable promotional interest rates, same day approval […]

    CODICADER games to be hosted in Belize
    Belize is hosting the Central American Council of Sports & Recreation, (CODICADER), Games scheduled from July 6th to the 11th. The games are going to be held in Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Belmopan and Belize City and will see the participation of students ages […]

    San Ignacio Schoolboy hospitalised after being hit by truck
    A truck owned by Bahadur & Sons Trucking knocked down a primary school boy about an hour ago in San Ignacio Town. The incident happened in front of Trins Store in downtown San Ignacio. The boy has been rushed to the polyclinic and is in […]

    Belize improves FIFA ranking to best ever
    Despite its last competitive match coming at the end of August 2015, Belize’s national football team has achieved its all-time best ranking in the monthly FIFA World Ranking of association football. They are now ranked 114th. Belize moved up five ranks from its previous […]

    Cordel Hyde new PUP Deputy Leader
    Cordel Hyde has been appointed as the new People’s United Party (PUP) deputy leader, but his appointment is just a small part of a larger shake-up in the party at the behest of party leader John Briceno. Hyde was introduced as the party’s new […]

    Belize to tackle improving economy, health, environmental and governance issues in coming years
    A three-year Growth and Development Strategy seeks to guide overall development in Belize based on an integrated, systemic approach to sustainable development. Presented today in Belize City, the strategy’s main factors for success are optimizing national income and investment; building social cohesion and resilience; […]

    Trio charged over undeclared currency
    2 Belizeans and a Mexican businesswoman are separately charged for failing to declare currency above the prescribed level before leaving Belize on a flight to Panama. 42 year old Maria Jose Del Valle Rosado, one of the accused, we understand is the wife of […]

    Car dealer must compensate for vehicle
    Western Avenue, Belize City car dealer Albert Wright cut short his trial in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday on a charge of obtaining property by deception by pleading guilty. Now Wright must pay a fine of $1,500 and compensation of nearly 8 thousand dollars to […]

    Keyren Tzib to be tried for manslaughter
    The first of two Supreme Court trials to involve 25 year old Coast Guard officer Keyren Tzib was confirmed today. Tzib will stand trial for a charge of manslaughter in the stabbing death of her common-law husband, Thytis Blancaneaux, in July of 2015 during a […]

    Blogs

    Low Tide and A Perfect Day on Ambergris Caye
    Yesterday, with the sun shining, a cool north-east wind blowing and late a new moon, the tide was WAY out and the beaches looked wide and beautiful. I’m guessing Ambergris Caye had Lil Rhody well beat. …we watched a mono-hull sail boat get their keel stuck in soft sand within the reef. It was tugged free in about 10 minutes. The former Lick’s Restaurant has been sold and changed to Dock’s. And some high school students throwing the javelin, shot put and discus on the wide beach. Who knew?

    Lan Sluder's Top 10 Beach Resorts in Belize<
    A former business newspaper editor in New Orleans, Lan Sluder has written more than 15 books about Belize. Founder, editor and publisher of Belize First Magazine, Sluder has contributed articles on travel to the New York Times, Globe and Mail, Chicago Tribune and many other prestigious publications. Below is his guide to the top 10 beach resorts in Belize: 1 – Victoria House, 2 – Phoenix Resort, 3 – Grand Caribe Beach Resort and Condominiums, 4 – Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, 5 – Pelican Reef Villas Resort, 6 – Chabil Mar Villas, 7 – Turneffe Island Resort, 8 – Cayo Espanto, 9 – Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro, 10 – Xanadu Island Resort.

    Best Travel Apps for Belize to Help You Feel Like a Local
    The tropics are a much-coveted destination for any traveler. Sun, sea, sand, palm trees, island life: what more could you ask for? With so many expats heading out to sunnier shores and the numerous claims by vacation makers that “I could live somewhere like this,” there is an ever-growing demand to help those from overseas feel really at home on the islands. Fortunately, the dramatic rise in technology use over the recent decades have given us the opportunity to form a global community and, no matter where we are in the world, the use of apps is bringing us ever-closer together. For those jetting off to Belize, there’s a high chance you’ll never want to leave, and although it might not be time to become a local, these seven apps will take you a large portion of the way to feeling like one.

    4 Belizean Festivals We Love (And You Should, Too!)
    Belize is a charming little country nestled in between two Latin-American giants to the north, west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. This positioning makes us primed to be a cultural meeting point, and gives the ability to boast being both Central American and Caribbean interchangeably depending on what we might be doing or eating. Geographically smaller than almost all US states, many are inclined to ask ‘Where is Belize?’ well, Belize is where the party is at! 1. September Celebrations, 2. Lobsterfest, 3. Garifuna settlement day, 4. Costa Maya festival.

    International Sourcesizz

    Evanston Library celebrates Belize
    Everyone is invited to a Celebration of Belize Culture, 3-5 p.m. Sunday, April 10 at Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. "There's going to be folksongs and dance, games for children and also some treats and savory sweet goodies from Belize," said Lesley Williams, head of adult services. "It will be a great way to find out a lot about the culture of Belize, which is one of Evanston's Sister Cities." The event is being organized by Sharon Staine, founder and president of the Belize Culture and Heritage Association. Staine started the organization to preserve the heritage of this small diverse country on the Yucatan Peninsula. The organization's motto is, "One Country, Many Cultures." Staine reported that four performers will sing, dance and tell stories at the event. They will also demonstrate how to make a traditional bread and give everyone a sample.

    Caribbean Fisheries Forum to discuss challenges
    Fisheries experts from across the Caribbean region are traveling to Guyana this week for the 14th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the primary technical deliberative body of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The Forum will be meeting in Georgetown on Thursday and Friday to undertake its annual stocktaking and planning for the fisheries and aquaculture sector. The event will bring together more than 50 participants, including directors of fisheries, chief fisheries officers, and other development partners, such as NGOs and international organizations like the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, which work with the CRFM in promoting the development, management and conservation of the Caribbean’s fisheries resources.

    Interjet launches direct Merida-Havana flights
    Right at 1:30 pm on Thursday April 7, Interjet’s inaugural flight from Havana, Cuba touched ground at Merida’s international airport. This flight becomes the seventh international route operating directly from Merida to points abroad. Interjet managers said that the flights will operate on Thursday and Sunday with arrival time at 1:05 p.m., with a return flight to Havana departing at 3:15 pm. Interjet’s Havana-Merida service will be offered at an introductory roundtrip fare of 2,999 pesos (USD$ 176.00). This new flight has an estimated duration of approximately 60 minutes, depending on weather conditions.

    Videos

  • CONTRABAND CONTINUES TO POSE A THREAT FOR LOCAL PRODUCERS, 5min. On Thursday March 17th, 28 farmers who partook in a Farmer Field School in the area of onion planting, were awarded in a ceremony at Centro Escolar Mexico marking the end of the project. At the time of their graduation farmers were elated but at the same time concerned about whether or not the contraband of onion would continue to affect them insight that acres of the product was recently harvested.

  • Role Play Activity (Group 1) - Belize Workshop, Nov 24-25, 2015, 8.5min. Role Play Activity based around the Human Rights & Gender Based Approaches Workshop we held in Belize, Nov 24-25, 2015

  • NMSU Entomology students check out tropical insects in Belize, 2min. Students in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences traveled to Belize in March to study arthropods. The 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 compared the diversity of arthropods in a different habitat and learned how to sample insects in various habitats. Bundy, who is also the director of the NMSU Arthropod Museum, prepared the students by providing them with lectures regarding Belize’s people, history and habitat. In addition to learning about arthropods, the students visited a Mayan ruin, a cave, the coast, a jaguar preserve in a rainforest and the island Tobacco Caye.

  • Davis ziplining Belize, 5min. view from our ziplining day in Belize

  • World Health Day 2016, 49min.

  • The Lake Independence Resource Centre, 31min.

  • Gales Point Goldfish Swim School, 3min.

  • Spring Break Belize Full, 3min.

  • Barracuda Fishing, Belize, 1.5min. My first Barracuda! Great day in Belize!

  • Mackerel Fishing, Belize, 1min.

    April 7, 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

    Raising Autism Awareness
    The month of April is dedicated to celebrating Autism Awareness. Special educator at Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Sarah Freudenberg, is a strong advocate for autism awareness, helping the community understand and appreciate those living with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a life-long developmental disorder and is characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people, as well as difficulty in using language and abstract concepts. Children with autism find themselves having repetitive interests, activities and behaviors. They are often sensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colors. The uniqueness of each person with autism makes the experience of living with autism different for each family.

    Four Teams heading off to the Mayor and Minister’s Cup Semi-finals
    This past week, a total of eight teams competed in the Mayor and Minister’s Cup quarterfinals at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Stadium. The intensity of the tournament drew sport lovers to the games, rooting for their favorite teams as they played their hearts out for one of four spots in the semi-finals. On Saturday, April 2nd, the first game saw Veterans facing Belize Pro Divers. At the end of the match, the game finished in a draw, leading to overtime minutes. In the end, Veterans took the final victory of a 2-1 win. Due to sudden inclement weather, game two between Peace Makers and Progresso Boys was rescheduled for the second game day, to be played after the remaining matches. The conclusion of the 11-a-side tournament is approaching and all four teams: Veterans, Catrachos, Ambergris Divers and Peace Makers are qualified to advance to semi-final rounds on Sunday, April 10th.

    Ashcroft denies link to Panamanian leaked documents
    Leaked documents from a Panamanian based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, has identified links to several countries, world leaders and other prominent international business figures to one of the largest tax evasion schemes in modern history. Among the countries mentioned that were used to hide monies is Belize. In fact, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), lists Lord Michael Ashcroft as the connection between Belize and Mossack Fonseca. Ashcroft, who is the owner of Belize Corporate Services (BCS), has since denied the allegation. The leaked documents were reportedly analysed by over three hundred journalists, which led to the exposure of clients involved in bribery, arms deals, tax evasion, financial fraud and drug trafficking. According to the leaked documents BCS began using Mossack Fonseca to provide shell corporations for its clients in 2006. It is important to note that both Belize Bank Limited and Belize Bank International operate under the BCS umbrella.

    DANCE kid camp ends with a fun day!
    After four days of free dance lessons at the Lions Den, the DANCE (Dance, Activists, Nurturing, Children’s Education) group completed their program by encouraging the young dancers to also conserve their environment. On Saturday, April 2nd, DANCE group leaders Gerry Badillo, Emilie Gomez, and Francisco Mendez joined the children and commenced a cleanup campaign along the beach leading from Mayan Princess to Boca del Rio. “We decided to give back to the community and teach the kids the importance of keeping La Isla Bonita clean,” said Gerry. After contributing to the beautification of San Pedro, the rest of the day was full of fun activities. The youngsters showcased their dancing skills to their parents and supporters by performing a choreography, composed of dances taught during the camp. The dance participants were also awarded with certificates upon completion of the dance camp.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Joins Mesoamerica Without Hunger School Feeding Program
    In order to strengthen national and local institutional frameworks for food security and family farming, Belize officially joined the Mesoamerica without Hunger program. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment & Sustainable Development and the Mexican Embassy formally launched the program on April 5th, 2016, 3:00 p.m. at the George Price Center, Belmopan City. Through this initiative, Belize’s Pilot Project aims to develop Sustainable School Feeding Programs (SFP) in four communities of the Toledo District. As from last year, seven Mesoamerican countries and one from the Caribbean embarked in the “Mesoamerica Without Hunger Initiative” and Belize is now becoming a part of this. The SFP model developed goes beyond a conception where the role of the program is limited to just providing healthy and nutritious meals to poor and vulnerable children. The new model is now linked to school gardens and nutrition education, as it promotes lifelong healthy eating habits for school children and by extension, their families. It links SFPs to markets and producers, especially small farmers, and emphasizes SFPs as a market for domestic production of quality products, thereby focusing on the utilization of local products, reducing the food import bill and local job creation.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    LAUNCH OF THE GROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (GSDS) 2016-2019
    The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce is pleased to announce the official launch of the Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS). The GSDS for Belize aims to rise to the challenge of guiding overall development for the nation for the period 2016-2019. It adopts an integrated, systemic approach based on the principles of sustainable development, and builds on three notable drivers that are common to successful developing countries: (1) a proactive state; (2) tapping into global markets; and (3) an innovative social policy. The GSDS encompasses issues covered by previous medium–term economic development plans, and it incorporates both poverty reduction and long–term sustainable development issues. It builds on previous documents including Horizon 2030, which serves as the national development framework for Belize.

    Taste of Belize 2016
    Indulge in succulent Belizean cuisines at the “2016 Taste of Belize” on May 14th 2016, on the grounds of the Orange Walk District’s Muffles College Auditorium! As a diverse country, Belize offers a wealth of foodie-appeal, from delectable ancient Maya flavours to the cultural spices of the Garifuna and Mestizos! This signature Belize Tourism Board (BTB) event is the ultimate venue, featuring different culinary competitions, such as the Belize Master Chef and Amateur Cook. Other Competitions include Bartender of the Year, Cup Cake Decorating and Cake Decorating Competition. The BTB is excited to celebrate the creativeness of Belize’s food industry and we invite you to savour the flavours of Belize during this day and night event!

    Maya Research Program 25th archaeological field season
    Only 59 days until the start of MRP's 25th archaeological field season in Belize! All of our Sessions are nearly full - so if you are interested in joining us this summer, please get in touch soon! If you have already signed up - please do not forget to read MRP's participant guide!

    Blackadore Caye: Reviving Its Pristine Beauty
    Leonardo DiCaprio originally acquired Blackadore Caye, a 104-acre uninhabited island located off the coast of Belize City, in partnership with a New York City-based real estate developer, Delos. With a vision of building the most eco-friendly island resort and making it as the first “Restorative Island” project designed in creating sustainable villas around the island’s ecosystem, DiCaprio and Delos developer teamed up. Blackadore Caye is one of the world’s first and most exclusive eco-resort. Located at the world’s second largest barrier reef, it has the natural pristine look that was once abused by the people around the island. Now, it is set to be back to its original beauty and many are optimistic that it will turn out to be successful. There are several renowned scientists, wildlife experts, and marine biologists who work hand in hand to accelerate the full restoration of the island. It won’t be called as “restorative” if it wasn’t for the deep dark past it had to endure before Dicaprio and Delos finally made the choice to invest in it. For hundreds of years, Blackadore Caye suffered from man’s negligence and abuse. It is considered as one of the places where overfishing is widespread. There’s blatant deforestation of mangrove trees and the people responsible for used it for fires to smoke their catch. As a result, the shores are full of litter and empty seashells. Eventually, this act creates an eroding coastline. Blackadore Caye is a 45-minute boat ride from Belize City and a 15-minute trip from San Padre. With that, the partners are eager to bring back Blackadore Caye’s beauty and wonder.

    Power interruption 5:40pm to 6:00pm, Friday, April 8, Cayo District
    From Benque Viejo to Unitedville, including, Benque, San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Arenal, Succotz, Corozalito, Bullet Tree, Santa Familia, Cristo Rey, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Esperanza, Georgeville, Unitedville, San Miguel, Duck Run 1 and 2, Billy White, and surrounding areas. BEL to conduct climbing inspections of the transmission system in area.

    Global Experiential Learning Course
    4 the World held their 2016 Global Experiential Learning professional development course last week at Mopan Tech. Congratulations to all the educators who elevated their knowledge base! Thanks, 4 the World! "4 the World's 2016 Global Experiential Learning P.D. For K-12 Educators was held at Mopan Technical High School in Bennque Viejo, Belize for the second year in a row. Congratulations to all the Teachers who completed the training program and a special thank you for the volunteer educators from North Carolina for making all of this possible. For more information or to join our March 2017 Global Experiential Learning P.D. for K-12 Educators in Belize visit our website www.4theworld.org"

    Channel 7

    Purging Of The PUP's Old Guard Loyalists
    Weeks ago we reported that Cordel Hyde would be made a senior Deputy in the PUP, above the regional deputies. At the time, the PUP higher ups called it a media creation. Well, they must have liked the creation very much, because reliable reports to 7News tonight are that Cordel Hyde was introduced today at a National Executive meeting as the Deputy Party Leader. But that’s only one small move in a much larger shakeup of the PUP National Executive. Reports tell us that Treasurer Ramon Monchie Cervantez, Legal Advisor Anthony Sylvestre, and others are being purged to make way for Briceno loyalists. The major move went down today at Independence Hall, and we spoke to Monchie Cervantez as he was leaving:… Ramon "Monchi" Cervantes - PUP Std. Bearer, OW North: "Well I was asked by the party leader to relinquish my post as treasurer so that he could give the post to Mr. Chris Coye." Reporter: "What were the grounds he based that request on?" Ramon "Monchi" Cervantes - PUP Std. Bearer, OW North: "Well he said that Mr. Coye would be able to raise a lot of money, that's one of the reasons that he gave."

    SATIIM Has Its Own Sarstoon Showdown
    Tonight, the Sarstoon River is the news once again after the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, known as SATIIM reports that the Guatemalan navy tried to stop them from entering the Sarstoon River to conduct their patrols of the Sarstoon Temash National Park. For years, SATIIM were the co-managers of the Sarstoon Temash National Park up until July 2013 when their contract expired and the Government didn’t renew it. Since then, the park has been in a sort of limbo, with no official presence there to deter illegal activities such as fishing and logging. SATIIM, as you will remember, took on the moral duty to police it even though the Government did not sanction their continued assistance to keep the natural reserve in good care. This evening, just before the start of news, we spoke via skype with SATIIM Director Froyla Tzlam about the allegedly aggressive confrontation her rangers had with the Guatemalan military on one of their patrols:

    Mexican Women Found With Over A Quarter-Mil, She Was Headed To Panama
    In November of last year, Ernesto Alonso De Miguel, known as “El Espanol” was executed in Chetumal. He was known as one of the biggest dealers in contraband cigarettes between the Corozal Free Zone and Mexico. Well, yesterday at midday, a woman reported to be his wife, Maria Jose Del Valle Rosado was caught at the Phillip Goldson airport with over a quarter million dollars in cash. Two special branch officers were doing routine checks at the departure lounge when they saw Valle Rosado and two men acting suspiciously. The police searched them and found $137,130.00 US dollars, equivalent to $274,260.00 Belize dollars on Valle Rosado. The two Belizeans with her also had money. 25 year old Corozal Free Zone worker Nair Arjenis Balam carried 9,900 US dollars, and 36 year old San Narciso Cane Farmer Wilfrido Catzim, carried 9,880 US dollars. They were reportedly bound for Panama. The Financial Intelligence Unit was called in and they allege that the trio all failed to make required declarations under the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act.

    Cops Looking For Selena Suspects
    Two men are wanted by police for the murder of 63 year old Selana Villager Edgar Aldana. Those men are 27 year old Guillermo Duarte and 22 year old Marlon Padilla – both are from Selena Village as well. As we told you, Aldana, his friend Ruben Manzon and another man were hanging out and drinking at Aldana’s house early Saturday morning. Later on, the 2 men – allegedly Duarte and Padilla showed up and that is where the trouble started. Police do not know what sparked the confrontation but one of the 2 men pulled out a machete and hacked Aldana and his friend Manzon in their head and face. Manzon survived but Aldana didn’t make it. He died in an empty lot near his home. The other man who was at Aldana’s house was asleep and escaped when he heard the commotion outside. He went over to a neighbor’s house and asked for help. Now police are looking for Duarte and Padilla for Aldana’s murder. Police told us that they went to look for Duarte at his home this morning but as soon as he saw the police, he ran. Police detained a few of his male family members for questioning. They were all released within hours. If you see these men kindly call the police.

    PUP Rep Comments On Accident
    For the past few days, we’ve been reporting on Trial Farm Resident Julia Arana, mother of elite cyclist Nissan Arana, who was knocked down by the PUP’s Jose Mai on Friday night. She remains hospitalized, and her family is hoping that she will make a full recovery. Jose Mai, who was driving a Toyota Hilux, has not issued any comment on the accident. So today, when he met him exiting the PUP meeting at Independence Hall, we wanted to ask him about the suggestion from the Arana family that he was driving too fast. Well, when we approached him, he told us that he is still unable to speak at this time:

    Mexican Embassy Says Chetumal Extortion Isolated
    The Mexican Embassy in Belize has responded to our request for a comment on that crazy story coming out of Chetumal where a businessman was extorted inside his room at the Fiesta Inn. The Embassy Public Relations tells us, quote, “According to information available to this…office, this is an isolated case.” It continues, quote “Reports from the Honorary Consul of Belize in Mexico, Jorge Luis Valencia, indicate that about 30 thousand Belizean citizens visited the State of Quintana Roo during the Easter holiday period and no other incident of this nature (was reported), which proves the safety of the area.” End quote. And speaking of the Fiesta Inn, he says, quote, “the representatives of the hotel, immediately gave all possible support to the affected person and his family. The hotel’s management and authorities are in constant coordination in the investigations into the case in order to minimize the possibility of a similar incident.” End quote.

    Man Found In Drain
    A battered and bleeding man was pulled out of a drain on Raccoon Street Extension this morning. Around 6:30, a man known as Anwar Vernon, a 31 year old living in the area, was found unconscious and wounded inside the drain. First responders report seeing the man with a swollen face, cuts to the face, and bruises to the back of the head. He was rushed to the KHMH in a critical condition. Investigators have very little to work with at this moment because the only person that can provide them with any significant information is Vernon himself. But because he is unconscious, he is unable to tell investigators anything. Police continue to seek witnesses that might be able to tell them just what happened to Vernon.

    Keyren to Supreme Court
    Coast Guard Keyren Tzib’s trial continued in Court today. Tzib appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith who told her that her trial for manslaughter will be handed over to the Supreme Court for judgment. Her attorney Darrell Bradley did not agree with that decision and stated that there were some inconsistencies in the case against her. But the magistrate upheld her decision and now Tzib must await a Supreme Court trial. Her previous bail had expired so today she was granted bail of $10,000 plus one surety which she met. You all may remember that in mid July, Tzib stabbed and killed her common law husband Thytis Blancaneaux in a domestic dispute at their home. Now while Tzib awaits judgment on that case , the preliminary inquiry into another case will begin next month. That case is the attempted murder of one her colleagues in April. She and her team were returning from patrol when Tzib shot Kurt Hyde in the back of the head near the Coast Guard. Headquarters. The PI is set for May 16th.

    Witness In Murder Speaks
    Yesterday the mother of Rene Chavarria, also known as “Fat Cat,” came out publicly to defend her son’s name and to demand justice for his vicious murder. Today she took it a step further and introduced us to someone who claims to have seen the killers’ faces as they set chase after him. The witness recounts the same story that we’ve already heard only this time, from his angle. His identity has been hidden and his voice has been distorted to ensure his safety. However he claims to be a close friend of the now deceased “Fat Cat.” Here is his story. Eye Witness "I mi almost on the same car mi the wait for he, I mi di wait fi the man come back, I just gone buy a lee herb for the man same way. So I the man, I start roll up something on the lane and wait till the man come back and before the even come back I no even roll up the thing yet and they start shot up at the man, so everybody shake the lane." Emanuel Pech: "You saw who it was?" Eye Witness: "I know da who, one spell one of them mi the chase me too, so I know da who, no have to call no names but I know da who, I see they face."

    Should Gapi go For A Bye-Election?
    It’s been a month now since the Gaspar Vega suddenly resigned as the first deputy leader of the UDP. Right now the campaign machinery of both Patrick Faber and John Saldivar are in overdrive as they try to take his place. So, who would Vega ideally want to see as his successor? That’s what we asked today when we caught him at another event. He told us that he’s also trying to convince the voters of Orange Walk North that he is not abandoning them: Hon. Gaspar Vega - Resigned as UDP 1st Deputy: "A lot of people are concerned wanting to know why, what were the reasons. I've been honest with all of them, I knew from the very beginning that I would not be there forever." Reporter: "There are two candidates who have offered themselves to fill the void you're leaving behind. As the incumbent as the current deputy party leader, who are you supporting either of Patrick Faber or John Saldivar?"

    Transparency Through E-Government
    Very soon, fishermen or loggers will be able to hop on a computer and sign up to apply for their license online. That’s because the Ministry Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development officially launched the Belize Electronic Licnese and Permit System known as BELAPS. It’s still in the testing phase to make sure that there are no bugs when it is fully launched, but the Government today unveiled how the system will work. 7News was there, and we spoke with the Minister and the Chief Forestry Officer about this first serious attempt at E-Government: As we told you, the system is still in the beta phase, an we'll tell you when you can log on and start applying.

    Cops Say Kids Killed Victor Garnett Over Drugs
    Victor Garnett was murdered two weeks ago at the corner of St. Jude and Sibun Streets. The shooting occurred in broad daylight and two teenaged minors were named as suspects. When we last spoke to ACP Chester Williams on this matter, the investigation was looking good. They had a 15 year old detained and were hoping to lay charges pretty soon. But that is no longer the case. As it turns out, they had to let the suspect go because of unwilling witnesses, and a lack of physical evidence. ACP Williams told us more. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "We have been told everything that happened. We know the suspect is but at this time we have been unable to make an arrest because of the fact that we have not been able to get anything in terms of evidence reduced to writing. So that is the hold back with murder investigations we currently have going on Southside Belize City but our efforts continue because at the end of the day, I think that it is important that we solve these crimes because solving them is a measure or prevention as well; so we are working on them still."

    Alwayne's Killers Had The Wrong Man
    The lack of physical evidence and unwilling key witnesses has affected another recent investigation. When we spoke to ACP Williams last week he had told us that they had one person in custody for the murder of Alwayne Cherington, however nothing has come of that investigation. And while police say they know who the perpetrators are, they have nothing that can positively pin them to the crime. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Just like the other murder we know who committed it but the same problem exists in the sense that people don't want to give statements and we believe that his murder was a case of mistaken identity, he was not the intended target."

    Curfew Controversy Heats Up
    The Kids Curfew, yup, it’s back in the news tonight. Today we spoke to Southside Commander Chester Williams, who responded to the strong position that UNICEF has taken against the Kids Curfew. The initiative has been in place for the past two weeks and half and since then there have been a handful of youths who have been picked up by police. So is the kid’s curfew program really working? UNICEF doesn’t seem to think so, and surely the kids that have been picked up don’t seem to think so either. So what does Williams say to that?: ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "I must say I am happy that for the most part parents have taken heed to the curfew and since the announcement of the curfew the presence of children on our street has become less prevalent. We have only picked up over the pass 2 to 3 weeks no more than 10 or 11 children; and again that goes to show that parents do have the ability of ensuring that their kids remain at home. And of those few that we have picked up majority of them were under the age of 16 and when we do talk to the parents when they come in, the parents are happy that the police picked them up because according to the parents they cannot control them, cannot speak to them and there are children who basically want to do what they want to do without even paying attention to what the parent had to say."

    Chester Rebuffs UNICEF
    So with all these conflicting views on the ongoing Child Curfew Initiative where is the common ground? And how do we all move forward? Well the Southside Commander has already made it clear that he is not relenting and wants to see the program succeed. So where is the comprise? After hearing out every child advocacy group here are some alternatives that ACP Williams offered in the hopes of moving forward. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "I have two options, I would want to agree with them in terms of not taking the children to the police station and I can offer two alternatives. One have a social worker on call during the night time. When we pick up the children we call the social worker, we deal with the child and parent there and then and if the social worker believe that the environment that the child will be going back into is one that is safe and conducive to that child then by all means let the child go home with the parent. If the social worker believes that the environment is not one that is safe and conducive to the wellbeing of that child then the social worker finds alternative accommodations for that child until they can find a more permanent situation that the child can live in. The second alternatives I have if the police station is so bad as they say then get a drop off house. Rent a house somewhere to be a drop off house. Hire social workers to stay in the house so that when we pick up the children at night time instead of taking them to the police station we take them to the drop off house. And as a part of that what we can do, we could also have a police officer working there with the social worker."

    Can't We All Just Come Together For Curfew?
    So with all these conflicting views on the ongoing Child Curfew Initiative where is the common ground? And how do we all move forward? Well the Southside Commander has already made it clear that he is not relenting and wants to see the program succeed. So where is the comprise? After hearing out every child advocacy group here are some alternatives that ACP Williams offered in the hopes of moving forward. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "I have two options, I would want to agree with them in terms of not taking the children to the police station and I can offer two alternatives. One have a social worker on call during the night time. When we pick up the children we call the social worker, we deal with the child and parent there and then and if the social worker believe that the environment that the child will be going back into is one that is safe and conducive to that child then by all means let the child go home with the parent. If the social worker believes that the environment is not one that is safe and conducive to the wellbeing of that child then the social worker finds alternative accommodations for that child until they can find a more permanent situation that the child can live in. The second alternatives I have if the police station is so bad as they say then get a drop off house. Rent a house somewhere to be a drop off house. Hire social workers to stay in the house so that when we pick up the children at night time instead of taking them to the police station we take them to the drop off house. And as a part of that what we can do, we could also have a police officer working there with the social worker."

    Michael Modiri Vindictaed, GOB Got Egg On Its Face
    Today we asked former Lands Minister Gaspar Vega about the ongoing Michael Modiri/Bradley Paumen saga. You first heard how Paumen and his associates were accused of trying to orchestrate the murder of Modiri and 3 others. Modiri and Paumen are neighbours in Franks Eddy Village. The dispute which supposedly sparked all of this is the Dark Knight Cavetubing Tour – in which NICH is a partner. It’s owned by Paumen, and when he didn’t have access to the caves, the Government acquired Modiri’s land so that he could build a road to it. Modiri sued, and won when the Supreme Court Judge ruled that the then Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega, improperly acquired Modiri’s land for a private purpose, and tried to justify the acquisition is being for a public purpose. The court reversed the acquisition of Modiri’s land and gave it back to the original owner.

    Cops Still Meeting, Still Greeting
    Today South Side police officers, under the command of the ACP Williams hit the streets of known gang hotspots. George, West and Dean Street were some of those areas that were targeted. We met with Williams and his entourage has they spoke to the community in that area in their routine meet and greet.

    Channel 5

    Guatemalan Navy Intercepts SATIIM Rangers
    Executive Director of SATIIM Froyla Tzalam has fired off an urgent letter to Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington following another incident in the Sarstoon on Tuesday. SATIIM rangers were on routine [...]

    Rangers Find Evidence of Illegal Activities in Sarstoon-Temash National Park
    In her letter to Foreign Minister Elrington, Tzalam reminds him that experience has shown that where there is no monitoring, illegal activities flourish, and SATIIM must use the Sarstoon to [...]

    Agriculture Minister Says G.O.B. and N.G.O.s Must Work Together
    While Tzalam’s letter is written to Elrington, she may need to think about addressing her concerns to Gaspar Vega, the Minister of Forests and Fisheries. SATIIM’s had a testy relationship [...]

    SATIIM Executive Director Says It is Time to Revisit the Bargaining Table
    Tzalam says that talk about a co-management agreement being necessary may have been correct six years ago, but not now. Still, she claims that the incident on Tuesday underscores the [...]

    Vega Says G.O.B. is Strapped For Resources to Monitor Protected Areas
    There is hope for that meeting to take place, since Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Gaspar Vega is all too aware of the lack of resources which prohibits government departments from [...]

    Gaspar Vega Says He Kinda Regrets Paumen Land Debacle
    On Tuesday, the Supreme Court found that millionaire investment and Dark Night owner Bradley Paumen had trespassed on land belonging to Michael Modiri. And that’s because the Ministry of Natural [...]

    Keyren Tzib Will Stand Trial for Manslaughter
    After numerous adjournments, twenty-five year old coastguard officer Keyren Tzib, who is accused of the July second, 2015 stabbing murder of her estranged common-law husband, Thythis Blancaneaux, learnt her fate. [...]

    Vega Maintains That He is Giving Up Politics for Family
    Deputy Party Leader Gaspar Vega tendered his letter of resignation to the United Democratic Party Secretariat on March eighth, informing that he will not be contesting his seat in Orange [...]

    Is There Bad Blood Between Vega and Barrow?
    Gapi’s abrupt notice of retirement has left many to speculate whether his removal from the second most powerful government ministry, the Ministry of Natural Resources, is indeed the catalyst for [...]

    Vega Not Decided on Choice for New First Deputy Just Yet
    In the wake of Vega’s abrupt retirement, a national party council meeting will be held on Saturday to determine the date of a special convention in the coming months to [...]

    UNICEF Meets With Police on Curfew
    Earlier this week, the United Nationals Children’s Fund in Belize officially spoke out against an imposed curfew on the south side of Belize City for children seventeen years and younger.  [...]

    Entities Explore Alternatives to Curfew
    Cayetano says that the discussion focused primarily on alternatives to the curfew.   Luwani Cayetano, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF Belize “In that meeting we talked about things that we support. [...]

    Trio Charged for Not Declaring Over Quarter Million Dollars
    Three persons, a Mexican national and two Belizeans, were busted at the departure lounge of the P.G.I.A. on Tuesday. Today, they were taken to court on separate charges after they [...]

    Portion of Crooked Tree Causeway Collapses
    Over a thousand residents live in the village of Crooked Tree, which is a protected area in the Belize District. But tonight, there is concern that the causeway, which links [...]

    Mayan Communities Take G.O.B. Back to Court
    The Maya communities of Santa Cruz and Jalacte are headed back to court having filed a claim against the Government of Belize for failure to protect their property rights.  The [...]

    TAA Says They Feel Compelled To Bring Action Against Government
    In a release issued by the Toledo Alcaldes Association, it states that the villages are compelled to bring these actions against government for enforcement of their rights.  We asked Coc [...]

    BELAPS Launched Today
    A new online service known as the Belize Electronic License and Permit System was launched today. The service will provide efficiency to expedite the work of the ministries of agriculture, [...]

    Ashley Needs Your Prayers
    Six months ago, we brought you the story of inspirational warrior Ashley, fighting a mighty battle with a virulent cancer. She and her mother Kayla had just gotten some good [...]

    LOVE FM

    Guatemalan Military Blocks SATIIM Rangers on the Sarstoon
    SATIIM rangers who were on routine patrol yesterday were intercepted by Guatemalan military as the Rangers were on their way exiting the Sarstoon River. Correspondent Paul Mahung spoke with Executive Director of SATIIM who provided the details. PAUL MAHUNG SATIM’s executive director, Froyla Salam spoke to Love News here of the incident.” FROYLA SALAM “Yesterday […]

    Briceno Asks Munchi to Resign as Treasurer
    Ramon ‘Munchi’ Cervantes Junior first came on the political scene in 2014 when he submitted his name in the race for standard bearer for the Orange Walk North division under the People’s United Party. Since then he has garnered much attention and publicity in that capacity particularly since he was challenging the long-time Area Representative […]

    The Deal is Done: Munchi Out, Coye In
    As we mentioned, the PUP’s National Executive meeting concluded between midday and one this afternoon and Love News did request an interview but we were denied and informed that a release would be sent out to the media. However, after our talk with Cervantes, we did manage to get a few minutes with the Party […]

    Vega Says Resignation Equals More Family Time
    Since Gaspar Vega’s surprise resignation from the post of Deputy party leader of the United Democratic Party, there have been questions and concerns by the supporters in his constituency. Vega says that he has been open and honest with his people. Vega said he intends to spend more time with his family. GASPAR VEGA “A […]

    Vega Yet to Decide Between Faber and Saldivar
    With the post of Deputy Party Leader of the UDP up for grabs, today the media asked the former holder of the post, Gaspar Vega for his views. GASPAR VEGA “As of now I’m not ready to say who I am going after. I think at the end of the day my vote will be […]

    Fisheries and Forestry Progress in E-Governance
    Belize Electronic License and Permit System (BELAPS) is a new medium that has been generated by the Belize Fisheries Department, Belize Forest Department, the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund and Central Information Technology Office (CITCO). BELAPS is an internet-based application process for all licenses and permits from both Fisheries and Forest Department. The Database […]

    PUP Area Rep’s Test Shows No Alcohol Content; Accident Victim Stable
    Last weekend the news of a traffic incident in Orange Walk District involving the PUP’s Area Representative for Orange Walk South, Jose Abelardo Mai circulated around the country with questions as to whether the 46-year-old politician was under the influence of alcohol and had he been speeding. Tonight, we have gotten a copy of the […]

    Anwar Vernon Stabbed Multiple Times and Left for Dead
    Sometime early this morning, a man was found bleeding profusely inside a culvert on Raccoon street extension. Reports are that he was found by residents in the drain when they called police. When police reached the scene they found Anwar Vernon lying in the drain. Police were immediately able to identify the man since he […]

    Pastry Shop on Raccoon Street Damaged by Late-Night Fire
    A fire destroyed contents of a concrete building late last night on Raccoon Street in Belize City. Sixty eight year old Evadney Scott used the building to generate income. Her and her sons would sell pastries, clothes and upholstery in the building. Last night while Scott was in her home she heard someone yelling; that […]

    422 Million Worldwide Living with Diabetes, Says WHO Report
    With the approach of World Health Day 2016 on April 7, the World Health Organization released its Global Report on Diabetes 2016 which has presented some alarming figures in the amount of persons living with diabetes. According to the report, some thirty six years ago there were one hundred and eight million diabetic adults; that […]

    PlusTV

    Incident against Police Officer leads to arrest of 7 Individuals
    There was an incident on Saturday, March 12th 2016 along the banks of the Mopan River, in Benque Viejo Town, in the Cayo District where the police were ambushed and threatened by a group of Hispanic persons. According to reports, Benque Viejo Police were conducting foot patrols by the Planting Patch...

    Online Petition seeks to engage British Government in Guatemalan dispute
    Yesterday we reported on the riot that almost broke out in Belize City over a gambling machine malfunction.; yes, you heard right, it wasn’t an uproar over the poverty statistics, or the crime situation, or even the Belize Guatemala issue which poses a threat to national sovereignty; it was an upro...

    Mesoamerica “Sin Hambre” initiative
    The Mexican Embassy and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development, launched the “Mesoamerica Without Hunger Initiative” on Tuesday April 5th, in Belmopan. The initiative stems from the Millennium Development Goal to end hunger, achieve food security a...

    Eric Elrington Charged with Attempted Murder
    Police have charged 28 year old Eric Elrington, a computer lab technician, for the Crime of “Attempted Murder upon Henry Gordon”. The incident occurred on March 7th when 24 year old Michael Henry Gordon was robbed and shot as he stood waiting for a bus in Unitedville. Gordon was at the...

    Tenant pleads guilty to wounding landlord
    36 year old Glenford Soberanis was fined $1,500 after he chopped his landlord, 69 year old Lloyd Flowers, aka “Lloydie Panades,” during an argument early on Sunday morning. The misunderstanding between the two could have proven fatal after Soberanis used a machete to deliver a large cut wound to the...

    Man beats firearms charges
    32 year old Daniel Meighan, a security guard at National Youth Cadet Corps and living in Rockville on the George Price Highway, was freed of two charges, kept firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license, after they were dismissed on Monday by the Chief Magistrate, Ann-Marie Smith. Around 12:3...

    Unlawful Sexual Intercourse in Belmopan
    On Sunday 3rd April a 50 year old Belizean Businessman of Belmopan City visited the Belmopan police station along with his 13 year old daughter who is a Belizean student of the same address and reported that he saw a black and blue mark on his daughter’s neck. He suspected that the child was carnall...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    SATIIM rangers forced to ask permission to enter Sarstoon
    Rangers from the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) reported that during a visit to the Sarstoon river they were stopped by Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) who instructed them that they need to seek permission from Guatemalan officials before going to the river. […]

    Minor being questioned for stolen shotgun in Burrel Boom
    Ladyville Police has detained a 15-year-old minor for the theft of a 12-gauge Mossberg bolt action shotgun that was reported stolen00 p.m. yesterday, someone stole […]

    Southside police to meet and greet this afternoon
    The police officers of Precinct One and Two in Belize City will be conducting meet and greets in their jurisdictions this afternoon at 3:00 as part of the ongoing community policing efforts. Members of the public living on George, West, Dean Streets and surrounding […]

    Teen girl robbed of gold chain in city
    On Monday morning around at around 10:30 a.m., a 17-year-old female student reported to Belize City Police that an hour earlier while she walked on Princess Margaret Drive, a dark-skinned man robbed her of a gold chain valued at $500. The teen told officers […]

    Fisheries, Forestry go electronic with licenses, permits
    Users can now apply for licenses and permits online through a new system introduced today. The platform is maintained by the Government’s Central Information Technology Office (CITO), supported by the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Minister of […]

    Tropic Air gives to King’s Children Home
    Tropic Air presented the King’s Children Home in Belmopan with $400 on Monday as a part of its continued #TropicGivesBack charitable campaign. Rondel Usher, Tropic Air Belmopan station manager, along with his staff presented the cheque to the organization during a brief handing over […]

    World Wildlife Fund launches global conservation campaign
    With over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations with its mission being to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment. […]

    Blogs

    It’zana Resort & Residences: Placencia, Belize is Ready for the Next Level
    For the last few nights, I stayed at a resort in the making…It’zana Resort & Residence and had a gorgeous dinner at the “pop-up” restaurant Limilita on the Placencia Peninsula. And, from what I can see, they are moving ahead to set a new standard for resorts in Belize. Years ago, the property was a resort called Labu Hati and set on a long strip of beach between Seine Bight Village and Placencia. I stayed in one of the four temporary beachfront casitas. Temporary…felt like a strange word. My suite was absolutely gorgeous. With amazing attention to detail – plenty of coffee, cold beverage, lots of fresh water, real milk, and granola for breakfast. Gorgeous furnishings, decor, SHEETS, towels. I was definitely ready to hitch it to the bus and take her home with me. The next day, I took a tour of the one model house that has been completed on the lagoon side of the peninsula. The resort, when finished, will have a Great House and gorgeous pool on the beach side along with beach cottages.

    SAYING I DO – MICHAEL & PATTI BELIZE BEACH WEDDING
    What better place to “Tie the Knot” than on a tropical island paradise, under the glorious sunshine, along the sandy shores over-looking the world’s second largest Barrier Reef?! – Well, that became a reality for Michael and Patti. Think fairy tale!! Patti was in a car accident – and her paramedic – was Michael!!!! They didn’t know this then, but that accident was destined!!!

    An afternoon at the cottage
    I fondly remember trips to my cousins cottage as a kid and later as a young adult, when we got to go without parents. Hanging out on the lake was always relaxing and fun. As I sat on the Truck stop dock this past Sunday, staring at the water that same wonderful cottage feeling washed over me. I felt a million miles away from everything except my present company and the plate of pig roast in front of me. It had all started because my friend Jack fb messaged me early that day asking if I was up for pig roast. Of course I was and mentioned I was going to bring one of my blog readers along, she had just hit town and had asked if she could take me to lunch or dinner. We made plans to meet Jane at the Palapa Bar and Grill to do a pop in for one time expat Linda Carter’s (aka Wonder Woman) surprise party. We hung out a short bit and got to introduce Jane to a bunch of our friends. Thankfully when we were ready to go local expats, Mickey and Ed offered us a ride and went above and beyond their destination to drop us off at ours.

    Tropic Air Gives back to Kings Children’s home and Island Book Drive
    Tropic Air, The Airline of Belize, has announced the March results of its ongoing #TropicGivesBack fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 is donated to an organization chosen by our staff from that community. In February, $400 was donated to Arms of Love in Caye Caulker. March was the chosen month for Belmopan, with San Ignacio this month, and Punta Gorda chosen for May. As part of the airline’s largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and Customers joined efforts and raised $400 for The King’s Children’s Home in Belmopan. Rondell Usher, Station Manager, and his Staff presented a check to the organization on Monday, April 4th.

    Taste of Belize Event is scheduled for May 2016
    The 2016 Taste of Belize Festival has been scheduled for May 14th 2016 by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) on the grounds of the Orange Walk District’s Muffles College Auditorium. A signature event by the BTB, the Taste of Belize food festival features culinary competitions such as the Belize Master Chef and Amateur Cook, Bartender of the Year, Cup Cake Decorating, and Cake Decorating. Belize offers a potpourri of cuisines and the Taste of Belize Festival is a great opportunity to taste the variety of cookery from the eclectic cultures of Belize like the Maya, Garifuna, Creole, and Mestizo. The Taste of Belize is an exciting food festival that celebrates the creativeness of Belize’s food industry and the BTB is inviting everyone to come and savour the delicious flavors of Belize at this event.

    International Sourcesizz

    2016 Atlantic, Caribbean & Gulf Of Mexico Hurricane Season Forecast, Crown Weather
    The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season is likely to be more active than the 2015 Hurricane season, however, it will be less active than average. It appears that we will see longer lasting tropical storm activity this year as well as more hurricane activity this season as compared to last year. With that said, the forecast for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season is a very difficult one due to many factors that may be in favor for an active season but other ones may cause it to be quite inactive. The Numbers: 10 more named storms (we have already seen the development of Alex back in January), 7 of those storms becoming hurricanes and 2 of those hurricanes becoming major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale).

    All Aboard: Soul Train, Acquired by BET, Announces Chaka Khan, Kool & the Gang, More for 2017 Cruise
    BET Networks’ acquisition of the Soul Train franchise for an undisclosed sum this week tracks the latest chapter in a relationship that dates back to 2009. That’s when the Viacom division relaunched the Soul Train Awards in association with the brand’s previous owners, InterMedia Partners and the Yucaipa Companies. “We also worked with them to manage the brand over the last three years,” says Richard Gay, BET’s executive VP, strategy and operations. “During that time, we learned the brand is as powerful as we thought and even then some. That set everything in motion." In addition to the Soul Train Awards and a Broadway musical adaptation announced in 2014, the acquisition includes more than 1,100 television episodes from creator/producer Don Cornelius’ iconic Soul Train dance show as well as 40 television specials. There’s also the Soul Train Cruise, which revealed its 2017 lineup Wednesday (April 6). In celebration of the cruise’s upcoming fifth anniversary, Chaka Khan, Kool & the Gang, the Commodores and Chic featuring Nile Rodgers will be among the acts setting sail with Cornelius’ son/host Tony Cornelius. The “Hippest Trip at Sea," in association with StarVista Live, will visit Belize City (Belize), Cozumel (Mexico) and Freeport (Bahamas) during its March 4-11, 2017 run, originating out of Ft. Lauderdale (soultraincruise.com).

    Science-based regulations needed to protect region’s coral reefs
    A new study has shown that Caribbean coral reefs are experiencing mounting pressure from global warming, local pollution and over-fishing of herbivorous fish and that fresh science-based fishery regulations are needed if coral reefs are to have a future in the face of climate change. An international team, led by University of Queensland (UQ) researchers, has found that tighter fishery regulations are needed to preserve corals of the Caribbean. Researcher Dr Yves-Marie Bozec, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said herbivorous parrotfish were needed because they eat seaweed, which can smother coral and prevent corals from recovering. “While several countries in the Caribbean have taken the bold step of banning the fishing of parrotfish (including Belize, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos Islands), parrotfish fisheries remain in much of the region,” Dr Bozec said.

    Caribbean Fisheries Forum meets to discuss emerging challenges
    Fisheries experts from across the Caribbean region are traveling to Guyana this week for the 14th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum -- the primary technical deliberative body of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The Forum will be meeting in Georgetown on Thursday, 7 April and Friday, 8 April to undertake its annual stocktaking and planning for the fisheries and aquaculture sector. The event will bring together more than 50 participants, including directors of fisheries, chief fisheries officers, and other development partners, such as NGOs and international organizations like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which work with the CRFM in promoting the development, management and conservation of the Caribbean’s fisheries resources. Justin Rennie, Chief Fisheries Officer of Grenada, will demit chairmanship of the Forum to Denzil Roberts, Chief Fisheries Officer of Guyana , for the 12-month period spanning the new program year which commenced on 1 April. A new vice chairman will also be selected.

    Half of world heritage sites threatened by development, says WWF
    Close to half of the sites around the world designated for special protection as areas of outstanding importance for nature are now being threatened by industrial development, a new survey has shown. The sites, which include Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon in the US, and China’s giant panda sanctuaries in Szechuan, are all supposed to be protected under the United Nations’ designated world heritage status. But encroachments from industries, including fossil fuel exploration and illegal logging, are threatening to destroy the valuable habitats, the conservation charity WWF said on Wednesday. David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK, said: “Even this small fraction of our planet is not receiving the protection it deserves. These areas contribute to our economies through tourism and natural resources, providing livelihoods for millions of people, while also supporting some of the planet’s most valuable ecosystems.” At least 114 of the 229 world heritage sites classed as being of outstanding importance for their natural habitats or their flora and fauna are now subject to fossil fuel extraction concessions, or are under close threat from other industrial activities, according to the report.

    'Naked and Afraid': Monkey hassles Sanford man
    Aaron Phillips of Sanford takes on 'Naked and Afraid' and a very nasty monkey in Belize. Aaron Phillips of Sanford agreed to do "Naked and Afraid" the third time he was asked. What was the sticking point? "I didn't believe the challenge was real," said Phillips, 38, a survivalist. He learned otherwise when he arrived in Belize and encountered a howler monkey. "The monkey peed on us every day for 18 days," Phillips said. "I kind of pissed him off at some point. I was good at howling at the monkey. I think I just took his tree." The monkey eventually stopped -- after Phillips and his partner in the wilderness, Kacie, pounded their chests and evidently made the monkey respect their territory. "Naked and Afraid" airs at 10 p.m. Sunday on Discovery Channel. The series unites male and female strangers in extreme environments for 21 days. (Orlando artist Steven Hall was in the season premiere.)

    Jamaica’s marijuana industry on pause
    It will be a while longer before people who want to get involved in marijuana cultivation, transportation, processing, retailing, and research and development legally in Jamaica can do so. The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), which was expecting to accept applications from Monday, says the process has been delayed with the change in government. Chairman of the CLA, Dr Andre Gordon, said regulations have to be reviewed and approved by the Minister of Justice before the ganja industry could start operations, and that has not yet been done. However, he says he expects that will happen before the end of April.

    More than average number of hurricanes, storms predicted for Atlantic this season
    Hang on to your hats: weather experts are predicting that tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic will total 14 this season, two more than what is considered normal. A ‘cold blob’ of water in the North Atlantic Ocean could be the wild card in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, say forecasters. The cold blob refers to a large area of colder-than-normal sea-surface temperatures east of Newfoundland and south of Greenland. “This area of colder water started to show up a few years ago and has become larger and more persistent during the past couple of years,” said AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. Whether or not ocean currents draw cold water from this blob southward into tropical regions of the Atlantic could determine how active the season becomes. “The big question is whether we will go into a La Niña, which is what we’re anticipating right now,” said Kottlowski.

    Videos

  • Touring Belize, 3.5min. Be amazed of what all you can do in the country of Belize.

  • History of Belize, 13min. A local in Belize describes the country's history as depicted on a mural in San Ignacio.

  • Belize Zipline, 4min. Fling through rainforest on longest zipline in Belize.

  • ACTION BELIZE-TARPON, 11min.

  • BSI ASR CROP REVIEW 2016 WEEK 17, 3min.

  • My Village, My Lobster, min. Fifteen thousand Belizeans depend on fishing in order to support their families with dignity. Efforts to support sustainability will ensure that fishing will always be a viable livelihood. In countries like Nicaragua, fishermen are risking their lives in order to keep fishing, diving to incredible depths to find marine products. The Nicaragua story doesn't have to be the Belize story. Support sustainability in fishing.

  • Belize 2016, 5min.

  • Belize dive with Hugh Parkey's Belize Dive Connection, 17min. Great people and a great dive. See if you can spot the school of rays, dolphins, moray eel, lion fish, and even a seahorse.Special thanks to Pablo for the tour.

  • Dolphins in Belize, 30sec.

  • Cedar Crest College - Belize 2016, 5min. study abroad - Spring 2016.

  • Cedar Crest College Belize Nursing Trip 2016, 9min.

    April 6, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    100 Miles and Countless Memories Kitesurfing the Coast of Belize
    Bring together a group of daredevils, throw in a little heart and the desire to make a friend’s dream come true and you have yourself the very first “Kite to Point”. This challenge inspired by Jeffrey Eiley, who’s story is known all too well on our little island, was set to sail on April second with the “Princess Leslie” leading the kitesurfers and at least three other boats to accompany them. Due to a last minute change in plans, the sailing date was moved to April first and only one additional boat was able to make the trip. Is it a coincidence the only boat that joined the adventure was the “Carpe Diem” (latin for “seize the day”)? Anyone who knew Jeff would say “probably not”. If Jeff could send us messages or signs “seize the day” would most likely be one of them. Martin John Leslie (Jeff’s cousin) remembers very well the day Jeff learned to kitesurf as he was walking down the beach when he took off for the first time. Mark Worthington (Jeff’s best friend) and Bradley Mazin introduced him to the sport and he was so hooked that he couldn’t stop talking about buying his own kite and eventually his idea to “kite to point” came about and he wouldn’t let it go. The idea of kitesurfing from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Placencia, Stann Creek was one of his greatest goals to achieve. Jeffrey’s life was taken a few months after and he was not able to realize his dream of kitesurfing to Placencia, but that didn’t mean his loved ones couldn’t do it in his name. His adventurous soul and loving nature would be the wind in their sails, pushing their limits yet keeping them safe.

    NEBL playoffs fast approaching as teams fight for playoff positions
    With only three weeks remaining in the regular season of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) 2016 tournament, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks must win three out of their four remaining games in order to advance in the Playoffs. The two time defending champions faced several difficult challenges in this season, but are still hopeful of taking the coveted championship trophy once more. On the other hand, the Smart Belize Hurricanes have had a great season and have even secured their playoff sport. The other top teams fighting to make the playoffs alongside the Tiger Sharks include the Dangriga Warriors, Cayo Western Ballaz and Belmopan Bandits. As for Belize City No Limits and Orange Walk Running Rebels, their chances at the playoffs are slim to none and the Independence Thunderbolts have been completely eliminated from making the playoffs.Tigersharks Dangriga Warriors-5

    Belizean Debra Baptist-Estrada receives International Women of Courage Award
    The annual United States of America’s, “Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Awards” took place on Tuesday, March 29th. The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, honored fourteen unique women from around the world who have demonstrated courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, gender equality, women’s equality, and social progress.

    Ambergris Today

    Letters: San Pedro Not as Advertised
    Dear Editor, We had booked an island vacation but not a traffic vacation with parking problems. The high traffic is wrong for a small island with just one road and very, very wrong for tourism. I am not sure about the rest of the year but Easter conditions were not what we as tourists had in mind. Something major needs to be changed or the last tourist will have visited soon.

    Letters: Tourists Are Just Seen as an Entitlement
    We were regulars since 2009, some years even twice a year. We used to love this island, it was cozy and unique. First we stayed at a hotel in/near town, than further South and a few times up North. Sometimes we visited just the 2 of us but three times we also brought friends and once our kids. Finally we must quit. We saw it coming over years, the worsening situation on this island but for some years we were somewhat still hopeful that logic eventually would prevail. By now we have no hope. The many years of "no rules, no regulations, no plan, no foresight, no vision" has smashed this originally so beautiful island to the very bottom in attractivity. The ugliness of electronic billboards, advertising sign bonanza all over the island, high traffic in combination with arrogant and unsafe driving, unsightly developments, no apparent zoning law (every junk yard gets mixed in), no sustainable transportation system, dangerous boat traffic, lack of infrastructure to name just a few . . . .. "Viva to a cheaper version of Mexico but at higher prices"!

    Pic of the Week - Thirsty for Waterfalls in Belize
    If you are thirsty for waterfalls, your search stops in Belize. Hundreds of gorgeous cascades lie hidden within the country's tropical rainforests, each very unique. Most of them are accessible for pictures, selfies and a refreshing dip, muck like Madison pictured here being creative at Maya King Waterfalls in the Stann Creek District.

    San Pedro Town Council Donates Vehicle to Police Department
    The San Pedro Police Department counts with one more vehicle added to its fleet as the San Pedro Town Council handed over a red pick-up truck to the department over the busy Easter weekend on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. The truck was handed down from the San Pedro Traffic Department as it received a new utility cart that was added to its fleet of motorcycles. Superintendent Sandra Bowden was happy to accept the vehicle for the police and thanked the Town Council for their continued support of the department. The San Pedro Police Department counts on 11 vehicles for their daily patrols, but with a growing community and tourism safety needs, it is always in need for more mobility, especially in the remote areas of the north and south parts of the island.

    Town Council Announces Illegal Burning of Yard Garbage
    The San Pedro Town Council kindly advises the general public that any type of burning is an offence. If you wish to dispose of any garbage, you must notify and wait approval on behalf of the San Pedro Fire Department prior to burning your garbage. The Council strongly recommends that when burning any type of garbage, you do so in a controlled environment. Burning of any type of garbage is completely prohibited in residential areas since it is a health hazard and puts at risk any buildings in the surrounding area.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    World Health Day – 2016: Diabetes
    The Ministry of Health joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in observing World Heath Day 2016. This year the WHO is calling for the global community to “Beat Diabetes”. The Ministry of Health embraces another opportunity to bring focus on diabetes this year on World Health Day. Several regions will coordinate activities throughout this week including a Diabetes Walk in San Ignacio Town, Diabetes Information Presentations for Senior Citizens at the HelpAge Center in Orange Walk, and a Diabetes Health Session with schools in the Punta Gorda Town area. The national activity will be a Diabetes Forum to be held on April 7th, 2016 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza starting at 9:00am. The forum will seek to promote actions to address diabetes and also to review existing policies which include diabetes. Presentations and remarks will come from the Minister of State in the Ministry of Health Hon. Dr. Angel Campos and other Ministry of Health officials and education professionals

    Belize Electronic License and Permit System Official Launch
    The Belize Fisheries Department and Belize Forest Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, with support from the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), and in partnership with Central Information Technology Office (CITO), is pleased to announce the launch of the Belize Electronic License and Permit System (BELAPS). The BELAPS is an internet-based application process for all licenses and permits issued by both Departments and it aims at improving the management of its fishery and forestry resources and services offered to the Public. Users will be able to apply for licenses and permits online, making the application more efficient and convenient.

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
    The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment in collaboration with La Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Argentina herein offer the on line course: “Diploma Superior en Relaciones del Trabajo y Sindicalismo” to be delivered in Spanish. Given the deadline for receiving applications in Washington, D.C. is May 23th , 2016; applicants are requested to submit the hardcopy application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belmopan by April 23th , 2016 for endorsement and forwarding to its high destination.

    Amazing portraits of women in San Pedro
    Photos by Karen Brodie

    Belize Fishing Report, March 27th – April 2nd, 2016
    Our tarpon heroes of the week are Adam and Richard. Adam’s was a beautiful fish about 50 pounds and Richard’s was just as pretty but weighed in at 10 pounds. Richard’s was interesting in that he caught his tarpon on his bonefish rig, The fish ate a crazy Charlie and didn’t wear through the 12 pound leader. That is quite a feat!

    San Pedro Library Book Drive
    Support our San Pedro Town Library!

    U.S. Commerce Department Announces Fifth Americas Competitiveness Exchange
    The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and Economic Development Administration (EDA), in coordination with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the U.S. Department of State, today announced that 51 high-level representatives from 24 countries will participate in the Fifth Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE) on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, April 10-16, visiting sites in Arizona and California. ACE brings together decision-makers from throughout the Western Hemisphere and other nations to explore global and regional partnerships and economic development opportunities that will strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.

    Belize Joins Mesoamerica without Hunger
    In order to strengthen national and local institutional frameworks for food security and family farming, Belize officially joined the Mesoamerica without Hunger program. Mesoamerica without Hunger is a South-South cooperation agreement that runs on the Central American countries, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, with the support of FAO and the Government of Mexico, through the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID). In Belize, Mesoamerica without hungry is oriented in a first phase to the design and development of a pilot experience of sustainable schools in the Toledo district, whose young population is mostly indigenous. Mesoamerica without Hunger coordinates efforts with several Belizean institutions, such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.

    AMBERGRIS STADIUM - UPDATE: APRIL 2016
    Construction of the Ambergris Stadium is well under way. Pictured here are the bleachers, concession stands and drainage. You can also observe that majority of the landfill has been spread throughout the field.

    Rufino Morales Concert
    Rufino Morales will be playing at the Octavia Waight Centre next Saturday, April 16th, starting at 7:00pm. He'll be playing not just the marimba, but also the violin, and grand piano. Tickets can be purchased at the SISE HoC.

    PACT Awards Ceremony 2016
    The Protected Areas Conservation Trust awarded $1.2 million this year to projects around Cayo and Belize. They awarded Friends for Conservation and Development around $200,000 to help protect the Chiquibul. The entire list of awards can be found on their website. Thanks, PACT! "The PACT awards grants annually through a competitive application and review process. The areas for which projects can be funded must be related to the conservation and management of a legally recognized protected area and must fall under one of more of the following priority areas: protected areas management and conservation; protected areas promotion and development; environmental education and awareness; and community development around protected areas. On March 31st, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) - accompanied by the Honourable Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Dr. Colin A. Young, Chief Executive Officer with responsibility for the Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change - invested over $1.2 million in new grant funding! We take this opportunity to once again, congratulate all grant recipients."

    CARL MCGREGOR: ONE OF BELIZE'S MOST PROLIFIC BASSIST!
    Belizean Legends will feature soon, the musical brilliance of one of Belize's most prolific bass players from the 1970's, 80's, and beyond in the Belizean music scene in Belize and abroad. COMING SOON!

    Channel 7

    Extortion and Escape From Chetumal
    Last night you heard the gripping first-hand account of extortion in Chetumal. It happened to a Belizean businessman and his family who were staying at the Fiesta Inn. On the night of Easter Monday, he got a call to his room from what he thought was the hotel's front desk. From there - over the course of a two-hour phone call - an elaborate extortion plot unfolded. That was part one. Tonight in part two you'll hear how he escaped. We pick up the story right where the Mexican Navy swooped in to the Fiesta to extract the businessman and his family. He tells us after a disorienting phone call from the extortionists - he wasn't sure who was coming up to his hotel room to take him away - but it looked like SEAL Team Six:.. Belizean Businessman - Extorted at Fiesta Inn, Chetumal: "I mean these guys were like the navy seals. These guys were top of the line and when they surrounded me, took me downstairs - I had already packed, they send for my vehicle. They put 3 military in my vehicle, brought it up. All this time I am thinking sucks this is the right time to plant something if they want in my vehicle."

    Accident Victim Improving, PUP Area Rep. Not Charged
    Accident victim Julia Arana is showing modest signs of improvement. That's according to her son, the cyclist Nissan Arana. He says his 59 year old mother has opened her eyes for the first time since the accident, and can move slightly, but she is still not talking and doesn't recognize anything. He is hoping to speak to doctors tomorrow. As we told you the Trial Farm resident was knocked down by PUP Orange Walk South Representative Jose Mai on Friday night crossing the northern highway which passes though her village. She suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a concussion. Mai gave a urine sample, and Police have served him with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.

    Mother Of Two Slain Sons Demands Justice
    Rene Chavarria also known as "Fat Cat," was murdered ON MARCH 18th, 2016. His brother Jamie was killed on March 30th, 2015. That's two Chavarria brothers killed within a year and no one has been charged for either of the murders. Today for the first time since the two Chavarria brothers were killed, the mother of the victims is finally coming out publicly - but not to express her grief. It's more like rage. Emily Gabourel says the police let her down. She bashed police investigators for what she takes to be a lack of interest in her sons' murders, and the lack of professionalism in handling her mourning family. Here is what she had to say. Emily Gabourel, mother of "Fat Cat": "They are dragging their feet with everything, because when my son died and my daughter-in-law was out there, they laughed - the police laughed and it's not a dog that had died. I am speaking on behalf of all the mothers of Belize that have sons that died. Maybe you don't want to speak up, but I will speak up. I feel pain, I back my son for 9 months and Mr. Broaster - no police come at my house yet and say Miss Gabourel this or Miss Gabourel that of Miss Gabourel the other. What I don't like that Mr. Broaster says that my son was the leader of Rocky Road gang. My son wasnt a leader. Rocky Road doesn't have a gang as far as I know. If my son was a leader he would have had it good; his girlfriend would have been driving a nice car, he would have had a nice house. My son still living with me."

    UNICEF Makes Curfew Position Known
    For weeks now we have been reporting about the Southside Kids Curfew. Architect of the plan Chester Williams has gotten a lot of public support, but child advocacy groups have had a harder time warming up to the idea of holding blameless children in a police station. Yesterday you heard the comments from the Department of Human Development, which supports it, sort of. On the other hand UNICEF, we had been told, firmly opposed the initiative. Today, first the first time since this issue cropped up, they spoke publicly about the matter. Here is UNICEF's "official position" which they spoke about candidly after having met officially with the Southside commander this morning. Luwani Cayetano, Child Protection Officer - UNICEF: "From the UNICEF side, we wanted to make it very clear that moving forward we would like to work on some of those alternatives. How can we work more concretely on some of the things that are ongoing, but also how we can have some more inventive approaches? So right now in the pipeline we are talking about implementing diversion. So we talked a little bit about that. We talked about strengthening parents and working with parents. For us those concrete things we are saying, we were kind of re-stating our commitment to participate in those aspects, but unfortunately not in the curfew."

    Toledo Sin Hambre?
    The Mexican Government and the Food and Agriculture Organization will team up to fight child malnutrition in the Toledo District. It's an initiative called "Sin Hambre", or "Without Hunger" and the agreement was signed today at the George Price Center in Belmopan by Agriculture Minister, Gaspar Vega, FAO Representative, Jorge O'Ryan, Mexican Ambassador to Belize Carlos Quesnel, CEO in Agriculture, Jose Alpuche, and Ambassador Bruno Figueroa, the Director General for the Mesoamerica Project in the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs. The first phase of the program in Belize looks at the design and development of sustainable schools in the Toledo district with the key goals being the reduction of malnutrition rates.

    The Boledo Business
    Last night we told you about the uproar at the Magistrates court for the Sunday Lottery draw. Residents were angry because the machine malfunctioned and only 3 balls popped up in the chambers - leaving the 2nd digit chamber empty. Now residents expected that the game would be replayed but instead the supervisor chose the ball manually - that incensed the crowd. Here is a short video of what happened on Sunday. As we told you the police had to be called in to quell the crowd and after some time they dispersed - none too happy with what had happened. As you heard the Secretary of the Lotteries Committee say - to avoid a recurrence, the double pick machine will be used for this Sunday's Lottery draw until Brads can replace those faulty machines.

    CGA Sour Over CPBL Plans To Sweeten Citrus
    Citrus Products of Belize Limited is fighting to keep its head above water, but the Citrus Growers Association still isn't happy with a recent decision to shut down the plant for a week. It seems CPBL management wants the citrus fruit in the field to sweeten a little more, so they are opening the factory a week later than planned, on April 13th. But, the Citrus Growers Association says it doesn't agree and is requesting a meeting with the Harvest Committee to, quote, "solve this problem." CPBL's position is that if the fruit ripens a little, it become sweeter, and they can fetch higher prices for their juices - the profits form which will be shared by all parties.

    September, But 2017...
    Yesterday the Department of Human Development broke ground in Lake I to commence the construction of a $4.6 million dollar Resource Center. Now, in the report we mentioned that the works are to be completed in September of this year. It is September, but September, 2017. We apologize for the mix up.

    Miracle Brenae Beats The Odds
    After being hospitalized for 36 days, 3 year old Brenae Timmons is finally back home with her family. Baby Brenae's story is horrifying. You may remember in late January when a gate fell on top of her - fracturing her skull. She could have died under the weight of that gate but her dad rushed over and rescued her. Since then the only thing that held the family together during sleepless nights at the hospital was their faith and little Brenae's remarkable resilience. Yesterday her aunt called us over for us to see the remarkable improvement in the toddler's health. Here is her heartwarming story. 3 year old Brenae Timmons enjoys practicing her alphabet with her aunt. She caught on very quickly and now she has mastered it. Brenae is like any other child her age: playful and happy. She is her family's joy in every way

    Hall of Fame For Marie Sharp
    In two and a half weeks, pioneering Belizean entrepreneur Marie Sharp will travel to New York where she will be inducted into the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame. The distinction is reserved for those who, quote, "have been working within the fiery foods industry for a minimum of 3 years." Three years? Cho!...Try 35! That's how long Marie Sharp has been making hot sauce - first Melinda's, and now that her namesake line. In August of last year Courtney Weatherburne visited her plant in Hope Creek where she found that behind all those hot sauces is a very cool lady:.. Courtney Weatherburne Reporting... Almost every Belizean at home and abroad is very familiar with this logo. In fact products carrying this brand can be found on every kitchen counter and on most restaurant tables. And Marie Sharp is the woman behind all these product lines. As well as this 400 acre Dangriga farm where her farmers plant a portion of their supply of Habanero peppers along with a variety of other fruits used in her sauces and jams. So how did she get into the business in the first place? Well, it all began with a just few Habanero pepper plants.

    Channel 5

    Michael Modiri Still Running Scared
    Today, Iranian-American businessman Michael Modiri went public for the first time since it was allege in January 2016 that he was the intended victim of an execution plot. In a [...]

    Dark Night Owner Bradley Paumen Ordered to Pay Compensation
    But back to Paumen…He’s the millionaire owner of Dark Night Cave Tours, and as we said, the man who was arrested and charged for organizing and paying for a hit [...]

    What’s the Future of Dark Night Cave Tours?
    The way forward for Paumen, Modiri and Dark Night caves seems fraught with obstacles, even with the judgment handed down in the Supreme Court today. Modiri claims that in an [...]

    RTA Victim Julia Arana Still Critical at the K.H.M.H.
    Fifty-nine-year-old Julia Arana, a domestic of Trial Farm Village, remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being struck by a vehicle on Friday night.  The 2007 Toyota Hilux [...]

    Arana Refutes Rumors Circulating About the RTA
    In the wake of the unfortunate incident, there has been talk that Arana may have attempted to take her own life by stepping into the path of the moving vehicle.  [...]

    UB Under Fire From Former Professor
    Is the national university, the University of Belize, in complete academic disarray where students go through programs without learning anything, but still getting straight A’s?  Former lecturer Marcio Augusto has [...]

    Should Pastor Scott Stirm Apologize Properly to the Garifuna Community?
    And our question of tonight is: Do you believe Pastor Scott Stirm should apologize properly to the Garifuna community? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

    A Look at All Sides of the Curfew Debate
    The curfew for minors is a topic that is being hotly debated across the land. ACP Chester Williams believes that it is the answer to keeping minors away from urban [...]

    Curfew Working After 2 Weeks, Says ACP Chester Williams
    The curfew in Belize City has been in effect for more than two weeks now. The concept is that any youth under eighteen years of age, not accompanied by an [...]

    Williams Says Curfew Doesn’t Punish Youth – It Protects Them
    ACP Williams claims that one criticism also leveled at the initiative is that it punishes children for the deficiencies of their parents. He counters that by claiming that it not [...]

    Toledo Minor charged for Brazen Robbery
    A minor is the first to be charged in Punta Gorda for a brazen robbery that occurred at a Chinese store on March twenty-first. He is among a trio of [...]

    $10K Fine for Weed Smuggling Granny
    A fifty-year old granny from Carmelita, Orange Walk, has been fined ten thousand dollars for attempting to smuggle four hundred grams of weed into the Hattieville prison. Florence Chuc pleaded [...]

    Court of Appeal Upholds Manslaughter Conviction
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed the case of Rosalia Castillo who was found not guilty of the stabbing death of Carla Perez in December 2010 and sentenced to twelve [...]

    U.D.P. Campaign for Deputy Leader Heating Up
    On last night’s newscast we showed you an undecided Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez, senior U.D.P. Minister who says he’s not quite ready to come public with who he supports for First [...]

    Cyclist Tariq Cano Excels in Mexico
    Tariq Cano…you may remember him as the runner up in first season one of Channel Five’s The Belize Apprentice. But what many did not know is that Cano is a [...]

    Cano Says His Next Stop Will Be the Pro League
    Cano, who was employed with the Belize Bank for some years, decided to give up the business suit for a cycling jersey. The twenty-five year old says his goal is [...]

    Catholic Priest Speaks on Garifuna Spirituality
    Father Matthew Ruhl, a Jesuit priest at Saint Martin’s Parish in Belize City, has been quite vocal in his support of Garifuna spirituality.  He draws a parallel between Catholicism and [...]

    Fr. Ruhl Says If You Don’t Understand Something Just Be Quiet
    Over the weekend, Father Matt delivered a rousing homily during the Sunday Mass.  The religious lecture touched on everything, including recent statements made against the Dugu ceremony.   Isani Cayetano [...]

    A Look Back at a Traditional Garifuna Ceremony
    The Dugu ceremony is performed in Garifuna culture as a form of spiritual healing. It is very rare that the ceremony can be captured by cameras but back in 1989, [...]

    CTV3

    Accident Victim Shows Improvement At KHMH
    Last night we told you about 54 year old Julia Arana who was knocked down on Friday night while crossing the highway near the San Martin Gas Station in Trial Farm Village Orange Walk. The vehicle that knocked her down was being driven by Orange Walk South Area Representative and PUP Deputy Leader, Honorable Jose Abelardo Mai, who according to police reports, tried avoid hitting the victim but was unable to do so. Tonight we understand that Arana, who was listed in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after the accident, is in a more stable condition. When we spoke to Arana’s youngest son, Nissan, he told us that while his mother is doing seemingly better she is still unable to speak or do much of anything other than open her eyes. Nissan Arana – Son of Victim: “Up to now we don’t have any further detail of exactly how she really stands, you know they supposed to say the result of the CATSCAN but I have had no personal talk to any of the doctors to know exactly which condition she is in.”

    BSI/ASR Adopts Independence Plaza
    Yesterday we told you about the rehabilitation of the Independence plaza which is part of a project that involves the Orange Walk Town Council, the Orange Walk Police Department and the Belize Sugar Industries. The campaign to remodel and restructure the park is part of an early initiative taken by BSI/ASR as part of their sustainability efforts to do their part to give back to our environment. Every Year the company chooses a project to complete by Earth day, which will be celebrated this year on the 22nd of April. This year their main focus was to work on a project that would give back to the community and according to the Regional Manager at BSI/ASR, Zeidi Cruz, they believe that restoring a historic site such as the Independence Plaza which practically goes unused, is the best way to give back to the community and by using safe and recyclable material be able to create and promote an area that is environmentally safe. Zeidi Cruz- Regional EHS manager- BSI/ASR: “We decided to do the Independence Park because of its historical value, as you guys know, the whole Banquitas Area used to be in the colonial times you know very important so you have Fort Mindy right there so we decided you know that it will good for us and it will good for the community...”

    Running For A Good Cause
    Special Olympics Belize, an organization that caters for people living with disabilities, has scheduled their annual Fun Run event that will be taking place this weekend throughout the country of Belize. Here in Orange Walk Town, the administration and staff of Saint Peter’s Anglican School have been preparing for this activity as they willingly embrace opportunities that seek to include students with disabilities. Elizabeth Vellos – Level leader, Special Education Center: “We are asking people to come out at seven to register and then we will have our opening ceremonies starting at 7:30 and we want to start the run at 8:00 sharp, we are going to move off from the Central Park and we are going to run straight up by the Fire Station down to Baker Street into Main Street, Hospital Crescent and back to the Central Park where we will have a short ceremony, after the run it is just the distributions of the ribbons for all the people who had participated and we are going to have a motivational talk we are getting somebody to inspire our students, inspire our community.” This year, the organizers have decided to make minor changes in the route of the run with the objective of including and allowing the general public to have the opportunity to be a part of the event.

    Belizean Businessman Speaks About Horrible Extortion Threat
    Last week we told you about the incident involving a Belizean businessman who received a very serious extortion threat while staying at a Hotel in Chetumal. The Belizean, who was vacationing at the hotel at the time of the incident had to be rescued by Mexican Navy and brought back to Belize, according to a report carried out by the Mexican Newspaper Por Esto who at the time did not reveal the name of the victim. Tonight, thanks to our friends at Seven News, we have the victim’s full account of the incident from the moment he was contacted by the alleged receptionist of the Hotel to when he was escorted to Belizean territory by the Mexican Navy. In the interview the victim asked for his identity to be withheld because the threats he received were so direct and made use of so much detailed personal information that he is still afraid for his safety. But according to the victim he felt compelled to come forward, to advise the public of the dangers that lie when Belizeans go over the boarder to Chetumal for a weekend getaway. The incident played out on Easter Monday , March 28th, at 11:40 at night in his room at the Fiesta Inn, when he, his wife and daughter were awakened by a person he thought to be the receptionist:...

    Seventeen Year Old Attacked While Excercising At People's Stadium
    On Saturday at about 6:00 in the evening a minor visited the Orange Walk Police Station where he reported to authorities that he was attacked by an individual of dark complexion at the People’s Stadium while he was out doing his daily exercise. He told police that the individual tried to steal his phone and since he did not let the assailant have his way; it all resulted in a struggle between both of them. Immediately after the incident occurred, the minor returned home but did not inform his parents about the confrontation. It was not until the police came knocking at the victim’s door at around 9:00 that same night, that the parents became aware of their son’s frightening encounter. Earlier today we visited the victim’s father who spoke to us about the matter. Father of the Victim: “Saturday in the evening like five when he just kneels down by a corner by the curve that is not so visible for the people crossing over there then he felt like somebody pinch him on his back and when he turned around he thought that it was his brother but he saw a dark fellow right beside him and he asked him for his cellphone and then he responded saying no I can’t give you this, so a struggle started right there and then well like my son is a little big he stood up and struggled with this fellow and when he saw that he couldn’t struggle with my son he took out a whip that they used at the stadium to whip those horses and with that he started to lash my son.”

    LOVE FM

    UB Comes Under Fire by Portuguese Lecturer
    The University of Belize has come under heavy fire from a man claiming to be a past lecturer there. Márcio Augusto, a Portuguese national said he was a lecturer at the University of Belize from September 2015 until March 15, 2016. Augusto wrote a one thousand word article criticizing the operations and services at the […]

    Accident Victim Goes From Critical to Stable
    Julia Arana, the woman who was knocked down last week by PUP Area Representative, Jose Abelardo Mai, remains in a stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Her son, Nissan Arana, told Love News that she is now able to open her eyes and move her limbs. However, she is not able to speak […]

    Progressive Party Calls for Transparency from Government
    Since the shooting of a BDF solider at Valentin Camp, there has only been one press release from the Government on the incident. Most of what has been reported and released has been independent reports and investigation by the media. Chairman of the Belize Progressive Party, Paco Smith says that the government needs to be […]

    Third Party Says National Budget Leaves a Lot to Be Desired
    The recent budget date for the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 saw a number of concerns brought by the opposition, People United Party. They are not the only ones who have an opinion about the budget. Chairman of the Belize Progressive Party, Paco Smith said there is nothing eye opening in this year’s budget. PACO SMITH “The […]

    British Citizens and Residents Asked to Engage in Condemning Guatemala’s Aggression
    While a silence has set in here in Belize following the Sarstoon Incident in March 2016 where Belize’s military was aggressed by the Guatemalan Armed Forces, the efforts of Belizeans living abroad have taken a turn. There is currently a petition on the www.petition.parliament.uk website, seeking the support and signatures of British citizens or UK […]

    Belize’s Territorial Troubles Make it on WWW.CHANGE.ORG
    As Paul Golder places efforts in the United Kingdom to gain support and solidarity from the British for Belize on the territorial differendum with Guatemala, Al Smith of Conyers, Georgia, USA has launched a similar undertaking on the site, www.change.org. This website is widely used in the lobbying of issues ranging from political to environmental. […]

    Belizean Man Proposes Peace Pilgrimage at the Sarstoon
    One Belizean man has acted on an idea of a pilgrimage to the Sarstoon Island in southern Belize. Mario Lara who currently resides in California, USA, has created an account on www.gofundme.com that seeks to raise ten thousand dollars which would be used to have, what he dubs as a massive peach pilgrimage. The event […]

    More Names and Details to Come From Panama Papers in May
    128 – that is the number of world leaders and public officials that the recently exposed Panama Papers have revealed details on as they relate to hidden financial dealings. So far, on our local scene, there has only been the implication of Lord Michael Ashcroft via his company, Belize Corporate Services doing business with the […]

    Former Teacher and Social Work Needs Help to Be Medically Diagnosed and Treated
    As with many diseases and disorders, Belize is unequipped to diagnose a woman’s case although local doctors have referred to it as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s. The family says that a local neurologist had diagnosed her based on symptoms but lacked any proper medical testing to verify. About […]

    BPP: Saldivar and Faber Will Bring No Change to Party Politics
    Over five hundred delegates will be involved in the selection of the next UDP Deputy Party Leader. Ministers Patrick Faber and John Saldivar have begun their campaign. While most anticipate the new Deputy Party leader, the Belize Progressive Party is not very impressed. Chairman of BPP, Paco Smith weighed in earlier today. PACO SMITH “At […]

    PlusTV

    Murder in Spanish Lookout
    Murder in Spanish Lookout. The peaceful existence of the Village of Selena in Spanish Lookout was broken on saturday morning when one elderly man was murdered one youth was left for dead, and another had to run for his life. Sometime about 2am on Saturday morningAccording to Police, 63 year old Edga...

    Armenia man chopped in Fight
    A man from Armenia Village is hospitalized at the Belmopan Western Regional Hospital after he was beaten and chopped several times. The victim is 24 year old Cement Block maker Victor Saul Rodriguez. The incident happened on Saturday April 2 when Rodriquez was at his aunt’s house in Armenia watchi...

    BDF shot by fellow officers?
    The Belize Defence Force has written National Security CEO George Lovell providing an update on the shooting incident inside the Chiquibul Forest Reserve on March 26th. That is when Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was shot near Camp Valentin. According to the report referenced by Channel 5 on Friday, ...

    Riot over Boledo machine
    Belizeans who buy lottery and jackpot take their gamble rather seriously. Most buyers around the country have to tune in on the radio for the draw at 10a.m. But, several other enthusiasts in Belize City have taken to the habit of going out to witness the draw live, tickets in hand. Well, YESTERDAY m...

    Anti drug operation in the south leads to arrest
    An Anti- drug operation launched in Independence village on Friday 1st April led to the arrest of three persons. Personnel from Intermediate Southern Formation (ISF) along with K9 unit personnel conducted the Anti-drug Operation with ISF Jurisdiction. A search conducted at the residence of 31 year o...

    Single bullet found leads to arrest
    A Punta Gorda man was arrested and charged after police found a single bullet in his car. On April 1, police conducted a search for firearm and drugs inside a Mitsubishi Gallant car with and found a.38 round under the cassette deck. Police have since arrested and charged 25-year-old Aduan Akeem Ushe...

    Two Belize City men rob teens of cell phones
    Two Belize City men were arrested for robbing two teenagers. A 19 year old and his 16-year-old friend reported that on Saturday 2nd April about 10:00 p.m., they were walking on the Phillip Goldson Highway near the NAPA roundabout heading in the direction of Belize City when they were approached f...

    Amandala

    Mossack Fonseca & Ashcroft
    In what is being described as an almost certain fatal blow to offshore banking, international media broke the story on Sunday, April 3, of a colossal leak of confidential documents from a highly secretive and private Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca. Eleven million documents held by that firm were passed to a German newspaper which then shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a group of 107 media organisations spread across 76 countries. This group has reportedly been analysing the dossier for at least a year now. Mossack Fonseca is the world’s fourth largest provider of offshore services and although it is based in Panama, it provides corporate incorporation and other offshore structured vehicles across many offshore jurisdictions. The ICIJ reported that more than 300 individual journalists reviewed the leaked documents to expose a list of clients that included those involved in bribery, arms deals, tax evasion, financial fraud, and drug trafficking. Larger than Assange’s WikiLeaks, the treasure cove of almost three terabytes of electronic data siphoned from Mossack Fonseca’s internal database is considered the biggest leak ever. The source of the leak has not been identified.

    Marie Sharp, 35-year veteran, to be inducted into Hot Sauce Hall of Fame
    Belizean entrepreneur, Marie Sharp, 76, who started her business in her kitchen, will be inducted into the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame later this month when she travels to New York to receive her special red jacket and ring. Sharp will not just be the only Belizean to snag this lifetime award, she will be the only woman in the group of honorees. “It’s the highest honor that I think anybody can ever achieve… not only for me. When they notified me, they congratulated me and my country and the people of Belize for being elected, Sharp told Amandala. She said that when she received news of the award, she was “very, very happy” and “surprised.” She still does not know how she was selected for this special honor, but she plans on being in New York for the April 23 induction. In an online notice, the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation announced the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016, comprised of 5 people who “have been very instrumental in the fiery foods.”

    3 Belmopan cops accused of brutality against 2 minors
    Three Belmopan policemen have been arrested and charged for brutalizing two boys who were sleeping in their homes. Corporal Edwin Marin and Constables Jose Uh and Marion Alcoser were charged with aggravated assault in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on Monday. They were offered bail of $1,000 and ordered to return to court on April 28. They have also been interdicted from duty pending trial by a police tribunal for breaching Codes of Conduct governing police officers, in line with the enforcement of the Police Department’s “Zero Tolerance of Police Brutality Policy.” Police say that as a result of the beatings, a 16-year-old boy suffered a cut wound over the right eye and abrasions to the back and chest, and these injuries to him were certified as wounding.

    Woman who killed her female lover denied appeal
    A Cayo businesswoman who was initially indicted for the murder of another woman but who was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter and sentenced to serve 12 years in prison will have to serve those 12 years after a panel of three Court of Appeal Justices ruled today to dismiss her appeal and affirm her conviction and sentence. Rosalilia Castillo, 46, appeared in the Belize Court of Appeal today along with her attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, to argue her appeal against her manslaughter conviction and consequent sentence. On the night of Saturday, December 8, 2012, Pamela Perez, 34, a mother of three children, lost her life when she was stabbed by Castillo, with whom she was involved in an intimate relationship. The stabbing took place at Castillo’s Las Palomas Del Norte Bar, located on Carrillo Purto Avenue in Santa Elena Town. Castillo was sentenced to 12 years in prison on January 14, 2015, by Justice Antoinette Moore, who heard the case in the Belmopan Supreme Court without a jury.

    Angelus Press burglarized; safe and money stolen
    A Belize City man has been accused of burglarizing the well-known stationery store Angelus Press, which is located at 10 Queen Street, just a stone’s throw away from the Police Precinct #3 on Queen Street. This afternoon, Anthony Morris, 38, a customer care representative and resident of 28 Simon Lamb Street, appeared with his attorney, Dickie Bradley, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, who arraigned him on one count of burglary. Morris pleaded not guilty to the charge and since there was no objection to bail from the court prosecutor, Fraser released him on a bail of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. The Senior Magistrate, however, told Morris he is being granted bail on the condition that he is not to be arrested for any other offense while his matter is before the court; otherwise his bail will be confiscated and he will be remanded to prison. Morris is expected to return to court on June 1.

    Cynthia Ellis-Topsey establishing national network for Garifuna youth
    Garifuna mentor Cynthia Ellis-Topsey—who has been working with women and families since 1985—is leading a nationwide initiative through which she intends to connect underserved Garifuna youth and other Afro-descendants, with their elders to “celebrate and affirm the Garifuna contribution to this country” in sustainable development as well as education. “When you hear about sustainable development, Garifuna people were always practicing sustainable development. It’s an integral part of the culture,” Ellis-Topsey said. Ellis-Topsey, the champion of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme in Belize, said that youths should be part of the civic engagement that goes beyond the manipulation that is carried out by political parties, and they should be able to tell the story differently. “Urgently, I want to give back what was given to me. I did not just appear out of a hat…. I want to see Garifuna youth at various fora: at Rotary, in environmental discussions, financial literacy – when we are talking about de-risking, banking,” she said.

    Coby gives sports equipment to Winty J
    He is a really humble, cool brother, but Evondale “Coby” Coburn, who makes annual trips back to his old home town, Belize City, believes that a lot more could be done to help the situation of youths through sports if more Belizeans, especially former sportsmen and women living abroad, would chip in with a little help for sporting programs in the Jewel. “I need to challenge these guys, to let them understand that these kids are not asking for any handouts; they just need an opportunity.” On his trip back home for the Easter holidays, Coby brought a bunch of brand new sporting equipment which he handed this morning to sport/culture icon Vincent “Winty J” Johnson, who presently resides in Mahogany Heights. Included in two nylon sacks were eleven pairs of football boots, 4 footballs, 1 basketball, 4 training cones, a ball pump with two needles, a game whistle, and a ball control “Soccer Trainer” kit, all brand new. Receiving the gifts, a delighted Winty J said, “Give thanks, man; those youths will be happy this evening.”

    “Steeler” first recipient of Cycling Federation’s Philanthropy Award
    Each year, the Cycling Federation of Belize (CFB) will award this prize to a deserving person. Mr. Garbutt was the recipient of this year’s award, which was held at the closing ceremonies at BTL Park. We congratulate Mr. Garbutt, and are looking forward for the next deserving awardee. (The text below is from the award ceremony.) CFB 2016 Philanthropy Award: The word philanthropy is synonymous with the name Raymond ”Steeler” Garbutt. Our award today is fitting to a guy who has literally been giving and giving and giving. In fact, that giving didn’t just happen out of the clear blue sky. It all began with his late father, who started the tradition of donating $100.00 as station prize at the Garbutt Service Station in Roaring Creek. Since then, that figure has grown considerably. Mr. Garbutt not only donated to the Holy Saturday Cross Country, but every single race that passes through, or finishes at the Gas Station, rest assured, there will be a prize.

    NEBL teams fight for playoff positions
    On Friday night, Smart Belize Hurricanes hosted their city rivals, Belize City No Limit at the Belize Elementary School gym in Belize City. Smart Belize Hurricanes had a 39-33 lead going into intermission, which was reduced to 1 point in the third quarter by Belize City No Limit. However, Smart Belize Hurricanes was able to muster a strong fourth quarter to easily seal the 74-63 victory. Smart Belize Hurricanes (10-2) was led by league-leading scorer Farron Louriano, who tallied 23 points and 8 rebounds, while Leroy Louriano had 11 pts, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebs. Akeem Watters finished with a double-double, with 10 pts and 11 rebs. The top scorer for Belize City No Limit (4-6) was Jamal Augustine with 17 pts and 5 rebs, while Michael Babbles had 13 pts, 4 assists and 3 rebs. Lennox Bowman tallied 11 pts and 4 rebs, and Keith “Superman” Acosta finished the night with 12 boards and 6 pts.

    Police United clinches Champions League berth, Verdes misses PLB playoffs
    With 3 back matches completed over the past few days, the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2015-2016 Closing Season regular season is finished; and although the official results have not yet been released by the league, the number tally, according to game results from all our sources, shows Police United with a 1 point advantage over Belmopan Bandits in the combined regular season totals, thus securing the berth to CONCACAF Champions League even if they should fail to win the Closing Season championship. In last Thursday night’s back match at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium, it was visiting Police United, 2-1, over Wagiya; and on Saturday night, again at the Michael Ashcroft, Police United again visited and secured a 1-1 draw against Placencia Assassins, to put them at the top of the regular season standings, as well as first in the combined totals. (See our unofficial standings below.)

    Editorial: Stand up, Belize
    Belize, the independent and sovereign nation on the Central American mainland “in the heart of the Caribbean basin,” should let the republic of Guatemala, the region, and the world know that the new status quo at the Sarstoon River is not acceptable. Over the last year there has been a pattern of Guatemalan military aggression at the Sarstoon River, punctuated by two critical, disrespectful statements by the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, which has resulted in a de facto Guatemalan control of the Sarstoon River which constitutes a violation of Belize’s southern border. A lot of media and public attention has been focused on the sometimes quixotic remarks and behavior of the Belizean Foreign Minister, but, to a certain extent, Hon. Sedi Elrington has been a distraction. It is the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Belize to whom the attention should have been paid. Mr. Elrington speaks and acts for and on behalf of the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, and for and on behalf of the Cabinet which Mr. Barrow leads and dominates. The way the political system in Belize works, the power of the Prime Minister is very, very great. We all know this by now. Belizean Prime Ministers can push around anyone in Belize, and this must give our Prime Ministers awesome personal pride, confidence, and satisfaction.

    From the Publisher
    There are absurdities and contradictions in life, one of the most interesting and relevant being the fact that from the day you are born, you actually begin to die. From one perspective, then, life is a journey to death. Along this journey, human beings develop different outlooks on the life process in which they are involved, and sometimes we describe these different outlooks as religions, or philosophies. We humans are always trying to explain, to understand, the absurdities and contradictions, yea the pains, which are features of life. For most human beings, there is what we call a work week. Then there is a weekend. Before our third millennium time, the work week in the Western world was sometimes six days, and the weekend was only one day – usually called the Sabbath. For most of us, work has elements of drudgery, so the spiritual renewal usually associated with Sabbath activities had a practical function in that spiritual renewal assisted us in facing another week of work. On the Sabbath, we found a meaning for life in faiths which strengthened us. In the case of the majority of Belizeans, important, life-changing events occurred for our ancestors in the fifteenth century, more than five centuries ago, when Europe first began to enter the African and American continents. Entry, of course, soon became invasion and conquest, the conquerors being Europeans who practiced different Christian religions.

    Rejoice, West Indies!
    Wow! Champions! West Indies Men’s Cricket Team delivered a scintillating victory beating England by four wickets in the International Cricket Council’s World Twenty Over Final. Marlon Samuels, Man of the Match, had a brilliant innings with 85 runs scored and Carlos Brathwaite sealed the victory by masterfully launching four sixes in a row, when we needed 19 runs from 7 balls, to bring home the championship. Beautiful, gentlemen! You have brought sweetness to the Caribbean! I know CLR James is smiling in heaven. Fire blaze! Celebrate! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! God bless you all always.

    Santa Familia’s drinking water problems
    The dry season is upon us and already one community is feeling the effects. The Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, in a “public advisory” dated March 30, informed villagers of Santa Familia that they should “treat water before using it for drinking by adding one tablespoon of Clorox to five gallons of water, mix completely and leave for at least thirty minutes before using, or boil water at a rolling boil for at least one minute.” The coordinator of initiatives that fall under the Rural Development portfolio, Ernest Banner, told Amandala that there is a “rudimentary water supply in Santa Familia” that is provided through the pumping of water from a well to a reservoir, and from this reservoir the water is distributed to villagers’ yards and homes. However, due to the dry season, there isn’t sufficient water in the well, and so the authorities are using the river, to supply the reservoir.

    Long live West Indies cricket!
    The West Indies has a long and proud tradition of cricketing greatness with deadly fast bowling, explosive batting performances and strategizing genius. Today, Sunday, April 3, the West Indies Men’s Team won a magnificent victory beating England by four wickets, with a score of 161(runs)/6(wickets),to raise the championship trophy of the International Cricket Council’s World Twenty-Over Tournament final in Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India. Marlon Samuels, Man of the Match, steadied the ship of the West Indies’ batting attack with a brilliant contribution of 85 runs while Carlos Brathwaite sealed the victory by masterfully launching four sixes in a row in the night sky ‘beyond the boundary’, when the team needed to score 19 runs from 7 balls, to bring home the championship in style and fashion.

    Belize Bank has yet to pay us: Evergreen
    About two weeks ago, Amandala broke the story that late last year the Belize Supreme Court ruled in case 656 of 2014, that Belize Bank Ltd. (the defendant in the case) must pay Evergreen E-Pay Solutions Ltd. (the claimant who brought the case against Belize Bank Ltd.) a sum of over USD$3,309,373 for abruptly ending a business arrangement into which the bank had entered with Evergreen for the provision of Internet Payment Service Provider (IPSP) services and a referral program for potential e-commerce merchants. On December 18, 2015, an oral judgment, followed by a written one, laid out the financial repercussions that would be suffered by Belize Bank, which, according to the judgment, firstly failed in its business dealings with Visa International Inc. to comply with established guidelines and regulations as it pertains to third party agents; and secondly violated its obligations to Evergreen by terminating a written and unsigned agreement between the two parties, which while unsigned, according to the judgment, was legally binding based on the words and conduct of the parties involved (Belize Bank Ltd. and Evergreen).

    Man dies, woman lives in 2 separate road accidents
    Hilberto Coyoc, 40, a farmer of Trial Farm, lost his life, while Julia Arana, 45, of Orange Walk Town, is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after they were knocked down in two separate road accidents that occurred in Orange Walk Town on Thursday and Friday nights. The drivers who were involved in the two accidents – Benjamin Carrillo, Sr., 60, a labourer of Orange Walk Town, and Hon. Abelardo Mai, UDP representative for Orange Walk South respectively – have both been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) by police. The first of the two accidents took place at about 8:30 Friday night, when Julia Arana was knocked down by a vehicle being driven by the Hon. Abelardo Mai. As a result Arana suffered a fractured skull and several broken bones in her body. She was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital and from there she was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she has been admitted to ward.

    Was it suicide, or murder? Post-mortem declares murder
    There was much uncertainty surrounding the death of Oscar Ulysis Castillo Gomez, 41, a construction worker of Lords Bank and a father of four children, who some believed died as a result of cutting his own throat, while others suspected he was murdered. Police, however, believed it was murder and were awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination of Gomez’ body to certify the cause of his death. Alex Williams, at whose home the incident which resulted in Gomez’s death took place, and who was an “eyewitness” to the incident, told Amandala that Gomez was acting strangely, and took a knife and stabbed his own throat. The incident occurred at about 6:30 Friday evening, March 18, on Cahal Pech Street in Lords Bank. A post-mortem exam conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on Gomez’s body at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Thursday certified the cause of Gomez’s death to be “exsanguinations due to external bleeding due to internal jugular vein injury due to stab wound to the throat,” but it also revealed something far more telling: Gomez suffered eight stab wounds to the throat – four of which went two and a half inches deep, and another that went three and a half inches deep. For that reason, police have declared his death a murder.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Council of Mayan Communities formed in South
    Several Belizean organizations representing indigenous Maya have allied with their counterparts in the southern Petén of Guatemala in order to address improved management of natural resources and most pressing social and economic needs of residents in the Adjacency Zone straddling the Belize-Guatemala border. The […]

    Belizeans living abroad petition US, UK over dispute with Guatemala
    Belizeans living in the United States and United Kingdom have taken up the cause of the Belize-Guatemala dispute, with separate petitions asking those countries’ lawmakers to speak out. Paul Golder launched a petition on the UK Parliament website seeking 10,000 signatures for a formal response […]

    Man beats firearms charges
    Thirty-two year old Daniel Meighan, a security guard at National Youth Cadet Corps and living in Rockville on the George Price Highway, was freed of two charges, kept firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license, after they were dismissed on Monday by the Chief […]

    Tenant pleads guilty to wounding landlord
    Thirty-six year old Glenford Soberanis was fined $1,500 after he chopped his landlord, 69 year old Lloyd Flowers, aka “Lloydie Panades,” during an argument early on Sunday morning. The misunderstanding between the two could have proven fatal after Soberanis used a machete to deliver a […]

    World Health Day to be observed on Thursday
    World Health Day, observed each year on April 7th, is focusing on beating diabetes for 2016 with global activities taking place on that day, possible through the assistance of the World Health Organization (WHO). Belize’s Ministry of Health issued a press release earlier today […]

    Teenager charged for armed robbery in Punta Gorda
    In the wake of an armed robbery at James Shop on Jose Maria Nunez Street in Punta Gorda Town, police have arrested and formally charged 17-year-old Clinton Medina of the Hopeville area for ‘robbery with a firearm’. On the night of Monday, March 21st, […]

    Over a pound of weed seized by San Ignacio Police
    Within an hour yesterday afternoon, San Ignacio Police conducted special anti-drug operations in three areas and seized a total of 1.3 pounds of cannabis, all of which were labelled as ‘found property’ since no one was in any of the immediate areas. At around […]

    Bullet Tree teen missing
    San Ignacio Police and the mother of 16-year-old Heidi Teck are asking for the public’s assistance in locating the missing girl who was last seen a week ago on Tuesday, March 29 after she left her home in Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo. Esther Teck, […]

    Five charged for threatening to kill police officers
    After detaining two Hispanic males in the Planting Patch Area of Benque Viejo Town on March 12th for un-customed goods, a pair of police officers were ambushed by nine persons who threatened to kill them with machetes and rocks. The officers reported that a […]

    Two men detained for unlawful sex with a female minor
    A 13-year-old female minor in the company of her father, a 50-year-old businessman of Belmopan City, reported to police on Sunday that between the months of November and December last year, she was abused by four men on different occasions. The girl’s father initially […]

    Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern vacations in Belize
    After his 2010 visit to Belize, Andrew Zimmern was recently back in Belize but this time not to film. The popular TV personality was here to spend some quality time with his family on vacation. Zimmern kept his followers posted of his exotic trip […]

    Blogs

    My Love-Hate Relationship With the World Of Travel
    I am a bad traveler. That may seem like a strange admission to make for an expat. Travel is, after all, part of the deal…you can’t really live abroad without traveling—at least to the country in which you plan to settle. And to be sure, I love to see and experience other towns, cities, beaches, mountains…the lure of foreign lands and exotic adventures has not diminished for me during my years abroad. It’s just getting back and forth to these places that takes the wind out of my sails. I’ve packed so many bags, folded myself into so many cabs, stood in line at so many airports, stuffed myself into so many airline seats, waited on so many benches in so many bus terminals… Listen to me complaining about having to travel the world. I know…it’s the dream lifestyle for many people. And in truth, it’s my ideal existence as well. I would not trade a minute of my time exploring the world as an expat for any other way of life. But I also have to admit that the actual act of traveling no longer holds the same thrill it once did for me.

    Economic Growth is an Idea
    “Creativity is subjective, the truth isn’t.” Truth in advertising is a key challenge in the sustainability movement as the pressures for creative greenwashing are everywhere. The struggle to represent sustainability honestly is a tough road to follow. It is not easy to demonstrate the clash between economic growth and ecological overshoot in order to prevent societal collapse. But economic growth is really a learned idea that we can change and mature. Although economic growth is a cultural idea of our own creation, the tradition is passed on as if it is unchangeable. It is our current economic model that serves as the overarching strategy dominating our communities and overriding the way we interact with the natural world. The trouble is, economic growth is a belief system and set of practices that aims to achieve — every day — ever more goods and services, forever. This requires ever more raw materials and energy from the economy of Nature, not a limitless source. While growth may have served many of us well, we’ve been bumping into ecological limits for some time now and unless we discover a continual supply of resource rich planets that we can use, we’re in trouble. While greening economic growth may, over the short term, seem to improve some aspects of our damage to the planet, it won’t be enough. Green growth like many other environmental initiatives in our struggle towards reining in the human endeavor, still falls under the umbrella of growth.

    CARBUNKLE TRUMPET’S TRIP REPORT – CHANGE ON THE ISLAND
    “Oh it has been 3 years since your last visit; a lot has changed on the island.” “Wait till you see the change on the island.” “Get ready to see a bunch of changes on the island.” “The island has changed, it isn’t the same.” “They have ruined that island, it isn’t the same!” Boy, some of you guys really know how to make one wonder what the hell they are getting into when they are heading back down below the 18th latitude. I hate to disappoint those of you who have tuned in to read me eviscerate the island but not much has changed in my humble opinion; For those of you saying “Ok, smartass, we get it!” let me qualify something. Change is inevitable; if you don’t change then you will either become obsolete or you go out of business. I work for a company that raises an eyebrow if the comment “We have always done it that way” is said because there is always room for improvement. Just imagine what would have happened if a US Gringo who married an Island girl didn’t say 39 years ago “I am going to fly people from the mainland to the island.” Where would San Pedro or Belize be if Tropic Air wasn’t born back in 1979? Yes I am talking about John Grief but come on guys, isn’t the road north to Las Terazzas much better than potholes and puddles? Was the traffic so horrible on the island that it drove me crazy? You are talking to a fucking New Yorker!! At least they aren’t honking their horns like they do here in Gotham. Sadly we can’t keep an island from growing just like we can’t keep a puppy or newborn from growing up.

    International Sourcesizz

    San Pedro Golf Cart Ban Highlights Belize’s Growing Tourism Profile
    Despite the mayor’s ban on their importation, it appears golf carts are still being brought into San Pedro, Belize. The small resort town’s golf cart cache was discovered this week by vigilant reporters from the San Pedro Sun, the local newspaper, who posted an article detailing the “containers full of carts” arriving at the local pier. The carts arrived despite earlier promises from Daniel Guerrero, San Pedro’s mayor, that golf cart rental companies would be barred from increasing their fleets. Admittedly golf carts aren’t often found beyond resort properties and, of course, golf courses in most Caribbean destinations. But in San Pedro, an increasingly popular coastal town treasured for its narrow downtown streets, the golf cart is the primary mode of motorized transportation. Moreover the mayor’s ban was prompted by a full-blown, golf cart-driven transportation crisis resulting in “constant complaints, letters from disgruntled visitors [and] residents’ vocal opposition following overwhelming traffic," the Sun reports.

    Brother of Woman Killed by Police Denied Visa to Attend Funeral by U.S. Gov’t
    The U.S. Government’s refusal to allow 34-year-old Delon Michael into the country from Belize has delayed the burial of his sister Kisha Michael by nearly a month and a half. 31-year-old Kisha Michael was killed the morning of Feb. 21 when Inglewood police approached a vehicle she was in near Manchester Boulevard and Inglewood Avenue. According to the police, when they approached the car, they noticed Michael in the car with a gun and ordered her and Marquintan Sandlin, 32, a single father of four daughters, out of the vehicle. Officers then took cover and opened fire, killing both people. Michael, the mother of 3 young sons was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting, and Sandlin died later at a hospital. Rosalind Osler, 54, says that she has been working diligently to get her daughter’s older brother Delon here from Belize so that along with Kisha’s twin sister Trisha, they could properly mourn as a family and lay her to rest. Last month, the U.S. Embassy in Belize denied Delon, a government worker in Orange Walk, a visa to come to the U.S. for his sister’s funeral.

    Over half of World Heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon National Park and China's Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries are at risk from oil, gas and mining industries
    Half of the world's natural World Heritage sites are at risk from harmful industrial activities such as mining, dredging or drilling for oil, a report has warned. Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon National Park in the US and China's Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - home to more than 30 per cent of the world's endangered pandas - are among the 'incredible places' being put at risk, wildlife charity WWF said. Of 229 natural or mixed World Heritage sites, which have been designated wholly or partly because of their natural formations, habitats for threatened species or their conservation, scientific or aesthetic value, 114 are under threat. The study also said more than eleven million people worldwide rely on World Heritage sites for food, water, shelter and medicine, and damaging development could harm them. Nine out of 10 (90 per cent) of sites provide jobs and benefits that stretch beyond their borders, and the protected areas help relieve poverty and food insecurity, tackle climate change and promote sustainable use of natural resources, it claims.

    Fishing for the future of Caribbean coral reefs
    New science-based fishery regulations are needed if coral reefs are to have a future in the face of climate change. The study shows that Caribbean coral reefs are experiencing mounting pressure from global warming, local pollution and over-fishing of herbivorous fish. An international team, led by University of Queensland researchers, has found that tighter fishery regulations are needed to preserve corals of the Caribbean. Researcher Dr Yves-Marie Bozec, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said herbivorous parrotfish were needed because they eat seaweed, which can smother coral and prevent corals from recovering. “While several countries in the Caribbean have taken the bold step of banning the fishing of parrotfish (including Belize, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos Islands), parrotfish fisheries remain in much of the region,” Dr Bozec said. The research team analysed the effects of fishing on parrotfish and combined this with an analysis of the role of parrotfish on coral reefs. “We conclude that unregulated fisheries will seriously reduce the resilience of coral reefs,” Dr Bozec said.

    A Potemkin Village for Porfirio Díaz
    President Porfirio Díaz came to Yucatán with a short list of things he needed to do. The announced purpose for the visit in 1906 was routine and boring — to attend the Governor’s inauguration and dedicate some new public works. In reality, Díaz arrived with the following to-do list in his vest pocket: Item: Patch things up with the Yucatecans for taking away half their state. Item: Squelch rumors of slave labor on the henequen plantations. Of course, there was other business as well, mostly along the lines of exchanging flattery and support with local political allies. Yucatán’s governor, rich and powerful Olegario Molina Solís, had just been re-elected to a second term, an action as controversial as the President’s own multiple re-elections. And the wealthy state of Yucatán itself, isolated from the rest of Mexico and always with a streak of independence, was not as firmly under his control as he would have liked. A good, strong dose of Díaz power and cult of personality could help. The main list needed his attention, though. Barely three years before his arrival, Díaz had divided Yucatán state to create the new Territory of Quintana Roo. With the new territory, Díaz had gained Federal and personal control over valuable land grants and export duties. But Yucatán, bitterly remembering its losses of Belize, Petén, and Campeche over the centuries, was still protesting over this latest outrage. Could he use patronage effectively to quiet down the opposition?

    We Asked an Offshore Banking Industry Insider How the Feds Will Respond to the Panama Papers
    "The US essentially shut down the country of Belize's banking system back in November or December. There was Bank of Belize, and the government said they were hiding clients who didn't pay taxes, so they shut them down. The Bank of Belize was the clearinghouse for every offshore bank in the country. So just about every offshore bank was shut down for three or four months, and they're just starting to get back up and running. "

    8th Annual International "Dorado de Plata/Silver Dorado' and "Picudo/Billfish" Sports Fishing Tournaments
    Our friends and neighbours from across our Mexico border extend a cordial invitation to all avid sports fisher folks, guides and enthusiasts - Mahahual, Mexico Invites all Belize Sports Fisher folks to their 8th Annual International "Dorado de Plata/Silver Dorado' and "Picudo/Billfish" Sports Fishing Tournaments. Two tournaments packed in 3 days of fun, entertainment, excitement and activities. Will see you there!!! It is all happening this weekend Friday April 8th, Saturday April 9th and Sunday April 10th at the beautiful coast of Mahahual Quintana Roo. Grand Prize for the Silver Dorado includes: 1) Largest Dorado - Bradn New Pick-up Truck 2) Second Place - Motorcycle and Trophy 3) Third Place - Motorcycle and Trophy Blue Marlin will count for 3000 points White Marlin will count for 2000 points Sailfish will count as 1000 points

    Videos

  • Belize Pilot Serve Team, 4min.

  • BELIZE 2016, 9min.

  • Easter Placencia Belize bikini contest, 3min.

  • Belize Concrete, 1min.

  • Belize - Flight from Gallon Jug Airstrip to Belize City 2016 Apr. 01, 3min. Private flight from Gallon Jug Airstrip (Chan Chich Lodge) to Belize City (BZE) on a Cessna 208 Caravan with Maya Island Air.

  • CAHAL PECH, San Ignacio Belize, 7.5min. Cahal Pech is in San Ignacio, The site sits atop the hill and is considered a royal city. It is fairly small but it has been pulled out of the jungle for us to return to and visit. We have been here twice, it is a great spot to go, sit and have a picnic as well .. the sounds of nature surround you ..it is a really great place to visit ..

  • Belize SeaWeed Producers Industry, 1min. Belize SeaWeed Producers Industry Placencia Producers Cooperation Society Ltd Shamax Productions 2015 822-2536.

  • Gallon Jug, Belize - Laguna Verde 2016 Mar. 31, 1.5min. Enjoying the beauty of Laguna Verde near Chan Chich Lodge in Gallon Jug, Orange Walk, Belize.

  • Diving in Mexico and Belize, 34min. 6 weeks spent diving in all around mexico and on Caye caulker in Belize. Shot with a gopro hero 4 silver along with 2 Archon d11v video lights, apart for a few clips in Socorro that were shot with at Sony rx100.

  • Turning Reef Predators Into A Delicacy, 6min. And that awesome flavor, would go great on some lionfish! That's right, the venomous reef predator makes a tasty meal. This feature prepared by Oceana Belize looks at the Lionfish as good food - in a sort of cooking feature that shows you how to prepare this emerging delicacy:... Lionfish is widely offered at restaurants in Placencia and the Cayes. min.

  • Belize’n the Dancing Queen, 4min. See that girl, watch that scene...

  • BELIKIN, BELIZE, 1min.

  • Caroline Studios - Belize, 3min.

  • Parasailing with Belize Parasail Ltd, 6.5min. Parasailing with Belize Parasail Ltd.

  • Agitation to Relaxation -- A Short Trip to Belize, 3min. A getaway trip To Belize. Pictures, movies and time lapses of San Pedro, Belize.

  • Easter Placencia Belize bikini contest 5, 3.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 10min. Reflections on 16 years of mission work in Belize

  • IRIS GOES TO BELIZE, 8min. This has got to be the MOST EPIC SPRING BREAK trip of my life.

  • Crisis On Belize's Sarstoon Island: A Progressive Media Forum!, 90min. The progressive Belizean KREM TV television show, The Morning Review, hosted by Sister Yaya Marin Coleman, analyzed the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) expedition to Belize's Sarstoon Island on Sunday August 16, 2015, at the advent of widespread objection by Belize government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Security. Aired during a climate of political tension surrounding the BTV's relentless struggle to resist by all means the Guatemalan military oligarchy claims that the Sarstoon Island is a 'disputed' territory, the show presented the views and analysis of Belizean journalist, Bilal Morris of BREDAA, and Patrick Rogers of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP).

  • A Tribute To The Late Belizean Mayan Activist Julian Cho, 10min. In 1996, Belizean Mayan activist Julian Cho visited Washington in the United States to draw attention to the plight of the Belizean Mayans and to stop 17 logging concessions that that the Belize government under the Esquivel Administration had granted to international logging companies, one in particular, the Malaysian logging giant Atlantic Industries, to log on Mayan ancestral lands. A law suit was filed against the Belizean government to stop the logging but Cho who died mysteriously afterwards did not live to see the fruits of his struggle as the Belizean Mayas won an unprecedented victory against government in the Belize supreme court a few years later. Today illegal logging continues to plague Belize's Ministry of Natural Resources and its forestry department under the Barrow administration. The documentary celebrates the struggle of this Belizean revolutionary.

    April 5, 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

    San Pedro AIDS Commission undertakes new beautification project
    An educational and sensitive message on HIV/AIDS is being portrayed on a mural at the local high school. This is another of the several beautification projects that the San Pedro Aids Commission has engaged in, with the purpose of launching an attractive educational campaign about the consequences of contracting the deadly virus. According to Felix Ayuso, President of the San Pedro Aids Commission, they have several projects on the table, but are tackling them one at a time. He added that they want to be more involved in the community, and with the mural by the San Pedro High School (SPHS), this is their first step in promoting their services on the island. After several of their past murals around town were vandalized, Ayuso takes this opportunity to ask the community to be more supportive and take the matter seriously. “There is a message of awareness, love and how to treat others with the virus in our paintings,” he said. “Every time our paintings are vandalized, we paint them over again. However, that is not the purpose; we want everyone to be more concerned and educated about HIV/AIDS.

    2016 Lobster Fest is set!
    It has been more than a month since lobster season closed, and a number of folks sure miss the taste of the succulent crustacean. But great news has arrived from the San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee (SPLFC). Almost two and half months prior to the launch of this years’ Lobster Fest, the official date of the festivities is being announced, which gives participants plenty of time to prepare. Voted the #1 festival in Belize by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the 10th annual San Pedro Lobster Fest will be kicking off with a pre-season opening party on Wednesday, June 15th. The SPLFC along with the San Pedro Business Association would also like to announce that they have newly constructed a website: www.sanpedrolobsterfest.com, which provides a rundown of the festival. For the most part, the majority of dates have been confirmed for 2016.

    More carts arrive on the island despite constant complaints
    Despite constant complaints, letters from disgruntled visitors, and residents’ vocal opposition, overwhelming traffic remains a major problem on Ambergris Caye. On many occasions, the Mayor of San Pedro Town has stated that no golf cart rental companies would be allowed to increase their fleet. However, the arrival of containers full of carts says otherwise. The question remains: “How does the addition of so many more carts resolve our growing traffic problem?” In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Daniel Guerrero indicated that effective Friday, April 1, 2016, a moratorium on the importation of golf carts to the island will kick in, ending the situation. “The moratorium has already kicked in for the vehicles, as no more luxurious or big vehicles are allowed on the island. But starting April, the moratorium will apply to everything, especially for golf cart companies that want to bring additional golf carts, it will not happen,” said Guerrero. He did admit that in the past week a few additional golf carts made it to some of the island’s golf cart rental companies. However, he assured it is coming to an end very soon. “No more golf carts are coming for the rentals and no more new golf cart rental companies will be granted permits to open,” said Guerrero. “The only additional golf carts you might see coming to the island is because these places have permits to bring over a certain amount of carts and they have not brought in all of them. However, when a permit is issued, is only good for three months, after that it is voided. So they need to bring whatever it is within that period of time.” Guerrero also mentioned that after April 1st no more permits will be issued and to his knowledge, if there are any additional golf carts coming to the island after that date, it is a very minimal amount.

    Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!
    As a tourism destination, excessive garbage in public areas should be non-existent. In San Pedro alone, plastic, aluminum, Styrofoam, glass, and paper often make an unpleasant appearance on our streets, beaches, and empty lots. Not only does garbage make people’s nose cringe, it also has consequences such as extensive pollution and health problems. In an effort to maintain a healthy society, the San Pedro Town Council urges residents to eliminate unsightly waste by not littering. Improper disposal of garbage happens when people opt to drop their garbage anywhere, rather than finding a proper bin to throw it in. Mayor Daniel Guerrero is concerned about the unappealing sight of trash and it is their biggest problem. “We have to make changes. It is not like we are not fighting it, it is just the people. We have to change this culture of throwing trash everywhere,” said Guerrero. Most of our solid waste is not biodegradable, so trash can survive for thousands of years. When people throw garbage in the ocean, marine creatures are subjected to ingesting those items. “We have talked about banning foam plates and foam cups and encouraging biodegradable products. It is expensive, but that is where the government kicks in, and gives an incentive,” said Guerrero.

    Ambergris Today

    New Executive Board Elected for San Pedro Justice of the Peace Association
    After a dormant period of two years, the San Pedro Chapter of the Justices of the Peace Association held election of officers for the period 1916-1918. Very popular figure, always active inspirational speaker and philanthropist, Clive Welsh, was first coaxed and then unanimously supported so that he easily accepted the very honorable and respectable position of President of the San Pedro Justices of the Peace Association. Other elected and even self nominated members are Angel Nuñez Vice President, Gerardo Reyes Secretary, Maria Elena Alamilla Treasurer and Ana Ico and Pedro Salazar Sr. Directors. (pictured above: Gerarfo Reyes, Maira Elena Alamialla, Clive Welsh and Angel Nuñez) The meeting held at Sun Breeze Conference Room listened to a report of outgoing President, who basically apologized for not being active as a group. "There are nine chapters of J.P. Associations in Belize," said National President Danny Madrid. “I would like to boast of San Pedro being the top in the country as it is in many other realms, but unfortunately it is not so."

    Celebrity Spotting – Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Visits Blue Hole
    Last week the town was buzzing with the news of celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern being in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize. Zimmern, a famous food writer, TV personality famous for his hosting Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel, last visit to the island was back in 2010 when he filmed for the Travel Channel. On his Instagram account, Zimmern says he and his family spent “eight glorious disconnected days” in Belize enjoying sun, sand, sea, and even ancient Maya exploring in the mainland. He and his family were spotted dining at island favorite Blue Water Grill among others, visited the Truck Stop and calling it his new favorite joint, eating cow foot soup, snorkeling the Great Blue Hole, visiting Xunantunich Maya Archeological Site and exploring the cave of the crystal maiden, Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave). Andrew enjoyed vacationing in Belize with his wife Rishia and son Noah.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch April 9th Cookout Fun
    Come join the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch for a fun afternoon of food, drinks, music and fun! Saturday, April 9th starting at 1pm at Caribe Island Resort. Just 2-1/2 Miles South - turn toward the beach at Marin's Market towards Suya Tours or by boat - look for the pink and pull up to the dock. Your $25 BZ donation will net you a delicious plate of food, plus one drink. Additional beer, rum or sodas are available for additional donations. We will auction off great treats from Mata Rocks, Suya Tours, Black Orchid, Lone Star Cantina and MORE. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon but with music by Valentino and good neighbors and their guests - everyone is welcome! See you Saturday!

    Splashers Paint Party Events
    Come paint with us "Lobster Claw Flower" this Thursday at Crazy Canucks. See you there! April 7, 2016, 2:00 PM

    Cayo a Top Central American Destination
    Congratulations are in order. Cayo was listed on Trip Advisor's top 10 Central American destinations, based upon travelers' experiences in the region. As it should be, since we have so much to do, including Cahal Pech, seen in the picture. Cayo came in at 7th place. San Pedro, the only other Belize entry, came in 1st place. "It’s true: parts of Belize are getting touristy. But San Ignacio remains rustic, making it a great base for budget-friendly tropical adventure travel. Canoe on the Macal River, or walk to Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech (just be warned: it's uphill)."

    Belizean Diaspora Voting Rights
    Help support the peace pilgrimage to Sarstoon this September... There are 1,188 members of Belizean Diaspora Voting Rights Face Book Group. If you are a member of this group and you are receiving this post, please consider making a personal commitment to join in peaceful solidarity with other Belizeans at home and abroad to Stand Up for Sarstoon in September. I have created a gofundme account to help pool our resources together to support a massive peaceful solidarity movement in September. There are many dedicated folks back home who have already begun the work of defending Belize’s territorial integrity. Those of us abroad can join in and help to broaden the coalition and bring folks together.

    2nd Annual Autism Awareness 5k April 17th in San Pedro
    Join us to run/walk to raise awareness of autism!

    Corozal Community College (CCC) Marching Band VICTORY Parade
    The Corozal Community College (CCC) Marching Band will be having its VICTORY Parade and performance on Friday April 8th, 2016. They will be starting from College Road at 4:00 p.m. and will end at Andres Campos Civic Center where they will perform. All past Marching Band members are asked to join wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. This is the beginning of the official launch of our 10 years anniversary!

    ANOTHER CON ARTIST IN BELIZE!
    This is a situation becoming too common in Belize. Former friend, Jamie Engledow Cozby says Tammy Tomaini working as a realtor in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is a "CON-ARTIST" and to beware. In a facebook post to the "Belize Expat" page Jamie Engledow Cozby writes and we quote: Just putting this information on this site so that it can be seen by as many people as possible. Its time she was stopped for good!This con artist by the name of TAMI MCDOWELL, whom came to San Pedro in November, unbeknownst to us,running from YEARS of criminal history back in Tallahassee ,Florida. She comes in the form of a petite and pretty bleach blonde,with big boobs and shiny white teeth(whom she conned a Florida dentist out of for 35,000 US). She came with an elaborate story that she owned a huge estate here in San Pedro from her deceased father(that supposedly lived here for 30 years and died last year). The huge house north of Grand Caribe supposedly was bringing her in income of 3500.00 US per month, when all along this house was never hers and the owners are the ones that built the house many years ago(they have since been informed of her bogus claims)

    Panama Papers Implicate Ashcroft’s BCB Holdings, Offering New Light to Belize’s Banking Crisis
    Lord Michael Ashcroft has endured quite a bit of negative media coverage in Belize for his past sweetheart business deals between his companies and the Government of Belize. Today, however, the past UK House of Lords member and previous deputy chairman of the Conservative Party is under fire after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed that his offshore company represented Mossack Fonseca in Belize. Mossack Fonseca is a Panama-based law firm whose services include incorporating companies in offshore jurisdictions, and although it is based in Panama, it runs a worldwide operation. It’s the world’s fourth largest provider of offshore services. On Sunday April 3rd, 2016, the international media was in a frenzy as it covered the global network of offshore companies helping the wealthy hide their assets. It is considered the biggest leak ever, larger than WikiLeaks’ and Snowden’s- at 11.5 million documents and 2.6 terabytes of information drawn from Mossack Fonseca’s internal database. More than three hundred journalists, the ICIJ claims, reviewed the leaked documents to expose a list of clients that included those involved in bribery, arms deals, tax evasion, financial fraud, and drug trafficking. The ICIJ reports that Belize Corporate Services (BCS), a subsidiary of Ashcroft’s company BCB Holdings, began using Mossack Fonseca to provide shell corporations for its clients in 2006. Belize Corporate Services also owns Belize Bank International and Belize Bank Limited.

    New Gilman Scholar currently posted in Belize
    The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce that there is a new Gilman Scholar currently posted in Belize is Ms. Johania Augustin. Ms. Johania is a college student at Kennesaw State University in the United States and is currently living in San Ignacio, Belize working at the Cornerstone Foundation to promote literacy as part of her fellowship. The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. International experience is critically important in the educational and career development of American students, but it can also require a substantial financial investment. The Gilman Scholarship Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study and intern destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

    Channel 7

    Businessman Narrates Testifying Tale Of Extortion In Chetumal
    On last week Thursday's news we told you about a Belizean businessman who had to be rescued from a Chetumal Hotel by the Mexican Navy after receiving a very serious extortion threat. Tonight, we have his full first hand account - and the story he relates may turn your view of Chetumal upside down - apparently, it's not the charming and relatively crime free border town you thought it was! But, first off, he asked us to mask his identity because the threats were so direct and made use of so much detailed personal information. But he says he had to come forward, because Belizeans need to recognize that when they go to Chetumal to breeze off for a weekend, the Mexican mafia could be watching them. His story begins on Easter Monday night, March 28th, at 11:40 in his room at the Fiesta Inn, when he, his wife and daughter were awakened by a person he thought to be the receptionist:...

    Selena's Second Killing In Three Months Is A Machete Murder
    The tiny village of Selena near Spanish Lookout has seen its second brutal murder in three months. 63 year old Guatemalan farmer Edgar Aldana was drinking with people he thought to be friends early Saturday morning. But one of the men turned on him, and hacked him to death. Courtney Weatherburne found out more today:... Plantain, Custard apple and lime - these are just a few of the fruit trees that Edgar Aldana planted and took care of for his friend. After maintaining the yard he would cool off on his hammock beneath the shade of his labor. He lived a routine and solitary life here on this farm. He moved to Belize from Guatemala about 6 years ago and has made this place his home. Now apart from farming, he also enjoyed hanging out with his friends in the school yard near his home. Aldana along with his friend Ruben Manzon and another man were all drinking late Friday night. Everything was quite normal until 2 other men from the village showed up at his house around 3:00 Saturday morning. That is when a confrontation erupted among Aldana, Manzon and the 2 men. One of the 2 men then pulled out a machete and chopped Aldana and Manzon to their head and face.

    PUP Rep Knocks Down Trial Farm Woman, She's Critical
    Last week, the major story in the news was the death of Gardenia Resident Dean Dawson Sr, who was knocked down by Government Press Office Director, Dorian Pakeman. Well, tonight, Jose Mai, who is the PUP's the Orange Walk South Area Representative, is the one under pressure after he knocked down Trial Farm Resident Julia Arana. She survived, but the mother of the well-known elite cyclist Nissan Arana, is in a critical condition at the KHMH tonight. We've learned that it happened at around 8:00 on Friday night in Trial Farm Village, less than 24 hours after Hilberto Coyoc was knocked down and killed there. Her family tells us that she was crossing the road when Mai knocked her down in his Toyota Hilux. We're told that she suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a concussion. She was bleeding from the head when she was rushed to the Northern Regional, and then further transferred to the KHMH. This afternoon, Nissan Arana, spoke with us about her current medical status, and about the possible causes of the accident:

    Cops Bust Human Smuggling Operation In Benque
    A human smuggling operation was busted this weekend in Benque Viejo. According to reports, sometime on Saturday night about two truckloads of police raided a home on Mahogany Street, in Benque Viejo Town. 12 Salvadorans, including 1 minor and 1 female were found inside. None of them had any cash or passports. The only thing in their possession was Salvadoran identification cards. They were believed to have been smuggled across the border, and then put up in a house by a couple from Benque. The smuggling operation had been ongoing for some days - and, investigators believe, that when the group gets large enough, they would then be taken north to Corozal, for smuggling to Mexico, and from there to the US. How did they get into Belize? Well, sources suggest that they may have been taken right across the border in a vehicle that usually isn't checked. Now as we said before, these persons were smuggled and not trafficked inside Belize. But in situations like these, especially cases involving minors, the difference between the two becomes muddied and a smuggled person might become a trafficked person. CEO in the Ministry of Human Development spoke to us about when and how they get involved in instances of the illegal transshipment of human beings.

    Police Waiting For Victim's Toxicology Report In Pakeman Case
    Last week, Government Press Office Director Dorian Pakeman knocked down and killed Gardenia resident Dean Dawson Sr. Right now, both he and the investigators are waiting to see whether or not he will be facing criminal charges. Ladyville Police told us that for this particular case, they will consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions on what decision should be taken. The DPP's Office has not received the police file on the case yet, and the reason for that, according to the commanding officer, is because they are waiting for a toxicology report. As we told you, a sample from Dean Dawson was taken and sent out for testing, and the results are not in as yet. As soon as the police know whether or not Dawson was under the influence when he died, the file and all the documents are supposed to be handed over to the DPP.

    A Multi-Million Dollar Youth Center For Southside
    4.6 million dollars will go into the construction of a brand new youth facility in the Lake I Community on Chetumal Street - south. The construction of this facility is a part of a wider Youth and Community Transformation Project that is being funded in part by the Government of Belize and the Caribbean Development Bank. Today, after almost 4 years of planning the ground was finally broken at a ceremony to mark the commencement of the works. Melissa Miralda, Human Dev. Coord. - Rehab Dept.: "Welcome to the Lake independence Resource Center ground breaking ceremony. This is an occasion whose time has come after years of planning and aspirations towards the commencement of this essential facility. I can attest that this dream has been shared by our director Miss Bradley for some time now. We dreamt of a space that is protected and safe, that is owned by the communities and where the germination such as sports, arts and culture, literacy and life skills to be honed and shared."

    Curfew Questions From Human Dev Dept.
    The topic of Child Curfew has been all over the news since Southside Commander ACP Chester Williams announced the launch of his 9pm Southside Kids Curfew a few weeks ago. Several child advocacy groups have expressed concerns about taking blameless children into the police station for parental neglect. The South Side Commander has since been making his rounds trying to build consensus amongst social sector stakeholders. The key agency in all this is the Ministry of Human Development. Today Judith Alpuche, the CEO in that Ministry, told us about some the concerns that they have with the proposed Child Curfew Program. "We understand and share the ultimate objective of keeping children safe. We have concerns about the methodology that is being proposed and so we are in discussions; I think that has come up in the media that we are in discussions with the police and other entities to see how we can do this more holistically. To me this is a piece of the puzzle - what we are doing here with the LIRC, what we are doing with the YCT, what is going on at Gateway, because it is really about the prevention side."

    BDF Soldier Was Ambushed By 7 Guatemalans
    BDF Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey continues to recover from his injuries which he suffered on Holy Saturday. He was ambushed near the Western Border in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, a short distance away from the Valentin Conservation Post which adjoins the Guatemalan village of La Rejoya. The government has not released any additional details on the incident, but an internal report written by the BDF to National Security CEO George Lovell was leaked to the media late last week. That report, dated March 31, confirms that the soldiers were ambushed by 7 men believed to be Guatemalan Nationals. 3 of them were armed with weapons which resembled .22 rifles. The patrol was on its way to conduct a water re-supply mission at the only water source nearby. That water source is in Belizean territory, about 343 meters east of the border. Staff Sergeant Lambey, who was the Valentin Patrol Commander, reportedly identified 3 separate groups of armed men on both sides of the trail.

    Health: Finnish Woman Didn't Get Zika in Belize
    A Finnish woman had an abortion after she tested positive for Zika - and the thing is, she recently visited Belize, Guatemala and Mexico and doesn't know where she was infected. The 33 year old woman was 5 months pregnant when she had the abortion. She did it because she feared her child would be born with microcephaly. She just didn't want to take the risk because tests were already showing the damage the virus was causing to the fetus's brain. Now the alarming element to this story is that she could have gotten infected in Belize. But Health CEO Dr. Ramon Figueroa said they believe she was infected in Guatemala and the Ministry is confident in their clean up efforts and surveillance routines. They will keep on monitoring but for now Belize still remains Zika free.

    Boledo Brouhaha On Sunday
    If you are a boledo and lottery enthusiast, you are probably still bitter about what happened with this Sunday's Lottery draw. There was an uproar from residents out at the Magistrates Court for the drawing when one of 4 balls didn't pop up in the chamber. The residents demanded they release all the balls and start all over but, instead, one of the supervisors manually picked the ball for the 2nd digit. That infuriated the crowd even more and reports are that people went to erase the numbers on the chalkboard and someone even banged on the machine. Police had to be called out to calm the crowd. Today we spoke with Lottery Committee Secretary Lewin Samuels and he explained to us what happened on Sunday and also what the standard procedure is in cases a like these. Lewin Samuels, Secretary, Lottery Committee: "Basically it was an unfortunate situation. What was reported to me is that whilst playing the lottery game, during the process of the first prize, the second ball did not popped up as per normal during the process of the first prize. So of 4 balls, we had 3 balls that came up; ball number 1,3 and 4. 3 and 4 which forms the winning lottery numbers - that the ending prize. The 4 did not popped up. But these machines which is the smart play machine, its computerized where it automatically selects the ball based on timing and for some unknown reason like anything else, you have a machine that malfunctions. The reason why we had a public unrest is because if they wanted to see the game be replayed.

    UDP's Ground Commander Plays Cagey
    The race for UDP first deputy - is really the race for the next party leader, and that's why with 6 to 8 weeks to go before a convention, both candidates are knocking themselves out for the support of a little over three hundred delegates. And to get delegates, you need standard bearers and representatives and so far the two have received several endorsements from their party colleagues. A few UDP parliamentarians have been very open about their favored candidate but some have been clutching their cards close to their chests. So who is the very vocal Minister Boots Martinez siding with in this heated race? You might think his most natural favorite would be Patrick Faber because that would keep the party power concentrated in the city. But it's not that simple, apparently: Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Minister of Human Development: "No sir." Reporter: "Both candidates have put forward. Why they feel like they are the better one?"

    The Panama Papers And Belize
    If you've been following the international news this weekend, you'll know all about the release of the Panama Papers. It's 11.5 million financial and legal records from a Panamanian law firm known as Mossack Fonseca and Company. The investigative journalists who reviewed these documents say that it exposes a global network of tax-evasion, which, quote, "enables crime, corruption and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies." They say that the leak from Mossack-Fonseca shows how 140 politicians, public officials, and prominent business persons from 200 countries and territories around the world, have attempted to hide a total of about $2 billion in offshore banks and shadow companies. The entire financial network, according to the Panama Papers, hinged on Mossack Fonseca and Company, which was the law firm allegedly hired to hide the monies of these 140 prominent individuals, including current and former world leaders, and politically or financially well-connected persons.

    Road Works In the Capital Have 5 More Months
    Belmopan is getting three new roundabouts and an overall facelift for the entire ring road. Last year contracts were awarded in the amount of $1.9 million dollars for a roundabout at the Guanacaste Park Junction and $6.1 million dollars for additional works inside the city. Bur residents want to know when will it be done, and when will they get their city back? We asked the Mayor: All works are expected to be completed by September. That means that the Belmopan population and those who are visiting have to endure five more months of grueling traffic congestion in the center of the city. The Mayor explained to us how their council is coping with this issue. Works are being conducted by RJB constructions and Belize Road way Construction Limited.

    Andrew Zimmern In Belize
    If you watch the Travel channel then you would know all about Andrew Zimmern and his popular show "Bizarre Foods." Well the famous food writer and TV personality was in Belize recently. He posted last week in his Instagram page that he and his family spent "eight glorious disconnected days" in Belize. They hit San Pedro Ambergris Caye, and Halfmoon caye, snorkeled in the Great Blue Hole and visited Xunantunich Maya Archeological site and explored the ATM cave. Now of course this is not Zimmern's first time in Belize. The Travel Channel star visited Belize in 2009 when he filmed a part of his new show "Bizarre World." Well it seems the eat-anything host of Bizarre foods enjoyed his stay quite a lot since he came back, this time tugging his family along for a few days of a Belizean style get-a-away. His Instagram posts have already gotten a couple thousand hits.

    Channel 5

    B.D.F. Report Calls for O.A.S. and Guatemalan Reaction after Shooting
    On Holy Saturday, B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was shot as he led a patrol to a water source near Valentin Camp in the Chiquibul. After undergoing treatment at the [...]

    Altercation in Selena Results in Bloody Murder
    The last time News Five travelled to the small community of Selena in the Cayo District, it was to cover the gruesome murder of Canadian producer Matthiew Klinck. Tonight, one [...]

    P.U.P. Deputy Leader Served With NIP for RTA
    Trial Farm resident Julia Arana remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after she was hit on Saturday night by Orange Walk South area representative Jose Abelardo Mai. Arana [...]

    Nissan Arana Says Mother’s Condition Has Improved
    Julia Arana is the mother of well-known cyclist Nissan Arana.  News Five spoke with him by phone this evening and he told us that he does not know much about [...]

    In the Wake of the Stirm – A Dual Perspective
    Debate continues to rage over remarks made by Evangelist Pastor Scott Stirm eight months ago comparing the Garifuna dugu ceremony to witchcraft. Scott has issued a light-hearted apology which has [...]

    Popular Catholic Priest Supports Garifuna Spirituality
    Appalling remarks made by Pastor Scott Stirm during his testimonial abroad continue to reverberate across the Garifuna community, in Belize and in the Diaspora.  While he has been candid in [...]

    Are Salvadoran Immigrants a Part of Human Smuggling Operation?
    Details are extremely sketchy and law enforcement authorities aren’t talking officially, but News Five has been able to confirm that at least eleven illegal immigrants were detained on Saturday night [...]

    Human Development Ministry Has Concerns about Curfew
    The implementation of a curfew on unaccompanied minors after nine p.m. by Eastern Division South Regional Commander Chester Williams has stirred a firestorm. ACP Williams announced several weeks ago that [...]

    ‘Boots’ Martinez Supports Curfew, But Says More Must Be Done
    Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez, however, says that he supports the initiative. But that a curfew imposed on children won’t address the issue of minors being recruited to commit violent crimes. [...]

    National Sports Council Under Fire for Parking Fees at MCC
    A little over a month ago there was public concern over the construction of a parking lot at the MCC Grounds by the Princess Group. News Five investigated and found [...]

    Anthony Morris Jr. Arraigned for Angelus Burglary
    The Angelus Press Limited which is located just across from the Queen Street Police Station was burglarized during the Easter holidays. The police did not detect that a crime was [...]

    Irvin Pitts Accused of Rape
    An alleged sexual offender was arraigned this morning before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Forty-two year old Irvin Pitts was arraigned on a single charge of rape which reportedly occurred [...]

    Lorenzo Garbutt on Remand for Alleged Rape of Minor
    Another case of sexual assault was before the Chief Magistrate today. Twenty-six-year old Lorenzo Garbutt is accused of raping a minor four times in the period between March twenty-fifth, 2015 [...]

    Largest Ever Data Leak Implicates World Leaders in Financial Shenanigans
    It’s being dubbed as the biggest leak in the history of data journalism – eleven point five million leaked files, two point six terabytes of confidential documents – linking current [...]

    ‘Boots’ Martinez Still Undecided in Support for U.D.P. Deputy Leader
    This Saturday, the United Democratic Party will hold a special national party council meeting to determine the date for a convention to elect a new first deputy leader. The post [...]

    Family of Dean Dawson Still Calling for Justice after Fatal RTA
    Last Wednesday, the Director of the Government Press Office hit and killed forty-five year old mechanic Dean Dawson between miles twenty-two and twenty-three on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Dawson died [...]

    Sister of Dawson Alleges Special Treatment of Driver Dorian Pakeman
    Diana Stevenson has carried out her own investigation at the scene of the accident in Gardenia Village on the Phillip Goldson Highway. She alleges Pakeman is getting special treatment.   [...]

    G.O.B. Breaks Ground for Rehab Center in Belize City
    A four point six million dollar facility will be constructed in the south side of the City with part of a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. When completed, it [...]

    Capio Launches Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative
    Two lucky young Belizeans with ideas on starting their own small business will get that opportunity, thanks to an initiative which was launched today. It’s the brainchild of another young [...]

    Football, Basketball and Cycling Events in Weekend Sports
    Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday.   The 2016 PLB closing season concluded regular season play yesterday inside the MCC Grounds as the Belize Defense Force [...]

    CTV3

    Mother Of Popular Cyclist Knocked Down
    On Friday night the Philip Goldson Highway was witness to yet another traffic accident. Luckily this one was not fatal but what is worrying is that it happened on the same stretch that claimed the life of 40 year old Trial Farm resident Hilberto Coyoc just a day before. Reports are that around 8:20pm, 54 year old Julia Arana was crossing the highway near the San Martin Gas Station in Trial Farm Village Orange Walk when she was knocked down by a Toyota Hilux traveling in the direction from Corozal to Orange Walk. The vehicle was driven at the time by Orange Walk South Area Representative and PUP Deputy Leader Honorable Jose Abelardo Mai. According to Orange Walk Police, while Mai tried to avoid hitting the victim he was unable to do so. Superintendent Selvin Tillett- Orange Walk Police Department:“He immediately stop to render aid an transported the female to the Northern Regional Hospital, the victim one Julia Arana, 39 years old domestic of Trial Farm Village, she was observed with injuries to the head and immediately underwent surgery and thereafter transported to the KHMH where she still remains under critical conditions, a urine sample has been obtained from Mr. Abelardo Mai and he had been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution and police continue investigating this issue.”

    Failure Of Lottery Machine Causes Chaos In Belize
    As viewers may recall, about six weeks ago during the Sunday lottery draw live show there was a malfunction with the machine that is utilized to conduct the drawing of the lottery numbers and as a result, the game had to be re-drawn to avoid any form of public chaos. However, tonight we can tell you that over the weekend, the machine malfunctioned for the second time and while the Lotteries Committee were attempting to resolve the problem, the Belizean citizens who were present to witness the live show at the Old Treasury Building in Belize City began to get uneasy and that is when things got out of hand. Reports are that two individuals went up to the board where the numbers were written and proceeded to wipe away the digits that had already been recorded by the supervisor. As a result of this particular action, authorities had to intervene to address the issue. Today we spoke to the Secretary of the Lotteries Committee, Lewin Samuels who told us about the incident.

    Upgrading Of Street To Continue In Orange Walk Town
    For the past couple weeks we have been reporting on works being carried out on several streets in town like Oleander street and most recently Orchid Drive. Today we have some more good news as the Orange Walk Town Council has been in discussion for a project that will see the rehabilitation and paving of eight major streets in Town. According to Mayor Kevin Bernard, even though these eight streets will be the main focus for the moment, the Orange Walk Town Council is working on the upgrading of several other streets.Mayor Kevin Bernard – Orange Walk Town Council:“Right now we ae in discussion with the contractor and after we have finalized the details I will then take the matter back to council so that we can get the resolution passed and then from se can see these works commence pretty soon, I think that is a very positive thing for our community and I want to say I am pretty sure there will be others that say but why these streets and not my street so while these streets we are going to work on we are still going to be looking at other areas for example I can tell you that the council has already purchased or is in the process of getting a proper roller compactor so that we can start to address more and more streets on our own so you should be seeing the council engaging in much more street works better street maintenance and better street repairs in terms of getting some of these things done.”

    BSI/ASR - OWTC And OWPD Seek To Rehabilitate Independence Plaza
    Also in their immediate plan to improve and upgrade infrastructure in our town, the Orange Walk town Council in partnership with the BSI/ASR and the Orange Walk Police have launched a campaign for the remodeling and restructuring of Independence Plaza, which has been in the shadows for quite some time. Today when we spoke to Mayor Bernard about the project he told us that he commends the initiative of BSI/ASR and the Orange Walk Police Department in taking a step forward in giving back to the community in a project that will bring the area back to life and create major benefit to families from the area and also residents from throughout Orange Walk Town.Mayor Kevin Bernard – Orange Walk Town Council:“I think that it is partnership like these that goes a long way because when you have a company such as BSI/ASR wanting to give back to their community in one way or the other and in this case the rehabilitation of the Independence Plaza is so benefitting because it will see a lot of improvements in that area, people uses that area a lot even though it may not be visible to many and it will bring much needed life to that area when the residence in the area and for families who travel that area wants to go and recreate in that area and I am sure that the police department will benefit a lot because now there will be now proper lighting there will be electricity in the area, we want to see our parks to become live again just like we did with Central Park and we are focusing on the Independence Plaza at this point in time and so definitely you should see some activity for our families and children.”

    Belize among List Of Top Ten Destinations In Central America
    TripAdvisor, an American website company that provides reviews of travel-related content internationally and is considered as the largest travel site in the world, has released their list of top ten recommended destinations to visit within Central America. Among the list of acknowledgement, San Pedro Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio Town in Belize were ranked as number one and number seven respectively.San Pedro, also known as ‘La Isla Bonita’, was categorized as number one on the list due to its gorgeous beaches and its profusion of dive shops that offer an assortment of recreational activities for tourists to enjoy. TripAdvisor also recommends travellers to visit Caye Caulker as it was classified as ‘less developed and more laid back with splendid swimming areas’.

    Belize Describes As A Tax Haven As Millions Of Documents Are Leaked
    Over the weekend the international media was in turmoil after a huge leak of confidential documents has revealed how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The documents show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax. In these documents it is speculated that that Belize Corporation Services (BCS), a subsidiary of Ashcroft’s BCB Holdings, which also owns the Belize Bank Ltd. and Belize Bank International Ltd., began using Mossack Fonseca to provide shell corporations for its clients in 2006. The documents went on to say that the Belize Bank International established a new company whose owners were the Panama firm’s founders, Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, along with partner Christopher Zollinger. The new firm was called M.F. & Co. (Belize) Limited and cooperated with BCS in creating companies and acting as registered agents in Belize.

    LOVE FM

    Ashcroft Companies Surface in The Panama Papers
    On the heels of a meeting, headed by the outgoing President of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, to discuss the financial challenges in the Caribbean due to the de-risking movements by the United States comes a report dubbed, The Panama Papers. The Panama Papers is the collection […]

    Cyclist and Son of RTA Victim Speaks to Media
    Elected Area Representative for Orange Walk South and the Opposition’s Deputy Party Leader for the northern region, Jose Abelardo Mai is in the hot seat tonight. Mai knocked down a woman on Friday in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk District. The incident happened just after eight o’clock in the night when Mai was heading to […]

    Elected Representative Faces Traffic Charges
    As we reported, forty six year old Jose Abelardo Mai has been issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution. Orange Walk’s Commanding Officer, Superintendent of Police, Selvin Tillett shared what charges Mai is facing. Selvin Tillett: “A urine sample has been obtained from Abelardo Mai and he has been served with a notice of intended prosecution […]

    Murder on School Compound in Western Belize
    Over the weekend, 63 year old Guatemalan national Edgar Aldana was chopped to death. It happened in the village of Selena in the Cayo District, specifically inside the compound of Iguana Creek Government School Compound. Apparently he and his friend got into a fight with two other men which resulted in his death. For more […]

    Curfew Will Not Solve the Problems, Says Minister Martinez
    Minister of HUman Development, Anthony “Boots” Martinez gave his view on the curfew being implemented on the southside of Belize City by Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams. Martinez said the curfew will not solve the problems of youths and there is much more for that can be done. ANTHONY MARTINEZ “A lot of the […]

    CEO Alpuche – Keen on Children’s Safety; Iffy on Curfew Methodology
    Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche says they only agree on the goal of child safety. JUDITH ALPUCHE “We definitely have concerns. We understand and share the ultimate objective of keeping children safe. We have concerns about the methodology that is being proposed and so we are in discussions, I […]

    Toledo Union Field to be Upgraded
    Footballers, other athletes and fans can look forward to enjoying a refurbished Toledo Union Field and facilities later this year. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG Refurbishing of work on the Toledo Union field which began last year is done by Coleman Construction Limited with director and project manager Steven Coleman. Steven Coleman: “Work continues and […]

    Woman’s Manslaughter Conviction Upheld by Appeals Court
    An appeal by 44 year old Rosallia Castillo, who was charged with murder but was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years, was dismissed today by Belize Court of Appeal. Castillo’s conviction and sentence were affirmed. On December 22, 2014 in a trial that was without jury, Justice Antonette Moore found Castillo guilty of […]

    Transformation Efforts via Resource Centre for Youth
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Transformation held a groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the Lake Independence Resource Centre. The center is a part of the Youth and Community Transformation (YCT) Project. The project is to reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in areas such as Collet, […]

    Drama Unfolds Over Sunday Lottery Draw
    Confusion and drama dominated this past Sunday’s Lottery draw at the court house in Belize City. Police had to be called out to control the unruly crowd. The machine malfunctioned and those who were out there to see the draw demanded that all the numbers be re-drawn but when the supervisors did not, the crowd […]

    PlusTV

    Man lying on road side run over by car
    A fatal traffic accident claimed the life of 40-year-old Hilberto Coyoc last night in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk District. The incident happened between miles 55 and 56 on the Phillip Golodson Highway where Coyoc was allegedly lying down on the side of the road. An oncoming Mazda car driven at...

    NEAB addresses statements made by Pastor Scott Stirm
    On Wednesday the National Evangelical Association of Belize released a statement regarding the deliberate defamation of its Vice President, Pastor Scott Stirm, by various sectors of the Belizean society. The defamations stem from a heavily edited video posted to youtube and circulated with hundreds ...

    Farming community complains about developer
    Biospharm is the name of a small farming community developed by American Darin Michael Smith. The farm is just about 7 miles outside Spanish lookout in a small village called Los Tambos. It turns out that Smith’s idea was to take his property and subdivide it into small 1 acre plots which he...

    Trevor McFoy is granted Supreme Court bail
    22 year old Trevor McFoy, accused along with a minor of executing a broad daylight robbery at River Valley Supplies Gas Station in Scotland Halfmoon, was granted Supreme Court bail today by Judge Troadio “John” Gonzales this morning. No application has been heard yet for the 17 year old minor cha...

    MLA says Rupert Myles’ hill house still occupied
    As we reported yesterday, Rupert Myles has moved on from the house standing on a hill within the complex of the Uxbenka ruin in the village of Santa Cruz, Toledo. But has he, really? Not according to Program Coordinator for the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA), Pablo...

    Luis Carballo recieves Paul Harris Award
    The Rotary Club of San Ignacio honored Luis Carballo as the recipient of the Paul Harris Award. The Paul Harris award recognizes outstanding commitment to a community and outstanding work in one’s vocation. Carballo received the award as an educational leader who strives to make his community...

    Atlantic International Bank ranked #1 as the best place to work in Central America and the Caribbean
    Atlantic International Bank Ltd has been certified as a Great Place to Work and Ranked #1 as the best place to work in Central America and the Caribbean. Great Place to Work® is the global authority on building, sustaining and recognizing high-trust organizational cultures. The Great Place to Work® ...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Ministry of Human Development implementing recommendations in Youth Hostel fire report
    A report commissioned by the Ministry of Human Development following an investigation into the fatal Youth Hostel fire last November continues to be delayed for public release because of ongoing legal and similar procedures masterminded by the Public Service Commission and Solicitor General’s Office. While […]

    Burglar hits Angelus Press for cash
    Police have arrested and charged 38 year old Anthony Morris, Jr., customer care representative of Simon Lamb Street, Belize City, in connection with a burglary at the main office of Angelus Press Limited on Queen Street – right across from Precinct 3, the Queen Street […]

    Charged for unlawful sex with minor
    Fisherman 26 year old Lorenzo Garbutt of Belize City is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 14 year old minor no less than 4 times in five days at the end of March. Garbutt did not enter a plea before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith this morning. […]

    Man charged for oral rape
    The upgraded criminal code statutes on rape now include oral penetration of the victim. 42 year old plumber of Belize City, Irvin Pitts, has been charged for intentionally and unlawfully penetrating the mouth of a woman whom he was supposed to drop off at home […]

    UDP gets ready for deputy leadership race
    Minister of Education Collet area representative Patrick Faber and Minister of National Security and Belmopan area representative John Saldivar are the declared candidates for the post of first deputy leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP). While no date has been set for their face-off, […]

    Appeal dismissed for woman convicted of manslaughter
    44 year old Rosalia Castillo continues to serve a 12 year sentence on a manslaughter charge after her appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed today. Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore found Castillo guilty of the lesser charge to murder in Belmopan in […]

    Why Human Development Minister supports police “curfew”
    Popular opinion continues to be divided on the necessity and effectiveness of an announced initiative by Officer Commanding Eastern Division (South), Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, to try to control the population of unaccompanied minors hanging on street corners and in some cases coerced […]

    BDF shot by fellow officers?
    The Belize Defence Force has written National Security CEO George Lovell providing an update on the shooting incident inside the Chiquibul Forest Reserve on March 26th. That is when Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was shot near Camp Valentin. According to the report referenced by […]

    New youth center to be built in Lake Independence
    A new Lake Independence Resource Center costing 4 point 6 million Belize dollars is to be built over the next eighteen months on a plot situated along the Lake Independence Boulevard/Chetumal Street Extension. It is one of several projects established under the Youth and Community […]

    Lord Ashcroft, Belize implicated in ‘Panama Papers’ leak
    Lord Michael Ashcroft, the billionaire Belizean investor, has denied any involvement with Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law-firm at the heart of the “Panama Papers” leak. Described as an “unprecedented” leak, the papers constitute some 11.5 million files from the fourth biggest offshore law firm in the […]

    City men detained for robbery of teenagers
    Two Belize City men have been detained by police and are pending charges after allegedly robbing a pair of teenage construction workers of their cellphones on Saturday night while they walked near the NAPA roundabout on the Philip Goldson Highway. The boys, 19 and […]

    Crack and weed found in Hattieville and Mahogany Heights
    Police operations in the Hattieville area on Friday morning resulted in the discovery of 5.72 grams of crack cocaine and a total of 216.57 grams of cannabis yielded from three separate searches. The first search was conducted at 8:20 a.m in an open lot […]

    Punta Gorda resident arrested for gun bullet
    A police search conducted in a Mitsubishi Gallant LS car on Friday of last week, resulted in the discovery of a single .38 live round of ammunition and the arrest of a 25-year-old Punta Gorda (PG) man. At around 10:30 that morning, PG Police […]

    Blogs

    A Walk Around Placencia, Belize on A VERY HOT Day
    The kite boarders and those of us on boats had arrived just after sunset on Friday. The trip down from Ambergris Caye to Placencia was a long bumpy ride and I was EXHAUSTED. I scrubbed off the salt and fell fast asleep at one of my go-to budget spots in Placencia, Lydia’s. A single room with a shared bathroom was all I needed. The next morning, I awoke after 8am…to find not even a whiff of breeze. I decided to grab a coffee at the lovely and super friendly Brewed Awakenings and take a walk. It had to be 90 degrees already. The weather was about to change…a cold front coming in. It was going to be a doozy. Super cute signs at Caribbean Beach Cabanas across the street. DO check this place out if you are coming to Placencia. Double latte please. I passed a gym/tattoo shop with a cool sign. Time to hit the sidewalk. $100 fine for bikes riding on it! No joke. Julia’s Guesthouse, another great budget place on the beach, has a new sign. Next the very popular bar, the Barefoot Beach Bar… And the equally colorful Tipsy Tuna.

    BELIZEAN MARIE SHARP TO BE INDUCTED THIS MONTH IN Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016 IN NEW YORK
    The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation is very proud to announce theHot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct 5 people all of which have been very instrumental in the fiery foods. After months of balloting, with just shy of 500 voters, the NYC Hot Sauce Expo is now proud to announce and present the Class of 2016. This year’s group are the biggest and brightest names in the industry. One of Legend. One of inspiration. Here is your Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Marie Sharp – Marie Sharp’s & the Original Melinda’s: Owner Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Ltd. of Belize, Central America– Started making sauce in the early 80’s and actually was the creator of Melinda’s sauces. Her sauce is the quintessential Central American hot sauce awesome flavor and great heat!

    Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Was in Belize Last Week
    Local newspaper, Ambergristoday.com is reporting that celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern was spotted in Ambergris Caye last week. Zimmern, a popular chef, writer and the TV host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel was in Belize to scuba dive the blue hole and to explore the Mayan Ruins of Xunantunich as well as the famous ATM Cave among other top attractions. The celebrity was visiting with his family and posted a series of photos of his vacation on his Instagram account. On his Instagram account, Zimmern states that he and his family spent “eight glorious disconnected days” in Belize enjoying the sun, sand, and sea. This is the second time that Andrew Zimmern visits Belize. In 2010, he visited with the Travel Channel to film the first episode of his TV Show Bizarre Worlds.


    Belize’s Nim Li Punit is a little Mayan ruin with a big name that means “The Big Hat,” and it’s well worth the trip to see this bit of history for yourself. The ruin is large enough to impress at 121+ acres, and important enough to be called Belize’s stelae capitol thanks to 26 of these monuments, eight of which have been carved to pay tribute to gods and heroes. Why the name Big Hat? Because the longest stelae in the plaza depicts a figure wearing a hat, of course. Just because stelae is this ruin’s main attraction, that doesn’t mean you won’t find other wonders. In addition to the 26 monoliths, a huge sandstone structure rises around 40 feet into the air and beneath that, two other plazas and a ball court sprawl across the compound. Even the location is exotic: it sits high atop a Maya Mountain ridge in southern Belize, and was once an important ceremonial and ritual center as well as a village that was home to up to 7,000 Mayans at one time. Travel the Southern Highway north 25 miles from Punta Gorda, or start your trip in Belmopan and drive 45 miles along the Hummingbird Highway to the Southern Highway exit, then another 50 miles to reach Indian Creek Village. That stated, the very best way to visit Nim Li Punit is to book a tour with your resort hosts so all of these details are sorted by the experts.

    Pool Project: Week Three
    Feeling refreshed and relaxed after the three-day Easter break, work commenced bright and early last Monday. The crew quickly hit their stride in doing the block work for the pool. This was a fairly tedious effort, as each block needs to be placed, filled with cement, and steel placed between the tiers. After a couple of days, this was the result of their efforts. It really started to look like an honest to goodness pool! While all of that work was going on, a couple of the guys placed the block for the back wall of the seating area.

    International Sourcesizz

    Lord Ashcroft denies links to Panama Papers firm
    Lord Ashcroft has denied any involvement with Mossack Fonseca, the company at the heart of the “Panama Papers”. Described as an “unprecedented” leak, the papers constitute some 11.5 million files from the fourth biggest offshore law firm in the world, which the Guardian says “show the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes”. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists alleges that Belize Corporation Services, a subsidiary of Ashcroft’s BCB Holdings, “began using Mossack Fonseca to provide shell corporations for its clients in 2006 when Ashcroft was in the U.K House of Lords”. In 2006, Belize Bank approached Mossack Fonseca about "doing some business together.” According to an email sent in November 2013, Belize Bank International established a new company whose owners were the Panama firm's founders, Jurgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca and partner Christopher Zollinger. The new firm was called M.F. & Co. (Belize) Limited and cooperated with BCS in creating companies and acting as registered agents in Belize.

    Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens
    Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. They show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax. The company says it has operated beyond reproach for 40 years and has never been charged with criminal wrong-doing. French President Francois Hollande hailed the "good revelations" which would "increase tax revenues from those who commit fraud". The documents show 12 current or former heads of state and at least 60 people linked to current or former world leaders in the data. They include the Icelandic Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugson, who had an undeclared interest linked to his wife's wealth. He has said he will not resign. The files also reveal a suspected billion-dollar money laundering ring involving close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Panama leaks: David Cameron's father and senior Tories named, Downing Street refuses to comment
    Though he is not named in the reports himself, the British Prime Minister is linked to Panama Papers by his late father Ian Cameron, who died in 2010. SHARE According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which coordinated the research into the 11 million secret files handed over by an anonymous source, Mr Cameron used Mossack Fonseca’s services to shield his investment fund, Blairmore Holdings Inc. A 2006 prospectus for Blairmore Holdings Inc described Mr Cameron, a stockbroker and multi-millionaire, as “instrumental in [its] formation”. It said the fund “should be managed and conducted so that it does not become resident in the United Kingdom for UK taxation purposes”. The ICIJ said there was no suggestion that the individuals named in the Panama Papers had done anything illegal. Asked whether the Prime Minister’s family was still holding money in offshore arrangements on Monday, his spokesperson replied: “That is a private matter, I am focused on what the Government is doing.”

    Action urgently needed as Central America asylum claims soar
    This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 5 April 2016, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The number of people fleeing violence in Central America has surged to levels not seen since the region was wracked by armed conflicts in the 1980s. Action is urgently needed to ensure that unaccompanied children and others receive the protection to which they are entitled. Last year alone 3,423 people, most of them from El Salvador and Honduras, sought asylum in Mexico. This was 164 per cent increase over 2013 and a 65 per cent increase since 2014. Asylum claims by Salvadorans were up almost 4 times over this period. Mexico currently hosts 3,448 refugees, the majority of them from Central America. The number of asylum claims in other parts of the region from people fleeing violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – the "Northern Triangle of Central America" – has also risen dramatically. Costa Rica, for example, registered 2,203 asylum claims in 2015 – a 176 per cent increase over 2013 and a 16 per cent increase since 2014. These were mainly people arriving from El Salvador. Costa Rica today hosts 3,616 refugees.

    Fishing for the future of coral reefs
    New science-based fishery regulations are needed if coral reefs are to have a future in the face of climate change. An international team, led by University of Queensland researchers, has found that tighter fishery regulations are needed to preserve corals of the Caribbean. The study shows that Caribbean coral reefs are experiencing mounting pressure from global warming, local pollution and over-fishing of herbivorous fish. Researcher Dr Yves-Marie Bozec, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said herbivorous parrotfish were needed because they eat seaweed, which can smother coral and prevent corals from recovering. “While several countries in the Caribbean have taken the bold step of banning the fishing of parrotfish (including Belize, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos Islands), parrotfish fisheries remain in much of the region,” Dr Bozec said.

    Missing Boat and Crew from Isla Mujeres
    Family of missing crew from Isla Mujeres is asking assistance from Belize Coast Guard, Belize Port Authority and friends to be on the lookout for a Blue Mexican registered fishing boat named the “Anastacia” which has been reported missing since March 30th, 2016. The boat may have drifted anywhere, including our Belizean waters. On board the fishing vessel are Jorge Fernando de la O. Avalos “Pipis”, Marcos Bardales “Vampiro”, Alfonso Jiménez “Chatilly”, Rusel Cemé “Curro” and Beto, all fishermen from Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Please call your nearest Police Station if located or seen.

    Videos

  • Belize 2016, 10min. Green Hedges School Best of Belize Trip EF TOURS 2016.

  • Belize 2016, 3.5min. A family vacation to Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • San Pedro,Belize/ La Isla Bonita,Caribbean holiday, 4.5min.

  • Swimming with a turtle in Caye Caulker, Belize, 1/2min.

  • Caribbean Elvis Presley in San Pedro,Belize, 1/2min.

  • Belize Tarpon, 2.5min. Catching a big tarpon in Belize.

  • WACP.tv: COME TO THE HEALIN SPREE IN BELIZE, 19min. Explore and enjoy the HERBMAN from San Antonio Village in Corozal Bay, Belize. Yes he can cure any disease..

  • Dive Belize 2016 highlights, 5.5min. Diving Belize 2016, march, highlights

  • Cayo District, Belize - Barton Creek Cave 2016 Mar. 27, 3min. Exploring Belize's Barton Creek Cave by canoe.

  • Diving in Belize, 22min.

  • The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize - Aurelio Martinez and The Garifuna, 36min. The Beer Diaries is proud to present The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize, a series dedicated to using beer as an introduction to history, culture and the geo-political state of countries around the world. In this episode, host Mike Mann and his team explore Garifuna culture and how its people came to the Belize region. Unexpected weather pushes the team indoors where they meet famed musician, Aurelio Martinez, who joins the team on their road trip down the Hummingbird Highway. During this time, Mike and his team experience a full immersion of Aurelio’s music, stories and passionate views. By the end, an unanticipated Aurelio Martinez concert happens, coupled with witnessing the songwriting talents of Martinez, while recording a new album when his back is to the wall.

    April 4, 2016


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Letter to the Editor: Why does the island’s administration care so little about tourism?
    Letters-to-the-EditorDear Editor: We were regulars since 2009; sometimes we visited twice a year, all together 12 times. We used to love this island – it was cozy, charming and there was a unique character. Our first year, we stayed at a hotel in/near town, then further South and a few times up North. Mostly we had visited just the 2 of us. Three times we also brought friends, and twice we vacationed with our kids. Finally we will quit. We saw it coming over years, the worsening situation how unsustainably the island was developing. But for some years, we were still somewhat hopeful that logic eventually would prevail. By now we have no hope. The years of “no rules, no regulations, no plan, no foresight, no vision” has smashed this originally so beautiful island to a new low in attractivity. For years, charm, coziness and local identity had been compromised on behalf of convenience, tastelessness and quick money. As a result, it took only a few short years from being voted “Island #1 in the World” to a ranking somewhere near the bottom. The tackiness of electronic billboards, the ugliness of the advertising sign bonanza all over the island, the loss of island identity due to high traffic in combination with often arrogant and unsafe driving, unsightly development, the complete absence of a zoning law (junk yard businesses are mixed into residential areas w/o regards for tranquility, beauty and tourism), the absence of a sustainable transportation/traffic plan, unregulated and dangerous boat traffic, lack of infrastructure to name just a few…”Viva to a cheaper version of Mexico but at higher prices!”

    Letter to the Editor: Killing the Golden Goose
    Dear Editor: For over 10 years we have had family vacations for 2 weeks over Easter and on different tropical islands. The traffic in your town and on your island’s roads is the worst we have ever seen and experienced on an island. It was unsafe and not fitting for a family vacation. We have seen the reef and made the snorkeling tours. Nice. The conditions on land and roads are so bad that we would not think about a return. You are killing the Golden Goose.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Shave And A Haircut
    Charlie and I arrived in Chetumal, Mexico early on Friday. After we got our hotel room we started walking around looking for a place to have lunch. “You know, we might not find a restaurant serving lunch yet,” Charlie said. “It’s only eleven-fifteen.” “We’ll find a way to kill time,” I said. “Look. Here’s a barber shop with a sign in the window that says English Spoken Here. I could use a haircut.” “I would like a haircut,” I told one of the two barbers. “I wouldn’t mind having a good old fashioned barber shop shave,” Charlie said. “I can’t shave myself with a straight razor but I like a good straight razor shave.” As we sat in the barber chairs a very pretty woman came out of the back room. She wasn’t just pretty. She was drop-dead gorgeous.

    Police Report
    On Wednesday, March 23rd at 6:15PM, acting on Special Branch information, a joint team of Special Branch and Criminal Investigation Branch personnel visited Tropic Air Cargo section located on Sea Star Street, San Pedro Town where a Hispanic male person was seen exiting the building holding a small yellow carton in his hands. Identified as 22-year-old Faustino Francisco Rodriguez, police conducted a search of the box that was sealed with transparent and duct tape. The search led to the discovery of a parcel wrapped in foil paper, containing a black plastic bag containing one kilogram (equivalent to 1000 Grams) of suspected Cannabis.
    On Friday, March 25th at about 1AM police responded to a fight in front of a beach bar located on Pescador Drive in which 22-year-old Michael Mendez was detained and escorted to the San Pedro Town Police Station. A search was conducted on him, resulting in the discovery of three small transparent zip lock plastic bags containing 1.21 grams of Cocaine. Police have since charged Michael Anthony Mendez for the offence of Drug Trafficking.
    On Friday, March 25th at 9:20PM, while police were conducting mobile patrol along the beach side in the Boca del Rio Area, they stopped and searched a 17-year-old Hispanic male person on a bicycle. The search yielded 1.02 grams of Cocaine and the minor was charged for Drug Trafficking and Possession of Controlled drugs.

    Doctor Love: Attitude
    Dear Doctor Love, I have been with my guy for four years now. We started dating when were in high school and were real serious from the start. We are getting married late this year. We like so many of the same things that everyone thinks we are very compatible. I would say so too but the truth is that we fight about everything in our lives. I am not talking about important things like wedding dates or jobs or jealousy. I am talking about everyday things like what we are having for dinner, who is going to drive when we go out. We fight about what to watch on TV. At first I didn’t even notice it but it has been getting worse in the last year. It is not just him. It is me, too. We do not fight physically but we are constantly picking at each other. In the last few months it has been bothering me badly. I tried to talk to him about it but he doesn’t even know what I’m talking about. He thinks this is normal. I’m not sure about that. Should we re-think this whole marriage thing? /s/ Attitude

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    ESTABLISHING A BUSINESS IN BELIZE: "START UP ESSENTIALS"
    You have a passion, a hidden talent, do you know what it takes to turn that skill into a successful business? Attend this workshop if you are an entrepreneur, new business owner, innovator or a 'closet' business person. Prepare to be informed, motivated, and focused on your business plan for action. The workshop is FREE and information - PRICELESS! Who should attend? It's designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. This introductory helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company; as well as, evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to get started. Date of Workshop: April 07th, 2016 PRICE: ***FREE*** Location: BTEC Building, ITVet Compound, Belize City. Time: 9am - 12 noon.

    Corozal Junior College (CJC) Debate Team gets first place
    Let's cheer them to the finals. Congratulations to the Corozal Junior College (CJC) Debate Team!!! The sacrifices we make in life pay off. A very well deserved FIRST PLACE against Galen University in the "semi-final" round of competition!! Now, it's time to work and prepare harder for the big win in the final round of competition on April 15. Let's bring the National Championship home.

    The Reporter

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at offers skills-building and training courses
    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at (AMJ) in Belize is offering five days of skill-building and training courses at their center in Belize City. Taught by four Canadian instructors, the purpose aim to train local people in skills of Cellphone repairs, basics of Microsoft Office, urban farming and resume writing. The courses are free of cost and will be held at 529 Buttonwood Bay Boulevard, commencing Monday April 4-8 between the hours of 4:30 and 6:30 in the evening. The courses are partly sponsored by Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Patrick Faber.

    ACP Chester Williams holds family day for Jane Usher community
    Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams and the Jane Usher Neighborhood Watch group held a family day at the Jane Usher basketball court today, Sunday. The newly renovated court was completed in time for events including balloon toss, egg toss, watermelon eating competition, basketball games and football five a side matches between police teams and resident teams. The aim of the events, stated Sergeant Emery Carcamo, officer in charge of Community Policing at the Eastern Division police branch is to bring the community and police together in a family event. The police members who regularly patrol the streets in their community policing activities, stated that the importance of having informal events with the residents is that “it builds relationship; it builds that trust and we can get things done the proper way. The proper way is listening to the people instead of imposing the way people should live. The police privided drinks and food, and listened to the people’s concerns, which according to Carcamo, include appeals for more activities between residents and the Policw Department and more renovations to facilities.

    Former Minister of Belize narrowly escapes extortion in Mexico
    A former government minister narrowly escaped extortion when he received an anonymous phone while he was staying at Fiesta Inn in Chetumal Mexico, this weekend. The article published in the Mexican newspaper, “Por Esto” states that the delinquents called the minister around 2:00 a.m. on Friday March 29, 2016, demanding a large amount of money. The minister, whose name is still not known, called the Mexican authorities to report the issue. Minutes after the call, two patrol vehicles containing approximately a dozen guards from the Mexican armed forces showed up at the hotel, heavily armed to protect the former minister. While the guards secured the hotel, officials met with the ex-functionary and investigated the call. Subsequently, the former minister left with the Mexican authorities to an undisclosed location until his return to Belize.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize boasts 2 of Central America’s top 10 destinations
    San Pedro, Belize is the number one tourist destination in all of Central America, according to Trip Advisor’s latest compilation of its top 10 list. But one of Belize’s other top tourism destinations, San Ignacio, also makes that top 10 list! “San Pedro is ‘La Isla Bonita’ that Madonna made famous,” Trip Advisor says, adding that it’s a tourist mecca that boasts great beaches and plenty of dive shops where visitors can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Trip Advisor also encourages tourists to plan a side trip to Caye Caulker while in Belize because although it is less developed and more laid back, it has its own splendid swimming areas. San Ignacio ranks at seventh on the list of top 10 destinations in Central America. According to Trip Advisor, San Ignacio is the kind of town that appeals to the tourist truly looking for a getaway. “It’s true: parts of Belize are getting touristy. But San Ignacio remains rustic, making it a great base for budget-friendly tropical adventure travel,” Trip Advisor says.

    Blogs

    150 Budget in 4 days
    I decided to do something different this year and see just how much fun I could have over the Easter Holiday on a $150 bz budget and if I would have anything left over or would I break into my reserve stash. (knowing the bank machines would have long lines and run dry I took out extra just in case). Weekend fun: I will start at the end. As we got to my road, it was all blocked off and there was a band playing. Thankfully they did not end late. the night before it was rockin till 2:00 am in my neighborhood. I am pleased to say that at the various times I was out and about, I did not notice a crazy amount of garbage on the beach this weekend. We all know how it can get for holidays and I am sure there was a bit of clean up needed along the main strip and in Boca Del Rio by the end of the long weekend.

    An Epic Mission in More Ways than One: Kite Surfing From Ambergris Caye to Placencia
    Saturday, April 2nd, the plan was set. A group of kite surfers, kite boarders and wind surfers were going to leave Ambergris Caye and travel over 100 miles down the Belize coast. The exact route would depend on the winds but the plan was basically three legs. San Pedro to Belize City, Belize City to Dangriga, Dangriga to the point of the Placencia Peninsula. And then the winds changed. Saturday – they would die down quickly – a “cold” front was coming in. With a last minute scramble and all day phone calls and preparation, the crew bumped the ride up a day. The “Kite to the Point” left at about 6:30am on Friday April 1st – and the winds were looking great. The ride was inspired in memory of a young and popular San Pedrano, Jeffrey Eiley – who was shot just over 2 years ago. And his heartbroken family and friends are still waiting for justice.

    Queso Fundido
    Instructions Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, scallions and garlic. Cook until tender but not browned. Add tomatoes and cook about 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir in chiles and cilantro. Add water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside from heat. In another large saucepan, heat butter until melted; stir in flour until the mixture looks like applesauce. Saute over medium heat about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let flour burn. Add milk and cheeses, stirring until the cheese melts and the mixture thickens. Add the vegetable mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to blend. Place in a fondue pot (or crock pot) over a medium flame. Serve with chips.

    Queso Fundido Del Grito
    In a skillet, cook the chorizo until almost done, drain well. Add the poblano and onion and cook until tender. Completely remove pan from heat. Carefully add tequila. Return to heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 seconds or until most of the tequila has dissipated. In a medium casserole or glass dish, stir the cheese with chorizo, peppers and onions. Bake uncovered about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted through and slightly golden brown on top. Sprinkle with tomato and cilantro. Serve with tortillas.

    Grilled Corn Chorizo Sopes with Queso Fresco
    For sopes: Place the masa corn flour in a bowl and add about ½ cup of water and mix with your hands for about 2 minutes. Make 3-inch rounds of the masa using the palm of your hands, pinching the perimeter of the rounds to create a little wall. The cooking process is divided into two parts: 1) pre-cook on pan without oil 2) fry crispy. After completing all of the sopes, heat a wide thick bottom sauté pan or comal (tortilla cooker) over medium heat for 5 minutes. Once hot, place the sope on pan or comal and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Begin to preheat another pan with 1 quart of canola oil to 375F. Fry the pre-cooked sopes a couple at a time in the 350F oil until golden brown. Once browned, carefully remove onto paper towels.

    TripAdvisor selects Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio Town as Best Destinations to Visit in Central America
    TripAdvisor, one of the most respected travel sites in the world has selected Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio Town as two top destinations for travelers to visit in Central America. Ambergris Caye was ranked as the #1 best destination to vacation while San Ignacio Town was rated #7 in the list. “San Pedro is “La Isla Bonita” that Madonna made famous. Now it’s a tourist mecca, but still boasts great beaches and plenty of dive shops so you can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Plan a side trip to Caye Caulker while you’re here; it is less developed and more laid back, and has its own splendid swimming areas,” reads the description of Ambergris Caye on TripAdvisor’s website. Meanwhile San Ignacio Town was described as follows: “It’s true: parts of Belize are getting touristy. But San Ignacio remains rustic, making it a great base for budget-friendly tropical adventure travel. Canoe on the Macal River, or walk to the Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech (just be warned: it’s uphill).” Other destinations in Central America that made it in the list include places in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize: Indian Connection
    Interestingly, Belize is the only officially English speaking country in Latin America. Many may not even know that Belize too has a albeit small percentage of population that derives its roots from India (East India). I came across this 7 minute interesting documentary film directed by Dr Kumar Mahabir, an anthropologist and an academician at University of Trinidad and Tobago. According to this documentary titled: “Artifacts of East Indians in Belize” ” East Indians in Belize comprise four percent (7,000 persons) of the population. Understandably, they have lost almost all of their traditional Indian culture. Interestingly, Indians in Belize are longing to rediscover and re-claim their Indian history, heritage and culture. They are looking towards Trinidad for inspiration, interaction, support and sustenance. Formally known as British Honduras, Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America. Bordered by Mexico in the North and Guatemala in the West and South, it lies at the heart of the Caribbean Basin. Belize has giant Mayan pyramids and the world’s second largest barrier reef. It has a mélange of over ten different cultures which are concentrated in the six districts.

    Belize City foto's & tips
    In mijn streven om van alle landen waar ik ben geweest iets te laten zien, is vandaag Belize aan de beurt. Om eerlijk te zijn, ik was daar maar kort. Na één overnachting trokken we al weer verder - richting Mexico. Belize City is de grootste stad van Belize. Er wonen meer dan 60.000 mensen. Er zijn veel houten huizen en de stad kwam niet welvarend op me over. Britse houtvesters stichtten Belize Town in het midden van de 17e eeuw. De stad heeft de belangrijkste haven van Belize en is ook het financiële en economisch centrum van het land. Belize City was tot 1970 de hoofdstad van het land. Maar de orkaan Hattie heeft de stad in 1961 voor een flink deel vernietigd. Daarom besloot de toenmalige regering van de Britse kroonkolonie de hoofdstad te verplaatsen van de kwetsbare kust naar een veiligere plek landinwaarts. Daar werd Belmopan gebouwd, dat in 1970 de hoofdstad van (toen nog) Brits-Honduras en later van Belize zou worden.

    Party girl who bought Caribbean island paradise reveals why and how she realised her dream
    I wasn’t prepared for my ­mother’s death. Having fought cervical cancer the previous year, within three months of it returning she was dead, aged 69. While caring for her I ­realised how short life is and that I needed to fulfil an urge I had for change. One day an ex-boyfriend ­visited and we pulled together a plan to start a business in an idyllic location. He dropped out but I’d seen the future. I found out I could borrow money against the pub, added that to my inheritance from Mum and started hunting. I’d visited Belize and loved it, so googled properties and an uninhabited island popped up. Once you realise you could own a Caribbean Island, you can’t look at anything else. I went for a viewing and on the boat there spotted a mother and baby dolphin – I don’t believe in mystical stuff but could only take it as a good sign. The island had no ­electricity or running water and just three dilapidated ­buildings, but a new airport and ­construction on the next island were positive signs. My offer of £150,000 was accepted. We arrived and it was ­magical – an unspoilt view of coastal Belize, brilliant blue sea ­teeming with corals and the clearest star-scapes. But the extent of work needed was scary.

    Setting up your own tax haven shell company takes 10 minutes
    One of the most important tools is a "shell company" - this is a company that exists only on paper and has no office and no employees. It's usually registered to the address of a company that provides a service setting up shell companies in a tax haven. For example, that's why this five-storey building in the Cayman Islands supposedly houses more than 12,000 corporations. You can buy one of these companies directly from an offshore service provider. Shell companies are legal. They only become criminal when they are used for criminal purposes - things like tax avoidance or money laundering. Unfortunately, they're used for criminal purposes quite a lot. This is because setting up a shell company doesn't require much identification and, in any case, customers are promised their identity won't be exposed. That's why the Panama Papers leak is such a big deal. The release of 11 million documents from the notoriously secretive Central American law firm Mossack Fonseca has exposed 12 current and former world leaders and 29 Forbes-listed billionaires.

    Smuggling as social negotiation: pathways of Central American migrants in Mexico
    The people of Central America who migrate and flee to Mexico, the United States or Canada include mixed migration flows and mixed populations. Along the routes one can find people who have been displaced, persecuted or expelled alongside vendors, temporary workers, and travelers. The majority of those who rely on this migration corridor are people from the northern triangle of Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Although the mass exodus of people from these countries is not recent, reinforced border control is – especially at crossing points (formal and informal) along the Mexico-Guatemala and Mexico-Belize borders, as well as in the states of southeast Mexico. In recent years, the difficulty for migrants to travel through this south-north passage has increased, with Mexico becoming the main hunter of Central Americans without a regular migration status.

    Videos

  • UnBelizable, 2.5min.

  • Belize Zoo - Jaguar Cage Experience 2016 Mar. 26, 1.5min. Jaguar cage experience with "Junior Buddy", Belize Zoo's famous Jaguar.

  • Trip to Belize, 6min. Trip to Belize: Long Caye, Half Moon Caye and Blue Hole Enjoy!

  • Cahal Pech 2 (Belize), 3min.

  • Belize Dive 2 08/05/15, 17min.

  • You Better Belize It, 4min. The Salveter's and friends took a week during spring break to explore all that Belize has to offer. It was good fun.

  • Belize Cave Tubing and the Gang!, 6min.

  • Belize 2014, 33min.

    April 3, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    SP Hyperbaric chamber saves fire-fighter’s life
    A 52-year-old Canadian fire fighter visited Belize early in March, and like many visitors to the jewel, he took advantage of the country’s great diving spots. Despite a perfect start on his diving trip, something went terribly wrong near the end. As a result he was admitted in grave condition at the Sub-Aquatics of Belize Ltd. in San Pedro for hyperbaric medical treatment. According to the medical staff at the hyperbaric chamber, the patient complained of pain, nausea, vomiting, severe vertigo, skin rash, and difficulty in standing. The well trained personnel at the facility rapidly diagnosed him to be suffering from Decompression Illness.

    Notices from the San Pedro Town Council
    The San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board hereby informs the general public that the following liquor licenses will not be entertained until further notice: Beer, Malt, Night Club, Publican’s Special, Publican’s General, Shop, Restaurant and Convenience Store Licenses. The San Pedro Town Council kindly advises the general public that any type of burning is an offence. If you wish to dispose of any garbage, you must notify and wait approval on behalf of the San Pedro Fire Department prior to burning your garbage. We strongly recommend that when burning any type of garbage, you do so in a controlled environment. Burning of any type of garbage is completely prohibited in residential areas since it is a health hazard and puts at risk any buildings in the surrounding area.

    Dr. Samantha English is Saga’s new Vet
    Another professional has joined the team at the San Pedro Saga Humane Society. After liaising with the Belize Veterinary Surgeons Board, Dr. Samantha English has been certified to practice medicine at Saga with a temporary permit through March of 2017. Dr. English, a Canadian national, obtained her Bachelor of Science with honours from the University of Guelph in 2002. Four years later, she graduated with a degree of Doctor in Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College. She spent the following nine and a half years doing practising small animal medicine in Florida, USA before moving to San Pedro Town in December 2015.

    North Police Substation to be relocated
    There are two police substations located on Ambergris Caye, one that serves the South Ambergris Caye area and one approximately one mile north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. As another crime prevention measure, the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) plans to relocate the northern booth to a more trafficked area. Arrangements have been made with the property owner where the substation will be moved, and with assistance from the San Pedro Town Council the building will be relocated. The new location would be about one mile north of the bridge, close to Bamboo House. This new location will allow officers to have access to both roads and beaches. By changing the location to a more popular route, the law enforcement hopes that people will think twice when it comes to committing or doing anything contrary to the law. Drivers are advised that they are subject to searches as well.

    Easter-Week Sailing Clinic Completed at Belize Sailing School in San Pedro
    From Monday, March 21st to Sunday, March 27th, the Belize Sailing School held an Easter Optimist Training Clinic off the coast of Caribbean Villas Resort. Juan Ignacio Mazzini, the Sailing School’s Director of Laser and Optimist Training ran the clinic. Among the participants in the clinic were two Canadian Optimist dinghy sailors from Toronto, Canada who came to Belize for the week-long training. 13-year-old Dhalia Steinitz and 12-year-old Andreas Steinitz, siblings, had spent the week before at a preliminary training in Curacao.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro, Belize Named #1 Destination in Central America
    There is no place like San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, we all know that, but if you don't know about our island paradise then you are missing out on the top destination in Central America. TripAdvisor has once again honored our island paradise with another top distinction after being named the number one island in the world for two years in a row. La Isla Bonita has been named the top destination in Central America besting other top regional destinations in Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and Guatemala. While San Pedro is at the #1 spot, it shares the list with San Ignacio, Cayo at #7. San Pedro prides itself in having the friendliest people, the biggest smiles, the warmest hugs, the best celebrations, top choices for foodie travelers, the best views of the largest barrier reef in the hemisphere, the top dive destinations in the world... allow us to brag a little more, we really work hard to uphold those standards and more.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick Up
    April 01, 2016 Beach and Roadside Trash Pick Up. A great turn out on a beautiful morning!

    Passing of Ms. Tomasa Choc
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Choc family & friends on the passing of Ms. Tomasa Choc. May her soul rest in peace.

    THE FUTURE OF BELIZE CITY'S FOOTBALL!
    The future of Belize City's football programs remain hanging in the distance as the once prized football sporting arena, The MCC Grounds, faced being turned into a parking lot for the Princess Hotel across the street. We here at Belizean Legends would hope that Belize City's prized human resource, its youth, be saved from total destruction by an insidious gang war that has been raging for a decade now. Belize need to re-evaluate this most critical issue, and save MCC Grounds and its young talented aspiring football players to return Belize's future glory in football.

    'BARIKS' NOW BTL PARK: A CHILDHOOD MEMORY!
    The former Barracks bathing grounds, that Belize City Belizeans use to call 'Bariks' has been transformed into a very beautiful city park that is the brainchild of Belize City's Mayor Darrell Bradley, and the Belize Telephone Company Limited (BTL). The park is named, BTL Park today. Fine memories of this once pristine piece of Belizean real estate in Belize City where Belizean youths like yours truly, use to go and enjoy a nice swim during a hot Sunday afternoon. It's still a beautiful sight to see today, and nature has not abandoned the people yet. Live on 'Bariks'!

    Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA)
    Spread the word! We are looking for interested Belizeans. We are excited to announce that we received a grant from the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) America's Hawk Watch Fund for our Hawk Watch Certification Program! This is a 5 week certification program for Belizeans to get trained in raptor identification, ecology, biology, research, and conservation. We are honored and grateful to have received this grant from HMANA. A big thank you to our friends at HMANA. If you are interested in participating in this certification program or know somebody that is please let us know. Spread the word about this one-of-a-kind program in the Neotropics. See the flyer for more details.

    Amandala

    Man executed in front of wife and kids
    The family of Alwayne Cherrington, 24, of La Croix Boulevard, who was an eye technician at the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI), were devastated as their worst nightmare was made real when a gunman went to Cherrington’s mother-in-law’s house, kicked open the door and shot Cherrington dead at about 7:00 Holy Saturday evening while his two stepchildren and his wife were watching television near him. Cherrington was sitting in a chair, talking with them and eating potato pudding. His mother-in-law told Amandala that Cherrington and her daughter and their two children went to her house at about 6:30 Holy Saturday evening and they were socializing. She said that she had not locked the door, since it was early and it was Easter, and everything was going well.

    Gardenia mechanic “mowed” down by GOB press office vehicle
    As daylight breaks on the stretch between Mile 22 and 23 on the Philip Goldson Highway, debris from a traffic accident becomes visible. There are plastic pieces from the front portion of a Isuzu vehicle on the roadside, a pair of torn slippers and blood stains, all telling a grim tale, along with the long-tire impression that were cut into the surface of the road, illustrating the driver’s effort to stop after impact with a man on bicycle. Dean Dawson, 45, a mechanic and resident of Gardenia, Belize District, lost his life when a government vehicle, an Isuzu D-Max pickup with the legend, “Press Office,” that was being driven by the Government Press Office director Dorian Pakeman, knocked him down, killing him instantly. This morning, Ladyville police confirmed that the 34-year-old Pakeman has been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), and the file, along with the police’s particulars about the accident, have been sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    Criminalize corporal punishment, Ombudsman Arzu says
    The 2015 report of Ombudsman Lionel Arzu, released on Wednesday this week, was the subject of discussion at the National Assembly yesterday, when the Ombudsman’s Report Committee met in session under the chairmanship of Dangriga area representative Frank “Papa” Mena. There was a hearty discussion on the content of the report, primarily consisting of complaints against police abuses, many of which remain unresolved even as the Ombudsman tries to settle them with authorities in the Police Department. In this year’s report, the Ombudsman made a bold recommendation, calling for laws to criminalize corporal punishment not just in schools, where teachers are now forbidden to whip children, but also in homes—where traditional corporal punishment is administered as a form of discipline.

    BDF soldier shot in Chiquibul by suspected Guatemalans
    Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey, 28, of the Belize Defense Force, was released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) yesterday, five days after he had been shot four times from a distance with a .22 rifle in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, near the Caracol archaeological site, at about 4:50 p.m. on Holy Saturday. Lambey was the commander of a BDF patrol on duty at Valentine Camp, an outpost near the Belize-Guatemala border. After being released from the KHMH, Lambey was whisked away to Price Barracks to complete his recovery. He was not given time to give an interview to us. Information to Amandala is that the gunmen, who shot from ambush cover, were Guatemalans. At the time, Lambey was conducting a water party detail at a creek about 500 yards from the camp.

    Young woman who received HIV-tainted blood dies at 21
    Giving blood can save lives, but it can also cost lives if inadequate screening is not in place to ensure that deadly pathogens aren’t passed from the donor to the recipient in need of this vital life force. This has been underscored in the case of a young woman who recently passed away, ending 13 years of medical suffering after she contracted the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) via blood transfusion when she was just a little girl. Sadly, the young woman’s family, which apparently did not have adequate legal representation, settled for paltry compensation, and when they realized that it was not enough to sustain their sickly daughter, all efforts to get further compensation proved futile. The young woman’s case was still unresolved when she died some weeks ago.

    IMF cautions on wider impacts of loss of correspondent banking in Belize and the Caribbean
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued its most recent report on Belize on Monday, following its September 2014 mission to the country, led by Jacques Bouhga-Hagbe. Much of the economic data included in the report has been the subject of recent discussions in Parliament in the context of the 2016-2017 budget debate, but the report puts the spotlight on an unresolved issue that has been in the national and regional spotlight for the past year—the loss of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs). The IMF notes that major global banks have recently either terminated their correspondent banking relationships with many banks in the Caribbean, or have threatened to discontinue them, forcing those banks to seek out new arrangements with other banks. In the case of Belize, the Government has reported that even after Belize found alternative arrangements, the new bank also gave notice of termination, forcing Belize to seek out other arrangements to keep its banking system functional. The IMF explains that a correspondent bank is a financial institution that provides services, generally on behalf of a foreign financial institution. It can conduct business transactions, accept deposits, cash checks or money orders and gather documents on behalf of the other financial institution.

    NSSSA Softball Champions 2016
    The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) held its high school softball championships for females and males on Friday and Saturday, March 19-20, hosted by Belmopan Comprehensive School (BCS) at the Elston Galvez field in Roaring Creek. In female games on Friday, defending champs Ladyville Technical High slammed North Zone champions, Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico, 15-1; and Independence High won, 15-11, over West Zone champs, BCS. Also on Friday, in the male category, San Pedro High crushed Central Zone champs Gwen Lizarraga, 12-2; and Independence High blanked Western Zone champs Belmopan Baptist High, 10-0. On Saturday, in the 3rd place game for the females, BCS girls blasted Escuela Mexico, 17-2, by mercy rule in 4 innings; and in the championship game, Independence High dropped Ladyville Tech, 6-1.

    3rd Annual Caye Caulker Kayak Island Challenge
    The Third Annual Caye Caulker Kayak Island Challenge got under way at 11:00 a.m. on Holy Saturday, March 26. The Kayak Island Challenge is an open kayak race around the island. Seven brave kayakers, which included one woman, participated in three categories – Men’s Single, Women’s Single, and Rudder. Chris Guydis, paddling for Paddle Stop, the only entrant in the Rudder Category, used a surfski sit-on-top racing kayak, and completed the race distance of about twelve miles in about two hours. He was the overall winner, and opened a gap of about 21 minutes on the second place overall winner. Although no official time was taken, this was the best estimate, looking at our watches. The surfski will most likely be the racing kayak of choice in the near future here in Belize. Chris picked up a $300 cash prize with a trophy, and won all station prizes along the way.

    The Tradition 2016
    At the Court House Wharf on Holy Thursday evening, March 24, while waiting for the start of the annual pre-Cross Country parade of cyclists, advertising agent Eugene “Boca” Trench handed us a copy of the latest edition of the Belize Cycling Association’s magazine commemorating the historic Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic, featuring the 2015 champions – Elite, Female and Junior, as well as all the teams participating in this year’s 88th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic, which was set to hit the pavement on Holy Saturday, March 26. In addition, there are special pieces on the late “Radio Belize Sportscaster, Manfred Denfield Atkins” and “former four-term President” of the cycling association, Gerald Garbutt, as well as Elston Wade’s article on the Miguel brothers that first appeared in the pre-Easter edition of Amandala, dated Sunday, March 20. Boca apologized and explained to us that they tried hard to get the magazine out a month before Cross Country, but again there were difficulties in securing sponsorship until very late, causing the magazine to be completed just under a week before the ‘Country.

    Guatemalan brothers sweep Holy Saturday Cross Country
    83 riders from 16 different cycling teams, including 18 foreigners – Mexican, Guatemalan and American – took off from Belize City on Holy Saturday morning with a rolling start at 6:00 a.m. past Leslie’s Imports for the 88th running of the historic Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic to San Ignacio and back (140 miles); and only 40 finished the race within the 30-minute limit after the winner. 15 of the foreign riders were part of teams – Team Starlight of the USA with 4 members (including 2003 & 2004 CC Champion Chris Harkey), Team Cancun of Mexico with 5 members, Team Yapurland of Mexico with 3 members, and the Guatemalan National Team with 3 members. The other 3 foreigners were all from the USA and rode as unattached cyclists, one of them being 2005 CC Champion Bill Elliston. The Belizean teams consisted of Link-Up Cycling (4 members, including 2015 CC Champion Justin Williams), Digicell-4G (8), C-Ray Road Addikz (5), Westrac Alliance (9), Team Smart (8, including 2013 CC Champion Darnell Barrow), Western Spirit Cycling (4, including 2006 CC Champion Shane Vasquez), Becol Uprising (4), Benny’s Megabytes (4), Bel-Cal Cycling (4), Chavarria Cycling (4), Cabral/Marin Cycling (1), and Smart Junior Cycling (2).

    The politicians, the professionals, and the people
    At this point of our existential crisis in Belize, it is important to understand why the ruling politicians have been harping on one thing over and over. They keep saying, leave everything to the defence professionals, you “misguided patriots,” and don’t be going near the border areas and waving any Belizean flags and singing the Haynes national anthem. Through their media spokesmen, the ruling politicians have also sought to lull Belizeans, as we would say, into a sense of false security. One of the lines they encourage their ruling party followers to repeat is, “Oh, we di hear ‘bout dis Guatemala ting long time, from hatchet was a hammer …” The ruling party is trying to assure the masses of the Belizean peoples that this too will pass away, that the ongoing series of provocative incidents featuring Guatemalan aggression since February of last year does not represent anything special or different in the history of the Guatemalan claim to Belize.

    Major Lloyd reporting for duty …
    ear Editor, The recent military adventurism by Guatemala and its subsequent diplomatic maneuverings in support thereof have created great disquiet amongst the Belizean people. It appears that we are only now realizing that our post-independence posture, designed by men intoxicated with political power, has allowed Guatemala in just thirty five short years, to out-maneuver us. So much so that Guatemala has now decided to annex the Sarstoon; and with impunity it appears! Guatemala’s actions on the Sarstoon are no small matter, it is a breach of our sovereignty of the worst kind. Belizeans therefore have a duty to resist Guatemala’s efforts at every turn, lest history forever condemn our cowardice. I wish for my fellow Belizeans to understand that in their interactions, states deploy what are called elements of national power. Contemporary thinking says that these elements are diplomatic, informational, military, economic and technological. The levers of these elements are actuated depending upon the circumstance prevailing at the time, and the desired outcomes of the states involved. It is the mastery of the deployment of these elements that determines a nation’s place in the global order and in the bare sense, the very survival of a nation state.

    Janet Gibson writes from the Goldman Environmental Foundation
    Editor Amandala, Belize City. Dear Sir, Two weeks ago, we were shocked and dismayed to hear about the murder of Berta Cáceres, indigenous leader and head of COPINH, the Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. We were further horrified when we learned that Nelson Garcia, another member of COPINH, was murdered on Tuesday. I am asking for your help in informing my fellow citizens of Belize about this outrage. I am affiliated with the Goldman Environmental Foundation, which annually presents the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest award honoring grassroots environmental activism. Last year, we were proud to honor Berta Cáceres with the Prize for her courageous work to defend the Gualcarque River. Berta was an inspiration to us all, and her death reinforces the imperative to protect those who work on behalf of our Earth. We feel like a member of our family has been assassinated.

    Barrow fires back at Briceño at conclusion of budget debate
    United Democratic Party leader, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, wrapped up the 2016 budget debate just after 8:00 on Wednesday night, firing back at Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party, Hon. Johnny Briceño, on key economic indicators which Briceño had cited in opening the budget debate on Tuesday morning. Briceno had said that instead of Belizeans getting a tax relief in the 2016 budget, they have gotten a $50 million “tax whop” on import duties charged on fuel at the pumps. He said that this will further erode the purchasing power of Belizeans, who are being charged, on average, 40 cents out of every dollar in “direct taxes.” Barrow said that Briceño used “an outrageous sleight of hand that requires a scolding from the Minister of National Security [John Saldivar], who is the only true economist in this House.” He went on to say that when it came to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), the Leader of the Opposition cited them and their data with approval when it suited him.

    217 complaints hit Ombudsman’s desk in 2015
    Ombudsman Lionel Arzu has released his 2015 annual report, tabled recently in Parliament. The report indicates that in 2015, the Ombudsman received 217 new complaints—90 of which were accepted for investigation, mostly against the Police Department. A total of 73 cases are under investigation and almost three-fourths of those are also against the Police Department. “In 2015, people complained of all kinds of misconduct, injustice and injury. The subject matter of these complaints included non-existent, inadequate or improper police investigations; unjustifiable or excessive force by BPD; the commencement or conduct of court proceedings, such as delays in trials and appeals; and misconduct by immigration and nationality officers,” Arzu said. The Ombudsman reports that complaints against the police included refusal or neglect to investigate, improper investigations, unjustifiable or excessive force, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment, dishonest conduct, and unreasonable search and seizure.

    Sedi scolds Amandala, Finnegan says let “free press” reign
    Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington opened day 2 of the budget debate at the National Assembly in Belmopan on Wednesday, March 23, but used the time to campaign for taking the Belize-Guatemala differendum to the International Court of Justice, and also to scold the media—and particularly the Amandala newspaper—for its coverage of the issue. He said that when the Belize-Guatemala issue comes up, especially the Sarstoon situation, “the most prominent media,” referring to Amandala, finds the least informed person, referring to Wil Maheia, founder of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), “to interview ad nauseam.” “People who they interview can’t even talk, can’t even articulate their views properly but the media invariably seek them out,” Elrington said, adding that the newspaper is, thereby, “doing a disservice to the population with an incident that is so important…”

    Consumer prices going back up
    Consumer prices have been falling, on average, since November 2014—with successive decreases for over a year—but they began to increase again this January, with February recording the second consecutive increase since price trends began to reverse. According to data just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), the inflation rate for the month of February was recorded at 0.3% and for January 2016 at 0.4%. Angelita Campbell, Statistician II, who presented data on Belize’s consumer price index and inflation at a press conference held today, noted that regionally, Guatemala recorded the highest inflation rate in Central America, at 4.3% while Costa Rica recorded the lowest rate of 0.003%. Belize ranked second in the region at 0.3%. Housing, utility bills, food and non-alcoholic beverages and transport account for roughly 60% of Belizean household spending, or $60 out of every $100. When prices are assessed in these three major categories, with all others lumped into the fourth category, the greatest price ease was seen in the transport category, with prices down by 4.1%—although not at the pumps.

    Belize exports to US, EU and CARICOM fall by $27 million since January
    Belize’s exports, which fell by almost $80 million in 2015, continued to slide in the first two months of 2016, according to information just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II, reported on Belize’s external trade in merchandise at a press conference held today. She noted that in January and February of 2016, Belize exported goods totaling $52.5 million—a decrease of 37.9% or $32 million from the $84.5 million recorded for the same period last year. Exports of all of Belize’s major commodities fell in January and February, with sales to the US falling by $7 million and to the European Union by $15 million, while exports to CARICOM fell by $5 million. The US and the EU buy almost three-fourths of Belize’s exports.

    BNTU takes national stand at Jalacte

    Belize’s economic growth slows substantially
    The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) today concluded its 46th Annual Convention held for two days in Punta Gorda—the highlight of which was a trek to the border village of Jalacte in south-western Belize, where educators got a feel for what happens at the unregulated border crossing. That was only the first step, according to BNTU Rural Toledo president, Stephen Sho. He told Amandala that earlier today, they passed a resolution for bigger rallies to come as a part of a national campaign to shine the spotlight on the Belize-Guatemala issue. Over 100 teachers traveling in 2 buses, vans and private cars, made the journey on Wednesday to kick off their annual gathering as a part of their “Stand Up for Belize” rally. At the border, the teachers sang the national anthem, said the national prayer of Belize and raised their Belize flags. Sho said that it was the Council of Management of the BNTU which had collectively decided on the initiative. The BNTU has indicated that this is not a political issue, but a national one which they want to be given adequate attention by the Government.

    The Reporter

    PUP Deputy Party leader Abelardo Mai knocks down woman in Trial Farm
    People’s United Party’s (PUP) Deputy Leader and Area Representative for Orange Walk South, Abelardo Mai knocked down a woman on the Phillip Goldson Highway (PGH) leaving her in a critical condition. The accident happened in front of the San Martin Gas Station in Trial Farm […]

    Ambassador complains against city manager of Miguel Hidalgo community in Quintana Roo
    The Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, Oliver del Cid, has placed a complaint order against the City Manager of the area Miguel Hidalgo, for removing traffic cones placed in front of the Embassy of Belizean to Mexico office. The problem escalated when the City Manager, […]

    The Belize Times

    BDF Soldier Shot by Guat Trespassers
    Another Belize Defense Soldier nearly paid the ultimate price for his defense of our national sovereignty and territory when he came under attack from armed Guatemalans who trespassed into Belizean terrain near the western border with Guatemala. Belize Defense Force Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey waited for hours for transportation to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Saturday where he was hospitalised and provided treatment for four gunshot wounds to his hand and abdomen. Sgt. Lambey was released from the hospital today, Wednesday, March 30, 2016 under heavy guard. He only commented that he was doing ok, before being whisked away by his fellow BDF officers. Sgt. Lambey was shot near a water stream in the Valentin Camp area of the Chiquibul National Park. According to an official Ministry of Foreign Affairs release, Sgt. Lambey and other BDF soldiers were on “a routine water supply and administration task at about 4:50 on Saturday (March 26, 2016) when they came under fire from men armed with rifles”. The report further indicates that the attack occurred 400 meters east of the Belize/Guatemala border, well into Belizean territory. Only Lambey was injured in the attack.

    “No stimulus, No encouragement, No hope,” – Business Senator rips into 2016/2017 Budget
    The Senate met on Tuesday afternoon to debate the 2016/2017 Budget which was approved by the Government’s majority in the House of Representatives but not before the Opposition members lashed out for the lack of ideas and plans for Belize’s development. The Government Senators were, as usual, singing for their supper and praising the budget even though many of them clearly have not taken the time to scrutinize it. For example, big banker, Steve Duncan, praised the Government’s ability to recognise the need for “stability” in the changing economic climate, yet he overlooked the continued excessive spending in Government luxuries such as fancy rides for Ministers. The Senators representing business, church and union were more realistic. They joined the Opposition Senators to discuss pertinent concerns about our country including the economy, the rising debt, the cost of living and social conditions in which Belizeans are living.

    Taking us for a rough ride! – Shenanigans at Municipal Airstrip Development Project
    Almost FOUR YEARS AGO…on December 5, 2012…there was a big fanfare on the ground breaking ceremony for the upgrade of the Municipal Airstrip to a cost of $9.5M BZ. The funding for this project came from a loan given to the Belize Airport Authority by the Belize Social Security Board to double the size in length and width of the runway. No doubt the SSB saw this loan as a positive investment that would have a positive impact in the development of the very important Tourism industry. The loan was to be paid by a $5 rider’s fee imposed on every ticket sold by the local airlines. On June 1st, 2015 approximately 3 years later, the municipal airstrip was still incomplete and it was announced that the rider’s fee would now be $6.00 per leg to “continue” with the project of upgrading the municipal airstrip. Now if someone is flying from Corozal to Belize City your new rider’s fee is $12 as opposed to a one-time fee of $5. This is because the $6 charged is for each “leg” or “stop”. But some persons with special titles don’t pay this airline tax. In the kingdom where some are more equal than others, this is how it works. It’s called the “not-normal rule” as set by the former Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party.

    Young church leader executed at home
    Belize City Police are investigating yet another murder in the old capital. The ruthless killing of 24 year old Alwayne Cherrington does not have the characteristics of the violent homicides that have taken siege of the city’s southside. Cherrington was shot dead while he was inside a family home on Lopez Street off Mahogany Street Extension in Belize City on Holy Saturday, March 26th. Cherrington, his wife and 3 year old step-daughter were sitting on their sofa, watching television in the living room when a gunman walked in and fired shots at him. With a broken heart his wife, Shantel Cherrington, attempted to explain to media what occurred. She said at first she thought that someone had thrown dynamite inside her home, but she eventually realised that her family had come under attack.

    Easter Vibes
    Credit for inventing the bike goes to one Baron Karl von Drais who wanted an easier way than walking to get around. In 1817, he came up with the idea of sitting on a platform and propelling himself with his feet. His bulky and heavy contraption, dubbed the Draisine, gave birth to an idea that revolutionized the way human beings move around and laid the foundation for today’s sport of cycling. The Draisine of course, has gone though remarkable transformations and today’s bicycles are infinitely lighter and more expensive than the Baron’s original bulky and cheaply made contraption. The world’s lightest bike weighs in at an incredible 6 pounds but cannot be used in competition. The International Cycling Union demands a minimum weight of 7.5 pounds and weights actually have to be added to some bikes to meet the standard. This led in 2004 to a “legalize my Cannondale” campaign by riders who wanted to use the lighter bikes made by that company. A good racing bike can also be very expensive and at the low end, can run as high as $50,000 dollars. Many would be surprised at the cost of some of these bikes that even our local boys are riding. It is an expensive sport.

    A Hard Lesson Not Learned
    The details related to the shooting death of Belize Defense Force Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey over the weekend have not been fully revealed to the public for all of us to fully understand exactly how our fellow army men came under attack by illegal Guatemalan invaders in the Chiquibul National Park. While we await a full account which we hope is provided soon by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and/or Ministry of National Security, we join the rest of Belizeans to make important points in light that in September 2013 fellow Belizean Danny Conorquie was killed in the line of duty in the same Chiquibul National Park. The brazen daylight killing of Danny, while on duty for his country at Caracol, by Guatemalan intruders brought to light the serious breaches of Belize’s national security that still continue to take place. His execution in front of Tourists was also an attack on our vital tourism industry. The video of the shooting went viral on social networks, exposing the fragility of our tourism sector under the threat of illegal invaders.

    San Pedro High boys win softball champs
    The San Pedro High School boys won the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) softball championships hosted by the Belmopan Comprehensive School at the Elston Galvez field in Roaring Creek over the weekend. Lester Gamez struck out 12 batters and walked 5, to lead the SPHS boys to a 5-1 win against the IHS boys and MVP Shemar Broaster hit an out of the park homer. In 3rd place, pitcher Devontae Middleton struck out 7 batters and walked 7 s he led the Gwen Liz boys to a 24-8 win over the Baptist boys 24-8. Shemar Broaster won the MVP award and had the Best Batting Average (0:400). SPHS pitcher Lester Gamez won the Most Wins awards; while IHS’ Christian Logan won Most Strikeouts (14). Gwen Liz’s Aaron Young won Most RBIs (6).

    Chris Guydis wins 3rd Annual Caye Caulker Kayak Island Challenge
    Chris Guydis won the 3rd annual Kayak Island Challenge race, organized by Mr Robert Blease and the Caye Caulker Tour Guide Association, starting and finishing at Palapas Gardens on Caye Caulker on Holy Saturday. Seven brave kayakers which included one woman, participated in three categories: Men’s Single, Women’s Single, and Rudder. Chris Guydis, paddling for Paddle Stop, the only entrant in the Rudder Category completed the race distance of about twelve miles in about two hours. He was overall winner and opened a gap of about 21 minutes on the second place overall winner. Although no official time was taken, this was the best estimate looking at our watches. The surfski, such as the one used by Chris, will most likely be the racing kayak of choice in the near future here in Belize. Chris picked up a $300 cash prize with a trophy and won all station prizes along the way.

    Guatemalan wins 2016 Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
    Guatemalan national team cyclists Alejandro Padilla Miranda and his brother Julio swept most of the station prizes along the way to win the 1st and 2nd places in the 88th annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic on the George Price Highway. Julio Padilla took the lead in San Ignacio, and paced himself into a three-man lead peloton with his brother and a lone Belizean, Team Digicell’s John Borland. The Padilla brothers eventually left Borland behind, and rode past the finish line together.

    Policing Crime in Belize City
    As perhaps the holiest of the Christian religious observances draws near, Easter, crime continues its unabated path in Belize City. In spite of all responses to address the issue of homicides in the old capital there is no clear indication that this most unholy occurrence, homicides, is being effectively curbed. According to the Amandala newspaper dated 20th March 2016, yet another police response was announced by ASP Chester Williams: detaining children found on the streets after 9:00 pm. One can only imagine the pressure on the police department in Belize City who are often seen as key players in the fight against crime and violence. Others may feel that the police force is responsible for reducing crime and violence in the city, but this is easier said than done. Often short terms gains have been hailed as meaningful success just to find out in the following weeks that these were nothing more than premature exaltations.

    MAKING A DIFFERENCE
    I was recently brousing through a back issue of the Pelican Magazine, a magazine of the University of the West Indies, and I came across an article called “Breaking the Glass Ceiling.” A reference to breaking the glass ceiling usually talks about the barriers to women reaching the highest levels of achievement and decision-making due to inbuilt societal structures that make it difficult for women to arrive at the pinnacle. So, to do just that is often called shattering or breaking the glass ceiling. Certain of my friends say that we should refer to it as breaking through the thatch roof. This, in my experience, is very difficult, but many have tried. One such person is now-retired, distinguished Professor Elsa Leo-Rhynie of UWI. She achieved many firsts in her long career. The most significant, in my view, is that she was appointed

    EASTER REFLECTIONS
    Easter is the second largest holiday in Belize. This time of the year families visit their loved ones in distant places at home and abroad. Others visit their favorite swimming spots such as Bacab, Gracie Rock, Monkey Bay, and the cayes. Some families also have great fun at home playing games, visiting nearby relatives, and enjoying the different meals for Easter week together. Easter is also the time of cross-bun, special gifts, and the traditional Cross- Country race, the biggest sporting event in the country’s history. Two of the main reasons we celebrate Easter are 1) to thank Jesus for dying on the cross to wash away our sins and 2) to mark Jesus’ victory over death, when he rose from the dead on the third day after He was buried. In dying on the cross for our sins, Jesus paid the ultimate price to show His great love for every human person regardless of whether someone is rich or poor. When He rose from the dead Jesus proved that there is indeed life after death for mankind.

    Ariel Rosado Foundation offers more scholarships for 2016
    The Ariel Rosado Foundation is inviting applications for the following scholarships for academic year 2016-2017. The Foundation emphasizes that once applicants are accepted into a high school or Galen University program the main criteria for consideration is financial need. Primary School Sailing Scholarships: Interested Primary Schools are invited to apply for a Grant that covers the cost of 1 year membership fee and 25 sailing sessions with the Belize Sailing Association for 10 students attending any Primary School in Belize City. Schools must provide adult supervision for students while participating in sailing sessions.

    Belize under terrible leadership
    The UDP had a fine time in the House last week. They didn’t debate the budget because they couldn’t. They know the budget is bogus and bad for normal Belizeans like you and me. But these UDPs aren’t normal. They’re living the high life – their pockets full, wives and sweethearts well taken care of, vacations wherever they want whenever they want, fancy vehicles, filet mignon in the fridge. It’s the best of times for the UDPs and for their bloated contract cronies. So they couldn’t really debate the budget because they don’t have to live the way we do. They don’t get it. So they laughed and made fools of themselves like they always do. Because it’s fun for them. It’s funny to them. But for the rest of us, there’s nothing to smile about.

    Questions to Ministers!
    Can the Minister of Works say who has been awarded the contract to build a new road connecting the Phillip Goldson and George Price highways? Can the Minister of Lands reveal who are the landowners who will be affected by the acquisition of land for the new road, whether the Government will provide compensation and who will decide the market value of the lands? Can the Minister of Housing explain how he will meet the increasing housing needs of Belizeans with a budget of $50,000? Will the Minister of National Security explain why the October 2015 Threat Assessment report compiled by senior security officials at the Belize Defence Force was not shared with the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Prime Minister?

    Fuel prices go up – GOB begins to squeeze $50 million from consumers
    Fuel prices went up sharply just before Belizeans got underway with their Easter vacations as the Barrow Administration began to implement their announced $50 million tax increase. The cost of Regular gasoline jumped by 62 cents from $8.23 to $8.85 while Diesel went up by 21 cents from $7.57 to $7.78. The increase fuel prices dampened the spirits of many Easter vacationers who hoped to travel for the Easter weekend. Many tried to stretch their dollars as much as possible to be able to travel to their favourite Easter weekend spot and the higher fuel price increase will only hurt their pockets more. Consumers had to brace for increases in fuel prices just a month ago, in February.

    Airport taxi wrongs tourist
    Dear Editor, An elder couple from the states who is visiting Belize was wronged by a taxi driver of the Ladyville Airport Taxi Union and his colleagues when the driver refused to return the couple’s fare after they found the person who was to pick them up from the airport was right there waiting for them. The incident occurred on Thursday, 10 March 2016, at about 4:30pm when the couple exited the arrival lounge. They searched among those who had signs showing the parties they were waiting for. They inadvertently went past the person who was waiting for them. The pick-up person and his son were right in front of the waiting crowd. The couple moved away to the airport taxi union booth and arranged to have one of the union driver’s take them to their destination. They mistakenly paid first.

    Inside UB: Where the students are last!
    Dear Editor, In September 2015, my wife and I arrived in Belize. We had been invited by the University of Belize to be lecturers teaching courses in Sociology, Psychology and Research Methods but also to be undergraduate thesis advisers. We came from Portugal after having been told that the UB needed to “raise standards”, that it needed “new ideas” to help it become a 21st century institution. What we found was an institution that refused to prepare students and preferred to give them passing grades just for showing up. This opinion of ours has been often mistaken for colonial arrogance. It is not. Quite the opposite, actually.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Cold front setting in
    A late season cold front will become stationary over our area and support an increase in moisture and instability during the next couple of days. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with cloudy spells this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow morning. […]

    PUP’s Jose Mai involved in road traffic accident
    The Peoples United Party’s (PUP) Deputy Leader and Orange Walk South Area representative Jose Abelardo Mai is reportedly under police investigation after he hit a woman while driving along the San Martin gas station area on the Philip Goldson Highway in Trial Farm Village. […]

    Belize Tourism Board hands brief to Brighter Group
    Belize has a new representative for tourism public relations and marketing in Europe. The Belize Tourism Board awarded the contract to The Brighter Group, one of the biggest independent travel & tourism PR and marketing consultancies in the UK, established in 1995. The main […]

    Blogs

    Grilled Panela with Mango Habanero Salsa
    To make the salsa, dice the mangos and cut the onions a little smaller. Place in a mixing bowl. Discard the habanero seeds and mince them up small, being careful not to rub your eyes (you may want to wear kitchen gloves while cutting). Add the cilantro and the lime zest and juice, stir to combine, and then season with salt to taste. Set aside. To grill the cheese, cut it in 1/2-inch slices and heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare a barbecue grill to medium-hot. Rub the cheese slices lightly with olive oil on all sides and brush the grill rack or pan lightly with oil. Grill the cheese quickly, 15 to 20 seconds on both sides, just until it takes a grill mark. Arrange the grilled cheese on a serving platter and spoon the salsa over and around it. Serve any remaining salsa on the side.

    WANDERLUST: HANNA STABLES ~ SAN IGNACIO
    Hanna Stables got a great write up. Their riding excursion to Xunantunich is famous, and quite popular...and loads of fun. "This was the first trip I’ve had in a while that I had a bunch of free time during the day hours to plan my own activities without considering what anyone else wanted to do. SO I was wandering around on Google and found a couple great reviews of a place in San Ignacio named Hanna Stables. I admit when I first told my local friends there I was going horseback riding for half the day they were harassing me but it was THE best decision! Part of the ride was a visit to the Mayan ruins site of Xunantunich which I had missed on previous San Ignacio trips. In order to access the site you take a short ride on an old hand cranked ferry which is an endearing little adventure of its own."

    International Sourcesizz

    Mother Nature provides the music, light and entertainment of Belize
    “If the world had any ends, Belize would certainly be one of them. It is not on the way from anywhere to anywhere else.” These words by the popular 20th century author Alduous Huxley pretty much sum up this little country south of Mexico’s Yucatan and north of Guatemala in Central America. A lack of strategic importance to the world probably explains why, unlike its neighboring countries, Belize has remained so uninhabitable. It feels remote, and, for many of our travelers at Monroe Travel Service, that is exactly what makes it such a virtual paradise to visit. The two lane road that spans the length of Belize is not even paved in some places. In a country which is about the size of Massachusetts, there are only a handful of traffic lights. Yet, don’t let the lack of progress fool you, because, on a recent trip, Rob and I discovered there is a lot to see and do in this little place! Just a couple of hours from Belize City and, after passing through some of the worst poverty imaginable, we arrived into the back-country, a hauntingly charming place of rain-forests and serious jungles. These nature preserves are filled with all sorts of wildlife — monkeys, anteaters, parrots, ocelots, and tapirs, the national animal. The highest waterfall in Central America and the only jaguar reserve in the world can be found in this playground of nature.

    Spanish Colonial Churches Influenced By Maya Designs
    The religious architecture of Spanish colonists in the New World was influenced heavily by the Maya, an indigenous civilization wiped out by European colonization. The age of European expansion into the New World was characterized by the exploitation, subjugation, and assimilation of those who were already inhabiting the lands European powers wished to make their own. The most egregious examples of this cultural – and often literal – eradication are found in the colonies founded by Spain during the colonial period, with the Maya peoples of the Yucatán Peninsula just one of the victims of this European colonisation. In a new doctoral thesis by the University of Gothenburg’s Teobaldo Ramirez Barbosa, a solid link has been made between Maya and the architectural elements of their building methods influencing the religious infrastructure of colonial Spain. The spread of Christianity played a pivotal role in the colonization of the region, which incorporates parts of modern-day Belize and Mexico, and was used as a method by Spanish colonial overlords to control the Maya.

    Top 10 Destinations in Central America - Travelers Choice Awards - TripAdvisor
    San Pedro is "La Isla Bonita" that Madonna made famous. Now it's a tourist mecca, but still boasts great beaches and plenty of dive shops so you can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Plan a side trip to Caye Caulker while you're here; it is less developed and more laid back, and has its own splendid swimming areas.

    Videos

  • Wade Sr 50 AnniverSARY 2015, 69min.

  • Family and friends of murdered tour guide holds unique event in his memory, 3.5min. Ten kite surfers embarked on a life changing challenge to kite surf from Ambergris Caye to the beautiful shores of the Placencia Peninsula. The event which is the first ever of its kind in Belize, is aimed in part to raise awareness of the fragility of the reef, while also honoring the late Jeffrey Eiley, a son of the island who was murdered two years ago.

  • Why Do Mexicans Drink So Much Soda?, 1min. Anthropologist Jaime Tomás Page Pliego explains how Coca-Cola became an integral part of cultural ceremonies in the Chiapas region of Mexico. BBC The Inquiry, about our neighbor's soft drink addiction. Mexicans drink an average of half-liter of sodas daily. In 1903, the Coca Cola company stopped adding coca leaves/cocaine to Coke, but the addition to Coke continues. Mexicans in Chiapas state drink in excess of 3,000 glasses annually, that's more than 5 times the national Mexico. I don't know what the Belizean national average consumption is is, but since "we live eena glass house, we kyan't throw stones at Mexico". Note, from a health point of view, it's is not just about Coke. It's about our deeply ingrained culture of drinking sweetened beverages in general, including sweetened juices and teas. Embark on a habit of drinking water. After a time, you honestly won't miss sodas and sweetened juices. Your food starts tasting even better, not to mention that you'll start losing weight effortlessly, with all the health benefits this brings.

  • 2016 Fieldworkers Club Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition, 4min. Join the partnership between anglers and scientist from the University of Miami at the 2016 Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition, August 13-20, 2016 fieldworkerslub.com

  • Mexico-Belize, 5min.

  • Sea Star/Dive Bar - Belize, 1min. A new dive shop and restaurant, located on the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye, has opened and is drawing attention to experienced divers and visitors.

  • Can you Belize it?!, 4min.

  • BELIZE Boso przez wiat Wojciech CEJROWSKI, 29min. ZASUBSKRYBUJ moj kanal :)

  • BELIZE Boso przez swiat WC Wojciech CEJROWSKI, 28min.

  • Belize, Spring Break 2016, 6min.

  • Belize 2016, 5.5min. Here is a short glimpse of my trip to Belize. I had an unforgettable week and an amazing experience in a beautiful country with beautiful people.

  • Belize Phantom 3 Drone, 5min. A little bit of our trip - from the sky Blue Tang Inn San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

  • Belize | Spring Break 2016, 5.5min.

  • Half Moon Caye, Belize by aerial drone - DJI Phantom 3 Professional, 1min. Filmed during our Great Blue Hole diving trip.

  • The Guatemala-Belize Language Exchange Project 2003-2008, 16min. Video report of 5 years of the Guatemala-Belize Language Exchange Project - Informe en video de los 5 años del Proyecto de Intercambio Guatemala-Belice.

  • Can you Belize it?!, 4min. Traveling Belize, March 2016. Shot at: -Caye Caulker -Turneffe Atoll (Turneffe Island Resort and the blue hole) -Cayo District (Blackman Eddy Village, San Ignacio and Caracol)

  • Belize Mission Trip 2016, 7min.

  • ZipLining in Belize 2016, 2.5min. by Karin Cayetano

  • Belize Cave Tubing, 5min.

  • Belize 2016 Family Trip, 6.5min. We spent March Break 2016 in beautiful Belize exploring the barrier reef, jungle and Mayan ruins.

  • Spring Break in Belize, 4min. Spring Break 2016 Belize City, San Ignacio, Ambergris Caye

    April 2, 2016


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    ‘Kite to Point’ – Surfers kite from Ambergris Caye to Placencia
    We constantly talk about what an amazing experience it is to sail the coast of Belize. But imagine kite surfing from Ambergris Caye to the Placencia Peninsula? That takes sailing to a whole new level and for ten adrenaline seekers, that dream became a reality on Friday, April 1st! Ten kite surfers embarked on a life changing challenge to kite surf from Ambergris Caye to the beautiful shores of the Placencia Peninsula. The event, which is the first ever of its kind in Belize, is aimed in part to raise awareness of the fragility of the reef, while also honouring the late Jeffrey Eiley, a son of the island who enjoyed living life in the Caribbean Sea. To Jeffery, the reef was his playground and he always wanted to undertake this adventure.

    Natasha Sanker wins The San Pedro Sun Easter Egg Hunt
    Has it really been 11 years since we’ve hidden Easter Eggs in The San Pedro Sun? It would appear so, and would you believe that this year’s winner was born the FIRST year we began this fun tradition?! The Easter Bunny (aka Associate Editor and Layout gal Mary) did her very best to hide 11 (yes ELEVEN) eggs in the Easter issue of the paper last Thursday, March 24th. The rules were simple, find all eggs (not in ads or photos, but in actual stories) then call our office at 226-2070 to tell us each location. Or visit us on Barrier Reef Drive and show us what you’ve found. At the end of the day, once we’ve given eagle-eyed readers a chance to find every last one, we’d raffle the names of those who’d been lucky enough to do so. The winner receives a $100 gift certificate from Rapidito Loans. This year, we had quite a few calls and even drop-in visitors, but the lucky name drawn was that of Natasha Sanker. Congratulations Natasha!

    Guatemala lashes at CARICOM; Belizean soldier shot at the border
    In the short few months of 2016, the relation between Belize and Guatemala grown more tense. There has been much controversy, given the recent incidents at the disputed frontier; the latest of which involves the shooting of a Belize Defence Force (BDF) Staff Sergeant, Richard Lambey. After a heated confrontation between members of the Belizean and Guatemalan militia in the Sarstoon area on March 12th, many of Belize’s allies, including the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have showed their support against Guatemala’s aggression. In a statement, CARICOM defended Belize’s sovereignty over the Sarstoon River. The statement addressed the incident in which it was reported that the Guatemalan armed forces (GAF) had entered Belizean internal waters and acted in an intimidating manner towards the BDF. The GAF claimed that the entire Sarstoon belong to them, even though the mid-channel of the river was the settled and agreed border between the Republic of Guatemala and the United Kingdom in the 1800’s. Since Belize’s independence in 1981, it has always continued to assert its sovereignty over the area. CARICOM noted with grave concern the tension caused, and deeply regrets any sanctions of the GAF which violate the sovereignty of Belize. It also condemned any attempt to change the status quo prior to the submission of the Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the Special Agreement ratified by both parties in 2008.

    3rd Annual Kayak Island Challenge held in Caye Caulker
    Organized by Robert Blease and the Caye Caulker Tour Association, the race began at 11AM and included three categories: Men’s Single, Women’s Single and Rudder. The kayakers left from Palapa Gardens located near the Rainbow Restaurant area, up towards the northern part of the island, then made a left turn and kayaked south on the leeward side of the island. At the end of the southern- most point of Caye Caulker, the competitors turned left again, facing the Barrier Reef and returning to the finishing line at Palapa Gardens. The competition lasted over two hours, and the first to reach the finish line with an exact time of two hours was Chris Guydis from Paddle Stop. He was the only participant in the Rudder Category who used a surf-ski on top of a racing kayak. He was the overall winner and opened a gap of about 21 minutes on the second place overall winner. Guydis picked up a $300 cash prize with a trophy and won all station prizes along the way.

    Veterinary Ventures embarks on spay-neuter mission in Belize
    The non-profit organization Veterinary Ventures is coming to Belize for a 14-day spay and neuter event. Veterinary Ventures is dedicated to providing humane veterinary care to the under-served animals of the world by providing veterinary services and care of animals in needy regions of the world. With that mission, six veterinarians and five technicians will be traveling to Belize in May and will be working along with San Pedro’s Saga Humane Society, Belmopan Humane Society and Caye Caulker Humane Society. While in Belize, their goal is to provide spay-neuter services to 400 dogs and cats. In order to accomplish this mission, Veterinary Ventures are raising funds for the trip through YouCaring, a fundraising website. “We work directly with local humane groups to help them help their communities by organizing spay-neuter campaigns to control stray animal populations. 100% of funds raised will go toward the medications and supplies for our campaigns,” indicated Veterinary Ventures. “We need everyone’s help to meet this goal and provide high-quality care to these animals. Cost per surgery is approximately $20US per animal, which includes pain medications, anaesthetics, antibiotics, and surgical supplies.”

    Kite surfers sail to Placencia to honour Jeffrey Eiley
    Ten kite surfers embarked on a life changing challenge to kite surf from Ambergris Caye to the beautiful shores of the Placencia Peninsula. The event which is the first ever of its kind in Belize, is aimed in part to raise awareness of the fragility of the reef, while also honoring the late Jeffrey Eiley, a son of the island who was murdered two years ago. According to organizers, the reef was his playground and he always wanted to undertake this adventure. On Friday, April 1st it became a reality. Organized by Eiley’s family and friends, the event sees the participants being swept away by the Eastern trade winds. Before they arrive in Placencia, the surfers will have covered over 100 miles of Belize’s prestigious Caribbean waters. Jeffrey became a very passionate kite surfer after taking classes from another organizer and kite surfer, Mark Worthington. “The day after we started with the lessons he came back into my place and asked to teach him everything about the sport,” says Worthington. “Eventually, he threw the idea to me about kite surfing to Placencia and invited me to be part of it.

    Russell Dominguez wins Easter Cycling Race
    After a long weekend of Easter celebrations on Ambergris Caye, Easter Monday gave way to one more activity – a Cycling Race. Eighteen cyclists from different ages took on the challenge that started shortly after 9AM from the Village Supermarket in Northern Ambergris Caye. At the end of the race, Russell Dominguez took the top prize and became the winner of this year’s race. The route of the race was set from Village Supermarket to Coco Beach Resort, with the cyclists in the open category having to do four laps (24 miles). Racers in the Under-15 category did two laps (10 miles), followed by cyclists Under-13 doing just one lap (5 Miles). In less than an hour, a proud Dominguez rode in on his last lap, leading the pack and claiming first place. In addition to winning the race, he also picked up a station prize.

    Ambergris Today

    Gary Greif re-elected Deputy Mayor
    The San Pedro Town Council announces that Councilor Gary Greif has been re-elected as Deputy Mayor by a majority decision by the Town Council as it enters the beginning of a new fiscal year. The San Pedro Town Council congratulates Mr. Greif on a job well done and that he may continue working hard for the community.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
    The Government of the Republic of Cuba, under the Belize/Cuba Scholarship Programme, is once again awarding scholarships to the Government of Belize. The scholarships will allow qualifying Belizean students to enter the Escuela Latinoamericana de Ciencias Medicas (ELAM), in the city of Havana, Cuba, to pursue a medical degree. Further there is also a scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Health Technology.

    YOUTH AND COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION PROJECT GROUNDBREAKING CEREMO
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, the executing agency for the Youth and Community Transformation (YCT) Project, will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the site, Chetumal Street Extension, of the much anticipated Lake Independence Resource Center (LIRC). The objective of the Youth and Community Transformation Project is to reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in the Collet, Lake Independence, Pickstock and Port Loyola divisions of Belize City. This will be achieved by providing services to enhance literacy and adaptive life skills, support conflict mediation, and improve inter-linkages and the sharing of best practices among participating agencies working within these communities. The project is being financed by the Government of Belize through a loan facility from the Caribbean Development Bank.

    Full Moon Concert in Corozal
    Mark your calendars! Coming later this month another edition of the Full Moon Concert Series with One Love Band. April 23, 7pm Corozal House of Culture.

    Power problems in San Pedro continue
    BEL apologizes for the continued delay to some customers in San Pedro whose power supply have not yet been restored. High voltage lines connected to one of the burnt poles were also damaged, which need to be replaced to ensure safe power supply. Our crews have been working diligently throughout today to complete works so that power supply can be restored to remaining customers as soon as possible.

    ELECTION OF DEPUTY MAYOR
    Annually at the beginning of the fiscal year, a new Deputy Mayor is usually elected. By a majority decision, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, Deputy Mayor Gary Greif was re-elected by the members of the San Pedro Town Council. We would like to congratulate Deputy Mayor Gary Greif on a job well done and may he continue working hard for our community.

    COROZAL JUNIOR COLLEGE BUSINESS EXPO 2016
    Put a pin in your diary. COROZAL JUNIOR COLLEGE BUSINESS EXPO 2016 - Let's Support Corozal students and Attend. Every year it is bigger and wiser. This year will be no exception! Venue: CJC Campus. Date: Friday April 8th, 2016 Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    I Am not On Sale
    FCD Guatemalan counterparts from COACAP and Escuela La Esperanza exhibit the badges produced which carry the message: I Am not On Sale - whose aim is to dissuade persons from selling scarlet macaws. These are the badges distributed in Southern Peten with support from the UK Government's IWT Challenge Fund.

    The Placencia Breeze April 2016
    Pg 3 BTIA news Pg 6 Ranguana Caye / Turtle Inn Wine Tasting Pg 9 Flaming Heart Ball Pg 10 Lola’s 26 Anniversary / Rotary Club News Pg 11 Police Community Project / Placencia Village Council - 5 aside / Doctor Alexis / PIA Project Pg 13 Point of View - A Fish Tale / Where in the World is the Breeze Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 19 Easter 2016 Pg 20 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 21 Events & Calendar / Save the Date Pg 24 Crocodile Research Coalition Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 PHS News Pg 30/31 Paid Listings Pg 31 Laughing Bird clean-up

    Channel 7

    Stirm Comes Out Swinging
    Last night, we told you how the National Evangelical Association of Belize closed ranks and declared its support for their Vice President, Pastor Scott Stirm. His comparison of the Garifuna's revered Dugu Ceremony to witchcraft continues to stir outrage in the Garifuna Community. Well today, the NEAB took it a step further and called a press conference to say clearly that Stirm should be allowed to have his religious views. In his social media response to the critics, he made it clear that he has friends in the Garifuna community, and today, they joined Stirm and his Association's President at the head table. First to speak was the leader of the fledgling organization who read a piece of scripture to drive Stirm's point home:

    Alrick Remanded For Wholesale Weed
    Alleged weed trafficker Alrick Smith is behind bars tonight. This is after he was caught with a wholesale quantity of weed at the northern border yesterday. Police found 4 parcels - not five as had been originally reported to us - which weighed in at 4.1 kilos or 9.2 pounds. That's worth about 18 thousand dollars in the streets right now where weed is reported to be scarce. But, Smith tried to pull through the Santa Elena border with the weed yesterday in a Jaguar sedan. That's when Customs detected the scent of marijuana and searched his car. They found parcels in the trunk under the spare tire and one more under the passenger seat. Reports from the border are that he resisted arrest by the customs officers and called out threats against them. That's when they handed him over to Corozal police who found some more weed under the sun roof.

    Villager Falls On Road, Gets Run Over
    A Trial Farm villager was run over and killed after he fell on the road. Last night at around 9:40 police were called out to Trial Farm in Orange Walk between miles 55 and 56. That's when they saw 40 year old Hilberto Coyoc splayed on the road. He was bleeding out from his head. An eyewitness told our colleagues at CTV 3 that she and some friends saw when Coyoc fell over on the road. They tried to save him but they were too late. Voice of: Witness: "I was right there by the Chinese man with my sister-in-law, my brother and his friends and I saw a man come out from the dark and I saw him fall. It was dark though and then when I went over to see him, the car was already on top of him. So I couldn't do anything to pull him off the road, because he was in the middle of the road. I and the others who were standing by ran over to try and stop the vehicle, but it was already on top of him." And police have pretty much the same information - they told CTV3 what they have on the case so far

    The Pakeman Position
    Last night, we told you how the family of Dean Dawson Sr. is demanding that Dorian Pakeman, the Director of the Government Press Office, be criminally charged for death of their loved one. On Wednesday night, Pakeman knocked down and killed Dawson on the Phillip Goldson Highway between miles 22 and 23. The family says that Pakeman was overtaking, and he collided head-on with Dawson who was riding a bike in the opposite lane. Pakeman called us back today to say he was heading home from Orange Walk with his high beams on when he spotted Dawson on the bike going in the same direction, in the same lane. Pakeman says that he blew his horn and Dawson swerved towards the center of the road. Pakeman told us that's when he went unto the shoulder of the road to try to go around Dawson. Still, the front passenger side of the vehicle struck Dawson and he died from the impact.

    Police Sweep City And Detain Gangsters
    Every week you see the Mr. Nice Guy approach from police in the community meet and greet sessions. But there's another side to policing, and it's the get-tough approach which was in full effect this morning. At around 3:00 this morning, police department, under the command of Chester Williams and Sgt. Denroy Barrow, swept across Southside Belize City, through many gang hotspots, and detained as many as 30 persons. Street figures who were picked up in the operation include well known Kenneth "Big Tom" Flowers, of Back-A-Town, Brandon Smith aka "Battery" of PIV area, Alexander Underwood, Richard Wallace, and Wababa Noralez of South Side Gangsters, among many others including two minors.

    Accused Armed Robber Mcfoy Gets Bail
    Last week we told you about 22 year old Trevor McFoy, who was accused along with a 17 year old minor of holding up gas station clerks in Scotland Halfmoon at gunpoint. Well today, he got Supreme Court bail of $8,000 dollars from Justice Troadio Gonzales. McFoy was represented by attorney, Dickie Bradley, but up until 12 noon today, he was unable to meet his bail. No application has been heard for the 17 year old minor who is on remand at the Wagner's Youth Facility.

    Atlantic International And The De-Risking Dilemma
    The topic of "de-risking" came to the fore in the last couple of months when regional banks began closing correspondent banking relationships with indigenous banks in the Caribbean, and Belize was no exception. The hammer came down hard when Bank of America, which had long-established relationships with several banks in Belize- cut its ties with two local banks - Atlantic International was one of them. This was a major problem for them since they deal solely with international banking clients. At the root of this problem facing small banking sectors is US Treasury Department and its new measures designed to curb money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Today we had a chance to speak with the CEO of Atlantic International, and he told us that it has been a struggle to get back on their feet since losing their only correspondent banking relationship.

    The Slippery Slope Of Laundered Money In the CFZ
    And while on the topic of banking problems, local banks put in place their own sort of de-risking measures. That was due largely to the illegal trade of cigarettes. Literally millions of packs of Chinese cigarettes would be imported into the COROZAL Free zone and then smuggled over to Mexico. The illicit trade created an environment ripe for money laundering -translating into problems for banks with branches in a Free zone awash in dirty money. One bank was forced to pull out of the free zone as a result of this was the Belize bank. The only one that stayed was Atlantic bank. Now since Atlantic bank separated from its parent company- Atlantic International- the two don't have much to do with each other. But from a banking perspective, we asked CEO Ricardo Pelayo about his take on the illegal trade of cigarettes at the Corozal Free Zone and the risk it poses to banks.

    Darrell Defends Darin
    The case of US developer Darin Smith has been much in the news recently. He's accused of taking money from US investors for lands in his Biospharms projects, and not giving them title for those properties. Some of those investors have sued him - and last week one of them won in the Supreme Court - only to find a death threat posted against their children the very next day. We asked Darin Smith's attorney Darrel Bradley about the loss of the lawsuit and the volatile climate surrounding this case:... Darrell Bradley, Attorney for Darin Smith: "The issue is that you did not win on the merits of the case. You try to serve the man, you say you serve the man, the man says you didn't received the claim and you enter judgement not on any merit or not arguing the facts of the matter. You got a technical judgement and you the man couldn't get that set aside. What we would say in reply to that is that we want to have our day in court." Jules Vasquez: "We know that death threats have appeared on the entrance of Los Tambos Village, death threats against those who complained against your client Mr. Smith, who accused him of fraudulent activities."

    Chester Challenges UNICEF
    On last night's news you saw the Southside Commander make, like, the umpteenth passionate defence of his southside curfew. Well, he needs to tell it all to UNICEF because that global child advocacy agency clings to the Convention on the Rights of the Child which says in Article 37, quote, "(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child… shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time." Yesterday he told us that his curfew has the same goal as that convention. Jules Vasquez: "Now there have been some complaints that this is a violation of the convention on the rights of the child, that you are depriving the child of his or her liberty. Moreover, you are doing it arbitrarily, it's not necessarily their fault that they're out there, it's the fault of the adults, who you can't reach so you victimize the children. That is an argument, how do you respond to that?" ACP. Chester Williams, Commander, Southside: "My respond to that and to those critics is simply this, please tell me what is the primary objective of the United Nation Convention on the rights of a child? And if the objective is not to ensure the well-being and the protection of the child, and I will go further to say this, often times people talk about the right of a child and protection of children."

    When A Mural Matters
    Yesterday we told you about the grants that PACT handed over to several NGO's. The main purpose is to enhance conservation efforts and protect the environment and wildlife. Well, while PACT is helping out through monetary contributions OCEANA along with a few student volunteers, are helping out by spreading the message through art - OCEANA and their team are painting a mural on the seawall in front of Memorial Park! We stopped by to find out why. Celeshia Guy, Field Rep. OCEANA Belize : "We started yesterday on mural project within the community and OCEANA is doing this within each municipality throughout the country and in Belize City, the Belize City Council was kind enough to give us a portion of the seawall to do our mural. And as you could see here today what we are trying to highlight in this mural are ecosystems of Belize, just overall Belize, our cultural identity and everything that we have out there that is worth protecting. So that is what we are highlighting today. As you can see in the mural painting we have like different species of animals, different species of plants, a Maya ruin and all that. So it's just highlighting Belize. It very important for us to include the community as well, because they are the ones who - we all have a stake in our ecosystems and our environment and just by them being a part of this project, I mean they have created so much more appreciation for it."

    A Bank, The Best Place To Work?
    If you could choose the best place to work at in the Caribbean where would you go? Well, according to an annual international survey done by an US agency, the best place to work at in this region is at the Atlantic International Bank in Belize. The recognition was made official on the 10th of March when the Belize Branch office was awarded at a ceremony in Costa Rica. They entered the "20 to 100 employees" category and succeeded in being named the number one Great Place to Work in the region for 2016. Today we visited their headquarters in Belize City and spoke to the CEO Ricardo Pelayo, who told us what this means for the company. "For us it was a great honor to be recognized by this organization. We didn't know about it in the first instance, but we have been working with a consultant out of New York who has been helping us to prepare a 5 year strategic plan for the bank. Because he had an in depth look at our organization, he thought that we could qualify as a great place to work. In addition to being designated as a great place to work, they also carry out a ranking of the best companies to work for in Central America and Caribbean. That is a separate ranking that is based on the data that was provided to them through the surveys and the responses that we got. We realized when we got back the results of those surveys that we actually were ranking in the top 5 percentage for most of the responses that came back for the region. And so when they approached us and asked us if we wanted to participate in the ranking overall, we thought it would be a good idea. We didn't know though, that we would have ended up at the top."

    Cantame! Cocono Bwai
    19 year old Cecil Jenkins Jr, aka "Cocono Boy," dominated the stage in September 2014 when he won the national song competition in the junior's category. In 2015 he entered and won again, but in the senior's category. Now, in 2016 Jenkins hopes to do the same. So he is building that momentum towards September's competition starting with the release of his new song "Dengue Fever." Today the "bruk - down - bway" gave us a snippet of this new catchy tune. The video is out on youtube. Now as we said, Jenkins hopes this release will serve to build that momentum and pull off his third consecutive win at the annual national song competition. So can Cocono Boy fans expect to hear year? Here is what he told us you should expect.

    Clayton Comes Through
    You may have heard Pastor Scott Stirm call the Dugu ceremony witchcraft, but, hey, at least he didn't call the Hugu-Hugu rhythmn "devil music". Parandero Clayton Williams is probably indifferent to all that noise. He's a young parandero keeping the Garifuna music and traditions alive and three weeks ago in New York, he took home 5 awards at the 2016 Garifuna Music Awards. We spoke to the relative newcomer about the recognition form his peers: Clayton Williams, Honored at Garifuna Music Awards: "It was the Garifuna Music Award held by the Garifuna Correlation USA INC. in Bronx New York whereby I was nominated for 8 different awards and I came out with 5 of them; artist of the year, album of the year, video of the year, new artist of the year and producer of the year." Reporter: "Those are very prestigious awards. For which songs and which album did you win?" Clayton Williams, Honored at Garifuna Music Awards: "It was my "Garifuna Nuguya" album. People might be familiar with the song "Garifuna Nuguya." That was my hit song that I released last year. I released the album last year as well and it was nominated and now I am here with 5 awards. I am happy."

    Changing Mindsets While Changing Oil
    If you're mechanically inclined, you might not think much of an oil change - heck, you can do it right in your driveway! But, Caribbean Tires sees it differently - and that mega company wants to do for the oil change what it did for car tyres, make it quick, easy and accessible. The company launched its new state of the art oil changing facility at the Belmopan Branch today. Caribbean Tires teamed up with Valvoline oil, for a first of its kind facility in Belize. But getting consumer buy-in is another matter, because most folks are content doing it themselves or at their friendly mechanic. The Manager of Caribbean Motors wants to change that - he explained at the opening today: According to Emil Torres, they hope to have oil changing facilities established in all other branches across the country in the near future.

    Channel 5

    Was B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey Injured by Friendly Fire?
    The government has not said much concerning the shooting of Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey that took place in the Chiquibul on Holy Saturday, but tonight, News Five has received further [...]

    Pastor Scott Stirm Kicks Up a Storm
    Tonight, Pastor Scott Stirm remains in the eye of a storm for disparaging comments he made that have enraged the Garifuna community and other sectors. Stirm is well-known as a [...]

    Converted Evangelical Garinagu Come to Support Stirm
    Today, the association held a press conference to clarify those statements, saying that it is not against the Garifuna culture or its people, but against the spiritual practices and beliefs [...]

    Stirm Says Video was Intentionally Posted to Discredit His Character
    On March thirtieth, Stirm issued a release as a reaction to a letter from the National Garifuna Council. In his response, Stirm says that the video was manipulatively edited and [...]

    Government Seeks to Empower Minister of State for Immigration
    For the past two weeks, the National Assembly has been occupied with the annual budget which came into effect today.  The fiscal plan has been presented and carefully taken apart [...]

    2 of 5 Related Immigration Bills are Approved
    The purpose of the proposed pieces of law is unclear since Minister Hulse has full powers. Courtenay surmises, however, that it may be one of two reasons: either to give [...]

    Mother of 4 Comes Forward Following Death of Dean Dawson
    Investigations continue into a fatal traffic accident in which Dean Dawson was hit and killed by the highly connected Director of the Press Officer, Dorian Pakeman who was heading from [...]

    What are Belizeans Saying About a Proposed Curfew?
    The implementation of an unofficial curfew in south side Belize City is not sitting well in many sectors. Two weeks ago, in the wake of at least three murders allegedly [...]

    Mayor Bradley Doesn’t Support Curfew Restriction
    While most residents are not against a curfew for minors, the proposal brings to light the issue of parenting or the lack thereof. Recently, the Belize City Council signed on [...]

    Prosecution of Rupert Myles is Discontinued
    As we reported on Wednesday, charges against two members of the Santa Cruz Thirteen were withdrawn when the case against a group of Maya leaders came up in the Magistrate [...]

    Alleged Robber Trevor McFoy is Granted Bail
    One of two persons accused of executing a broad daylight robbery at River Valley Supplies Gas Station in Scotland Halfmoon was granted Supreme Court  bail today by Judge Troadio “John” [...]

    Roger Anthony Before the Court for Weed Possession
    On the eve of his thirty-ninth birthday, notorious street figure, Roger Anthony spent the night in lockdown at the Queen Street Police Station for the possession of a miniscule amount of controlled [...]

    Fatal RTA Claims Life of Trial Farm Resident
    The body of Trial Farm resident Hilberto Coyoc is tonight in the morgue at the Northern Regional Hospital after he was knocked down and killed in the Orange Walk District [...]

    Support for an Elected Senate from an Unlikely Corner
    There is more from the Senate other that the budget debate that provide for interesting moments from senators on both sides of the floor. In her budget presentation, Doctor Carla [...]

    Opposition Senator Says U.D.P. Government is Thwarting Election of Senators
    Doctor Barnett’s perspective on an elected Senate was not lost on lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay. While Courtenay fully agrees with Barnett, he maintains that it is the U.D.P. government, [...]

    Dr. Carla Barnett Supports Consultations During Budget Formulation
    Government has come under fire for failing to consult with the Opposition and the social partners during the process of putting together the annual 2016/2017 budget.  All, with the exception [...]

    Senators Credit Former Financial Secretary for Position on Budget Consultations
    Failure to meet with social partners and the Opposition on the budget is a point of concern that has been raised in the senate and seasoned parliamentarian Eamon Courtenay. Even [...]

    LOVE FM

    Another Fatality Reported in Northern Belize
    Another fatal road traffic accident occurred last night on the Philip Goldson Highway, this time in Trial Farm Village in the Orange Walk District. 60-year-old Benjamin Carrillo Senior told police sometime after nine o’clock last night, he was driving on the highway when he saw man lying on the road. Carillo said he made every […]

    Potential Infrastructural Works Being Discussed
    In several parts around the country it is evident that infrastructural works continue to take place by the Ministry of Works. In the western town of San Ignacio, there is a project currently underway which seeks to construct what will be the longest bridge in the country. Chief Executive Officer, Errol Gentle spoke of this […]

    Climate Resilience Project Tackles the Philip Goldson Highway
    While there are several infrastructural works taking place in several parts of the country, there are also some projects that are coming on stream within the next few months. CEO Gentle says these works fall under the Climate Resilience Project. ERROL GENTLE “We have other projects that we have in the pipeline that I would […]

    CEO for Works Explains Ongoing Infrastructural Projects
    In several parts around the country it is evident that infrastructural works continue to take place by the Ministry of Works. In the western town of San Ignacio, there is a project currently underway which seeks to construct what will be the longest bridge in the country. Chief Executive Officer, Errol Gentle spoke of this […]

    CEO Explains Airport Link Road Project
    The announcement of the construction of a link road that would connect the George Price and Philip Goldson Highways came some weeks ago from the Government of Belize. It is a project that will span the two roadways from mile eight on the George Price Highway to the airport area on the Philip Goldson Highway. […]

    Sugar Roads Repaired Amidst Challenges
    Sugar cane farmers have experienced struggles and challenges when it comes to the sugar roads particularly during inclement weather. It is an issue that has surfaced in the House of Representatives time and time again as members of the Opposition and stakeholders in the sugar industry have asked for the roads to be given some […]

    Pastor Stirm Calls Press Brief Regarding Recent Comments
    A video of Pastor Scott Stirm has been circulating on social media in which he makes what some consider to be critical and derogatory comments about the Garifuna culture. While the video has been out for some time, today Stirm held a press briefing to give his side of the story. David Victor Davis […]

    Tribute to Jeff Eiley – 2 Years after Being Murdered
    Family and friends of Jeffery Eiley who was murdered two years ago gathered in San Pedro for what was dubbed as Kite to Point. It involved kite surfing from San Pedro to Placencia. Love News spoke with one of the organizers, Mark Worthington who shared more on the event. Love News spoke with a […]

    Lands Department Takes Stock of Unused and Available Acres
    Yesterday we brought to you an interview with the Minister of Lands, Godwin Hulse who spoke on a survey and a process being undertaken which will look at several aspects as they relate to land availability, land titles among others. Hulse explained that these activities currently being carried out seek to do several things. […]

    Diana Locke Yet to Be Confirmed by Public Service as Immigration Director
    In February, we told you of the discussions taking place surrounding the seat for a Director of Immigration. At the time of our report we told you that Diana Locke who is currently attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the name being thrown out as the new Immigration Director. We understand that while […]

    The Reporter

    Pastor Scott Stirm clarifies statements made against the Garifuna community
    Pastor Scott Stirm called a press conference, today, Friday to clarify statements aired on an edited video in which he called the Garifuna ceremony of ‘Dugu’ witchcraft and caused outrage in that community. Surrounded by fellow pastors from different ethnicity, including Garifuna Christian pastors, Stirm […]

    Belize has worst ranking in human trafficking
    The Government of Belize (GOB) has asked the Organization of American States (OAS) office at the Adjacency Zone to investigate the circumstances of last Saturday’s shooting in the Chiquibul forest area where a Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier was shot. A press release issued on […]

    GOB asks OAS to investigate shooting of solider in Chiquibul
    Belize was one five Caribbean countries to participate in a recent workshop on human trafficking to strengthen its capacity, particularly in regards to prosecution. The workshop, which took place last week, comes on the heels of a 2015 downgrade from the US State Department, from […]

    GOB asks OAS to investigate shooting of solider in Chiquibul
    The Government of Belize (GOB) has asked the Organization of American States (OAS) office at the Adjacency Zone to investigate the circumstances of last Saturday’s shooting in the Chiquibul forest area where a Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier was shot. A press release issued on […]

    Zika flares across the Caribbean Belize anticipating lab results
    The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is warning that 15 Caribbean countries have now reported cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Belize is waiting on high alert, awaiting lab results of patients. CARPHA Executive Director, Dr. James Hospedales, said the Zika virus appears to be […]

    Budget Debate: Caribbean Shores Rep. blasts Legal Fees, incomplete stadium
    Caribbean Shores Area Representative Kareem Musa, during last week’s budget debate, accused Prime Minister Dean Barrow of using public funds to pay his family and close friends more than $27 million in legal fees. Musa referred to page 41 of the Budget Proposals to point […]

    Julius Espat threatens to sue P.M. over Petro Caribe funds, again
    PUP Area Representative Julius Espat, has threatened to sue Prime Minister Dean Barrow for what he describes as “criminal misuse” of PetroCaribe funds, and amending the law of the land to justify his management of the funds. Espat, who is the elected representative for the […]

    Council of Churches dedicates KHMH chapel
    The Belize Evangelical Council and the National Council of Churches came together in a concelebrated service to consecrate the newly built chapel at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Wednesday this week. After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Glancy, Anglican Bishop Philip […]

    PACT shares million dollar grant among seven NGO’s
    Seven non-governmental organizations this week shared more than $1 million in grant funds from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) to carry on projects in their field of work for the next year. The largest grant went to the Belize Audubon Society (BAS). A sum […]

    Inflation up, exports down, GDP inches upward
    Cost of living in Belize rose by 0.3 percent in February, compared to the same month in 2015, according to figures provided by the government’s Statistical Institute of Belize ( SIB). The Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures show that double digit increases, in terms of […]

    Pre-Easter shooting in Belize City leaves one man dead.
    By A 21-year-old optician, Alwayne Cherrington, who by all accounts lived a trouble-free life, was shot to death last Saturday night while visiting his mother-in-law on Lopez Street. He was sitting in the living room of the house next to his wife when a gunman appeared […]

    Gang violence at Old Belize! Cops arrest “Soup” williams
    Jason “Soup” Williams, a repudiated Belize City gang personality, has been accused of stabbing one man and injuring another at an Easter event held at Old Belize on the George Price Highway over the weekend. The stabbing took place on Holy Saturday around 4:30 in the […]

    Knife attack on Water Lane! Victim in critical condition
    Stabbing victim Ezekiel McKoy lies critically wounded in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after someone attacked him with a knife on Water Lane in Belize City in the early hours of Easter Sunday morning. Police found him unconscious on […]

    Massive gang bust over the US! Belizeans caught in the round-up
    By In an operation that lasted more than five weeks, agents from the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency carried out a massive round-up of suspected gang members across several cities of the United States. During the operation, dubbed Shadowfire, ICE agents arrested 1,133 […]

    Government’s Press Director knocks down and kills mechanic
    The government’s Press Director, Dorian Pakeman, 34, is in a quandary after the government-owned vehicle he was driving was involved in an accident that killed a mechanic on Wednesday night on the Philip Goldson highway. Police say that Pakeman was heading in the direction from […]

    Belizean, Debra Baptist among 14 women of courage honoured by US Secretary Kerry
    Belizean Debra Baptist was among 14 women honoured on Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. He presented the 2016 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award to a group of extraordinary women from around the world at the U.S. Department of State. The Secretary of State’s International […]

    Editorial
    The OAS Mission in the Adjancy Zone is essentially a peace-keeping and public relations mission, not an investigative one. Still the OAS may be able to help us in identifying the gunman who shot Sgt. Richard Lambey at our Valentin Observation Post near the border on Saturday, March 25. But […]

    Stirm’s “witchcraft” comments angers Garinagu
    The National Garifuna Council (NGC) was not impressed with Pastor Scott Stirm’s press statement apologizing for derogatory comments he made about Garifuna religious customs, which appeared in a video on YouTube. NGC Secretary Gwen Nunez Gonzalez told Reporter, on Wednesday that the NGC has […]

    Greg Lovell and Byron Pope test positive for prohibited drugs
    Belizean cyclists Gregory Lovell of the DigiCell 4G team and Byron Pope of the Benny’s Megabytes team were not able to participate in this year’s Cross Country Cycling Classic because both tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. The anti-doping tests were administered by the […]

    Citco robbed of four guns
    Four guns belonging to the Belize City Council were stolen from inside a safe at the city’s Special Constable office upstairs of the Commercial Center. The robbery occurred between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Inspector Alejandro Cowo, Officer Com-manding Precinct One & Two of the […]

    Orange Walk resident runs over man lying on the road
    An Orange Walk resident accidentally drove over a man lying on the road in Trial Farm Village Orange Walk District on Friday night.  Benjamin Carrillo Sr., 60, told Orange Walk police that at around 9:35 p.m., he was driving on the Phillip Goldson Highway between […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Alrick Smith caught again with weed
    Alrick Smith is back in police custody after being caught for a third time smuggling drugs across the northern border. Corozal police reported that on Thursday around 4:35 in the afternoon, officers responded to a call from Custom personnel at the Northern Border. When […]

    Trial Farm Village man allegedly killed in traffic accident
    Trial Farm village resident Hilberto Coyock, 40, was killed in an odd traffic accident on Thursday night. Orange Walk police reported that a man was driving into Orange Walk Town from a northern direction in his 1997 Mazda four door sedan at around 9:35. […]

    Marie Sharp in Hall of Fame for hot sauce
    Popular sauce and condiment maker Marie Sharp is in the Hall of Fame in New York. This week, she was the sole non-American announced to be inducted into the New York Hot Sauce Hall of Fame for her pioneering work in the hot sauce […]

    Doctors confirm link between Zika virus and microcephaly in case of pregnant woman who visited Belize
    A Finnish woman residing in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., was forced to abort her fetus after contracting the Zika virus while visiting Mexico, Guatemala and Belize on vacation, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. The renowned medical journal recently reported that doctors used […]

    Evangelical Christian pastors support Pastor Scott Stirm
    The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) hosted the press in Belize City this afternoon to show support for Pastor Scott Stirm, who apologized this week for comments made on Garifuna spiritual beliefs to a foreign audience. Corozal’s Pastor David Diego and Dangriga’s Pastor […]

    Elderly man runs over pedestrian with car in Orange Walk
    Another traffic accident took the life of 40-year-old Hilberto Coyoc last night in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk District, when he was run over40 p.m. that police responded to the […]

    Police find gun in the old capital
    At around 11:30 yesterday morning, Belize City Police working off information received, searched Munoz Alley and found a black .38 Taurus brand revolver with rubber grip near some garbage. Along with the firearm, officers found five live rounds of ammunition which were labelled as […]

    Former Minister lucky to escape extortion in Chetumal
    According to information from a news source across the border in Chetumal, Mexico, a former Belizean politician had to be escorted back across the border by Marines earlier this week after a strange phone call put him in grave danger. That person is reportedly […]

    Ombudsman report released
    The 15th Annual Report of the Ombudsman has been tabled at the House of Representatives. The 48-page document notes that in 2015, the Ombudsman received a total of two hundred and seventeen complaints of wrongdoing, corruption, injustice or injury on the part of a government […]

    Institute of Archaeology settles with Rupert Myles, awaits Noh Mul ruling
    On Wednesday the defendants known as the Santa Cruz 13 returned to the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court. The group was initially accused of unlawful detention and assault on Rupert Myles in the Maya village last year. They contend that they were trying to prevent […]

    BDF shooting “perils of enforcement” says FCD
    Belize Defence Force soldier, Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey, was shot 4 times on Holy Saturday evening around 4 during an exchange of fire between himself and a Guatemalan poacher in the area of Camp Valentin. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday evening issued […]

    Maya Mountain Cacao holds Annual Farmers Meeting in Punta Gorda
    Maya Mountain Cacao (MMC) Ltd. which is based in Punta Gorda Town, held its Annual Farmers Meeting on Saturday March 19th, drawing a crowd of more than 300 farmers, chocolate makers and industry stakeholders from across the Toledo District to discuss market expansion, as […]

    Blogs


    Folk Tales of Belize: One of the best ways to get to know a local culture is through their folk tales, legends, and myths. Belize, with its unique blend of different cultures, has a truly colorful folklore history replete with many tall tales. Below are three different stories culled from Belize’s rich folklore: Tata Duende: From a local term meaning “Gradfather Demon”, Tata Duende is a wizened old man who is very short, has backwards feet, and has just four fingers on each hand. Tata Duende always wears a tall hat and is used as a bogeyman in Belize, a figure to scare misbehaving children with threats of being kidnapped and taken into the jungle to be lost forever. Sisemite: Sometimes known as Sisimito, the creature is Belize’s local version of Big Foot or the Sasquatch. Usually described as a male creature, Sisemite is supposed to live in the extensive cave network in Belize and survives on consuming raw meat from jungle animals that he hunts. Unique to this version of Big Foot, Sisimito is commonly rumored to have a fondness for human women, kidnapping them and taking them to his cave lair, which he then impregnates to create new Sisimitos. La Llorona: From a Spanish word meaning “The Crying Woman”, La Llorona is described as being a svelte, tall and very beautiful woman with very long black hair. Her face is always shrouded although it is believed to be misshapen and ugly.

    Best Instagram Travel Photos of Belize for March 2016
    The month of March has come and gone, with many locals and tourists having traveled the country for this weekend's past Easter Break. Undoubtedly, you've also gathered some pretty amazing travel photos along the way. Maybe you went zip-lining through the jungles of Southern Belize, snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef, or simply relaxed on the beach enjoying the warm Caribbean sun. There were thousands of travel photos taken in Belize this past month that were shared via the Instagram App, and we’ve decided to share some of the best snaps. Here’s our list of the "Best Instagram Travel Photos of Belize" for the month of March:

    International Sourcesizz

    Frog foam could deliver drug therapy
    Foam made by miniature frogs to protect their eggs could offer a clever way to deliver healing drugs to burns patients, say scientists. Tough bubbles could trap and deliver medication while providing a protective barrier between the wound dressing and the damaged skin, they believe. The Strathclyde University researchers have begun making a synthetic version of foam. They are taking inspiration from the tiny Tungara frog from Trinidad. After mating, the 5cm-sized amphibians whip up a bubbly nest that protects the spawn for days from disease, predators and weather. The foam is made of at least six proteins that retain the shape and strength of the nest. Dr Paul Hoskisson and his colleagues say they have worked out the composition of four of these proteins and have begun mixing their own recipe.

    Belize: Trial of 13 Indigenous Land Rights Defenders Begins with Heavy Police Presence
    Charges of assault against two Maya leaders were dropped today during a hearing for members of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) on charges that were brought against them 10 months ago. Local police assembled about 20 of its officers next to the Punta Gorda courthouse just before the hearing began. A number of military police were also present, armed with rifles, tear gas, and riot shields. The police barred international observers from entering the courtroom. Inside the courtroom, when pressed on this issue, the Magistrate stated that it was a public trial and that no observers should be denied entry, yet the court police continued to refuse international observers entrance. The Maya leaders’ alleged crime relates to the defense of the Uxbenka archaeological site, a sacred site to the Maya people, located within traditional lands titled to the Maya people under domestic and international laws. The disputed conflict arose after Mr. Rupert Myles, a Belizean citizen, illegally constructed a house on the grounds of the ancient temple against the advise of the community. According to Maya community members, the Belize authorities failed to respond to their call to stop Mr. Myles from doing further harm to the site. The community explained that Mr. Myles attended a community meeting to resolve the conflict where he became unruly, causing village police to detain him. However, Myles later accused the Mayas of physically assaulting him at the community meeting, a claim the Maya leaders strongly deny. The police’s show of force at yesterday’s hearing is not a new development to the case.

    Belize Trip Provides Opportunity to ‘Show God’s Love’
    Nine students traveled on the annual mission trip to Belize with Dr. Lisa Seeley and her husband over Spring Break. ETBU’s Great Commission Center works in in partnership with Hope Springs Water to send teams to supply clean water to the people in the area. The team’s main objective was to fix two water wells for several villages that did not have clean water sources, build relationships with the people, and tell them about Jesus. “We had so many little goals but we knew going into it that the main thing we were there to do was, of course, to repair the wells,” said Samantha Ayre. “But through that, to show God’s love to those people.” When the team made it to Belize, they received a warm welcome from the people. “The people in Belize were so welcoming and friendly,” Ayre said. “The children were pure joy when we were in the schools playing with them and teaching them. They were definitely my favorite part!”

    Discovering new favorite foods by accident
    Sometimes I have discovered the most interesting and fun foods quite by accident. As the weather took a turn for the worse last Wednesday, my wife, Susanne, and I starting talking about one bus ride we took a little over six years ago. At the time we were spending Spring Break in the Central American nation of Belize. Soon after we arrived there, we found out that there was daily bus service to a city just north of the Mexican border. Since neither of us had ever been to that part of Mexico we decided to go. Our destination in Mexico, not far from the border with Belize, was the city of Chetumal. People in Belize had spoken of Chetumal because they enjoy shopping and eating there. After all, Chetumal has a large mall and McDonald’s, neither of which exist in Belize. But there is more to the area than that. Chetumal is actually the capital of the state of Qunitana Roo, the same state where Cancun is located. It is an important gateway for trade from Belize and home to a very nice Museum of Mayan Culture.

    Caribbean Banking: Defending Rights, Resisting Unfair Practices
    In January, coincidental to my assuming the presidency of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS), I met, in Washington DC, the prime minister of Belize, Deane Barrow, who had just taken on the responsibility of chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government. Mr Barrow was in DC to meet US government Treasury officials, and regulatory bodies to explore what could be done to stop the destructive course on which US banks had embarked of cutting-off correspondent banking relations (CBRs) with banks in Belize. At the time US banks had severed relations with the majority of banks in Belize, creating high costs for every international transaction. Banks had to seek correspondent relations with countries as distant as Turkey and China in order to clear payments for goods and services between the US and Belize. The situation in Belize at the time, while dire and urgent, was not unique in the Caribbean. Indeed, no county was immune; all were affected.

    Davenport author has Sunday signing for new thriller
    Davenport author Joan Mauch has released her fourth novel, the self-published thriller "Escape From Ambergris Cave" ($3.99 e-book, $12.99 paperback). Set first in Tampa, Fla., and later in Ambergris Caye off the coast of Belize, the international crime thriller is about what happens when a television-news cameraman stumbles upon a human-trafficking operation and must decide whether to risk his life and the job he loves to save a co-worker from the clutches of slavers—or simply look the other way and hope for the best.

    Videos

  • Belize Snorkel, 1.5min.

  • Belize 2015, 3.5min.

  • LIONFISH - Belize, 6.5min.

  • Belize launches National Cultural Policy, 6min. PlusTV Belize

  • A National Cultural Policy is Unveiled in Belize City, 5min. Channel 5 Belize

  • Belize 2016, min. Green Hedges School Best of Belize 2016 EF Tours.

  • Reef diving in Belize !, 5min. Snorkeling!

  • Belize 2016, 30min. Scuba, caving and more!

  • Belize Documentary, 7min.

  • BELIZE EXHIBIT 35 2016 DC Independence Exhibit, 30min. A historic Photo Exhibit Belize 35th 2015/. Karl Villanueva Photojournalist and President of the Foundation for the Preservation of Belizean History and Culture and sculptor n Professor at the University of Nebraska, Santiago Cal Phd. The Opening Reception has been long in the making and represents not only a major event but a Crowning achievement for all proud Belizeans It is undoubtedly the first of its kind. Visually, a compelling pictorial journey of Belize on September 21, 1981 and more importantly, the birth of a new nation in Central America. Anticipated press coverage of this event will impact just about every Belizean and their friends throughout the United States, Belize and the region.

  • Vlog - Visiting Orange Walk Town, Belize, 11min. In this video I show you my trip to Belize. My parents are from Belize and every year or two I go to see my family. going there is fun and always a great experience. Belize is a great place to visit if you like warm weather, good food, and meeting fun people.

  • Belize 2016, 10min.

    April 1, 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

    Easter Pancake Bunny Brunch at Lion’s Den
    Entire families and volunteers gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den on Saturday, March 26th, for a fun-filled fundraising event. As part of their Easter celebration, the Lions Den hosted their fifth annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny, packed with many entertaining activities. An all-time American breakfast favorite of pancakes was served with sausage links, orange slices and juice. Catering to children and allowing them to use their imagination, a table was set with both traditional and fun toppings of butter, syrup, chocolate syrup, jams, sliced bananas, shredded cheese, sprinkles, marshmallows, and jellybeans! It was fun to see the many edible combinations the little ones made! As guests sat down, coloring pages and crayons were set at each table for children to express their artistic skills. After munching on their delicious breakfast, children took a shot at winning prizes by playing games like: pin the tail on the bunny, puzzle games, fishing for eggs and egg and spoon. A table was set for face painting with awesome designs like Easter eggs, rainbows, bunny faces, peace signs, and much more.

    SPTC donates vehicle to police
    Another vehicle has been added to the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) fleet courtesy of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The official handing over of a red pick-up truck took place on Wednesday, March 23rd outside the SPTC building. The donation came in time for the long Easter weekend, as our police were in full force patrolling across the island, so the additional mobile was well received by the police. Mayor Daniel Guerrero, in an effort to continue assisting the local authorities on the island, has been taking advantage of every opportunity to continue doing so. “With this new vehicle, the police will have more coverage on the island, especially during busy times like Easter and other festivities when the island is overcrowded with visitors,” stated Guerrero. Superintendent Sandra Bowden welcomed the addition of the vehicle to their squadron of police vehicles. She thanked the SPTC for their continuing support and took the opportunity to ask the community to continue working together with the police. With the island rapidly growing, it is mandated that the police force continues to expand as well, in order to reach out to every corner of the island and provide safety to everyone.

    ACES asks community to Light It Up Blue
    A is for April, also for Autism. As the month of March concludes, April has a significant meaning to many, as the month is dedicated to spreading awareness about autism, understanding the condition, and honoring unique talents and skills of people with autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in short terms, is a developmental disability that leads individuals to have impaired communication and social interaction. This medical condition also leads individuals to have restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities. World Autism Day will be observed on Saturday, April 2nd, and Ambergris Caye Elementary School’s (ACES) strongly encourages everyone’s participation to raise Autism Awareness by putting out blue lights in place of regular lighting for the whole month of April. ACES special education teacher Sarah Freudenberg is kindly asking for the community, local businesses, landmarks, and homes to support them in the Autism Speaks “Light It Up Blue” campaign. Autism Speaks is an autism research and education organization that inaugurated their first campaign “Light It Up Blue” in 2010.

    Island Invasion: A top notch event!
    This massive party is organized by King of the Island Promotions headed by island resident Brian Halliday. The venue is at the largest and most visible palapa in San Pedro Town located at Fido’s Courtyard. The epic party has been a tradition for the past several years, and is known for featuring some of the top local and international DJs. It was my first time at such a top of the line party. The crowd was dancing their feet away to the best tunes of dancehall, club, house, reggae and pop as well. The best area to be – in my opinion – is the VIP lounge. You still get to enjoy the music along with a private bar- I mean nothing can go wrong! And to add to excitement of the high energy ambience, the talented and professional bartenders at Fidos will pamper you with refreshing cocktails and cold beers- that is a guarantee that never expires. If you missed Island Invasion for Easter don’t worry as you don’t need to wait until the following year. The island’s biggest party of the year also takes place during La Costa Maya Festival in August and in December during Brian’s birthday weekend. So lookout for the other date coming up (if you miss one) or do all three of them. Remember, this is one event you don’t want to miss! Island Invasion- the top notch of all island-fun style parties!

    Easter Weekend 2016 was quite the ‘eggstravaganza’!
    It was a picture perfect weekend for Easter festivities on the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye. Countless Easter-themed events drew hundreds of tourists and locals to celebrate a fun-filled occasion. During the weekend, people occupied the beaches while enjoying the serene waters, fresh breeze, and hot sun on La Isla Bonita. Many residents celebrated with their families and planned picnics, barbeques, and beach outings. San Pedro, being a town that never fully sleeps, also provided visitors with an array of events catering to children, teenagers, adults, and religious groups. The Holiday Hotel hosted their two-day Easter Fest of fun, games, sand, music, and Carib beer, featuring international Deejay Capone and DJ Karlo. Part two of the event kicked off with Caprice’s Bar & Grill Foam Party. It was an impressive beach affair, where people danced and played with foam. And what is Easter without the chance to win awesome prizes? Holiday Hotel had several games, from traditional dance contests, limbo to a beer drinking contest. Prizes included gift bags from Traveller Liquors Limited, gift certificates to parasail, gift baskets of Carib beer, bar and food tabs, courtesy of Caprice Bar & Grill.

    Children move and groove at DANCE camp
    A new project embarked on La Isla Bonita where DANCE group, a shorter acronym for: Dance Activists Nurturing Children’s Education, invited all children of San Pedro for free dance classes. Held for four days at the Lion’s Den, dance instructors dedicated their time in bringing out the dance abilities of our youth. All dance choreographers share one thing in common, and that is a love of dancing. Gerry Badillo is a professional Zumba instructor in San Pedro, while Emilie Gomez and Francisco Mendez are alumni from the San Pedro Dance Company. The camp is divided into morning classes for children ages 4-10 and an afternoon class for children ages 11-15. Each group is taught two styles of dancing, modern and contemporary ballet. After the four days of practicing new moves, DANCE will be hosting a recital at the Lion’s Den on Saturday, April 2nd at 7pm. If all goes well, DANCE is hoping to hold another dance camp for kids in the summer.

    Ambergris Today

    Town Council Implements Regulations for Downtown Deliveries
    The San Pedro Town Council, in an effort to improve the traffic conditions on the roads of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, is requesting the full support and cooperation of all businesses that conduct deliveries within “Town”. On March 10, 2016, the announcement was made that all deliveries conducted with bigger and hazardous/flammable vehicles are being requested to NOT deliver after 7a.m. (these include all construction equipment, backhoe, tractors, mixers, standard pick-up trucks, dump/container trucks, butane trucks, skytrak, freezer trucks, bobcats and all other vehicles considered heavy equipment, inclusive those towing boats or vehicles). The areas to be affected are from the Zericote Street (north boundary of the San Pedro High School property) to Coconut Drive (at the cut-off with Manta Ray Street, by BWS office going to the Poly Clinic). This includes Barrier Reef Drive, Pescador Drive, part of Laguna Drive, all the adjacent streets and the beach areas. The recommended time for delivery is from 2a.m. to 7a.m. every day of the week.

    Town Council Temporarily Stops Issuing Liquor License and Vehicle Permits
    The San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board hereby informs the general public that the following liquor licenses will not be entertained until further notice: Beer, Malt, Night Club, Publican’s Special, Publican’s General, Shop, Restaurant and Convenience Store Licenses. The San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Transport Department hereby informs the general public that applications for the following vehicle permits will no longer be entertained until further notice: rentals, private vehicles: cars, pick-up trucks, carry all golf carts and ATV’s. The SPTC and SPTB however, will still be accepting applications for private four-seater golf carts, motorcycles and replacement for vehicles with the condition that the vehicles being replaces must exit the island.

    Belizean Athlete Suspended After Failing Anti-Doping Test
    The Results Management Authority of the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO-CAM) has handed down its sanction against cyclist Gregory Lovell, who failed an Anti-Doping Test that was carried out by the National Anti-Doping Organisation of Belize (NADO) in connection with the 26th Annual New Year’s Day KREM Cycling Classic. The Results Management Authority after hearing the facts as were presented in its hearing on March 1, 2016, and on Wednesday 23rd March, 2016, has decided to sanction that named cyclist with a two (2) year suspension effective March 10, 2016.

    Belize Tourism Board Appoints European Marketing Representative
    he Brighter Group, one of the biggest independent travel & tourism PR and marketing consultancies in the UK, has been awarded the European Representation and PR contract for the Belize Tourism Board following a highly competitive pitch process. The main focus of the initial campaign will center on the UK, with secondary markets including France and Germany. As Belize grows its presence internationally as a destination, the Brighter Group has been brought on board to leverage the country’s brand and presence in Europe with a fully-rounded Representation, Marketing and PR campaign. Established in 1995, the Brighter Group is a leading independent PR and Marketing agency for the travel and tourism industry with expertise in public relations, representation, MICE, trade marketing, advertising and promotions. The agency has a network ranging from tourist boards, airlines, tour operators, hotels, car rental companies, media contact and trade associations; which will provide great additional benefits when implementing the campaign.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Defeminised
    by Abdul Marin Nunez. Over population is American number one problem So racism and White Supremacy has strategized to get rid of them Lying about food and water shortage When there’s food and water to make everyone in the world obese Dr. Umar Johnson did this for his thesis They have emasculated black men Maculinated women Men are being feminized While the women are being defeminized

    U.S. Embassy, Belmopan addresses Florida Trade Mission delegates
    Nathan Bland, the Political and Economic Chief at the Embassy, met with a group of visiting trade mission delegates from Florida. During the meeting Bland discussed the work of U.S. Embassy, Belmopan, and it’s support U.S. citizens and businesses in Belize. The event was part of a wider collaboration between the Belize Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, and Private Sector Development; BELTRAIDE, the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI), the American Chamber of Commerce in Belize (AMCHAM), the U.S. Embassy, Belmopan; the Belize-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida (BACCOF); and the Broward County Office of Economic Development & International Trade in Florida, U.S.A. During the three day visit, delegates of the fifteen (15) member mission participated in presentations on investment opportunities and investing in Belize, and the role of key institutions that can support American business and investors in Belize.

    South Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch Cookout Fun April 9th
    Come join your neighbors and their guests on Saturday April 9th for a fun afternoon cookout. We will be serving food from 1-3 pm. For a low, low donation of $25 BZ, you will receive a plate w/drink, live music by Valentino and general silliness to support the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch. This is open to everyone - so tell your guests they are more than welcome to join in. See you then!

    "SUMMER OF GOLD" PROJECT
    We need your help......"Summer of Gold" project aims to plant 100,000 of these Cortez gold trees across Belize over the next 10 years....It will soon start flowering and lots of seeds will be available....We need as many people as possible to collect and plant seeds....We do some ourselves, and sell them for $5 per seedling.....There is enough demand.....You can do the same....Or simply plant them on your properties, especially along the highways....Give them to schools and public parks and playgrounds. After 10 years our combined efforts will make entire belize the color of gold for a month during which this beautiful tree is in full bloom. All you need is to make the time to go collect seeds from the trees.....Some soil....Seedling bags....And the time to care for the seeds until they germinate and grow to a size that they can be transplanted. Thank you for your help!!! Let us together make "Verano de Oro" a reality. Together all things become possible...

    Pedigree
    by Abdul Marin Nunez. Racism is a very big part of our society That’s why Darrell Bradley did not succeed Santi Because he was not of a certain pedigree Caribbean shores has been a diverse community But they have always been bourgeoisie They c voted their conscience because they have money They are snobby and some are elites black naturally Do youths really care about this country? Or they just want a piece of the pie naturally Travelling opportunity To be seen with ministers publicly Will you sell your soul? To live in luxury But you will only Be allowed to go as far as your pedigree

    San Pedro Town Council Cashier services will be suspended til 11am this morning
    We would like to inform the general public that our Cashier services will be suspended until 11:00 a.m. due to the beginning of our new fiscal year. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

    Gold panning continues to be a major threat in the Chiquibul which affects the Chiquibul headwaters
    Thanks to a PACT Grant presented today, specific interventions will be made to counter this problem. People are illegally surface dredge mining for Gold. The results of the upturned soil and exposure of possible heavy metals can cause serious enviromental damage to the Chiquibul Reserve eco system of particular the head waters of the Chiquibul River. Looks like they got some money via a Grant to combat the problem.

    Channel 7

    Government's Spokesman Knocked Down And Killed A Man, Family Disputes Details
    If you've ever watched or listened to one of the Prime Minister's press conferences, then you might remember Dorian Pakeman - who usually emcee's those events. He's the Director of the Government Press Office, but tonight he's making the news because he knocked down and killed 45 year-old Dean Dawson Jr., a well-known mechanic from Gardenia Village on the Phillip Goldson Highway. It happened last night at around 11:30 - and Pakeman told police that Dawson came right into his path. But, our news team encountered 2 versions of the fatal accident, each putting a different person at fault. In Version 1, Pakeman says that Dawson was riding a bike in his direction, and in the middle of the road. He said that by the time he spotted him, it was too late, even though he swerved to the other side of the road to avoid the collision. The other version, coming from Dawson's family is that Pakeman was overtaking another vehicle, and that's when he had a head-on collision with Dawson was riding in the opposite direction toward Crooked Tree.

    Police Looking For Two Killers And Four Guns
    Right now Belize City Southside Police have two murder investigations ongoing - plus they have to find those four guns stolen from the City Council. The murders are those of Victor Garnett who was slain in the street last week, and Alwayne Cherrington who was murdered in his house on Holy Saturday. And, the four nine millimeter pistols were stolen from the special constable office at the Commercial Center between Tuesday and Wednesday. We asked Southside commander Williams for an update on all three:... Jules Vasquez: "Sir, any update on three things: Victor Garnett, Alwayne Cherrington, 4 guns stolen, 55 rounds?"

    Williams Getting Social Sector "Buy-In" for Kid Curfew
    We caught Williams just as he left another meeting with social sector stakeholders - trying to build consensus for the unofficial curfew which he first proposed weeks ago. As we told you, the law going back to 1999 says "any person who, being the parent or guardian of a child, allows or suffers such child to loiter, wander or be in in a street park or other public place in Belize City between the hours of 8:00 pm and 6:00 am, unaccompanied by a parent or guardian commits an offence." But, while that's a law for the parents, the social sector partners have been reluctant to get on board, because the Williams curfew would detain the children at the police station - which raises all kinds of issues. Those trappings are what put the child care advocates on guard, and so, we asked Williams if he was able to bring them around today:

    Alrick, Again!?
    Four weeks ago, Alrick Smith was accused of drug trafficking when Orange Walk police say he was driving the look out car - a Mercedes sedan - escorting a Cadillac Escalade, which was caught on the highway with over 16 pounds of weed. Well, today Customs caught Smith at the northern border checkpoint. They say he was driving a Jaguar sedan, loaded with 5 parcels of marijuana. Four parcels were in the trunk concealed under the spare tyre, and one was under the seat. Customs says he was coming across from Chetumal and when he pulled up at the checkpoint, the officers smelt marijuana. When one officer started to search the vehicle, Smith became aggressive and two other officers had to be called to restrain him. Witnesses say he struck one of them, and was calling out threats to the customs personnel. They called in police who took the vehicle to the Corozal police station, where they found an additional stash of weed in the sunroof.

    Manzanero: Chiquibul Engagement Will Have To Change
    The Holy Saturday shooting of Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey in the Caracol Archeological Park caused national alarm. And right that it should have...after all, BDF soldiers ambushed inside Belizean territory by what appears to be Guatemalan bandits? 18 Months after Danny Conorquie? For sure, the ambush highlights the major border security issues and loopholes that exist along the border with Guatemala. And that's why the Executive Director of Friends For Conservation and Development Rafael Manzanero told us today that the rules of engagement have to change. Manzanero has his FCD rangers stationed out in the Chiquibul and other specific areas along the border and these armed encounters has put everyone in that are on red alert. Manzanero told us that overall, Belize's armed forces need to develop a strategy to better protect our borders. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD: "I think certainly it is one that we had already understood that with more presence on the ground and with more governance in terms of enforcement, then there can be more of those probability to occur. Because there will be more chances of meeting with Guatemalans. There are particular areas along the western border that are pretty much really hotspot areas and so I think that it is one that we always have to be prepared for..."

    Big Fire Guts Small Building
    Two Fire Trucks responded to a fire on Racecourse Street last night at an tiny 8 by 5 zinc structure. But as shabby as it looked, someone, in fact, called it his home. Gilbert Lovell lived here, that is until it was completely gutted in the fire last night. Benisford Matura, the Operations Officer of the Belize Fire Department told us more. Benisford Matura, Operations Manager - Fire Dept.: "Last night we got a call about 7:30pm in the night for a structure on fire on Racecourse Street. Immediately our tender from the Southside station on Dolphin Street was dispatch followed by the one from the Northside. Upon arrival, it was a rather small structure measuring 5x8 made of wood and mostly zinc. It was totally engulfed and we got into operation and finish put total extinguish to that. Basically it was just a dwelling room for Mr. Gilbert Lovell. Just a few of his clothes and a bed that was in there." Emanuel Pech: "Have you guys come to a conclusion as to what started the fire in the first place?" Benisford Matura, Operations Manager - Fire Dept.: "It's still under investigation. We are still investigating what could have caused the fire. It had no power to it. So there was no electricity to the building. We have our investigators trying to determine what caused it."

    Caring For Culture With Policy
    We always hear people talking about preserving Belizean Culture and keeping it alive for future generations. But how can you capture culture, after all, it is in every beat our musicians play, in all the shades and hues of color the painters use and in every word inscribed by our writers and poets. How can all of them be harnessed to safe guard and uplift our Belizean-ess? Well, the Belize National Cultural Policy 2016-2026 was launched to do just that. There was a short ceremony this morning at the Biltmore and we stopped by to find out just how this new policy framework will impact the society. Hon. Elodio Aragon, Min. of State - Education, Youth and Sports: "It provides that framework within which the government will continue to protect our archeological and colonial landmarks, recognize our national heroes, celebrate our national festivals and promote our rich cultural and creative industries nationality, regionally and internationally. This national culture policy is therefore holistic, relevant and multidimensional. It is intended to foster a greater sense of unity, diversity and nationalism among all of us."

    Morris: Rupert Myles Moved On
    Now while this National Culture Policy aims to promote unity and integration - there are still some fundamental issues both latent and manifest - that have caused the social divide to widen and cause cultural tensions. One incident that comes to mind is the assault and arrest of Rupert Myles by a group of Santa Cruz residents in June last year. The Maya residents say they did it to protect and defend the sacred Uxbenka site while Myles says it was pure racism. Well, Director of Archeology Dr. John Morris told us that in the spirit of that cultural unity, they want to resolve this matter peacefully and that no criminal action will be taken against Myles for constructing a driveway leading to his home on the Maya site. Morris says Myles has moved from the site. Dr. John Morris, Director of Archeology - NICH: "We've had several discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions and we have been advised to not take this as a criminal matter. In fact to look at it more as a form of negotiations and we have spoken to Mr. Myles. Mr. Myles doesn't live at the site anymore. Mr. Myles lives in Bella Vista and so the next step is to dismantle the house that's on top of the hill."

    Uncommon Sentence For Common Assault
    39 year-old Javier Constantino, a resident of 75 Barrack Road, is spending his second night of a 3 year sentence in jail, all because he got charged with assaulting his younger brother. Now, common-assault is minor offence under the law, and usually convicted persons just pay a fine. So, it came as a surprise to Constantino when he was told that he was going to jail instead. When he was arraigned yesterday, he pleaded guilty and was given bail of $500 dollars, with his case was adjourned until June 1. Normally, that would have been the end of the hearing for the day, but the court did a background check to find out if he owes the court any fines.

    PACT Cash For Conservation Projects
    Today PACT handed over 1.2 million dollars in grants to several NGO's. These grants will assist the organizations in conservation management, environmental research and education among other projects. At the ceremony held at the Biltmore we spoke with Minister of State responsible for environment Omar Figueroa as well as 2 of the grant recipients. They discussed how crucial these grants are to the protection and preservation of our environment and wildlife/animal species. Hon. Omar Figueroa, Min. State, Environment, Sus. Dev.: "Just like I told them, funding institution, you have to look at the project and you have to look at the relevance. How it relates, how it will strengthen, how the conservation recommendations will be used. And you have a key list of priorities for Belize for our conservation areas. For example, you look at the research proposal that Celso Poot submitted, for one you need to realize that the Baird's tapir is a globally endangered species so any work that you do with Baird's tapir is extremely important. not only that but Belize has a healthy population. so we need to understand these movement patterns, the use of habitat and when you have sound science guiding conservation policy then you can rest assure that you will be moving forward with the management and protection of, not only this species, but of the habitats that are critical for its survival."

    Accident Highlights Speeding In Residential Neighborhood
    There was a minor traffic accident in the Lake Independence Area on Ordonez Street yesterday evening. But what makes it news is that the driver was an off duty police officer - who residents say was speeding, with a handful of empty liquor bottles in his gold Nissan Pathfinder. PC Mark Lopez was behind the wheel when he slammed into an oncoming black ford pickup. And while there were no serious injuries, the incident highlights a growing concern that area residents have about speeding. One of the residents told us more needs to be done about fast cars in their neighborhood. Voice of: Lorenzo Ordonez, Concerned resident: "I am concerned that one of these days one of these children will be hit by this same vehicle. Everybody just comes with the same speed at this curve where the accident took place. It's very dangerous because it has no edge for vehicle to pass. One has to slow down and one has to stop, whatever the case may be." Emanuel Pech: "It's not a one-way street either?" Voice of: Lorenzo Ordonez, Concerned resident: "It is a two-way street. It's built this way because squatters lived here before. As a matter of fact I am waiting for an accident to happen here - just not hit a human being or a child especially."

    Dean Street Drive Almost Turns Into Canal Dive
    And we saw another accident yesterday morning around 10:00. There was a collision at the accident - prone junction of Dean Street and East Canal - just a block from our studio. No one was seriously hurt, but a Kia Sportage came just a foot from taking an unwelcome dip in the murky depths of East Canal. Witnesses told us that the Suzuki car had the right of way on Dean Street, when the driver of the Kia Sportage ran the stop sign and ran right into the side of this Blue Suzuki car. The force of the impact sent the Sukuki into the lane of the Sportage, and the Sportage careened into the canal's railing - causing it to give way. But, it held up just enough to keep it from going head first into the canal.

    Belize Ex-Politician Facing Extortion Had To Be Escorted Out Of Chetumal By Marines
    Reports from a Mexican news outlet is that a former UDP politician was victim to an attempted extortion and threat earlier this week in Chetumal. It reportedly happened on Tuesday at Hotel Fiesta Inn. Reports are that sometime around 2 am on Tuesday the former Belizean Minister got a strange call. The person on the other end of the line demanded a large sum of money. The ex-Belizean Minister, who apparently had links with the coast guard in Belize, gave them a distress call alerting them of the situation. The Coast guard in turn made contact with their counter parts in Mexico. A few minutes' later two heavily armed patrols from the Marine Infantry Battalion along with approximately a dozen men arrived at the hotel. They secured the former politician, who was immediately escorted out of the hotel and taken back to the Belizean border. No name is mentioned in the newspaper and while we did hear a name of a former UDP Minister of State, we could not confirm. We'll keep following up.

    Traffic Cone Diplomacy In DF
    In other news out of the Mexican Press, a Mexican newspaper has stated that the City Manager of an area called Mexico City has gotten into a parking dispute with the Embassy of Belize in Mexico. This stemmed from an incident that occurred earlier today. It seems the city manager carried out an operation to have several traffic cones on the street in front of the Belize Embassy headquarters removed. They had been chained to the tree. The Embassy of Belize as a result submitted a formal complaint to the Secretary of External Relations and requested the intervention of the federal agency to continue allowing them to place the traffic cones, which they have been doing as a form of security that the embassy says is granted to all other diplomatic missions in the country. The topic has been gaining a lot of traction on Mexican twitter feeds. Some of which are in support of the City Manager, others whom are more sympathetic to the complaint made by the Belizean embassy.

    Cops Got A Gun
    Four more guns made it into the street yesterday when they were stolen from the City Council. But fortunately for the Belize police department, today there is one less gun out on the streets. Police report that at around 11:30 this morning members of the North Strike Team conducted a search on Munoz Alley. The search resulted in the discovery of a black .38 special Revolver along with five live rounds of ammunition. No one was in the area at the time of the discovery and so the items were labeled as found property.

    Who Does Omar Support? John Or Patrick?
    We're probably all grateful that the election season finished back in November, but the convention season in both major mass parties is keeping the political juices flowing for politicos. Right now the hype surrounds the UDP - where Patrick Faber and John Saldivar are vying to take Gaspar Vega's place as first deputy of the UDP. Each candidate is roping in UDP representatives and standard bearers as strategic allies. We've already spoken to a few to ask them who they support - and today we had a chance to do so with the soft spoken Omar Figueroa. He's from the west, and it seems, he;s staying loyal to his western colleague John Saldivar:… Saldivar also has the support of a major general form the west, and that's second deputy Erwin Contreras - who endorsed him on facebook. Edmond Castro from Belize Rural north did the same.

    The Tinto-Meters Are Coming Back
    Whatever happened to that crackdown on all that dark tint? In 2012, the law came into force, and specialized tinto-meters forced everyone in the city to comply with the law: meaning a maximum of 50% tint on front windows, 25% on the back. But like everything else, that hardline melted into business as usual, and now you can see 5%, 3% and even 1% tint rolling around the city like nobody's business. But police and the city traffic department say it is their business, and today we saw them checking up on Southside Commander Chester Williams and his 1% tint. He told us, his one is legal, but others aren't:.. Jules Vasquez: "But is it okay for you to have 1% tint?" ACP Chester Williams, Pushing on with curfew: "No comment Jules. Police do have vehicles that they use to do undercover work that we would take people to different areas to show us different locations that we use to take around sources and cannot have them exposed." Jules Vasquez: "But you encourage this new crack down? Because we've seen the tint exploding all over the city. The 1% tint, it's okay in your case, you're a cop that's fine. But is this a crackdown on criminals or those in illicit circumstances who may use it?"

    Are Church Associations Breaking Bread Again?
    In December of last year, there was a big split in the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches, with over 200 of them deciding to part ways with President, Pastor Howell Longsworth. They went on to form their own organization called the National Evangelical Association of Belize, NEAB. Yesterday we asked Longsworth if he's mended fences with his church brethren. Here's what he told us: In related news, the National Evangelical Association of Churches has come to the defense of vice president, Pastor Scott Stirm. As you probably saw, Stirm told a congregation in Arizona that the Garifuna's revered Dugu ceremony is witchcraft. That unleashed a firestorm of criticism against Stirm, and yesterday, NEAB commented saying, quote, "...As Evangelicals it is our strongest belief and conviction that any and all practices…ancestral worship, traditions etc. that contradict…Biblical teachings…must be forsaken." End quote.

    Getting Ready For Jazzfest
    The New Orleans Jazzfest starts in three weeks - and Belizean performers have been invited to be featured as showcase artist. It's a major honour and opportunity for the bands which event organizers selected - and the Music Industry Association of Belize is doing the work to get them festival ready. We spoke to the local organizers today:... You can find a link to the jazzfest schedule at 7NEwsbelize.com.

    Sawdust Scenes From Benque
    And staying on the culture front, we leave you tonight with one more look at the Good Friday re-enactment in Benque Viejo. On Tuesday we showed you the actors going through the Stations of the Cross, and tonight we have a look at another very important and rich element of the observance, and that's the artistry of the sawdust carpets. Enjoy...I'm Emaun Hyde - join me back here tomorrow..

    Channel 5

    Press Office Director Knocks Down and Kills Cyclist
    A mechanic was killed just before midnight on the stretch of highway that traverses the village of Biscayne on the Philip Goldson Highway. The mechanic and resident of Gardenia is [...]

    NGC Lashes Out at Pastor Scott Stirm
    There is a firestorm building over controversial remarks made by Evangelical Pastor Scott Stirm. Tonight, the Garifuna community has come out strongly over recent remarks made by Stirm in reference [...]

    Is Evangelism Eroding Traditional Spiritual Beliefs?
    Well-known Belizean historian and Garifuna activist Sebastian Cayetano has also weighed in on the controversy.  While expressing disappointment, Cayetano also makes a striking observation in respect of the gradual breakdown [...]

    FCD’s Executive Director says Guatemalans Have Become More Brazen in Chiquibul
    On Saturday, Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was shot on the hand and abdomen while he was on duty at Camp Valentin in the Chiquibul. Lambey was assaulted by a group [...]

    A National Cultural Policy is Unveiled in Belize City
    The national culture policy took five years to formulate. It was launched today at the Biltmore Plaza at an event attended by stakeholders from across the country. At the centre [...]

    Special Constables Detained for Questioning for Stolen Guns
    Between Tuesday and Wednesday morning, four-nine millimeter firearms and fifty-five rounds of ammunition were stolen from the office of the Special Constables Department of the Belize City Council. According to [...]

    Land Dispute in Camalote, One Family is Divided Over a Father’s Legacy
    There is a bitter land dispute among two families in Camalote Village which has seen a seventy-five-year-old resident and his older sibling at odds with each other for several years.  [...]

    Chinese Businesswoman Fences in Lake-I Residents
    While the Hoare family of Camalote is seeking to resolve its land dispute through legal means, several families in the Lake Independence area are tonight incensed that a Chinese businesswoman [...]

    City Council to Replace Almost Four Thousand Manholes
    The Belize City Council is embarking on a citywide project to replace all sewer openings.  That’s almost four thousand manholes at a cost of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  [...]

    Extortion Attempt on Ex-Minister in Chetumal
    A report in the Por Esto, a Mexican news outlet, says that an ex-minister of government was threatened with extortion and Mexican police stepped in to prevent the crime. The [...]

    Javier Constantino is Arraigned for Common Assault, Gets 3 years for Prior Offense
    Thirty-nine year old Javier Constantino, a Belize City resident, was before the court on Wednesday for a charge of common assault but an old conviction came back to haunt him [...]

    Solar Panels Are Being Stolen from G.O.B. Project in Belmopan
    Belmopan police are reporting the robbery of solar panels from a government project. According to the Project Engineer for Road Safety project of the Ministry of Works, this past Tuesday, [...]

    Gun Retrieved from City Streets
    Earlier this week, four firearms were stolen from the Special Constables Department of the Belize City Council. Those have not been recovered and likely to end up on the streets [...]

    An Exchange of Stolen Vehicles Between Belizean and Guatemalan Authorities
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Ambassador Said Badi Guerra has secured the return of a pick-up truck stolen earlier this year from Assistant Superintendent Selwyn Tillett. The vehicle was jacked [...]

    Marie Sharp to be Inducted in Pepper Hall of Fame
    It’s a good week for outstanding Belizean women. Immigration Officer Deborah Baptist Estrada was singled out as the first Belizean woman to promote issues such as human and gender rights, [...]

    Ombudsman’s Annual Report Details Over 200 New Complaints
    The annual report issued by the Office of the Ombudsman has been released. The document comprises thirty-nine pages and covers the period of January first to December thirty-first, 2015. Prepared [...]

    Police Department Still Holds the Highest Number of Grievances
    Most of the 2015 complaints originated from the Belize District. The Cayo District accounted for the second largest percentage and the remainder was spread evenly among the other four districts. As [...]

    PACT Disburses Over One Million Dollars in Grants
    Over one million dollars were disbursed today by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust. Six entities were beneficiaries, with the largest sum going to the Belize Audubon Society for the sustainable [...]

    B.T.B. Hosts Public Consultations, Stakeholders React
    On Wednesday evening, there was a meeting between executives of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and various stakeholders of the cruise tourism industry in Belize, at the Old Belize [...]

    Who is Cayo North Area Rep Omar Figueroa Supporting in Leadership Race?
    In news of a political nature, the U.D.P. convention for a first deputy party leader will be held in June or July. Minister of Education Patrick Faber at the launch [...]

    Alrick Smith Defies The Law And Gets Caught
    Alrick Smith, he is no stranger to the law as he has been in and out of court accused of drug trafficking and tonight. Less than month from his last charge of drug trafficking, he is back in the news for the same criminal activity. This afternoon as Smith was traveling back into Belize via the Santa Elena Border from Chetumal, the smell of weed hit Custom Officers at the checkpoint as they searched the vehicle. Reports are that at that instance Smith began acting in an aggressive manner. In sight of the commotion two other officers came to assist in the situation and that is when Smith tried to run, hit one of the officers and threatened the rest. After the disorder the vehicle Smith was traveling in, a gold Jaguar car, was searched thoroughly. In the trunk of the vehicle under the spare tire, officers found four parcels of suspected cannabis. Another parcel of the suspected drug was found under the seat and a small bag was found in the sunroof. Each parcel is said to weigh approximately 2 kilos each.

    LOVE FM

    Motorbike Bursts Into Flames Leaving Two Persons Injured
    As a news team was returning from the Cayo District, they happened upon a scene at the approach of the Burdon Creek Canal Bridge located at about mile five on the George Price Highway. There they encountered a motorbike engulfed in flames and a grey Jeep Cherokee with Belmopan license plates on the right side […]

    End of Another Fiscal Year and Still No Integrity Commission in Place
    Today, March 31 does not only indicate the end of the Government’s financial year but it is also the deadline for elected officials to disclose their financial statements as is stipulated in the Prevention of Corruption Act. These financial statements are to be handed in to the Integrity Commission which up to now has been […]

    Stern Warning for Squatters and On Illegal Land Transactions
    The issue of land squatting is a national concern and has become even more pronounced in Belmopan, Cayo District. Mayor Khalid Belisle of the Belmopan City Council commented, saying, quote, “The Belmopan City Council continues to have a zero tolerance policy on squatting in the city. We are actively fighting one squatting situation in court […]

    Immigration Minister Applauds Officer Baptist-Estrada
    Debra Baptist-Estrada is an immigration officer currently stationed at the Santa Elena Border in Corozal and as we told you yesterday, she has been listed as the first Belizean to receive the US Secretary of State International Women of Courage Award. It is quite an accomplishment as the award seeks to honor women who have […]

    Philip Goldson Highway Clearing Explained
    If you are one of those persons who travel the Philip Goldson Highway frequently, you may have noticed that much of the trees on the river’s edge have been cleared away. The extended view is said to pose an eerie feeling especially for commuters at night … but it is all a part of a […]

    Minister Figueroa on UDP’s Leadership Race
    Ministers Patrick Faber and John Saldivar want to be the next First Deputy Party Leader for the United Democratic Party. Saldivar and Faber have officially announced their candidacy and have been aggressively campaigning within the UDP. Today we asked Junior Minister, Omar Figueroa who he would like to see ascend to the position. OMAR FIGUEROA […]

    Solar Panels Stolen From Highway Speed Monitor
    As part of the Road Safety Project, a portion of the George Price Highway was dubbed the Demonstration Corridor with millions of dollars invested in the infrastructural works. Part of the project included the installation of two speed radars which are powered by solar panels. Over the Easter weekend, however, the solar panels were stolen, […]

    Literacy and Adventure Camp; A Rotary Club and Education Ministry Initiative
    Some 350 primary school students from the Cayo District as well as some teachers were the beneficiaries in a three day literacy and adventure camp held on the grounds of Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio, Cayo District. The camp which was collaboration between a Rotary Club in Alberta, Canada and the Ministry of Education […]

    Health Minister Adopts Maternity Ward at KHMH
    Minister of Health, Pablo Marin has adopted the Maternity Ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with the intention of upgrading the rooms and facilitates for the patients. Chief Executive Officer for the KHMH, Dr Adrian Coye, spoke to us on the minister’s initiative. DR ADRIAN COYE “The maternity ward was recently adopted by the […]

    The Guardian

    Micah was born to lose and refuses to acknowledge it
    Some PUP’s just don’t know when to quit while they’re not very far behind. The latest to show that deficit is young, aspiring - and failing - politician, Micah Goodin. He was kicked off the PUP’s roster as their Collet Division Standard Bearer, he was also kicked off a PUP talk show on Vibes Radio and TV and less than a month ago, he lost the elections for the post of the Belize District Chapter’s President of the National Youth Council. Instead of going quietly and graciously into defeat, like adults do, he has come back to throw a tantrum in the public, accusing Stafin Duncan of running an unethical campaign against him. He has disclosed documents to the press, which purports to be those of delegates who voted in the March 10, 2016 by-elections. There are no names on these documents, which can be verified, because Micah’s camp has blocked them out under the guise of trying to protect their identity from political victimization. These 2 “complainants” disclose that they were supposedly taken by a driver and acted on instruction they were paid money in exchange for votes, supposedly cast in Stafin Duncan’s favor.

    U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Awardee
    The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce that Ms. Debra Baptist-Estrada of Belize has been selected as one of this year’s International Women of Courage Award awardees. The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award (IWOC) annually recognizes women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk. Since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department of State has honored nearly 100 women from 60 different countries. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented Ms. Baptist-Estrada and the other awardees from around the world with the award on March 29, 2016 at the U.S. Department of State. Ms. Baptist-Estrada is the first woman from Belize to receive this award.

    Budget debate day 2
    After the PUP Area Reps heard the recordings of the day one presentations of the members from their side , one would have thought that those who were about to speak during day two would be making more effective presentations that spoke to the Budget Estimates, but they did no such thing. Like their members who had spoken before them, they too went into the same old PUP spin. Casting blame and painting a picture of doom and gloom like Chicken Little, was their cry for the day. First thing that they did was to disrespect those voters who sent them there as their REPRESENTATIVES, by not showing up on time. Now for something such as the Budget Debate they, being members of the opposition, should have been early. After all they are the people’s “WATCHDOGS” and should not miss a second of an opportunity to watch the people’s business being transacted in the house. The first PUP to speak on day two was Julius and we must admit that he did say a few things about public financial matters, but mixed within those were his usual innuendos and accusations of corruption.

    Cross Country anger?
    No sooner had the 2 Padilla brothers of the Guatemalan National Team crossed the finish-line in a first and second tandem did the noise and bickering start. Some persons who purported themselves to be relatives of Mr. Byron Hope, a cyclist who had been banned from participating in this year’s Cross Country Classic , because according to a TV interview he gave, there were some anti-doping tests done and his results were positive for a banned substance. Apparently they were not happy with Byron being banned and according to some of them they are happy that NO BELIZEAN won because of what was done to Byron . A few of them have been using very colorful language littered with some well known explicit curse words, that we dare not quote. Now of what we know of the character of young Mr. Pope he has a lot of the attributes of his late father and like his dad would not be a part of this type of behavior.

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement on the March 26th, 2016 Incident
    The Government of Belize has requested the Office of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Adjacency Zone to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the March 26, 2016 shooting incident that occurred 400 meters east of the Belize/Guatemala border in the Valentin Camp area in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve within Belizean territory. Members of the Belize Defence Force detachment who are stationed at the Valentin Camp Conservation Post were on a routine water supply and administration task at about 4:50 p.m. on Saturday when they came under fire from men armed with rifles. The encounter resulted in gunshot injuries to the arms and abdomen of a member of the BDF patrol. The injured soldier was subsequently transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and he remains in a stable condition.

    Pittsology 101
    To My fellas, I Hope you’re actively aware that our 20’s should be dedicated to shaping out our future. Please don’t be consumed trying to be identified/defined as just handsome or rich, as ‘buff’ or Mr. Swag. Although these aren’t devious - they should be reserved as merely secondary goals. You command more respect when you work on being seen as intellectually and spiritually stimulated, respectful, articulate, ambitious & possessing integrity. These should be your primary goals.

    Vehicle stolen and taken to Guatemala returned to Belize
    On February 14th, Superintendent of Police, Selvin Tillett reported that he was driving his son-in-law, Sadani Harrison in a white 2014 Mazda BT-50 Pro with License Plate C-0311 when the vehicle was stolen from him. Tillett said that he had parked the vehicle in front of his home on Humble Street at Lomas Del Rodeo, in Benque Viejo Town, when two Hispanic men approached him. He had opened the door on his driver side when one of the males pointed a black 9 mm weapon at him and uttered in Spanish that he wanted the vehicle and that he was not playing. The robbers then drove off in the vehicle in the direction heading to Arenal Village.

    Existential Threat
    In searching for a topic to expand on this week, I initially leaned towards discussing the speech by the younger Musa in the House of Representatives during last week’s budget debate. However by Monday morning I had fixed on the idea of having a discourse on the alarming incident which involved the shooting of one of our soldiers by a Guatemalan national. News of this development had spread like wildfire over the weekend and I was anxiously awaiting the Tuesday evening broadcasts to get full details of the brazen attack, so as to help with my submission. Two very encouraging points came across last evening regarding the unfortunate issue: the BDF Sergeant is in a stable condition at the KHMH, and the tone of the press releases from a couple of NGO’s which rightfully condemned Guatemala for this nefarious act, rather than reproaching the Government of Belize. It was obvious that Belizeans were offering heartfelt prayers for Mr. Lambey and his family, and we are sincerely grateful for his courage in the defense of our country.

    Overpowering Non Traditional Celebrations of Easter
    Throughout the year, many traditional holidays are celebrated for cultural reasons, memorial reasons and spiritual reasons. Some of these traditions may include Christmas, Baron Bliss Day, Garifuna Settlement Day, St. George’s Caye Day and Easter. We try to celebrate these holidays as closely as possible to their meaning, but some of the traditions that date back thousands of years have been altered from their original meaning. We celebrate such holidays for the sole purpose of partying throughout a long holiday weekend and having a good time. Easter is a perfect example of one of the traditions that has been altered to better suit our modern times. Originally, Easter was the celebration of the ascension of Jesus’ soul from the cross, on which he died, into Heaven. Today we have celebrations during Easter that include such things as a life-sized bunny, hard-boiled eggs that are dyed various pastel colors, baskets, and mini vacation getaways, all of which have no significance. The focus is more on self benefits than simply remembering Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Non religious celebrations of Easter far surpasses the actual meaning of the holiday.

    Alwayne Cherrington shot and killed inside a home
    Alwayne Cherrington, a 24 year-old optician, who was employed with the Belize Center For the Visually Impaired, was shot and killed inside a house on Lopez Street in Belize City. Cherrington, a family man, and an aspiring doctor, had no ties to the street life, police say, and so it is a frightening and senseless murder. It happened at around 7:05 p.m., on Holy Saturday, March 26, at a home on Lopez Street. Police say that he was there to visit his wife, and while he was talking to his relatives, someone entered the house, shoved a gun as close as possible to Cherrington, fired several shots and ran off. His family, who hadn’t quite realized what had happened yet, came to the horrific realization that Cherrington had been shot multiple times.

    Fisheries officer charged for sexual assault
    Fisheries officer Amado Pott, 39, is in trouble with the law for allegedly taking out his penis in a public space and placing it on the shoulder of a lady. The woman reported to police that she was at the corner of Regent Street West and Albert Street, near the Swing Bridge, when Pott took out his penis, placed it on her shoulder and told her, “I wah put it in your mouth.” This incident occurred early Wednesday morning, just before 3 a.m., near the food vendors area. Pott, was purchasing hotdogs and tacos and was apparently intoxicated by alcohol. The woman is one of the food vendors and Pott approached her stall to buy hotdogs. He was behaving unruly and cursing her and others around. Therefore, she refused to serve him. That was when he took out his penis and assaulted her. She screamed for help then called the police. Pott was arrested and charged with sexual assault.

    Young Guatemalan drowns near Benque Viejo del Carmen
    A male person has apparently drowned in the Mopan River, near Benque Viejo Town. Police visited the area on Wednesday of last week at about 6:15 am where on arrival they found the body. Esbin Oscal Gonzales, a 15 year old Guatemalan laborer of Barrio Suchitan, Melchor De Mencos, reported that about 6:00 am last Wednesday, he was along with his friend Virgilio Ivan Garcia Barrera, a 16 year old Guatemalan laborer of Peten, Guatemala. Both young men had come to fish in the Mopan River. They had attempted to cross the river through the shallow area where there were some big rocks. Virgilio Barrera then threw himself into the river as he claimed to know how to swim; however he did not resurface. A rescue team was organized and then the area was searched. At about 12:25 pm on the same day, the body was recovered from the Mopan River.

    Deon Jex Fined $10,000 for Drug Trafficking
    Belize Waste Control employee, Deon Jex, 23, must pay a fine of $10,000 within a year’s time or serve three years imprisonment, after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking on Wednesday, March 30. According to a police report, on Friday, March 25, the Strike Team was conducting mobile patrol on Sittee Street when officers saw Jex behaving suspiciously. He was reportedly looking all around so the officers decided to approach. A search was conducted on Jex for drugs and firearm. During the search, an officer found a black plastic bag tucked in his pants waist. It was opened in front of Jex and it contained a green leaf like substance suspected to be cannabis. Jex and the suspected marijuana were taken to the Racoon Street Police Station where it was weighed and amounted to 100.5 grams. He was then charged with the offence of drug trafficking.

    Jason “Soup” Williams charged for stabbing incident
    Notorious Supal Street figure, Jason “Soup” Williams, is out on bail after he was arrested and charged for allegedly knocking down Deon Warrior, 21, with a vehicle and stabbing him multiple times on Sunday, March 27. Police responded to a stabbing incident outside of Old Belize around 4:30 on Sunday afternoon and saw Deon Warrior of Hattieville with a stab wound to the back and upper arm. According to police, Warrior and the establishment’s security guard were in the process of parting a fight at the entrance of the establishment involving Jermaine “Head” Williams and two females when “Soup” arrived in a vehicle and knocked down Warrior. He then got out of the vehicle and inflicted stab wounds to Warrior before turning on the security guard. Soup then drove off with his brother Jermaine. The security guard was admitted at Medical Associates while Warrior was admitted at the Karl Heusner Memorial in a stable condition. Police later arrested and charged Jason Williams with grievous harm and aggravated assault.

    Keyren Tzib must wait to learn her fate
    Former Coast Guard officer, Keyren Tzib, remains at home on remand for allegedly stabbing her common-law-husband, Thythis Blancaneaux, to death. On February 24, 2016, Tzib’s Preliminary Inquiry kicked off before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The Chief Magistrate reserved ruling for March 30, 2016, after listening to submissions made by her attorney, Darrell Bradley, as to why there is not sufficient evidence to commit her case to the Supreme Court for manslaughter. On Wednesday, Tzib showed up without her attorney and learnt that her case was adjourned due to the fact that the Chief Magistrate is on assignment in the Punta Gorda Magistrate Court. Tzib’s case was adjourned for Wednesday, April 6. Thytis Blancaneaux, a 30 year-old resident of the Spanish Town area of Lord’s Bank Village, was found dead in his home on Saturday, July 18, 2015. It is believed that his common-law wife, 24 year-old Keyren Tzib, who was already out on bail for attempted murder, was his attacker.

    Padilla brothers dominate 88th Cross Country Cycling Classic
    The Cycling Federation of Belize held its 88th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic on Saturday 26th March, 2016. The 140 miles event attracted some 84 riders, which included some 18 foreign riders including Guatemalan, Mexican, Americans and a Jamaican, started at 5:45 am with a ride out from the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks into Freetown Road over the Belcan Bridge down Central American then making a right turn into the George Price Highway where the official start took place at 6:00 am from in front of Leslie’s Imports. The race travelled the full length of the George Price Highway to San Ignacio Town where the riders cross the Hawkesworth Bridge around Columbus Park and then back to Belize City where the race concluded at the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks. At mile 17, a 3 man breakaway which included Bill Elliston, Nissan Arana and Brandon Cattouse occurred and they commanded the lead until a new configuration emerged at Roaring Creek. The new leaders at that point included Guatemalan Julio Padilla, Joel Borland and Brandon Cattouse.

    Softball Federation calls junior female softballers to training camp
    In preparation for the XV Central American Junior Female Softball Championship that is scheduled for August 11-14, 2016, at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City, the Belize Softball Federation is calling all junior female softballers, 19 years and under, to its first training camp scheduled for Saturday, 2nd April, 2016, at 9:00 am at Rogers Stadium. Junior softballers are asked to bring along an ID card, to verify date of birth, and their own softball glove.

    New officers for Belize District Basketball Association
    The Belize District Basketball Association held its General Meeting on Wednesday 23 March, 2016, at the ITVET Conference Room in Belize City. The highlight of the General Meeting was the elections of officers for the period 2016-2020. The following were elected to serve- President- Jamaal Escalera, Vice President- Roscoe Rhys; Treasurer- Leon Palacio; Secretary- David Lacey while the committee members are Lupito Acosta, Stephan Dixon and Lonnie Trapp. The meeting was attended by Paul Thompson, President of the Belize Basketball Federation and Stanley Reneau of the National Sports Council.

    Fatal traffic accident in Cayo
    There was a fatal traffic accident on Monday night of this week in the Cayo District. San Ignacio Police responded to reports of a traffic accident at about 2:10 a.m on Monday. A red in color Nissan Frontier Pickup Truck with license plate C-03598 was observed with its front portion extensively damaged, facing a western direction on the left hand side of the Bullet Tree Road. At the scene of the accident, San Ignacio Police also observed three male persons with injuries. Initial investigation reveals that Juan Alvarado, a 43 year old Belizean Carpenter of the Hillview Area in Santa Elena Town was driving the Nissan Frontier Pickup accompanied by John Xol, a 24 year old Belizean mechanic of Bishop Martin Street, also from Santa Elena. They were accompanied by Byron Barcena from an unknown address.

    Man murdered near La Cabana Night Club in Belmopan
    A man was discovered lying down in front of La Cabana Night Club, in Belmopan City on Friday of last week. Belmopan Police saw a Hispanic male person, wearing blue jeans pants, which was pulled halfway down to the knee beside the right front wheel of his vehicle. The grey and green Nissan Patrol with license plate BMP-C-2454 was parked on the right front corner of La Cabana Night Club. He was seen bleeding from a cut wound above the left eye and suffering from apparent head and neck injuries. He has since been identified as 37 year old Noe Cruz, a Belizean laborer of Las Flores, which is located at the periphery of Belmopan City.

    Suicide in Belmopan
    A young female in Belmopan has apparently taken her own life. Belmopan Police visited a blue wooden bungalow house at number nine Belen Street in the Maya Mopan Area of Belmopan City on Wednesday of last week where they observed the body of a female. They came upon a 22 year old Ketchi Maya descent female, whose name was learnt to be Lydia Yatz. She was found lying face up on a small blue mattress in the living room, dressed in purple clothing with a rope tied around the neck. Patricio Choc, a 22 year old Belizean mechanic of the same address, told police that a day earlier, his now deceased common law wife, had checked his cellular phone and began accusing him of having an affair. They both went to bed at about 10:30 pm on 22nd March 2016. But on the following morning, their three year old daughter woke up and made a request for tea. Patricio Choc told her to ask her mother since she was not in bed.

    Woman in Belmopan escapes serious harm
    A woman from Belmopan has escaped serious injury at the hands of an assailant. Lorytha Martinez 27 year old Belizean Domestic of San Martin Area, Belmopan City, left her home on Saturday night of this past weekend to buy food and whilst walking, she was approached by a male person of Creole descent. He was also described to be approximately five feet and eight inches in height, slim built and was armed with a knife. The unknown assailant then grabbed her on the left hand and tried to pull her into the nearby bushes, stating “I’m going to kill you.” Whilst struggling with the person, she fell in the grass causing him to jump on top of her; pinning her head to the ground. Fortunately, the sound of a motorcycle was heard heading towards them, which caused the male person to flee the scene. Lorytha Matinez then ran to a nearby house and the Police were called in. This incident occurred at the corner of San Martin Road and Guadalupe Street near the old fire station in Belmopan.

    Harrison “Doggy” accuses Chinese grocers of assault
    Local entertainer, Harrison “Doggy” Bruce, 53, best known for “Noh Fuh Nak Yo Wuman”, was arrested and charged on Wednesday, March 23, for wounding a Chinese grocer in Hattieville. However, when Bruce appeared in court he explained to the Magistrate that he was the one who was assaulted. According to Bruce, four Chinese grocers attacked and put a beating on him inside Everyday Supermarket. According to Bruce, the incident happened on March 10 in front of the Everyday Supermarket. He told police that he was standing in front of the store selling his CDs when he got into a quarrel with Wei Lin Huang, 28. He told police that he got into a fist fight with Huang but was eventually over powered by a group that included Wei Lin Huang, Wei Feng Xu, 25, Da Hong Jiang, 35, and Xing Hua Zhang, 27. Bruce said he was taken to the ground and brutalized by the group.

    Youngsters charged for Scotland Half Moon robbery
    Police arrested two youngsters shortly after a robbery was reported in Scotland Half Moon Village on Wednesday, March 23. A cashier at the River Valley Supplies Gas Station in Scotland Half Moon reported to police that two dark skinned males entered the gas station armed with a handgun and robbed the store and its patrons of cash and their personal belongings. The manager, Benjamin Schrock was robbed of his wallet containing $800 cash and his I-phone of an undisclosed value. Patrons Myron Frost and Herwin Theus were also held up and robbed. $1,490.78 in cash was taken from Frost as well as five Degree deodorants, six Old Spice deodorants, five Axe body sprays, one Lady Speed Stick and one Suave deodorant. Theus was robbed of a black I-phone valued at $800. Police responded quickly to the incident and intercepted two men not too far from the area. One of the men, later identified as 22-year-old Trevor McFoy, was seen throwing a bag away in the area. The bag was retrieved and inside it police found cash. They also found cash inside McFoy’s tennis shoe and he was in possession of a loaded 9 millimeter pistol. The other man captured with McFoy is a 17-year-old minor.

    Belize has second lowest inflation rate in region
    The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest statistics on the Consumer Price Index and it reveals that cost of living increased by 0.3 percent in February of 2016 but Belize continues to have one of the lowest inflation rates in the entire region. According to S.I.B., the All-Items Consumer Price Index stood at 102.7 in February of 2016, up from 102.5 in the same month last year. The price of beef, pigtail, eggs, cabbage and premium gasoline increased by 20.1 percent, 8 percent, 17.2 percent, 37.6 percent and 27.1 percent; respectively, in the month of February 2016 as compared to 2015. However, there were decreases in diesel, butane gas, red kidney beans and milk of 9 percent, 11.3 percent, 18.6 percent and 8.9 precent, respectively. There were also marginal decline in prices of whole chicken, flour, condensed milk, yellow onions, sweet pepper, carrots, potatoes and watermelon.

    Jules wrong!
    In the past we have been treated to some sick editorializing from Jules' Channel 7, but the one on Tuesday night took the prize hands down for being outrageously ridiculous. In their report on the Cross Country Classic, entitled "Pedal By Pedal Breakdown of the Cross Country , 7 News started off like this , and we quote directly from the Channel 7 News script as it appears on the internet ," If you're a patriot - this past Holy Saturday wasn't exactly a day that made your heart swell with pride. First, at midday, a Guatemalan won the cross country, easily, while his brother was second - worst of all? The Belizean they beat, Joel Borland is a young Coast Guard officer. And then it only got worse by 5:00 pm, a BDF Staff Sergeant had been ambushed by Guatemalan bandits in the Chiquibul and shot multiple times. By nightfall, the flag inside your heart was definitely flying at half mast"

    The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has a new chapel. In September of last year the Belize Council of Churches and the New Chapel for KHMH
    Belize Evangelical Association broke ground at the hospital’s compound for the constrution of a chapel. Just over six months later, on Wednesday March 30, the chapel was dedicated. During the dedication and consecration, representatives of both the Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association were present. Chief Executive Officer at the KHMH explained that the space will help to the hospital to offer holistic care to our people. He added that it should be celebrated in the spirit in which it was conceived. He concluded explaining that there were a lot of extra human effort and blessings that allowed the construction of the chapel to be a success.

    Disposal of National Lands
    he Ministry of Natural Resources and Immigration, through the Lands and Surveys Department, hereby reminds the general public that in accordance of Section 7 of the National Lands Act, DISPOSAL of national lands may only be authorized and granted by the Minister responsible for Lands upon application and on SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS as he thinks fit for such periods as to him may seem proper. The general public is hereby advised that in accordance to Section 9 (1) of the National Lands Act, every application for a lease of national land shall be made to the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys in the form of the First Schedule (Lease application). The Ministry, further advises that any person found disposing of national land and collecting monies for doing so, is guilty of an offence under the National Lands Act. The Ministry also clarifies that persons found in occupation of land as a consequence of the illegal disposal are also guilty of an offence and the development on the land will not constitute any rights over the lands.

    No wait til the man dead
    On Sunday 20th March 2016, on the occasion of the UDP National Convention held in Dangriga we in the UDP honoured our own. Included in those honoured was Dr. Dean Russell Lindo, affectionately know to us as DRL. For many of us in the party the way we approach political work is because of his influence. Who has not been trained at the DRL University of Politics has been trained by someone who was. We will only name one of those persons who hails from DRL school and that is Michael Finnigan, one of Belize’s best politicians and he has never been too proud to sing DRL praises for the political success he has accomplished. The very Get Out The Vote ( GOTV) system, that we still use today, was developed by DRL. Sure we have tweaked it by adding modernized technology such as employing computers, but basically it is the same system. For those who may be wondering what is GOTV, it is just what the name suggests, a system to get the votes.

    The Belize Times

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    IMF calls Belize’s economic growth sluggish and weak
    he International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its latest country report, says Belize’s economic outlook is characterized by sluggish growth, a weak fiscal stance, and external and financial sector vulnerabilities. The IMF, however, also noted the recent improvement in economic activity, despite the significant deterioration […]

    FCCA meeting with cruise tourism stakeholders gets heated
    Yesterday evening there was a meeting between executives of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and various stakeholders of the cruise tourism industry in Belize, at the Old Belize Center. A spokesperson for the Belize Tourism Board told us yesterday evening that it was […]

    Belize needs better voters
    Mud-slinging in the National Assembly, during political debates has become a normal part of our political reality. Some look forward to it as a form of crude entertainment; others find great distaste in the entire mockery made of what is supposed to […]

    Government vehicle involved in fatal traffic accident
    Late last night at around 11:40, police responded to reports of a traffic accident at mile 22 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway where a government owned Isuzu DMAX hit a mechanic of Gardenia Village while he rode a bicycle. The vehicle, being driven […]

    City Council guns still missing
    Police investigations continue to try and locate four guns that were stolen from the Belize City Commercial Center’s Special Constable Office sometime between 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 5:55 a.m. yesterday. It was reported by the coordinator of the center, 26-year-old Elvis Glenn Lopez […]

    Teenagers busted for Roaring Creek armed robbery
    Quick police response yesterday afternoon in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District, led to the arrest of two teenagers who robbed a group of three persons that were swimming in the river, using a firearm and a knife to intimidate them. Around 3:15 p.m., Shanda […]

    Government property stolen near Roaring Creek
    Solar panels valued at $1800 were reported missing by the Ministry of Works’ Project Engineer for Road Safety who told police that on Tuesday while making checks, he noticed that they had been removed from the radar signs they were attached to. 63-year-old James […]

    Belize National Cultural Policy launched
    A ten year National Cultural Policy presented today seeks to guide the safeguarding and preservation of Belize’s cultural heritage, promoting artistic expression, and enabling social and economic development through culture. President of the National Institute of Culture and History Diane Haylock said that this […]

    Blogs

    This is Belize: Watching the newest ‘Star Wars’ beneath the stars — and beside the lagoon
    There is something just so incalculably joyful about watching the Millennium Falcon speed through the universe in “Star Wars The Force Awakens” then tilting your head ever so slightly upward to count the real stars in the heavens. Yes, the stars — and “Star Wars” — really were out last night on Ambergris Caye in Belize. Outside, that is. Since its opening last November, the Truck Stop has steadily become the social center of life “north of the bridge” on Ambergris Caye. Besides its two fine restaurants, the complex has an ice cream shop, a cheerful bar, a Sunday pig roast and corn-hole tournament, live music, a horseshoes pit, a sunset-friendly dock, hammocks, picnic tables and chairs — lots and lots of clam-shell chairs in which to just sit and visit or gaze out on the tranquility of the lagoon. Recently, Ben and Joanna Popik introduced Wednesday night movies on the lagoon. For last night’s island debut of “Star Wars,” the joint was jumping. Families came out, yoga retreaters from nearby Ak’Bol, expats, locals and tourists, too. Ben wisely encouraged people to bring their own chairs and fortunately a lot of folks listened. It was SRO all night long, even in the dining area far removed from the movie screening. It wasn’t just about the movie. Or the great food from Adam and Jackie Feldman’s Rasa and Arepa restaurants. As I said, the Truck Stop is now a neighborhood hangout.

    Emergency San Pedro Town Council Summit Held Over Easter Weekend To Restore Island Charm
    Residents and tourists alike have voiced their concerns that the excessive signage distracts from the charm and tropical feel of the island we all love. These concerns thankfully, have not fallen on deaf ears as the San Pedro Town Board was quick to recognize the problem. In an interview with the San Pedro Sun, Mayor Danny Guerrero voiced that he “shares the concerns he’s hearing and that he is against signs that go against the island’s charm.” The mayor further explained, “There ARE laws in regards to putting up signs but they are mostly for signs being put up on public property… We want to create a bylaw to the mother act on the laws on putting up signs. This new regulation would require anyone that wishes to put up a sign to get a special permit from the SPTC. The regulation would outline the size and type of sign that can be placed.” And the good news? Well…last weekend while the rest of La Isla Bonita was busy celebrating The Easter… A group of individuals from both the public and private sector met. Spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Gary Grief, Town Concilor in charge of Housing and Planning Gabriel “Gaby” Nunez, trusted realtor and AREBB leader William Board and noted sign artist Denroy “Smurf” Norales, an advisory committee was formed, the Ambergris Sign Supervisory for Hospitality And Tourism. Set to function alongside the Ambergris Caye Building Authority, approval for ALL new signage on the island will fall under this newly formed committee. New signs will need to be permitted and will be subject to aesthetic approval and density restrictions. “The first step in addressing the problem is creating awareness,” said the Board. “A lot of people are not yet aware of the new regulations, so the first step we need to take is an educational one.” “We have identified 120 high traffic, highly visible areas and intersections on the island,” explained Board. “We will be placing signs at these locations, signs which explain to residents that all signs, regardless of size, must get approval.” Cautioned Board, “Spontaneous sign erection is something that will not be tolerated.”

    International Sourcesizz

    World Bank Job Opportunities For Caribbean Nationals
    If you are young and have a passion for international development, then here is your opportunity... Caribbean nationals are being encouraged to apply for employment under a new World Bank Group (WBG) programme that is aimed at “exceptionally talented young people with a passion for international development”. The World Bank said that the analyst programme is a three-year programme that will allow the successful candidates to “work in an intellectually challenging and culturally diverse environment within a specific practice, region or corporate unit of the World Bank Group. “You will have the opportunity to contribute and grow your skills in areas ranging from analytics, research, data management, project management, communications, finance, management accounting, and information technology. In addition, the programme offers various cohort activities aimed to broaden your exposure to the work of the World Bank Group and develop leadership skills.”

    Colonists’ religious architecture influenced by Maya traditions
    Religion played an important role in the Spanish colonisation of the Yucatán Peninsula, once home to the Maya civilisation. Together with the Spanish monarchy, religion was a powerful and influential force in society. ‘Colonial churches and chapels represented authority in the form of buildings and architecture that was used to control Maya society. Converting the Mayas to Christianity was an important part of the Spanish strategy and guidelines for the colonisation of Mexico,’ says Teobaldo Ramirez Barbosa, author of the thesis. He has conducted a comparative analysis of early colonial churches and Maya dwellings on the Yucatán Peninsula and in Belize. Colonialism has usually been interpreted as a unilateral relationship in which the colonist and the colonist culture are not affected. Barbosa’s analysis of Spanish churches and Maya dwellings reveals that the colonised people indeed had a clear influence on the colonists’ architecture.

    Caribbean governments advised to decriminalize prostitution
    An international academic is recommending the decriminalization of prostitution in the Caribbean. Professor Kamala Kempadoo of York University suggests this would help the region get a handle on the sex trade, protect at-risk groups, and fight stigma and discrimination against those engaged in the practice. “The decriminalization of prostitution would go a long way towards making the sex trade a safer place to work and could eliminate underhand deals, could eliminate extortions, false promises, the criminalization of sex workers by immigration, smuggling of persons, putting them in shady businesses and so forth. It could allow working women to gain access to state protection, health care and rights as any other citizen or legal migrant,” she said. The suggestion was one of several put forward by the professor during her lecture on the topic ‘Who Trafficking What? The Caribbean and Human Trafficking Discourse’, hosted last night by the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. She further proposed fewer restrictions on immigration, saying “immigration regulation needs to be loosened, not tightened.”

    Videos

  • Belize 2016, 5min. San Ignacio and San Pedro

  • Hills of Many Tombs: Jungle Hiking in Belize (Part I), 27min. A series of outdoor adventures in locations around the world. (1997-2001) Produced by Post Office Editorial.

  • Hills of Many Tombs: Jungle Hiking in Belize (Part II), 27min.

  • 2016 Belize Mission Trip, 14min. South Tulsa Student Ministry

  • Ensnared Porcupinefish's Pal 'Keeps Vigil' As Snorkeler Sets It Free, 3min. A video of a porcupinefish trapped in a net in Chaloklum Bay, Thailand, being freed by snorkelers who happened upon it got lots of traction last week. But it's not just this act of kindness that's driving the video to be viewed. There's something special about the two-minute clip, even beyond this — even beyond the porcupinefish's ability to puff up. Have a look:

  • LIONFISH - Belize, 5min.

  • BEUC 2015, 2min. Belize Esri User Conference 2015

  • Belize Trip, 6min.

  • Belize Trip Day 5, 8min.

  • Ambergris Caye San Pedro, Belize C.A. GoPro & Phantom 3 Drone, 5min. Caribbean vacation to the town of "San Pedro" on Ambergris Caye, Belize, Central America.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 16min. These are clips from a "J-term" class offered by Luther College called Environmental Implications of Eco-Adventure Growth in Central America.

  • VukaMaya - Glovers Atolle, 5min.

  • Belize 2016, 26min. The bus ride to Lamanai Mayan Ruins in Belize on our 2016 Norwegian Cruise.

  • Belize 2k16, 7min.

  • Belize 2015 - Hopkins, 8min. Epic summer trip with friends to Hopkins, Belize in 2015.

  • Belize Adventures Part 2 | TV Show Star, Zip Lining & More, 18min.

  • Blue Hole - Belize, 2min. Diving the great Blue Hole in Belize escorted by Reef Sharks! Awesome!


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