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5/11/2016 to 5/20/2016
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May 20, 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

MOH confirms positive Zika case in Belize
On Monday, May 16th, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed the first documented case of Zika in Belize. The confirmation came from one of the samples which had been sent for testing to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) about a month ago. This isolated case has led MOH to believe there may be more positive case of Zika in Belize and as such has heightened surveillance efforts across the country.

Fundraiser held for the Almendarez Family
In honor of Melvin “Catracho” Almendarez, a popular footballer who was recently murdered, a football marathon was organized to benefit his bereaved family on Sunday, May 15th. The all-day event took place at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Complex, with hundreds of people coming out to support the cause, while enjoying Almendarez’ and the island’s favorite sport, football. A total of nine teams registered for the tournament: Galaxy FC, La Plebe, Vince, San Mateo, Legends, Peace Makers, United FC, Jokers, and the Catrachos. Under the fierce heat of the sun, teams still managed to put on a good ball game! The games were played in knockout rounds, and since nine is not an even number, the games were raffled in a box, where team captains selected a number. The person who received number nine was the Catrachos and they automatically advanced to the second round. All the remaining teams with even numbers were consecutively matched with odd numbers, and after the matches were over, four teams were eliminated. After four teams played in the second round, two teams were eliminated, and Galaxy FC won the raffle to advance into the third round. In the last and final rounds, Galaxy FC won the raffle again, for a spot in the final, championship match. Jokers took a striking victory to meet Galaxy FC.

Record Funds raised during Red Cross Blood Drive
SPBRC’s New Coordinator Heidi Simmons tackled all duties smoothly throughout the blood drive. Simmons stresses to the public that donating blood is a simple process that can save lives and encourages the public to think Red when preparing to donate blood. “Anyone willing to donate blood should rest well by getting a good night’s sleep, eat a good and high iron-based breakfast, and drink plenty of healthy fluids before the blood donation,” said Simmons. The Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch would like to thank Dr. Giovanni Solorzano for allowing the SPBRC to set up at his clinic, Marbucks for the sweet nibbles, The Greenhouse for the juicy fruit bites, Mark’s for dishware, Tropic Air for safely transporting the Blood Bank employees, Belize Blood Services for taking the time to come to our island, Projects Abroad for providing volunteers, to Estel’s for providing lunch, to Grant Bill Guy for promoting the event, The San Pedro Sun for its consistent coverage, and Dion Vansen for donating his rare blood type. Also, the SPBRC thanks all of their continued supporters and many other volunteers along the way.

Hol Chan conducts sport fish tagging program
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve conducted a fish tagging program for bonefish, permit and tarpon as a part of their Research and Monitoring Program. The first field tagging expedition was held on May 1st through 7th, with about 164 bonefish, and four permits being tagged. The tag is inserted in the fish’s muscle, with the purpose to study and collect scientific data necessary to identify growth rates, migration areas, breeding locations, and determine levels of sustainable fishing.

Government of Belize weighs in on Refugee/Amnesty program
The news of an amnesty/refugee program for irregular migrants and persons with illegal immigration status has come to light. The program has flown under the radar since November of 2015. According to sources within the immigration department, the system has been manipulated in a manner that there is little to no vetting of the applications, and approval is basically guaranteed. Given the recent sightings of hundreds of immigrants in Belmopan seeking legal status in Belize, the country could soon see its population dramatically increase if such immigration statuses are approved.

Ambergris Today

Reef Week Fair Bringing Smiles to Community
Packed with so much information in such a small space, the Reef Fair held today, Thursday, May 19, 2016, in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, shows the great effort of Hol Chan Marine Reserve in creating awareness for the protection of the Belize Reef. The fair is part of the Reef Week activities taking place this week on the island. Information and activity booths open to the public included a live touch tank to interact with star fish, information from MarAlliance, Oceana Belize, Blackadore Caye, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize Fisheries Department, Department of Environment and even Saga Humane Society. Island Schools, in particular, took advantage of the Reef Fair to send their students to learn more about the reef and how to protect it. Also taking advantage of Reef Week is the San Pedro House of Culture that has dedicated an exhibit to local fishermen and the importance of the reef to the development of Ambergris Caye.

New Heights Reached by Red Cross in San Pedro
The Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch stated this week that it is pleased with the outcome of their Blood Drive that took place this past Saturday, May 14, 2016; the community opened its hearts and wallets and generously donated a record total of $1,208.62, as well as 13 pints of crimson-colored, life-saving gold; 1 of which could save up to 3 lives! The blood drive was held form 9a.m. to 3p.m. at the San Carlos Medical Clinic. The Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch extends thanks Dr. Giovanni Solorzano for allowing them to set up shop at his clinic, to Marbucks for the sweet nibbles, to Tropic Air for safely transporting the Blood Bank employees, to Projects Abroad for providing volunteers, to Estelle's for a delicious lunch, to Grant Bill Guy for promotion, to The Greenhouse for the juicy fruit bites, to Marks for dish-ware and, of course, Belize Blood Services for taking the time to come to San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BELTRAIDE makes presentation at National Women’s Forum hosted by Women’s Department
On May 19th 2016, Ms. Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise and Innovation Division, Beltraide, presented to a roomful of women from all over the country on the role of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize), Beltraide, in creating economic prosperity through entrepreneurial development, business innovation and competitiveness. Ms. Gideon shared an inspiring analogy, describing the process of opening a business to being similar to that of childbirth. She shared that in the same way an expecting mother awaits the birth of her child with eager anticipation and most times,worry, a new business owner worries over the success of his or her business. She explained that just as how family and friends offer guidance with the care of the new child, Business Advisors at SBDCBelize assist business owners to nurture and grow their businesses.

THANK YOU “THE CEO CAUCUS CHALLENGE RIDE”
The CEO Caucus of the Government of Belize takes this opportunity to express its sincerest gratitude to the general public, donors and members of the cycling community who participated in “ The CEO Caucus Challenge 2016: Cancer Awareness Ride” which took place on Saturday 7th May 2016. The CEO Caucus announces that to date this initiative raised over $77,000. The beneficiaries include the Belize Cancer Society, the Belmopan Cancer Society and the Cancer Treatment Center of Dangriga. Both the Belize Cancer Society and the Belmopan Cancer Society will each receive $20,000 while the Cancer Treatment Center of Dangriga, the only treatment facility in the country, will receive $37,000. We extend our thanks to all those who contributed to our successful ride. Special thanks to all our donors, riders, volunteers, all the professional cyclists of the Cycling Federation of Belize, the officers of the Belize Coast Guard, Police Department, Department of Transport – Highway Patrol, and the Ministry of Health’s – Emergency Team for their assistance with logistics and coordination. A beautiful day combined with over one hundred and seventy five enthusiastic riders and many hard working volunteers made for a fun and worthwhile event.

Water out in Big Falls
The Department of Rural Development, hereby informs residents of Big Falls in the Toledo District that we are currently experiencing mechanical problems and therefore there is no water in the village. However, we are working towards having water being restored. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

BEL Statement on Independent Expert’s Recommendation
On March 7, 2016, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued its Initial Decision for the current 2016 – 2020 Full Tariff Review to increase the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) to $0.364 per kilowatt hour (kWh). BEL objected to the decision, which proposed a $57 million reduction in the Company’s projected revenue requirement over the next four years. As per the law, a suitably qualified Independent Expert reviewed BEL’s submission and the PUC’s decision and recommended an MER of $0.3864/kWh for the period July 2016 to June 2020. BEL has carefully reviewed and accepts the recommendations of the Independent Expert for the following reasons: 1. Prior to the start of the independent review, BEL had indicated that it accepts the Independent Expert selected by the PUC as suitably qualified. 2. BEL is satisfied that the expert complied with the guidelines established by the PUC for the review.

U.S. Embassy staff attended the Fire Fighters Passing Out Ceremony
The Belize Fire Department graduated 24 Fire Fighters increasing their force by over 25%. This was made possible in part by the donation that the U.S. Security Cooperation Office provided at the end of last year. The Security Cooperation Office donated 200 fire suits plus some firefighter equipment. During the graduation, the fire fighters demonstrated the use of that new equipment.

Apply today!
The U.S. Embassy and Peace Corps are accepting applications for an electrician technician and a backup medical provider. Click for more information!

Channel 7

PUP Ready For The River
At the beginning of the month, the PUP said that it would go to the Sarstoon River to challenge the Government's 30 day ban. Since then, the party had been quietly making their preparations, and with the days going by, it was starting to look like merely like political hard-talk, with no action to back it up. Well, the news tonight the PUP's National Party Council has finalized their plans and on Saturday, they are heading to the Sarstoon. Party Leader John Briceño spoke with the media today about his party's plans: Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "We have been in consultations with the leadership of the party, by that I mean members of the national executive and parliamentarians and the best time that we could have from the majority of the group to go down south is going to be this Saturday." Mike Rudon, Ch 5: "You have maintain a cordial relationship with the Prime Minister. Have you informed him of that decision?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "The Prime Minister is aware that we are going to travel to the Sarstoon. I have said it publicly, we've said it in our releases and just last week Friday when we went to support the teachers in their march to stand up for Belize - I also made it clear once again that we are going to go and visit the Sarstoon."

PUP Leader Says Too Much Focus On Border Dispute
But in the meantime, has there been too much focus of the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute to the exclusion of other equally pressing, national issues? Earlier this week, we told you how the Guatemalan Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales, accused his Government of using the territorial claim as a distraction from the real problems facing that country. Well today, the press asked Opposition Leader John Briceño about the possibility that the territorial dispute is distracting the Belizean public in a similar way. He told us that he certainly thinks so: Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "You can make the case that, I am not suggesting in any way that the government is happy for what's taking place there, but it certainly has afforded them an opportunity to divert attention from the real, the other pressing problems that we have in this country and we in the Opposition have not forgotten those issues. We bring it up in the Belize Times, we bring it up in our talk show and pretty soon we are going to have a full press conference where we are going to talk about these issues."

Man Pleads Down To Soldier Slaughter
Former BDF Champion Recruit Jason Pott was killed with a stab wound to the heart in March 2011. And today Devaughn Goodger pleaded guilty to killing him. The 22 year old Goodger - who's been on remand since he was 17 - took a plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years. But, since he has been on remand for 5 years already, he will only spend 6 years and 10 months in prison. Justice Adolph Lucas considered several factors in this case, including the fact that Goodger was only 17 when he stabbed Pott, that he had no criminal record prior to this incident and that Goodger pleaded guilty to manslaughter and showed remorse for what he had done. But the Judge also had to look at the circumstances surrounding the attack. The information is that Goodger threatened Pott earlier on the day of the stabbing.

Alrick Smith: Accused turned Victim, His Shooter Charged
A man has been charged for shooting notorious street figure Alrick Smith. Today in the Magistrate's court, Shane Bahadur was charged with attempted murder and wounding. No plea was taken because the offences will be tried on indictment. Neither could the court offer Bahadur bail because of the nature of the offences. He was remanded into custody until July 18. The shooting happened on May 6th in Ladyville. Smith was shot to his leg on Aricari Street in Ladyville. Smith has been on our news before for drug trafficking and even attempted murder. Right now police are looking at this shooting in connection with the recent Ladyville shootout at the Lozano's Marage Road residence.

Runaway Hostel Girls Safe and Sound
All 11 youth hostel girls have been found. The girls were scattered all across the country - 4 were found in Benque, another girl was found in Belmopan while others were trying to make it down South. But with help from the police, all the girls were returned to the youth hostel. The girls escaped on Sunday evening around 6:00. 3 of them jumped the fence while the others walked right out the front gate. By the time the security guard came back to his post, the girls were already over the fence. Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department Maureen Williams said there was a breakdown in procedures. The front gate should have been locked and the police officer should have been on guard. Williams told us that there will be disciplinary actions against staff members. As we told you, this is not the first time hostel protocols were breached, that was also the case in the November 2015 hostel fire that claimed the life of 3 girls - who had just been returned from running away.

PUP Leader Says GOB Has To Deal With Plett Case
Since the beginning of the week, we've been giving you a blow by blow account of Mennonite Farmer Roger Plett's story. He has given a detailed account of how he was abducted in Belizean territory, and detained in Guatemala. Last night, we also showed you the Government's response and how the police department is handling, or mishandling, the investigation into the cross border incident. Today Opposition Leader John Briceño told us that he hopes that the Police and the Foreign Affairs Ministry will not bury the report simply because it may be inconvenient for the Belize Government to have to accuse Guatemala:

Plett, Ayala vs. Sylvestre, Lovell
So, we know which side the opposition leader is on, but who do you think is right and who's wrong? For the past three nights we've featured this story extensively - and both sides have gotten ample airtime to put their story out. Tonight, in a sort of extended mega-mix we have the claims, counter-claims and clarifications from both sides - so you can be the judge. Here goes:... Roger Plett, Farmer Detained by Guatemalans: "There was 10 military persons and about 5 people in civilian clothing, they came running out of the forest and the military surrounded the tractor." H.E Lawrence Sylvester - CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "We were given every assurance that there was no Belizean detained and that the Guatemalan armed forces were not on any patrol near the area adjacent to the Mennonite property on that day."

Refugees: The Real Deal
Last night, we showed you our interview with Beverly Castillo, the Minister of State responsible for Immigration. She was discussing the Government's change in position regarding the NGO, Help For Progress. Government doesn't want their help in processing the hundreds of applications for refugee status in Belize. As we showed you, there was a sudden rush to apply for the refugee status, mostly from people who have been living illegally in Belize for some time. The Minister did concede that the Refugee Eligibility Committee has received applications from such persons, which automatically disqualifies them. That's because to qualify as a refugee, interested persons have to submit their application less than 14 days after entering the country. So, given this sudden frenzy for refugee status, and the fact that Government only publicized it after the press got a hold of the story, we asked Castillo what's making the application process so attractive:

Cop Who Caused Carmelita Crash Still Critical
Yesterday we told you about the fatal accident near Carmelita that claimed the life of well-known Orange Walk businessman, 49 year old Richard Orellana. There are no charges because the man who allegedly caused the accident Police Officer Roberto Tec remains at the KHMH in a critical condition. Meanwhile, the blood sample taken from Tec to test for alcohol content has not been returned from the forensics lab. As we told you yesterday Roberto Tec and Richard Orellana collided head on somewhere between miles 41 and 42 on the Phillip Goldson Highway.

Robinson behind bars for gun and ammo offenses
A man took a guilty plea today to get his friends off firearm charges. 29 year old Anthony Robinson, pleaded guilty so that Deshane Mena, Richard Flores and Leith Bermudez could go free. The GSU says that all four are known to be members of the PIV Gang. They were were busted with a loaded .38 revolver in February. The GSU searched the Toyota Camry they were in and found a loaded 38 revolver. Today in the Magistrate's court, 29 year old Anthony Robinson pleaded guilty to the charges of Kept firearm and ammunition without a license. Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith gave him two and a half years each, but the sentences are to run concurrently, he will only serve the 30 months.

Maim Victim Perseveres
Imagine going to your favourite Fried Chicken spot for a late night snack, but to end up in the hospital, without one leg. That's what happened to Francis Gill in 2014. On a Friday night, he went to Key Ley Fried CHICKEN on Freetown Road - and in the hustle and bustle of the late night rush, he had some hard words with another customer. Little did he know that the man he was beefing with, 36 year old Devon Jones would jump into his truck, ram into gill, and crush his leg against the wall of the restaurant. He still has to provide for himself and his family, which is now a difficult task because of the disability. But, he's not willowing in self-pity and depression. Instead, he's been trying to walk again, and today, he sat down with us to discuss what it has been like for him. Daniel Ortiz has that story: Standing up without help, and walking around freely… It's a luxury that most of us take for granted. There are some who prefer to be driven everywhere, but the ability to walk is what Francis Gill has been fighting to regain.

Students Will Learn About The Bze-Guat Dispute
Belize - Guatemala relations, it's been dominating the news recently - and soon, it'll be coming to a classroom near you! The Ministry of Education is reviewing the Primary School Social Studies Curriculum and wants to beef up the Belizean History component, specifically the part that deals with the Belize-Guatemala dispute. CEO in the Ministry of Education told us more about that today. A press release says the ministry hopes to have the material printed and disseminated by the end of the summer, for voluntary use in the 2016-17 school year. Mandatory use will commence in the 2017-18 school year. At the secondary school level the Ministry plans to mass-produce modules developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hooked On B-Z Phonics
Today the Ministry of Education launched the first book in the "B-Z Phonics" collection. It's a work book that the Ministry plans to introduce into the infant division for the upcoming school year. Now, it may sound like a kids' book only a principal would be interested in, but curriculum planners are hoping this book can make your child a better reader. The book has been about 10 years in the making and today we stopped by at the Biltmore Plaza for the launch: The book is free and the Ministry plans to make it available for all schoolchildren at the infant 1 level for the upcoming school year.

Buh-Bye BRC?
Now while these books are slated to be introduced into the primary school curriculum later this year, what about the BRC phonic books which are currently in use? Well, there was a huge falling out between the Government of Belize and BRC printing last year, which landed them both before the courts. The issue stemmed from a fight of "who's way is the best way." The Ministry of Education wanted to change certain things, but BRC was resistant. The matter was finally resolved through court ordered mediation. But when we asked the Ministry of Education today about the relation between these new phonic books and those thousands of BRC readers currently in circulation, they could not give us a straight answer.

Where Are The Schools?
We also got an opportunity to speak with CEO David Leacock on the of $18 million dollar CDB project to construct 35 new schools all over the country. The project - known as Phase Two of the Education Sector Reform Project was launched earlier this year - but has work started? Today we asked CEO Leacock for an update:

BEL Sides With Indep. Expert, Urges PUC to Do The Same
For a few months now, BEL and the Public Utilities Commission have been back and forth about the electricity rate: BEL asked to 39 cents per kilowatt hour, PUC only approved a rate of 36 cents. So, BEL asked for a review by an independent expert and that report came out three weeks ago. The expert recommended a mean electricity rate of 38 cents, which is closer to what BEL asked for. With that, today BEL sent out a press release saying it "accepts the recommendation of the Independent Expert (and) trusts that the PUC will adapt and implement the recommendations in the best interest of customers."

Logging Threats
The National Protected areas of Belize are under constant threat from illegal logging. But although Guatemalan's pose the biggest threat in the Chiquibul rainforest, they are not the only ones that wreaking havoc in our forests. Yesterday two men, living in Belize, were caught rend handed in an illegal logging operation inside the Mayflower Bocawina National Park- that's in the Stann Creek District. The Park Rangers of the Mayflower Bocawina Environmental Development Group, were conducting regular patrols in the area when they heard the distinctive sounds of a chain saw. The Executive Director of APAMO works closely with the Bocawina conservation group and he was in fact the one that alerted the authorities about the situation. Jose Perez - Executive Director. APAMO: "Yesterday, the rangers of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park, this park is located down 6 miles off the southern highway and this park has been plagued for a while now like many other parks in Belize with illegal extraction of timber."

Channel 5

The Opposition Will Be Represented at Istanbul Talks
Very high level delegations from Belize and Guatemala will be meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday to discuss the Sarstoon. That’s the venue slated for the talks surrounding what has [...]

Will the P.U.P. Reach the Sarstoon this Saturday?
The talks are critical for another more local, political reason. The unpopular and controversial SI passed by G.O.B. prohibiting civilians from entering the Sarstoon expires six days from Saturday. Prime [...]

P.U.P. Leader Lashes Out at PM Barrow for Arbitration Award
All eyes may be to the South and West as the Belize/Guatemala issue percolates. But there’s a financial storm brewing – with wind gusts of just over half of a [...]

Briceño Says Guatemala Issue is a Distraction from Other Crises
Earlier, Briceño spoke about Guatemala using its unfounded claim to distract from the crises affecting its people. But here’s the thing – he says that to some extent that’s the [...]

Santander Exports First Shipment of Raw Sugar
The Santander Group celebrated a milestone today with the exportation of its first shipment of raw sugar.  A quota of fourteen thousand tons of unrefined grain is being trucked to [...]

No Plans for a Refinery Just Yet
While projections are being made for increased production in subsequent crops, there are no plans as yet for the construction of a refinery.  As it stands, Santander is wholesaling unprocessed [...]

Illegal Loggers at Mayflower Bocawina National Park Caught in the Act
We have reported on illegal activities within the expansive Chiquibul National Park many times, in fact within the last week after three Guatemalans were detained while panning for gold near [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says G.O.B. Cannot Sweep Plett Issue under the Rug
Since the start of this week News Five has been bringing you the remarkable story of an alleged cross-border kidnapping, albeit a short-lived one. We’ve spoken at length with Roger [...]

Did Police Manipulate Plett Statement?
That investigation is the focal point of the allegation, and any official diplomatic action which may or may not occur as a result of it. Officialdom weighed in on Wednesday [...]

UNHCR Will Still Feature in Refugee Program
As we reported on Thursday, Government has been forced to do a complete about-turn on a local refugee program which has come under intense and sustained scrutiny. Help for Progress, [...]

Goodger Sentenced for Manslaughter
At the age of seventeen, Devaughan Goodger was charged for the stabbing murder of Jason Pott which occurred on Cleghorn Street, Belize City on March fifth, 2011.  After being on [...]

Robinson Will Serve Jail time for Illegal Firearm
One of four men busted inside a car on February fifteenth, 2016 for firearm offenses will serve only two years and a half behind bars instead of a minimum of [...]

Bahadur on Remand for Attempted Murder of the Notorious Alrick Smith
Ladyville resident, Shane Bahadur, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for the May sixth attempted murder and wounding of Alrick Smith.  This evening Bahadur, in the presence of [...]

All You Need to Know About ZIKA
There is a first confirmed case of Zika in Belize and it involves a woman in the north side of City. The Ministry of Health is carrying out surveillance in [...]

QUADS Introduces My BZ Phonics
The Ministry of Education, through the Quality Assurance Development Service, is rolling out a new program to assist primary school children at the beginner level with reading.  This morning, QUADS [...]

Program Embraces Interactive Learning
The ushering in of the new program and accompanying textbook should see a more interactive approach to reading inside the classroom.  Newport says the objective is to engage children in [...]

5th Belize Park Fest to Be Held on Sunday
Daily, between six and nine p.m., at the Memorial Park in Belize City, a small scale concert would end the day’s workshop for Belize Music Week, which is ongoing. Belizeans [...]

60 Minutes’ Morley Safer Dies
Morley Safer is one of the most recognized faces in broadcast journalism. His reports on CBS’s Sixty Minutes on Sundays attracted millions across the world for his distinctive style. As [...]

LOVE FM

PUP Will Go to Sarstoon on May 21
Earlier this week we reported on the upcoming trip to the Sarstoon being led by the Opposition, Peoples United Party. Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno spoke to the media today on the trip which is slated for Saturday, May 21. JOHN BRICENO “Two weeks ago at the National Party Council meeting that we had […]

Senator Eamon Courtenay to Join Delegation to Istanbul, Turkey
And while the PUP is planning their trip to the Sarstoon for Saturday, officials are traveling to Istanbul, Turkey for a meeting set to discuss the Sarstoon protocols. As we told you yesterday, the opposition has once again been embraced by the Government of Belize to be a part of the discussions as they relate […]

Cautious Optimism on Recent Belize/Guatemala Talks
During the now-famous press conference where the media challenged the Prime Minister in bringing nothing new to the forefront regarding the Belize/Guatemala issue, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of being cautiously optimistic following the recent talks between Wilfred Sedi Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales. Those talks held between both Foreign Affairs leader was the meeting […]

PUP Leader Says Guatemalans Need to Stop Coming Onto Our Land at Their Own Will
Earlier this week the People’s United Party had sent out a release demanding that the Government of Belize take the kidnapping of 21-year-old, Roger Plett seriously and to launch a serious investigation into the incident. The incident reportedly occurred on Thursday, May 12 in the Green Hills area just outside Spanish Lookout. Six days later, […]

Is Belize/Guat Issue Overshadowing Other Social Ills
In a news story brought to you some weeks ago, we spoke of Guatemala’s intentional focus on their territorial claim to Belize in an effort to side-track the attention of its citizens from the other social ills that plagues Guatemala. While this sentiment has been echoed by various international agencies, when we take a look […]

JB Says Outcome on BTL Is No Victory for Belizeans
When the Prime Minister returned home last week, he told Love News that should the initial ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the BTL issue, it could be deemed as a victory for Belize since the Ashcroft Alliance was valuing each share at ten dollars while the courts have estimated it at fifty […]

Opposition Leader Applauds the Media
The media has been cited as problematic particularly when it comes to foreign affairs and national security issues. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington has become known to lay blame at the feet of the media when it comes to their news reports on the Belize/Guatemala issue. The Opposition Leader, John Briceno has conceded […]

The Effects of the Sarstoon Regulation on Belizeans in the Area
The Chairman of Barranco Village, Dr. Joseph Palacio addressed some of the unexpected implications the new Sarstoon Regulations have had on the community. Implications that might have gone unnoticed in other parts of the country,drastically affected the lives of the Garifuna community in Barranco Village and other Southern Coastal Communities who depend on the Sarstoon […]

Barranco’s Role in the Belize/Guatemala Issue
Another issue Dr. Joseph Palacio touched on was the substantive role that the local government of Barranco could take in the ongoing tensions between Belize and Guatemala. Given that the village is at the forefront in the interplay of powers and decisions taken by both governments that drastically impact the local community, Dr. Palacio elaborated […]

Garifuna Communities Urged to Unite as Indigenous Group
Yesterday was the anniversary of the United Nation’s ratification of the Garifuna Community. Today Dr. Palacio spoke about a release sent by a group of Garifuna elders urging the unification of the Garifuna community as an Indigenous Community. DR JOSEPH PALACIO “The press release came from a group of concerned Garifuna elders and it had […]

PlusTV

Ministry of National Security briefing on detention of Belizean farmers by Guatemalans
Today the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a joint press conference to explain their perspective on the Plett and Ayala abduction to Guatemala by Guatemalan Military. This incident which happened last week Thursday, has been brought to the public’s attention by ...

Hon Beverly Castillo, Minister of State, Immigration clarifies refugee status
After Plus News broke the story regarding hundreds of refugees lining up at the Help for Progress Building in Belmopan to fill out applications for refugee status, Belizeans became concerned about the lack of transparency in the process as well as the lack of information. Government then issued its ...

Belize City woman shot
A woman was shot last night in Belize City. On Tuesday May 17 at around 8:10 p.m., shots were fired at the corner of Freetown and Barrack Road, Belize City and 19-year-old Chiaoma Williams of a Belize City address, was shot to her right buttock area and grazed by a bullet on her left hip. Police sa...

2 months for inappropriate touching
He “patted” a 10 year old child on her buttocks and told her not to say anything to anyone so he would not get into trouble with the law. But 26 year old Ashton Lambey will spend 60 days in jail after the child immediately told her sister, who told her mother, who reported the matter to police. On S...

Marage Road shooters charged
19 year old Darwin Prado and 18 year old Egbert Baldwin, accused of the armed assault early on Saturday at the home of Cynthia Lozano on Marage Road in Ladyville, were charged with 3 counts of attempted murder when they appeared today before Magistrate Emerita Anderson. They were also charged with 3...

Belize City men see drugs charges dismissed
On New Year’s Eve, 2015, police escorted two men to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where they were jointly charged with supplying a controlled drug, to wit, methamphetamine or heroin to Ervin Teck contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act; and possession of 24 and a half pounds of diamorphine or heroi...

The Guardian

Pickstock honours Belizean patriot Leigh Richardson
In the prime of his youth, Leigh Richardon served time in prison doing hard labour because of his love for this country and desire to see us become masters of our own destiny. Right Honourable Sir Manuel Esquivel refers to him and Hon. Phillip Goldson as Belize’s first political prisoners. The two patriots were convicted of Sedition in 1951 and sentenced to 18 months hard labour in jail for their anti-colonial/pro-independence campaign. Richardson was a founding and executive member of the People’s United Party in 1950. He left the PUP in 1956, after George Price’s takeover, and joined Goldson to form the Honduran Independence Party (HIP). The HIP later merged with the National Party to form the National Independence Party (NIP), which is one of the cornerstones of today’s United Democratic Party (UDP). His immeasurable contribution to Belizean independence and democracy is unquestionable, yet he is just a footnote in the written Belizean history. Hon. Wilfred Elrington and the Pickstock Development Association hope to reintroduce Richardson’s name in national conversations about Belize’s History by naming their flagship after him. On Saturday, May 14, the Pickstock Development Association opened a massive new resource center named the Leigh Richardson Knowledge Center.

Handing over of donation from the Government of Japan
A brief handing over ceremony was held at the new Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this morning. A generous donation of approximately US$120,000 was gifted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital through the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow by the Government of Japan, through its Grassroots Human Security Project in 2014 to purchase equipment for the new unit. The funds were used to purchase vital items such as a heavy duty backup generator, an incubator, 3 cerebral oximeters, 1 EKG Machine, 2 Headwall systems, 2 I-stat machines and syringe infusion pumps. Ambassador of Japan to Belize, His Excellency Mr. Masanori Nakano, was in Belize and formally handed over the donation to Dr. Adrian Coye, Chief Executive Officer of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Belizeans travel to Taiwan for 2016 Taipei International Tourism Expo
Two prominent Belizean professionals in the tourism industry, Ms. Karen Pike and Mr. Ian Anderson, will travel to Taiwan to represent and promote Belize in the upcoming “2016 Taipei International Tourism Expo” from May 20-23, 2016. Ms Karen Pike has been the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) since December of 2014. She manages and oversees the operations of five units – Travel Trade, Hospitality, Marketing Intelligence, Digital Marketing and Marketing & PR. The Belize Tourism Board is a strategic partner in marketing the Belize tourism product, developing tourism initiatives and programs, and implementing tourism policies, to address the changing needs of visitors and stakeholders, therefore her role is extremely important to the BTB. Karen holds an MBA where she focused on management. She also completed a Certification course in Tourism Management from the University of the West Indies, Belize Campus. She is currently working on a Certification in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University.

Preparing for the Hurricane Season in Cayo
Public works are now continuing in both the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena as well as the Cayo Central Division in preparation for the rainy season. While we are now in the midst of high temperatures and dry season, it makes good sense to now attend to improving infrastructure. In preparation for the upcoming Hurricane Season, the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council is now clearing drains and culverts to mitigate the flooding that occurs on private lots; especially during heavy showers. New culverts have been built in Santa Elena Town in flood prone areas by the Santa Elena football field, while drains are also now being cleared behind the Sacred Heart High School, to allow for the free flow of water. While much grass has grown on the large drain, behind Sacred Heart High School, this has to be cleared by heavy machinery about once a year. This drain was being widened by heavy machinery on Monday to ensure the free flow of water. Failing to do this results in the accumulation of water that goes into people’s yards in the neighborhood of Sacred Heart College. There are now attempts to secure funding for the permanent concreting of this large drain behind Sacred Heart College. Mayor Earl Trapp tells us that this will save the Council a lot of funds from having to repeatedly work on that particular drainage.

Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize
The Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator the Hon. Maxine McClean, and comprising Barbados, Canada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria and Tanzania, as well as Belize and United Kingdom as observers, met on Monday, 16 May 2016, to discuss the recent events taking place in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Hon Wilfred Elrington briefed the Committee on recent developments, including discussions between the governments of the two countries. The Committee reiterated and endorsed the firm support of the Commonwealth for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize, as expressed consistently and most recently in the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Communiqué. The Committee encouraged all concerned to work towards a peaceful and final resolution of the longstanding disagreements concerning the border between Belize and Guatemala.

Maya Land Rights Commission responds to Alcalde Association
The Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission is obligated to ensure that the Maya people do not become voiceless in the process of implementing the CCJ order as it relates to Maya customary land rights. The Order did not cede the autonomy of villages to any group. The Commission is therefore disappointed by the statements made by the Toledo Alcalde Association as it relates to a meeting held on Monday, May, 16, 2016. The planned meeting was held and present were 32 of the 36 village leaders, the participants were very engaged and welcomed the opportunity to commence dialogue with the Commission. What was not allowed was an interruption to the planned meeting, but an offer was made to meet with the Steering Committee at a mutually convenient time. The Commission will proceed with its consultations with elected leaders of all villages in the Toledo District and Punta Gorda Town. The Commission has a very clear Terms of Reference and will not be distracted with actions that undermine a process that is transparent and inclusive.

Start studded lineup for Music Week
A decade from now the Belize Music Week will be drawing spectators and participants from across the globe but what we have now at the inaugural event is high quality Belizean entertainment for the entire family to enjoy. After Tuesday’s show, it is safe to say that the first annual Belize Music Week is off with a bang! The artists scheduled to perform during Music Week include international, regional and national award winners. There are legends, musical prodigies and the undiscovered. Genres include Bruk Down, Soca, Calypso, Hip Hop, R and B, Paranda, Punta and some crossover beats. To kick off the event on Tuesday, May 17, the Pandemonium Steel Pan showed why many now consider them to be the best steel band in the land. Members of Pandemonium had the opportunity to attend Panorama in Trinidad and Tobago in February of this year. Panorama is the largest gathering of steel pan bands in the world. There the members of Pandemonium had the opportunity to learn from some of the most accomplished steel pan masters and got to play in bands participating in the much heralded competition.

Teachers Parade instead of Teacher’s Day?
Instead of going to Placencia Village and enjoying their Teachers Day as was the plan, several hundred teachers decided to march through the streets of Belize City and hold a rally against the Sarstoon SI. As readers are aware, the purpose of the Statutory Instrument was to prevent persons, such as the Belize Territorial Volunteers, from jeopardizing the very fragile negotiations for a peace keeping protocol between the militaries of Belize and Guatemala in that southern river. The leadership of Belize National Teacher Union, very much like the umbrella union, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, had called for the Government to repeal the law. The Barrow Administration has not acceded to their request, and so these teachers decided that a demonstration, called the Stand Up for Belize Rally, would send the message loud and clear that large numbers of the teachers who form part of the BNTU, also don’t support the Sarstoon SI. But, at the most, only one-fifth or one-sixth of that population showed up in solidarity with their union.

Zika Not Expected to Have Major Impact on Tourism
Last week Belize received its first positive result for the Zika virus from test samples sent to CARPHA. That sample came from the Belize district. According to the Ministry of Health, measures are already in place to deal with the disease but still in a release it states taht “the Ministry will continue to be actively engaged with the community to minimize impact and we continue to ask the community to do everything possible to assist that Ministry and our partners to reduce mosquito breeding sites such as discarding buckets, old tires and other containers that may hold water.” While from the local front Zika is something that has to be dealt with by those who live in country, since the news was released on Monday, many individuals who depend directly on tourism for income have been wondering how it will affect the industry. The answer from industry guardians is “not really much”.

Cop arrested for molesting a child
Police Constable Darren Evan Martinez, 21, is in serious trouble with the law after he was arraigned on a single charge of sexual assault upon a child under the age of 16. Martinez is being accused of penetrating the vagina of an 8-year-old girl with his finger on February 21, 2016. Martinez appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, May 16. He is being represented by attorney Oswald Twist. Since the matter is an indictable offense, no plea was taken. Court prosecutor, Cpl. Kennard Clark, objected to bail on the grounds of the prevalence and serious nature of the offense. Twist was concerned about possible harm that could come to his client while on remand at the Belize Central Prison.

Witness refuses to testify - Akeem Humes set free from murder charge
Akeem Hubert Humes, 26, is free from a murder charge after Prosecutor Shanice Lovell informed Justice Adolph Lucas on Friday, May 13, that the crown will not move forward with the case. She informed the court of the nolle prosequi without any official reason. However, Lovell did say that the evidence on file would have been enough to proceed with the matter if the crown’s main witness was cooperating. Police arrested and charged Akeem Hubert Humes for the murder of 45-year-old Orlando Sylvestre Williams. At about 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, January 1, 2013, Williams was near his home at the corner of Dean Street and West Canal having a conversation with a friend, when a light complexion man came walking on Dean Street from the direction of Plues Street and fired several shots at him. Williams was struck multiple times and died on the spot. Police retrieved seven 9 mm expended shells, one slug and one copper jacket from the scene. Police arrested and charged Humes for murder on Friday, January 4, 2013. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was remanded to the Hattieville Prison.

Ladyville shootout ends in murder
The Marage Road area, of Ladyville Village, which has been the location of a sudden spike in crime, was the scene of another violent murder. This one happened just after midnight on Friday, May 13, and it ended in the shooting death of 21 year-old Lionel Rhamdas, a mechanic of Eagle Street. Police investigation is that on that Friday night, 23 year-old Casey Lozano, his brother and 2 other friends were socializing inside the yard of Lozano’s Family home on Marage Road. Three gunmen then approached them and opened fire on the group. One of the four hanging out at the Lozano home immediately fired back, and in the aftermath, a total of about 20 shots went off. When the violence ended, Lionel Rhamdas fell dead with a weapon near him.

Two months for patting 10 year old girl on the buttocks
Ashton Lambey, 26, was sentenced to 2 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to patting a 10 year old girl on her buttocks. Lambey appeared in court before Chief Magistrate Anna Marie Smith on Wednesday, May 18, where he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault upon the girl. The incident occurred on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at the yard of the 10 year old girl. She told police that at about 4:40 p.m., she was at home doing homework, when her 26 year old sister told her to go downstairs to get the broom for her. Whilst downstairs, the child met Lambey who had the broom she needed to take for her sister. The minor asked Lambey for the broom which he handed her and as the child turned away from him to walk back upstairs, Lambey pat her on her buttocks. The child said Lambey told her, “Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.”

Boyd Lopez accepts plea deal for manslaughter
Boyd Lopez, 20, went on a joy ride without a drivers license on the afternoon of February 18, 2015 and ran over 70-year-old Marie Knowles on Baghdad Street in Belize City. Knowles was walking on the side walk when Lopez came in a Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle and ran over her. According to witnesses, the vehicle dragged her body a few yards before it was able to stop. Knowles sustained several injuries to the head and body; including, a broken rib and broken leg. She later succumbed to her injuries with the official cause of death listed as “traumatic shock”.

Salvadoran national, arraigned for sex with girl, 15
Salvadoran national, Anderson Steve Raffles Portillo, 25, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly having sexual intercourse with his 15-year-old “girlfriend” twice. Portillo appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Thursday, May 12, where he was read two sexual assault charges. The minor went to the police station with her mother and said that she had sexual intercourse with her “boyfriend”, Anderson Portillo, on February 26 and May 7, 2016. A medical examination conducted on the minor by Dr. Mauricio Navarette certified that the minor has been carnally known.

Stann Creek Softball Competition opens this coming Sunday
The Stann Creek Softball Association 2016 Senior Female competition will open on Sunday 22nd May, with two games on the schedule out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, Stann Creek District. The competition will feature the participation of four teams in this year’s competition. The competing teams are Sittee River, Seine Bight, Independence Pals and Independence United. In the first game scheduled for 1:30 pm Sittee River will go up against Seine Bight and in the second game at 3:30 pm Independence United will see action against Independence Pals. The Stann Creek Softball Association is under the leadership of Mrs. Elizabeth Zabaneh, the Commissioner for Softball in the area.

Ebenezer Methodist School and St. John Vianney School boys won by big margins in primary schools football competition
The Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition continued on Monday 16th May, 2016, at the MCC Grounds with four games on the schedule. In the first of three games played in the boys’ competition, Ebenezer Methodist School blasted Muslim Community School by the score of 9-0. The goals for Ebenezer Methodist School were scored by Jalen Whyte (2), Hector Reyes (2), Keemar James, Calvin Young, Santi Bol, Sydney Wade and Jaymion Cacho. In game two, St. John Vainney School blanked its sister school St. Ignatius School by the score of 5-0. The goals for St. John Vianney School were scored by Michael Palacio (2), Ken Galvez (2) and Christian Caceres. In game three, Holy Redeemer School and All Saints Primary School played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for Holy Redeemer School was scored by Anthony Usher while the goal for All Saints Primary School by Holden Bradley.

Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Unitedville Rebels United co- leaders in Cayo Softball Competition
The Raymond Garbutt Cayo Senior Female Competition which is being sponsored by the Hon. John Saldivar continued on Sunday 15th May, 2016, with three games on the schedule out at the Raymond Garbutt Field in Roaring Creek Village. The competition will continue this coming Sunday 22nd May, 2016, with three more games on the schedule out at the Mae Gordon Sports Field in the City of Belmopan. In the first game scheduled for 12:00 p.m., Esperanza Wolverines will go up against Camalote. In game two, Unitedville Rebels United will see action against the Belmopan Bandits and in the final game of the day it will be Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy against the Belmopan Capital City Emeralds.

Belize Softball Federation to hold Umpires Training
The Belize Softball Federation has announced that it will be holding an Umpires Training for intermediate and advance umpires from August 4-8, 2016. The Training will be conducted by the Chief Umpire of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Softball Division Robert Stanton and will include both theoretical and practical work. The federation envision that this will be the spring board for umpires who have been involved in the game at the advance level for the past five years to move towards the International Certification for Umpires. The umpires who successfully completes the course will be invited to participate in the XIII Central American Junior Female Softball Championship as part of the umpiring crew.

Piggy Back
It is my understanding that the protest rally of last Friday May 13, organized under the patronage of the leadership of the Belize National Teacher’s Union, garnered, at its peak, about 800 participants. Most of this number was made up of partakers from various Opposition political parties, including the People’s United Party, and a couple of NGO’s with personal agendas and private axes against the UDP Government. It seems that our political system has done an about-turn as it relates to the term “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition”, whereby the main Opposition Party has now relegated itself to the position of piggy-backer. The PUP, which is now being considered as the Party of bad ideas, is now hopping onto passing bandwagons, no matter that these carts are being pulled along by mules instead of stallions. I would want readers to consider my observations as being critical instead of offensive, analytical instead of derogatory; more intended to facilitate reflection rather than to crush ideals. But the PUP at this stage is simply bouncing from one blunder to the other. They had no business out there that day with teachers; there is no urgent national issue to protest against, and the rally was solely designed to assuage Palacio’s monumental ego, and Smith’s new found love for the camera. As to Maheia, Matura and Mora, best I hold my peace, so to speak.

Annual Diabetic Run 2016 and Wellness Expo
On Sunday May 22nd 2016 at 6:30 am Wellness Ambassadors in collaboration with the Belize Diabetic Association Belmopan Branch and Coordinator of Honor Students of Our Lady of Guadalupe High School and Marathon runner Emil Pulido will lead a momentous twenty three (23) miles run to create an awareness about the danger of Diabetes in an effort to contribute to the prevention and elimination of this deadly disease which is a leading killer and culprit of lost body parts of several Belizeans and people across the globe. “Diabetic Run Sunday May 22nd 2016; under the theme Diabetes Nah a Ketch Mi ” will assemble and depart from the nation’s capital Belmopan Market Square at 6:30 am in route to Palacios Mountain Retreat Mile 31 Hummingbird Highway St. Margaret’s Village. Expected time of arrival at the Retreat is 11:30 am.

House of Culture in San Ignacio observes International Museum Day
An open day on the El Pilar Maya Forest Gardens was held at the National Institute of Culture and History building on Buena Vista Street in San Ignacio Town on Wednesday of this week. The event coincides with the International Museum Day 2016, which celebrates museums and cultural landscapes around the World. At the opening of the El Pilar Maya Forest Gardens was the El Pilar Team, composed of El Pilar Project Director Dr. Anabel Ford, Belizean contributor to the El Pilar Forest Garden Initiative Cynthia Ellis Topsey as well as principal forest gardeners Alfonzo Tzul and Narcisso Torres. In an interview with the Guardian, Cynthia Ellis Topsey said that it is important that Belizeans be involved and embrace El Pilar, “…that the efforts be handed to the children, the young generation and that we be more actively involved in embracing the work.” El Pilar is the largest Maya site of the Belize River Area. The entire reserve covers over 2000 hectares in both Belize and Guatemala. El Pilar has a causeway that connects the site to the NE Peten of Guatemala. Cynthia Ellis tells us that El Pilar is an important avenue of confidence building between Belize and Guatemala.

Independence residents begging Village Council to ease garbage tax
Residents of Independence Village are waiting axiously for village council elections to be called so they can rid themselves Tony Zabaneh’s council. Immediately after showing Zabaneh overwhelming support in the election for Village Chairman, he turned around and dropped the bukut on Independence residents with a garbage tax hike. The Tony Zabaneh led council decided to raise the garbage collection tax by 100%. Residents previously paid $7 for garbage collection fee. This was already a topic of controversy because the garbage trucks are old and the garbage is carried in an opened back bed. Residents say this is hazardous to their health because garbage and liquid waste always falls from the truck as it goes through the community. No attempt has been made to improve the garbage collection system or buy new trucks yet the Village Council has informed residents that residential fees will increase from $7 to $14 effective immediately.

Lake Independence Boulevard nears completion
The first half of the Lake Independence boulevard has been completed. Work by contractor RJB construction was completed on one of the carriageways on Saturday May 14. The left lane on the southern approach to the Chetumal Street bridge was opened on Monday and work commenced on the right lane. Contractor in charge of the project Romel Berges told the Guardian that the work on the second half will be completed within the next month or so. Both carriageways will be paved with hotmix asphalt which is being done by RODLA construction company. Also speaking to the Guardian was Christy Mastry, director of Belize Infrastructure Limited who is overseeing the civil works. She explained that along with the paving of the carriageways there is a focus on ensuring that there is proper drainage of the area as well as the implementation of a ‘green’ area which will be worked into the final scope of works in the Lake Independence development area.

Mayor Earl Trapp hand delivers cash to deserving mothers
Five deserving mothers from the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena have been awarded with cash prizes by Mayor Earl Trapp Junior. These mothers were recently awarded in recognition of Mother’s Day events and comes thanks to a contribution by Atlantic International Bank, which has a branch based at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. Amalia Quiroz, the Manager of the San Ignacio Branch of Atlantic International Bank was on hand for these cash distributions. The mothers receiving the cash awards were Daphnie Middleton, Aminda Pinelo, Rosa Aldana, Rosa Enriquez and Olivia Tate. According to Melanie Danilczyh, Human Resources Manager at the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council, all mothers were very appreciative of the corporate gifts.

Help for Progress has no right to process refugee applications
On Tuesday, May 17, Cabinet announced that “there exists NO formal, nor legal, agreement between the Government of Belize and the NGO, Help for Progress that authorizes Help for Progress personnel accepting application for refugees status in Belize, and to further conduct interviews and determine which applicant has a legitimate case or not.” The announcement follows after the NGO had appeared a couple of weeks ago as having some involvement in the processing of applications for refugees. Cabinet’s announcement further states that any entity that is processing refugee paperworks to cease and desist. It goes on to state that “all applications and the processing for recognition of refugee status, must be presented to the recently reactivated Refugee Eligibility Committee. During the few years of inactivity of the Refugee Eligibility Committee, no entity was empowered to conduct interviews to determine whether refugee applicants for refugee status had a legitimate case for consideration.”

3 car accident claims life of Belizean Businessman
Well known Orange Walk Businessman Richard Orellana was killed on Tuesday night, May 18, in a 3 vehicle traffic accident, in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk. It happened at around 6 p.m. when Orellana was driving his Ford Explorer SUV and he slammed almost head-on into a silver Kia Sorrento, which was being driven by police officer Roberto Teck. The impact then sent Orellana’s SUV careening into a blue Kia Sorento, which was parked on the right shoulder of the highway. It is believed that Orellana died on impact, or shortly after. His body was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital morgue. Teck, who is attached to the Belmopan Police Station, survived the collision, and he was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital, and later to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The driver of the Blue Sorento was completely unhurt by the accident.

Accused murderers walk due to missing case files
Tarique Nathaniel Gillett, 19, and Lyson James Cacho, 21, both of the St. Martins area of Belize City, are free from charges of murder and attempted murder after their case files could not be presented in court. The men appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Friday, May 13. Allegations are that on Sunday, March 1, 2015, Michael Welch and Kingsley Morrison, two disc jockeys, were socializing at a residence on Periwinkle Street when two gunmen rode up on bicycles and opened fired on them. Welch was shot multiple times and died within minutes, while Morrison was shot once to the upper right shoulder, and was rushed to the KHMH where he was treated for his injuries and later released.

Guatemalan gold panners caught in Belize, one shot
Three Guatemalan gold panners, caught in the Chiquibul Forest, have been arrested and charged for that illegal activity. Their detention only happened after another BDF shooting, but although this one was non-fatal, the Guatemalan Government is once again accusing the Belize Military of using excessive force. The Ministry of National Security released a statement, on Saturday, May 14, which explains in detail what happened from the perspective of the Belizean lawmen. A joint patrol of officers from the Police Department, the Belize Defence Force, and rangers from the Friends for Conservation and Development were conducting operations in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul on Friday, May 13. At around 7:45 p.m., the patrol encountered a group of Guatemalans, about 10 to 15 of them at a location approximately 7.9 kilometers east of the border. They had crossed over into Belizean territory, and they were gold panning inside the Chiquibul. That’s a criminal offence, and so the patrol detained 3 of the men from the group who were later identified as 23 year-old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez, 17 year-old Edin Alexander Escobar Garcia, and 21 year-old Solomon Martinez Pasqual.

Men plead guilty to handling policeman’s stolen motorcycle
Lloyd Neal, 29, and Joseph Muhammad Ali, 25, are lucky to be out of jail after they received non-custodial sentences for pleading guilty to being in possession of police officer James Jones’ stolen motorcycle. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser fined them $1,000 each for the offense. Jones reported to police that his black Meilun motorcycle, valued at $3,500, was stolen from Wesley College compound on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Neal and Ali were stopped by police when they were reportedly at a shop buying food. They were approached for license and insurance when it was discovered that the cycle was stolen. Neal and Ali were detained for the cycle and charged with handling stolen goods.

Six women charged for robbery
Six women; including a minor and mother to be, are out on bail after they appeared in the Belize City Magistrates’ Court to face charges of robbery and harm upon another woman. Lucretia Myvett, 29, Nashanti Martinez, 24, Khya Martinez, 18, Rayanna Gongora, 19, Kimberly Bowen, 28, who is pregnant, and a 15-year-old minor appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, May 16, and pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery and harm upon Sasha Richards. The incident allegedly occurred early Sunday morning, May 15, after the Project X event at Hour Bar on Princess Margaret Drive. Sasha Richards told police that at about 4:33 a.m. on Sunday she was just leaving the Project X event when she was attacked and robbed by six females who she knows well. The women beat her up and took away her gold chain valued at $250, gold earring valued at $150 and a Samsung Galaxy S5 cellphone valued at $800. Richards was examined by a doctor who treated her for a swolen lip and an abrasion over her eyebrow.

Men charged for Mark Vernon shooting and high speed chase
Four persons have been detained in connection with the shooting of Mark Vernon, which led to a high speed pursuit by Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams on Thursday, May 12. Of the four, three have been arraigned for a charge of use of deadly means of harm. Larry Wright, 44, of Jane Usher Boulevard, Justin Hyde, 21, of Curl Thompson Street and Devon Sankey, 22, of Unity Street appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, May 16. Allegations are that at about 8:53 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, Vernon was riding his bicycle on Cemetery Road when he noticed a black Mazda pickup truck following behind him. He decided to turn into Euphrates Avenue and upon reaching the intersection with Cairo Street the truck drove up beside him and several shots were fired in his direction from the passenger’s side of the pick-up. Vernon was hit twice to the lower back.

Steven Young arraigned for Lord’s Bank stabbing
Steven Young, 25, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned for the attempted murder of Lord’s Bank resident, Brandon Stevens, who was stabbed during an altercation inside Ruba’s Bar on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Young was arraigned before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, May 16, for charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm upon Brandon Stevens. On Saturday afternoon, Stevens went to Ruba’s Bar and saw his common-law-wife sitting down with four men. He approached and asked her for their house key. This was when Steve Young, one of the four men in the group, said to him, “Some man just don’t know how to treat their woman.” Stevens then approached Steven Young and pushed him. They got into a fight which was quickly parted by Young’s friends. Young then left the bar and went across the street. He returned with a machete. Another fight broke out and Young stabbed Stevens in the chest with the machete.Brandon Stevens was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is listed as being in a stable condition.

Smart Belize Hurricanes National Elite Basketball League champions
The 2016 National Elite Basketball League Season came to an end on Friday 13th May, 2016, at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium where the third and final game in the championship series was played between the newly crowned champions the Smart Belize Hurricanes and the former two-times defending champions the San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The two-time defending champions, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 15-10 lead, which the Smart Belize Hurricanes was able to narrowed to a 24-22 lead at the end of the first quarter. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks maintained its composure during much of the second quarter of the game and at the half time break it was leading 47-45. It was not until mid-way through the third quarter of the game, that the budding champions the Smart Belize Hurricanes took a 60-58 lead, which they were able to increase to a 4 points, 72-68 at the end of the quarter. | In the fourth quarter of the game, there were a number of ties and lead changes. The Smart Belize Hurricanes held on to slim 3 point lead. But the inability of the Smart Belize Hurricanes players to scored free throws and the San Pedro Tiger Sharks ability to sink three points shots, kept the game close. The Smart Belize Hurricanes lead was cut to a 93-90 lead when 2 consecutive three pointers by the visiting San Pedro Tiger Sharks found their way into the basket. At the end of the game, the Smart Belize Hurricanes were able to survive the on-slaught of the San Pedro Tiger Sharks and held on to the 98-92 victory.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Peace at El Pilar?
Guatemalan Minister of Culture and Sports, Jose Luis Chea Urruela said this week that the Cultural Monument El Pilar, located within the adjacency zone between Guatemala and Belize has an important symbolism and can become a place of peace and be managed by both […]

Shane Bahadur arraigned for attempted murder of Alrick Smith
29 year old Shane Bahadur, a resident of Dove Street, Ladyville is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being arraigned late this evening on two criminal and indictable offenses of attempted murder and wounding for the Friday, May 6, 2016 shooting of Ladyville […]

12 years for teenager Devaughan Goodger who fatally stabbed Jason Pott on March 5, 2011
A moment of madness will cost 22 year old Devaughn Goodger at least seven more years of his life behind bars. Goodger pleaded guilty to the manslaughter death by stabbing of Jason Pott on Cleghorn Street, Belize City 5 years ago, on March 5, […]

After plea change, court hands down shorter sentence for firearm possession
Recently, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin handed down a critical decision which releases the hands of magistrates from handing down a mandatory minimum 5-year prison sentence in firearms-related cases. It is part of the fallout from the Allyson Major case where the law was found […]

Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty and Belizean history in schools
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports has confirmed plans to expand the social studies curriculum to include incidents of Belizean history. It was reported that the Ministry is preparing to mass-produce copies of the 1859 Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty which tried to offer a […]

Belize Electricity Limited accepts expert’s report on tariff review; will Belizeans’ light bills go up?
Belizeans are set for a slight increase on average in electricity rates, after an independent expert appointed by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) reviewed the submissions of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) for the 2016 to 2020 Full Tariff Review Proceeding (FTRP). BEL had asked […]

Venezuela in unrest as president threatens to make opposition-controlled legislature ‘disappear’
According to the L.A. Times, police and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro clashed on the streets of the capital Caracas after Maduro threatened to make the opposition-controlled National Assembly “disappear.” Maduro’s threats, scattered looting and growing protests over hyperinflation and food scarcities underscored the deepening […]

Toledo Chocolate Fest starts tomorrow!
Every year over the Commonwealth Holiday weekend, Toledo District in Southern Belize celebrates its superior cacao with a world renowned Chocolate Festival, which draws guests from across the country and globe. Typically falling in late May, the festival has become an annually anticipated event, […]

MOECYS launches new phonics series
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports has created a new series of phonics books for lower primary school called “My B-Z Phonics”. Chief Education Officer Dr. Carol Babb states that literacy is such an important component of life that it is as […]

Commonwealth Ministerial Committee reiterates support for Belize
The Commonwealth Ministerial Committee reiterated and endorsed its firm support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize at a meeting held on Monday May 16th. This meeting, the Committee said in a statement, was called to discuss the recent events taking place in the […]

Blogs

Traveling from San Pedro, Belize to Cayo & My Fabulous Destination
Yesterday, I departed San Pedro at 8:30am to head west. From San Pedro to the Cayo District – the largest of them all and one that is so jam packed with things to do (caves, rivers, hiking, wildlife, Mayan sites), it’s almost too much. Start point green, end point red. 105 miles by my route.highways-belize This can be done quickly and with a higher cost via plane – Tropic Air flies from San Pedro to San Ignacio every few hours but I decided to “slow travel”. Aka budget travel. And I took the boat to the bus. And it was even cheaper than usual. There was already a decent size line waiting to board the 8:30 boat. And they had the smallest boats waiting…the ones that are half covered and half open. Tough for the hottest month of the year! But any complaining that was about to tumble from my mouth was quickly stifled. I went to the window with my “Membership Card” – the best thing $10bzd can buy – and found that my normal $48bzd RT ticket was free. FREE! Every 12th ride is free. Membership DOES have its privileges. This card also insures you the “local” price when you are taking the water taxi. Online the price from San Pedro to Belize City RT is listed as $35US or $70bzd. There’s no reason to book online. This card gets you the local rate of $48bzd. TOTALLY worth it and good for one year.

The struggle for Maya land, oil, and gold
After two very recent attacks on Maya community leaders in Guatemala, the challenges faced by the lawyers applying domestic law and international indigenous rights legislation to these conflicts are revealing, as legal concepts are reinterpreted by governments in indigenous communities across the Maya region of Central America. On the night of 12 June two men broke into the home of José Tavico Tzunun in Santa Cruz del Qiché, Western Guatemala, and murdered him. Tzunun was a member of the K’iche’ Peoples Council in Defense of Life, Mother Nature, Earth, and Indigenous Territory. He helped to organise the town’s referendum on establishing a moratorium on mining and dams. The following day anti-mining activist Yolanda Oquelí was shot while driving home from a barricade against a proposed gold mine in her community of San Jose del Golfo, north east of Guatemala City. She remains in a critical condition. Two attacks in two days. Tzunun had reported receiving threatening messages if he would “continue bringing the people together for meetings”. His efforts were part of a movement seeking to make the consent of local people a condition for the approval of development and mineral extraction projects on indigenous territory, and the referendum of Santa Cruz del Qiché was the forty-ninth of a growing number across the country.

Jungle love
I was recently invited by Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Jungle Lodge to come out and experience their adventure hideaway. I knew it would be fun, but had no idea just how much fun! My plus one, Aimee, and I immediately started planning the dates along with a flight from San Pedro to Belmopan. Caves Branch does offer a transfer service at a cost of $65 USD from anywhere in Belize City or the international airport, but as a benefit to living here, Aimee had a Belmopan connection and so we used Charles Galvez (669-9864) to make the 20 min trip from the Belmopan airport to the lodge. The property is 50,000 acres and simply stunning. Everywhere you turn there is something cool to look at or hear. They offer extensive plant life throughout, in addition to their Botanical Garden. The lodge also does some amazing conservation work, cataloging species, finding new ones and preserving the endangered ones. In addition to the daily buffets, one of the things I really enjoyed about Caves Branch was the people we met. The staff as well as the guests were friendly and down to earth. The Caves Branch crew consists of 104 employees with the longest hired approximately 22 years ago. They honor him with a placard above their buffet as the Employee of the Decade. While we were there, they also celebrated the employees who had their birthdays that month by allowing them to have dinner with us. I can totally see why the resort has so many long time dedicated employees. It is very apparent that the owners truly care.

7 things that will make Belize the next country on your bucket-list!
I don’t really need an excuse to travel and explore. I just suffer from a very bad case of wanderlust and the only cure is visiting more and more places. It would be easier for me to make a list of countries and places I don’t have a particular interest in seeing because pretty much any country catches my attention for some reason – whether it is fabulous nature, incredible beaches, interesting cities, millenary cultures, tasty food and kind people. Yet, Belize never was on my bucket list. That’s until I visited it on a work trip, and I fell so completely in love with it that I wish to go back as soon as possible. Belize is a tiny country. Imagine that only 350,000 people live there; the biggest city, Belize City, has less than 60,000 inhabitants and the capital Belmopan around 16,000. But, for as small as it is, Belize has literally everything to make it a special place to visit, perfect for any kind of traveller. So, here are seven things that will make Belize the next country on your bucket-list: 1. Beautiful nature, 2. Impressive archeological sites, 3. Superb beaches and coral reef, 4. Tasty food, 5. Kind people, 6. Good climate, 7. Chaa Creek Eco Lodge and the Macal River Camp.

International Sourcesizz

Lee College students exploring Belize
The Lee College Study Abroad program headed off this week to the Central American country of Belize for an 8-day exploration of Mayan ruins, the natural beauty of land and sea, and the unique relationship between place and identity. Study Abroad allows students to experience another country while also earning academic credit for their Lee College degrees. Students and faculty left for Belize on May 16 and will return to campus on May 23. The program was revived at the college last year with a trip to Great Britain, Ireland and Wales.

"En Belize quisimos juntar las ganas de entrar en la música por todos los ángulos"
Saben a café recién hecho. Huelen a libro nuevo y a tierra mojada. Frescos, los jóvenes Belize se lanzan al vacío con una brisa apta para oídos cálidos. Acunan su primer trabajo Belize (2015) acunados como la nueva apuesta de Warner. La voz templada de los hermanos Fuertes, Angel --que habla para EL PERIODICO EXTREMADURA-- y Ana, y las cuerdas y percusiones de Pablo García, María Fernández y Guillermo Fernández dan forma a la banda pamplonesa que se sube al cartel del SonoraCC (24 y 25 de junio). Los abonos están disponibles por 33 euros en la web oficial del festival cacereño. --Uno de los mayores miedos de un músico es perder su esencia. Belize pasa de ser un proyecto autogestionado a fichar por un sello como Warner en nada, ¿tenían miedo de que su ritmo cambiara para adaptarse a los requerimientos de una discográfica tan grande como esta?

Ten Amazing Places to Buy Real Estate In 2016
Belize is a popular overseas real estate purchasing location as it is affordable and beautiful. The second largest reef, the barrier reef, is near Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye is not overly developed, making it ideal for growing families. It is also a good transition for those whose first language is English, as that is the primary language spoken in the area. Purchasing real estate is a good investment in developing areas. These locations are also ideal for those wishing to purchase residential rental properties and vacation properties for additional income. Families may want to live in a particular city but are unable to afford purchasing a home there, so renting is often the best choice in those situations. Plan your real estate purchase by location very carefully taking into consideration its proximity to attractions, entertainment, schools and major highways.

Caribbean Nations With The Highest Unemployment
Joblessness continues to be a big problem in several Caribbean nations. In the Caribbean, youth unemployment rates are among the highest in the world, a recent Caribbean Development Bank report showed. Here are ten Caribbean nations with the highest unemployment rates overall according to latest data: Belize came in the ninth on the list with an unemployment rate of 14.2 percent as of 2013, the Statistical Institute of Belize says. Most of the unemployed on the island are women.

Police foil fuel smuggling in Belize
Speaking to Angop, the municipal police commander of Belize Corporation, superintendent Evaristo Congo Bote, said that the operation was took place in Minconje and Sanga Loango crossing border with Congo Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively. He explained that the fuel was transported illegally in reservoirs of more than thousand liters, with the help of five vans and two cars. Evaristo Bote said that the 23 alleged offenders were referred to the public prosecutor for hearing.

Total tranquillity and relaxation at El Gran Mestizo
My second visit to ‘Sugah City’ had been a long time coming. I had been looking forward to the bus ride north, peeking through the window. watching familiar grounds blur by. Orange Walk Town in Northern Belize was calling my name – and I was more than willing to answer. Now, when locals talk about Orange Walk, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘tacos’. Don’t get me wrong, I most certainly am a freak for tacos. This time however, I planned to enjoy them while at the scenic El Gran Mestizo Riverside Cabins. The property is located on the historic banks of the New River, a mere eight minutes from the town’s centre. The entrance to the property was stunning, its grounds sprawling beautifully riverside, a multitude of trees kissing the waters’ edge. I had been transported to a different world – one filled with so much natural beauty and tranquillity.

Possible human trials of Zika vaccine by September following breakthrough
Scientists have for the first time cloned the Zika virus, an important development towards fast-tracking a vaccine against the disease. The genetically engineered copy is a replica of the strain that is spreading across Latin America and the Caribbean, bringing an increase in microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains. Until now, researchers had known the structure of Zika, but they had not replicated it – at least not this strain, which is carried by mosquitoes but can also be sexually transmitted. A team from the The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston was able to genetically engineer Zika, so researchers can now make the virus in test tubes and on Petri dishes, according to a study published this week in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. According to lead author Pei-Yong Shi, his team’s manmade Zika means scientists can study and adapt the virus to develop a vaccine. It could also be used to test the efficacy of their own vaccines.

BLACK & BROWN RELATIONS: BELIZE & GUATEMALA!
Can there be a positive black / brown relationship between the people of Belize and the people of Guatemala who have their history embedded in the historical context of two indigenous peoples of Central America, the African and the Mayan peoples who were the original peoples of that region long before the coming of Columbus, and the so-called European Conquistadores like Cortez and Bolboa? African-American professor of History, Professor Ron Wilkins, who saw the face of these two peoples in the former Belize City Mayor, Zenaida Moya, in his first visit to Belize in 2008 and who also has visited Guatemala and Mexico in his research on black and brown history, and has commented recently in relation to the growing bordering crisis between the two nations, that the people of Belize and the people of Guatemala must build bridges of positive relationship that is common to the two peoples as to resist the imperialistic onslaught that has been inflicted on the two people by colonial Britain and Spain.

BELIZE AT THE 5TH ANNUAL GARIFUNA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL!
Bert Tucker International, the engaging, educational, and moving documentary film by yours truly, Bilal Morris of Belizean Legends, will be screened at the 5th. Annual Garifuna International Film Festival on Friday May 27, 2016.

Videos

  • Rise and Shine Louis Javier Castellanos, 104min.

  • Belize Therapy Video, 2.5min.

  • Snorkeling With Sharks & Ray's // Caye Caulker, Belize, 3.5min. One of our favorite spots in Central America, the island of Caye Caulker brought some epic adventures! Join us as we head out to snorkel with some amazing sea life.

  • Taqueria Los Guapos TV Spot, 1min.

  • Belize 2014, 14min. Aboard the Belize Aggressor

  • Belize Barrier Reef, 6min. Barrier reef and Blue Hole.

  • Landing at Dangriga airport, Belize, 1min.

  • Sting Ray Belize Turneffe Atoll Scuba Diving, 3min.

  • Petting Nurse Shark Scuba Diving Belize Turneffe Atoll, 1min.

  • Belize Study Abroad, 7min. UF Study Abroad trip to Belize. Marine Ecology and Conservation.

    May 19, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Belize to be represented at 2016 Taipei International Tourism Expo
    Two prominent Belizean professionals in the tourism industry, Karen Pike and Ian Anderson, will travel to Taiwan to represent and promote Belize in the upcoming “2016 Taipei International Tourism Expo” from May 20-23, 2016. Taipei International Tourism Expo is one of biggest tourism expos in Asia, and the biggest tourism expo in Taiwan. With close to a million attendees, the exposure Belize will get from this event is monumental. *Karen has been the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) since December of 2014. She manages and oversees the operations of five units – Travel Trade, Hospitality, Marketing Intelligence, Digital Marketing and Marketing & PR. The Belize Tourism Board is a strategic partner in marketing the Belize tourism product, developing tourism initiatives and programs, and implementing tourism policies, to address the changing needs of visitors and stakeholders, therefore her role is extremely important to the BTB. *Ian, his wife Ella and son Gabe landed on the shore of Belize in 1992, from their native home in Vancouver, Canada. Ian’s desire was to fill his life with adventure, and for 24 years, Ian has been living that life of adventure in Belize. Initially starting as a small camping ground with no electricity, no communications and no running water, Caves Branch Jungle Lodge nowadays boasts 5 totally different designs of rooms from the basic jungle cabana up to their 5 star, 1200 sq ft Canopy Tree Houses, perched above the Jungle Canopy hundreds of feet above the caves branch river and overlooking the valley below.

    Hundreds of lionfish caught during fishing tournament
    A lionfish tournament took place on Monday, May 16th at Estel’s Dine by the Sea to celebrate the 11th Annual Northern Reef Week. Hol Chan Marine Reserve encouraged all tour operators, tour guides, and divers from dive shops on La Isla Bonita to participate in catching as much of the beautiful, but invasive fish to help reduce its population in our waters. A total of five teams registered for the tournament: the Dive Bar, Lionfish Snipers, Belize Diving Adventures, Team Amigos Del Mar, and Hol Chan. After tallying points, The Dive Bar took the first place cash prize of $1,000 with 175 lionfish caught. They also won a 15-gallon gas voucher for winning the largest catch of the event, with a lionfish measuring a little over 15 inches. Coming in at second place was Team Amigos Del Mar, with a catch of 100 lionfish, winning $750 in cash. The third place cash prize of $400 went to the Lionfish Snipers who caught 31 lionfish. Everette Anderson from the Belize Diving Adventures won the remaining 15-gallon gas voucher for the smallest catch, with a lionfish measuring only a little over three inches. At the end of the event, the total count of lionfish removed from the reef amounted to 344.

    Team Amigos are the champs of the 2016 Class A/B 8-ball Pool Tournament
    The San Pedro Billiards Association held its Class A/B 8-Ball Pool Tournament finals on Sunday, May 16th at Average Joe’s Sports Bar. Four of the 10 registered teams made it to the semi-finals and finals of the competition. Team Amigos, AJ’s Snipers, Hitman Recruits, and Solids were the teams who gave their all in the last round of the competition. At the end, Team Amigos emerged as the tournament champions, claiming a cash prize of $700 plus a computer tablet for each member of the team. Immediately after the third place game, the crowd at the sports bar just about doubled, as it was time for the first place title match. AJ’s Snipers took on Team Amigos, the competition leader from the start. Attendees cheered on and supported their favorite players. AJ’s Snipers was leading the competition by three games when Team Amigos made a surprising comeback, tying the game 3-3. The final match was on, and the anticipation grew heavy around the pool table. Two balls remained on the table, one of them the 8-ball. Team Amigos went for the difficult and decisive shot. Armed with the cue on his left hand, the player did his magic and the 8-ball found the chosen pocket. To much applause, Team Amigos was crowned the champion of the San Pedro Class A/B 8-Ball Pool Tournament 2016. AJ’s Snipers graciously accepted their second place title, along with a prize of $350 and a 24-hour golf cart rental for each player.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of May 8th – May 14th, 2016
    A very exciting week as we had a great mix of seasoned anglers and out right first timers. The weather was pretty good, the food was excellent as usual, and the company was fantastic. Another week in paradise!

    Garifuna Leaders Release Statement on Current Conditions of Garifuna Peoples
    A group of Garifuna Leaders has released a statement detailing the current state of affairs within the Garifuna community. The release also mentions that the group's concern extends to indigenous Maya as well, and details both threats to indigenous culture and suggests a plan of action moving forward. "In finding our solutions Garifuna Leaders are embarking on action plans through education to: a) promote a deep awareness of the Garifuna as Indigenous Peoples with all the rights and obligations articulated in the several instruments of the UN, which include land and cultural rights. b) bring realization of the rights of Garifuna people to participate fully in the current efforts of SICA toward regional integration...

    2016 Frenchie's Offshore Open Fishing Tournament May 18
    Caye Caulker Invites you this Saturday and Sunday, May 21 & 22. Grand Prize $5,000.00. 2nd Place $2,500.00. Third Place $1,500.00. Many more cash consolation prizes and trophies. Come and enjoy beautiful Caye Caulker this weekend.

    Splashers
    Attention all splashers! Since there is no paint party today there is a specially for members! All members who head to the gallery to paint today, Thursday May 19th, will be able to paint any painting they missed for only $35!

    Road to Cayo warehouse sale at Mahogany Bay Village
    Our first ever Road to Cayo warehouse sale at Mahogany Bay Village in San Pedro happens this Saturday 21st from 9am-1pm! Up to 70% off retail prices on beautiful handcrafted wooden pieces made in Belize. We have queen & king-sized beds, dining tables & chairs, loveseats, night stands, storage armoires, entertainment credenzas, coffee tables, benches, outdoor furniture, and wooden cutting boards. We also have imported, brand new mini-refrigerators still in the boxes, and used ceiling fans with lighting. Arrive EARLY for the best selection! Come to Rum+Bean and follow the signs to the warehouse.

    E Series … A musical journey begins
    Belize connoisseurs of the musical arts and fans of the craft of the art form jazz will be glad to know that the near and immediate future offers some enticing and tantalizing possibilities. Last Friday night the Belize Music Agency’s “E Series” debuted at Kiki Witz welllnes spa and restaurant on the George Price Highway just outside of Belmopan City. Word has leaked out that the Belize Music Development Foundation has revived and will be presenting the Belize Jazz & Culture Show for mid- July. And the second iteration of the Belize International Jazz Show is on track for August 12 – 21, 2016 at a venue near you. The “E Series – A musical journey” is the first of what will be a ground breaking, history making endeavor. The concept is simple – two new entertainers, two relatively unknown songstresses, will present their developing repertoire of covers and original renditions every Friday night, chanteuse-style, at the same venue over a period of months.

    Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize 18 May 2016 Statement
    The Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator the Hon Maxine McClean, and comprising Barbados, Canada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria and Tanzania, as well as Belize and United Kingdom as observers, met on Monday, 16 May 2016, to discuss the recent events taking place in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Hon Wilfred Elrington briefed the Committee on recent developments, including discussions between the governments of the two countries. The Committee reiterated and endorsed the firm support of the Commonwealth for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize, as expressed consistently and most recently in the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Communiqué. The Committee encouraged all concerned to work towards a peaceful and final resolution of the longstanding disagreements concerning the border between Belize and Guatemala.

    Poets Corner: Belize-Guatemala takeover
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. All you Alices in Wonderland Marcus Garvey tried to make you understand “A people without knowledge of their history culture and origin are like trees without roots!” Dealing with Belizeans is like pulling out tooth Did you not see what Guatemala did with their indigenous population? They slaughtered them like animals Belize has to take this issue international Our people need to be vocal If Guatemala takes over Blacks will be gentrified to the exterior Can’t you see what happened to Labuga? They will slaughter the Maya See what happened in Gaza See the cunning Adjacency Zone takeover Belize will be cut up like Kashmir We need to be seeking alliance with Vladimir

    Father and Son 5 Aside Football Tournament at Gwen Liz Compound
    Saturday May 21. Musical Entertainment will be provided!

    This is our third year hand-raising at-risk Yellow-Head chicks
    This year, we have six babies in our care. Even though they have been removed from their parental care, they all now have a chance at a wild life. We plan to re-release them all into the Rio Bravo area and the post-release monitoring and feeding will be carried out by the excellent crew from Programme for Belize. The older three babies are just a few days off fledging and we anticipate their final release will take place just before the end of the year. Our gratitude as always to Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team, Programme for Belize, TIDE, Belize Audubon Society and Hagen Inc (Canada).

    Revised National Classification System for Accommodation Stakeholder Consultations Schedule

    Dangriga - Screen on the Green
    Dangriga - Belize Screen on the Green will feature the movie, "Red Tails" on May 26, 2016 as part of the monthly movie series. Please join us at the Slaughter House in Dangriga for a free feature film. Movie starts at dark! About the movie: During World War II, the Civil Aeronautics Authority selects 13 black cadets to become part of an experimental program at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The program aims at training "colored personnel" to become fighter pilots for the Army. However, discrimination, lack of institutional support and the racist belief that these men lacked the intelligence and aptitude for the job dog their every step. Despite this, the Tuskegee Airmen, as they become known, more than prove their worth.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    London Has Fallen, Mune: The Guardian of the Moon, Gods of Egypt, Pelé: Birth of a Legend.

    Channel 7

    Officialdom Responds To Plett: The OAS has been Called in To Verify
    For the past two nights you've been hearing every detail of Mennonite Farmer Roger Plett's story of abduction in Belize and detention in Guatemala. And while he unspooled his narrative in granular detail, officialdom said nothing: neither the police nor the ministries of National Security or Foreign Affairs would confirm or deny his account. Well, today, the Ministries ended their inexplicable silence with a Belmopan press conference held by the CEO's in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Security. The first announcement was that the OAS has been called upon to verify the incident:.. H.E Lawrence Sylvester - CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "The government of Belize yesterday 17th of May requested of the Office of the Organization of American States in the adjacency zone a formal verification into the incident reported by the Pletts which allegedly occurred in the Green Hill area of the Cayo District. We are aware the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of an ongoing police investigation into the matter."

    Plett Says Police Haven't Been To Site, Cops Say Otherwise
    So the police are saying in their report that they did go to the site, while Roger Plett said up to yesterday that he hadn't taken them. Now, it's a situation where there is distrust on all sides, but it starts with the police who don't seem to trust his account – even while, by all appearances, not doing their work as thoroughly as they suggest: Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News: "I spoke to the San Ignacio police and he told me that they had handed it off to Belmopan. They confirmed that they had not gone to the scene and would not be able to go to the scene because of the sensitivity of that area and that they could not move into that area along the border without the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I spoke to CEO Sylvester minutes after and CEO Sylvester is telling me what, we can't move until we get the report from the police. So the police is saying we can't go on the scene until we get we get Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs is saying we can't move until the police report. So what I'm asking what is the police say; forget any queries or questions, what did the police say, what is the outcome of their report?"

    Guats Say No Military Was In Area
    And there is a lot of confirming to be done. First, the Government of Belize is trying to confirm who grabbed Roger Plett and tied him up. Plett is saying that they were Guatemalan military. And indeed, pictures posted by Guatemalan Luis Gongora on Facebook on Wednesday, the day before Plett was detained show persons dressed in what appear to be military uniforms involved in fighting the forest fire. But, Guatemalan officials told the government of Belize that no one was detained by their military – because no military was in the area:… H.E Lawrence Sylvester - CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "We are given every assurance that there's no Belizean detained and that the Guatemalan armed forces were not on any patrol near the areas or adjacent to the Mennonite property on that day."

    CEO Sylvestre: Plett and Ayala "appear elusive"
    And back now to how Belizean officials are handling the entire report. From what Roger Plett and his co-worker Manuel Ayala told the media, there has been a constant level of official skepticism. Today the press got into an extended back and forth with CEO's Sylvestre and Lovell about just what the police had done – including what they had allegedly done to try and censor the statement Roger Plett Gave police. CEO Sylvester said they appeared elusive when he requested a de-briefing: H.E Lawrence Sylvester - CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "To make things doubly sure I directed Ambassador Guerra who serves in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and assists on some of the counsellor and the matters, the cooperation with Guatemala to seek out and find the individuals in Spanish Lookout and arrange for a prompt debriefing. I found that the individuals were rather elusive in making themselves available for this debriefing and it wasn't until after close on normal business on Friday that some type of debriefing or statement that they made themselves available to give a statement at the San Ignacio police station."

    Heroin Case Crumbles
    Today two men who were allegedly busted with heroine walked out of court free and clear of charges. The supposed drug bust made headlines in December of last year. Police intercepted a vehicle at Bel China Bridge and inside they found 11 kilos of what they believed to be heroin. The case went to trail today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. But, before the trial could even really pick up steam, it was struck out. That's because police were unable to prove that the brown sandy-like substance was indeed heroine. Their attorney Herbert Panton told us more:,… Herbert Panton - Attorney for Richard McDonald: "At the time the undercover police officer tested, you know they have these portable testing kit; tested the substance and instead of the substance turning green which would have indicated heroine, it turned brown. So that from December of last year the police knew that what they had in their possession was 12 kilos of brown sands and they knew that from December of last year. They have dragged this matter on my client has lost tremendous business as a tour operator nobody in the industry wants to deal with him."

    Refugees: The Real Situation Beyond The Flip Flop
    Last night, we showed you how the Government of Belize flip flopped on Help for Progress. That's the NGO funded by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, which has been assisting the Government's Refugee Eligibility Committee to process the major spike in the numbers of persons applying for refugee status in Belize, starting from January 2016. Last week, Government said that Help For Progress was assisting the Refugee Committee by conducting the initial interviews for these persons who were applying for asylum in Belize. But, after a meeting of Cabinet yesterday, the Government announced that Help For Progress had no mandate to take up this responsibility. Their press release ended, quote, "Any entity other than the…Refugee Eligibility Committee involved in processing applications for refugee status considerations, should cease and desist..." End Quote. So, why now? That's an especially relevant question since Help for Progress had assisted the Committee in interviewing over 700 applications, which reportedly included illegal immigrants, who should not qualify for Refugee Status, since they've been in the country for years.

    How Did Fraudulent Passports Re-emerge?
    But, we continue with more from the Minister with responsibility for Immigration on a topic, which we'd been trying to seek clarification on for almost 5 weeks. That's a report which we received in the second week of April that the Immigration and Nationality Department came upon 2 fraudulent Nationality documents for 2 Chinese Nationals, Nina Huang and William Wang. Our information was that they were acquired with suspect documents, and the officials weren't even sure if they ever actually entered the country. Well, we asked Beverly Castillo about it, and she said that their inquiry reveals that these were passport renewals, meaning that these applicants were processed and approved before the new, very stringent measures were put in place after the Citizen Kim passport scandal. She told us that they caught these suspect documents due to those new measures:

    Carmelita Fatal Accident Allegedly Caused By Cop Veering On Road
    A traffic accident in the north involving three vehicles has left one man dead – and it could be the fault of a policeman who was reportedly swerving across the road. It happened around 6 yesterday evening in Carmelita village. Richard Orellana, a well-known businessman of Orange Walk, died on the spot. He was driving a Ford Explorer, which was extensively damaged. The other vehicles involved were a blue Kia Sorrento, which was being driven at the time by Phillip Waight and a silver Kia Sorento, which was being driven by Police officer of Belmopan Roberto Tec. Here is the official version of the crash: Inspector Nicholas Palomo - Deputy OC, Orange Walk: "Initial investigation reveal that the blue ford explorer bearing license plate OW C05085 was travelling in a south to north direction heading to Orange Walk and the silver kia sorento bearing license plate BMP C04853 was travelling in a north to south direction heading to Belize City..."

    Arrest For Ladyville Shootings, But No Murder Charge
    Police have charged the 2 suspects in the weekend's Ladyville fatal shooting. They are 19 year old Darwin Estuardo Prado and 28 year old Egbert Baldwin – but they haven't been charged with murder. We'll explain that shortly, first, though, we'll tell you what they are charged with: 3 counts of attempted murder, 3 counts of use of deadly means of harm, 1 count of wounding, 1 count of grievous harm and 1 count of dangerous harm. Prado and Baldwin were charged with all these offenses for shooting at the men who were outside Cynthia Lozano's Marage road house. Today at the Magistrate's court no plea was taken because the offences are indictable. They were also denied bail because the crimes involve a firearm. Prado and Baldwin were remanded into custody until August 15th.

    Teenaged Girl Grazed In City Shooting
    A 19 year old girl was shot last night in the city. Around 8, Chiaoma (Chi-oma) Williams was talking to a man at the corner of Freetown and Barrack Road. She was getting more information about a house she wanted to rent in his yard. But that is when 2 men on a cycle drove passed them and opened fire. The men quickly sped off. Williams was hit in her buttocks and grazed on her hip and leg. Today we spoke to the sister of the man who was with Williams. She told us more about what happened last night. She also explained that neither her brother nor Williams were the targets. Eyewitness of Shooting: "I mi gone da shop gone buy me and my baby and I the come from shop but as I the come from shop I meet my lee brother but I just mi the run a lee joke with ah and thing, he and the young lady; because the young lady mi come check pan wa house da back she mi said she mi come check pan it because she hear da how the back da for rent. So anyways I couldn't talk to she or anything so I mi ask my brother do it because I mi the cook and thing and which in he and the young lady da friend so..."

    Two Months For Fondling Girl
    26 year-old Belize City resident Ashton Lambey is at the Belize Central Prison tonight after pleading guilty to sexually molesting a 10 year-old girl. He will spend 2 months in jail for it. It happened just a few days ago, on Sunday, May 15th, when the child told police that her 26 year-old sister, instructed her to go get a broom. When she did, she met Lambey who fondled her backside, and ordered her not to tell anyone, or else, he'd get into trouble with the law. She ignored him, and told her family, who took her to the police to report the incident. They investigated and charged Lambey with sexual assault. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, and he chose not to waste the court's time. He pleaded guilty, and because he did, he was spared the maximum 3 year sentence. Instead the the Chief Magistrate sentenced him to just 2 months.

    Why A Museum Visit Matters
    Today is International Museum Day and here in the city at the Museum of Belize, over 700 preschool and primary school students learned about Belize’s cultural landscapes. The main focus was to get the kids interested in Belize’s historic sights and the rich story behind them. Director of the Museum Sherilyne Jones told us more about why a museum visit matters:… Tomorrow some kids will be taken on a tour around the city to see more of Belize’s historic buildings and sites.

    Special Needs, Special Abilities
    Several special needs kids graced the stage at the Belmopan Civic Centre earlier today to participate in the 2016 exceptional confidence competition. The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Education and organized by the National Resource Centre for Inclusive Education, known as NARCIE. The 11 kids who participated live with various challenges, but today it’s their abilities that got highlited on stage. As a show of camaraderie, all 11 kids were gifted with phones and school bags loaded with school supplies. In addition to that, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners received gift baskets, phones and tablets.

    Football Phenom In Spain
    Teenaged football phenom Dmitri Fabro is a fast rising star and is now in the roster for the Getafe Juvenil A (under 19) Team in Spain. Fabro got an early start to his football career with FC Belize at the tender age of 16. Since then he has gotten the opportunity to play with the Belmopan Bandits, and the Belize Defence Force, in addition to being the captain of various youth national teams including the U-15 who brought home the gold from the Dominican Republic back in 2012. Now at 18 Fabro is currently training with the Getafe Juvenil A. That's a team that ranks only below the B Team and the A Team of the Getafe Organization which currently plays in the Liga BBVA- one of the top leagues in the world. Now young Fabro is aiming even higher and is marketing himself through NCSA athletic recruiting. We understand that Fabro is now venturing to continue pursuing his passion for football while studying in the US.

    Channel 5

    G.O.B. Responds to Plett Allegation of Kidnapping
    Six days after Guatemalan military and civilians allegedly came onto Belizean soil and abducted two men, along with a tractor and bulldozer, there is finally official comment from the Ministries [...]

    Police Have Not Visited Scene of Alleged Border Incident
    But there’s a problem straightaway with that response, firstly from the Ministry of National Security. The investigation is the first line of action in whatever government’s response will be. Just [...]

    O.A.S. Verified Release of Belizeans
    According to Colonel Lovell, they have been liaising with their counterparts and colleagues in Guatemala and at the O.A.S. since day one, verifying that no Belizean was still in Guatemalan [...]

    MFA C.E.O. Says Plett and Ayala Were Elusive
    So that’s where we were at that point – verification from no less than the O.A.S. that the Belizeans detained had been released. And that’s where the confusion comes in. [...]

    Parallel Investigations Will Determine Way Forward
    So with all the confusion and miscommunication arising out of what seems a very clear cut border incident, what happens next? Well…the Police investigation continues, of course, and then the [...]

    FM Elrington Meets With Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize
    There is support coming from the Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on the territorial integrity of Belize. After weeks of tension between Belize and Guatemala since the death of Julio Alvarado Ruano, [...]

    Government Revisits Refugee Program
    There was very significant news coming out of Cabinet on Tuesday, via a release sent to us via email three minutes before news time. It clarified that there is no [...]

    OW Resident Killed in Road Traffic Accident
    An Orange Walk resident was killed last night in a traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The driver of the vehicle that crashed into Richard Orellana is police officer [...]

    Police Investigate Human Remains Found in Blue Creek
    On Tuesday evening, sometime after five p.m., Police were called out to a farm in the Blue Creek Village, Orange Walk District. There, they discovered the human remains of a [...]

    Teenage Wounded in Belize City Shooting
    Nineteen-year-old Chioma Williams is recovering from injuries she received during a shooting incident in Belize City on Tuesday night.  Williams reported to police that shortly after eight o’clock, she was [...]

    2 Men Walk Free from Major Heroin Charge
    Two men were accused last December with the possession of twelve kilos of heroin, but even though tests from the National Forensic Laboratory showed that the substance was not the [...]

    Ladyville Men Charged for Shooting Spree
    While a duo has been freed, two teenagers who surrendered to police on Tuesday are on remand at the Belize Central Prison for a shooting spree on Marage Road, Ladyville which [...]

    Belize City Man Remanded for Sexual Assault
    A twenty-six year old man who behaved inappropriately by touching a ten young girl on her rear was taken to court today. The incident took place on Sunday and Ashton [...]

    Southern Communities Affected By Sarstoon Ban
    The remote Garifuna community of Barranco, in the context of what is taking place at the Sarstoon, is widely seen as a mere transit point for local law enforcement officers [...]

    Resolution Drafted on Concerns of Indigenous Communities
    Earlier today, a group of Garifuna elders, including Doctor Joseph Palacio, issued a statement on the current conditions of Garinagu in Belize.  The Garinagu, like other ethnic groups in the [...]

    B.P.P. Upset at Comments of US Ambassador
    The Belize Progressive Party has taken umbrage with recent comments made U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno on the Belize/Guatemala issue.  Ambassador Moreno has expressed support in taking the territorial claim to [...]

    MLA Speaks Up on Commission Decision
    The Toledo Alcaldes Association and the Maya Leaders Alliance remain at loggerheads with the government-appointed Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, following an incident on Monday in Punta Gorda Town.  As [...]

    Cristina Coc Says Commission Release is Disingenuous
    According to Coc, it is not the first time the Toledo Alcaldes Association had sought an audience with Alamilla.  She says that several attempts have been made verbally, as well [...]

    CTV3

    Six Days After Plett's Alledge Kidnapping By Guatemalans GOB Speaks On Issue
    The allegation of two Belizean Mennonites who claim they were captured and held hostage by Guatemalan military for hours has been widely covered by local media since its occurrence on Thursday May 12th. Although both men have given their account of the occurrence and the People’s United Party has called for a proper investigation into the allegation, the Government of Belize had not made any official statement on the matter. But that changed today…..six days after the incident alleged transpired….when CEOs in the Ministries of National Security and Foreign Affairs George Lovell and Lawrence Sylvester, held a joint press briefing the media on the incident in Belmopan. After the conclusion of the press conference, there was still a lot of confusion about what exactly happened, especially on the police side of things but what could be concluded was that at least one of the CEOs did not believe the Mennonite’s report. CEO Lovell shared some of the actions that were taken immediately after getting word of the alleged detention.

    Corozal Students Learn On How To Make Financial Decisions
    There is no doubt that the rapidly changing economic climate, coupled with the increasing complexity of financial decisions, makes personal money management more challenging than ever before. Fortunately in Corozal the St Francis Xavier Credit Union in conjunction with the Corozal ITVET are carrying out a literacy campaign known as the Mad City Money project which targets students. The projects sees students participating in a 2 hour simulation exercise. The have a job, a salary, experience what it’s like paying bills, buying a house, and even a vehicle. At the end the aim is for each participant to understand how to budget their money wisely. Elvis Canul Head Office Manager: “This is like a minimum two hours course, we come (1) to bring education in a fun way this brings a real life example to the students, to the youths and we give them some situations for example...”

    Corozal Celebrates Museum Day With Collection Of Post Cards
    The Corozal House of Culture also held an open day in honour of International Museum Day. The activity featured educational videos and the original post card collection of James Lindsey which is more than 90 years old. Debra Wilks coordinator for the Corozal House of Culture: “We are having an open house, we have activities inside the House of Culture so we always have a film running and today’s film is on hurricane and it is part of the NICHE’s Belize Culture Series educational DVD’s as well we have parts of the James Lindsey, the British Honduras collection, we have just under 100 post cards dating as far as 1904 and they are throughout the whole country from Toledo, to Cayo to Corozal and the majority of them are from Belize City but they are original post cards on display today and I think will keep it up until tomorrow and perhaps Friday as well.”

    FORPEL Calls Emergency Meeting To Discuss Adjacency Zone
    Diplomatic discussions between Belize and Guatemala for a Sarstoon agreement is scheduled to commence this Saturday, May 21st in Istanbul, Turkey. But even before that meeting takes place Presidents of Legislative Bodies of Central Americans Countries will be meeting to discuss tensions between Belize and Guatemala specifically in the Adjacency Zone which seem to escalate daily. FORPEL, the Forum of Presidents of Legislative Bodies of Central America and the Caribbean basin, has called an emergency meeting in Managua Nicaragua on Thursday May 19th to come up with a diplomatic solution to the border dispute between Belize and Guatemala in order to avoid an armed conflict. So far Presidents of Congress for El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala represented by Mario Taracena and Belize Represented by Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peyrefitte have confirmed that they will be attending the meeting.

    Commonwealth Ministerial Committee Declares Support For Belize's Sovereignty
    And while members of FORPEL are scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss the recent events taking place in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala, the Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize, met on Monday, 16 May 2016, to discuss the same issue. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean, and joining him were Barbados, Canada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria and Tanzania, as well as Belize and United Kingdom as observers, The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Hon Wilfred Elrington briefed the Committee on recent developments, including discussions between the governments of the two countries and the Committee reiterated and endorsed the firm support of the Commonwealth for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize.

    LOVE FM

    GOB Responds to the Green Hills Incidents
    Late last week Mennonite farmer, Roger Plett was working in the Green Hills area west of Spanish Lookout when he was reportedly taken into Guatemala and tied up by uniformed persons. Plett took his story to the media on Monday after he felt he was not getting the necessary attention from officials. There had been […]

    Guatemala Asks Belizean Army to be ‘Less Aggressive’
    In an online article published today, the headlines read, “Guatemala Asks Belizean army to be less aggressive’. It is a headline that would immediately draw one’s attention considering that the aggression has been coming from the Guatemalan Armed Forces; a situation that has led Belizeans complaining about the passive and submissive reactions from Belize. The […]

    Commonwealth Reiterates Support for Belize
    Senator Maxine McClean of Barbados recently chaired the Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize, comprising of representatives from Barbados, Canada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria and Tanzania, as well as Belize and United Kingdom . Observers met on Monday, 16 May 2016, to discuss the recent events taking place in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and […]

    The Way Forward with PUP and GOB on Belize/Guatemala
    The move to treat the Belize/Guatemala issue as a non-partisan matter, the People’s United Party under John Briceno had reached out to the Government of Belize to work together in coming up with a solution to the territorial issue. At that time, Assad Shoman was appointed as the PUP representative on the Foreign Affairs team. […]

    PUP Says Expedition Is Not Political Mischief
    Yesterday we told you that the People’s United Party is getting ready to go to the Sarstoon on Friday; turns out, we were mistaken as that expedition is being planned for Saturday, May 21. As Senator Eamon Courtenay told Love News, it is being done towards internationalization of the issue and the aggression of Guatemala. […]

    Will Other Agencies Join the PUP Expedition
    When the PUP held a press conference some weeks ago, they did indicate that they would be inviting the civil society, unions and other agencies to join them. To date, it is unclear if any of the organizations has decided to join the PUP on their Sarstoon expedition although we can tell you that up […]

    Road Incident Near Carmelita Turns Fatal
    Last night a fatal road traffic incident in the village of Carmelita claimed the life of Richard Orellano while another person has been hospitalized and a police officer attached to Belmopan, Roberto Teck is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Love News spoke to Deputy Commander for Orange Walk, Inspector Nicholas […]

    Shooting in City Streets Leaves Chiaoma Injured
    Last night a teenager was victim to a shooting that occurred sometime after eight o’clock at the corner of Freetown and Barrack Roads in Belize City. When police arrived at the scene they saw 19-year-old Chiaoma Williams of a Belize City address suffering from a gunshot wound to her right buttocks and an apparent gunshot […]

    Immigration Department Speaks on Refugee Issue
    One of the stories in the news for the last few weeks is that of the increase in individuals who have been going through the NGO, Help for Progress, seeking refugee status in Belize. In yesterday’s cabinet meeting, Government said there is no formal, nor legal agreement with Help for Progress. Today we spoke with […]

    Community Rehab Speaks on Runaway Teens
    Over the weekend a group of eleven girls ran away from the Youth Hostel located at mile twenty one on the George Price Highway. There were speculations that they were making their way to the western border. During this week the hostel authorities collaborating with the Police were able to locate nine of them and […]

    PlusTV

    More on Mennonite Farmer being abducted
    Yesterday we brought you the story of the Mennonite Farmer and his workers who say they were kidnapped by Guatemalan soldiers, taken across the border, and detained for hours before being released and allowed to return to Belize. We also told you that police apparently have some issues with the far...

    Surveyor explains Belize’s boundaries
    Belizeans were treated to a very special Rise and Shine Morning show this Tuesday morning as retired surveyor Lindsay Belisle made an appearance to explain to Belizeans the history of the Belize Border with Guatemala. He also brought copies of rarely seen photographs, maps and documents that substan...

    Men re-arrested on murder charge after new evidence found
    Last week, 19 year old Tarique Gilett and Lyson Cacho were released from murder and attempted murder charges on a nolle prosequi. But they were back in court today and are behind bars tonight, after new evidence led to their re-arrest and charges for the same incident. Gillett and Cacho appeared thi...

    Man shot in the back by son-in-law
    A man was accidentally shot in the back by his son- in -law. On Tuesday afternoon, sometime after 2 o’clock, Doni Polanco and Emilio Arevalo were returning from a fishing trip in the area of Frank’s Eddy village when Polanco’s licensed 16 gauge shotgun accidentally went off after being t...

    Two Dangriga residents arrested for prohibited firearm
    On Monday night, members of the Special Branch Tactical Response Squad conducted a search at the residence of Anna Garcia located in Monument Site, Dangriga. Present at the time of the search were Anna Garcia and Angel Hernandez. A search in the living room area led to the discovery of a black bulle...

    MAR Leadership program seeks new applicants
    Belize shares the Meso-American Barrier Reef System with neighbors Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, but the majority of it, as the Belize Barrier Reef, lies within the Jewel’s borders. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a source of many natural wonders and hundreds of thousands of jobs and dollars in ...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Marage Road shooters charged
    Tonight two teenagers are on remand at the Belize Central Prison after they were arraigned for the Saturday, May 15, 2016 shooting spree on Marage Road, Ladyville area that left one man dead and three of four others who were socializing with injuries as […]

    Traffic collision leaves one man dead and another in critical condition
    An early evening traffic accident on Tuesday in the Orange Walk District claimed the life of Richard Orellana of Orange Walk Town. Eyewitnesses told police that between miles 41 and 42 on the Philip Goldson Highway, shortly before six in the evening a silver KIA […]

    Orange Walk police investigate the identify of human remains
    Orange Walk police are trying to identify human remains of a male adult that was discovered on Tuesday May 17th. Officers received a call around five that evening from the owner of a farm at Cuatro Leguas in the Blue Creek Area south of the […]

    2 months for inappropriate touching
    He “patted” a 10 year old child on her buttocks and told her not to say anything to anyone so he did not get into trouble with the law. But 26 year old Ashton Lambey will spend 60 days in jail after the child […]

    Belize City men see drugs charges dismissed
    On New Year’s Eve, 2015, police escorted two men to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where they were jointly charged with supplying a controlled drug, to wit, methamphetamine or heroin to Ervin Teck contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act; and possession of 24 […]

    Atlantic Bank San Ignacio Branch to host Pre-Owned Auto Show
    Atlantic Bank San Ignacio Branch is hosting their very first Pre-Owned Auto Show on May 28th from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio Town. Join them and take advantage of their promotional interest rates, 40% off legal […]

    Warm weather to continue
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies and warm weather during the daytime, then cloudy skies tonight. Showers, if any, will be isolated. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots with occasional higher gusts and the sea […]

    Woman shot in drive-by
    A 19-year-old female resident of Belize City was injured last night when a man on a motorcycle opened fire in her direction as she walked at the intersection of Freetown and Barrack Roads. It was around 8:10 p.m. that police responded to reports of […]

    Central American countries to meet to find solution to Belize/Guatemala tensions
    At a point of heightened tension between Belize and Guatemala, six countries (both Belize and Guatemala included), meet later this week to discuss the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute in an effort to find a diplomatic solution to the existing tensions. Parliamentarians of El Salvador, Honduras, […]

    Blogs

    Rice a la Beer (Arroz a la Cerveza)
    Fry rice until it changes color, then add the green part of the onions, minced, and continue to fry. Add chopped bacon and continue to fry a while. Pour in beer and orange juice and let cook. Enjoy!

    Goff’s Caye: A Stunning Island off The Coast of Belize City
    In Belize, all of the offshore islands are referred to as cayes (pronounced “keys”) and Goff’s Caye is definitely one of the more popular thanks to its close location to Belize City, gorgeous sandy beaches, and healthy marine system replete with a coral reef and a foraging area for sea turtles. The only way to get to Goff’s Caye is by boat. There are no regular water taxi services to and from the island but many domestic charter and tour companies offer transportation to and from Goff’s Caye. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes between Belize City and Goff’s Caye. There is little of interest on the island itself aside from beautiful sandy beaches ideal for swimming or sun tanning. The most popular draw for this small island is the amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities available directly offshore. Snorkeling and diving gear is available from outfitters on Goff’s Caye but you can save a little money if you bring your own equipment with you.

    The 5 Best Beaches in Belize – Find your Perfect Slice of Caribbean Paradise
    There are plenty of contenders to be one of the best beaches in Belize along the 240 miles of coastline which gives this small Central American country its laid back lifestyle. Exactly what qualities combine to create the best beaches in Belize is a pretty personal affair, so we’ve done our best to show just a little of the incredible variety that the beaches in Belize have to offer. Don’t just take our word for it though, go there and explore the Caribbean coastline so you can discover your own best beaches in Belize! Here they are, just for you, our collection of the 5 Best Beaches in Belize: Hopkins, Placencia, Turneffe Atoll, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker.

    Belize Revisited: Caves and Rivers in the Interior
    It was three years ago this month of May when we visited Belize. Our travels there have been on my mind a lot lately, as we’re asked about our more adventurous experiences. So we’re sharing oldish posts–about our swim/trek into a cave to see one of the most remarkable ceremonial sites in the world, and another about a speedy boat trip down river to see remote Mayan temples. But the problem: back then our photos weren’t quite so well organized, they were imported into our blog at a smaller size, and we weren’t as good at sharing our new posts. Belize really does merit repeating. Highlights and recommendations? –We’re the only people I know who skipped Belize’s islands, reportedly great for snorkeling and scuba, to stay in the middle of the country. No regrets. –Do what you can to visit the ATM caves. It remains one of the most extraordinary adventures we’ve had. To date, visits are self-regulated by the local guides. This is a rare opportunity. –The guided river day trip to Lamanai was another surprise. We were just going with the flow, and ended up seeing unique Mayan temples, and wildlife.

    International Sourcesizz

    Carencias en la zona de Adyacencia
    Executive Director of BALAM, the Guatemalan counterpart to Belize's FCD, has published an article in Prensa Libre entitled 'Carencias en la Zona de Adyacencia' or 'Shortcomings in the Adjacency Zone'. The article outlines the work being undertaken in the area by BALAM, and also attempts to give some explanation on the causes of problems in that area, for which the author seems to claim that a neglectful Guatemalan government is responsible. "Spurious diplomacy, false patriotism and political opportunists disguised as heroes should have no place in these communities who struggle daily against poverty, and expect the social and productive assistance of the Government of Guatemala, which has never reached that territory." The article concludes with an appeal to the Guatemalan government to combat poverty, injustice, hunger, environmental degradation, and neglect.

    Arzobispo cree que diferendo con Belice se usa para desviar la atención
    In his Sunday Mass, Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales, archbishop of Guatemala City, stated that the Belize-Guatemala issue was being used by the Guatemalan government to distract from that nations real problems. The Archbishop also addressed issues of corruption in the Guatemalan government and court system, including death threats sent to judges in high-profile cases. The Archbishop stated that the Guatemala-Belize issue was only a smokescreen and that any dispute should have been solved 40 years ago.

    This Perfect Island Is Shutting Down Before Tourists Ruin It Forever
    Belize is known for it's beautiful beaches, the second largest great barrier reef in the world, and countless other natural wonders. What steps do you think Belize should be taking to protect the environment from the negative effects of too much tourism?
    If you were planning on visiting Koh Tachai anytime soon... well, don’t plan on it anymore. The small Thai island is closing down indefinitely so that its beaches and reefs — home to some of the best diving in the world — can recover from the effects of too much tourism, The Bangkok Post reports. Officials are hoping to save the island from becoming a victim of its own popularity: Beaches meant to hold 70 people at a time have regularly been hosting more than 1,000, Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a dean at Bangkok’s Kasetsart University, told the Post. “This caused the island to quickly deteriorate,” he said. “If it’s not closed now, we’ll lose Koh Tachai permanently.” Environmental impact from tourism is a common concern in this part of the world: In Thailand’s Phi Phi islands, which were featured in the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio film “The Beach,” tourism quickly boomed to 10 tons of trash produced daily and coral reefs sustained damage from boats and snorkelers — a “critical” situation that prompted the island to reach out to the Thai government last year for help.

    Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize-Guatemala border disagreement
    The Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator the Hon Maxine McClean, and comprising Barbados, Canada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria and Tanzania, as well as Belize and United Kingdom as observers, met on Monday, 16 May 2016, to discuss the recent events taking place in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Hon Wilfred Elrington briefed the Committee on recent developments, including discussions between the governments of the two countries. The Committee reiterated and endorsed the firm support of the Commonwealth for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize, as expressed consistently and most recently in the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Communiqué. The Committee encouraged all concerned to work towards a peaceful and final resolution of the longstanding disagreements concerning the border between Belize and Guatemala.

    Belize Steps Up Fight Against Money Laundering
    Belize's Financial Intelligence Unit and Belize Police have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the territory's safeguards against financial crime. The Financial Intelligence Unit is the authority in Belize tasked with the enforcement and implementation of all anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations and the prevention of domestic tax evasion. According to the Financial Intelligence Unit, the memorandum will "strengthen the cooperation that currently exists and facilitate the analysis and investigation of suspected money laundering, associated offenses, and the financing of terrorism." Implementation of the memorandum is intended to increase the potential sources of information available to both the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Police in their fight against crime. It also provides a framework for joint operations between the authorities.

    Owner of Caribbean-based brokerage firm admits to $1/4 billion money laundering scheme
    The secret owner of an offshore broker-dealer and investment management company based in Panama and Belize has admitted to running a scheme that saw him laundering more than US$250,000 in profits through at least five offshore law firms. Gregg Mulholland, 46, owner of Legacy Global Markets S.A., on Monday pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy for fraudulently manipulating the stocks of more than 40 US publicly-traded companies and then laundering the money. He now faces up to 20 years in prison. The dual American and Canadian citizen “used offshore shell companies in Belize and the West Indies to carry out numerous schemes”, according to court documents. Mulholland made a plea deal with the government, and has agreed to forfeit, among other things, a Dassault-Breguet Falcon 50 aircraft, a Range Rover Defender vehicle, two real estate properties in British Columbia, and funds and securities on deposit at more than a dozen bank and brokerage accounts.

    Father of six who moved to the UK from Belize when he was six months old is banned from working and faces DEPORTATION - because the Home Office 'cannot find his records'
    A father-of-six who first moved to the UK when he was six months old has been told he could face deportation because the Home Office cannot find any evidence of his arrival into the country. Darren Harrety, 34, from Nelson in Lancashire, has bought a house, got married and even voted in the UK but is now banned from employment and could be deported. He said: 'In my eyes I have been living in England all my life and I am British. It is terrifying to think people could just come through the door and tell me I have to leave the country. 'We are scared and don't know what to do. It feels like no one will help me.' Mr Harrety was born in Belize in March 1982, six months after Belize [a former British colony] had become an independent country. As a six-month-old baby he moved to Britain with his mother, Angelica, and siblings on her Belize passport [which had replaced her British one post-independence]. It was stamped with indefinite leave to stay in the UK. They came to the UK with the help of the SSAFA military charity after her husband, former British soldier Roy Kyte-Powell, was shot dead in Belize.

    Videos

  • Maritime Expert Discusses Belize-Guatemala Dispute, 4min. In Australia, Professor Warwick Gullett works along with the University of Wollongong’s research center in ocean law and policy. While Gullet believes that the #ICJ would rule in Belize’s favor on land, his expertise in maritime law compels him to believe that the country may lose territorial waters because of the concave area shared with Guatemala and Honduras. It's an old interview. He was not here to engage the political directorate but as a guest of an NGO on another issue.

  • 2016 Belize Service Immersion Experience, 12min. During April vacation, 12 BC High juniors and two members of the faculty/staff traveled to Belize City to participate in Hand in Hand Ministries' Building for Change Program. Here is a recap of the experience!

  • Belize eel clip, 1/2min. Moray eel in Belize.

  • Marketing Expo 2016 Belize City, 14min. University of Belize

  • GVSU Pre-PA trip: Belize 2016, 8.5min.

  • COROZAL WATCH TOWER REHABILITATED AFTER 16 YEARS, 4min. If you are a frequent visitor of the Corozal Bay especially the area located near the House of Culture, then we are sure that you have noticed the watch tower located in the vicinity. And yes you are right, it is non-functional or we should say was non-functional. We say was because the watch tower is now back on the job full time doing what it was intended to do………telling time.

  • THE PHILIP GOLDSON HIGHWAY TURNS DEADLY AS IT CLAIMS THE LIFE OF WELL KNOWN ORANGE WALKENO., 7min. the Philip Goldson Highway again proved to be deadly as it claimed the life of well-known Orange Walkeno Richard Orellana. The tragic incident played out about six in the evening between miles forty and forty one of the Highway on the outskirts of Carmelita Village, Orange Walk.

  • ORANGE WALK TOWN COUNCIL Q&A ON BELIZE/GUATEMALA DISPUTE, 9min. the Orange Walk Town Council held an informative forum for its employees on the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute and taking the dispute to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. The forum was also open to the public and got rather heated when it came to the question and answer session.

  • BSI ASR WEEKLY CROP REVIEW 2016 - WEEK 23, 2.5min.

  • OCEANA DEPICTS THE BEAUTY OF THE CARIBBEAN SEA THROUGH ITS MURALS, 4.5min. Oceans are the lifeblood of planet Earth and humankind. They flow over nearly three-quarters of our planet, and hold 97% of the planet's water. They produce more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and absorb the most carbon from it. No matter how far from the shore that you live, oceans still affect your life and the lives of your families. The air that you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, the products that keep you warm, safe, informed, and entertained — all can come from or be transported by the ocean. But despite its importance, the Ocean can fall victim to serious environmental consequences when disturbed by human activity for example oil exploration, which contributes significantly to noise pollution and contamination of our environment. In an effort to bring awareness of such dangerous activities OCEANA and the Belize Coalition have joined forces to show Belizeans the beauty that Belize has beneath the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Both organizations have embarked on a journey that will display through mural paintings, the beauty that lies within the Jewel’s Barrier Reef and what could be lost if we do not protect our eco system.

  • ELROY JOHNSON, 4.5min.

  • Rise and shine Guest Lindsay Belisle International Surveyor on belize Borders,100 min.

  • Sandize in the Belize - San Pedro & Caye Caulker, 5.5min. Wanted to share our wonderful trip in the Belize, to San Pedro Ambergris Caye island and Caye Caulker.

  • Scuba Diving Belize.2016, 5min.

  • Karina and Ashley go to Belize!, 10min.

  • Minister of Education Patrick Faber on Belize Borders, 1min. Saying that every Belizean should familiarize themselves with the 1859 treaty between the United Kingdom and Guatemala which establishes Belize's borders. That is why his Ministry is undertaking to mass produce the 1859 Treaty for public distribution.

    May 18, 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

    Three students to participate in US exchange program
    For the past fifteen years, exchange programs at San Pedro High School (SPHS) have given students opportunities to explore new cultures. In the latest exchange program, three students from the SPHS drama club: Marthalicia Vasquez, Jubilee Garcia, and Bessy Gongora, have been selected to travel to Los Angeles, California, USA, to perform a skit at the Los Angeles Harbor College. The students will depart on Saturday, May 28th, and will be there for one week, along with other exchange students from Mexico and London. The group is rehearsing weekly to perfect their 30-minute dramatic skit at the college. The piece reflects social issues that are relevant to Belize. Coordinators Debbie and Larry Heimgartner have been consistently working with the students, composing the skit to demonstrate conflicts faced in the homes of many teenagers. “In our skit, we were able to take the problems people face here on the island and write about them on a global perspective. We are giving light to San Pedro and inviting the world to see that we experience the same problems like anyone else,” said Heimgartner.

    San Pedro Reef Week- Highlighting our Marine Eco-system
    The 11th annual Northern Belize Reef Week kicked off on Monday, May 16th with an early 6AM swim to the reef. The full week features a variety of events, ranging from Lionfish Tournaments to clean -up campaigns to Kayak Races, all in an effort to create awareness of our marine ecosystem. In the opening event, around 15 swimmers took on the challenge and swam to the reef and back. According to The San Pedro Town Council’s Sports Coordinator Kent ‘Bob’ Gabourel, the race was not about competing, but to raise awareness on the need to protect the reef system. Participants swam at their own pace, and many of them even wore their snorkelling gear in order to make it an enjoyable swim.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks Sub-Champions of the 2016 NEBL championship
    For the third consecutive year, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks were in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) finals as they played the third and final decisive game against the Smart Belize Hurricanes. The game was played on Friday, May 13th at the Belize Elementary School gymnasium in Belize City and despite the Tiger Sharks lead in the first half of the match; they were overcome by the Smart Belize Hurricanes who claimed the NEBL 2016 Champions with a final score of 98-92. San Pedro Tiger Sharks were led by Caleb Sutton with 19 points, 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 rebounds, while Douglas Valley netted 17 points to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists, and 4 three-point shots. Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz tallied 16 points and 5 rebounds and Ashton Edwards sank 15 points, including three shots from behind the arc. Gene Myvett recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, to go with 6 assists and 2 steals, while Raul Roches finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds. San Pedro Tiger Sharks shot 43% from the field, 34% from behind the three-point arc and 55% from behind the charity stripe.

    Ambergris Today

    Lion Fish Excitement During Reef Week
    What better way to celebrate the Belize Barrier Reef, creating awareness and protecting it than by a massive hunting of Lion Fish which are so detrimental to the health of our reef. This was the purpose for Hol Chan Marine Reserve in San Pedro in organizing a Lion Fish Tournament as part of its Reef Week activities. Only four out of an initial seven boats were able to participate in the tournament, but it was enough to kill and rid our reef of over 300 invasive Lion Fish that pose a threat to the marine life on the coral reef. “The tournament was not about winning,” said Josue (Chino) Vasquez of team Sea Star Tours/Dive Bar. “It is about getting rid of as much Lion Fish that we can from our waters. It’s about having fun and supporting the efforts of Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Reef Week.”

    No Need to Panic as First Zika Case Confirmed in Belize
    Late yesterday, Monday, May 16, 2016, the Ministry of Health announced the first confirmed case of the Zika virus in Belize with the infected individual being a Belizean national. Fortunately, the virus is not widespread and only this one case has been confirmed to date. In a press release to the country’s tourism stakeholders, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) asked them to continue keeping guests aware of the risks associated with this virus and encourage the use of proper precautionary measures to avoid Zika transmission. “We will continue to monitor the works and information from public health officials locally, regionally and globally, to share with you in order to ensure that our visitors have the information they need to protect themselves,” stated the message to stakeholders in the industry.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    I am Ricardo Ignacio, a published author
    I was born in Mexico, and yes I speak Spanish, but I am NOT Hispanic, nor am I Latino, and neither the language that I speak nor the country on which I was born can define who I am nor identify the people I descend from. I once took a DNA test, and the results came out looking like this: 82% Native American, 11% West African, 3% Asian (Mongolian), and 4% Greek. Nowhere in those results did I see Spanish, Latino nor Hispanic, and it has puzzled people to no end to see that I am born in Mexico, speak Spanish fluently but yet not a drop of Spanish blood in me. “How could this be possible?” People ponder. Well, the puzzle is simple actually, see: People have this misconception that all Spanish speakers who are born in Mexico, Central & South America are Latinos/Hispanics/Spanish people, but that’s false, it’s disrespectful, misleading, and it contributes to the ongoing misplacement and ethnic cleansing that indigenous people of the Americas have dealt with for several centuries now since Europeans' arrival, occupation of land, colonialism, and the forced assimilation of Native Americans.

    US EMBASSY Belize has Gay Pride
    Flag flying high!

    Date & venue for the National Classification System for Accommodation Stakeholder Consultations in Toledo
    May 19, 6:30pm in PG

    ETI PUERTO RICO TRADE SHOW 2016
    The ETI Puerto Rico Trade Show is a tourism event which brings together stakeholders interested in promoting and selling Caribbean destinations. This show also attracts leading travel advisors and wholesalers.

    Amelita Knowles, National Grassroots Coordinator and Outreach Officer, Oceana Belize
    Congratulations to Mrs. Amelita Knowles, National Grassroots Coordinator and Outreach Officer, Oceana Belize that will be participating on the International Leaders Visitors Program(IVLP): "Our Ocean Protection and Sustainable Use". During her program she will participate in a combination of meetings, site visits, federalism briefing, panel discussion, and cultural events in different states in the U.S. The program will examine U.S. efforts to address coastal and marine management issues, particularly marine debris, pollution, and sustainable fishing; provide opportunities to interact with U.S. professionals at federal, state and local levels engaged in developing public policy frameworks for coastal zone management and climate change adaptation; share institutional and technical strategies to integrate local level projects with regional and international marine protection and clean-up efforts; and discuss efforts to promote sustainable fisheries and livelihoods by eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices. Mrs. Amelita met with the U.S. Ambassador to discuss her expectations and future plans.

    Cabinet Announcement on Help for Progress
    Today, at its regular Tuesday meeting, Cabinet determined that NO formal, nor legal, agreement exists between the Government of Belize and the NGO called Help for Progress that authorizes personnel of said NGO to accept applications for refugees status in Belize, and to further conduct interviews and determine which applicant has a legitimate case or not. All applications and the processing for recognition of refugee status must be presented to the recently reactivated Refugee Eligibility Committee. During the few years of inactivity of the Refugee Eligibility Committee, no entity was empowered to conduct interviews to determine whether refugee applicants for refugee status had a legitimate case for consideration. The guidelines for consideration of refugee status are very rigid, and are only considered if the applicant can prove a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons such as race, religion, nationality, and political opinion.

    Walk for a Green Belize
    Last year the Department of the Environment (DOE), in conjunction with the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society, carried out a Walk For A Green Belize activity. Walk For A Green Belize is a clean-up activity conducted by numerous organizations, students, activists, both government and non-government agencies, and the general public. The activity resulted in the collection of 2,363 (20 to 55 gallon-sized) bags of garbage yielding a weight of approximately 16,541 pounds! As we gear up for the celebration of World Environment Day 2016 (June 5), the DOE is once again collaborating on the “Walk For A Green Belize” cleanup. This event is aimed at building awareness and sustaining a culture of an environmentally friendly and conscious Belize! This year, the "Walk For A Green Belize" will be held on Saturday, May 21st, 2016 along the entire George Price Highway encompassing a total of 77 miles of roadway. It will begin at 7:00 a.m. and expected to conclude by 11:00 am. In order to ensure the safety of the volunteers cleaning up both sides of the highway from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City and up through Ladyville area, the Police Department, Department of Transport and City Traffic will be mobile along the George Price Highway to caution drivers to drive with extreme care.

    Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission Zone Meetings
    The Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission is obligated to ensure that the Maya people do not become voiceless in the process of implementing the CCJ order as it relates to Maya customary land rights. The Order did not cede the autonomy of villages to any group. The Commission is therefore disappointed by the statements made by the Toledo Alcalde Association as it relates to a meeting held on Monday, May, 16, 2016. The planned meeting was held and present were 32 of the 36 village leaders, the participants were very engaged and welcomed the opportunity to commence dialogue with the Commission. What was not allowed was an interruption to the planned meeting, but an offer was made to meet with the Steering Committee at a mutually convenient time.

    SBDCBelize participates in Art in the Park
    On May 14 & 15, 2016, Corozal Organization Leading Culture, Heritage and Art (COLCHA) hosted its annual Art in the Park. This event provided an excited and interesting display of productions by local artists. As many as 30 artists and artisans proudly displayed their talents and products. Vicky Heredia, Business Advisor of the Small Business Development Center (SBDCBelize), a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), was there to promote the services of the centre and attract new clients while provide advising services to the rising entrepreneurs. Art, talent and ideas are alive in Corozal Town!

    Commentary: Guatemala must stop its citizens from coming into Belize to commit crimes
    By Wellington C. Ramos. For centuries now the Mayas and the Garifuna people have been going back and forth to Guatemala to meet with their relatives, trade and seek refuge when the Guatemalan military is slaughtering them. The Belize government does not have the military to stop and apprehend the Guatemalans who are entering Belize. When the Guatemalans enter Belize illegally and are arrested, they are charged by the Belize Police Force for “illegal entry” taken to court given a small fine and escorted across the border back into their country. As soon as they are handed over to the Guatemalan authorities, they are released back into civilian life without any penalty. They then leave the customs and immigration and make another attempt to come across the border back into Belize. If the Belize Police Force does not arrest a Guatemalan or any other citizen of another country who enters Belize illegally, they can remain in Belize for a long period of time until they are granted amnesty and later Belizean citizenship. Due to Guatemala’s human rights record, the Mayas and the Garifuna people have the right to file for political asylum in Belize.

    TOLEDO MAYA LAND RIGHTS COMMISSION GIVES THEIR SIDE OF EVENTS
    The Toledo May Land Rights Commission has issued a press release in which it expresses its dissappointment with the Toledo Alcalde Association's version of events after a meeting with the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission last weekend. The press release starts off establishing the TMLRC's position, stating, "The Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission is obligated to ensure that the Maya people do not become voiceless in the process of implementing the CCJ order as it relates to Maya customary land rights. The Order did not cede the autonomy of villages to any group." The rest of the release goes toward providing the other perspective of what went on at that meeting.

    ACP Chester Williams speaking about the life style of young gang members
    Clean gospel music for the entire family.

    Channel 7

    PUP Call On Government To Investigate Plett
    Last night, you heard the first hand account from Roger Plett, the Mennonite farmer working in the Green Hills area west of Spanish Lookout who was taken into Guatemala and tied up by uniformed persons he says were Guatemalan soldiers. It's a story that only the media has taken seriously, and we've heard nothing from the police, national security, or foreign affairs. But, today the PUP issued a statement supporting Plett, and calling out the government. The statement says, quote, "His story...should be cause for alarm, and certainly cause for IMMEDIATE and decisive action from the proper and pertinent authorities." It continues, quote, "We understand that any incident that happens...anywhere along the Adjacency Zone must be treated with sensitivity...But it MUST be investigated. Five days have passed since this alleged incident and we have heard nothing from our Police and nothing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

    The Guat Plot Against Plett
    And as we told you last night, there is a lot to investigate. Roger Plett says that on Thursday, he was working near the Belize Guatemala border in the Green Hills Area when uniformed Guatemalan civilians accompanied by about 20 persons appearing to be in military apparel - kidnapped him from the Belize side, took him over to Guatemala. They tied him up, took his tractor, and also commandeered his co worker's bulldozer. It's quite a story, and here are some more elements which we didn't have time to include last night:... Jules Vasquez reporting: Under the canopy, in the underbrush, with only the din of crickets to bear witness, lies a row of Belize Guatemala border markers - just like this one, on a cleared path every quarter mile.

    Alleged Killers Sent Back To Jail After 100 Hours of Freedom
    Accused murderers Tarique Gillett and Lyson James Cacho are back behind bars tonight after being re-arrested for a 2015 murder. They had just been released last week Friday because the prosecutor did not provide them with disclosure of evidence, and tonight, after 100 horus of freedom, they were picked up and re-arrested for the very same shooting. This time, the prosecution wants to submit fingerprint evidence against both. They are charged for a fatal shooting which happened on March 1, 2015 on Periwinkle Street in Belize City. That's when cousins Michael Welch and Kingsley Morrison, were hanging out at a house and 2 gunmen rode up on bicycles and opened fire on them. Welch was injured multiple times, and he died within minutes. Morrison was shot once to the upper shoulder, and survived.

    ZIKA, Ministry of Health Says It Is Responding
    As we told you last night one case of Zika has been confirmed in Belize! The first victim is a woman from the Belize City Northside, who turned up at the hospital with a rash. As far as the health professionals have been able to find out, she did not travel anywhere recently or just before she got sick. So, they are now trying to find out where the Zika originated. There are no other known cases around where the woman lives, and the Central Health Region is hoping to keep it that way. Today, we spoke with the Doctor in charge of the Zika watch in Belize City and the surrounding communities. He told us what his office is doing to contain possible outbreaks: Dr. Javier Zuniga - Manager. Central Health Region: "Zika which is an emerging infectious disease has been affecting most of South America and now Central America and the Caribbean. We were basically awaiting a positive case for Zika because of course all the other countries are affected and we had already put in place some measures to be able to increase our surveillance and also to protect the population specifically from the vector which is the mosquito, Aedes aegypti..."

    ZIKA: Will It Cause A Tourism Tumble?
    And from public health to tourism. Will the presence of Zika in Belize trigger a decline in tourist arrivals? It certainly affected other countries especially those Caribbean getaway destinations like Barbados and Bahamas. But according to both the Belize Hotel Association and the Belize Tourism Industry Association - the industry hasn't been and won't be drastically affected. First we spoke to the President of the Belize Hotel Association Lisa Carr-Caceres. She admitted that since January, tourists specifically those traveling in groups for weddings and family trips, have been cancelling their bookings, as well as pregnant women. Carr-Caceres told us that while those are significant cancellations, it will not affect the overall business at their member hotels. She explained it's all about keeping the guests informed and also about training staff. Lisa Carr-Caceres - Pres. Belize Hotel Association: "The reports that we have received have not been so much individual cancellations. Unfortunately yes there have been more of reports group cancelations, because allot of times groups may have just 1 person responsible for the group so they don't want to run a risk or maybe insurance issues whatever. So, there is more that have been reports of group cancellations which actually we take that very seriously. We do not want that because those are big cancellations. So yes we have received reports of some groups cancelling, very few individual cancellation and most of them are probably related to someone who is pregnant..."

    When Shrubs Snare A Shotgun...
    A Frank's Eddy villager is lucky to be alive tonight after he was shot with a 16 gauge. But, police say it was most likely an accident. Here's what happened: around 2:oo this afternoon, Doni Polanco and his father in law Emilio Arevalo were returning from a fishing trip Polanco's licensed 16 gauge shotgun got tangle din some shrubs, and the gun went off. The stray shot hit Arevalo in the lower back. He was taken to the Western Regional Hospital where he is in a stable condition. Police have taken custody of the shotgun, but do not suspect any criminal wrongdoing.

    MAR Wants You!
    The Meso American Reef Fund, "MAR Fund" for short, was launched back in 2005 with the purpose of empowering emerging conservation leaders in four different countries including Belize. The first group of leaders was trained in 2010. Since then up to 60 persons from participating countries like Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador have received this training. Today the program director of the MAR leadership program was in Belize to oversee the launch of this year's call for applications under the theme "Blue economy." We found out more:... Maria Eugenia Arreola, Dir., MAR Leadership Program: "Every year we open a cohort for applications as we are doing right now and we recruit between 12-14 people coming from 4 different countries. These people come from different sectors, as I've said before, they can be working in any sector and they can also have different backgrounds. So far, in the program we have different people that are Biologists, Engineers, Communications experts, Tourism experts, Lawyers, Marine Biologists, so there's a lot of people that are being interactive, exchanging information, and collaborating."

    Putting Fishers First
    And on that same note the Wildlife Conservation Society is also calling on applicants to submit their entries for the Punta Fuego's Outstanding Fisher of the year award. Last year's outstanding fisher went to Punta Gorda resident, Ana Ramirez. Today we spoke to the assistant country director for the Wildlife Conservation Society who told us more about this annual recognition of fishermen and women. For more information about the application you can check out the Punta Fuego Belize Facebook page. Deadline for submission is May 31st.

    Cabinet Puts A Hurting On Help For Progress
    The Refugee Eligibility Committee, and its reactivation for refugee applications has been under public scrutiny since it was publicly disclosed after the fact. That's after the press started investigating why mass numbers of persons living illegally in Belize started showing up at the Help For Progress Office. Well, the Government of Belize has done a complete about turn about the Help For Progress NGO. They are calling for all applications at Help for Progress to stop. But that's not what Government said last Tuesday. That release said, quote, "Help for Progress, a nongovernmental organization, represents the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and has the responsibility to receive applications from potential asylum seekers and conduct an initial interview. Those applicants who meet the criteria for refugee status are referred to the Immigration Department, where a second interview is done and the successful applicants are then given an appointment for a more in depth interview. The asylum seeker is then given a Special Permit which is valid until the time of the in-depth interview in order to allow him legal status in Belize." End Quote.

    One Held For Ladyville Shooting
    Police have detained one of the suspects in the Ladyville fatal shooting. He is 19 year old Darwin Estuardo Prado. But police are still looking for the other suspect Egbert Baldwin. As we told you, 21 year old Lionel Rhamdas was shot and killed while 3 other men were injured in a Ladyville shootout. It happened early Saturday morning on Marage Road. 23 year old Casey Lozano along with 3 others were hanging outside the Lozano family home when 3 gunmen appeared and opened fire on them. One of the men from the Lozano crew shot back and it's during that exchange of fire that Rhamdas, allegedly one of the gunmen, was killed. Casey Lozano and Lyndon Gillett were also hit to the arm while Terence Flowers was shot to the hand, chest and neck. As we told you, a series of retaliations started after Rene "Fatcat" Chavarria's murder in March.

    Hostel Girls Still Missing
    3 youth hostel girls are still on the run tonight. As we told you, 11 girls escaped on Sunday evening and so far the police have found 8 girls. They have all been taken back to the youth hostel. Now the story is that 3 of the girls jumped the fence while the others walked right out the front gate. The Deputy Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department Maureen Williams had told us yesterday that again, in this case it was a breakdown in protocol. We say again because this is not the first time girls have run away. In fact, looking back at the November 2015 fire , those girls had escaped before the fire. Police continue to look for the remaining 3, who might be heading south.

    PM's Wife, US Embassy Supports Belize's LBGT Population
    Today Gays, Lesbians, and all other colors of that LGBT rainbow celebrate what is known as International Day against Homophobia. Now we don't know of any activities that took place in Belize to mark the occasion, but the Prime Minister's wife Kim Simplis Barrow did post a video on her facebook page making an acknowledgment. The US Embassy also issued a statement saying, quote, "On this day we acknowledge the occurrence of everyday actions that result in discrimination and acts of violence towards members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered communities in Belize and its allies around the world." It continues, "The U.S. remains steadfast in its policy that LGBT rights are universal human rights, and will continue to support the promotion of LGBT rights in Belize."

    Riding For Prostate Awareness
    Over the weekend the Belize Cancer Society held the first ever Cancer ride challenge. This was in an effort to promote the awareness of prostate cancer. About 70 persons participated in the 2 day cancer ride which covered roughly 160 miles. The first leg of the race began in Dangriga by the drums of our father's roundabout. The contingent of riders made its way to San Ignacio where they stayed for the night and rested before tackling the next 80 miles. On Sunday the contingent made its way to Belize ending at Hour Bar, by the Marine Parade. This ride was a part of Cancer awareness month that is currently being celebrated. The theme for this year's cancer month is, "I can, we can- understand that early detection saves lives." The cancer awareness activities go on up until the 31st of May.

    Guatemalan Voices Dissent Against Pro Military Tactics
    A week ago, we showed how a Guatemalan analyst criticized his Government for militarizing the territorial dispute. Well, this past weekend the Guatemalan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, Óscar Julio Vian Morales, publicly accused his Government of attempting to use the territorial dispute with Belize as a distraction from the real problems facing Guatemala. Archbishop Oscar Vian told the press that the territorial dispute should have been solved some 40 years ago. He added a lasting solution has never been really sought, and the territorial dispute continues to surface exactly when Guatemalan is experiencing other huge problems. As we told you, protests continued in Guatemala on last week Wednesday when thousands of indigenous people blocked roads all across the country in protest.

    Morales And Talamas On The Border
    In related news, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, the Guatemalan Defense Minister, William Mansilla, and OAS Representative Magdalena Talamás went on a tour of the Adjacency Zone this weekend. They were in the Peten Area which ends right at Belize's Western Border. The Official Guatemalan Foreign Minister's social media pages say that Talamás, who they refer to as the Special Representative of the OAS Secretary General, was present for an overflight of the communities in the area. The Guatemalan Officials then held meetings at the OAS Adjacency Zone Office, at the Benque Viejo Border. The purpose, they say, is to "assess the situation of these communities" near the western border. They were received by community members, seen here, in this photo. The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry also posted these pictures, saying that those officials oversaw infrastructure works in the Peten area. We note that the OAS has invested about half a million dollars in one of the most troublesome communities, Monte Los Olivos, but the encroachments form that village persist.

    Channel 5

    Much More on the Guatemalan Detention of Mennonites
    Tonight we have more details on the alleged kidnapping of two – not one, Mennonite farmers who were clearing fire breaks on a large plot of land which adjoins the [...]

    Police Detained Foreman of Plett’s Ranch for Questioning
    There was another incident on the farm the next day. Watchman Rogelio Barrientos was allegedly approached by fifteen military officers, and a request was made for heavy equipment to be [...]

    Who Detained Roger Plett and Why?
    That brings us to officialdom – first the Police. San Ignacio Police aren’t talking. They would only say that an investigation is underway and a release was sent out from [...]

    P.U.P. Call for Investigation into Border Incident
    While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Police Department stay silent on the alleged seizure of Mennonites by Guatemalans, the opposition People’s United Party is not. In a release issued [...]

    The Opposition Will Go to the Sarstoon This Saturday
    Tonight there is confirmation that the People’s United Party will be going to the Sarstoon on Saturday to challenge the Sarstoon Law which prevents Belizeans from visiting the area. That [...]

    Should G.O.B. Be Negotiating a Protocol for Sarstoon River?
    And tonight’s question is: Do you think G.O.B. should be negotiating a protocol for Sarstoon River when it owns half of the river? Send your comments and responses using your [...]

    Traditional Farming Practices Clash in Trio
    The headlines in the past week have been about events in the Toledo District in southern Belize. And that’s where we headed today again. The following story, however, has to [...]

    Lisel Alamilla and TAA Still At Odds
    On Monday, the Toledo Alcaldes Association issued a release, following an incident where the chair of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission reportedly evicted TAA President Alfonso Cal from the [...]

    Steven Young Arraigned for Attempted Murder after Bar Fight
    Twenty-five year old Steven Young is serving his first night in prison for the attempted murder of a Lord’s Bank resident, who was stabbed during an altercation inside Ruba’s Bar [...]

    2 Men Surrender in Shooting Death of Lionel Rhamdas
    Two men, twenty-eight-year-old Egbert Baldwin and nineteen-year-old Darwin Estuardo Prado, are in custody for the shooting death of their friend Lionel Rhamdas. The duo surrendered to Ladyville police earlier today [...]

    Duo Freed and Rearrested on Murder Charge
    Tarique Gillett and Lyson Cacho were arraigned in March and July 2015 for the murder of Michael Welch and the attempted murder of Kingsley Morrison. Last Friday, both were set [...]

    Was Shooting After Fishing Trip an Accident?
    A man is currently listed in stable condition at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan after he was rushed there this afternoon with a gunshot injury. According to a very [...]

    US Vice President Speaks on International Day Against Homophobia
    International Day Against Homophobia, known as IDAHOT, was celebrated today in many countries. Across the border in Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed that same-sex marriage be legalised as part [...]

    Help for Progress Not Authorized to Process Applications for Refugee Status
    For weeks now, we have been running the story of a program for refugees. We have showed you images of persons lining up at the Help for Progress offices in [...]

    MAR Leadership Program Calls for Applications
    The 2016 Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program officially made the call for applications today at a press conference at the Radisson. This year, the theme for the program is “Promoting Blue [...]

    Wildlife Conservation Society Looks for the Fisher of the Year
    The second annual fisher of the year award by the Wildlife Conservation Society will be presented on June twenty-ninth to a local fisherman or fisher woman who practices sustainable fishing [...]

    Dmitri Fabro to Join Soccer Team in Spain
    Eighteen-year-old Dmitri Fabro is a Belizean football star on the rise.  After playing locally with the Belmopan Bandits, FC Belize and the Belize Defense Force, Fabro is presently on the [...]

    Celebrating Cashew Fest in 2016
    Crooked Tree is located just off the Phillip Goldson Highway at mile thirty-one. On Saturday and Sunday, the village was overflowing for the annual cashew festival.  Cashew jams, jellies, wines [...]

    CTV3

    MOH Carries Out Plans To Mitigate ZIKA Virus
    Last night we informed you about the first case of zika virus that was recorded here in Belize after the results were returned last week from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) where it was sent for testing. Immediately after the information was obtained, the Ministry of Health launched an investigation of which several measures were set into place in order to prevent the virus from spreading throughout the rest of the country. And while there is currently no links to any trace of the virus in other parts of the country, the Director of Public Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero told us during an interview earlier this evening that Belizeans must still be concerned due to the fact that our country possesses ideal environmental conditions for vector bourne diseases.

    Belize Celebrates International Day Against Homophobia
    International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) is celebrated each year on May 17th, and today marks the twenty sixth anniversary of when the World Health Organization made the decision to officially remove homosexuality from its list of International Classification of Diseases. The day is mainly celebrated to raise awareness and recognize the fact that there are countless actions that occur on a daily basis which causes major discrimination and violent behaviours that are directed towards individuals who belong to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) group of people from all across the globe. The US Embassy stated in their release earlier today that and we quote, “Despite these unfortunate incidents of discrimination, the commemoration of IDAHO should be seen as a great opportunity to highlight the positive aspects of the LGBT community and celebrate the rich diversity, accomplishments and contributions the LGBT community brings to Belize and the world”. End of quote.

    PUP Calls On GOB To Investigate Allegations Made By Mennonite Farmer
    As you heard Plette alleges that he was taken off Belizean soil and forcibly moved into Guatemalan territory by elements of the military and civilians, some armed with guns and others with machetes and then tied up and threatened. Plette’s story is cause of concern for many Belizeans and the People’s United Party who believe that immediate and decisive action from the proper and pertinent authorities should be taken. In a release issue today by the party states that “any incident that happens at and in close vicinity to the border anywhere along the Adjacency Zone must be treated with sensitivity and handled meticulously.”

    CDC Issues Travel Advisory For Belize
    Keeping in line with the Zika Virus, the Embassy of the United States in Belmopan also issued a release stating that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory for Belize concerning the topic of the zika virus. CDC indicates that travels made to elevations higher than 6,500 feet above sea level is less likely to have mosquito-borne zika transmission. CDC concludes by stating that pregnant women should refrain from traveling to areas in which the elevations are less than 2,000 m above sea level especially in countries that have an active transmission of zika.

    Corozal Fisherman Charged With Illegal Fishing
    Forty seven year old Errol Wiltshire, a fisherman of Chunox Village, Corozal was charged with fishing in a special zone when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Court reports indicate that Wiltshire was found in an area prohibited for fishing on March 24th at around 12:50pm. Accounts given by a female fisheries officer revealed that while patrolling the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, she came upon a canoe that had 95 conch in shell in it. Investigations reveled that Wiltshire was the owner of the canoe and that he had taken the conch from the reserve. In his defense Wiltshire stated that he was unaware the area he was fishing was a reserve and that only 41 conch were in the canoe. He pled not guilty to the charge and his case was adjourned until July 17th.

    How Mennonite Farmer Escapes From Guatemalans.
    In yesterday’s newscast we reported on an incident where two Belizean Mennonites were allegedly kidnapped and held hostage for several hours by Guatemalan Military. The heavily armed military personnel had been helping Guatemalan NGOs and fire personnel fight a fire at the border between both countries when the encounter unfolded. The incident played out on Thursday of last week in an area known as the Green Hills area of Cayo behind Spanish Lookout. Yesterday we brought to you the first part of the story narrated by 21 year old Belizean Canadian Mennonite, Roger Plett, where he explains how he was captured by Guatemalan military and held hostage for almost four hours. Yesterday we left off the story where Roger was being pushed by Guatemalan military toward the forest on the Guatemalan side. This was after he was surrounded while in his tractor by Guatemalan military in the middle of his Green Hills ranch. He was heavily questioned while his hands were tied behind his back. But how did he escape? Here is his account:

    LOVE FM

    FOPREL Plans Emergency Meeting to Mediate B/ween Belize and Guatemala
    Belize’s Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte is said to be preparing for a meeting in Managua, Nicaragua for Thursday, May 19 where Parliamentarians and Presidents of Congress for El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala have confirmed their presence at the emergency meeting. According to an online publication by Nicaragua’s National Assembly, the […]

    PUP’s Expedition to Sarstoon Planned for May 20
    On Monday Government announced that on Saturday, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington will lead a delegation to meet with his Guatemalan counterpart to discuss a cooperation mechanism for the Sarstoon River. According to the release, a mechanism must be found to guarantee peaceful use, stability, and navigational security at the Sarstoon River. If the Istanbul […]

    Mixed Messages on the Belize/Guatemala Issue
    In the last several months the Belize/Guatemala issue has been on the front burner of the news. There are the persistent incursions being done by the Guatemalans into our territory; there are the aggressive confrontations by the Guatemalan Armed Forces to our soldiers of the Belize Defense Force and then there are the diplomatic talks […]

    Taken by the Guats in Green Hills – Part 2
    In continuation of the story we aired yesterday regarding the incident between Roger Plett, his workers and suspected Guatemalan men, we join Renee Trujillo for part two of the situation. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “Yesterday we told you of the Belizean/Canadian Roger Plett who was taken by a group of Guatemalans whilst he was working on […]

    PUP Wants Immediate and Decisive Action on the Green Hills Incident
    And while we await a response from the authorities, the People’s United Party has sent out a release on the reported incident in the Green Hills area. The release came this afternoon and reads, quote, “The People’s United Party treats with great concern an allegation made by a Mennonite farmer/businessman of Spanish Lookout that he […]

    Toledo Alcaldes vs Land Rights Commission
    Yesterday the Toledo Alcalde Association issued a release expressing concern at the way they said representatives were treated by the Chair of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission. They claim they went to a scheduled meeting with the commission however they were put out of the office. Today the Commission issued a release saying it […]

    ZIKA on a Tourism Angle
    Yesterday the Ministry of Heath confirmed the first case of Zika in the country. Today the Belize Tourism Board has issued a release to stakeholders in the tourism industry. Love News spoke to Noriko Gamero, Marketing and Public Relations Manager at the BTB. NORIKO GAMERO “We are in constant collaboration with the Ministry of Health […]

    Special Envoy Marks IDAHOT
    Today marks the celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Siimplis Barrow, released a video to commemorate the day stating that this day is an opportunity for us as a society to celebrate our individualism. KIM SIMPLIS BARROW “ The US Embassy also issued a […]

    Countdown for Teachers to Obtain Full Teacher’s
    The Ministry of Education had requested that all teachers with provisional licenses further their studies and apply for a full teacher’s license; since they would not be allowed for renewal of provisional licenses. A mandatory special permit was introduced for applications which was to last until the end of March. This permit was to be […]

    PlusTV

    Farmer gives story about Guatemala kidnapping
    Last week , PlusNews broke the story of a Mennonite farmer who was working on his farm in Green Hills, Spanish Lookout, when Guatemalan soldiers came over and took him into Guatemala, tied him up and only released him three hours later when he told them that he was Canadian. And while the Ministry o...

    Another Guatemalan shot by BDF in Chiquibul
    Another Guatemalan was shot in the Chiquibul reserve on Friday night. This latest illegal poacher survived the bullet to the arm that he received after aggressive behavior displayed to the Belize Defense Force patrol that was on duty near the border. According to a government press release, a joint...

    Bilateral Talks to Commence on Sarstoon Protocol
    And while all this confusion over the truth regarding the farmers and their Guatemalan kidnappers continues , a date has finally been set for bilateral talks to commence on the Sarstoon protocol. According to a press release from Government of Belize, that discussion will take place this Saturday, ...

    ZIKA confirmed in Belize
    The Ministry of Health has confirmed the first Zika case in the country of Belize; identified in a Belizean national from Belize City. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has returned the results of samples that were sent out and one positive result was received last week. According to Minis...

    Feud leaves one more dead in Ladyville
    One man is dead and three others were injured in an apparent shoot-out early on Saturday morning in Ladyville; but the actual details are a bit more complicated. Indeed, Police needed a PowerPoint presentation at this morning’s press conference to take us through it all. Assistant Commissioner of Po...

    Early morning home invasion and chopping in Camalote
    There was a home invasion and chopping incident in Camalote village early Friday morning. According to police reports, 36-year-old Eddie Fuentes, a Belizean farmer of Camalote Village, was at home on Friday 13th May 2016 at about 3 o’clock in the morning, sleeping. He reported to police that three ...

    Citco burglar caught on camera
    Donavan Tillett was found guilty of burglary today and sentenced to five years in prison. According to police, Tillett broke into the Belmopan City Council office over the weekend and stole a few items including petty cash. The burglary was caught on camera and police moved quickly to locate the ...

    Amandala

    3 illegal Guat gold panners captured in Chiquibul
    Just as Belize and the Republic of Guatemala are preparing to enter talks in Ankara, Turkey, this weekend over what a Government of Belize press office release described today as “a cooperation mechanism for the Sarstoon River,” another incident involving the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and Guatemalans who were found to be illegally panning for gold in Belize occurred last Friday night, May 13, in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. A government press release dated Saturday, May 14, explained that a joint patrol involving BDF soldiers and members of the Belize Police Department and Friends for Conservation and Development encountered a group of between 10 and 15 Guatemalans in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve.

    1st Zika case is north side Belize City woman
    A Belizean woman who turned up at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with fever and a rash has been confirmed as the first case of Zika in Belize. “The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has returned the results of samples sent to their laboratory from a heightened surveillance being carried out across the country. Of the samples sent to CARPHA thus far, one positive result was received last week,” said an official release from the Ministry of Health today. Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero told Amandala that as far as they are aware, the woman, who lives in north side Belize City, had not recently traveled outside of Belize, suggesting that the virus may have been locally acquired. Manzanero said that Health officials are working to prevent an outbreak of Zika in Belize.

    Belize police behaving like “cowards!”
    Roger Plett, a Mennonite farmer who was putting out a forest fire on his lands in the Green Hills area of Spanish Lookout, near the border with Guatemala, was abducted for about 4 hours on Friday by men believed to be Guatemalan soldiers, and mistreated before being released. Plett told Belize police that he was working on his land in the Green Hills area near the border, fighting a forest fire that had been burning in the area, using a tractor with a water sprayer. He had also hired a bulldozer operator to make a fire pass, but at approximately 2 o’clock that afternoon, about 10 men in military uniform surrounded him and began hitting the windshield of the tractor he was driving, with machetes. Plett reported that he stopped because he feared he would have been shot.

    Ladyville gunman shot dead at crime scene
    Funeral preparations are well on the way for Lionel Rhamdas, 21, who was found shot to death, with a firearm by his side in Ladyville. According to Ladyville police, at around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, while patrolling on Marage Road, they heard multiple shots and saw several individuals running from the area. On pursuing those individuals, police found Rhamdas dead on the ground. According to police reports, four men were socializing around a picnic table at the premises of Cynthia Lozano when they were ambushed by gunmen. According to ACP Edward Broaster, two gunmen, believed to be Darwin Estuardo Prado and Egbert Baldwin, emerged from behind Lozano’s premises, joined by Lionel Rhamdas, who emerged from in front of the premises with his gun in hand.

    BNTU backed by BPP and PUP in Teachers’ Day protest
    The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) militantly marched through the streets of Belize City today. The usual festivities of Teachers’ Day were replaced by defiance and demonstration as hundreds of teachers, backed by the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) and the Opposition PUP, marched through the streets to express their objection to the government’s recently imposed “Sarstoon Law.” One of the main messages of the march was that the “Sarstoon Law,” which was passed to prevent the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) and other like-minded groups and individuals from their expeditions to the Sarstoon River, infringes on our right to freedom of movement in our own country and it has been one of the most controversial and unacceptable laws passed by the current Barrow administration.

    Lisel Alamilla calls cops on alcaldes, TAA claims
    Up to press time tonight, the Government of Belize has not reacted to a statement issued by the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA), claiming that alcaldes who had gone to the office of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, led by former minister Lisel Alamilla, were told to “Get off my premises!” and chased from the office when they showed up to attend a meeting earlier today. The TAA said that last week, the Commission had invited the alcaldes and other persons to a meeting scheduled for this morning. According to the TAA, the organization, the highest governing body of the Maya people, had met on Saturday, May 14, to discuss the invitation from the Commission to a single observer from the Steering Committee. “The general assembly of the TAA resolved that they be led by President Alfonso Cal to deliver the collective position of the traditional leaders in writing to the Chair of the Commission on Monday, May 16, 2016.

    Smart Belize Hurricanes crowned NEBL champions
    The third and decisive Game 3 of the NEBL finals was played on Friday night at the Belize Elementary School gymnasium in Belize City. The massive crowd that was in attendance was a testament to the significance of the game and the fanfare that enveloped this season. The intensity in the gym was palpable from tip-off, as the two-time defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 15-10 lead, which was narrowed to 24-22 at the end of the first quarter. At intermission, the visiting squad was still holding on to a marginal 47-45 lead; and mid-way through the third quarter, Smart Belize Hurricanes took a 60-58 lead, which they increased to 4 points, 72-68, at the end of the third.

    WW Cashew Fest Race 2016 results
    Here are the results from Weekend Warrior (WW) Cashew Fest Race held yesterday from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 33, Philip Goldson Hwy, via Boom Road and back to Crooked Tree Junction, for 48 miles. The race started at 10:05 a.m. Top finishers in Category “A/B” – 1st place Warren Coye (Santino’s, 2:04:10); 2nd Preston Martinez (Megabytes, st); 3rd Isaiah Willacey (FT Williams, st); 4th Colin Maheia (FT Williams, st); 5th Kent Gabourel, Jr. (Megabytes, st); 6th Daniel Cano (Santino’s, st); 7th Mark Gentle (FT Williams, 2:06:08); 8th Santino Castillo (Santino’s, 1st “B”); 9th Wilbert Jones (Megabytes); 10th Steven Robinson (Caribbean Tires, 2nd “B”); 11th Francis Cassasola (Santino’s, 3rd “B”); 12th Ernest Olivera (FT Williams, 4th “B”); 13th Barney Brown (Scotiabank); 14th Mark Reid (Santino’s, 5th “B”); 15th Vallan Symns (Megabytes); 16th Dean Belisle (Smart); 17th Kareem Flowers (Santino’s); 18th Gilroy Robinson (Santino’s); 19th Andrew Brown (Megabytes); 20th Kenny Gooding (FT Williams); 21st Arden Garay (BFSC – El Pescador); 22nd Ian Abraham (Smart); and 23rd Joe McKoy (Caribbean Tires). One rider did not finish.

    Attention: Belizean Americans
    We do not believe that the Republican Party nominee, Donald Trump, will be elected President of the United States in November this year, but the mere fact that a Trump presidency is even a possibility should become a kind of wake up call for Belizean Americans. The United States of America has been a godsend for Belizeans for about a century. In the early part of the twentieth century, dark-skinned British Hondurans tried to reach New York City and Chicago, slavery having been abolished by the U.S. following their civil war of 1861-1865. British Hondurans who could pass for white mostly headed for New Orleans, which was the first American port of call once you left Belize by sailing ship in the old days. The racist American quota system controlled the immigration into the U.S. from the black British Caribbean, and favored immigration from the Latin Central American republics. But Belize had a land bridge to the United States through Mexico, and once workingclass Belizeans reached the border between the U.S. and Mexico we could enter the United States posing as black Americans who had been partying in Mexico border cities. Constitutionally, British Honduras was black British Caribbean, but the land bridge to America through Mexico made us unique.

    From the Publisher
    I’ve asked a senior member of the newspaper’s staff to help me begin research into a sensational incident which took place on the Hummingbird Highway in early 1998. Through this medium, I am also now requesting that you readers help us in this research. Now that our neighbors in the west and south are forcing Belize to militarize our society and to become conscious of matters military on a daily basis, it seems to me that the Hummingbird Highway incident of 1998 may have seen Belize’s first military casualty/martyr in the framework of Guatemalan aggression. One Saturday morning, and I believe it was a holiday weekend of some kind, armed Guatemalan(?) bandits locked off a section of the Hummingbird Highway which they had chosen with strategic precision. Every vehicle which entered that section of the highway was held up and its occupants systematically robbed of money, jewelry, phones, and all valuables. (Cell phones already existed in Belize, though they were not as common as they are today.) The bandits, and they displayed a substantial amount of military training and discipline, controlled that area for an hour and a half to two hours, if I remember correctly. Everything coming south from the direction of Belmopan and moving north from the direction of Dangriga and Punta Gorda was gobbled up inside this militarily controlled piece of highway.

    ICJ, it’s not a simple Yes or No
    One of these days Belize and Guatemala may very well end up before the court. But, right now, tensions over the Guatemalan military’s recent aggressions and Guatemala’s propaganda war make it understandably difficult to support going to the ICJ at this juncture. Guatemala is not acting responsibly nor giving any indication whatsoever that it intends to respect an ICJ ruling that it may very well find to be unfavorable. Instead, it has been flexing its military muscle which is admittedly intimidating and more sophisticated compared to that of Belize and has been ramping up its belligerent rhetoric, painting Belize as the aggressor and brazenly making accusations of human rights violations against Belize. Most Belizeans believe that we have a strong case based on the 1859 Treaty that recognized British sovereignty over our territory. This is what makes the most recent Guatemalan encroachments and blatant disregard for international norms so infuriating and tiresome. An ICJ ruling in Belize’s favor based on this treaty would certainly be a welcomed endorsement and affirmation of the illegitimacy of Guatemala’s territorial claim. But, the court does not enforce its rulings. Therefore, Belizeans must be prepared themselves to defend and stand up in peaceful solidarity against Guatemala’s bullying. We cannot simply rely on a court ruling. It is therefore not illogical to celebrate the 1859 Treaty and point to it as evidence of the righteousness of patriotic Belizean activism, while refusing to expend limited resources, for what, at best, given the immediate set of circumstances, would be tantamount to another paper win.

    The betrayal of BAM
    It is sad, though not surprising, how the leaders of the ruling UDP have chosen to mark what is the thirtieth anniversary of the Heads of Agreement uprising and the political independence of Belize. Both events took place in 1981, the uprising in late March and early April, and our independence on September 21. The UDP have chosen to ignore the rebellion against the Heads of Agreement by the people of Belize, and concentrate everything on independence. This, to our mind, constitutes a betrayal of the Belize Action Movement (BAM). The BAM leaders were Odinga Lumumba, Wilfredo “Shubu” Brown, Rodwell Pinks, Kenworth Tillett, Sam Rhaburn, and Leroy Panting. The unlikely star of the uprising was a Belize Technical College student by the name of Soccorro Bobadilla. A few years ago, Soccorro disappeared on the way from Los Angeles through Texas to Belize by road, and she has not been heard from since. Lumumba, Brown and Pinks are deceased. Leroy Panting is in the United States. Kenworth Tillett is employed with the ruling UDP. Sam Rhaburn is an accountant who was elected a UDP area representative for Belize Rural North in 1984, and again in 1989. In 1991, he joined Hon. Philip Goldson’s NABR group, but soon returned to the UDP. Rhaburn was a Cabinet Minister in the 1984–1989 UDP administration.

    Sarstoon-Temash National Park subject to military incursions by GAF
    Spanning 41,000 acres in the south-eastern tip of Belize, the Sarstoon-Temash National Park was established in March 1994 under the hand of then Natural Resources Minister Eduardo “Dito” Juan, with the southern edge of the park running right along Belize’s international border with Guatemala. Amandala has been able to confirm from official sources, as well as the legislation itself, that the national park actually includes Sarstoon Island. There was one amendment to the law in 2000, when then Natural Resources Minister John Briceño, who is now the Opposition Leader, de-reserved about 40 acres between Boom Creek and Barranco, near the mouth of the Temash River. Briceño told us today that there was never any intention to exclude Sarstoon Island from the national park. The revelation is noteworthy in the face of Guatemala’s assertion that it would exercise sovereignty over the entire Sarstoon. In fact, we have recently reported that Belizean military, as well as conservationists working with the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, (SATIIM) have recently been blocked from entering the park. The Belize military was impeded by the Guatemalan military, but it was the BDF which reportedly stopped SATIIM.

    BNTU backed by BPP and PUP in Teachers’ Day protest
    The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) militantly marched through the streets of Belize City today. The usual festivities of Teachers’ Day were replaced by defiance and demonstration as hundreds of teachers, backed by the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) and the Opposition PUP, marched through the streets to express their objection to the government’s recently imposed “Sarstoon Law.” One of the main messages of the march was that the “Sarstoon Law,” which was passed to prevent the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) and other like-minded groups and individuals from their expeditions to the Sarstoon River, infringes on our right to freedom of movement in our own country and it has been one of the most controversial and unacceptable laws passed by the current Barrow administration. The prevailing sentiment among today’s protesters is that the Government of Belize should immediately rescind the “Sarstoon Law.” That sentiment was coherently expressed after protesters gathered at the BTL Park, where community activists such as Wil Maheia, Mose Hyde, Audrey Matura and other union leaders surgically slammed into the “Sarstoon Law” using numerous lines of reasoning and forceful rhetoric.

    The Reporter

    Belizean government ministers arrive in Taiwan for official presidential swearing-in ceremony
    Arriving in Taipei Taiwan on Wednesday were Belize’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, for the official swearing-in on Friday of Taiwan’s first female President, Tsai Ing-wen. The senior ministers were greeted by a Taiwanese delegation upon their disembarkation from the China Airways airbus and ushered to the VIP lounge for a private meeting. They are among several others government and diplomatic officials from 38 countries around the world who were invited by the Taiwanese government to witness the historic event. Journalists who were also invited to cover the swearing-in, started arriving on Wednesday and will remain for a series of official receptions and tours at various tourist destinations as part of a week-long itinerary.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fatal traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway claims 1 life
    A late traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway has claimed the life of 49 year-old Richard Orellana. The accident occurred on the outskirts of Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. According to information received, Orellana was on his way to Orange Walk […]

    DOE to hold cleanup campaign on Saturday
    A press release issued by the Department of the Environment (DOE) earlier today, invites the general public, as well as the media, to participate in this year’s “Walk for A Green Belize” cleanup. Last year’s cleanup was very successful, yielding a total of 16,541 […]

    Cabinet calls halt to Help for Progress refugee program
    Cabinet has recommended that NGO Help for Progress “cease and desist” from processing applications for refugee status considerations, and that such applications must be redirected to the newly formed Refugee Eligibility Committee. This follows a finding that the organization had and has no legal standing […]

    BTB monitoring Zika
    The Ministry of Health is conducting surveillance following the confirmation of the first case of Zika in the country. Other sectors are also monitoring the issue. Today the Belize Tourism Board issued a press release that educated more on the virus and what measures can […]

    Warm weather conditions continue
    Gusty southeasterly airflow will maintain mainly fair and warm weather the next couple days. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies during the day time and partly cloudy skies tonight with showers being generally isolated. Only a few showers can be […]

    Orlando Habet calls out government dictatorship
    A recent complaint from the duly elected Area Representative of Cayo North East, PUP’s Orlando Habet, brings to light many of the deficiencies of this authoritarian, winner takes all government that Belizean people have allowed to continue. Habet complains that he visited the Lands Department office in his area to […]

    Pair charged for illegal firearm, ammunition and vest in Dangriga
    At around 8:00 last night in the Monument Site area of Dangriga, police’s Special Branch Tactical Response Squad searched the residence of Anna Garcia and found several illegal items. Present during the search were Garcia, 32, and Angel Hernandez, 57, who were both charged […]

    Meso-American Reef System leadership program seeks new members
    If you have ideas for a “Blue Economy,” you can become a member of the 2016 class of Meso-American Reef Leadership Program. Co-sponsored by the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature, the program is seeking 12 to 14 persons from different sectors to address […]

    Blogs

    10 Resorts in Belize Where You are Most Likely to Mingle With the Rich & the Famous
    I am totally celebrity crazed. I check TMZ.com a few times a week, I love to read US Weekly on my Kindle and I really enjoy Keeping Up with The Kardashian. It’s my thing! Don’t judge! We know that Belize is a vacation hotspot. And in recent years, it’s becoming a hotspot for celebrities. During the Christmas and winter season, there were constant rumors of celebs on Ambergris Caye… It makes me crazy…in a good way. I LONG to be a representative of TMZ in Belize…sigh. What fun that would be. SO, if you want to stay at the spots in Belize that host the rich & the famous, here’s my handbook on those hot spots. AND the celebrities that I know have stayed there. I bet there are many many more that I do not know. Please let me know!!! AND, I am currently collecting funds that will buy a TURBO telescope to spy on Blackadore Caye (Leo’s island) once it is up and running I will also accidentally wash ashore there by stand up paddle board. But that’s not for a few more years. Until then…

    GRAND CARIBE BELIZE HONORS OUR MOTHERS!
    Our mothers at Grand Caribe Belize not only carry out their daily motherly duties, but they serve as providers as well to their homes. Our mothers are champions! They work tirelessly to assure that their professional jobs are done to the best of their abilities, and then go home to their children, husbands, and household to start their other full time job. Grand Caribe Belize, last Thursday honored the many mothers that make up our staff in the form of a luncheon. Complete with soothing music, our 26 mothers enjoyed a hearty meal of baked turkey, stewed chicken, rice & beans, stuffing, cranberry and potato salad. For dessert, our accountant and a mother herself, Ms. Anna provided some delicious cupcakes complete with caramel frosting and drizzled with colorful sprinkles. As the mothers dined, it provided for the perfect opportunity for chit chat while interacting in a rather casual manner as our gentlemen from maintenance catered to their needs.

    A Mural Tour in San Ignacio
    San Ignacio has always been a hub for tourists interested in exploring Western Belize, however, through the years, the town has gained a new appreciation for street art, which in its own right, should be a good reason to visit. Take, for example, the mural above that welcomes everyone to San Ignacio. This art is at the center of town and is part of the San Ignacio Police Station’s façade. Renowned local artist Pedro Cruz painted the Mural with assistance from his daughter, Chelsea. The mural pays tribute to San Ignacio by showcasing various historic depictions, Maya emblems, and Belizean wildlife. Next to the Police Station, on the historic Hawksworth Bridge, you can find a less conspicuous piece of art, which is actually my personal favorite. The toucan is the national bird of Belize and can be easily spotted throughout San Ignacio. If you don’t believe me, visit the San Ignacio Hotel or the Cahal Pech Maya Ruins, preferably during the mornings.

    Don’t Worry—Be Happy (and Healthy)—by Moving to Belize!
    Are you seeking a happier, healthier life? If your pursuit of both haven’t yielded the result you long for, we have your three-word solution: move to Belize. Residents come from all over North America–particularly areas that don’t offer much in the way of sun, affordability and lifestyle options. Can you live a happier, healthier life in Belize? It’s going to be up to you to provide the happy part, but you would have to work hard not to enjoy a healthier standard of living in this Caribbean paradise, and these incentives prove it: Even during the rainy season, the sun pops in and out, spreading myriad benefits in its wake. Sun combats Seasonal Affective Disorder, mood changes that leave one feeling blue even when life is terrific. Sun helps the body absorb vitamin D, benefitting your bones and energy levels. Just imagine the sunshine you will spread by donating your hats, coats, gloves and boots to charitable organizations.

    International Sourcesizz

    Maroon 5 Members Speak Out On Illegal Logging After Rainforest Trip
    Members of Maroon 5 and Guster, who traveled last year to the Guatemalan rain forest, are featured in a new documentary on illegal logging of the hard woods used to create musical instruments. The project also explores sustainable sources for wood. The 20-minute film, Instruments of Change: Lessons from the Rainforest, premieres tonight (May 17) at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

    Evergreen E-Pay Solutions Inc. sues Visa and three Belize banks owned by Lord Michael Ashcroft for billions in damages
    Florida-based Evergreen E-Pay Solutions charges it has incurred billions of dollars in damages in a newly filed federal lawsuit against Visa Inc., as well as three Belize banks in which UK businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft, recently implicated in the Panama Papers scandal, is a majority shareholder. Evergreen E-Pay Solutions, an e-commerce payment processing company headquartered in Palm Coast, is claiming it was improperly terminated by the banks under pressure from Visa, which was allowing the banks to process international transactions without proper licensing, while turning a blind eye to some 800,000 Visa sales transactions fraudulently miscoded by defendant banks, processed by Credomatic International Corp. through VisaNet and settled through a Miami correspondent bank. The lawsuit contains 21 damage claims, including deceptive and unfair trade practices, fraud, breach of contract, negligence, aiding and abetting, and business defamation. The lawsuit (1:16-cv-21695), filed in U.S. District Court in Miami, names defendants including: Visa, Inc., Visa International Service Association, Inc. Caribbean Investment Holdings LTD., BCB Holding, LTD, British Caribbean Bank International LTD, Belize Bank, LTD, Belize Bank international, LTD, Credomatic International Corp. and three bank officers.

    Venezuela's Collapse And The Risks For Emerging Markets
    Chavez's XXI Century Socialism has failed and (sadly) has Venezuela on the brink of one of the major humanitarian crisis in the region. There it goes another lost decade for a Latin American country. Between 2004 and 2008, Venezuela experienced an economic miracle. Its economy grew 10% on average every year, while GDP per capita expanded by 26%. Now Venezuela is going backwards. By 2018, the country will reach the GDP seen in 2005, but with a population 6 million (20% larger). GDP per capita will fall to 2000 levels by 2018, as if 18 years had never occurred for the economy. Recent events have shown how complicated the economic situation is. President Nicolas Maduro declared last week a 60-day state of emergency due to what he called plots from the opposition and the United States to topple his government: "Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela's fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil," Maduro said. Mobs have stolen flour, chicken and even underwear this week as looting increases across the nation where many basic products have run short and prices have gone up and are by far the highest in the region.

    THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING A CARIBBEAN JURISPRUDENCE
    Perhaps the most compelling argument for all Caribbean countries to accede to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is to establish and develop a Caribbean jurisprudence. The term jurisprudence has evolved over the years with varying meanings. In the present context, jurisprudence refers to the science of law which ascertains the principles upon which legal rules are to be determined and settles the manner in which new or doubtful rules should be treated. Whilst a number of laws are settled laws which are either established by constitutional provisions, legislation or by case decisions, there will always be new situations which will tax judicial discretion and reasoning to a maximum. In such situations, all the cultural and sociological experiences of judges will in fact have tremendous influences on their decisions. It seems therefore that Caribbean judges would be ideally suited to settle any new and doubtful Caribbean issue. At the present time a number of Caribbean countries, including Grenada, although participating in the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ, have yet to accede to its Appellate Jurisdiction and so enable the replacement of the Privy Council as their final court of appeal. As long as this situation remains, the growth of Caribbean jurisprudence will remain stultified to the detriment of Caribbean people. It is posited that the original concept of the Privy Council has become outmoded. Since the Norman conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 AD the King was recognized as the fountain of justice throughout the Dominions and exercised jurisdiction by way of his Council or “Curia Regis” which sat in an advisory capacity to the Crown.

    President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed that same-sex marriage be legalised in Mexico
    Following a progressive move in the country toward marriage equality. Mr Peña Nieto announced his proposal at a Tuesday event marking the national day against homophobia. After meeting with LGBTI groups, he said, the president said he signed initiatives that would secure marriage equality in the Mexican Constitution.

    Call for emergency meeting: Translated by Sarstoon Territorial Volunteers
    "Presidents and representatives of the Congress of El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize, have confirmed their presence in Managua on May 19 for an emergency meeting of the Forum of Presidents of Legislative Bodies of Central America and the Caribbean basin FOPREL, to seek a diplomatic solution to a border dispute between Guatemala and Belize.The Executive Secretary of this regional body, Santiago Rivas Leclair said Tuesday that the presence of these countries, there will be quorum to listen to the two Central American parties points and avoid any armed conflict.Leclair said to have faith in God that this meeting will reach an agreement, and that a message of peace is sent to executives and foreign ministers of Guatemala and Belize. "Both President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala, and Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow.He explained that Guatemala confirmed its presence by the president of Congress, Congressman Mario Taracena Belize and President of the House of Representatives, Michael Peyrefitte.For Nicaragua, President of the National Assembly, Rene Nunez Tellez engineer, will host and witness of the agreements that are reached in this extraordinary meeting of FOPREL number 18.On 5 May President Nunez Tellez, was visited by the head of FOPREL, deputy Mario Taracena Diaz and Executive Secretary of this regional organization, Dr. Santiago Rivas Leclair, to arrange the holding of this meeting in order to promote peace between Guatemala and Belize, both members of the forum."

    Videos

  • International Day Against Homophobia, 2min. Transphobia and Biphobia: Human Rights for all!

  • BELIZE, 4min.

  • MESSING AROUND WITH SHARKS in Belize 2016 - Holiday Vlog#1, 3.5min. A good friend and I went to Mexico early this year. After two nights in Tulum we had to move on to Dangriga (Belize) to take the boat heading for Glover´s Atoll. I had a Shark bite (1:20) but this little rascal got away ;-).

  • HelpAge Belize Pays Tribute to an Icon, 7min. Jane Usher has led an extraordinary and exemplary life. Over the years she has touched so many lives through her involvement in community affairs, politics and the credit union movement. Like her iconic brother, George Price, Miss Jane, has lived her life striking a balance between her beloved family of ten children with her work and at the same time always upholding Christian values. At the age of ninety-eight, she has travelled many roads and crossed many bridges, but it is her deep sense of service to others that motivates her existence. This past weekend, HelpAge Belize paid homage to the woman who is regarded as the oldest C.E.O. who still reports to work every day. For that occasion, Duane Moody and Rick Romero produced a documentary of her life and tonight we share highlights of her story.

  • Belize Audubon Society Activities 19, 4.5min.

  • Belize, Caye Caulker Jan 2016, 3.5min.

  • BUCEO EN BLUE HOLE BELIZE. DIVE IN BELIZE BLUE HOLE, 7min. DIVING IN BLUE HOLE.

  • Brooke Burke in Belize, 3min. Brooke swimming in Belize.

  • Diving in Belize, 2.5min. Ramon's Village Divers at Mermaid's Lair and Tres Cocos. April 24th, 2016. Music by Donna The Buffalo.

  • Belize Audubon Society Activities 20, 4.5min.

  • Blazing Saddles 2016 - Mexico and Belize, 4min. Cycling from Cancun to Quito.

  • AMBERGRIS BELIZE, 3.5min. BUCEO EN EN BELIZE DIVE IN BELIZE.

  • Shark and Ray Alley Belize, 4min. Nurse sharks and Atlantic stingrays in Caye Caulker.

  • Teachers rally with fury in Belize City, 6.5min.

    May 17, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    The Truck Stop’s Farm-tastic Market
    Farm fresh is definitely the way to go, and after a successful first-ever Farmers Market, The Truck Stop is doing it again. Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 21st, as all your favourite local vendors are coming to San Pedro once again to bring you the best of the best in produce, spices, plants and more. The upcoming event promises to bring even more unique products to the island! Scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 21st from noon to 2PM, the farmers Market is happening at The Truck Stop, located one mile north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. From fresh artisanal breads from Home Baked Breads to spices galore from Ricky’s Spice Shack, and even a variety of cheeses and cured meats from Belmopan’s Farm House Deli, you are sure to find it all at The Truck Stop’s Farmers Market.

    Belize Confirms First Case of Zika
    The Ministry of Health confirms the first Zika case documented in Belize. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has returned the results of samples sent to their laboratory from a heightened surveillance being carried out across the country. Of the samples sent to CARPHA thus far, one positive result was received last week.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Bilateral Talks to Commence on Sarstoon Protocol
    The Government of Belize announces that talks between Belize and Guatemala over a cooperation mechanism for the Sarstoon River, will take place on Saturday, May 21st 2016. The talks are to be held in Istanbul, Turkey where Belize Foreign Minister Hon. Wilfred Elrington will travel following his attendance at the Taipei inauguration ceremonies for the new President of Taiwan. For the talks, Minister Elrington will head a delegation that will include Ambassador H.E. Alexis Rosado. The Opposition People's United Party has been invited to name a representative to join the Belize delegation. Guatemala's delegation is expected to be led by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Raul Morales. The commitment of both Guatemala and Belize to find a way forward regarding the Sarstoon, was given to the Organization of American States (OAS) at the meeting convened between the two sides in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro.

    SPTC donates a golf cart to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II
    On Friday, May 13, 2016, The San Pedro Town Council donated a golf cart to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II. On site to receive the donation was Health Inspector for San Pedro Town, Mr. Harris Patten. Mr. Patten expressed that the golf cart will be of great use to him since he carries many inspections throughout the week, and this will help him out on his daily tasks.

    Belize Confirms First Case of Zika
    The Ministry of Health confirms the first Zika case documented in Belize. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has returned the results of samples sent to their laboratory from a heightened surveillance being carried out across the country. Of the samples sent to CARPHA thus far, one positive result was received last week. An immediate investigation was launched and several actions were simultaneously initiated to minimize and contain a potential outbreak. The investigation continues, and the Zika Plan is being followed in light of this case which is from Belize City. The patient is a Belizean national.

    VACANCY for Store Manager at Top Notch
    Seeking assistant manager

    San Pedro Water interruption 10am today til 2am Wednesday

    Global Big Day de eBird
    More than 220 bird observers in Central America collaborated last Saturday in the #GlobalBigDay de eBird, and more than 14,800 in the world. Here are a few photos from my Big Day effort, in Cayo District, Belize, where I logged 158 species and reported them in eBird.org.

    Crooked Tree Village - Cashew Festival 2016
    A weekend filled with village-bliss...

    Channel 7

    Alleged Guatemalan Military Officers, Come Into Belize and Detain Mennonite Farmer
    For weeks now we've been reporting on close encounters with the Guatemalan Armed Forces - mostly along Belize's southern border - the Sarstoon. But, out in the Cayo District, near the Green Hills Area, west of Spanish Lookout, there was a very scary encounter with men appearing to be Guatemalan soldiers working along with conservation NGO's from that country. They basically abducted Mennonite Farmer Roger Plett from the Belize side of the border, took him over the Guatemala and tied him up. The issue was a massive forest fire in the Peten area of Guatemala - which the Guatemalans said were caused by the Mennonite farmers on the Belize side. The Mennonites say they've got it wrong - and that they were only out there with a tractor and bulldozer trying to cut fire lines to keep the Guatemalan forest fire from coming over into their land. On Thursday afternoon, that led to a border showdown where it seems all rules of cross border engagement were broken. Today in Spanish Lookout, Roger Plett and his co-worker Manuel Ayala gave the breakdown:

    Guatemalan Gold Panners Detained Inside Chiquibul; BDF Shot One Of Them To Elbow
    And while that happened on Thursday inside Guatemala, this weekend in the Chiquibul, there was another confrontation with Guatemalan civilians which led to a shooting, a non-fatal one in this case. They were gold-panning in Belizean territory, which as viewers know, is illegal, and it led to a shooting. This time it was non-fatal - but once again, Belize and Guatemala completely disagree on whether the use of force was appropriate or not. Those 3 men were arrested and charged by Belize police, and they were arraigned today in San Ignacio. We'll get to that, but first, we start with the incident itself which led to the shooting. The official Belize version went out this weekend, 21 hours after this incident. According to the National Security Ministry on Friday evening, May 13, at around 7:45 p.m., a joint patrol, consisting of officers from the BDF, the Police, and rangers from the Friends for Conservation and Development, encountered 10 to 15 Guatemalans engaged in illegal gold mining. They were in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul, about 7.9 kilometers east of the Belize Guatemala Border, which meant that they were in Belizean territory.

    Talks In Turkey: There Will Be Sarstoon Negotiations
    So, will this weekend's Chiquibul shooting cause any difficulties for the negotiations between Belize and Guatemala? As you are aware, the Governments of both countries have been engaged in talks about a peace keeping protocol for the Sarstoon River. Well, tonight, we can finally report that there is meaningful progress. In a midday press release, Government announced that talks between both countries for a Sarstoon agreement will take place on this coming Saturday, May 21. They will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, where Elrington will be travelling, after he attends the Inauguration ceremonies for the new President of Taiwan. Ambassador Alexis Rosado, and who ever the Leader of the Opposition names as his representative, most likely Eamon Courtenay will represent him. Guatemala's Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, is expected to head his country's delegation. Today's release also stressed the commitment that both countries gave to the OAS Secretary General in the Washington meetings which happened 2 weeks ago May 4. That comment is to, quote, "find a way forward regarding the Sarstoon", end quote, which will "eliminate the military tension at the Sarstoon created by the maintenance of the respective positions of Belize and Guatemala regarding rights over the river…"

    ZIKA Confirmed in Belize
    Belize is officially NOT Zika free anymore: the Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of Zika. In a release it states "…Of the samples sent to CARPHA thus far, one positive result was received last week". This sample was taken from a Belize City woman who went to the KHMH with flu symptoms. She was released after the sample was taken. This evening when we spoke to Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero, he told us that they are not sure how the woman got Zika because she didn't travel anywhere recently or before she got sick so, they are trying to establish all the links in this case. Manzanero told us that there are no outbreaks in the city near to where the woman lives. He told us that the woman has left the country but that she and her family were notified about the results. Manzanero stresses that the Ministry will continue to do their community clean ups, their country wide heightened surveillance and their investigation into this first Zika case.

    Mayhem In Ladyville: Three Injured, One Dead, 20 Shots Fired
    One man is dead and 3 others are injured after a wild weekend shootout in Ladyville - where almost two dozen shots were fired. It happened early Saturday morning just after midnight. 23 year old Casey Lozano along with 3 others were hanging outside the Lozano family home when 3 gunmen appeared out of the bushed and opened fire on them. One of the men from the Lozano crew shot back and it's during that exchange of fire that one of the 3 attackers - 21 year old Lionel Rhamdas - was shot and killed. Courtney Weatherburne went to Ladyville and got the full overview of what led to this fatal shooting. The Japan area of Ladyville has become a danger zone after the well-known street figure Rene "Fat Cat" Chavarria was murdered in March. Chavarria was shot and killed on Friday March 18th. He was heading home when 2 men shot at him on Marage Road. He ran off but his attackers followed him and finished him off with 3 shots. Then, about 3 weeks after Chavarria's execution, 18 year old Merkel Pitts was murdered on that same Marage Road.

    11 Girls Escape Hostel, 8 Recaptured
    Right now police officers in the West are on high alert for 3 of 11 girls who escaped from the Youth Hostel yesterday. Throughout the day, Youth Hostel personnel and the police were able to find 8 of the girls so far. This evening 4 were found in Benque and another 4 were found in Belmopan. Today we spoke to the Deputy Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department over the phone and she explained how the girls escaped on Sunday evening. Maureen Williams, Dep. Dir., Community Rehab. Dept.: "My understanding of the whole situation is that the children were in their building. Usually at that time in the evening, they are in their building, they are getting ready to take their baths and getting ready for the night." Courtney Weatherburne: "This is what time?" Maureen Williams, Dep. Dir., Community Rehab. Dept.: "Shortly before 6pm, about 5:45pm. They had already eaten and they were getting ready to bed down essentially for the night. For some reason the door was unlocked and they left. My understanding is that they were around the compound, 3 of them went over the fence and the rest of them went through the gate. That is my understanding. The gate was unlock. It wasn't open, but it was unlock and you are right, that is against protocols. Because for us the gate should have been locked, but for whatever reason that did not happened."

    Police Constable Remanded For Molesting Eight Year Old
    Tonight, 21 year-old Police Constable Darren Martinez, attached to Police Precinct 1 in Belize City, is at the Belize Central Prison. That's after he was taken to the Magistrates Court for an allegation of sexual molestation on an 8 year-old child. The allegation dates back to February 21, 2016, and the parents and the 8 year-old female victim reported to police that Martinez fondled her. After investigating the charge, police arrested and charge Martinez with the newly created offence of sexual assault of a child under the age of 16. When Martinez was arraigned before Magistrate Deborah Rogers, the prosecutor objected to bail. He argued that although the offence does not fall under the Criminal Justice Act which is an auto-remand, these sort of offences have become prevalent and it is of a serious nature. Martinez's attorney, Oswald Twist, responded by submitting that bail is a right, and not a privilege of the accused. He added that Martinez is not a flight risk, and that he is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Alleged Cop Shooters To Court
    Last week Southside Commander Chester Williams came under fire as he pursued a pickup truck involved in a city shooting. It was a daring decision and it almost cost ACP Williams his life. Fortunately the gunman missed him and police still caught the vehicle, a black Mazda pickup. Today the three men who were found inside that vehicle- 23 year old Devon Sankey, 21 year old Justin Hyde, and 44 year old Larry Wright- were all taken to court and read charges of use of deadly means of harm. That was for the shooting of Mark Vernon which is the shooting Williams was responding to. The fourth individual 19 year old Zacharia Knox, who allegedly shot at Commander Williams, did not appear in court today, however he is also expected to be charged jointly with the other three men for deadly means of harm. Knox is also expected to be charged separately for the attempted murder of Chester Williams.

    Fuss Over Fiestarama Figures In Orange Walk
    The annual Orange Walk Fiesta Rama is one of the biggest events in the North. For 2 days straight the streets of Orange Walk are flooded with hundreds of people who partake in the event. This year's Firestarama is still in its planning stage, but even now, two months before the actual date, trouble already seems to be brewing. Late last week, the Mayor of Orange Walk made an impassioned facebook post criticizing the Sports Council for wanting to charge them a fee of $3,000 dollars for use of the People's stadium- the venue for the annual fiesta rama. Today we asked the Director of the National Sports Council Ritchel Dominguez about it: Ritchel Dominguez, Director - Sports Council: "What happen is that we have a little problem there, because what happen is that after the fair was done the rides are stayed there for almost 2 weeks and they have been used every night and that's more currant being incurred. But what happened at this time we will be inviting the mayor to come on board and speak to me and see where we can come to an agreement. After the fair is done that the rides can leave because if they stay another 2 weeks, that's more electricity being incur on the sports council bill and they walk away from the fair and leave the rides there and then we are the one in task in paying the bills after they are gone. I think it's just fair that if you are going to use the place and have these expenses after they are gone, it's just fitting for them to foot the bills for these things."

    Music Week Makes Sense
    Today, NICH along with the office of the Music Ambassador declared Music Week open. The idea is that from May 16th to May 22nd, Belizean artists will be promoted through various means. The week's schedule is packed with live performances and open music business seminars which will be facilitated by Beltraide. The launch of Music week 2016 was done at the lounge of the Bliss Centre this morning and we stopped by to find out more: According to Barrow, the vice president of Def Jam records will also be in the country on Thursday to scout musical talent in Belize. The event this week was also used as a springboard for the biggest musical events in the country; that is the National Song Competition and the Belize Jazz Festival which are set for August.

    Quarrel Over Wife Leads To Ice Pick Stabbing
    A man was stabbed with an ice pick at a bar in Ladyville. Early Saturday morning around 1:38, 30 year old Brandon Stevens was hanging out at Ruba's Bar when he got into an altercation with 25 year old Steven Young. Court details say that Brandon Stevens reported to police that he went to the bar and saw his common-law wife with 4 men. He said that he asked her for the house key, that's when Young reportedly remarked that some men don't know how to treat their women. Young then allegedly grabbed an ice pick and stabbed Stevens in the chest - puncturing his lungs. Fortunately he survived and is receiving treatment at the hospital. Police told us today how they chased and detained Young after he ran off from the scene. ASP Juanito Cocom, OC - Ladyville Police: "Investigation reveals that Stevens was socializing at Ruba's Bar when he got into an altercation with one Steven Young, a twenty-five year old unemployed of Allan Pitts Crescent. During the altercation, Young stabbed Stevens to the chest with an ice pick and fled the scene onboard a white Ford Ranger pickup which was later intercepted by another team from the Ladyville police station. The scene was visited and processed, Steven Young was detained and the suspected weapon was recovered. We don't have any motive. We only were made to understand that they had a misunderstanding, but we don't know what the misunderstanding was over."

    Toledo Alcalde's Vs. Lisel Alamilla
    Last week, we told you how the Toledo Alcalde's Association complained about the DPP's Office for multiples adjournments of the criminal case against the Santa Cruz 13, now the Santa Cruz 11. Well tonight, they're complaining about Lisel Alamilla, the government appointed Chair of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission. The Maya Land Rights Commission is the body set up by the Government to implement the CCJ judgment on communal land rights for the 39 Mayan villages in the south. Commission Chair Lisel Alamilla was scheduled to meet with representatives of 9 of the villages today along with a member of the Maya Steering Committee. Now, according to the TAA this steering committee is made up of 21 persons who were chosen through a democratic process to represent all the villages in negotiations with the Government.

    Does Shyne Still Have Hopes For Mesop?
    Shyne Barrow wants to go from rapper to representative and in November, 2015 he declared his intentions to become his uncle Michael Finnegan's successor in Mesop. That's after rumors began to surface that the 6 term Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan would be retiring. But when we asked Finnegan again in April, he told us not to count him out just yet. So now where does that leave political hopeful Shyne Barrow? Today we asked him just that. Emanuel Pech: "You have in a way risk your movement in Mesopotamia due to the fact that he is indecisive." Shyne Barrow: "Not at all. I'm in the division a few times a week and I hold a clinic along with my uncle every Thursday at the Mesopotamia office. There is no need to call you the media in every week and every time I go to a house. Certainly my responsibility to the music industry has taken up a lot of my time and that's what you see me talking about."

    CODICADER Coming Closer, Where's The Cash To Cover Costs?
    The CODICADER games, which will be held in Belize this year, are just around the corner. The games are scheduled for July 6th to the 12th. Meanwhile the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports are still hosting primary school competitions to decide which schools will be participating in each of the 4 disciplines. Today we got an update from Director of the National Sports Council Ritchel Dominguez: According to the National Sports Council the projected budget to host the event in Belize is a whopping $800 thousand dollars. Government has committed to make a contribution, but no final figure has been mentioned. But, it won't be 800 grand, and that's why the National Sports Council is asking the business community to pitch in and make this event a success.

    Hon. Wilfred Working On The Ground
    If you live in or near Mahogany Street, which is on the border between the Lake Independence and Pickstock Constituencies, you'll know very well about the Samuel Haynes Institute for Excellence. It's a combination of a second chance opportunity, wrapped inside an after-school program which allows school children to take additional classes and get help with their homework. Well this weekend, the institute got a major upgrade. It came in the form of the Leigh Richardson Knowledge Center, a newly built extension of the Samuel Haynes facility, which is equipped top-of-the-line computers. It's is funded by the Japanese Government, and the Social Investment Fund. They opened it this weekend when Non-Resident Japanese Ambassador was in Belize. We attended the ceremony this weekend, and spoke with Pickstock Area Representative Wilfred Elrington:

    Channel 5

    Mennonite Farmer Detained, Kidnapped and Held by the Guatemalan Military
    There is an incredible story coming out of the borderland between Belize and Guatemala behind Spanish Lookout. It involves allegations of kidnapping, assault and damage to property. Last Thursday, Mennonite [...]

    A Fire on George Plett’s Farm Triggered Kidnapping of Mennonite Farmer
    We break from Plett’s mesmerizing account of his kidnapping to take you on the ground for some real time perspective. As we told you, the Plett farm lies on the [...]

    Why Didn’t Police Believe Plett’s Story?
    There’s plenty more to this story, including how Plett managed to make his way back, and also the matter of his bulldozer operator who was also detained by Guatemalans and [...]

    O.A.S. says No Guatemalan Military was in the Area
    Over the weekend News Five was able to reach a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via phone. He told us that they had been able to verify with [...]

    3 Guatemalan Gold Panners are Caught in the Chiquibul by the B.D.F.
    There’s another incident that happened late last week. A trio of Guatemalans panning for gold inside the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve has been arrested and charged [...]

    Belize and Guatemala Foreign Ministers to Meet in Istanbul, Turkey
    Finally, talks between Belize and Guatemala are to take place all the way in Istanbul, Turkey. Government announced today that protocols for the Sarstoon will be discussed at the Istanbul [...]

    O.A.S. and Guatemala Foreign Minister on Tour over the Weekend
    Over the weekend, several photos of at least three events were posted on the official Twitter and Facebook accounts of the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Guatemalan military.  The [...]

    Lionel Rhamdas Killed During Shootout in Ladyville
    In the past two months, four persons have been killed in Ladyville, Belize District in gun violence that is attributed to ongoing gang rivalry.  On Saturday night, Lionel Rhamdas was [...]

    Several Resident Girls Escape from the Youth Hostel
    In other news…the Princess Royal Youth Hostel is once again making headlines, following a daring breakout by eleven young ladies from the facility on Sunday evening.  The institution is still [...]

    Zika is Finally Confirmed in Belize
    The first case of Zika has been confirmed in Belize and health officials are tonight trying to locate its origin.  The results of samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health [...]

    Man Stabbed to the Chest in Lord’s Bank
    But there was also a stabbing in the Lord’s Bank community also in Ladyville, where thirty-year-old Brandon Stevens was stabbed to the chest following an altercation at a bar in [...]

    Cop Remanded for Sexual Assault of an 8 Year-Old Girl
    A police officer is in trouble with the law tonight, facing a minimum of twelve years to life imprisonment if found guilty of the act of a sexual assault upon [...]

    3 Arraigned for Shooting in the City
    Three of four persons are in custody tonight for a shoot-out last Thursday night in the City. The intended target was Mark Vernon, a city resident. But it led to [...]

    Nurturing 21st Century Teachers Moving Forward
    On the heels of a successful march last Friday as part of their campaign “Stand Up for Belize,” primary school teachers returned to Belize City today and were joined by [...]

    An Update on Teachers Without Pedagogical Training
    In early February, the Ministry of Education announced that upwards of a thousand teachers stand to lose their jobs in the coming academic year should they not obtain the requisite [...]

    A Foiled Meeting of Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission
    There’s friction tonight between the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, led by Chairlady Lisel Alamilla and the Toledo Alcalde Association. For perspective we start with a meeting on Saturday between [...]

    The Leigh Richardson Knowledge Center is Officially Opened
    “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty”—that’s the mission of a project funded through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Social Investment Fund Program and a grant from the [...]

    The Official Launch of Belize Music Week
    At the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts this morning, Belize Music Week was officially launched. Musicians from throughout the country are taking part in a series of activities to [...]

    Sports: Smart Belize Hurricanes Win 2016 NEBL Championship
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   it was money time Friday night inside the BES Gym as the 2-time defending champions San Pedro Tiger Sharks [...]

    CTV3

    Three Guatemalans Detained For Illicit Gold Mining Inside Belize Territory
    Tensions between Belize and Guatemala continue to flare following an incident that occurred late on Friday evening where one Guatemalan national was shot in the arm. The government of Belize was the first to issue a statement on the matter on Friday, and according to their report three Guatemalan men were detained by a joint patrol comprised of officers from the Belize Defense Force, the Police Department, and Friends for Conservation and Development, after being caught in the Chiquibul conducting illicit gold mining operations in the Ceibo Chico area. Reports indicate that the incident played out at around 7:45 in the evening when the group of about 10 – 15 Guatemalan nationals were caught approximately five miles east of the border. The three men detained were identified as 23 year old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez, 17 year old Edin Alexander Garcia and 21 year old Solomon Martinez Pasqual.

    Minister Of Foreign Affairs Ask Local Media To Refrain From Sensationalizing The Story
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington was briefed about the incident in the Ceibo Chico Area on Saturday and during an interview with our colleagues at 7 news, he assured Belizeans that the International Community will learn about Belize’s version of the events, Minister Elrington also took the opportunity to again ask the local media to refrain from sensationalizing the story. Honorable Wilfred Elrington – Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “My experience is it doesn’t matter what you say to the Press, they tend to make it as negative as possible, can’t figure it out, I find the same criticism is made in the United States Press people seems to disregard the need for truth and honesty and they going to sensationalism so I never know but I am told that a Press Release is being sent out.” Reporter: “Aren’t you afraid about the Guatemalans would see it as some kind of escalation, we know that there have been perverse interpretations given to many events?”

    Traffic Accidents Leaves Orange Walkeno Injured
    Yesterday we received reports about a traffic accident that occurred at about 1:30 in the afternoon on Palmar Road in Orange Walk Town. Unconfirmed reports to CTV3 News indicate that the driver of this vehicle, allegedly a woman, was texting on her phone when she found herself on the wrong side of the road and collided into a motorcycle travelling in the opposite direction. Luckily the driver of the motorcycle only sustained minor injuries. But apparently the driver of the car was frightened out of her wits since she allegedly fled the scene leaving the vehicle behind. We are told that the victim was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where he received treatment. When we contacted Superintendent Selvin Tillett of the Orange Walk Police Formation earlier today, he told us that the victim requested no court action; therefore, no charges will be levied against anyone.

    Helpage Celebrates Mothers and Father's Day Program For Edlerly
    Yesterday the Zenobia Meggs Help Age Center, in partnership with the Orange Walk Central Committee, hosted their yearly Mother’s Day Program at the Help Age Center located on Stadium Street. The event began at midday and included a lunch for the elderly which was followed by a number of presentations from high school students each prepared especially for mom. Arcelia Leiva – Head of the Zenobia Meggs Help Age Center: “Today we are celebrating mother and fathers on the occasion of mothers and father’s day, we host about a hundred persons to each activity that we have but we do give service to about a hundred and sixty six persons because some whom we had served who used to come to our activities they are sick and they can no longer can attend our activities but we still keep them in our programs and we give them visits.”

    Carmelita Government School Celebrates Drug Awareness Week
    Carmelita Government School is celebrating their first Drug Awareness Week under the theme “Drugs are rough, drugs are tough, by saying no, that’s enough”. The event kicked off today and is being celebrated with the intention of raising drug awareness and to educate students about the detrimental effects that come along with drug consumption. With a torch run that began here in town at 8:00 in the morning in front of the National Drug Abuse Control Council office located on Main Street the institution official began their fight against drugs.

    Guatemalan Archbishop Sends Message To Jimmy Morales's Government
    Here in Belize as well as Guatemala, the Territorial Dispute that come along with the incursions at the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and the aggression lived at the Sarstoon continues to make headlines. But while there are those across the Western Border that believe that Guatemala has a right to claim portions of Belize, others think differently as in the case of Guatemalan Archbishop Oscar Vian. The Guatemalan newspaper, Prensa Libre, today issued a report where Archbishop Vian speaks out about the Belize/ Guatemala territorial dispute saying that it should have been resolved over 40 years ago and that it is now only being used to divert attention from the daily problems that Guatemala faces. Here is that report.

    OAS Visits Adjacency Zone
    A news release published on Saturday by Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed that it’s Foreign Minister Carlos Raúl Morales, as well as their Minister of Defense; Williams Mansilla conducted visits to the over 36 Guatemalan communities that lie near their side of the adjacency zone along with the Organization of American States in a mission aimed at smoothing over the dispute sparked by the killing of the 13-year-old Julio Alvarado last month. According to the report the delegation was accompanied by Magdalena Talamás, the special representative of the OAS Secretary General for Belize – Guatemala issues; the director of the OAS Adjacency Zone Office, Sergio Benítez; and the presidents of the Commissions of Foreign Affairs and Petén Issues, Julio López Villatoro and Jaime Regalado, and the objective of the visit was to learn the situation of the residents and to evaluate the production projects coordinated by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the OAS with the help of the international community.

    First Case Of ZIKA Registered Confirmed In Belize City
    The first case of Zika for Belize has been confirmed. As viewers may recall, we informed you on April 26th that the results for three suspected cases of the zika virus were sent back to the Ministry of Health from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) which all returned as negative. The Ministry of Health then sent an additional seven samples to CARPHA for testing in which six of the seven had also tested negative. And while we all thought that Belize would remain free from the virus, the case is not so for tonight we can tell you that only moments ago, the Ministry of Health announced its first confirmed case of the zika virus in Belize City. As soon as the results were returned, an immediate investigation was conducted and several measures were taken in an effort to reduce and control any potential outbreak of the virus throughout the rest of the country.

    PlusTV

    Several shootings in Belize City; ACP Chester Williams shot at
    There was a shooting incident in Belize City on Thursday night. 20 year old Aaron Garbutt Jr., a mechanic of Belize City was shot to the right upper thigh and finger. According to police, sometime around 5p.m. on May 12, 2016, Garbutt and another male person were standing at the corner of King and ...

    Update on Belizeans detained by Guatemalans
    Last night in our newscast, information was still sketchy but we told you about a Mennonite farmer who was detained by Guatemalan military near Green Hills behind Spanish Lookout area. Today, we have more information on the incident. It was not only one farmer who was detained, but two Belizeans who...

    John Briceno attacks BTL compensation award
    The Government of Belize has more or less confirmed the final payment to be made to the former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) for the two nationalizations of the company between 2009 and 2011, subject to a final ruling by the Netherlands’ Permanent Court of International Arbitration. As ...

    No case file means no case against two accused murderers
    The men accused of the murder of Michael Welch and attempted murder of Kingsley Morrison on March 1, 2015 are free tonight after prosecutors could not produce the case file in the Magistrate’s Court. Tarique Gillett and Lyson James Cacho spent a year on remand but appearing today before Magis...

    Fine of $5,000 imposed upon Boyd Lopez – no compensation ordered
    20 year old Boyd Lopez is lucky to be home and not behind bars after he was sentenced today for the February 18, 2015 fatal traffic accident that took the life of 70 year old Senior Citizen, Marie Knowles. Knowles was walking on the side walk on Baghdad Street when Boyd, who had no licence to drive...

    Man who slit wife’s throat pleads guilty to manslaughter
    53 year old Ermit Bradley, who killed his 54 year old wife Nirba at her workplace in July of 2008, pleaded guilty to manslaughter today and will serve a further five years in prison. The incident occurred on July 4, 2008 at Espat Poultry, located in Santa Elena, Cayo. When Bradley went to her work p...

    Akeem Humes beats yet another murder rap
    26 year old Akeem Humes is free tonight after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions elected not to continue a murder case against him. Humes, who was accused of killing neighbour Orlando Williams, 45, on New Years’ night 2013, had a motion for nolle prosequi entered in his favour by Crow...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Stabbing reported in Ladyville
    Lords’ Bank resident Steven Young was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. He was remanded into custody until July 29. Brandon Stevens reported to the police that he went to the […]

    Females run away from Youth Hostel
    Six female teenagers, residents of the “Youth Hostel” at Mile 21, George Price Highway, are reported missing tonight by their caretakers. Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster tells us they got the report around three hours after the escape happened. We are told that the […]

    Harmonyville residents told to pay for their land – or else!
    We haven’t heard much from the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) since they settled their dispute with Government last year over the ill-fated corn planting scheme in the road reserve along the George Price Highway at Harmonyville. But there is some news from the […]

    Six women charged for robbery
    A pregnant woman and 5 other females, including a 15 year old minor attending high school appeared today charged with two counts of robbery and harm upon another woman over the weekend in Belize City. Sasha Richards told police that on Sunday, May 15, 2016, […]

    Ministry of Health confirms the first Zika case in Belize
    The Ministry of Health has confirmed that a sample testing positive for Zika returned to Belize from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) last week. It is the first confirmed case in the country. “The Zika Plan is being followed in light of this case which […]

    Trio charged for drug trafficking
    Kesha Dunn, 28; Kenneth Dunn, 35, and John Dunn, 35, all of the same Belmopan address, were arrested and charged for ‘drug trafficking’ on Friday night. While conducting a search at their residence around 10:00 p.m., officers found a black plastic bag containing 255 […]

    Man chopped in attempted burglary
    A farmer of Camalote Village in the Cayo District, 36-year-old Eddie Fuentes, reported to police that while he was at home around 3:00 a.m. on Friday, three Hispanic males entered his home by forcing open his front door. Fuentes identified one of the men […]

    $15,000 car burned in San Pedro
    San Pedro Police are investigating a case of arson on the island that cost 29-year-old Wendy Lineth Carpio, damages of $15,000 to her blue, 4-door Ford car. Carpio says she was sleeping inside her San Marcos area home when she was awoken by her […]

    One murdered and three wounded in weekend shooting
    Police are looking for two Ladyville men, Egbert Baldwin, 28, and Darwin Pardo, 19, who are wanted for questioning in connection to a Saturday morning shooting in which Lionel Rhamdas, 21, one of the gunmen, was killed in crossfire. Around 12:10 a.m., four male […]

    Belizean tourism professionals to represent Belize in Taiwan expo
    Traveling to the Taipei International Tourism Expo next weekend on behalf of Belize are Karen Pike, the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB); and Ian Anderson, proprietor of Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in southern Cayo. From May 20-23, 2016, Pike […]

    US Payment Processor Sues Visa, Belize Banks
    In international court news, the Belize Supreme Court ruled last year that Belize Bank Limited must pay Evergreen E-Pay Solutions over $3.3 million for abruptly ending the agreement where Evergreen provided online payment services and e-commerce merchant referral program. As of April, the award […]

    Ladyville resident’s vehicle broken into, items stolen
    Ladyville resident, Abraham Teck, 41, reported to police that sometime between the hours of 9:45 and 11:00 on Friday night, his Chevy Equinox vehicle was broken into and items were stolen from inside. Teck told officers that while parked in front of a restaurant […]

    Teenager arrested and charged for shooting at ACP Chester Williams
    In reference to a report by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams on Thursday of last week, 19-year-old Zachroy Knox of Belize City was arrested and charged on Saturday for the crime of ‘aggravated assault’. The report made by Williams, stated that while in […]

    Blogs

    The Pine Industry of Belize
    After chicle, the next timber industry which was important to Belize was the pine (Pinus caribaea) industry. Pine wood was used locally as posts for the telephone system in Belize City in 1902 and an industry was being contemplated as early as 1903. Around this time, only limited extraction was being done at locations like Sapodilla Lagoon, Mullins River, Duck Run and the Stann Creek Valley where a small sawmill was located. Hoping to create new opportunities, government granted an extraction concession to the Buckner Chipley Company of Florida in 1904 but only limited expansion of the industry occurred. Greater use was developed when the Stann Creek Railway began to use pine as sleepers in 1907. Besides pine lumber, pine trees were also used to produce rosin by the Hercules Company of Mango Creek. A company called Minter Naval Stores based in San Ignacio was also producing turpentine in the Mountain Pine Ridge in the 1960s. These efforts only lasted for a brief period. Along with the companies that attempted to produce chemical products from pine, a notable Middle Eastern (Lebanese Belizean) entrepreneur who extracted pine from the Mountain Pine Ridge (M.P.R.) was Mr. Wahib Habet. Habet constructed a large sawmill at San Luis in the M.P.R. and processed pine, mahogany and cedar lumber. A few years after independence, three new companies started making use of the pine resource at the M.P.R. Around 1986, Joe Badi Mena started the Wood Depot and Escandar Bedran started Pine Lumber Company. Alger Bradley’s Toucan Match Factory also entered the business of producing match splints around this time. The Wood Depot began producing utility poles and lumber while Pine Lumber Company specialized in outdoor furniture, moulding, pet houses and fence posts. The Wood Depot and Pine Lumber Company were strongly affected when a nationwide infestation of the Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) occurred between 1999 and 2003. The Pine Beetle affected 80% of the trees, killing hundreds of acres of pure stands of pine.

    Starting Reef Week with a Splash
    Our alarm rang way earlier than usual this morning! The plan was to cover the start of Reef Week by tagging along on one of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Boats following the courageous few willing to swim to the reef to raise awareness on the importance of Belize’s Barrier Reef. Only a handful of swimmers waited when we arrived, but little by little more and more joined the cause and as I saw the crowd growing and gear being prepared I clumsily whispered “I wanna swim!” I was immediately offered a mask and fins without the slightest concern that I am in no shape to swim that distance let alone with a group of athletes. What was I thinking? Before I knew it I had fins and a mask and was running up to the end of the dock to catch up with the swimmers. I was the last one in the water, but I splashed in just in time to see the last couple fins swimming away into the distance. And so, I kicked my little feet as fast as I could to catch up with the crowd or at least keep them where I could see them. I could not use my arms to swim because I was carrying my photo gear and believe me, that did not help my situation! Still, I was doing this for a cause and that cause pushed my little feet to their full potential.

    We Struck Liquid Gold
    Every time the The Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch does another blood drive we never know what to expect and this one was no exception. We also look at how to do better for next time and our new Blood Drive Department head Heidi Simmons did a great job of getting the team to do just that. Together with the help of Belize Blood Services, several rock-star quality volunteers and our Chairman Eiden Salazar, we enjoyed great success this past Saturday. Some of our volunteers welcomed people into the clinic, others called out to them on the street and the community opened it’s hearts and wallets and generously. We received a record total of $1,208.62 in donations, as well as a sturdy 13 pints of crimson colored life saving gold which is enough to save 39 lives – yay team. The blood drive was held from 9-3 at the San Carlos Medical Clinic. The Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch would like to thank Dr. Giovanni Solorzano for welcoming us again, to Tropic Air for safely transporting the our dedicated Blood Bank employees and their precious cargo, to Projects Abroad for providing volunteers, to Marbucks for the sweet treats, to Green House for fresh fruit, to Marks Store for the foil pan to put it in, to Estelle’s for a delicious lunch for the 4 Blood Bank Crew, to Grant Bill Guy for internet promotion, to The San Pedro Sun for its consistent coverage and a rare blood type on their staff, to Ambergris Today for helping get the word out.

    Visiting Belize: Top Reasons To Visit!
    Now that we’ve helped you figure out where Belize is, we’re here to answer another question; Why you should come to Belize. There are many “types” of travel that could be employed when coming to Belize, from Luxury style travel to budget backpacker style. regardless of your style of getting to, from, and around, there are a wealth of reasons for why you should come to Belize: With a population density of about 15 people per square mile, the vast majority of Belize’s wilderness remains relatively undisturbed. Coupled in with the nature of the population, robust focus on environmental preservation by the country’s government has created expansive areas of pristine rainforest where rare and endangered animals live and thrive. Many of the islands that bracket the outer shallows of the Belizean coastal zones also remain unexplored and uninhabited allowing for marine life to flourish and diversify with little or no threat to the species making their little lives there. With a lower population density comes a lower number of vehicles to be owned, and less traffic, even in our most densely populated of cities, of which the highest is little over 50,000 people smog is not a thing. The general populace of Belize is actually unaware of the existence of this phenomena, and those of us familiar, be it through travel or television, quickly forget that it happens in other countries. The lofty breezes of Belize frequently bring the smell of not carbon emissions, but damp earth, fragrant trees, all manner of clean smells that can in some places only be found far away from civilization right to your bedroom window every morning.

    The Museum of Belize
    Built more than 150 years ago by the British colonial government to house prisoners, the facility in central Belize City was closed down by the newly-independent government of Belize in 1992. Ten years later, the government of Belize renovated the building, converting it to the Belize Museum, now dedicated to exhibiting and documenting more than 3,000 years of history in the area. Belize was once the heartland of the ancient Mayan Empire and today, visitors can see a rich assembly of Mayan ceremonial objects, carvings, paintings, and other cultural artifacts in the Belize Museum. The museum also has a number of important artifacts from the British colonial era, including Victorian-era stamps, postcards and a display about the loggers who once braved malaria and swamps in the country. There are also coin, insects, and locally-produced bottles on display. A tour of the museum also includes the chance to experience an authentic prison cell, as well as learn about the devastation that Hurricane Hattie wreaked on the nation in 1961. The museum is located in Belize City just a few hundred meters from the coastline near the intersection of Queen and Eve Streets. The museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Tuesday through Thursday and 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. The museum is closed on Monday and on national holidays. The museum is located in downtown Belize City in the Fort George area. While it has no official address, the large brick building, still resembling a prison from the outside, is easy to spot near the intersection of Queen and Eve Streets.

    International Sourcesizz

    Mass die off of Mangroves follows the disastrous bleaching event of the Great Barrier Reef
    Mangroves are coastal tropical forests that thrive in the brackish zone between the land and sea. This zone is made up of uniquely adapted, saltwater tolerant trees and shrubs. They provide essential support to healthy marine ecosystems by trapping sediments and providing nutrients to nearby coastal sea grass beds and coral reefs. In Australia, which is home to 7 % of the worlds mangroves, researchers believe that warming waters may be the reason for a massive die off of large areas of mangroves, specifically the Grey Mangrove, in Queensland and the Northern Territory. Mangroves take in 50 times more carbon than tropical forests by area. Hundreds of miles of mangroves along the coast of Karumba have turned a ghostly white. This event is being compared to the horrific coral bleaching event taking place on the Great Barrier Reef. Professor Norm Duke from Queensland's James Cook University, a mangrove ecologist, recently stated that the die off appears to have coincided with hot water in the nearby southern Gulf Country ecosystem. "I'm speaking ahead of the evidence so I have to be really cautious, but I do want to draw attention to this because we need more capability to respond and find out more about what's going on." He raised serious concerns about the situation which he compared to coral bleaching happening on the Great Barrier Reef, which is the result of warmer ocean temperatures. "We don't have any firm data on the ground to confirm the full magnitude of what's going on. "We're getting indications from what we can see on satellite imagery and also from people like fishermen, local residents, miners who are working in the area, that there's this massive incident of die-back of a large area along our shorelines.''

    A Food Writer's Sampling of Belize's Food
    I learned the hard way that Belize is not where you go if you want to practice your Spanish. This was the first of many revelations about the small, Caribbean-adjacent country, about which I embarrassingly knew next to nothing prior to visiting – including the fact that the national language is English. It turns out Belize is rich with a diverse cultural identity (Caribbean, Latin American, Mayan, etc), much of which comes through the food. Local ingredients are used ubiquitously, and almost nothing goes through any kind of processing, characterizing Belizean cuisine as fresh, local, and undeniably appetizing. Here’s a collection of my favorite dishes from a recent three-week exploration through Belize, a country that is so much more than its beaches.

    Another shooting incident at Belize-Guatemala border
    Tensions over the disputed border between Guatemala and Belize increased over the weekend following a new shooting incident. Belize said one of its patrols had to shoot and wound a Guatemalan man who threatened them with a machete after he was found with other Guatemalans who were surprised by a patrol five miles inside Belizean territory illegally prospecting for gold. A Belizean government statement issued on Saturday said a 23-year-old man in the group “advanced towards a member of the patrol in an aggressive manner with a machete.” It said the officer fired a warning shot that was ignored, then “in self-defence” fired another that wounded the Guatemalan in the left arm. Three Guatemalans, including the wounded man, were arrested.

    Caribbean islands warned as Venezuela collapses
    The mayor of Chacao in Venezuela’s capital Caracas has warned that Caribbean islands and Colombia may suffer an influx of refugees from Venezuela if food shortages continue in the country. Español Ramón Muchacho said that people have been reduced to hunting cats, dogs and pigeons for food. “As hunger deepens, we could see more Venezuelans fleeing by land or sea to an island,” Muchacho said. Venezuela saw a new wave of looting last week that resulted in at least two deaths, countless wounded, and millions of dollars in losses and damages, as desperation sets in among hungry residents and the country appears to be on the verge of complete collapse and chaos.

    Guatemalan government on patrol
    Images posted Saturday on the Guatemalan military's Facebook page show Guatemalan minister of foreign affairs Carlos Raul Morales and the Guatemalan minister of defense patrolling the sarstoon river.

    Videos

  • Scalloped hammerhead, 1min. One of our divers (Jeff) took this while on a dive with us last week.

  • Shark Ray Alley - Belize, 3min. Diving and Snorkeling in Shark Ray Alley, Belize.

  • Caye Caulker Belize, 5min.

  • Teacher Almendarez MC Stand Up for Belize May 13, 2016, 3min. Master of Ceremonies Mr. Almedarez does an interesting introduction at the Stand Up For Belize rally.

  • The coconut man and coconut leo from belize, 4min. The coconut Manna and coconut Leo from Belize making me and my wife rum and coconut mixed drinks on the beach in ambergris Caye

  • Diving at Roberts Grove, Placencia Belize, 2016, 5.5min.

  • Howler monkey howls, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize, 1/2min. We heard howler monkeys hooting and hollering as we drove east along the main road just outside of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • Belize Mission Trip 2016, 2.5min.

  • Penelope’s World - Caribbean Adventure, 5.5min. When Penelope was three years old, she took a cruise to the Caribbean. Now she's six, and back for another exciting adventure. She'll fly like a bird in Roatan, venture into the underworld in Belize, and learn all about the ancient Mayans in Costa Maya. Come along for the ride in this episode of Penelope's World!

  • Belize Full Circle Project, 13min. My students talking about themselves, their lives, and the Belizean culture to show to my class in the States!

  • Drone footage From the Cashew Fest in Crooked Tree Belize, 2.5min. See more drone footage and other sights and sounds from the fest soon on Morning Matters each weekday morning.

  • The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize - Yalifu Music Video, 7.5min. 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 speaks with famed musician Aurelio Martinez about his time recording Garifuna Soul and the inspiration behind the song Yalifu.

  • Belize River in San Ignacio - Phantom Drone Footage, 5.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 2.5min. short video of Belize and its amazing attractions.

  • SCUBA Belize - Ep1 - Certification, 24min. This video is about SCUBA diving in Belize.

  • DIVE. AMBERGRIS CAYE ISLAND, BELIZE, 3min. BUCEO EN BELIZE , DIVE IN BELIZE.

  • belize spotted drum, 1/2min. Belize Live aboard diving - Spotted drum fish.

  • ESL-RLC Belize 2015 - 2016, 4min.

  • Belize Diaries, 12.5min.

    May 16, 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

    Congratulations to Team Amigos!
    Winners of the San Pedro Class A/B 8-Ball Pool Tournament!

    Wolfe’s Woofer: The Arms of Another Woman
    “Hey, Mr. Dennis. Can you help me out?” “Sure, Pascal,” I said. “I’ll help you if I can.” “I do a lot of things with the Lion’s Club. Back home in my village I am the president of the chapter. Mother’s Day is coming up and it’s a really big deal where I live. I usually only speak to forty or fifty people at the Lion’s Club but on Mother’s Day all eight hundred people in the village will be there. I need some help with my speech.” “How can I help you?” “I need a joke for Mother’s Day but I can’t remember jokes and I tell them really bad. You got any Mother’s Day jokes?”

    Police Report: Possession of Controlled Drugs
    On Saturday, May 7th about 4:45PM, San Pedro Police along with the K-9 Dog Unit conducted a search of an apartment room occupied by 26-year-old Jordan Alston Bacchus, Canadian national living in the San Pablo Area. A search of a garbage bin that was close to the kitchen locker led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing some green vegetable substance suspected to be Cannabis wrapped inside a white plastic bag. The suspected drug amounted to 17.1 grams, which was immediately shown to Bacchus. He was formally arrested and charged for Possession of Controlled Drugs.

    Letter to the Editor: San Pedro Business Community
    Dear Editor, Several key members of the business community recently held a meeting at the Lion’s Den sometime around mid-April with respect to the attempt of the Town Council enforcing new traffic rules. It was agreed at that time that a letter should be sent from an attorney on our behalf. Please find attached to this email the copy of letter sent to the Mayor on April 25th. In the true spirit of professionalism and open dialogue, the lead group agreed not to send copies to the media. However to our dismay and disappointment we have yet to receive any response from the Mayor or town council. This of course we consider offensive and irresponsible for the council not to have responded. In your article of last week, the general perception given is that one company has been isolated as “ignoring” the rules and another group of companies being “mischievous” in opposing the said rules. Henceforth, we are forwarding you a copy of the letter and we kindly request that you publish in its entirety so as to demonstrate that we have extended our hand to work along with the proposed new initiative by making sound recommendations that obviously seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

    Doctor Love: Memories and Lil Sis
    Dear Doctor Love, I dated and then lived with a very romantic guy for five years. We split over something that could have been easily fixed but didn’t. We both went on with our lives. I got married and had two children. After seven years I have been thinking about him so much that I finally contacted him on Facebook. He answered me and told me he got married six months ago. What can I do to get over him? /s/ Memories

    Ambergris Today

    Three Guatemalans Detained for Illegal Activities in Chiquibul Reserve
    d after being caught in the Chiquibul area during the weekend. The release stated that a joint patrol comprised of officers from the Belize Defence Force, the Police Department, and Friends for Conservation and Development encountered a group of 10 - 15 individuals engaged in what appeared to be illicit gold mining operations in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. This encounter took place around 7:45p.m. Friday, May 13, 2016 approximately 7.9 kilometers east of the border. The Belizean patrol detained three Guatemalan nationals: 23-year-old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez, 17-year-old Edin Alexander Escobar Garcia, and 21-year-old Solomon Martinez Pasqual. The patrol reported that Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez advanced towards a member of the patrol in an aggressive manner with a machete and the officer fired a warning shot in the air but Hernandez continued to advance. The officer then fired a second shot in self-defense and wounded Hernandez in his left upper arm.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Cayo Cancer Walk 2016
    The 2016 Cayo Cancer Walk was Saturday, and the Cancer Society of Belmopan got some great pictures of the event. "Cancer Walk 2016. We Can, I Can. Thanks for all the support!!!!!!"

    REMEMBERING LUKE PALACIO: GARIFUNA BELIZEAN STATESMAN!
    My most esteemed brother, and a Lion of Belize's South, Leonides Sanchez, relayed the sad news to me a week ago that brother Luke Palacio of Dangriga, Belize had passed away. It was through Brother Leo that yours truly had come to meet some of the most astute Garinagu Belizeans like Brother Luke Palacio of Dangriga, during our gang intervention tour that we organized in March of 2013. An outstanding Belizean artist and Garifuna patriot, Luke Palacio departed to Belizean Legends one of the most interesting side of the politics of Belize's culture capital, Dangriga. It was through his lens that yours truly was able to get a better view of how Belizean politics is played out through the most culturally distinct peoples of Belize, the Garinagu. This was new for me, until brother Luke Palacio laid it all out, in an exclusive interview that will be aired soon right on here on Belizean Legends.

    BREDAA & 31 YEARS OF RESISTANCE FOR BELIZE IN THE DIASPORA!
    In commemorating thirty-one years of struggle and resistance for Belize in the diaspora, the Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance (BREDAA), that was formed and organized in 1986, sends solidarity to the Belizean people at home and abroad in standing up against all forms of oppression, aggression, and colonization of the people of Belize. In the advent of this intensified Guatemalan military oligarchy aggression and annexation of the Belize Sarstoon River and Island in the southern district of Belize called Toledo, BREDAA has committed itself as a grassroots Belizean organization in the Belizean diaspora to continue this struggle for the freedom and justice for Belize and Belizeans.

    Belize Birders
    Birded yesterday and have not submitted yet to eBird? We are short of 7 birds to hit 300 species, and still among the top 20 Birding nations in the world!

    The Belize booth at the 2016 ETI; International Tourism Expo [ETI] 2016
    The premier event dedicated to further growing the entire Caribbean region and beyond. Over four days, all stakeholders with interest in growing and selling Caribbean tourism will unite in Puerto Rico for a unique global business event. It's where the world meets ALL of the Caribbean. ETI 2016 is tailored to attract over 700 of the leading travel advisors and wholesalers from around the world who are actively selling Caribbean vacations, and connect them to a diverse cross-section of over 145 Caribbean destinations and suppliers.

    Crooked Tree Village - Cashew Festival 2016
    A weekend fill of village-bliss...

    The Reporter

    BNTU to GOB: “Rescind the Sarstoon SI!”
    Marching to songs like Tanya Carter’s “I Am Belize”, Lord Laro’s “Tell Guatemala Leave Belize Alone” and the Public Officers’ Song “Solidarity Forever”, and chanting to their slogan, “Teachers Gat Yoh Back”, more than 1,000 teachers moved from the Constitution to BTL Parks in Belize City on Friday. They were protesting the government’s Sarstoon Statutory Instrument (SI), which expires in two weeks’ time. But the teachers, led by the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), felt there was an urgent need to send a message to the government that they want the law rescinded. At a rally at BTL Park, President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), Marvin Mora said the law is an insult to Belizeans’ integrity. “Our government should have asked Guatemala, “Which actions of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) do you find “provocative” that your military had to kidnap our people?” He said teachers should teach the children that this country was never occupied by Guatemala.

    Taiwan makes first disbursement of funds toward sheep and goat project
    The Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat project has received its first disbursement of US $155,628.80 from the Taiwanese government. This past week, Taiwanese Ambassador Benjamin Ho presented Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega with the cheque, in his capacity as Minister of Agriculture. The money will be used to cover expenses on house maintenance, to purchase materials and equipment, for stock breeding, and the procurement of paddock seed, fertilizers, and chemicals. The project aims to improve and develop the genetic blood lines of both the sheep and goat livestock through natural breeding and the artificial insemination programs. Belize and Taiwan signed the “Genetic Improvement for Sheep and Goat Breeding Belize-Taiwan” project on December 2, 2015. It is a three-year project with a total budget of around US $1.62 million, of which Belize will contribute US $0.35 million and Taiwan will finance US $1.27 million. The overal objective of the project is to improve and develop the National Small Ruminant Center at Central Farm, and introduce and renew quality breeding stocks.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Guatemala accuses Belizean Mennonites of illegal logging
    Belizean Mennonites are being accused of illegal logging in Guatemala along the adjacency zone in an article published today in the Guatemalan newspaper, La Prensa Libre. The logs were burned this weekend said Ronald Segura, managing director of the Effort Association (Asociación El Esfuerzo) […]

    Scotiabank builds new home for senior citizen
    The staff of Scotia Bank partnered with Hand in Hand Ministries to build a new home this weekend for a Belize City resident and senior citizen, located at 6500 North Creek Road. Recipient 76 year old Louise Henry is among the many persons in Belize […]

    Guatemala accuses Belize over Ceibo Chico arrest
    Belize was first to get out its version of Friday night’s incident in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul, but Guatemala has hit back. According to the BBC, Guatemala disputes the necessity of Belize’s military having to shoot one of their citizens, and […]

    Blogs

    New Exciting Business: Belize Food Tours in San Pedro
    Now THIS Is a great idea. FOOD WALKING TOURS in downtown San Pedro presented by Belize Food Tours. In my mind, there are a few fantastic things going on: 1. Walking around the town is the way to see it. The people, the fun signs, the small businesses, you get the feel of the charm of San Pedro. Sometimes lost in the traffic and the hustle and bustle… Paletas in San Pedro, Belize from soursop to melon2. Street food and restaurant food ROCKS in San Pedro. From the lady selling golden plums with pepper and salt on a corner to pupusas to the tortilla factory to the free rum cream tastings…you need to walk around to see and taste it all. Pantirippa Sign at Rum, Cigar & Coffee House - Belize Food Tours Maybe even strange looking “shilling candies” that are half sweet and half spicy. All that being said, I know very little about this new company other then they have a GREAT marketing push. A website in the works, a Facebook page and Instagram account. They have eluded my direct questioning…like: who are you? They know how to build hype! And yesterday, I received a package, dropped off for me at Lily’s on the beach. An amazing invitation packed with delicious goodies.

    See You at the Farmer’s Market?
    It’s one of the best ideas anybody has come up for a long time on Ambergris Caye. Who would have thought a Farmer’s Market would be so successful and bring together some great businesses and locals to introduce their products to the community. Ian Anderson from Cayo was the merchant with the largest supply, bringing in hundreds of pounds of cheeses, cured and smoked meats, organic fruits and vegetables, fermented drinks and even pickles. His Farmhouse Deli in Belmopan is a big hit with organic produce, popular meats and cheeses. At the Farmer’s Market he sold out about 80 loaves of bread that included rye, molasses and honey. Local bread maker Sue Blair of ‘Home Baked Bread-and More’ sold out 35 loaves of breads in under an hour!! Then there was Ricky’s Spice Shack with HUNDREDS of locally made spices and the Belize Chocolate Company with great chocolate treats made from locally produced cacao chocolate. San Pedro’s first attempt at organizing a Farmer’s Market on Ambergris Caye was a huge success. What better way to bring together locals that have a unique product, get to know more people in your local community and take home some great produce and goodies.

    Here’s to living a trashy life in San Pedro, Belize
    There are so many great things to do here on Ambergris Caye and I don’t think picking up other people’s trash is high up on anyone’s list. And yet, many of us do find ourselves doing exactly that from time to time. I’ve written so often about the First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick-up group that you might think that’s all I do. Truth is, I am quite fond of this bunch. They are neighbors and friends and island visitors who willingly give up some time to make the first stretch north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge look nice, for a day or two. It doesn’t last but we keep coming out swinging . . . swinging out trash sticks and garbage bags. This group also includes the wonderful people (mostly you, my dear readers) who have donated gloves, bags, trash pickup sticks and cash to our cause. You can’t always be here but every volunteer who is spared an aching back thanks you profusely! And now there is another civic-minded group which thanks you: the Phoenix Resort’s Saturday morning beach clean-up crew.

    Pool Project: Week Nine
    Week nine is a wrap and we are 99% complete. The crew is coming by tomorrow to finish up some things, which I'll get to in a moment. But it took quite a bit of work from the crew last week to get it to this point. For starters, they had to finish the steps leading up to the pool. Here they are in their almost finished state. White paint has since been put on the risers, which really makes the tile pop. In the very near future, we will be installing a grab bar from the column to someplace on the wall below the screen. And speaking of screens, you might remember that the week before last the crew built the frames. Last week was spent stapling the screening to the frames. Now the thing about the type of screen we chose to use is that it really needs to be stretched a lot to avoid wrinkles and sagging. As a result, the frames were bowed from the tension. It took some time on David's part to come up with a way for the guys to affix the frames without damaging them or the concrete. With the use of a jack, all got fitted in.

    International Sourcesizz

    Guatemala/Belize conflict erupts following another border killing
    Guatemala slammed Belize for using “excessive force” and rejected the account of the Guatemalan man attempting to attack an armed patrol with a machete. The incident occurred late Friday, just hours after a team from the Organization of American States visited a different part of the border to examine the area where a 13-year-old Guatemalan boy was killed by another Belizean patrol on April 20. The OAS is trying to mediate a crisis that blew up over the boy's death, bringing to the fore a 150-year-old dispute between the Central American countries over the border. Guatemala has made claims over more than half of Belize's territory dating back to when its small neighbor was a British colony known as British Honduras.

    Belize banks named in US federal law suit
    A Florida e-commerce payment processing company filed a law suit in US federal court in Miami on Friday, alleging that credit card giant Visa allowed banks in Belize to process international transactions without proper licensing. The allegations include fraud, breach of contract, negligence, business defamation and conversion. Lord Michael Ashcroft, one of Britain's wealthiest businessmen and a former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, controls the banks in question, according to the 21-count complaint. Ashcroft owns Caribbean Investment Holdings, formerly known as BCB Holdings Ltd, which controls Belize Bank Ltd, Belize Bank International Ltd and British Caribbean Bank International Ltd. Belize Bank is the largest bank in Belize, with over BZ$999 million (US$498 million) in assets (2015). The three banks provided Visa credit and debit card processing services, processing up to 800,000 online purchases made by cardholders who were internet customers of Evergreen E-Pay Solutions Inc.'s international merchants.

    Videos

  • Belize and Guatemala, 5min.

  • Belize, Jan 2016, 6.5min.

  • Turneffe Atoll, Belize Reef Dive, 17min.

  • Belize Fish Eating Grapefruit, 2015, 2.5min. The fish in this river were nibbling my legs to heck so i gave them some of the grapefruit i was eating, and it turns out.... little belizean fish love grapefruit!!!!

  • Collared Peccary - Belize 2015, 1min. A very sweet peccary i met in belize.

  • Goffs Caye in Belize, 5.5min.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize | Swimming with Sharks, 3min. Caye Caulker is a tiny (5 miles by less than 1 mile) island off the second largest barrier reef in the world. Swimming with sharks was unbelizeable!!

  • Belize Trip 2016 Part 1!, 6min. Went on a vacay to Belize for Spring Break!

  • MARINE LIFE HIGHLIGHTS DIVING THE AQUARIUM BELIZE, 3min. May 2016

  • Izzie's story, 4min. Izzie, a young Geoffroy's spider monkey, arrived at Wildtracks dehydrated and in shock, shotgun pellets in her body, a badly broken arm, a dislocated tail and fingers...This is her story.

  • Varsha, Belize Audubon Society, 18min. Communications exercise in Cancun, March 2016 - what sort of work does Belize Audubon Society do?

  • Laura Tucker Longsworth, President Belize Cancer Society, 1.5min. Laura Tucker Longsworth, President Belize Cancer Society at PAHO Women's Cancers Meeting in Miami May 2016.

  • Zipline, River Tubing and ATVs with Butts Up in Belize, 5min.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize - April 2016, 4.5min. This is a cut from my trip to Belize in April, 2016

  • Belize 2016, 9min. Ridgewood Church's 2016 Belize Mission trip. April 29-May 5. The main project was to rebuild the roof of Medina Bank Baptist church.

  • Belize Mccleskey, 12min.

  • Vision Ministries of America - Dedication of San Antonio, Belize Church, 4min.

    May 15, 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

    UB gets over half a million grant to study acid seas effect on Belize Barrier Reef
    The University of Belize (UB) is the recipient of a grant of $560,435.93 from the International Atomic Agency’s Technical Cooperation Program (IAEA-TCP), which will be used to study how the acid in the sea is impacting the marine ecosystem of Belize’s Meso-American Barrier Reef. The official announcement of the grant was made on Friday, April 22nd. The funds will assist in the purchasing of laboratory instruments and the training of personnel to measure and monitor marine pollution. The studies will focus particularly in the high acidity levels produced by acid rain running off into the sea. Even though the tests will first be conducted in different areas of the southern part of the Barrier Reef, the impact of these studies are expected to have a positive result on the entire reef system. According to the experts, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is in need of total preservation and has been neglected for some time. The upcoming planned tests are aimed to continue its preservation. According to a local environmental organization on the island, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, such studies will eventually have a positive result, enhancing the health of the reef, especially on the portion in front of Ambergris Caye. Hol Chan looks forward to joining UB wherever necessary in an effort to increase the quality of these tests that are being done on the local marine ecosystems.

    Letter to the Editor: B&B responds to The San Pedro Sun
    Last week, the San Pedro Sun ran an article criticizing Bowen & Bowen for failing to abide by the rules of a pilot project, initiated by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), restricting downtown delivery trucks to the hours of 2am to 7am. Since the article did not include any comments from B&B representatives but just conjecture about our motivations, we would like to set the record straight about a few things. As noted in the Sun article, B&B was one of few companies who supported this project, and we made the necessary changes to restructure our delivery routes to obey the new rules; changes which increased workload, took extra time, required additional people, and cost more money. We know that traffic congestion is an increasing problem in San Pedro. It is a problem that impacts our customers, both the stores that stock our products and the consumers who purchase them. So, although the rules created a new burden both for our drivers and the businesses we deliver to, we obliged.

    Arcadia University to provide a variety of volunteer services in San Pedro
    In some corners of the campus of Arcadia University in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, the conversation is all about Belize. That’s because a group of academic students have “adopted” San Pedro and are currently using their substantial resources to design ways they hope to improve life on the island. Lara Goldman, island resident and owner of Romantic Travel Belize, 12 Belize and an alumni of Arcadia, reached out to her Alma Mater in hopes of drawing attention to Belize. Arcadia has never had a ‘host-a-country’ approach, and Goldman thinks Ambergris Caye is the perfect place to start. “Arcadia is the number one school for international studies, and they bring to the table a tremendous amount of experience. They are ready to come in with cultural sensitivity and understanding. Now we are looking to set up long-term, sustainable and impactful educational opportunities for San Pedranos and people living in San Pedro,” said Goldman.

    Solani Graniel to represent Belize in International Pageant
    The beautiful Solani Graniel has been selected to represent Belize in the “Miss Caribbean International Roots Pageant”. Graniel was contacted and given the opportunity to participate in the international pageant taking place from June 21 to the 26 in Colombia, South America. Graniel is definitely not a stranger when it comes pageants, but this is her first international pageant. She currently holds the title of “San Pedro Lions Queen 2016-2017”, and previously, she was Miss San Pedro 2013-14. Beyond the glitz and the glam, she is routinely preparing to perfect her physique, poise, speech, and runway walk. Her main focus at the moment is a diet and exercise regimen to be in top shape, physically and mentally, for the big day. The pageant was initially only for Colombia, but they have now invited other contestants from other Caribbean countries, which adds a cultural aspect to the event. Graniel feels honored to be representing San Pedro, and is thrilled to travel. “I look forward to visiting Colombia for the first time, and meeting new people. I’m excited to see what is going to happen in the end,” said Graniel.

    Imagine San Pedro without Tourism
    As tourism continues to grow into a major income producing industry in Belize, San Pedro Town also retains the title of Belize’s leading destination. In the past, La Isla Bonita has been recognized as a top island destination, as awarded by TripAdvisor, but recent issues involving traffic congestion, poor hospitality, soliciting, and trash has led to ongoing complaints from tourists. The San Pedro Sun met with Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who also expressed his concern about effectively preserving tourism. Guerrero indicated that the general population should be more mindful of their actions, and how their negative behavior can affect tourism. Tourism contributes greatly to our economy, and in return, the further development of our community. According to the statistics shared by the Belize Tourism Board’s Central American Quality and Sustainability Integrated System (SICCS) consultation, Belize sees 360,000 overnight visitors a year. World-wide tourism generates 10% of the Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and is responsible for one out of eleven jobs globally. The reality is that tourism plays a vital role when it comes to employment on Ambergris Caye. A good portion of San Pedro is comprised of people who migrated from other parts of Belize or Central America to seek better opportunities. The tourism industry affects the economy-from the hoteliers to the person cutting the lawns.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Oral History Workshop
    Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project is seeking volunteers who have a strong interest in Belizean History to participate in an Oral History Workshop to be held on four consecutive Saturdays during the months June and July, 2016. The purpose of the workshop is to equip participants with essential knowledge and skills of oral history. It shall focus on building the capacity of the participants to produce short 10-minute Oral History Video Documentaries based on people who have knowledge about Downtown Belize City’s historic past. The completed video documentaries shall contribute to the training resource for tour guides, republications of local books, shared on Television, Radio and the Project’s Website and Facebook pages. If you believe you have a strong interest in Belizean History and want to contribute to building on our historic information, our Oral History Workshop might be just for you. History teachers, Junior College and Tertiary level students are encouraged to express their interest to participate by sending an email to mtca.project@gmail.com or call 615-9557 for further information.

    CONSERVATION CAMP 2016
    The Belize Zoo will once again be accepting young Belizeans join our Education team as we explore Belize's natural wonders through our week long conservation camp. This will be the 23rd year of "Zoo Camp." Special guest presentations, field trips, scientific studies and role play are just a few of the many activities planned this year. The goal of Camp, as always, is to foster conservation-minded attitudes in the next generation of stewards of our natural heritage. June 27th to July 1st are the dates this year, so, parents, start applying! Campers must be 12-17 years of age, and come prepared for 4 nights and 5 days of activities. More info and registration forms can be requested from education@belizezoo.org, or outreach@belizezoo.org, or call the Zoo at 822-8000.

    ACES Team at Lamanai Landings Marina
    Miguel Melendez of ACES gives additional training to the team at Lamanai Landings Marina to microchip freshwater Morelet's in the New River near the city of Orange Walk.

    Belize Chef Leads the Charge for Sustainable Seafood
    Chef Jennie Staines has pioneered the use of sustainable seafood in Belize’s dining scene. She’s the head chef at Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, the country’s largest island and a major tourist destination. In addition to carrying on a family business that started in her childhood home, Staines has been a tireless advocate for reforming fishing-related laws and education in Belize. We recently spoke with the chef about her sustainable crab claw project, the best way to cook invasive lionfish and why she cares about buying and serving responsible seafood. My earliest memory of cooking is working with my mom, Elvi, making tamales. She used to make tamales and bake bread. She would sell her food to about 30 houses and a few other little places. San Pedro started as a small fishing village. We had the first hotel in the 70s, and from there the island has been growing bigger ever since. But I think San Pedro has grown in a good way — it has grown gracefully. It has become a place where people come to find job opportunities and to start families. In other parts of Belize, it’s a struggle.

    Three Guatemalans Detained for Illegal Activities in the Chiquibul
    A joint patrol comprised of officers from the Belize Defence Force, the Police Department, and Friends for Conservation and Development encountered a group of 10 - 15 individuals engaged in what appeared to be illicit gold mining operations in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. This encounter took place around 7:45 pm yesterday, 13th May, 2016 approximately 7.9 kilometers east of the border. The Belizean patrol detained three Guatemalan nationals: 23-year-old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez, 17-year-old Edin Alexander Escobar Garcia, and 21-year-old Solomon Martinez Pasqual. The patrol reported that Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez advanced towards a member of the patrol in an aggressive manner with a machete and the officer fired a warning shot in the air but Hernandez continued to advance. The officer then fired a second shot in self-defense and wounded Hernandez in his left upper arm.

    Caye Caulker Police Business Community Meeting
    May 19th, Community Center

    Hurricanes win Basketball championship

    Wildfire Assemblage Art Exhibit
    Wildfire is launching their next art exhibit on Sunday, May 15th, at 5:00pm. It's entitled Assemblage, and will feature 5 artists. Wine, chocolate, and music make a great opening. "AT LAST ... A NEW ART EXHIBIT! Hope to see you there..."

    Amandala

    BNTU marches against “Sarstoon Law!”
    Tomorrow, the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) will be boldly marching through the streets of Belize City to protest against a recently passed Statutory Instrument that prohibits Belizeans from venturing to Belize’s Sarstoon River border, popularly dubbed the “Sarstoon Law.” According to Elena Smith, Senator for Unions and Civil Society, who spoke with us tonight, they are anticipating a turnout of 2,000 teachers who will convene at 9:00 a.m. at Constitution Park on Cemetery Road and then march over to the BTL Park. The Opposition People’s United Party has made public its indication to march shoulder to shoulder with the BNTU tomorrow. Smith told Amandala that while they appreciate the support of the Opposition, “We don’t want them to come out wearing any political T-shirts saying PUP or UDP or anything of that sort. We want them to be out there as Belizeans.”

    A young mother’s worst nightmare
    The heartbroken and grieving family of Vanessa Sanchez, 19, who delivered her firstborn child at the Punta Gorda Hospital on Sunday morning, May 8, 2016, is calling for an independent investigation into the tragic death of her newborn. Santos Sanchez, Vanessa’s father, believes that the story of how the baby died does not add up, and he suggests there is a cover-up. For his part, Sanchez thinks that the baby’s death was “unnecessary” and he wants to know if anyone will be held accountable. As we go to press tonight, Vanessa, who was released from the hospital yesterday, hours before her baby was laid to rest by relatives in Boom Creek, Toledo, is now at the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga. Her brother, Israel, told us that the family had to take her back to the hospital today, because she was discharged from the Punta Gorda hospital Wednesday morning with a fever that still did not subside. Her relatives are still trying to cope with the tragedy. Santos Sanchez told Amandala that his daughter went to all her medical appointments, especially when the time drew near to have her baby, who was in good health prior to his birth.

    Con man ripped off 71-year-old woman of $11,000
    A 71-year-old woman of San Estevan was swindled out of $11,000 by a con – man posing as a lands agent who claimed that he could get her two land titles for parcels, which she held leases in the village of Progresso. After collecting a total of $11,000 from the senior citizen, the fake lands agent disappeared, and to date, the woman has not seen or heard from the con – man, nor has she received the titles for the parcels of land. The woman told police that between November 2015 and January 2016, she made 8 payments to the fake land agent, totaling $11,000. The last payment was made to him on January 18. Police are looking for the imposter.

    The GAF: bullies of the Sarstoon
    The latest military-to-military incident on the southern border between Belize and Guatemala occurred on the Sarstoon River on Tuesday, May 3, when Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) intercepted and blocked a Belize Defence Force (BDF) boat that was on its way to Cadenas. This week, video footage of the incident went viral on social media and resulted in limited official comment. On that same day when the GAF intercepted the BDF boat, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference, but failed to update the country on the disturbing encounter on the river, over which Guatemala has been asserting its sovereignty while the Belize Government has been steadfast in its diplomatic quest for a “protocol” for the use of the river – “protocol” being the word the Guatemalans use, which is a thin veneer for their demand that Belizeans, military and civilians alike, respect the fact that they “own” the Sarstoon River and Island, and so we must ask them for permission to traverse the area, which is, in fact, Belizean territory. By Thursday, the Prime Minister was briefing the country on the progress of the bilateral talks in Washington, but again, the PM failed to give any disclosure of the incident between the BDF and the GAF.

    US Capital gets contract extension—did Toledo Maya acquiesce?
    There are questions being raised in concerned quarters tonight over the legality of three petroleum contract extensions granted by the Government of Belize between October 2015 and March 2016—one of them being given only two months ago to US Capital Energy, which had gotten its original contract in 2001 (15 years ago) to explore for oil over lands occupied by the Toledo Maya. The US Capital contract was originally issued four years before Belize declared its first commercial oil find. Indications are that had government negotiated new contracts with the oil companies, which they are free to do, better terms could have been acquired. Of note is that under the law, a company gets only 8 years to explore for oil, and if it finds nothing, it should pack up and go home. US Capital has, however, been given the green-light to continue exploration in an area where the Government has said that great oil potential exists. It has been adamant in the face of opposition from the Toledo Maya. However, last year, the Toledo Maya won a groundbreaking land rights case at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), after challenging the Government’s decision to issue those concessions without their free, prior and informed consent.

    PUP wants the Supreme Court to declare Sarstoon Prohibition SI unconstitutional
    On Friday, April 29, the day before the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) were scheduled to go to the Sarstoon River in celebration of the anniversary of the signing of the 1859 Anglo-Guatemalan border treaty, the government announced that Prime Minister Barrow had consulted with the Governor General and passed into law Statutory Instrument (SI) 42 of 2016, restricting Belizeans from visiting the Sarstoon River. The government’s “Sarstoon Prohibition,” as it was later described, was met with widespread criticism, and several prominent attorneys have expressed the view that the law is definitely unconstitutional, because it conflicts with the provision of the Belize Constitution, which guarantees freedom of movement. The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) as a result held a National Party Council meeting on Saturday and approved a resolution from the PUP National Executive to mount a legal challenge to the Sarstoon River SI. The Opposition took matters a step further today when its leader, Hon. John Briceño, filed court papers challenging the constitutionality of the SI.

    Cricket Corner – Teams getting hot!
    Hello to all cricket fans and lovers of sports! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association and the kind sponsors of this year’s competition, Belikin and Smart, the Harrison Parks 2016 Cricket Competition continued over the weekend. As the regular season is nearing its end, players are making sure their teams reach the playoff spot. There are teams already out of such position, but are still going on for the love of the game. Over the weekend, there was much fun some winning teams had with their opponents. For example, Berlan, who is at 2nd place in Zone Two, played against Brave Union; Berlan took to bat first, and at the fall of the last wicket, they scored 301 runs. Kenton Young top scored with 121 runs, while Shane Young, playing for Brave Union, took 4 Berlan stumps. Brave Union went to bat with the strong hope of beating that score. (All things are possible, but not this time.) Well, although Dennis Tillett tried his best to take down Brave Union as low as possible by taking 4 stumps, with the strong batting of Jason Revers, who scored 52 runs, Brave Union went down, but placed on the scoreboard 184 solid runs. That was a good fight, boys. You all had the heart of an iguana. The saying goes like this: After a man has done his best, not even the angels can do better.

    Tennis News – Strong & Weak Doubles Tournament in Belmopan
    The newly refurbished Belmopan Tennis Courts were buzzing this past Saturday with lots of tennis, as the Belize Tennis Association, in collaboration with the Belmopan Tennis Club, held a Tennis Mixer (strong and weak) doubles tournament. Some twenty eight (28) players (fourteen doubles teams) played round-robin style. The top four teams who made the finals after the round robin were Robert Lee & Charlene Lee, Roilan Fuller & Anselma Gullap, Mike Sosa & Vanessa Gonzalez Hernandez, and Samira Musa Pott & Dalix Hernandez. Sosa and Hernandez edged Pott and Hernandez to advance to the finals; while Fuller and Gullap overcame the Lee couple to become the other finalists. In the finals, it was neat to see the skills and court coverage by the stronger opponents of Mike Sosa and Roilan Fuller, and the tenacity of their respective partners, Hernandez and Gullap; but in the end, the Sosa & Hernandez team proved too good, taking the victory over Fuller and Gullap, 6-3. Trophies were presented to the champions and runners-up.

    BDFA 1st Division football returns to MCC
    The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) 1st Division Tournament 2016 kicked off with Week 1 games on Sunday, May 8, at the MCC Grounds. In the opener, FC Elite got the 2-1 win over Eiley FC. Shawn Roches (20’) and Marlon Gutierrez (90+’) shook the net for FC Elite, while Kevin Rowland (53’) got the sole tally for Eiley FC. And in the nightcap, Lake I Strikers and Stars Academy played to a 1-1 draw. Steven Baizer (36’) gave Stars Academy the first half lead, but Whitfield Fisher (67’) equalized for Lake I in second half.

    National Primary Schools Softball Champions 2016
    The National Primary Schools Softball Championship 2016 took place on Friday, May 6, in Belize City at the Marion Jones Sports Complex. Six female teams and six male teams, champions of the six districts of the country, participated in the tournament. Participating teams were: FEMALE – Independence Primary (Stann Creek); Crooked Tree Gov’t (Belize); Caledonia RC (Corozal); St. Francis Xavier RC (Cayo); Carmelita Gov’t (Orange Walk); and Aguacate RC (Toledo). MALE – Silk Grass Methodist (Stann Creek); St. Luke Methodist (Belize); Xaibe RC (Corozal); Camalote St. Jude RC (Cayo); Carmelita Gov’t (Orange Walk); and San Vicente RC (Toledo). After each team had played 2 first round games, the top 4 teams in each category moved on to the semifinals. In the female category, Aguacate RC edged Independence Primary, 6-5; and Crooked Tree Gov’t clipped St. Francis Xavier RC, 3-1. For the males, Carmelita Gov’t won, 12-9, over Camalote St. Jude RC; and Xaibe RC shut out St. Luke Methodist, 4-0.

    NEBL championship will be decided at the Hurricane Shelter
    The third and deciding game 3 of the NEBL finals will be played this Friday night, May 13, at 9:00 p.m. at the Belize Elementary School gymnasium, known as the “Hurricane Shelter.” Winner takes all in the final game of the NEBL season. In the first two games, the home team came out with the win, so the edge in this game goes to Smart Belize Hurricanes. However, the two-time defending champion, San Pedro Tiger Sharks has proven over and over that they can win on the road. The league’s MVP, Farron Louriano, from Smart Belize Hurricanes, has led his team in scoring with 24 and 30 points, respectively, in game 1 and game 2. He is averaging 27 points/game in this series, to go with 7.5 rebounds/game. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie scored 25 points in game 1 and 15 points in game 2, to average 20 points/game in the finals. Farron’s scoring and rebounding, complemented by Puppy’s scoring, poise and leadership on the court have been the only two constants for Smart Belize Hurricanes.

    Blood and nationhood
    No, we have not forgotten Danny Conorquie, and we’ll tell you why. When he was killed defending Belize in September of 2014, the attitude of the United Democratic Party (UDP) leaders of the Government of Belize was inappropriate and unacceptable. In fact, it was downright foul. The attitude of the UDP leaders spoke of a kind of snobbery which was historically characteristic of their party and their party’s antecedents. In these pages, we have previously said to you that Henry V (1387–1422) was England’s favorite warrior king. In these pages, we have also quoted (as we do above) from one of his speeches in the William Shakespeare play, Henry V, when he was about to lead his men into battle against the French. He told his men that they who would fight by his side that blessed day were his brothers, more so than anyone would be.

    From the Publisher
    Behind the scenes, the Government of Belize will be going all out to undermine the march of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) scheduled for this Friday, May 13, in Belize City. The march was announced at a press conference on Monday, May 9. It’s very short notice, but this is the BNTU: they can kick up dust in the twinkling of an eye. BNTU is campaigning against the Sarstoon River Statutory Instrument on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. When the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) attempted on Saturday morning, April 30, to defy Government’s ban on civilian travel to the Sarstoon, a couple of the BTV’s most militant supporters, that day, were BNTU executive members. Government used Belize’s security forces to stop the BTV expedition from embarking in boats at the pier in Barranco, Belize’s southernmost village. The BNTU is the single most powerful trade union in Belize with respect to its ability to challenge and shake up governments here. This was pretty much established in late 2004 and early 2005.

    Letter to the Editor: Unsung heroes
    Dear Editor: Whenever we hear the term “hero”, we often times think of someone who’s strong and powerful that comes dashing through the air at high speed racing to help someone, prevent the “bad guy” from striking and essentially, to save the world! However, I’d beg to differ. The aforementioned description of a hero is a gross misconception that needs to be rectified. I believe that a hero is someone who’s small and powerful. A hero is someone who hardly makes a lot of noise and has the power to effect change and shape the world in which we live. A hero works late at night and all day long to ensure that the service they offer is second to none. A hero is loving and caring – they guide, mold, protect and nurture the minds (much like seeds) so that they may bloom into productive, self-respecting adults. In case you’re wondering, a teacher possesses the genuine qualities of a hero.

    It is the sacred duty of the Government of Belize to protect Belize’s borders, sovereignty and territorial integrity!
    The United States (USA) had promised support to Guatemala in exchange for the use of its territory to facilitate the 1961 invasion of Cuba (Bay of Pigs). This ended in failure. General Ydigoras Fuentes, the then president of Guatemala, said he had allowed the C.I.A. to train the Cubans because the Eisenhower Administration had pledged to take a friendlier attitude toward his government and to increase the United States’ import quota on Guatemalan sugar. He said Washington had also promised to put pressure on the British government to discuss Guatemala’s claim to British Honduras. At the request of Britain, US president Lyndon Johnson appointed Bethuel Webster to mediate the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute. So the infamous Webster Proposals in 1968 came at a good time for the United States in its effort to help Guatemala. However, the Webster Proposals were classified by Belizeans as inconvenient to Belize and treasonous and were rejected by Belize. We need to be reminded that the United States was one of the last countries to vote at the United Nations in favour of Belize’s independence with all its territory intact. In addition, US investment in Guatemala is so extensive that it outweighs any factors that could possibly sway the US to support Belize. They will always support Guatemala.

    Letter to the Editor: The great Beryl!
    Dear Editor, In furthering the education of the Belizean people, I am submitting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, hoping you see it a worthwhile document to print at this point in time. I especially call the attention of your readers to Articles 13 through 30. Sincerely, Beryl Young

    Sidney “Stretch” Lightburn, 77, reflects on life, labor and love
    Sidney “Stretch” Lightburn, the older brother of two well-known Belizeans: Clinton “Pulu” Lightburn and the late Ray Lightburn, is living proof that high school dropouts don’t have to be failures in life: they can become productive breadwinners for their families and live comfortably. The hands of this humble 77-year-old were among the many which helped to build the foundation of many schools across Belize, including his alma mater, St. Ignatius School. In an exclusive interview with Amandala on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Lightburn, who has always lived a private life, shared his personal story. He is the eldest son of Lucille Eusey and Bill Lightburn. Apart from Ray and Pulu, he has a maternal brother, Terroll, who passed some years ago at the age of 50. Stretch Lightburn was born in Belize City in the middle of the 1939 war, World War II. He was raised in Belize City, where he attended St. Ignatius School and then St. John’s College. He told us that the Jesuits kicked him out after a year—and that was the best thing they ever did for him! When he left high school, he was about 15 years old.

    Where will you be?
    It is commonly held that World War II started in September of 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, and England and France declared war on Germany. However the case can be made that it actually began March 7, 1936 when Hitler ordered his troops to march into and reoccupy the Rhineland. Hitler issued the orders for them to march with the caveat that should the French begin troop mobilization in response, the German troops were to retreat immediately from the Rhineland. As late as 1936 Hitler was not prepared for war. The French and the British governments, with the horrors of the first great war fresh in their minds, were paralyzed and rationalized that the best response to preserve peace was to do nothing. If Germany had been made to retreat, it is commonly held by historians that it would most likely have been the end of the Nazi regime. As it happened, Hitler’s stock shot up and the British and French got what they feared most – another world war. As I watched the response to this latest episode in our dispute with Guatemala, I am looking everywhere for it. I am straining my ears to hear it from members of our government, or the common people, or those in the press. The utterance that came closest to what I was looking for was in an editorial in the Amandala. What is it that I am straining my ears to hear? Some hint that people in Belize are ready to defend Belize-militarily.

    The legal age for drinking may be changed from 18 to 21
    It is the norm that a person who has reached the age of 18 is considered an adult and one of the “benefits” of reaching adulthood is that such persons can legally drink alcohol. However, it is believed that this year, there might be an adjustment to the legal age for drinking. Today, Esner Vellos, Director of the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), told Amandala that accessibility to alcohol is causing young people to drink more, and changing the consumption age will allow for the state to protect young people from being exposed to alcohol at a very young age and the potential bad choices that may lead to bigger problems. Vellos said that it has been proven scientifically that a young person’s brain does not stop developing until the age of 21; therefore, allowing a young person to consume alcohol before the age of 21 would be contributing to potential health problems of that young person, Vellos said.

    Mandatory 5-year minimum sentence under the Firearms Act is unconstitutional
    Before the constitutionality of the minimum 5-year sentence under the stipulation of the Firearms Act was challenged in the Supreme Court, any person found guilty of committing an offense under the act was subject to a minimum, mandatory 5-year prison sentence, but sitting magistrates are no longer bound by that strict application of the law, because the Supreme Court has ruled that the mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years is unconstitutional. The first successful challenge of the Firearms Act occurred when Allyson Major filed a claim in the Supreme Court, alleging that two Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) police officers had violated his constitutional right when he was arrested, charged and remanded in prison for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition. Madam Justice Michelle Arana ruled that Major’s constitutional right to his presumption of innocence was violated when he was remanded to prison for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

    Channel 5

    Three Guatemalans Detained for Illegal Activity in the Chiquibul
    A joint patrol comprised of officers from the Belize Defence Force, the Police Department, and Friends for Conservation and Development encountered a group of 10 - 15 individuals engaged in what appeared to be illicit gold mining operations in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. This encounter took place around 7:45 pm yesterday, 13th May, 2016 approximately 7.9 kilometers east of the border. The Belizean patrol detained three Guatemalan nationals: 23-year-old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez, 17-year-old Edin Alexander Escobar Garcia, and 21-year-old Solomon Martinez Pasqual. The patrol reported that Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez advanced towards a member of the patrol in an aggressive manner with a machete and the officer fired a warning shot in the air but Hernandez continued to advance. The officer then fired a second shot in self-defense and wounded Hernandez in his left upper arm. The patrol rendered first aid to Hernandez’s wound after which all three captives were escorted to the San Ignacio Police station for processing. Hernandez was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was treated and released back into police custody. The investigation into this incident continues.

    The Reporter

    Several shot in Ladyville; one dead
    A shooting in Ladyville at around 3:00 a.m., Saturday morning has resulted in several persons receiving gunshot injuries, one of them fatally. Police say Leonel Rhamdas died of his wounds while Lyndon Gillet, 44, of Marage Road Extension was shot in the right arm. Casey Lozano, 23, also of Marage Road Extensio was shot in the right arm as well and Terense Flowers, 22, of Marage Road suffered injuries not yet classified.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Another Chiquibul confrontation; one of three gold panners injured by gunshot in capture
    The Government of Belize has confirmed that three Guatemalan men are detained after being caught in the Chiquibul area last night. In the process of being captured one of the men was shot in the left forearm. A joint patrol comprised of officers from […]

    Belize Security Forces arrest 3 Guatemalan men in Chiquibul
    Breaking Belize News has received confirmed reports that three Guatemalan men were arrested in the Chiquibul National Park last night. According to our sources, one of the men was shot during the process at the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul National Park. Details […]

    Fatal incidents in Ladyville and Belize City
    Police in Rural Eastern Division have confirmed the death of a Lionel Rhamdas by shooting on Friday night in Ladyville. Also injured in the incident were 44 year old Lyndon Gillett, who was shot to the right arm; 23 year old Casey Lozano, also […]

    Blogs

    Pupusas on Middle Street: A Simple But Tasty Meal at Pupuseria Salvadoreno
    Alternative Title: Cheap Date Suggestions in San Pedro I love pupusas. I named the first cat I adopted in Belize, Pupusa. And until I arrived in Belize, I had never seen or tasted one of these delicious little patties before. Meat, cheese and beans is typico. Stuffed in a masa pancake that looks easy enough to make but I know is not. Pupusas are the national dish of El Salvador and have been eaten for hundreds of years there. The popularity was spread throughout Central America and the US during the 80s and civil war when many El Salvdoreans fled the country. According to Wikipedia, the world’s largest pupusa was created in 2007 and fed 5000 people. A little pupusa goes a long way.

    BELIZE IS PROTECTED ONCE MORE BY OUR QUEEN'S ARMY
    SO WITH THE GUATEMALAN CLAIM ON BELIZE ONCE AGAIN FRESH THE BRITISH SOLDIERS ARE BACK ON BELIZEAN SOIL. GOD BLESS OUR COMMONWEALTH PROTECTORS!

    6 Exotic Resorts To Visit In Belize For Your Honeymoon
    After all the stress and hectic planning for the wedding, why not relax in beautiful laid-back Belize? Just a short flight from the United States, Belize is a tropical paradise that is far less crowded than more typical honeymoon destinations like Cancun, Mexico and the Cayman Islands. Home to the second largest coral reef in the world that is habitat to hundreds of species of fish, nurse sharks, sea turtles and colorful plants, Belize is a marine paradise that offers world class snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing. Inland Belize on the other hand, is known for its pristine rainforests, ancient Mayan cities and a plethora of exotic flora and fauna. Bird-watching, hiking, canoeing in jungle rivers and cave tubing in sacred caves are top rated adventures for honeymooners. Honeymoons Destinations in Belize: The village of Placencia at the tip of the Placencia Peninsula is a quiet village where you can enjoy fine dining, boutique cafes, and dive shops with a full range of gear. San Ignacio in Belize’s Cayo District is the entertainment and culture capital of the west, and is close to some of the most impressive Mayan ruins in the country. Ambergris Caye, the most popular tourist destination is where you will find a potpourri of world class luxury resorts, amazing gourmet restaurants and endless activities like snorkeling, sailing, and windsurfing.

    International Sourcesizz

    Guatemala accuses Belize of excessive force during arrest
    The Guatemalan government has accused Belize's army of using excessive force following the injury of a Guatemalan man arrested for illegal mining. The man was one of three suspected illegal gold miners detained on Friday on Belizean territory. Belize says its troops acted in self-defence when the Guatemalan tried to attack an army patrol with a machete, but Guatemala contests that. The two Central American neighbours have a long-standing border dispute. Last month, Guatemala deployed 3,000 troops along the frontier following a shooting incident in which a Guatemalan teenager was killed. Belize said the presence of large numbers of Guatemalan troops along the border had increased tensions between the two countries.

    Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean by Maris Wicks; First/Second Books, 117 pages ($19.99)
    Maris Wicks is a program educator at the New England Aquarium and she wrote and illustrated this amusing, informative, beautiful “Science Comic.” The book masterfully breaks down information into digestible bits while covering an impressive amount of territory. (The creatures of the reef introduce themselves. Queen Conch: “My diet consists of algae. I am another vacuum cleaner of the reef. But a royal vacuum cleaner.”) Others in the “Get to Know Your Universe” science series are “Dinosaurs: Fossils and Fathers” by MK Reed and Joe Flood and future comics subjects include Volcanoes, Flying Machines, Bats and Solar System.

    Jungle of Stone: The True Story of Two Men, Their Extraordinary Journey, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya by William Carlsen; HarperCollins, 544 pages ($28.99)
    “Jungle of Stone” is a tale of two men, fathers of archaeology in the Americas, that makes Indiana Jones look like a stay-at-home slacker. Full of astonishing adventures and breathtaking discoveries, “Jungle of Stone” is, best of all, a true story. William Carlsen’s book offers a window into the early days of archaeology (so early the word had not yet been coined) and much further back into the nearly 2,000-year-long reign of a sophisticated indigenous civilization throughout the lands that are now Central America and southeastern Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The Maya dominated that huge area from about 800 B.C. to 950 A.D., with a population estimated to have been as high as 10 million at some points. But they had long vanished from history by 1839, when John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood landed in Belize to begin an epic journey on the mere rumor of peculiar stone ruins in the jungles of Guatemala and Honduras. When they arrived in Belize in 1839, the plan was for the pair to produce another travel book. What they discovered in the jungles in two long trips over three years exceeded their wildest dreams – and almost cost them their lives, many times over.

    Videos

  • Are you ready for Belize?, 2min.

  • Belize Promotional Video, 3min.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize - April 2016, 4.5min. This is a cut from my trip to Belize in April, 2016.

  • Lejia Melanie Gideon, 5th ACE participant, Belize, 5min.

  • Vlog4 Jour3 BELIZE, 13min.

  • Adventures In Belize Part 2, 16min.

  • Adventures of Belize Forest 2016, 12min.

    May 14, 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

    Oh noooo!!! No 3-peat Championship for our beloved San Pedro Tiger Sharks...
    But ... congratulations to the SMART Belize City Hurricanes for winning the 2016 NEBL Championship! Final score 98-92!

    Five A Side Football Tournament to conduct first round elimination
    There is one more round of games to go, and the San Pedro High School and Island Citizen Sporting Club will be entering its second round on the Five a Side football tournament. The tournament continues delighting football fans, and excitement grows as only one set of games remains in the first round of the regular season. The different matches played on Sunday, May 8th saw players competing in the Under 11, and Seniors category. The football action continues this weekend with games set for Sunday, May 15th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium starting at 11AM. Of the 17 teams that registered at the beginning of the tournament, only eight will advance to the second round. The Five a Side finals will be dedicated to the late Melvin Almendarez, who was very active in the tournament and was coaching one of the teams in the Under- 11 category up till his untimely death.

    Blue Water Grill and Phoenix donate funds for Camp Starfish
    The Ambergris Caye Camp Star Fish was the recipient of the monthly donation program from Blue Water Grill (BWG) Restaurant for April 2016. Every month, BWG raises funds to support different organizations on the island and their sister business, The Phoenix, also contributes to the cause. For the month of April, customers from BWG donated $1,546, which they matched, while guests of The Phoenix donated $80, which they also matched. In total, the two businesses raised $3,252 and all proceeds went towards the two-week long summer camp held in San Pedro for children with special needs. The camp is free of cost and children who attend get to participate in a number of activities throughout the day, receive a snack, meet new people, and make friends. Some of the activities of the camp include songs, dancing, arts and crafts, finger play, and movement. Camp Starfish also plans to host a couple of off-site trips within the community. To hold these activities, funds are needed, so donations like this are greatly appreciated.

    Finn and Martini holds Mother’s Day Lunch
    For the second consecutive year, Findley Halliday hosted a Mother’s Day Lunch dedicated to under privileged island mothers. The event took place shortly after midday, on Sunday, May 8th at Finn and Martini restaurant, where dozens of mothers were invited to enjoy a delicious three-course meal. According to Halliday, this is one of the ways to give back to the community and he takes pleasure in doing such events during special occasions. The event is done to acknowledge special mothers who may not otherwise enjoy a proper Mother’s Day with all the pampering they deserve. Halliday has been taking the challenge to identify those mothers who don’t have the means to enjoy their special day and make them part of the celebration. He also extended invitations via recommendation. Anyone who knew of a deserving mother was asked to inform Halliday, who then extended an invitation to the person. The mothers who attended the event were very happy, and extremely grateful to Finn and Martini for the kind gesture.

    Saga conducts educational presentation at NHSDA
    In an effort to educate students on recently enforced laws regarding pets and proper animal care, Sandie Betz-Eisenberg, a representative from the San Pedro Saga Humane Society, visited the New Horizon Seventh-Day Adventist School (NHSDAS) on Thursday, May 5th. Saga isn’t the only one that promotes kindness and prevents cruelty to animals. Before furthering the discussion, members from NHSDAS’ Dog Club came forward and presented themselves to Eisenberg. The group, consisting of more than fifteen students, explained why they created the club. Over a hundred students gathered at the school’s chapel, ready to listen and learn. Accompanied by her son Spencer, and their foster dog “Lucas”, Eisenberg elaborated on the newly enforced leash law.

    SPTC upgrades road in San Pedrito
    As development continues in San Pedro Town, so does the need for infrastructure and better roads. Recently, works on the entrance road to San Pedrito have been quite visible. While some believe the road was going to be paved, The San Pedro Town (SPTC) has clarified that it is only being filled. SPTC is fully financing the rehabilitation of the road. The idea to start upgrading the road in San Pedrito and other areas of the island came after speaking with Rommel Burgess, who is in charge of the construction of road in Northern Ambergris Caye. “This company finished the first phase of the road in the north part of the island, now they are waiting for the approval of the second phase. But while they wait, they have agreed to come and help us in fixing our streets in the town,” said Guerrero. He added that this is a good example of team work and giving back to the community without expecting anything in return.

    Ambergris Today

    Social Scene - Career Day Creativity at San Pedro RC School
    The kids at San Pedro Roman Catholic School really got into the career day spirit yesterday. Our Facebook newsfeed was bombarded with the cutest little kids dressed as grownups ever! It was remarkable to see how much effort the children, and of course their dedicated parents, put into their career day ensembles. It’s great to see we have so many youths being inspired by their loved ones in the community. Kahlen wants to be an electrical engineer one day in hopes that she will be “Daddy’s Boss”! We have pilots, scientists, and some excellent additions to the police force and fire department and even a future mayor! Our children are a great reminder and motivator to continue doing our best in whatever profession we have chosen, because they are looking up to us and aspiring to be like us.

    Tropic Air Makes Airline History, Rated Safe
    In a press release, Tropic Air says it has again successfully completed the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA), which is an internationally recognized evaluation of the safety practices and management of the airline. The assessment focuses on key areas within an airline such as flight and ground operations, maintenance, cargo, security and aeronautical safety. It promotes high industry benchmarks, and allows for expanded partnership opportunities with other airlines. Tropic Air joined IATA’s ISSA Registry in 2015, and was the second airline to be registered. It is also the first airline to complete the renewal assessment, which will now be valid for two years (until 7 May 2018).

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    San Pedro Blood Drive Saturday, May 14

    SBDC Workshop: Introduction to Development Financial Statement Workshop
    Presented by: Ms. Monique Usher. Post/Teaching Description: Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: Beltraide Conference Room, 14 Orchid Garden Street, Belmopan. Workshop Date: May 19th, 2016. Time: 9am to 4pm. This course is designed for individuals who need to understand basic accounting in order to interpret financial statements. It is ideal for individuals who are accountable for public funds but are not accounting experts! Basic terminology and normal account balances are covered. Please note: No computers are used in this course.

    Residents Engagement Meeting
    The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project will be holding its Inaugural Residents Engagement Meeting on May 18th at 6:00 p.m. at the Belize City House of Culture for the residents in the Albert and Regents Streets Area of downtown. However, If other residents and businesses in the Albert Division (scope area of project) feel as though they are not being included, don't worry because there will be other meetings targeting other blocks in the Albert Division as you will see from the uploaded maps. The dates and times for the other meetings will be communicated via flyers in your area.

    Empowering Belizeans with Excellence at Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence and the Leigh Richardson Knowledge Center
    Hundreds of Belizeans will now have even greater access to skills training and income generating programmes for self-empowerment and gainful employment at the newly built and fully furnished Leigh Richardson Knowledge Center on the South Side of Belize City. These programs will complement the ongoing after school and income generating programs already being offered at the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence facility. These programs include training for men, women and youth in cosmetology, information and communication technology, and driving. The Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence has been offering instruction in computer literacy mathematics, reading, sewing, cake decorating and landscaping. The facility was built from funds provided by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Social Investment Fund Program and from a Grant from the Government of Japan. The total cost of construction was $716,960.64.

    Road improvements in San Pedro: San Juan area and the street leading to Caribeña Street
    White mall material is being spread and rolled on the streets of the San Juan area and the street leading to Caribeña Street. This project is an effort to alleviate the traffic congestion in San Pedro Town which will become safer for all residents, tourists and especially the children.

    Benque Art Classes
    The Benque HoC is teaming up with Furman University to bring some art classes to Benque for the next 3 Saturdays in May. Still Life is tomorrow, and the lessons start at 2:00pm. "Art Sessions every Saturday for the month of May starting on the 14th - Still Life Lessons at 2:00 p.m."

    Consular Tip: Applying for a Visa
    Visiting family in the U.S. this summer? As we enter our busy season, we encourage you to apply NOW. Do not wait! Appointments are available on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

    Mark your calendar for upcoming events by the San Pedro House of Culture (NICH).

    11th Annual Reef Week Fair, History of Fishingr
    Join us for the 11th Annual Reef Week Fair at the San Pedro House of Culture. The "History of the Fishing Industry of San Pedro" Exhibition will be on display.

    Romantic Nite Under the Full Moon
    The San Pedro House of Culutre (NICH) and the SP AIDS Commission invite you to a Romantic Nite Under the Full Moon. Local Musicians serenading with their romantic tunes and then giving way to the dancing music. Full Service Bar and Snack Booth Available. Tables and Chairs for those attending. The friendly members of the AIDS Commission will be your servers for the evening. All are invited for a nite of Good Music, Romantic Atmosphere and and overall Good Time. See you there

    Channel 7

    Back to Back Shootings On The Same Block!
    Last night our headline was a 5:00 pm shooting on King Street at the corner with Far West Street. Well, by 9:00 last night, shots rang out again in the same area, this time about one block away, at the corner of Euphrates Avenue and Cairo Street. The victim this time was 25-year-old Mark Vernon. Police told us more about it today:... ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Yesterday evening shortly after 5pm, police were called to West Street, Belize City, where information was received of shots being fired. One, Aaron Garbutt was met suffering from gunshots wounds to the feet. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated and release for those injuries. The other shooting took place shortly before 9pm last night, when again police received information of shots being fired on Euphrates Avenue and upon responding, police met a male person known as Mark Vernon, suffering from gunshots wounds to the lower back. He was transported to the KHMH where he is currently admitted in a stable condition."

    They Shot At Chester!
    And the Commander of the Southside police happened to be driving nearby in his personal vehicle when the shots rang out. But Assistant C ommissioner Chester Williams didn't just call for backup, he sprang into pursuit - and a few minutes later, he was coming under fire. He told us what it was like:... The narrative begins on Euphrates Avenue. Mark Vernon had just been shot and South Side Commander Chester Williams heard it on the police radio as he was driving near Vernon Street. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "As I make my way into Vernon Street, I heard a transmission on the police communication network to the effect that shots were being fired on Euphrates Avenue. The transmission also describe the vehicle that was involve in the shooting which is a black Mazda pickup truck super cab. So I applied my instincts and I said 'if the shooting happens on King Street, then more than likely the targets would have been people from the George Street area and the suspects would have been from either the Jane Usher Boulevard or the Faber's Road area or the Supal Street. And so I think about escapes routes where the vehicle involved would use to flee the scene. So I made my way into Magazine Road and onto Dolphin Street. Whilst on Dolphin Street reaching the intersection with Raccoon Street, I saw the black Mazda pickup resembling that described on the police communication network coming out of Raccoon from the direction of Euphrates Avenue onto Dolphin Street. So I went immediately behind the vehicle and upon getting closer to the vehicle, I notice that the vehicle began to pick up speed. So right away I said this must be the vehicle involved in the shooting."

    Shootings Are Connected
    The vehicle was intercepted near the corner of Central American Boulevard and Faber's Road and all men inside the vehicle have since been taken into custody pending charges. They are 44 year old Larry Wright of Jane Usher Boulevard, and the driver of the vehicle, 21 year old Justin Hyde of Curl Thompson Street and 23 year old Devon Sankey of Unity Street Belize City. 19 year old Zacaharia Knox of Faber's Road Extension was later apprehended. He also awaits charges for the attempted murder of ACP Williams. Yesterday's shootings happened between a four hour span, and near to each other. Two different vehicles are reported to have been used to perpetrate the crimes, but police believe they are very much related. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "What is unique about the entire situation is that the expended shells found at the 5 O' clock scene is the same type found at the 9 O' clock scene and the same type found at the scene where I was shot at. So it appears from our investigation that they were also the ones involved in the earlier shootings and it's the same gun that they use in all 3 shootings. So we will be looking at ballistic evidence to see how we can tie the 3 scenes together and create a nexus between them and the scenes and then we will see how we proceed from there."

    Gang Retaliations On the Upswing
    Police are investigating all incidents and as a part of this investigation they are looking intently at gang elements as it is believed that these shootings were gang related. And even more, there is strong supposition that it might be a retaliatory shooting for murder of Keon "Gambis" Williams. His brother, Devon Sankey, after all was one of the persons found inside the black vehicle. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Well there is an issue with the crowd from Supal Street, Jane Usher and Faber's Road, who seemingly had now join forces and attacking George Street and it would seem that it is a situation where in both cases they actually came into George Street area to these shootings. So we were monitoring them because we had received intelligence as to the different players involved and there is a another high profile person who will be taken to custody today, who we believe is one of the key players behind these recent spate of shootings and our investigation into this - it will continue and we are looking at charges of conspiracy and abetment to commit murders in respect to that high profile individual. The key figure that will be brought in today is a very important part of what is happening and he too needs to get the message that we are fully aware of what he is doing and we are fully aware of what he is sending people out here to do."

    Teachers Rally Against Sarstoon S.I.
    The BNTU is the most powerful union in the country, and so today the nation's focus was on the city where Teachers came to rally against the Sarstoon S.I. Now, this did happen on Teacher's Day - and it was a last minute substitution for a trip - so you can imagine that many of the nation's five to six thousand decided to take it as a day off, rather than take a stand against an S.I. that will be history in two weeks. But, still hundreds did choose to use the day to take a stand. Our news team was out there from the start to the finish, and Daniel Ortiz has that story: Hundreds of teachers, supporters, fellow union representatives, and politicians, from all over the country, took to the Principal Streets of Belize City for BNTU's demonstration. This was all about the Sarstoon SI, which prevents persons from going to that southern river. And as the Parade got closer to the BTL Park, it grew, and by the time it got to our camera on Swing Bridge, it took 6 minutes to pass. The final destination was the BTL Park, and that's where the BNTU Branch Leaders and Guest Speakers, rained fire and brimstone on the Barrow Government for stopping the free movement civilians.

    Is PUP Clutching At Coattails?
    As you saw in our story, politicians from the PUP and the Belize Progressive Party showed up to the rally to lend their support to the teachers. As we told you, the PUP has its own well publicized opposition to the S.I. - so, shouldn't Belize's oldest mass party be the one taking the lead in organizing events like today's one? That's what we asked Opposition Leader John Briceno: Daniel Ortiz: "The suggestion could be made that the party which is supposed to be able to mobilize people to lead national issues is simply riding the coattails of the unions when you all should be the leaders." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I will not concede that. We have been on the forefront on this matter. We are the ones that are challenging the government on this issue and it is a matter of taken it step by step. We are challenging the case, we are going to the Sarstoon, we are educating our people, we are still engaged with the government with this matter, so there is absolutely no case for you to say that we are conceding..."

    Wil Warned About Sarstoon
    For the past 2 nights, we've been showing you leaked videos which demonstrate in detail how the Guatemalan military in the Sarstoon, have been confronting the BDF patrols in the Sarstoon River. The videos show clearly that the Guatemalans are exercising authority over the river and sticking by what they say is the mutually agreed protocol: any Belizean vessel going up that river has to check with them first. Now, the government of Belize is certain no such agreement was ever made, but right now, those are just words, the actions are playing out on the river. And the Guatemalans have seized upon the airing of these videos to boast that they do control the river and that the Belizean military does, in fact, have to check in with them before it goes down the river. The Guatemalan Newspaper, Prensa Libre, today reported that the Guatemalan Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs have commented on the first video. That's the one where the Guatemalan soldiers demanded that the BDF, quote, "Respect the Protocol".

    Reckless Driver Spared Custodial Sentence
    Yesterday we told you how reckless driver Boyd Lopez pleaded down to the lesser charge of causing death by careless conduct. He had originally been charged with manslaughter by negligence for running over 70 year old retired teacher Marie Knowles. Well today, Justice Adolph Lucas imposed a non custodial sentence, meaning the 20 year old won't go to jail. Lucas ordered him to pay a fine of $5,000, $1,000 of which has to be paid immediately, and the balance in a year's time, in default one year imprisonment. Justice Lucas didn't order Lopez to pay any compensation to the Knowles family, because there is presently a civil suit case against him in court.

    Missing Case File Causes Murder Charge To Go Through Door
    "The case file is missing" - that's the news that greeted two alleged murderers in court today. With that Tarique Gillett and James Cacho were declared free of murder charges today in the Magistrate's Court. Gillett and Cacho were jointly accused of killing Michael Welch and injuring his cousin Kingsley Morrison on March 1st 2015. Welch and Morrison were hanging out on Periwinkle Street when they were ambushed by 2 gunmen. Morrison was shot to the upper right shoulder and managed to escape but Welch didn't survive. After almost a year on remand, the pair was released.

    Alleged New Year's Killer Gets Free For Want Of Witness
    Today in court, 26 year old Akeem Humes, beat his second murder rap in the last 5 years. This time it was what's known in court jargon as a "nol-le pros", meaning the prosecution gave up on the case. So, Humes who has been on remand for three years was free to go. He had been accused of killing his neighbor Orlando Williams in January, 2013. Williams was gunned down as he stood in front of his home on East Canal. He received as many as 11 shots. It was an act of stunning violence, because Williams - a grown and working man with no gang involvement - was shot for no reason at all. In fact, the random but ruthless murder it appeared to be a retaliation against the state for detaining gang related men over the Christmas Holidays. This morning in the Court room of Justice Adolph Lucas, Prosecutor in the case, Shanice Lovell informed the court of the nolle prose, but gave no reason. She did add that if their main witness had cooperated, the prosecution would have been able to proceed with the matter.

    Jealous Man Slit His Wife's Throat, Man Pleads Down To Manslaughter
    53 year old Ermit Bradley, a father of 4 charged with the murder of his wife, 54 year-old Nirba Bradley, pleaded guilty of the to the lesser charge of manslaughter today before Justice Denis Hanomansingh. After consideration, Justice Hanomansingh sentenced Bradley to 15 years. But he's been waiting on remand for 8 years while he awaited his trial. Additionally, the judge subtracted 2 years from the sentence because he pleaded guilty and expressed remorse for his actions. That means that he will only have to serve 5 more years, which began counting back from April 21, last month. The incident happened on July 4 of 2008 at Espat Poultry, which is located in Santa Elena Cayo. Nirba Bradley was working there at the time, and that's where Ermit Bradley went to visit her to question her about her brother's wedding. She reportedly told him that she would not be taking him as her date, and instead, she would be taking her boss. That's what is believed to have triggered Ermit Bradley's jealous rage. He pulled out a knife and slit her throat.

    PUP Leader Chastises Government For Hard-Headed And Costly BTL Takeover
    2 nights ago, we showed you our interview with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in which he conceded that the final cost of the BTL nationalization is "not cheap". The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands has released a first draft of their review of the take-over. It calculates that the Government should pay about 250 million Belize dollars for The Ashcroft Alliance's 45 million shares in BTL, in addition to sums already paid. That's a hefty price for the Belizean taxpayers, and when Opposition Leader John Briceño was asked about it, he pointed fingers at the Prime Minister. Briceño said that the Barrow Government mismanaged the nationalization simply because the Prime Minister was too proud to settle and pay compensation to the former owners earlier: Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I am not surprised as to what has happened. We know that the Prime Minister was held over the barrel and he had no choice, but to accommodate the formers owners of BTL. It is something that we've been saying from the beginning; if you nationalize a company, you need to pay..."

    Shootings Spike, But Crime Still Down
    Earlier in the news we told you about the two south side city shootings. It happened only a couple blocks from each other and in the span of just about 4 hours. Fortunately there were no casualties, but it certainly is indicative of a further spike in gun violence. But not to ACP Williams. He says that despite the recent spate of city shootings, city crime is still down.

    Dredge In Place But Mayor Non Committal
    Yesterday we told you about the dredge that had appeared in the mouth of the Belize Harbour. This is after a dense buildup of siltation that has all but choked up the harbor mouth. Now, we know that the mayor says it will cost 2 million dollars to dredge out the harbor - so has someone decided to foot that bill? Well, no. But something is afoot - and when we asked the mayor about ti today - we almost got a straight answer. Jules Vasquez: "But there's a dredge in the water right now and that is operational so that means the problem is on the mend." Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "Of course, I think we are right at the precipice in terms of getting some activity done. Whether not it is something that could complete the entire project that remains to be seen but I think that this is something where we really need the leadership of the Central Government who has far deeper pockets than the municipality. If we don't have a flowing river, then we're going to have a much worse drainage situation because the river isn't functioning in the way that it should function. But I anticipate that if we were to get the full resources it won't be a project that would take very long."

    KHMH PICU: ' Getting there ' with more equipment
    It's been 8 months since the opening of KHMH's new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The unit has 2 sections: the PICU, which can hold over 8 children, and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which can treat about 23 babies. But right now there aren't any newborns in there. Sure, the unit seemed all decorated and ready at the October 2015 launch, but it is still not fully operational - there are still a few key finishing touches left to complete the unit. A part of that process is getting more equipment and today several pieces were handed over. It's part of the Japan Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Project. We stopped by to find out how this program has helped build and upgrade the new unit. H.E. Masanori Nakano, Japanese Ambassador to Belize: "I come to know that Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital had been in dire need to improve its facility; to enhance the responsiveness to a patient. We've decided to offer our assistance to the hospital almost 2 years ago."

    Future of KHMH, Promising
    Now while the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is getting all the attention and fancy equipment, what about other sections of the hospital that urgently need major improvements? Well, KHMH CEO Dr. Adrian Coye told us that the same effort and investment they are putting into the unit - will also be put into the hospital. Coye explained that they are already working on renovating a few wards in the hospital and that more works are on the way. Coye told us that the hospital should get a new paint job by the end of the year. They are also working on opening a new National Physiotherapy Unit among other projects.

    Increase of Clinic Fees means better health care for everyone
    But to be able to sustain all these renovations and health care upgrades, the hospital needs money and a significant part of those funds come from clinic fees. As we told you, the hospital's clinic fees have increased from about $15 to $25. That new cost went into effect on February 15th. CEO Coye further reiterated why this fee increase was necessary and how it is being used to improve health care services. So, to repeat, the clinic fee is now $25 per visit. This only applies to elective or non -emergency cases.

    Hope Through Hoops
    Crime in the city - it's been all over the news tonight, from a spike in shootings, to court cases for gang related murder going "kaput". But while it's easy to despair, there's also hope - in the form of a 16 week basketball tournament for the males of gang ridden neighborhoods. The initiative is spearheaded by the police department and sponsored by BTL. It started today at the Roger's Stadium - and the aim is simple, but also complex: to create peace through basketball:... Southside Police will also have a family day for gang ridden neighborhoods on Sunday.

    Channel 5

    Teachers Rally Against Sarstoon Law
    Teachers descended on the Old Capital today for a protest march against one of the most controversial and unpopular laws to be put in effect. The march started from the [...]

    PUP Proceeds With Constitutional Challenge to Controversial SI
    The People’s United Party is moving full steam ahead with a constitutional challenge of the Sarstoon Law even though the temporary instrument expires on May twenty-ninth 2016 by the time [...]

    Senator Courtenay Says SI is Unlawful and Counterproductive
    Earlier this week the P.U.P. filed a claim against the attorney general and the governor general seeking a determination from the court to declare the Sarstoon Law unconstitutional. Senator Eamon [...]

    BPP Proposes Bypassing the ICJ
    Lending its unwavering support to the B.N.T.U. at today’s rally was the Belize Progressive Party.  The B.P.P. is of the position that government has not relaxed the law and that [...]

    Gunman Fires at Top Southside Cop
    There was an attempt on the life of top cop, Chester Williams who has been strengthening community outreach with the police as a way of reducing crime and violence in [...]

    Gang Related Shootings in the Old Capital Escalate
    The man who fired at Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, Zacharia Knox, was picked up shortly after at a residence on Benbow Street. Police have also gotten a lucky [...]

    ACP Williams Says Police Are Monitoring Gang Activity
    So what’s the reasoning behind the sudden spate of shootings? Apparently there is a revival of gang activity in a city which was surprisingly bloodless in 2015. Within the last [...]

    Did Guatemalans Detain Mennonites Near El Pilar?
    As we bring you the news tonight, Cayo Police are still trying to verify very disturbing reports at the farthest regions of their jurisdiction near the Guatemalan border. Unofficially, News [...]

    PUP Leader Speaks on Half a Billion Arbitration Award
    A final award on the acquisition of BTL shares by the Government of Belize is yet to be issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal based in the Netherlands.  [...]

    Courtenay Says GOB Will Pay Millions in Interest
    Government’s procrastination in settling the claim, according to Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, has resulted in an exorbitant amount of interest to be paid outside of the principal cost of acquiring [...]

    Humes Beats Second Murder Charge
    Three murder cases fell apart in court today. We start with forty-five year old Orlando Williams who was the first murder victim at the start of the New Year in [...]

    Duo Walks Free on Murder Charge – Case File Lost
    A pair of men also walked free of the murder of Michael Welch and the attempted murder of Kingsley Morrison, who were both shot in the Saint Martin de Porres [...]

    $5000 Fine for Fatal RTA
    Twenty-year old Boyd Lopez is home tonight following his sentencing for the February eighteenth, 2015 traffic fatality that took the life of seventy year old Marie Knowles. Knowles was walking [...]

    State of the Art Equipment for KHMH’s PICU
    The Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the K.H.M.H. has been with gifted with cutting edge equipment courtesy of the Government of Japan. The hospital’s C.E.O., Doctor Adrian Coye [...]

    When will dredging begin in the Belize City Harbor?
    Silt has been accumulating at the Belize City Harbor specifically in front of the Bliss Institute for Creative Arts. But the big question on everyone’s mind is when will dredging [...]

    KHMH CEO Says Service Has Improved Dramatically
    Earlier this year the K.H.M.H. introduced an increase in clinic fees from fifteen to twenty five dollars. And while some speculated that there would be a reduced number of patients [...]

    Cops Promote Hoops for Community Policing
    Fighting gang and criminal activities with basketball? That’s what the police department is doing. Today they officially launched a sixteen week basketball programme in the Southside that will see members [...]

    Guatemala government is upping the ante on the Sarstoon
    And on more issue on the Sarstoon. A provocative article appeared today in Prensa Libre, the mouthpiece of the Guatemala government which is upping the ante on the Sarstoon. The [...]

    HelpAge Belize Pays Tribute to an Icon
    Jane Usher has led an extraordinary and exemplary life. Over the years she has touched so many lives through her involvement in community affairs, politics and the credit union movement. [...]

    LOVE FM

    Chester Shot At in High Speed Chase
    There were two city shootings yesterday; the first taking place just after five o’clock in the evening on West Street. There were no fatalities as Assistant Commissioner of Police explained to the media this morning. The second shooting took place a few hours later at the junction of Euphrates Avenue and Cairo Street. This incident […]

    Top Cop – Not a Fan of Guns
    Out of last night’s high speed chase in Belize City, perhaps, the most alarming revelation was the fact that Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams was unarmed while pursuing the group of men suspected to be involved in a shooting, just minutes prior to the chase. Williams spoke to Love News explaining that he is […]

    ACP Chester Not Duly Compensated by GOB
    Since his return to Belize from studying law in the Caribbean, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams has been making strides in the Belize Police Department and may even be raising the bar for other high ranking and up and coming officers. He has been promoted, he has been called to the Belize Bar Association, […]

    Opposition Leader Says Belizeans were Hoodwinked with the BTL Takeover
    Belize stands to pay millions of dollars to Lord Michael Ashcroft following the nationalization of the Belize Telemedia Limited in 2009. The matter is before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands and they recently concluded their review of the value of the shares that GOB would have to compensate the Ashcroft Alliance for. […]

    Senator Courtenay Speaks of Court Application Against Sarstoon Regulation
    Former Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay was at this morning’s rally at BTL Park in support of the message of solidarity. Whilst there, we spoke with him on the recently filed application in the Belize courts regarding the Sarstoon regulation. Love News asked him how effective such an application will have considering that the SI will […]

    US Ambassador Says He Is Pro-ICJ on the Belize/Guat Issue
    US Ambassador, Carlos Moreno says the involvement of an independent party appears to be the best way to resolve the Belize Guatemala dispute. Ambassador Moreno shared the position taken by his Government on the issue. As has been reported, the Guatemalan military has seemingly stepped up its aggression in the Sarstoon.

    Ambassador Speaks on Refugee Issue
    The issue of refugees in Belize has been in the headlines over the last week as some have questioned how the program is operating. Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of Immigration, Beverly Castillo said there are two programs that deal with refugees. Last night when we caught up with US Ambassador we […]

    Chamber of Commerce Weighs In on Boycotting Guat Products
    The debate on the Belize Guatemala situation continues strong on social media. One of the main topics that has gotten a lot of feedback is the suggested boycott of Guatemalan products. A popular bar in Belize owned by a naturalized Belizean, was boycotted because of a post she made on social media using derogatory statements […]

    Advocate Group for Lesbians and Bi-Sexual Women Launched
    The organization, PETAL- Promoting Empowerment through Awareness for Lesbian and Bisexual Women was launched last night at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. Coordinator of PETAL Simone Hill explains what the organization is about and its aim. In attendance were several high profile figures lending their support. Love News spoke with US Ambassador Carlos Moreno, […]

    PICU and NICU More Equipped
    Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital added some equipment to their new Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit this morning. A donation of one hundred and twenty thousand US dollars was donated to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital through the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow by the Government of Japan, through its Grassroots […]

    The Reporter

    Dara gets another award for his “mission”
    Joel “Dara” Robinson, known in most sectors for his tireless effort to keep hungry schoolchildren fed, has earned another award for his “mission”, and a donation towards his effort. The philanthropist was recognized at the recent international forum, Leadercast, which congregates leaders in various communities […]

    Study shows some over-the-counter drugs are dangerous to the brain
    Anticholinergic drugs, including Xanax, Zyrtec and Codeine, can cause cognitive impairment and an increased risk of dementia, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Neurology. The study offers proof of what scientists have suspected for at least a decade. Researchers at Indiana […]

    Police help villagers; villagers give back
    The San Juan village police station has a new look, courtesy a free upgrade and paint job provided late last week by the village chairman, the chairman of the San Juan water board and the villagers of that community. The project encompassed providing new windows, […]

    Food drive in memory of “Remo” Clarke
    The Kareem Clarke Memorial Fund held a food drive last weekend, the first of three annual events, in honor of the slain Kremandala journalist. Ten months after Clarke’s fatal shooting, representatives of the Fund gathered outside three Belize City supermarkets on Saturday May 7, to collect donations of canned food […]

    Caribbean country trying out GMO mosquitoes to fight Zika
    To address growing concerns about the Zika virus outbreak in the region, the Cayman Islands has agreed to be a testing site for genetically modified mosquitoes. The Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU), is working with British biotech company Oxitec, for the two phased project. […]

    Leadercast 2016 Seminar Develops plan for Belize
    At the close of the international seminar, Leadercast 2016, organizers and local organizations produced a document setting out their vision for a future Belize. The document evolved after a preliminary mastermind session at the close of the seminar, where some 160 participants developed a plan of action […]

    Belizean Public Officers will get training in Taiwan
    Two Belizean public officers, Deogracia Chan and Ender Jimenez have been chosen to receive training in a Land Taxation and Valuation program in Taiwan. Deogracia, who works in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Immigration, will take up her training at the International Center for […]

    Teacher’s Day turns into Sarstoon Rally
    The Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU), is calling on all teachers to stand up for Belize by attending a rally about Belize-Guatemala issue instead of celebrating teachers day as originally planned on Friday. Three weeks after the BNTU launched it’s “Stand up for Belize” education campaign the […]

    Trio Village cacao growers get $250,000 UK funding
    An agro-forestry pilot project to organically grow cacao is helping some 200 villagers of Trio Village in the Toledo district adapt to climate change, with US $250,000 in funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) program. They are farming 960 acres within the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve […]

    Man survives attempted suicide; charged with double murder
    Security guard, Andy Bustillos, 31, is remanded to the Hattieville Prison until July eighth on two charges of ‘murder’ upon his estranged girlfriend, Miriam “Betty” Mai, 39, and her sister-in-law, Daisy Miralda, 29, before he attempted suicide with the same gun. Bustillos was arraigned in […]

    Two men charged for illegally cutting Mahogany trees
    Two men are out on bail after being charged for cutting mahogany logwood without the required permits for doing so. Silas Ramos, 47, of Maskall Village and 62-year-old British national Martin Rennison of Bomba Village were charged with ‘restricted conversion of certain species of wood without a permit’ and ‘unlawful […]

    Honduranean man shot dead in San Pedro
    San Pedro police are investigating a possible motive for the fatal shooting last Friday of 26-year-old, Melvin Almendarez, an immigrant from Honduras. Almendarez was an amateur football player who worked as a painter by trade. Residents of the area across from the Belize Water Services […]

    Editorial
    The People’s United Party at its recent Council meeting decided that the party should take a trip to visit the Sarstoon River. We hope that they will hold off on that decision for at least a few weeks. Here’s why: Guatemala, especially its military, is in a foul mood following […]

    Two Bulgarians charged for theft in debit card fraud scheme
    Two Bulgarian men have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison after being charged with one count of ‘theft’ for illegally withdrawing money from a Belize Bank ATM machine as part of a massive card fraud scheme. Jeorgi Petrov, 28, and Halid Yuksel Aptula, […]

    Bitter neighbours shoot it out at bar; one dead, three wounded
    Jose Molina Estrada, 59, a grocer of Duck Run III, was shot dead and three other men were wounded in an exchange of gunfire at a bar shoot-out shortly after 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. The incident occurred at La Pasadita Bar on Iguana Creek […]

    Sarstoon highlights international law
    Guatemala’s latest aggressive act towards the Belize Defense Force (BDF) on the Sarstoon River, has brought into focus the need for a cooperation agreement which will likely be rooted in the spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of […]

    PUP sues GOB over Sarstoon legislation
    The one¬ month ban on Belizean civilians visiting the Sarstoon may well have expired by the time a Constitutional motion is heard on the matter in the Supreme Court, but that did not stop the People’s United Party (PUP) from filing the legal papers. On […]

    GOB may still owe $168 million for BTL
    The Government of Belize (GOB) may still owe the former owners of the BTL (Belize Telecommunications Ltd.) BZ $168 million as compensation for its acquisition of 45,199,961 BTL shares in August 2009. GOB has admitted the final award may total $253,119,781; or $5.60 per […]

    Happening now: Teachers rally against GOB’s Sarstoon SI
    More than a thousand teachers from throughout the country are at the BTL Park in Belize City, protestìng the Government’s Statutory Instrument (SI), banning Belizeans from entering the Sarstoon river. The teachers decided to stand up against the SI on Friday, designated as Teachers’ Day. […]

    Gang tensions flaring! Chester caught in crossfire!
    Belize City police are on high alert following a series of shootings on Thursday night culminating with a high speed chase and shootout involving Eastern Division South Commander, ACP Chester Williams. Williams, who was off duty at the time, responded to a shooting incident on Euphrates Avenue after 9:00 p.m. […]

    The Belize Times

    Barrow’s HALF BILLION DOLLAR Bukut!! – “We [taxpayers] must pay,” says PM, six years after BTL takeover
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned today after a five-day trip to the United States of America for medical reasons. But considering the crises currently emanating from all fronts in Belize, he might need to reserve another plane ticket soon, but this time one-way for a permanent exit. There is jaw-dropping and back-breaking (in the case of the Prime Minister) news that the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands has delivered a ruling on the matter of the outstanding compensation payments for the Barrow Administration’s highly-controversial takeover of Belize Telemedia Limited in 2009. Initial reports are that the Court has set the value of the shares in dispute at rate much higher than expected and predicted by the Government. The Barrow Administration has been praying feverishly that the Court accepts their proposal that the value of shares is not more than $1.44 per share. However, the Court has rejected the position, and set the value at just over $5.00 per share, which means that that the UDP Government could pay as much as $450 MILLION for shares it took away in 2009. Last year in a shameless move to lessen the blow of the Government’s ballooning liabilities as he readied his Party for early elections, PM Barrow held secret meetings with Lord Michael Ashcroft to discuss the payment of compensation. This was six whole years after the actual BTL acquisition.

    PUP Challenges Sarstoon Law in Court
    Today, Hon John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition, filed a claim in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Sarstoon Law (Statutory Instrument No 42 of 2016). In a decision announced on the 3 May, 2016 the National Executive of the Party had decided to bring this claim. According to Briceño, the Governor General acted solely on the basis of the recommendation of the Prime Minister in making his determination that there was a risk of civil commotion, which could threaten public safety. Given that there was and could not have been any rational basis to determine that there was such risk, the acceptance of the Governor General that there was such a risk was irrational, unreasonable and/or disproportionate.

    Well-known athlete found dead in San Pedro
    The image of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, aptly called “La Isla Bonita” is fast being tainted by a rise in violent crime on the popular destination spot. On Friday, May 6th, 2016 the body of well-known football player and artist, 26 year old Melvin “Catracho” Almendarez was found dead on a feeder road. “He was seen with injuries to his head and face, and abrasions to his chest,” explained Supt. Sandra Bodden, O.C., San Pedro Police Formation. Authorities said that Almendarez was seen in the area that day, but not in any form of distress. Several of his belongings including a bicycle and clothing were found in another area about half a mile away, near the entrance to the DFC area of the island.

    BNTU flexes against Sarstoon Law on Friday
    The Belize National Teachers Union will hold a national demonstration in Belize City on Teachers Day this Friday, May 13th, to protest the passage of Statutory Instrument 42, the controversial legislation passed by the Barrow Administration on April 28th 2016 to prohibit Belizeans from the Sarstoon Area. Teachers’ Day is normally a day of enjoyment and celebration for teachers. It is the one day of the year when we recognise their efforts in our classrooms and society. The teachers, however, will sacrifice their day of enjoyment for selfless, bold action on behalf of Belizeans by taking to the streets and sending a strong message to the Barrow Administration. Rescind the S.I. or else! According to the Union President, Luke Palacio, they will mobilise their members from the six branches to Belize City where they will march through the city streets. This, he said, is another initiative under their “Stand Up for Belize” campaign launched last month.

    A Prelude to Disaster
    For as long as any Belizean living nowadays can remember, there has been a Guatemalan claim hanging over our heads. There was a time when the topic was never far removed from any conversation, but lately, we have become lax and complacent. The recent development at the Sarstoon however, is a stark reminder of the dangers that lurk perpetual on the other side of our western and southern borders. Guatemalans recently literally elected a clown to be the president of their country. As a part of his campaign manifesto, Jimmy Morales promised his people that he would revive Guatemala’s efforts at annexing Belize. Many believe that Morales was just waiting for an incident like that which happened in the Chiquibul on April 20th to make a move in the direction of fulfilling that promise. He knows that there is no way on GOD’S green earth that this is going to happen but it is important for him to at least, seem to be striving toward that end. Even early in his presidency, Morales is already facing severe criticism at home for not doing enough to tackle the rampant corruption that is ingrained in his government. He believes that he has found the perfect distraction but many Guatemalans seem more concerned with the country’s economic woes, soaring crime and endemic corruption than in engaging the world in military conflict.

    A Government of Crises & Controversies
    Every now and then the Barrow Administration seems to believe that it has to lie to us in the interest of some greater good. This is exactly what has happened to Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington in every press conference when asked about the loss of the Sarstoon to Guatemala directly under his watch. The Belizean people aren’t fools. They know exactly what is going on. They can see the lies coming out of the mouths of our leaders. They know how to cite the fake smiles and the false calm they offer. The Government has been caught in another lie. Our media colleagues from Plus TV News, whom the Barrow Administration has tried over and over to shut down, exposed the secret implementation of an amnesty programme for thousands of illegal immigrants currently in Belize. Were it not for the constant prodding of the media, the Government would have never opened up about what is going on. The amnesty program according to the Government’s official explanation is one of two “refugee” programmes that will be rolled out in Belize.

    Elite FC defeats Eiley FC in 1st Division football
    Elite FC enjoyed their first win over Eiley FC 2-1, while the Stars Academy and Lake I Strikers struggled to a 1-1 draw when the Belize District Football Association’s 1st Division competition kicked off at the MCC Garden on Sunday. Elite FC drew first blood when Dion Roches scored the 1st goal, but Kevin Rowland answered for Eiley FC for a 1-1 draw at the half. Elite FC was able to exploit the advantage when an Eiley FC player was ejected and Marlon Gutierrez scored the winning goal. In Game 2, the Stars Academy and Lake I Strikers both lost men to red cards, and with each side down to 10 men, they settled for a 1-1 draw. The competition continues on Sunday, May 15.

    Tigersharks bite Hurricanes 101-88 in NEBL Finals Game 2
    Defending National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) champs, the San Pedro Tigersharks, came back to life in Game 2 of this year’s finals, winning the Belize City SMART Hurricanes 101-88 at the Angel Nunez auditorium at the San Pedro High School last Saturday night. The Tigersharks led from the getgo. Ashton Edwards top scored with 30pts and 3 rebounds. The Tigersharks never let up. The other big scores came from Douglas Valley with 20pts; Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz with 18pts and 8 rebounds; and American import Caleb Sutton who put up 8pts.

    Xaibe RC boys & Crooked Tree girls are Softball Champs
    The Crooked Tree Government School successfully defended their title when they won the 2016 National Primary School Female Softball Championship at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City on Friday, May 6. The Crooked Tree girls upstaged the Aguacate girls 10-3. Ashanti Gillett struck out 2 batters, gave up 4 hits and walked 2 batters, allowing the Aguacate girls to score 3 runs. Marciala Can struck out 3 batters, walked 6, and gave up 4 hits, allowing the Crooked Tree girls to score 7 runs in the 1st inning and 6 runs in the top of the 2nd inning which was not completed. For 3rd place, Stann Creek district champions from Independence Primary School allowed the St. Francis Xavier RC School girls from Esperanza only one run in the top of the 1st inning. Independence was led by pitcher Rhea Ardon. Esperanza’s Hadie Vernon walked 8 batters, gave up one hit and the diamond made 2 errors, allowing the IPS girls to score 9 runs for the 9-1 win.

    Fuel Prices Up Again!
    Not even a month has passed since we last told you that the price of fuel at the pumps had increased without even a slight warning from the money-thirsty Barrow Government. The price of fuel went up again last Friday, May 6th, along with the frustration level of commuters across the country. Regular fuel increased by 25 cents, to $9.12, while Premium fuel increased by twelve cents, to $9.26. Diesel fuel increased sharply, from $7.29 to $8.36. This is a walloping hike of 57 cents for fuel on which the productive sector depends on. Now the above are Belize City prices, which means that in every other district the price is much higher. We have tried over and over to get a reasonable explanation for the constant rise in fuel prices from the Ministry of Finance, especially with global crude oil prices still extremely low, but all we get is that the Barrow Administration has already signaled that it will be gutting out Belizean fuel consumers for the $50 million deficit in this year’s budget.

    “Tek” Back Sarstoon
    Dear Editor, On Wednesday April 20, 2016 tragedy occurred in the Chiquibul forest in southern Belize when a Guatemalan minor was killed in the night inside Belizean territory. The incident happened as BDF soldiers returned shots that were fired at them. Five weeks ago BDF Sgt. Lambey almost lost his life when he was shot in the abdomen by poachers. Prior to that incident Special Constable Conorque was ambushed and shot dead at the Caracol Maya site near the border with Guatemala. Our soldiers have every right to protect their lives when they are fired upon first in the jungle. Guatemala has used the unfortunate incident three weeks to annex the half of the Sarstoon River which belongs to Belize. It has stated that Belize must first seek its permission to use the Sarstoon waters as the entire river belongs to her. In enforcing that position the bully has stationed gunboats in the area. Belize totally rejects Guatemala’s claim to her half of the Sarstoon River including the Sarstoon Island; nevertheless we don’t have the arms to enforce that right. For the time being our soldiers can only observe helplessly as Guatemalan vessels prevent Belizeans from traveling in the Sarstoon River ,and scores of Guatemalans fish on our side of the river every single day.

    Court orders psychiatric evaluation for man charged with assaulting Police Officers
    A Scotland Half-moon man who policed charged with three counts of assault, two against police officers and one against a fellow resident of the village, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison, where he will undergo a psychiatric evaluation before he returns to court on July 6. John Dawson, a twenty-two-year-old laborer, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. Dawson was charged with aggravated assault upon Police Constable #345 Joseph Pook, who works out of the Scotland Half-moon sub-station, and Corporal Darrell Usher, from the Ladyville Police Station. Dawson allegedly assaulted the two cops with a piece of steel rod. Dawson’s third count of aggravated assault was upon Scotland half-moon resident Charles Sola. The assault upon Sola was reportedly with a machete.

    Eucharistic Adoration and Global Rosary Crusade in Belize City on Friday May 13
    This Friday May 13th is the 99th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to the 3 kids where She told them to pray the rosary for Peace. We need Peace in our Families, Peace in our Marriages, Peace for our Youths and Peace in our country. The Event starts at 5:30p.m with the annual Guadalupe Procession leaving Holy Redeemer Cathedral to the Marion Jones Stadium. All parishes countrywide are taking part in this procession which will have an attendance of over 2,500 of our brothers and sisters. For the first time, eight BDF soldiers will be carrying the Virgin of Guadalupe. We have confirmation that a total of 57 buses are coming in into the city from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Dangriga, and Punta Gorda and 100 persons from San Pedro. There will also be about 200 Students from St. Johns, 200 students from Pallotti, and 200 Students from Saint Catherine’s.

    Barrow Government Gambles Belize’s Sovereignty
    I am now more than ever convinced that the Prime Minister of Belize lives in an ivory tower and far removed from the reality of the poor and the real threat posed by Guatemala’s aggression. If this is not so, then the Prime Minister is a classic con man deprecating in his nest. This is a really serious issue of national importance and yet we cannot be told what was the outcome of the bi-lateral meeting between Belize and Guatemala with the OAS in Washington D.C. The Prime Minister is again stalling for time to cover-up his incompetence and that of his Foreign Minister. Why the hell was a press conference called by the Prime Minister on Thursday on the outcome of that Washington meeting if the Prime Minister said that there was nothing to report and all we heard were platitudes -empty platitudes. When pressed by reporters, he had to do his best to restrain his usual outburst of anger when he is challenged. He was uncharacteristically subdued.

    PUP –United & Ready to Lead!
    It’s called inclusion, people – just so you know. It was amazing to see the roots soldiers of the People’s United Party come together as one Party Council. Now that is how it should be done. That is real Power to the People. This Sarstoon thing is serious business. This Guatemala thing is serious business. And we must approach it seriously and UNITED. Some of us may disagree with one thing or the other. That’s okay – we’re humans, not robots designed to follow mindlessly and blindly and to accept everything we’re told. That’s the UDP. That’s how they do things. WE ARE GOING TO THE SARSTOON because we don’t buy the rotten fruit the government is trying to sell us. As a Party we believe that our border line lies at the mid-point of the river south of Sarstoon. We renounce this unconstitutional Sarstoon Law which benefits only the Guatemalans. We demand that the government rescind this bogus law and that as a nation we work together and fight together to assert our sovereignty diplomatically and on the ground.

    Belize – An Economy with Low Capital Formation
    According to the World Bank, Gross Capital Formation (formerly gross domestic investment) is described as: “additions to the fixed assets of the economy plus net changes in the level of inventories. Fixed assets include land improvements (fences, ditches, drains, and so on); plant, machinery, and equipment purchases; and the construction of roads, railways, and the like, including schools, offices, hospitals, private residential dwellings, and commercial and industrial buildings. Inventories are stocks of goods held by firms to meet temporary or unexpected fluctuations in production or sales, and “work in progress.” According to the 1993 SNA, net acquisitions of valuables are also considered capital formation. (World Bank Report Gross Capital Formation (% of GDP). In his Budget presentation in March 2016 the Prime Minister quoted that the Belizean economy projected, for the fiscal year 2016-2017, to have an anemic growth rate of between 1.5 – 2.0%. This was coming off a similarly feeble growth of 1.4% in 2015-2016. This level of growth is not sustainable growth. Growth of even between three percent and four percent is still insufficient to make this growth translate into a trickle down for the population. The fundamental problem created is that this weak level of economic growth is due to consumption and not investment.

    John Saldivar dropped the ball!
    The UDP must be scraping the bottom of the barrel with John Saldivar and Patrick Faber as the only contestants for first Deputy Leader. The April 29 deadline for application came and went and no one else cared to apply. While Patrick has been taking a flogging from his own party colleagues for being quarrelsome and immature, John Saldivar’s failures with one of the nation’s most important Ministries has been exposed fully. John has not shown one iota of leadership over the last few weeks with Guatemala’s persistent disrespect of our sovereignty. When an illegal Guatemalan drone trespassed into our airspace in Sarstoon, Saldivar turned a blind eye.

    SSB Shutdown Averted!
    A national shutdown of Social Security offices to have taken place on Friday, May 5, 2016 was averted when the Government rushed to intervene and respond to some of the concerns of the employees. Social Security Board employees and the Government-appointed management have been at odds for several months over employment issues. Represented by the Christian Workers’ Union, the employees have called out the management for not practised fair play when addressing their concerns. The Union has accused the management of being disingenuous even during the negotiations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the workers. Employees are also up in arms that while the SSB executives easily benefit from large bonuses and perks, the management squeezes them for minor financial incentives. In October last year the Union members held demonstrations during their lunch hours for several days.

    Hard Knocks
    Take the politics out of it. Take the propaganda out of it. There’s something screwy happening in the Sarstoon. There’s something we’re not being told. Now even our BDF can’t go into the Sarstoon without having to ask permission. Forget this crap we’re being fed about our soldiers and their soldiers being buddies. Forget that crap about their general and our general being buddies. We’re not buddies. The truth is that we’ve lost the Sarstoon. Somehow, someway this river which is in our national anthem is gone, and our diplomats are so foolish that they’re still playing buddies with the Guatemalans. I swear they must be laughing at us in Guatemala, thinking we’re all a bunch of dummies here. And we can’t trust our own people. They’re lying to us…talking about cautious optimism and progress and a breakthrough when we hear that the Sarstoon wasn’t even discussed at the meetings in Washington. There are traitors among us.

    Very Frightened!!
    Dear Editor, I am worried, very worried about my country Belize especially under the recent debacle of the Sarstoon and the worsening economy. I try to imagine the country under Patrick Faber or John Saldivar and that frightens me even more. Both seem to have crab mentality of going backwards. You want to tell me that these are the only two that the UDP can find? They are bottom feeders scraping the bottom of the barrel but of course they can argue what is it Finnegan and Boots then? God forbid! To tell the truth, I can’t even sleep just thinking about it. One’s own colleague refers to one as immature. Straight like that. Meanwhile, the other can’t even give an order to shoot down a drone in the midst of an invitation of our country’s territory. Wow!

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    City man injured in shooting
    A 20-year-old Belize City resident, Aaron Garbutt Jr., was treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) last night after being shot to the right upper thigh and finger. Garbutt told police that around 5:00 yesterday evening while he and a friend […]

    John Briceno attacks BTL compensation award
    The Government of Belize has more or less confirmed the final payment to be made to the former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) for the two nationalizations of the company between 2009 and 2011, subject to a final ruling by the Netherlands’ Permanent […]

    PUP easing back into diplomacy with Government
    At his press conference immediately following meetings in Washington with Guatemala and other elements, Prime Minister Dean Barrow extended the olive branch to the People’s United Party to re-join the diplomatic process which the Opposition complained they were shut out of recently. While Government […]

    Teachers rally in Belize City
    At today’s “Stand up for Belize” rally, which was organized by the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) on the occasion of Teachers’ Day and attended by many different organizations, there was a united call for the Government of Belize to rescind the statutory instrument […]

    Public Officers restricted from speaking to media on Sarstoon issue
    A memorandum issued on Monday by the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture’s Chief Executive Officer, cited parts of the constitution which informed all public officers that they are not to give media interviews on anything relating to the Sarstoon issue, or our country’s defense resources. It states that in an effort to support the government in its attempts to de-escalate the Belize/Guatemala situation, the ministry is reminding and asking all public officers to refrain from speaking to the media on that matter.

    Cashew Festival and Agricultural Show kicks off tonight in Crooked Tree
    Scheduled for May 13th – 15th in Crooked Tree Village, this year’s installment of the annual Cashew Festival and Agricultural Show promises to deliver a fun filled experience with an abundance of cashew infused dishes that are sure to excite taste buds. Located approximately 35 miles outside of Belize City in the Belize District, the unique village is named after the cashew tree which grows with a bend in its stem and is known as the cashew capital of the country. Each year Crooked Tree is host to this very popular event which highlights art, jewelry, food and other items made out of cashew and their seeds, displaying the many uses of that delicious yellow fruit while various contests and horse riding exhibitions keep festival goers entertained.

    Guatemalan military hold Belizeans for several hours
    We have received reports of a Spanish Lookout Mennonite businessman and a worker who were allegedly taken over to Guatemala for some hours on Tuesday, May 10. The CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Sylvestre reported yesterday evening that the men are […]

    Blogs

    Where Is Belize Located? – Location And Geography Explained
    Belize is, by general standards, a small country; at just 8,860 square miles (circa 22,000 km2) we’re about as large as a medium-sized Caribbean island. Belize, arguably considered by some sources as North American geographically is nestled on the northernmost tip of Central America, bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east. For those of you who want to be even more specific, Belize is located at exactly: 17.1899° N of the equator and 88.4976° W of the Greenwich meridian according to google. A member of the Commonwealth and the only Central American country to officially speak English Belize is considered by locals to be equal parts Caribbean and Central American retaining languages and customs from both regions.

    Mr. Manny Birthday Bash
    Señor Marlin’s is pulling out all the stops and celebrating big this weekend! Celebrate along with Mr. Manny at Señor Marlin's Sports Bar this weekend.

    Relax and Brunch at Caprice Bar and Grill
    A sophisticated setting a few steps away from the water and an indulgent brunch menu makes Caprice Bar and Grill a must do on any given Sunday. Not that I’m against their daily menu or endless array of tropical concoctions at the bar on any other day, Sunday Brunch is just a little more my pace. The atmosphere, symbolic to the Holiday Hotel, lends itself to that relaxed state we all crave after a long week of work. The mimosas are carefully crafted with just the right balance of fresh orange juice and champagne and the food just whispers comfort. It may be the only place in Belize were I’ve had the option of both my brunch favorites: biscuits and gravy and chicken and waffles! Another savory dish that grabbed my attention was the Cheese Blintzes filled with Ricotta and Mascarpone and smothered in Shrimp Bearnaise Sauce. If you have more of a sweet tooth, I recommend the Banana Foster French Toast filled with cream cheese and bananas and don’t forget the rum sauce please!

    Your Belize Cooking Guide: How to Make Fish Seré
    Belize is a cultural melting pot and a country filled with a wide array of ethnicities from across the globe. These groups bring a unique selection of cuisines native to their country and infuse them with a few Belizean twists. To aid in satisfying your taste buds and learn a bit more about these dishes, Maya Island Air will be featuring a monthly ‘How to’ cooking guide that will feature local images, videos and recipes. This month’s dish is a popular selection of the Garinagu (Ga-ri-na-gu) people known as Fish Seré, a creamy chowder made with chunks of fish fillet sautéed with ground foods. This filling meal is also typically served with coconut-milk infused rice and tasty plantain strips.

    International Sourcesizz

    US Payment Processor Sues Visa, Belize Banks
    Evergreen E-Pay Solutions Inc., a Palm Coast e-commerce payment processing company, filed a federal suit Friday alleging Visa allowed three Belize banks to process international transactions without proper licensing, leading them to suddenly terminate Evergreen's agreement. Sir Michael Ashcroft, one of Britain's wealthiest businessmen and a former deputy chairman of its Conservative Party, controls the Belize banks, according to the 21-count complaint assigned to U.S. District Judge Donald Graham. Ashcroft owns Caribbean Investment Holdings, formerly known as BCB Holdings Ltd., which controls British Caribbean Bank International Ltd., Belize Bank Ltd. and Belize Bank International Ltd. The three banks provided Visa credit and debit card processing services in Belize, processing up to 800,000 online purchases made by cardholders who were Internet customers of Evergreen's international merchants.

    Hershey Expands ‘Learn to Grow’ Program to Belize Sugar Industry and Launches New Sustainable Sugar Sourcing Policy
    The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) announced today a new partnership with the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) to expand its Hershey Learn to Grow sustainable farming program to sugar suppliers in northern Belize. The program will train farmers in sustainable agriculture practices to responsibly grow and harvest sugar cane. The new program builds on The Hershey Company’s leadership in ensuring the raw materials used for its iconic brands are procured from sustainable sources where the entire community benefits from the business. The SIRDI Farmer Field School, funded by Hershey, is an expansion of the highly recognized Hershey Learn to Grow program, initiated four years ago to give West African cocoa farmers the opportunity to improve productivity, raise incomes and benefit the entire community.

    Panama banks lose US correspondent accounts
    Multiple sources in Panama City are reporting that several local financial institutions have lost their correspondent accounts in the United States, and American bank clients seeking to transfer funds to Panama are unable to complete any wire transactions through those correspondents. Banco General SA and Banco Nacíonal de Panama SA are among those who reportedly are now without any means of receiving funds from the United States financial structure. To add to the unease in Panama City, Banco General is alleged to be currently under investigation by a US law enforcement agency, together with a number of other banks. Americans who own businesses in Panama are now completely unable to pay their staff, and to cover expenses incurred in the normal course of business. Given Panama's strong laws regarding employee rights, absentee owners face immediate civil, as well as even criminal, liability, for non-payment of salaries and social security taxes.

    Videos

  • Primary School Students Display Products in a Business Showcase, 3.5min. Over a hundred students gathered at the ITVET in Belize City today to show off products that they created under a programme with Peacework. In its third year, the “Business Showcase” which is a collaboration with the Ministry of Education, hosted over twenty schools from across the city in an all-day exhibition that is intended to teach students what it takes to develop a business idea into a product. News Five’s Andrea Polanco stopped in at today’s showcase to check out the work of the young students.

  • A snippet of today's "Stand Up for Belize" March, 1min. Teachers countrywide are marching in Belize City to express their opposition to the recent Sarstoon Law. Today was to be a day of celebration for teachers in honor of Teacher's Day but the educators decided to take the opportunity to participate in the rally instead.

  • Belize: Witnessing Climate Change Firsthand, 14min. How do scientists research climate change? Follow Justin Baumann and his team of coral researchers to find out.

  • Majestic Frigate birds, Hopkins Belize, 1/2min. A common seabird throughout Belize, the Majestic Frigate has a large wingspan and is an excellent fisher. You'll see them floating aloft on the air currents that blow off the ocean.

  • belize 2015, 5min.

  • FARMERS FIELD SCHOOL 2016, 5.5min. Yesterday marked the unveiling of the fourth group of student farmers to participate in the Farmer Field School program hosted by the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute, SIRDI. The FFS program, targets farmers and exposes them through hands-on field sessions, to best practices in sugar cane cultivation. This year though, the program captured the interest of the international company…Hershey’s which is financing the program and is currently purchasing sugar from Belize to produce their chocolates.

  • CARMELITA GOV. SCHOOL GETS A NEW BUILDING, 5.5min. It goes without saying that a proper environment is imperative to good learning, especially for young children, and part of achieving this is ensuring that children have proper and well equipped school buildings. Today there is very good news to tell as children from the Carmelita Government School are now attending classes in a brand new building.

  • TEACHERS TAKE THE STAGE FOR THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS, 5.5min. On Monday night, students from a number of primary schools here in Orange Walk Town took the stage at the football field of the Louisiana Government School where they performed for the annual festival of arts event. However, last night it was the teachers’ turn to shine and take up the stage in order to showcase their many skills and talents at the Teachers Festival of Arts which was held at the Crystal Palace Auditorium by the District Education Council in celebration of education month.

  • Cindy Hand Fishing Tarpon in Belize, 1/2min.

  • Snorkeling Caye Caulker Reef Belize, 11min. Cindy and Lawrence snorkeling at Caye Caulker.

  • Belize Audubon Society Activities 18, 5min.

  • BELIZE NATIONAL TEACHERS DAY RALLY, 6min. BNTU HELD PEACEFUL MARCH IN PROTEST OVER THE "SARSTOON LAW" PASSED BY GOVERNMENT, BANNING BELIZEANS FROM ENTERING THE MOUTH OF THE SARSTOON RIVER.

  • Honeymooning in Belize!, 5min.

    May 13, 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

    BTB sponsors World Responsible Tourism Awards
    In an effort to promote sustainable tourism, The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has opted to sponsor the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards (WRTA). Belize has been a recipient of WRTA in the past and hopes that by sponsoring the event it will stimulate the industry even further. Aiming to celebrate the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world, WRTA show cases what can be achieved by a sustainable approach to tourism. “Responsible tourism is more than just a few gestures here and there, it’s about a way of life, and it’s something that is ingrained in Belize’s mentality; our tourism development strategy goes hand in hand with sustainability; and if we believe all destinations should consider this approach. Along with protecting the wildlife and natural resources, a key element of this strategy is ensuring that tourism truly benefits the local people and keeping Belize chain-free has greatly contributed to this, encouraging local enterprise and businesses to cater for tourists,” explained BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Karen Pike.

    Prime Minister briefs public on bi-partisan meetings in Washington DC concerning Sarstoon
    On Thursday, May 5th, Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow held a press conference along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Honourable Wilfred Elrington to report on meetings held with Guatemala at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington DC, USA. However, the press conference left attendees with many unclear answers, as Barrow was unable to say what progress the meetings had with the Guatemalans, except that it took place and that he was optimistic. The Prime Minister opened the press conference by stating the importance of a statement made by OAS’ Secretary-General Luis Almagro, wherein he asked Belize and Guatemala to cooperate on the formulation of protocols in the Sarstoon area. “We greatly appreciate OAS Secretary-General’s statement following his meeting with Belize and Guatemala. This makes it clear that the two nations are to adopt a cooperation mechanism as soon as possible to normalize the situation in the Sarstoon,” said Barrow.

    Ambergris Caye Rotary Club gives back to the community
    The newly installed Rotary Club in San Pedro has been actively seeking ways to assist the island community. Their latest project focused on education, engaging in community projects such as cleaning and beautification. The Club also completed a successful book drive in which they were able to collect thousands of books. The books were donated to the San Pedro Public Library, the Caye Caulker Library, Belize City Library, Seventh Day New Horizon Adventist School, Holy Cross Anglican School, Shining Star Pre-School, Brighter Tomorrow, Ambergris Caye Elementary School special needs class, Ministry of Education Resource Room and the Literary Program on the island. The book drive was the highlight part of the project. After collecting the books, Rotary Club team members had the arduous task of carefully cataloguing each book before distributing them to the respective educational institutions. “It was a long hard week sorting out books, but all was made possible thanks to the efforts of members of the club,” said Rotarian Brittney O’Daniel.

    Caye Note: Reef Week
    The San Pedro Sports Committee and Hol Chan Marine Reserve is inviting the island community to participate in the 11th Annual Northern Reef Week. A series of sporting activities have been organized in an effort to promote the conservation of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The week will begin with the ‘Swim to the Reef’ race on Monday, May 18th at 6AM. The race will start at the Amigo’s dock, and will be followed by a Lionfish Tournament. Registered team will have all day to catch lionfish with weigh-ins starting at 4PM at Estel’s Dine by the Sea Restaurant. To close off the week, a kayak race around the island will be held on Sunday, May 22nd. The race will start at the Boca del Rio Park at 8AM. Registration fees are $50 per team. The final event is a triathlon, which will take place also on Sunday, May 22nd at the Boca del Rio Park at 10AM.

    ACES students shine brightly at Open House
    Students were in the spotlight, demonstrating their knowledge at Ambergris Caye Elementary School’s (ACES) annual ‘Open Day’ on Friday, May 6th. Parents and families, along with other members of the community had the opportunity to visit ACES and observe what the students have learned so far in the school year. This year, classrooms were divided by grade levels and core subjects like science, social studies, world geography and mathematics. “We incorporated the use of technology, and our concept was to show how we learn science, social studies, or any other subject using technology,” said Teacher Roberto Valencia. The computer-science club students displayed the parts of a computer, their function, and history if its invention. For Social Studies, Belizean ethnic groups like the Mennonites and the Maya were discussed, with students dressed in cultural costumes and speaking the native languages of the Maya. The world geography classroom had students use a series of Power Point presentations to showcase the different countries in Europe. In the math department, students presented the use of decimals, shapes, polygons, and much more. Each class fulfilled their task of creating a solid project and explaining the benefits of education using technology.

    Ambergris Today

    No Arrests Made for Island Footballer’s Murder
    The San Pedro Police Department is yet to arrest anyone for the murder of island footballer Melvin Almendarez as his family continues to mourn his death after his funeral services held on May 10, 2016. Police are still no closer to making any arrest and while there was a Canadian national detained for questioning over Almendarez’s murder, that person has only been charged and fined for another offence, but is still only a person of interest in the case. Authorities remain optimistic as they continue to investigate the murder case. The Canadian national continues to be one of the key persons of interest; however Belize court has released him with no travel restrictions. Meanwhile, San Pedro residents want answers as Almendarez was not known as a troublesome person. He was an avid football player and advocate of sports in the community and involved with the youth and sports.

    Belize Strengthens Fight Against Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing
    According to the FIU, the MOU will strengthen the cooperation that currently exists and facilitate the analysis and investigation of suspected money laundering, associated predicate offences, and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. Implementation of the MOU will increase the potential sources of information available to both the FIU and the police to fight crime and remove the profit from criminal activities. It also provides the framework for joint operations where the strengths of each party may complement the other and add value to the process.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    FCD public outreach campaign
    Water is an essential part of life. The Chiquibul Forest is then a reservoir of life giving services. Thanks to PACT and the British Embassy, FCD is preparing its next public outreach campaign. These posters and atlas will reach out your way soon!!

    Reef Week 2016 Lionfish Tournament
    Get your teams ready and sign up for the Northern Belize Reef Week 2016 Lionfish Tournament!!!!

    Reef Week 2016 Coastal Cleanup
    Get your garbage bags ready on Tuesday May 17th @ 8:30 am, and lets clean up our coastline...all trash bags will compiled at the municipal dock!!!

    Fish Tagging Program at Hol Chan
    Fish Tagging Program for bonefish, permit and tarpon has initiated as part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Research/Monitoring program. The first field tagging expedition was conducted last week with 164 bonefish and 4 permits being tagged. This program seeks to engage fishermen using beach traps on leeward Ambergris caye and guarantees that bonefish and permit caught in those traps are tagged and release back to sea. If you encounter any or our tagged fish please report size and location the the Hol Chan office.

    Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program Turtle Nesting Beach Photos
    We made our first trip for the nesting season to Robles. No signs of nesting as yet, but we know there will be soon so we are keeping our eyes on the beach.

    Carmelita Government School Receives Grant from Government of Japan
    The Government of Japan is once again partnering with the Government of Belize. The Government of Japan is granting a total of $204,368.00 BZD to the Carmelita Government School located in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk, Belize. This contribution was made for the construction of three (3) classrooms for the school. The Government of Japan has been partnering with the Ministry of Education in Belize by providing grants, to construct classrooms and further enhance an environment conducive to learning.

    THE FIRST DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS FROM THE BUDGET OF “GENETIC IMPROVEMENT IN SHEEP AND GOAT PROJECT BETWEEN BELIZE-TAIWAN” FOR THE PRESENT YEAR 2016
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that on Wednesday, May 11th , 2016 , Ambassador Benjamin Ho handed over the first disbursement of $155,628.80 US fund from the budget of “ Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat Project” to the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega in his capacity as Minister for Agriculture. With the fund of present year it would cover expenses related to house maintenance, materials and equipment purchase, stock breeding, paddock seed/fertilizers/chemicals procurement and so on. The project seeks to improve and develop the genetic blood lines of both the sheep and goat livestock through natural breeding and the artificial insemination programs. The “Genetic Improvement for Sheep and Goat Breeding Belize-Taiwan Project” was signed on December 2, 2015 by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture Hon. Gaspar Vega and the Ambassador of the Republic of China(Taiwan) H.E. Mr. Benjamin Ho. It is a three-year project with an approved total budget of approximately 1.62 Million US Dollars of which the Government of Belize will contribute 0.35 M US$ and the Taiwanese Government will finance 1.27 M US$.

    SAN PEDRO ROAD IMPROVEMENTS!
    The San Pedrito Area and streets from the Airstrip area are receiving major improvements. The San Pedro Town Council is adding white mall to these streets to further improve its conditions. This is the same material being used for the road on North, Ambergris Caye after Belizean Shores. Also, the San Pedro Town Council is opening a road that leads from the San Pedrito Area to the San Pablo Area which heavy vehicles will be able to use to commute from the Marina to town. This is an effort to alleviate the traffic congestion in San Pedro Town.

    Miss Costa Maya International 2014 Elisa Espinosa Gomez gets married
    The wedding of Elisa Espinosa Gomez, Miss Costa Maya International 2014 to Mr. Domingo Torres.

    CCCCC, UK-DFID, GOB and Ya’Axche deliver climate resilient crops within a Reserve
    In plain view of the mountainous terrain of Belize’s most southern district, Toledo, farmers of Trio Village have been facing a changing environment. Ya’Axche Conservation Trust approached the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) to assist the villagers with combating threats that were exacerbated by climate related events. This involved deforestation due to lack of water, insufficient arable land and forest fires which threatened crops. The main initiative involved attaining land, donating cacao seedlings and providing technical assistance and training for climate resilient crops. The partnership of UK-DFID, CCCCC and Ya’Axche came to fruition when the Forest Department granted a unique concession to allow agro-forestry within the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve. The implementation of this community forest concession resulted in 936 acres being leased to the project. The acres have been divided into sub plots for organic cacao farming and the concession includes an annual crop section for vegetables, plantain and honey harvesting.

    CODICADER 2016 BELIZE GAMES
    Our entire country comes alive July 6 - 11, when athletes from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama compete against our Belizean Children ages 6 - 12, in the Events of Football (City of Belmopan), Basketball (San Ignacio), Volleyball (Orange Walk), and Table Tennis (Belize City), in the 2016 CODICADER (Central American Athletic Championships) BELIZE GAMES. This is a FIRST for Belize, and for six days, over a thousand athletes from these countries will be calling this place 'home". Go, Team BELIZE! We are 100% behind you!

    Development of Belize Women In Politics Exhibit
    Today, we had the honor to host the Development of Belize Women In Politics Exhibit. The travelling exhibit is spearheaded by the Belize Women's Political Caucus(BWPC) with the aim to encourage and empower young female leaders within our community to be inspired and one day become Political leaders of Belize. We would like to thank all those that attended and contributed to the success of this event. You are kindly invited to visit the House of Culture today and tomorrow to view the exhibit.

    Do You Know an Outstanding Belizean Fisher?
    Nominate that person for the Belize Fisher of the Year 2016 Award! Sponsored by Punta Fuego, Belize's hottest radio drama

    Results of the 2016 Birdathon!
    BIRDATHON results in! First we want to congratulate all the teams on their astounding big days. Every team put their heart and soul into this count with exceptional results. We had very high counts with some rare birds observed. Thanks to all the lodges and people that participated and we hope many more join the fun next year. If you would like to donate to our cause we would be graciously appreciative. Results: Most Species Observed: Winner of the H. Lee Jones Cup Caves Branch Jungle Lodge 206 Bocawina Rainforest Lodge 202 Mystic River Resort 200 Lamanai Outpost Lodge 194 The Lodge at Chaa Creek 170 Farm Inn 120 Best Birds Top 3: 1 Black-whiskered Vireo- Farm Inn 2 Long-billed Starthroat- Mystic River Resort 3 Chestnut-collared Swift- Caves Branch Jungle Lodge Caves Branch Jungle Lodge will be awarded the H. Lee Jones Cup to be displayed at their Lodge.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    10 Cloverfield Lane, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Triple 9, How to be Single.

    Channel 7

    A Dozen Markers In City Shooting
    There was a shooting in the city a little over one hour ago. It happened at the corner of King and Far West Streets, about two blocks from the downtown area. Reports are that a black car turned on the canal, went against the flow of traffic, and headed down King Street to the corner where Aaron Garbutt hangs out. A shooter in the car released a barrage of gunfire - we saw as many as a dozen bullet markers at the scene. He was immediately rushed to the KHMH. Fortunately Garbutt was not fatally injured. Reports say he was shot in the hand and leg. The area is adjacent to George Street and is considered to be an extension of that gang's turf.

    Stand Up, But Don't Speak Up?
    Tomorrow is teacher's day - but instead of taking a trip, Belize's teachers have been invited to take part in a rally - as part of the BNTU's "Stand up for Belize campaign." It's a deviation from the planned activities for the day - where each district branch of the union was supposed to arrange outings. But the teachers say they have to come together to oppose the Sarstoon S.I. Today in Orange Walk, the Minister of Education told CTV-3 that while he doesn't agree with their message, he supports them in saying it:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "I believe that the teachers have a right to make that decision. It is that we celebrate teacher's day in various different ways in different years. This year it's to be celebrated at the branch level which means that the branches of the BNTU get to select. I'm not going to get into the union's business as to how they conduct themselves. By right each branch should have come up with their own, but they have come up with this demonstration as I understand it as a joint decision and I will never stand in the way of teachers or any Belizeans for that matter demonstrating their patriotism. But of course you know that I was a part of the cabinet decision to put in place the statutory instrument that they are protesting against and of course I absolutely don't agree with the protest against that particular statutory instrument although I respect their right as patriotic Belizeans, if that is their view to go out there and to do that."

    Sarstoon Island, the View From The Ground
    And right now, no Belizean civilian is allowed to travel into the Sarstoon River without the express approval of the Government of Belize. If they do, they risk being fined up to $2,000, or up to a year in jail, and that is in addition to the dangers of being arrested or more serious consequences, should they come into contact with the Guatemalan military. And that kind of encounter is almost a certainty, since as we've been reporting, even the BDF soldiers are not immune to this consistent harassment from the Guatemalan Navy. The first public indication that the Guat. military had changed to a more aggressive profile at the southern border came almost exactly a year ago, in May. That's when they confronted officers of the Belize Coast Guard and demanded that they leave Sarstoon Island. As you would remember, the Coast Guard were scouting for an ideal location to put the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base. Since then, the Guatemalan military has steadily stepped up its enforcement on the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island.

    Police Talking to Witnesses On Cayo Killing
    Police are questioning 2 eyewitnesses in connection with Tuesday night's Cayo murder. As we told you, 59 year old businessman Jose Anibal Molina Estrada was shot and killed at a Spanish Lookout Bar. Estrada went to the bar after work to have a few drinks. But his business rival, Eddy Larios and his friends Guillermo Guerra and Duck Run Chairman Victor Perez, showed up at the bar. There was a confrontation between the men which led to a wild gun fight. Estrada pulled out his licensed 9 millimeter pistol and shot at the 3 men. Larios then pulled out his licensed "nine" and fired back at Estrada - killing him. 17 expended shells were found at the scene, and police have recovered Glock and Ruger Pistols - the clip in the Glock was empty. The family told us that Estrada and Larios were long time business rivals and that might have prompted the deadly shootout, while police say that alcohol was one factor.

    20 Year old Pleads Guilty To Reckless Driving In Death of 70 Year Old Teacher
    19 year old Boyd Lopez had no driver's license when he ran over well-known retired teacher, 70 year old Marie Knowles as she walked on the sidewalk on Baghdad Street in February of 2015. He was charged for manslaughter, and today he pleaded guilty to lesser charge of causing death by careless conduct. Lopez, who is now 20 asked Supreme Court Judge, Adolph Lucas to render justice with mercy after he admitted his guilt. Immediately, a mitigation plea was heard on behalf of Lopez who was represented by Legal Aid Attorney, Baja Shoman. According to Knowles, he is gainfully employed as a care giver on a farm for animals located in the Jaguar Paw area and he can pay if the court would be mindful to allow him time to pay.

    The Dredging Begins
    Since February, we've been reporting on the alarming buildup of siltation in front of the Bliss Center and Bodies Warehouse on Southern Foreshore in Belize City. Since then, the mass of silt has kept accumulating, and now has spread almost across to the tourism village. This week, the mayor threw the government under the bus for now showing the leadership to step up and proceed with dredging. Well, someone has stepped up because this evening, we saw a dredge in the harbor mouth going to work. We couldn't confirm who is in control of the operation and who is paying for it, but the good news is it's underway, and choking river mouth should get some relief. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

    Youths Take A Turn At Entrepreneuship
    12 primary schools and 8 vocational schools showcased their business ideas at a fair that took place today at the ITVET compound in Belize City. It is an event coordinated by international accounting firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers, the Ministry of Education and Peacework. But the ideas, products and services on display today were more than just for show. It was actually a competition. Students were judged in ingenuity, organization, and presentation among other things. We spoke to one of the organizers of today's business fair who told us about the importance of promoting business literacy among young students. Lia Flur, Dir., Corp. Engagement, Peace work: "So the primary ITVET school center showcases all schools across Belize District and ITVET's across the whole entire country have come here to display their innovative and creative business ideas that will be judged by a panel of 3 judges. Their setting up for everybody to come, we're inviting everybody to come look at what they've got going on. The energy here is contagious; we have a bunch of different ideas whether it's a product or service. A lot of the ITVETS have some cool things that are way above my head in engineering and development. There's a lot of cool things going on and I invite everybody to come check it out."

    Innovation Nation
    So while that event was being held at the front of the ITVET Compound, a heated innovators' competition went on inside the ITVET Courtyard this morning. It was held by the same organizers and featured some 17 high schools from the District of Belize. This is the third year that the event is being held. Each year participants are given innovative challenges. This year it was in the field of education. We spoke to the organizers and the champs of last year's competition and learned more about their innovative idea for this year. Lia Flur, Dir., Corp. Engagement, Peace work: "In the courtyard we have a high school innovation challenge. Seventeen teams across Belize District have come together to create innovative solutions to a case study on innovation and education." Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer: "Innovation and Education, that's the challenge that each school has been given, so they are to come up with some solutions as to what they'd like to see education be. Many times we as adults think that we have all the answers but young people might advise us and tell us how education should be. Maybe if we listen to them and take their advice, maybe we'd have more students attending classes, our results would be better. The Ministry of Education is very interested in hearing what these young people have to say to all of us at the Ministry of Education."

    Adios Anwar?
    On last night's news you saw Chairman of BTL's Executive Committee, Anwar Barrow going over the company's stellar performance in the last financial year. But, sources tell us that in spite of the record "year-to-year" growth in revenue, Anwar Barrow may be heading for the exits. And why? Reportedly, because he asked for a "six figure" salary increase and didn't get it. Yesterday we asked him about it, and she said, he will leave eventually, but not just yet:... Anwar Barrow - Chairman, BTL Executive Committee: "That's absolutely untrue. I took up the post two and a half years ago roughly and under the specific agreement that everybody pretty much knows and the management team and most of the staff, to achieve certain goals. So one of those things was giving the company a clear strategic direction, because at the time that was something that the board wanted to develop more. A second thing was re-energizing the marketing and that is evidence by what we presented today. A third thing was to recruit some key talents to management that we needed to move the company forward. A fourth thing has been to lead the way as far as doing a technical refresh of our network and that is evidence by many things, largest of which is this new mobile network that we are going to launch. So I have had those things as my objectives and certainly when I complete those things, then I will be transitioning back into my private business. The last of which is the launch on this new LTE network, so that's what we are focused on right now - that's what I am focused on largely."

    Lesbians Unite
    If you follow the news any at all, then you know all about UNIBAM and its pro-gay agenda. But tonight there is another such group, and this one is for Lesbians. The group calls themselves PETAL and it stands for Promoting Empowerment Through Awareness for Lesbian and Bisexual women. They were formed in 2012 but have not come out to light until today when they had their debut event at the Biltmore Plaza. We spoke to the Coordinator of this organization and the US Ambassador was also there to lend his support. "PETAL is promoting empowerment through awareness for lesbian and bisexual women. Empowering women, letting them learn about the laws, how it affects them and do not affect them, and where they can change legislation for women. As you know, we are seeing prevalently that women from all over the world are being oppressed; they are like second class citizens and for a country like Belize that one would consider liberal to some large extent. People will have their idiosyncrasies about anything and everything but we welcome everybody, all women, we're a women's organization with a focus on lesbian and bisexual women. We want to provide psycho-social support for anybody who comes to us. It's not to say 'oh another gay group coming up', no we are human beings and as long as that is respected then we can move forward."

    Cacao And The Community In Trio
    The Toledo villagers of Trio are getting major assistance from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. The 5C's has, through funding from UK-D-FID, provided for 30,00 cacao seedlings to be donated and planted by Trio farmers. 35 individuals, 10 of who are women, will be able to benefit from the program, which also comes with over 900 acres in land concession by the Government in the area of the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve. The representative from the 5Cs explained how it will work: Mark Bynoe, Head, Project Development Management of CCCCC: "It's not a case that these issues are new, but the idea was that these issues are likely going to be exacerbated with a change in climate regime. With that focus we then looked at projects we had within the center that will possibly be able to finance this particular initiative and we were able to find $250,000 U.S. under the UK DFID program. So for the last 2 years we have been funding this initiative in the Trio area. Climate change is indicating a more dryer spell or much more extreme events occurring, limited precipitation, and as a result, some of the very crops that we have been cultivating timely memorial are likely not to be as resilient as with a normal climate regime."

    SANTA CRUZ 13 Vs. The DPP
    It's been almost 11 months now since the 13 Mayans from the Toledo Village of Santa Cruz were arrested and charged for detaining and attempting to evict Creole Belizean Rupert Myles. They continue to accuse him of squatting on - and causing damage to -their sacred Ux Benka Mayan Site. Well, when their case was called up yesterday in the Punta Gorda Magistrate's Court, the Director of Public Prosecutions asked for an adjournment. It was granted, and the Mayans are now upset that the criminal trial hasn't progressed to completion. The DPP has explained to us that the reason she requested the adjournment is because her office has only just come upon a crucial audio recording which documents the incident for which the Mayans have been charged. The DPP needs time to authenticate it, since it could swing the case in one direction or the next, to a swift conclusion.

    US Ambassador on Belize Guatemala Relations
    And back now to the Belize Guatemala territorial dispute. As we've reported, the US Ambassador to the OAS participated in meetings between Belize and Guatemala at the OAS last week. As the regional superpower and one of the Group of Friends, we'd guess that the US is more than just an interested observer. Today we asked the US Ambassador to Belize about his thoughts on the current Belize Guatemala Situation. Here's what he told us. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize: "Our position is and has been that the dispute after so many years since it's not been resolved, that the best and maybe the only course of action at this point is to refer the matter to the International Court of Justice. We sincerely regret the incident that happened a couple weeks ago in the Chiquibul forest. There is always two sides to any story. We fully support the OAS conducting a full investigation and if they request support from the United States in terms of a forensics expert or a scene reconstruction - something like that, I think we are also willing to offer whatever services we can if asked." Emanuel Pech: "Are you worried or are you concern that the situation might just escalate seeing that it has been for the last couple of months?" Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize: "I think I am very concerned and we monitor the situation closely every day to the extent to what we can, we have our military commander speak with both General Jones and the Guatemalan General, just try to maintain open lines of communications, since the US has provided aid to both militaries."

    Stamp Taking His Show From The Road To The Stage
    You may have seen them perform on City Streets but tomorrow night, for the first time you will get to see the cast of Sleepless Girls on the Bliss Stage. Writer and founder of Youth Advocacy through Art Joseph "Stamp" Romero has been showcasing this play for a couple months now and he hopes that the message will reach out to an even greater audience on the Bliss Stage. We spoke to Romero this afternoon about the resounding themes in his play. The free show starts tomorrow night at 7 at the Bliss Center.

    The Crusades Cometh
    The Crusade is in Belize. If that sounds scary, well it shouldn't. The Catholic Diocese in Belize is hosting what it hopes to be the largest Eucharist adoration and global living Rosary event in the country. They are calling it the Eucharistic Crusade. Father James Kelleher, the founder and director of this Eucharistic movement is in Belize organizing the event for tomorrow evening. He has only done two other large events like this in the states, and now the third one is being staged at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. Kelleher told us more about it when we spoke to him today. Kelleher says they expect in the excess of 5 thousand people at the Eucharistic Crusade tomorrow. The event begins at 5:30 with a procession from Holy Redeemer Cathedral and then Eucharistic adoration begins at 7 at the Marion Jones Stadium.

    Cops Catching Cocaine By the Kilo
    28 year old Justo Roches and his common-law wife, 27 year old Yaritza Delrisco are at the Belize Central Prison tonight after they were allegedly caught with over a kilo of cocaine and a loaded firearm yesterday. Members of the Gang Suppression Unit visited their home on Brown Street yesterday to conduct a raid. Delrisco was at home at the time, and when the cops searched their bed room they found 1.105 kilos of a substance they suspect to be cocaine. They also searched another room and that's when they found a black 9mm pistol which was loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition. Shortly after the items were found Justo Roches arrived home and informed the police that he also lives at this house. Both were arrested and charged with drug trafficking, keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers, and they pleaded not guilty to the charges. Due to the nature of the offence, they were remanded into custody until July 26.

    Cops And FIU Sign MOU
    In February, we showed you how the Financial Intelligence Unit signed a memorandum of understanding with the Customs Department. Well, yesterday in Belmopan they signed one with that other major law enforcement body: the Police. The idea is to share information on money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Here's how they explained it: The FIU is working on several MOU with various stakeholders.

    Refugee Remix
    On Monday, we showed you our interview Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration, Beverly Castillo about the refugee program, which had been taking place mostly without the knowledge of the general public. Well, to try and fend off persistent questions about the level of transparency in that program, the Government of Belize released a statement on Tuesday. It says that the Refugee Eligibility Committee, chaired by Director Maria Marin, and it is made of up of members from the Belize Council of Churches, the NTUCB, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the Ministry of Human Development, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a representative of the Solicitor General, and a representative of the Commissioner of Police. The Government says that the Refugee Committee was reactivated in June of 2015 after several years of dormancy. They add that since reactivation, the committee has held 5 meetings to consider applications for asylum from persons fleeing from persecution, especially gang violence in their home countries.

    Channel 5

    The GAF continues to bully the B.D.F.
    A video released on Tuesday here on News Five shows two vessels of the Guatemalan Armed Forces provoking the B.D.F. and blocking soldiers from entering the Sarstoon. It is not [...]

    The Deteriorating Situation in the Sarstoon
    The government of Guatemala has responded to the disturbing video in which the Guatemalan military tells the B.D.F. to “respect the protocol,” while the B.D.F. was attempting to traverse the [...]

    Will FM Wilfred Elrington Meet with Carlos Raul Morales in Taiwan?
    Since the discussions in Washington last week between the Foreign Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales, there have been no further talks about the deteriorating situation in the Sarstoon where [...]

    Santa Cruz 13 Back In Court; Case Adjourned Again
    It has been almost one year since a team of police officers took the village of Santa Cruz by storm during a predawn raid which resulted in the arrest of [...]

    Man Remains Hospitalized Following Pasadita Bar Shootout
    A resident of the Duck Run Three Community remains in a critical condition at a Belize City hospital after he was shot to the chest and hip on Tuesday night [...]

    Teachers Prepare for B.N.T.U. March
    The Belize National Teachers Union is tonight making final preparations for a march to be held this Friday in the Old Capital. The B.N.T.U., which is the most militant of [...]

    Life in Belize for Guatemalan professionals
    Protests by indigenous people in Guatemala City on Wednesday paralyzed a major part of the City after main thoroughfares were blocked. The indigenous people are demanding access to basic necessities [...]

    Belizeans Get Vocal about the Aggression by the GAF
    Guatemalan military officers have been caught on camera bullying the Belize Defense Force in the Sarstoon which they now fully control. The B.D.F. is now told to “respect the protocol” [...]

    United Nations High Commission for Refugees Speak Out on Local Program
    A week ago we told you about a refugee programme operation through the Help for Progress Office in Belmopan. Our cameras showed crowds of people lined up to get their [...]

    UNHCR says over 200 Persons Have Applied to the Program
    Information we received suggested that a couple hundred people have applied for the process. Today, we asked Tobin what the numbers look like and what follows next. Here’s how she [...]

    5Cs Donate to Farmers in Trio
    Farmers in the Trio area were the recipients of funding from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center. The funding was a part of the 5Cs assistance to combat the threats [...]

    Boyd Lopez, Guilty of Death by Careless Conduct
    Twenty-year old Boyd Lopez was initially charged and indicted for manslaughter in the traffic fatality that took the life of seventy year old Marie Knowles on Baghdad Street on February [...]

    Primary School Students Display Products in a Business Showcase
    Over a hundred students gathered at the ITVET in Belize City today to show off products that they created under a programme with Peacework. In its third year, the “Business [...]

    Ocean Academy Wins the 3rd Annual High School Innovation Challenge
    There is a repeat winner in the annual Innovation in Education Challenge which took place today at the ITVET in Belize City. Seventeen high schools from the Belize District competed. [...]

    Healthy Living: Prostate Cancer and You
    May is celebrated as cancer awareness month. Every year there are increased efforts to educate Belizeans on preventing and screening for common cancers. Cervical and breast cancer are still of [...]

    LOVE FM

    Alcalde Association Upset Over 7th Court Adjournment
    The Toledo Alcaldes Association has issued a release after the case of the Santa Cruz Villagers was adjourned yet again. Yesterday our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reported that defendants and their attorneys appeared in court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith however the Director of Public Prosecution requested another adjournment. In its release the TAA […]

    Ocean’s Academy Wins 3rd High School Innovation Challenge
    The third annual High School Innovation Challenge closed off today on the ITVET compound after three days of fine tuning and presentation of project ideas to a panel of judges around the theme, technology and education. Love News has been reporting on this event for the last three years and as you may know, the […]

    Taiwanese Ambassador Presents First Disbursement for Sheep and Goat Project
    On Wednesday, Taiwanese Ambassador, Benjamin Ho handed over the first disbursement under the genetic improvement in sheep and goat project. The funds, one hundred and fifty five thousand, six hundred and twenty eight US dollars will be used to cover expenses related to house maintenance, materials and equipment purchase, stockbreeding, paddock seed, fertilizers, chemicals procurement […]

    Trio Village Farmers, Ya’Ache and the Five C’s
    Farmers in Trio Village have found a way to work with their environment to improve their lives. The Ya’Axche Conservation Trust received assistance from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center to assist the farmers. The organization helped the farmers secure land, donated cacao seedlings to them and provided them with technical advice and training support […]

    Tikkun Olam Gets Funding to Advocate for Sex Workers
    Tikkun Olam Belize is a non-governmental organization that advocates for sex workers, their freedom to engage in that choice of revenue earner and their human rights. Elisa Castellanos heads the organization; she spoke to Love News on how and why her movement towards sex work advocacy began and where they are today in their efforts. […]

    Ombudsman Cannot Address Complaints Against BDF or BCG
    Ombudsman Lionel Arzu is into his third year in office. The Office of the Ombudsman has been opened since 1999 and serves as a place where members of the public can file complaints against members of the Government service or agencies including the utility companies. According to Arzu, the majority of the complaints brought to […]

    Northern Territorial Volunteers Engaged in Educational Sessions
    Love News caught up with the Northern Territorial Volunteers at San Jose Government School where they were giving an educational session to the children there. Orlando de la Fuente spoke about the education efforts the NTV is undertaking. ORLANDO DE LA FUENTE “I belong to a committee that is called the education committee of the […]

    Joint Ops Lead to Several Arrests for Drug Trafficking
    Early this morning, police arrested and charged two females from Georgetown Village with the offence of Drug Trafficking. 53-year-old, Hortence Martinez, 23-year-old, Shalini Sebastian and a minor were all charged when personnel from Special Branch, Crimes Investigation Branch attached to Intermediate Southern Formation along with the K9 unit conducted a drug and firearm operation. The […]

    Sex Work in Belize: Forms, Motivators and Rights
    Sex work is a path that dozens of women around the country have been engaging in for some time now. While majority of the population is aware of the activity, it remains taboo for many and unacceptable for most. With a first glance at prostitution in Belize, we join Renee Trujillo. There are several forms […]

    PlusTV

    Shoot out at Pasadita Bar, one dead, three injured
    A shoot out at a bar on Tuesday night has left one man dead and three others suffering from gunshot wounds. It happened sometime after 11 p.m. at Pasadita Bar, Iguana Creek Road in the Spanish Lookout Area. 59 year old Anibal Molina Estrada , a Belizean Businessman of Duck Run 3, was shot to the r...

    Video of BDF boat turned back from Sarstoon by GAF
    On Monday afternoon, the Government of Belize announced that it was easing its blanket restriction of Belizeans to access the Sarstoon River and that those with non political objectives who had genuine business on the river would be allowed to traverse the water with the permission of the BDF statio...

    PUP challenges Sarstoon law in court
    Today, Hon John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition, filed a claim in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of that Sarstoon Law (Statutory Instrument No 42 of 2016). This follows a decision announced on the 3 May, 2016 by the PUP’s National Executive. In the Claim, Briceño seeks relie...

    GOB censors public officers from speaking publicly about Guatemala/ Belize issue
    The Ministry of Education has circulated a memo to public officers, in essence censoring them from speaking publicly about the Belize Guatemala issue. The MEMO, leaked to PlusTV this evening, is titled “Public Officers & the Media –Belize/Guatemala Situation” The memo reads, “In an effort to sup...

    PM says arbitration award is win for Belize, but it is not final
    Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow on his return from his latest medical trip abroad today said that the final arbitration award deciding the value of BTL shares at the time of Government’s first nationalization in 2009 can be viewed as a victory for the Government and people of Belize. He a...

    Case fails against accused Hellen Yu killers
    Nearly six years ago, the Chinese community in Belize was stunned by the death of Edward P. Yorke High School student Hellen Yu, 14. She was shot and killed during a robbery at her father’s shop on Iguana Street in Belize City. But the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions conceded tha...

    Murder accused changes plea to manslaughter
    22 year old Devaughan Goodger, 17 when accused five years ago of the murder of 27 year old BDF soldier Jason Pott, has decided to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Pott was stabbed on March 5, 2011 on Cleghorn Street near its intersection with Slaughterhouse Road, not far from the a...

    Dionicio Salazar is Convicted of Killing Marlon Rivera
    Dionicio Salazar has been convicted of murder. Salazar was found guilty of the murder of Marlon Rivera last Friday at the Belmopan Supreme Court by Justice Antionette Moore in a trial without jury. Rivera was shot and killed on June thirteenth 2010 while his friend Dean Dougal was also shot but su...

    The Guardian

    Footballer killed in San Pedro
    Family members, friends and fans of 31 year-old Melvin Almendarez, a San Pedro Football star better known as “Catracho”, were stunned to find his body in the Mosquito Coast area, South of Ambergris Caye. He was discovered with a gunshot injury to the head, injuries to the face, and abrasions to the chest. On Friday, May 6, 2016, at around 10:30 p.m., residents living on the southern outskirts of San Pedro Town heard the sound of a gunshot. They reported the incident to the police who responded shortly thereafter. They searched the area, and found Almendarez dead across from the lagoon belonging to Belize Consolidated Water Services. At this time, very little is known about the murder because it happened late that night, with no witnesses coming forward as yet.

    Ryan Alvarez to stand trial for murder
    Ryan Alvarez, 25, will go to the Supreme Court to face charges of murder and attempted murder upon Edward Robinson, 56, and Jamil “Lado” Betancourt, 33. A preliminary inquiry conducted on Friday, May 6, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser determined that there is a prema facie case against Alvarez for the charges. At around 7:49 a.m. on October 17, 2015, Robinson left his home to socialize with a group of people at the corner of North Creek Street. Jamil Betancourt was also in the area at the time. Shortly after Robinson joined the group, two men came upon the group and started firing at them. Betancourt and Edward Robinson were the only two persons injured from the group. By the time the gunshots ceased, Robinson was dead. Betancourt was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial where his life was saved. Betancourt is believed to have been the intended target with Robinson being collateral damage.

    Police bust “Balls” with weed in his brief
    Police were on mobile patrol in Southside Belize City around 12:30 on Saturday afternoon, May 7, when their attention was drawn to 51-year-old West Street resident, Raymond Gladden, also known as Balls. He was acting suspiciously; therefore, the officers decided to approach and conduct a search on him. Before the search, one of the officers asked Gladden if he had anything illegal to declare and he said no. During the search, the officer found a transparent plastic bag hidden inside the right side of his underwear. The bag contained marijuana. Gladden was arrested and taken to the police station where the marijuana was measured in his presence. It amounted to 36.2 grams.

    Frank Brown to stand trial for attempted murder
    A preliminary inquiry conducted on Monday, May 9, resulted in a commitment for Frank Brown, 39, to stand trial in the Supreme Court of Belize for the attempted murder of Albert Castro, 31. The charge stems from a shooting incident that occurred on Monday, June 30, 2014. Just after 3 a.m. that morning, taxi Driver Albert Castro was in his green Mazda car, in the company of a female passenger, and had just driven off the Western Highway into Fabers Road. That’s when a gunman on bicycle rode up and opened fire on the vehicle. Two of the shots hit him in the head and he was immediately rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for surgery. His female companion escaped the attack unharmed. Castro was admitted in a critical condition at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Doctor’s managed to save his life.

    Belmopan Police visit Camalote to ease tensions
    Belmopan Police continue to be at the ready to render assistance to the Village of Camalote in the Cayo District following the shooting death of two related individuals. Officer in Charge Howell Gillett met with residents from Camalote Village last Thursday in an attempt to “to allay their fears, reduce tensions, update the progress of the investigation and give assurances that the Belmopan police is doing all within its power to bring closure to the case.” Two men were shot and killed in Camalote Village on Sunday night May 1, 2016 about 7:23 pm. Twenty four year old Akeem Thimbriel a Belizean electrician of Camalote Village was observed suffering from gun shots to both arms and chest on that Sunday night. His cousin, Shawn Lopez, a Belizean from nearby Teakettle Village, had also received gunshot injuries to the upper body and had succumbed to his injuries on that same Sunday night. The scene was visited and processed where four 9mm expended shells were recovered from the scene.

    Guinea Grass carpenter busted with crack cocaine
    A Guinea Grass resident was sentenced to three years at the Belize Central Prison after he was convicted of trafficking crack cocaine on a Sarteneja Bus. This charge stems from an incident that occurred almost two years ago, May 27, 2014. Special Branch Police were following the then 51-year-old Augustine Jovito Pott on surveillance for a while when he was busted with 43.3 grams of crack cocaine inside his left shirt pocket. Sgt. Christine Avila stopped the bus heading from Sarteneja to Belize City and took Pott off. She then conducted a search on him and found a black plastic bag containing three transparent plastic bags with white puffy substance suspected to be crack cocaine.

    Rueben Price walks from Steven Perez’s murder charge
    Another old murder trial concluded in an acquittal after a trial by judge ended in the accused gun man walking free. Attorney for Rueben Price, 23, Simeon Sampson, made a no case submission on behalf of his client who was being accused of the June 2011 murder of Steven Perez. Police say that at around 9 p.m. on June 26, 2011, Perez was walking at the corner of Dolphin and Iguana Street when a gunman approached and shot him in the head. There was no eyewitness to the murder but according to police, Price confessed to the crime saying he borrowed a gun and shot Perez over a girl. However, during the voidaire, when Price took the stand he claimed he confessed to the murder because of police brutality. Price told Judge Traodio Gonzalez that he was beaten badly and tasered so he confessed to the murder.

    Bulgarian credit card thieves caught in Belize
    The Belize Bank has agreed to sit down and talk with the legal representatives for Jeorgi Petrov, 28, and Halid Yuksel Aptula, 25, the two Bulgarians accused of a massive credit card scam. Oscar Selgado, attorney for Aptula, said the Belize Bank has agreed to sit down with them and hear them out. “They have not offered anything to us; we are making an offer to them. I will not say what the offer is,” said Selgado after his client was arraigned on Tuesday, May 10, for theft. Petrov and Aptula were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court for one count of theft on Tuesday. According to the facts of the case, on Saturday, May 7, the men visited the Belize Bank ATM on Albert Street and withdrew $500 from an account at the bank that does not belong to them. An employee of the bank, who was already aware that the bank was looking for these men, alerted police and the men were detained. Police conducted a search of the men’s apartments and confiscated 1,100 fake credit cards, 250 blank plastic cards, two Nova laptops, $2,100 in Belize currency, two cellphones and a Honda Civic four door car.

    Teenager charged for murder of Troy Cole
    A youngster, Ryan Thompson, who turned 18 on Saturday, May 7, has been charged for the cold blooded execution of Troy Cole, 26. Troy Cole was riding his bicycle towards Curasow Street from Central American Boulevard at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, when he was attacked by a gunman. Reports are that he struggled with his attacker who carried a gun. Cole was unable to disarm his attacker and he was shot twice to the upper part of the body. Though he was in front of a health center, Integral, Cole had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial where he later succumbed to his injuries.

    A ride against Cancer
    Data shows that over the past 40 years there has been a warming of between 1.6 to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast and interior of Belize. Experts say this is extremely alarming, considering the fact that the globe warmed by only 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over this period of time. Meaning, Belize is warming faster than the globe. This is disturbing news because Belize, being a low lying country, is extremely vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels and other climatic shocks. It is with this in mind that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change launched the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership on Wednesday, May 11, with Belize’s strategy for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

    FCD reports that gold is still being extracted from Chiquibul
    The search for gold in the Chiquibul continues with unimaginable impacts. The idea that gold is found in veins further upland has made Guatemalan gold hunters [oreros] devise ways to reach to those more solid deposits. Even before FCD entered unto a co-management agreement in 2007, the Government of Belize had provided gold concessions in the Chiquibul. Those concessionaires, including Boiton Minerals, who remains the only one with an active concession, have been investigating and searching for the veins and main gold deposits. Guatemalans have also been on the search for these deposits. On the 16th April 2016, Juan Che Zuc of El Naranjon was detained and he reported that people were now taking away the stones and that these were being crushed either away from the streamside in the nearby camp or back at their villages.

    New Magistrate in Belize City
    A new magistrate was sworn in at Court #4 in Belize City on Friday, May 6. Emmertice Emmerita Anderson, originally from Roaring Creek Village, was sworn in by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin as the newest Magistrate of the Court. After graduating from high school, Anderson worked as a Secretary at the Police Training School in Belmopan. She later took up employment in the airline industry and eventually left to work at Tan Sahsa Airlines. Anderson studied law at the Cayman Island Law School between 2009-2012 where she obtained an LLB (Hons), accredited by the University of Liverpool in England. In 2012, after achieving her LLB, she went into business before leaving to further her studies at the Norman Manley Law School. There she obtained her CLE in 2015.

    Pittsology 101 - The Dishonorable Guatemalan President edition Vol. 1
    It is my opinion that Guatemala’s greatest chance of succeeding in their quest for our territory would be through an armed confrontation. For them, having a minor shot and killed by our soldiers, although justified due to the circumstances, is ‘Gold’. They may have gotten irritated since we haven’t swallowed any of their baits set in the Sarstoon area. Our elected leaders have remained responsible in speeches and interviews as it relates to the dispute. We have been perfectly diplomatic. The incident justifies their aggressiveness – locally. They have accomplished a defacto referendum of some sorts, by banking on the emotions of every Guatemalan. They have, by the way, completely excluded the fact that an adult was also shot. They have failed to explain why their citizens were on our side of the border, why minors were away from school and also well inside our territory.

    Belize Athletics Association to host Time Trial
    The Belize Athletics Association informs all track athletes that it will be holding an Open Time Trial on Saturday 14th May, 2016, at the Marion Jones Sports Complex beginning at 9:00 am. The events will be” 100m, 200m, 400m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Javelin, Shot Put and Discus. The association informs that all ages compete at the same level.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks force a game three in basketball championship
    The National Elite Basketball League will play host to its third and final game in the 2016 championship series on Friday 13th May, 2016, at 9:00 p.m. The final game will be played at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium in Belize City. The third and final game has become necessary when the 2-time defending champions the San Pedro Tiger Sharks on Saturday 6th May, defeated the league’s top team the Smart Belize Hurricanes by the score of 101-88 in front of a packed San Pedro High School Auditorium on San Pedro. The 2-time defending champions, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, with rookie sensation Douglas Valley scoring 7 of the 8 points. The visiting Smart Belize Hurricanes was able to close the lead in the first quarter of the game, trailing 17-13, with the San Pedro Tiger Sharks maintaining its lead at the end of the first quarter at 34-28.

    CONCACAF Women’s Football Day is set for Saturday 21st May
    The planned event to commemorate the day will be held at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the City of Belmopan. CONCACAF Women’s Day is geared at creating a significant opportunity for girls and women to play the game, and to provide an even stronger platform to raise awareness for women’s growing participation in football. CONCACAF has created the Women’s Football Day as a unique initiative to encourage greater participation from females while showing how the sport can have a positive impact on education, health and development.

    Crooked Tree Government School girls capture National Primary Schools Softball Title
    The National Primary Schools Softball competition took place on Friday 6th May, 2016, at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Crooked Tree Government School representing the Belize District defeated Aguacate Roman Catholic School representing the Toledo District by the score of 7-3 to capture the National Primary Schools Softball Title. The winning pitcher was Ashanti Gillett and the losing pitcher was Neria Cal. In the third place game played between Independence Primary School representing the Stann Creek District and St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic School from Esperanza Village, representing the Cayo District by the score of 9-1. The winning pitcher was Reah Ardon and the losing pitcher was Hadie Vernon. In the first game in the semi-final round, Aguacate Roman Catholic School edged out Independence Primary School by the score of 6-5 to advance to the championship game. The winning pitcher was Neria Cal and the losing pitcher was Aaliya Coe.

    Martial Arts Federation hosted No Gi Jujitsu Tournament
    The Martial Arts Federation of Belize on Saturday 7th May, 2016, hosted a No Gi (uniform) Jujitsu Tournament at the St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Belize City. The event was the first of its kind in the country and was attended by twenty three athletes male and female ranging from ages ten to adulthood. The coordinator of the event was Leon Guild, who is the Chief Instructor of the Red Dragon Martial Arts Academy, and he explained that the significance of hosting ‘No Gi’ tournament is since people wears normal clothing and do not walk around with a Martial Artist’s uniform all day; participants get an opportunity to evaluate street applications of techniques learnt formally in their dojos.

    Teachers day changed to a parade, is BNTU broke?
    The Wednesday night TV newscasts were all dominated by the leaked cellphone footage of the Guatemalan Military stopping the BDF from patrolling the Sarstoon Island. With guns at the ready and the tensions at an unusual high, the critics of the Barrow Administration are still calling for the 30-day civilian ban on the Sarstoon River to be lifted. The National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the PUP were the first to agitate for the law to be repealed, and now the Belize National Teachers Union has joined. On Monday, May 9, National President, Luke Palacio, and Executive Secretary Keisha Young-Flowers, hosted a press conference to announce that the plan of holding the pre-planned activities for Teachers Day have changed. Friday, May 13, will now be used to hold a rally in Belize City. Its supposed to be a continuation of the Stand Up for Belize Campaign, which was launched by the BNTU on April 15 in Benque Viejo. The full plan has not been revealed as yet, but among the activities will be a parade by the teachers through the principal streets, followed by a gathering at a chosen location, and then public speaking on the topic.

    24 new firefighters join the ranks
    On Thursday May 5th, the fire department graduated 24 firefighters who will be joining the ranks of the service across the country. At the ceremonies, Johnny Cardinez was recognized as the valedictorian while Rudolph Mcfoy came in second. Sherwin Gallego was recognized as the fittest in the intake while David Trujillo was recognized for being the most disciplined. The firefighters underwent a 15 week rigorous training exercise where they learned all manner of fire fighting techniques both in theory and in practice. After the ceremonies the new firefighters demonstrated what they had learnt by displaying a ladder rescue as well as an accident extraction demonstration. Looking on was minister of state in the fire service, Hon. Edmund Castro. He said that with the intake and new focus on procuring equipment, “no longer will we have the stigma that they are not well equipped or well trained.”

    Mothers Day in Orange Walk East
    What would this world be without mothers? Indeed a mother is the epicenter of anyone’s existence and in recognition of this fact, Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. paid homage to these most beautiful creations of God. On Saturday May 7, he held a celebration to pay tribute to the mothers of Orange Walk East, where more than seven hundred mothers attended this special event which was held at the Louisiana Football field in Orange Walk East. The night featured entertainment for the mothers including serenading from a Mexican Mariachi Band and Captain Roby. It was a beautiful festivity during which the mothers were also treated to drinks and food and were eligible to win any of the thirty prizes which were raffled at the event. The celebration started at 5:00 p.m. sharp and went well into the night until the last prize was raffled around 10:00 p.m.

    Elena Smith wants to internationalize an issue that has already been internationalized
    “I believe that we are sometimes a little bit too reactive, we need to learn to be proactive. Guatemala has done what we should have been doing a long time ago because when you look at it now it is out there that Belize is aggressing Guatemala or that we are killing Guatemalans in our country and that is not true about our country, we are not a people who are killers, we are not mean people and so I do believe that as a government we must do as much as we can as quickly as we can to internationalize this issue because it is one that alone we cannot deal with. We need support from other countries to help address this issue so we must go that way and internationalize the matter.” - Senator Elena Smith, Interview on Love FM May 9, 2016.

    BTL Acquisition Award not yet Finalized
    The Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal has not yet issued its final award on the acquisition of BTL shares by the Government of Belize (GOB). The draft decision from the Court was released to the parties in confidence and GOB had been awaiting the final ruling before publicizing the details. However, since some details of the draft decision have been circulated to the media, GOB feels obliged to put out a statement. What has been issued is a draft of the Court’s findings on the valuation of the 45,199,961 BTL shares which were nationalized by the Government in August 2009. Under the draft findings, they have determined the value to be BZ$5.60 per share. This compares to the $10.23 being claimed by the former shareholders and the $1.44 which GOB had originally offered.

    Refugee program reactivated in Belize - social partners represented
    Contrary to reports from several media houses on Government’s reactivated refugee program, the facts have proven that there is plenty of oversight, screening and vetting involved in the process. Since Prime Minister Barrow revealed that Government has reactivated the Refugee Elegibility Committee, which has been dormant for years, certain media houses have resolved to return to their roles as 21st Century Chicken Littles. Channel 5 reported that as many as 200 refugee applications are being processed each week. Plus TV’s morning show host, Louis Wade, says the refugees are gang members from El Salvador fleeing “prosecution not persecution” because the authorities are clamping down on them. These fear mongers have pasted filth all over a great humanitarian initiative that would have earned Belize great credit in the international community. Now Belizeans have great reservations in regard to the program because of the narrative that has been presented. Government finds itself in the reactionary position once again and the first response came in the form of a press release issued on Tuesday, May 10.

    PUP following Mejia to the Sarstoon
    The PUP appears once again to be using the Belize \ Guatemala issue as a political football. Having not been able to harness any type of traction in almost THIRTEEN YEARS, they are now resorting to one of their old whipping horses. The Belize\Guatemala issue has always been a card that they have pulled out as a Trump card to try and slowdown the UDP's forward movement. So for them to do so at this time came as no surprise to most Belizeans. PUP just don't have an issue to fault the government on so they are trying to create one. On the Friday of the Labor day week end, the government passed an S.I. that effectively prohibits Belizeans from entering the Sarstoon River for reasons other than their lawful everyday business. Even those persons who fall under the category of person who use the river as part of their regular routine must first get prior approval from the BDF Commandant's office. And upon entering they MUST check in with our security forces stationed there so as to verify that they are there for their normal usage of the river. Some of those such persons would be those fisherfolk from places like Barranco and those persons who use the river as a transportation route to conduct their daily routine.

    Special Envoy’s tribute to Dr. Jane Usher at Helpage gala
    Helpage Belize honoured Dr. Jane Usher in its first Citizen Recognition Gala. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow had the pleasure of addressing the gala. Here’s an excerpt from her remarks on the amazing accomplishments of Dr. Jane Usher: “Dr. Jane Ellen Mary Usher nee Price is a Belizean grand dame. A woman who is owed much recognition and gratitude for all the nation building work that she has done and continues to do even at the very tender age of 98. Just a casual perusal of her biography or even if you were to just recall what you were taught in primary school social studies, it is patently clear that Ms. Jane is one of the matriarchs of political, economic and social life in Belize. Ms. Jane has served in two of the three branches of government. In the executive branch as a Deputy Minister; sitting as the lone female voice in a Cabinet of men. She also served in both chambers of the legislative branch as both a government and then opposition Representative in the lower house. She was the President of the Senate in the upper house.

    UB discusses ICJ referendum
    The University of Belize through it’s Faculty of Education History Department hosted a discussion on the ICJ Referendum with students on Wednesday May 11 at it’s Jaguar Auditorium at the central campus in Belmopan. The session included a presentation facilitated by Ambassador Stuart Leslie of the International Boundaries Unit. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion. Panelists included: Paul Morgan - Activist, Elroy Awardo - Curator, George Price Center, Melanie Smith - Lecturer of Sociology, Charlee Hutchinson - UB History Student. The discussion was organized to provide students the opportunity to learn the history and current proposals to resolving the Guatemalan Claim. Attached are some images from the event

    Man charged for robbery of top cop in Benque
    Benque Viejo Police have arrested and charged Bryan Geovanny Corado, a 21 year old Guatemalan tour guide of Barrio Fallabon, Melchor de Mencos for the crime of Robbery. This follows an incident on the 14th February 2016 where Police Superintendent Selvin Tillett was robbed at gunpoint of a 2014 Mazda BT-50 pro Pickup, valued at $55,000.00. The vehicle had been parked on Humble Street Benque Viejo Town, in front of Selvin Tillett’s house when the robbery occurred. Since the robbery, police have been able to recover and return the vehicle back to Belize.

    Psychiatric evaluation ordered for John Dawson
    John Dawson, 22, a labourer of Scotland Half Moon Village, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, May 6, for aggravated assault upon two police officers. According to reports, Dawson assaulted Charles Sosa, PC Darrell Usher and Detective Joseph Pook with a steel rod. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith read the charges to Dawson but before she could proceed she became concerned about his mental state. Noticing that Dawson was suffering from injuries to the head and body, she asked him how he sustained the injuries. Dawson told the Chief Magistrate that he saw when the demon’s finger (referring to Darrel Usher) pulled the trigger and shot him in the head. Dawson was talking nonsense and behaving oddly. Chief Magistrate Smith asked the prosecutor if he was also thinking about getting a psychiatric evaluation for Dawson. She asked Dawson another question. “Are you on medication?” to which Dawson replied, “There are 10,000 herbs in the forest and of all of them I only take one.”

    Carpenter’s daughter from Cayo missing
    A female teenager from the Cayo District has been reported missing. A Belizean carpenter of Progresso Village in the Cayo District, Melvin Mejia, reports that on Saturday of this past weekend his 14 year old daughter Kimberly Mejia of the said village left home and has not been seen nor heard from. The Belizean teenager left her home around 4:00 pm. She is of fair complexion, stands about 5 feet 2 inches in height and weighs about 120 pounds. Kimberly Mejia also has long black hair, uses eye glasses and has a small scar over the right side of her eyebrow. The Public is asked if they know the whereabouts of Kimberly Mejia to call the nearest Police station.

    Xaibe Roman Catholic School won the National Primary Schools Boys’ Softball Competition
    The 2015-2016 National Primary Schools Boys’ Softball championship was played on Friday 6th May, 2016, at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. In the championship game, Xaibe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District defeated Carmelita Government School representing the Orange Walk District by the score of 11-4 to capture the national title. The winning pitcher was Loronzo Nas and the losing pitcher was Steven Chiac. In the consolation game played, Camalote St. Jude Roman Catholic School representing the Cayo District defeated St. Luke Methodist School representing the Belize District by the score of 9-7 to take third place. The winning pitcher was Carlos Beardall and the losing pitcher was Christopher Hower. In the first game in the semi-final round, Carmelita Government School won over Camalote St. Jude Roman Catholic School by the score of 12-9 to earn the first spot in the finals. The winning pitcher was Steven Chiac and the losing pitcher was Carlos Beardall.

    Issue #32 of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online here!.
    Click HERE to download the PDF

    Deforestation in Belize: Why Does the Agriculture Sector Need Standing Forests?
    Belize has lost more than 770,000 acres of forest since 1980, which is almost equivalent to the area of the entire Belize District. According to a report published by CATHALAC (Spanish acronym for Humid Tropics Water Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Panama), between 1980 and 2010 approximately 25,000 acres (more than 7 times the area of Belize City) of forests were cleared every year in Belize. According to another study produced by Belizean expert Emil Cherrington, in 2013, 33,000 acres of forest were lost in the Jewel, and in 2014 that number rose to 36,000 acres, which shows an increase in the deforestation rate. That trend has continued during the last 2years. CATHALAC and University of…

    To the Editor
    Dear Editor, We felt to express our deep appreciation that Belize has not been accepting genetically modified (GMO) crops into the country. We understand that through modern biotechnology, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being created that may use animal, virus, or bacteria genes to alter DNA or genetic material in vegetables and other things. These alterations are impossible to achieve from natural pollination or crop breeding, and must be produced in sophisticated genetic laboratories. The resulting “organisms” are then patentable property of the large corporations creating them. Someone has coined a thought provoking an alternative term for GMO: “God move over”. In other words, do humans consider themselves wiser than our all-wise omnipotent Creator? Are human beings better able and…

    Green Banana Recipe Competition
    Green Banana Recipe Winners! In our February Belize Ag Report (issue #31), writer Harold Vernon challenged readers to enter original recipes using green bananas in a contest. Harold’s plea for Belizeans to eat this very neglected, nutritious, tasty and cheap starch source stimulated some excellent recipe entries. Below find the winning recipes. More recipes are included in our online version. The contest winners for the most original and best tasting recipes are Miss Paige Dietrich of Unitedville, Cayo District, and Mrs. Deborah Harder of Upper Barton Creek, Cayo District, Youth and Adult categories, respectively. Each receives a $50.00 prize. Thank you, Sally Thackery, Belize Ag Test Kitchen Supervisor and kudos to Harold Vernon for your instigation and prize donation. Thank…

    Restoration of the San Ignacio Town Clock
    Working on various community projects focused on refurbishing the San Ignacio Police Station in 2014, I became curious as to why the San Ignacio Town Clock wasn’t working. I recalled that when I emigrated to San Ignacio in 1982 that it did work. I began to ask citizens why the clock wasn’t working. Many said they didn’t know or cited its age as the probable cause. Unsatisfied and more curious than ever, I finally got some information from “Jr” Simmons, owner of the venerable Hy-Et Hotel, on the corner of West Street and Bullet Tree Road. He said that the clock and four or five others just like it were gifts from Great Britain to the soldiers of British Honduras,…

    Update on the Sugar Industry Management Information System (SIMIS)
    In March 2016 a total of 74,258.87 acres of sugar cane fields under production have been verified in the northern sugar belt of Belize. From data collected it has been analyzed that cane variety B79474 remains the most dominant variety accounting for 60% of total area under production. This is followed by B52298 representing 17% and Belize Barbados Varieties (9 BBZ varieties) account for 4% of total area verified. All other varieties are reported as small quantities and available in more detail on the SIMIS database and represented on pie chart. Another valuable item of information collected was the spatial distribution of sugar cane fields regarding the actual size of each parcel. Data shows that small parcels between 0.1 to…

    Importance of Biological Control and its Role in Managing Huanglongbing (HLB) in Belize
    Figure 1: Adult Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and nymphs (Warnert, 2013) [above] Contributors: Ing. Helen Theresa Choco, Manuel Garcia, Veronica Manzanero-Majil The presence of the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), a tiny insect about 4 mm in size (figure 1) was first detected in Belize in 2005. Later, in 2009, the presence of Huanglongbing (HLB) (formerly citrus greening) was confirmed in Belize. ACP is the most efficient vector responsible for the spread of HLB in the Americas. Considering the potential gravity of HLB based on experiences from other countries, the Citrus Research and Education Institute (CREI), the research arm of the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) in collaboration with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the…

    Sweet and Sour Dreams
    March 2015 ( not April Fools day) we are reading in the news that a thousand year old Anglo Saxon recipe found in the British Library that is actually ninety percent effective in the eradication of the superbug MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). Following the directions to the letter, scientists concocted a stew of onions, leaks, and garlic, stewed in vintage wine and cows’ bile in a brass vessel for nine days to an amazing success. It may appear to be improbable that, after all, this time we are finding simple ingredients have the power to cure devastating diseases, but perhaps we need to pay more attention. For centuries folk healers around the world have claimed that God created plants…

    Introduction of the African Bee to South America and Belize
    The African honeybee (Apis mellifera adansonii) is a native of Africa, occupying roughly ¾ of the continent, from the Sahara Desert in the north to the Kalahari Desert in the south. In 1957, 26 swarms of African bees, held for scientific breeding studies in a apiary near Rio Claro, Brazil, escaped, starting the “Africanization” of bees and establishing themselves as feral swarms occupying now the whole of South America (except what seems to be their climatic limits south of 32o S. on Northern Argentina), Central America, Mexico and the states of Texas, California, New Mexico and Florida and parts of the Caribbean. The African bee has the same number of chromosomes (16 in drones and 32 for the queen) as…

    Limbe Lime
    Back in 1976, citrus farmers in southern Belize were in need of agricultural lime (ag lime or white lime) in order to improve the pH levels in their soils. As result of numerous tests being done in limestone deposits in the Spanish Lookout area, Mr. Abraham L. Dueck discovered high quality lime that has come to benefit the farming industry tremendously over the years. Forty years later, the company he started is still in business, managed by his son Milton; Limbe delivers its agricultural lime to a host of farmers, including citrus, banana, corn, teak, and many others. It is also widely used in the aquaculture industry. Agricultural lime, or white lime, is essential to soil because it increases the soil’s…

    Understanding Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt)
    “Do you use chemicals on your vegetables?” is a question that the farmer selling directly to the customer is likely to hear. Often the farmer answers, “Only when necessary” or “No, I am organic”. For questions like this, it is hard to give an accurate answer because most farmers whether organic or not, use some form of chemicals on their farms. Some farmers that are strictly organic must avoid certain chemicals but are still likely using some “natural” forms that are considered non-toxic. The scientific definition of a chemical is any basic substance that is used in or produced by a reaction involving changes to atoms or molecules.It is evident then, that chemicals include many things which may be harmful…

    Considering Potassium and Manganese in Soil Fertility for Potatoes
    Many growers feel that producing good yields of potatoes must involve the application of large amounts of fertilizer right under the seed row. The perception is that potato roots do not spread out much, and that they tend to grow straight down below where the seed is placed. This does show to be the case in many fields where potatoes are grown, but such limited root growth is actually abnormal compared to what should and does happen on potato fields with adequate levels of fertility. In fact, when soil fertility reaches the level it should be for growing potatoes, the plants send out roots that even spread across the middles, growing right on past roots coming from the next adjacent…

    Remembering Mr. Anil Sinha
    Mr. Anil Kumar Sinha’s name is synonymous with CARDI, the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute he served for 34 years as an agricultural scientist, first in Guyana for a year and then the agriculture sector of Belize from 1983 until his sudden death on 20 February 2016. He was appointed the country representative for CARDI in 1989 and served as the CARDI representative on many technical and advisory boards, including the Pesticide Control Board as chairman. What a legacy he has left! His stewardship and accomplishments advanced Belizean agriculture far more than his breeding and development of cereals and grain legumes adaptable to the tropics. His efforts at partnering with other organizations, countries and Belizean farming communities for the…

    Soils of Belize – The Toledo District
    My last article left us at the northern boundary of the Toledo District. The soils of the Toledo District have all been formed under conditions of higher temperatures and higher rainfall. The dominant landform is the Maya Mountains and associated foothills that create the largest number of drainage courses of the 7 watersheds. This district has the largest number of rivers that are relatively fast moving and are broken up into many sub-units or tributaries. The mountains form a barrier that collects moisture from the coast and create conditions of condensation as rain and serious flooding. The floodplains of the Monkey River, Deep River and Golden Steam constitute the Northern Coastal Plain while the Rio Grande, Moho, Temash and Sarstoon…

    How Sweet It Is Making Ice Cream at Western Dairies
    Standing in line is not always a bad thing, especially if you are in line to buy ice cream at Western Dairies (WD) in Spanish Lookout and have not decided among 24 flavors which one(s) to buy. Behind the scenes are 6 busy people packaging the ice cream into 3 gallon, 1 gallon, ½ gallon, quart, pint, and 5 oz.cup size. The 3 gallon size is the best seller; it is the size that restaurants, resorts, and WD ice cream shops buy to serve their customers. Vanilla, chocolate and cheese cake seem to be the favorites sold in that size. However, vanilla counts for 35% of all sales. The newest product is an ice cream bar, vanilla ice cream coated…

    Fire – Useful or Harmful Vegetation Management Tool for Belizeans
    Fire, in the case of burning vegetation, consists of many processes and characteristics operating at various temporal and spatial scales that can result in even more diverse outcomes in terms of impacts on the biosphere. Relatively few terrestrial ecosystems have not been directly affected by fire, at one time or another, with both positive and negative outcomes. Today, due to the global scale of intentional and unintentional burning of native vegetation and agricultural crop residues, the overall biosphere is being affected more adversely than positively. Of course, as everyone knows, fires can be either started by humans purposely or accidently, while conversely natural wildfire in native plant communities can occur annually or with frequencies of greater than centuries. However, for…

    Climate Change Impact on Agriculture
    Adaptation measures to climate change and variability were the focus of a forum in February when the stakeholders of the agriculture sector and livestock producers met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD); Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); and National Climate Change Office (NCCO). The participants developed specific recommended adaptation measures for both direct effects (changes in rainfall and temperature) and indirect effects (changes in pests, diseases and soil fertility) on agriculture crops and livestock. The measures recommended for excessive rainfall and flooding unclude: Drainage infrastructure, systems and mechanisms Well-designed and drained road infrastructure Available rainfall forecasts Relocation of animals and annual crops The measures recommended for drought include: Irrigation,…

    Birding in Belize – A Visitor’s Perspective
    Slaty-tailed Trogon observed near duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge [above] In February, my wife and I traveled to Belize for the primary purpose of bird watching, but our vacation also included snorkeling the barrier reef and visiting ancient Mayan ruins. Shortly after arriving in Belize City, we took a short flight on Maya Air over to Caye Caulker Island where we spent the next three days bird watching, relaxing, and walking, as our primary means of transportation on the island were our feet! Spending time on Caye Caulker was thoroughly enjoyable and stress free; the pace on the island was slow and pleasant. Being an avid birder, I particularly enjoyed the variety of Caribbean specialty bird species we observed on Caye Caulker…

    Wildlife Impacts from Changing Landscapes
    With Belize’s growing population, spreading urbanization and expanding agricultural footprint, inevitably there are impacts on wildlife as portions of their habitat are cleared for new houses, roads, milpas and large-scale agriculture. Whilst large tracts of wildlife habitat are protected in central and southern Belize by the protected areas that provide critical environmental services such as water supply, flood control and protection from landslides, the wildlife of coastal and northern Belize are more limited in the provision of safe havens from land-use change. The gradual loss of wildlife across the landscape is going unnoticed. One species that makes an interesting case study is Belize’s charismatic Yucatan black howler monkey, better known as the baboon or saraguato, one of Belize’s two species…

    Belize Livestock Producers Association Holds 38th Annual General Meeting
    On March 19th, 2016, the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) convened for their 38thannual general meeting (AGM) at their headquarters at Mile 47 ½ George Price Highway. Ranchers gathered from all over Belize, and those renewing their membership found a special price of $25.00 annual dues in effect for the day. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Environment and Sustainable Development Mr. Jose Alpuche, always a welcomed attendee, made a short presentation noting that a reduction of the entry tariff [of cattle] into Mexico and the Government of Belize’s (GOB) cooperation “will provide a foundation for you ranchers to build upon”. He also noted that we need to attach “a proper value on the cattle…

    Climate Change, Land Use, and the Future of Water in Belize
    The reality of climate change has many of us questioning how the change in weather patterns will affect the agriculture industry. Not only have we seen a marked difference in the length of wet and dry seasons and when they occur during the year, but we’re noticing more extreme weather behavior in terms of flooding and drought. These abnormalities lead us to wonder what the long-term effects of increasing average temperatures will be. The answer is not easy to pin down as it depends on many factors, such as how much average temperatures rise and how much more forest cover is converted to other land uses. Because so many people are interested in knowing how climate change will affect different…

    Pro-Organic Belize Visits Pesticides Control Board – Understanding Pesticide Labels
    On March 11th, 2016 a delegation from Pro Organic Belize (POB) met with Pesticides Control Board (PCB) staff at the PCB headquarters at Central Farm, Cayo District. Present from PCB were Pesticides Registrar Ms. Miriam Serrut, and PCB team members, Ms. Jenelle Canto, Mr. Selvyn Molina, Mr. Nonanto Canto and Mr. Ginnel Ozaeta. Nearly all of Cayo’sPOB members joined their “delegation”, such was the interest level in learning more about how pesticides become registered and how to understand their labels. Belize recognizes 5 grades of pesticides, which are graded by hazard classification, shown in color, using the World Health Organization (WHO) Acute Oral Toxicity Tables for chemicals. Of the 2 reds and 1 each of yellow, blue and green classes,…

    Homemade Health – Parasites
    Headaches, pain, joint inflammation, nausea, weight loss, vision problem, cancer, even death. What do these symptoms have in common? All can be caused by parasites. Parasites are organisms that cannot live independently of their host. They are much more common than you may think. In a documentary made by National Geographic called “The Body Snatchers,” they reported, “in fact, parasites have killed more humans than all the wars in history.” . Dr. Hulda Clark writes that all cancers are caused by parasites. I don’t know if that’s true, but the subject is serious enough to warrant investigation. While this is an unpleasant subject, even repulsive to some, it is a problem that can affect everyone. Parasites can enter the body…

    Spanish Lookout Commercial and Industrial Expo 2016
    The Commercial and Industrial Expo held at Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout every other year continues to draw large crowds. The fourth annual expo, held on February 26 and 27, had 15, 500 attendees, 1,000 more than Expo 2014, who came from every district in Belize. For the 1,000 students who came by the busload on Friday and the crowd on Saturday it was a fun time of horseback riding, ATVs, boating, buggy and “train” rides, jumping on the trampoline, and enjoying a great variety of delicious food. The number of booths also increased from 130 to 140 with 15 new exhibitors. Although there was an increase in livestock showing, probably the largest category of exhibitors was car dealerships with…

    Breadfruit Basics
    Beautiful tropical breadfruit trees are very well-adapted to Belize’s growing conditions including the rainy season; however, they can get water-stressed, resulting in partial defoliation in the dry season months but the tree continues to grow and bear fruit. The breadfruit tree has an exotic, lush tropical appearance due to its very large, lovely, lobed leaves. Breadfruit, (Artocarpusaltilis) is in the plant family Moraceae. There are both seeded and seedless breadfruit varieties. Other cultivated Artocarpus species include Artocarpuscamansi, known as breadnut; A. heterophyllus, jackfruit, and A.integer, champedak. Another relative of the breadfruit called dugdug is A. mariannensis, and the popular marang is A. odoratissimus. The seeds in all Artocarpus species may be boiled or roasted; they are both starchy and delicious.…

    Belize Ag Youth Reporter Visits Miss Chrissie’s Whiz Bang Chicken Plucker
    This is not a fiction article, although from the title it might be about a farm beside “Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory”. Belize Ag Youth Reporter Nick Roberson*, is fascinated and curious about all aspects of chickens and other domesticated fowl – guineas, turkeys, ducks, geese, he loves them all. Nick is always ready to accompany Belize Ag writers out on any chicken story. So when Ms. Chrissie Tupper announced to a few friends that she acquired a brand new Whiz Bang Chicken Plucker, imported from the USA and ready for assembly at her farm behind the Tuppers’ restaurant, Cheers With a Tropical Twist, at Mile 31 on the George Price Highway, Belize Ag planned to check it out. March 23rd…

    Antibiotics Off The Menu
    The Belize Bureau of Standards commemorated “World Consumer Rights Day 2016” in Belize on March 14th at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel by hosting a seminar with the theme Antibiotics off the Menu. The World Health Organization has identified the over-use of antibiotics in animal feed as a world crisis. The event focused on the risks of antibiotic use in the poultry, pig and cattle industry. “The widespread use of antibiotics is used to control, suppress or to kill micro-organisms,” stated Armando Cowo, manager of the Belize Poultry Association. Mr. Cowo urged the use of antibiotics to be limited and used only “when it is absolutely necessary.” He recommended that farmers use best practices by keeping barns and animal lots…

    POB Speaker Abram Harder
    “The biggest mistake people make when planting a tree seedling is to plant it too deep,” said Abram Harder, speaker at the Pro-organic Belize (POB) April meeting. That statement riveted the attention of the 23 people who came to hear him and exchange information with other attendees about growing trees and plants with “low input”. Abram went on with specific instructions: find the tap root and plant the tree so that the soil is only 1 inch above it, never deeper, then clean it around the stem and mulch the tree well. He said that manure from either chickens or cows can be used as fertilizer but the important thing to remember is to keep it away from the trunk.…

    Wild Squash or Wild Pumpkin (Sikil)
    Belize has a number of indigenous foods that are increasingly being neglected. One such fruit (vegetable) is the “sikil” C. lundelliana; origin: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize. Sikils, about the size of a husked coconut, are white with green striations. All the people I have sampled recently cannot remember the last time they had eaten this highly nutritious food. It is usually grown without pesticides. All persons reported that they cooked it (to death) with meats. None reported eating it raw. All squashes can and should be eaten raw to obtain maximum benefit. This squash makes the best coleslaw I have eaten when julienned and/or complimented with fresh tomatoes and fresh cheese for a simple salad. Please tell us how you prepare and…

    Ag Briefs
    The 2016 Wine and Chocolate will be held on Friday, May 20th at The Lodge at Big Falls in Big Falls Village. The Saturday, May 21st event will be held on Front Street in Punta Gorda town and Sunday, May 22nd will be at Julian Cho Technical High School at Dump Area, San Antonio Road. Contact info@chocolatefestivalofbelize.com or call 722-2531. The University of Belize College of Agriculture at Central Farm (UBCF) will host prominent soil fertility expert Neal Kinsey for the 3rd time in Belize, on February 27th –March 1st 2017 (the 2016 course was held earlier in Feb 2016). The upcoming course will be a new course to Belize; the 3 day Intro 2 course begins with a day…

    Yam – A Gentle Giant of Tropical Roots
    In January my husband told me we have several yams waiting to be dug, and we should start using them before the potato crops come in, here in Barton Creek. I asked why he didn’t tell me sooner. Soon afterwards a large, brown, muddy, knobby specimen appeared on our back porch; it must have weighed 10 pounds. But my husband said it was only half of the smallest one and these grew up as volunteers and uncared for! Yam, not to be confused with the smaller and unrelated sweet potato and also not to be confused with the wild yam, a herbal source of estrogen, is surely one of Belize’s under-appreciated foods. A vine that would thrive climbing up a…

    Agriculture Prices At A Glance

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Trio Village cacao growers get $250,000
    An agro-forestry pilot project to organically grow cacao is helping 200 villagers from Trio Village in the Toledo district adapt to Climate Change, with US $250,000 in funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) program. They are farming 960 acres within […]

    Tropic Air rated safe
    The self-styled “Airline of Belize”, Tropic Air says it has been rated safe following a successful completion of the International Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The ISSA evaluates safety practices and management in flight and ground operations, maintenance, […]

    Belize District Chinese businessmen charged over conch
    Chinese businessmen from Caye Caulker and Ladyville respectively were in court today accused of being found in possession of undersized market-cleaned conch. 38 year old Dong Sheng Zheng, proprietor and businessman of the Caribbean Chinese Restaurant located in Caye Caulker on January 7, 2016, is […]

    “Boyfriend” accused of sex charge
    25 year old Anderson Portillo, a Salvadoran national, was sent to jail on remand, accused of entering an unlawful sexual relationship with a 15 year old girl who claims he is her boyfriend. Portillo was read two indictable offenses of unlawful sexual intercourse with […]

    Boyd Lopez pleads guilty in City accident
    Last February 18, 70 year old Marie Knowles was knocked down and eventually died when teenager Boyd Lopez drove a vehicle without holding a license. Today Lopez, 20, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless conduct as opposed to manslaughter by negligence before Justice […]

    Belize District schools take part in financial literacy fair
    For several years now the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has partnered with Pricewaterhousecoopers and Peacework to promote and teach financial literacy to Belize’s students. In the Belize District, summer classes have been held and now financial literacy and entrepreneurship form part of […]

    BTL reports uptick in revenue
    Belize Telemedia Limited’s chair of the executive committee Anwar Barrow and other executives of the state-owned company yesterday afternoon briefed the media on its preliminary earnings for this year. Those have reached 1 hundred 57 million dollars, up 13.8 million from last year. Barrow […]

    Progresso man being investigated for $11,000 scam
    Police are investigating an incident reported by a 71-year-old female resident of San Estevan Village in Orange Walk District, who told officers that a man she knows as Cecilio Mesh, obtained money from her and then disappeared. Mesh, a Progresso Village, Corozal District resident, […]

    Two pounds of weed found on bus
    During an early morning police check point at mile 40 on the Philip Goldson Highway yesterday, officers found two pounds (888 grams) of cannabis inside a pink and black school bag. The bag was on a bus heading to Belize City from Orange Walk […]

    Generally fair weather affecting most of the country
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with a few cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight. Most parts of the country will experience little to no rainfall, except for the extreme South where a few showers along with possible […]

    Blogs

    San Ignacio Benefits, Additional Tours and a Happy Anniversary
    Tropic Air has again successfully completed the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA), which is an internationally recognized evaluation of the safety practices and management of the airline. The assessment focuses on key areas within an airline such as flight and ground operations, maintenance, cargo, security and aeronautical safety. It promotes high industry benchmarks, and allows for expanded partnership opportunities with other airlines. Tropic Air joined IATA’s ISSA Registry in 2015, and was the second airline to be registered. It is also the first airline to complete the renewal assessment, which will now be valid for two years (until 7 May 2018). “We are very pleased to receive the ISSA registration, and it is a very proud moment for us to have demonstrated that our airline operates according to the most stringent standards in our industry segment. Successfully completing the assessment is a testament to the rigorous work put in every day keeping customers and each other safe”, said Steve Schulte, CEO of Tropic Air.

    The Next Truck Stop Farmers’ Market & Farm House Deli Readies For the Crowd
    After closing for a week of much needed time off, the Truck Stop is again open and today, announced the monthly return of the HUGELY popular Farmers’ Market. And by hugely popular, I mean a grab-fest reminiscent of Black Friday at an Arkansas Walmart except that no one was hurt (in fact everyone was quite orderly and good natured) and the products were not flat screen tvs or Tickle Me Elmo’s but DEEEEE-licious goodies.

    NORTHERN BELIZE REEF WEEK 2016!
    Under the theme, “Make a Difference; Protect our Environment”, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize Fisheries Department, the San Pedro Town Council along with the San Pedro Tour Guide association have organized the 11th annual Northern Belize REEF WEEK. Mark your calendars – May 16th through the 22nd. ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: Monday May 16th - Swim to the Reef – 6:00AM –All participants will meet up at Amigos del Mar dock for swim off time at 6AM. This is NOT a competition, so even if you’re not registered, you can still just show up and do the swim. Snorkeling gear is welcomed for this event. On Tuesday May 17th – is the annual Ambergris Caye Coastal Clean Up. This activity starts at 8:30am. All residents and businesses, especially those located on the beach side are invited to participate in this activity. All garbage along the beach side and water ways are going to be collected and taken to the municipal dock, from which location, the Town Council will be picking it up and ferrying it to the Official garbage dump site. Grand Caribe Belize staff will be in full force – assuring that our beaches are spotless.

    What to Expect at the 10th Annual Chocolate Festival of Belize
    Designed to raise awareness of the Toledo District as a responsible tourism destination, the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize has become one of the most anticipated events in the country. Today, the festival promotes the growing cacao industry in Belize, while exposing the public to advancements in chocolate making. This 3 day event which will be held from May 20th to 22nd this year, attracts hundreds of visitors from both home and abroad to the charming seaport town of Punta Gorda. Travelers visit by land, sea and air, to indulge in delicious chocolate infused beverages such as wine and beer, listen to lively cultural music, examine the magnificent Belizean and Mayan artwork and satisfy their taste buds with delicious Belizean cuisine. Day 1: Wine and Chocolate evening on May 20th at 7pm at The Lodge at Big Falls The Wine and Chocolate evening is the signature event of the Chocolate Festival of Belize, offering visitors live music this year by the Garifuna Collective, fine wine, Belizean chocolate, and Belikin's specially brewed Chocolate Stout. Indulge yourself with the latest creations from Belizean boutique chocolate makers – Xoco, Che'il, MOHO, Cotton Tree Chocolate, and Ix Cacao - and feast on delectable hors d'ouevres.

    International Sourcesizz

    Caribbean indigenous peoples call for 'a seat at the table'
    The Caribbean’s indigenous people have urged that they be given a seat at the political table so as to safeguard their rights to their ancestral lands and resources, as they wrapped up an historic University of the West Indies conference of indigenous peoples in Belize over the Labour Day weekend. The call for political representation for the minority first peoples of the region is one of a slew of recommendations on health, education, gender, sustainable livelihoods, land rights and access to justice, drafted after three days of deliberations by the leaders and representatives of indigenous peoples from six Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations. Host country Belize is home to more than 50,000 Maya and Garifuna peoples, roughly one-tenth of the population. The conference, organised by UWI IMPACT Justice, a Canadian-funded project to improve access to justice in the Caribbean, has been hailed as a rare, unique and historic gathering of the region’s indigenous peoples and a recognition of the need to redress centuries of degradation and discrimination.

    Mayan Exhibit Arrives at Witte
    Your chance to step back in time, and look at Mayan culture and history–without ever having to leave the Alamo City. It starts Saturday with the opening of a new exhibit at the Witte Museum. “You can learn what it was like–and is like–to be a Mayan” said the Museum’s Marise McDrmott, who told KTSA News the exhibit includes many interactive features. “You can have a name in Mayan, you can learn how to work with the glyphs… the Mayan language was just recently decoded. You can learn Mayan math” McDermott said, adding “Everything is written upon. Even a bowl, a vase, or a wall… everything has something on it that’s a glyph–that says something.” Of course, you can also see all kinds of different Mayan artifacts too.

    Mexican experts doubt Canadian teen’s discovery of lost Mayan city
    The news that a Canadian teen had discovered an ancient Mayan city hidden in the Yucatan jungle without ever leaving home spread rapidly in Mexico’s media, but experts here responded with caution Wednesday May 11 and said that they cannot back the claim. Initial reporting was that 15-year-old William Gadoury noticed what appeared to be the outlines of man-made structures covered with jungle foliage in satellite images he was viewing on his home computer. Nevertheless, an official with Mexico’s National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, told EFE that they cannot “endorse the existence of this city or the information presented by this boy.” The INAH also said that it is not even “considering” the alleged find, since “there is no scientific basis for it.”

    Canadian Space Agency defends teen’s lost Mayan city research
    The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has come to the defense of William Gadoury, the Canadian teen who found a possible lost Mayan city in the jungles of Mexico using star maps. The announcement was immediately attacked by Mayan researchers and academics and deemed a fraud. The academics claimed the satellite photo included with the original news story revealed a corn field not a lost city. Armand LaRocque, the geologist who worked with Gadoury, soon hit back when he revealed that the satellite photo that had the academics in an uproar was not the correct image of the actual site in Mexico but of some unknown location in Belize. Apparently the news media had inadvertently published the wrong satellite photo in error and thus the academics had worked themselves into a frenzy over nothing. Oops. One of the harshest critics, Dr. David Stuart of the University of Texas, who used his Facebook page to prematurely call Gadoury’s research “junk science,” soon deleted that post.

    Videos

  • The Guatemala/Belize Student Exchange Examined, 6min.

  • Our Belize, 5min.

  • Guatemala and Belize HD, 7min.

  • Diving in Belize, 5.5min. Here are some highlights of my first diving experience in Belize.

  • Morning Matters with Curtis Gillett, 58min.

  • Morning Matters at Banana Beach, 58min.

  • Belize, 6min.

  • Belize Trip, 18min.

  • Scuba Diving The Great Blue Hole in Belize, 9min. Video from my dive into "The Great Blue Hole", one of the top diving spots in the world. This is on Lighthouse Reef, off the coast of Belize. This was shot May 5, 2016. I was diving with Frenchie's Diving, a great outfit on Caye Caulker island. There were about 7-8 Caribbean Reef Sharks swimming around us, that were about 6-8 feet long. REALLY COOL!!! Video was shot with a SJCAM 5000. You can see about halfway through the video Stalactites in a side cave, about 100-120 feet below the surface, proving that this was actually above water at one time. The Great Blue Hole is a vertical "Cave" that is about 1000 feet wide, and over 250 feet deep, with caves extending out the sides in a couple places.

  • Belize City, Belize, 2.5min. The roads of Belize city in Belize.

  • Maya Deer Dance, Belize, 28min. Maya deer dance, a documentary about the history of this sacred Maya tradition, in Santa Cruz village, Toledo Belize, Central America.

  • Close Encounters in Belize, 3min. Underwater in Belize with a few of our friends.

    May 12, 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

    Teenage astrologer may have discovered Maya ‘lost city’
    15-year William Gadoury from Quebec, Canada, has made an astounding discovery after making a connection between the Maya’s astronomical charts and the possible location of their cities. His studies into the Maya’s ancient astrological beliefs coupled with the help of satellite photos and Google Earth, lead William to discover a long forgotten city in the Yucatan jungle. Totally mind blowing – the Yucatan jungle is just a skip and hop away from Belize after all! The ‘lost city’ has since been name K’aak Chi (Mouth of Fire). But that’s not all – satellite images suggest this may be the largest city built by the ancient Maya between 300 to 700 AD. Wondering who a 15-year-old could make such a discovery? Well, it all started with his curious mind. William wondered why the ancient Mayas built cities far away from rivers, that’s why lead him to believe that they were not chasing water but the stars! He came up with a theory that the Maya built their cities so that they lined up with star constellations and after putting his theory to the test, he realized it was indeed true.

    Veterinary Ventures offers free SNIP service
    In an effort to decrease the population of stray dogs and cats on the island, the San Pedro Saga Humane Society partnered with Veterinary Ventures, a group from the United States, to host their biggest spay/neuter campaign since 2012. Over the course of ten days starting on May 4th, Saga members, volunteers, veterinarians, and technicians visited local neighborhoods including DFC, San Pedrito, and San Mateo to offer free spay/neuter services, check-ups, consultations, and other medical surgeries to pet owners with limited means. Also partaking in the campaign was local veterinarian from the Hopkins Belize and Belmopan Humane Society, Dr. Orlando Baptist. His love for animals and their well-being brought him to assist the crew in performing surgeries. So far, there has been a positive and great turn out from the campaign. Thanks to the team of experts, many dogs and cats now have a better quality life. At the end of the campaign, the crew will be heading to Belmopan to complete the second phase of their mission in Belize.

    Belizean anglers show off fishing skills at Mahahual’s Copa Gobernador
    Belizean anglers and boat captains performed excellently at the 25th Annual Copa Gobernador Fishing Tournament, even managing to claim four of the top ranked spots. Held on Saturday, May 7th and Sunday, May 8th in Mahahual, Quintana Roo Mexico, the tournament saw the participation of 13 Belizean teams among the Mexican competitors. And even though no Belizean team captured the first place prize, San Pedro’s ‘Aaliyah Marly’ captained by Enrique Marin, won second place. The ‘Aaliyah Marly’ took the lead of the tournament on the first day after successfully catching an 85.6-pound Marlin. Unfortunately for the Belizean team, their Mexican competitors ‘Bad Boys’ captained by Alejandro Rodriguez Ortiz managed to pull in an impressive catch on the second day. Bad Boys’ haul of a 43-pound white marlin, a 261.20-pound blue marlin, two dorados and a wahoo earned them 16,104 points and the top prize of a new truck. ‘Aaliyah Marly’ settled for the second place with 4,280 points taking home a compact car.

    SPTC celebrates our island mothers
    The annual Mother’s Day Extravaganza organized by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), along with sponsors and volunteers, celebrated island mommies in style, treating them to a full night of fun on Saturday, May 7th. The event took place at the Honorable Louise Sylvester Complex, where gates opened at 7PM. For a $20 admission fee, mothers got to enjoy a variety of entertainment, gourmet food, drinks, prizes and lot of surprises. With the field packed with over two hundred mothers of all ages, they certainly received the royal treatment. Games and contests were put in place to add to the excitement, which included dancing contests, karaoke, musical chairs, and strategic games like the “green banana”. Prizes ranged from toasters, blenders, pressure cookers, TV’s, microwaves, various $100 gift certificates, restaurant vouchers and gift bags. The moms brave enough to go onstage lucked out with some fantastic prizes. This year, Estela Worthington won the title of “Mother of the Year 2016-2017”. Estela was joined onstage by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Honorable Manuel Heredia, Miss San Pedro 2015-2016, Iris Saleguero, and outgoing Mother of the Year, Mrs. Graciela Vasquez, to be presented with a crown, sash, bouquet of flowers, and an abundance of gifts.

    Ambergris Today

    Announcing Miss Chiquitita Pageant 2016 Set for June
    San Pedro Pre-School announces the day of the San Pedro Miss Chiquitita 2016 to take place on Saturday, June 4th, at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium, San Pedro High School. The pageant is set to start at 7p.m. sharp, with five beautiful young girls ready contesting the title of Miss Chiquitita and entertainment by the San Pedro Dance Academy, Las Primas Dance Group, Rompe Raja and more. Tickets go for $5 for Children, $10 for Adults and $15 Reserved Seating. The contestants are Zulmy Ruiz, Sandy Flores, Lindsy Williams, Lacey Salinas, and Evelin Pichola.

    Government Explains Refugee Situation in Belize
    Help for Progress, a nongovernmental organization, represents the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and has the responsibility to receive applications from potential asylum seekers and conduct an initial interview. Those applicants who meet the criteria for refugee status are referred to the Immigration Department, where a second interview is done and the successful applicants are then given an appointment for a more in depth interview. The asylum seeker is then given a Special Permit which is valid until the time of the in-depth interview in order to allow him legal status in Belize. It is only after the in-depth interview that the applicants’ documents are forwarded to the Refugee Eligibility Committee for consideration and, thereafter, those recommended for refugee status are submitted to the Minister of Immigration for approval.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Domestic Cooperation Strengthened
    A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today by the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) H.E. Ambassador A. Joy Grant and the Commissioner of Police Mr. Allen Whylie. According to the FIU, the MOU will strengthen the cooperation that currently exists and facilitate the analysis and investigation of suspected money laundering, associated predicate offences, and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. Implementation of the MOU will increase the potential sources of information available to both the FIU and the police to fight crime and remove the profit from criminal activities. It also provides the framework for joint operations where the strengths of each party may complement the other and add value to the process. This is the second several MOUs that are being negotiated between various stakeholders within the Government of Belize and the FIU.

    Vendor Authorization Forms
    The Accountant General hereby notifies the general public that effective June 1, 2016, all persons and businesses must complete a Vendor Authorization Form in order to receive payments for goods and services from any Government of Belize Ministry or Department. These forms are: - Vendor Authorization Form - Businesses. - Vendor Authorization Form - Persons. Copies of the forms are available at any Treasury office, Government Ministry or Department, or online at http://www.belize.gov.bz/…/publica…/viewcategory/12-treasury

    A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today by the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) H.E. Ambassador A. Joy Grant and the Commissioner of Police Mr. Allen Whylie
    According to the FIU, the MOU will strengthen the cooperation that currently exists and facilitate the analysis and investigation of suspected money laundering, associated predicate offences, and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. Implementation of the MOU will increase the potential sources of information available to both the FIU and the police to fight crime and remove the profit from criminal activities. It also provides the framework for joint operations where the strengths of each party may complement the other and add value to the process. This is the second several MOUs that are being negotiated between various stakeholders within the Government of Belize and the FIU.

    The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project
    As part of the Eco-Museum that will be established in our Downtown area, we hope to create an area where residents of downtown will be able place their antiques on display. Uploaded is a photo of an old stove found at the Pacheco's residence on Cockburn Street located behind Anglican Cathedral. Some research was conducted online and found one that is still in relatively good condition. See what it looked like in mint condition. If you know anyone that has antiques let us know. We surely would like to see it and maybe even display it in a special area in our future Eco-Museum. Maybe if we get enough pieces, we can have a display at Battle Field Park in the future.

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of May 1st – May 8th, 2016
    Great fishing here at the lodge, with decent weather and good spirits found everywhere. 2 Grand Slams this week plus the lesser but still noble soft slam. Our Grand Slam wall of fame got a little bigger this week with Susan and A.J.’s names added for their success with the big three. Stephen (a returning guest from the UK) recorded a “Soft Slam” All three species in one trip rather than one day.

    The Growing Numbers of Tourists Boost the Real Estate Development of Belize
    These days, tourism is considered as the next big thing in the real estate industry of Belize. According to the released quarterly report from BTB, the number of tourist visiting the country continues to rise. The report states that the sky rocket amount of tourists indulging in the beautiful country of Belize had increased in the months of January, February and March compared to the same months in 2015. March of this year becomes an extraordinary month for tourism in Belize because of the 43 thousand and more visitors they documented as overnight visitors. Due to the massive numbers of visitors coming in, they have reached a breathtaking 16.9% increase on their record of tourist arrivals making Belize the fastest rising destination in the Caribbean this 2016. One of the highlight of Belize is its Cruise Ship tourism. The cruise arrivals for the month of February and March have increased, from 3.7% to 4.1%. The tourism industry and their people are hoping that the number of cruise arrivals will continue to grow during the remaining time of the year and hope to reach the 1 million mark for 2016. The growth of tourism in Belize is a dream come true for tourism planners of the country.

    BTL Acquisition Award not yet Finalized
    The Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal has not yet issued its final award on the acquisition of BTL shares by the Government of Belize (GOB). The draft decision from the Court was released to the parties in confidence and GOB had been awaiting the final ruling before publicizing the details. However, since some details of the draft decision have been circulated to the media, GOB feels obliged to put out a statement. What has been issued is a draft of the Court’s findings on the valuation of the 45,199,961 BTL shares which were nationalized by the Government in August 2009. Under the draft findings, they have determined the value to be BZ$5.60 per share. This compares to the $10.23 being claimed by the former shareholders and the $1.44 which GOB had originally offered. Just prior to Last General Elections GOB agreed with the previous shareholders that it would pay the amount it proposed of BZ$1.44 per share (approx. BZ$65 million) towards the acquisition of shares. It was further agreed that if there was a settlement liability on the Accommodation Agreements, that will be used in Belize on projects to be agreed upon by the previous shareholders/GOB.

    Corozal Student Job Connection
    s many of you know, school fees are a huge expense for many local families. Between paying for admission, uniforms, books, supplies, etc,. it takes a huge toll on a family’s income. And if there are several children in a family trying to make a better life through education, the burden becomes heavier. However, a number of students are interested in finding temporary, paying jobs to assist their families with their school expenses. To aid in this effort, there is a new Facebook group -- The Corozal Student Job Connection (https://www.facebook.com/groups/165135737221145/)-- which is designed to connect students, age 13 and older, with local individuals and businesses who can offer temporary, paying jobs. For individuals, students can help you with any number of projects around your home. Want to clean out the garage? Tackle a landscaping project? Need pet sitting/feeding services? House need painting? Have sewing projects or need some extra hands in the kitchen to prep for a party? Students can help make these and other projects happen.

    National Tapir Day 2016
    The Belize Zoo celebrated National Tapir Day in style yet again. Happy birthday, Fuego! "We had an amazing day celebrating National Tapir Day 2016 with over 200 special guests! The day was action packed with tapir talks, music, games, and aerial antics! A big congratulations to the students of Franks Eddy, St. Therese R.C. and Pilgrim Fellowship schools who won the very competitive tapir slogan competition. Fuego the tapir had high class company with these brilliant students attending his 3rd birthday party. A big PAWS UP to all our other friends, supporters and our very own TBZ staff who helped make the biggest event on the Belize Zoo's calendar a great success!"

    El Pilar Open Day
    The SISE House of Culture will be having a special El Pilar Open Day next Wednesday, May 18th, to celebrate International Museum Day. Cynthia Ellis and Dr. Anabel Ford will be their to talk about El Pilar, and its significance in the area. "Come and Join us for International Museum Day at SISE House of Culture (NICH)."

    International Museum Day
    Angel Nunez Auditorium, May 18th, 9am - 4pm. Exhibition of Historical Buildings in Belize

    Channel 7

    The Face Of Guat Intimidation On The Sarstoon
    Two days ago the government sent out a press release saying, quote, "the BDF…continues to go up (the Sarstoon) river to effectuate the rotation at Cadenas, as was done last Tuesday." Well the news tonight is that it's not quite that simple; in fact, the soldiers had to try to go down the river two times – because on the first attempt, two Guatemalan Navy Vessels blocked them! Now, this sort of low grade military to military harassment has been happening for some years, but tonight there is video evidence of the encounter – and it is disturbing. 7News has obtained a video of the Guatemalans blocking the BDF and Daniel Ortiz looked more closely at it:.. The cell phone footage picks up with the BDF slowing down their vessel, obviously responding to a signal from the soldiers on board the Guatemalan vessel. Right here, they're on the southern Side of the Sarstoon Island, still in Belizean territory, but approaching the deepest navigable channel of the River. But, the Guatemalan Vessel's occupants couldn't be less bothered.

    PM Says GAF Confrontation Did Factor Into Talks
    And the first official acknowledgement came today when the Prime Minister returned from receiving treatment for his back in Atlanta. 7News met him at the airport and we asked him about that tense encounter. He says it happened on the same day that talks were being held in Washington DC – and his report of the event to the OAS Secretary General did factor into the talks:… Rt. Hon Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: "An encounter did take place on the very day that the meeting was taking place in Washington." "Because of that encounter I called Secretary General Almagro before the meeting to make the point, listen, this is absolute bad faith this thing has got to be solved and it was on that sort of a basis that we came out of that meeting with what I certainly understood to be a commitment on the part of the Guatemalans to come to the table to negotiate an agreed protocol over the Sarstoon. Ultimately there was that encounter the Wednesday, by Wednesday evening the BDF had gone back out into the river, and was able to in fact go around the Sarstoon Island without any attempted interference by the Guatemalans."

    PM Says S.I. Still Needed
    But, dates aside, those kinds of Guatemalan antics on the Sarstoon are what – for the Prime Minister - reinforces the need for the Sarstoon S.I prohibiting Belizeans from entering the river. The Guatemalan military maneuvers were highlighted in Monday'sedition of the Prensa Libre, which reported that the Guatemalan military was conducting operations on the Sarstoon, quote, "in defence of (Guatemala's) sovereignty". The PM says that sort of thing is too dangerous for civilians to confront:… Rt. Hon Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: "I've seen the report the maneuvers if true that should make clearer why I felt that the SI – the regulation was necessary – it's one thing when our military encounters the Guatemalan military in the sort of climate that prevails when they are doing these maneuvers –it's quite another when civilians are involved – it's difficult enough for the military to take care of itself without having to worry about civilians."

    PM Can't Wait Forever For Guatemala To Show Good Faith
    But, on the other hand, the Prime Minister concedes that he can only go so far to try and keep peace on a river – half of which is Belizean territory. He told us the Government can only wait so long for the Guatemalans to follow through on their stated intent to work on a protocol for the river:… Rt. Hon Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: "If by next week the Guatemalan don't actually act on what I take to be the commitment for us to sit down and talk, it is as I said when I first passed the regulation, then all bets are off. Look, given our situation, diplomacy is clearly the best way to go, hands down, but there's a point beyond which you can take no more. And I don't want to be premature, all I will say is, time is running out. And unless we get now hard indication of a willingness on the part of the Guatemalans to act in accordance with what I took to be the commitment to the OAS, we are going to rescind the regulation, then we will do what we have to do." In its natural course, the Statutory Instrument will expire on May 27th.

    PUP Makes Constitutional Challenge Of Sarstoon S.I.
    But the PUP still went ahead and filed a constitutional challenge to the S.I. yesterday. Party Leader John Briceno is suing the Attorney General and the Governor General. Briceno says the law is unconstitutional on two grounds. First, that it limits a citizen's freedom of movement, and second that the exercise of power was outside the scope of authority prescribed by the public safety act. The PUP's Legal Advisor Andrew Marshalleck explained it today:… Andrew Marshalleck, SC - PUP Legal Advisor: "The challenge to the constitutionality of it lies in the simple contention that there was really no risk of any civil commotion threatening public safety. Now civil commotion is a legal term, there's common law defining it and what it means in the main is an insurrection of the people that's of the magnitude little greater than a riot and a little less than a civil war. We are saying that there was never any risk of that and there was no rational basis in which the power to pass a SI to restrict freedom of movement could validly and justifiably be passed." Jules Vasquez: "It will only be legally for about two more weeks, little more than two weeks. Constitutional motions aren't usually heard that expeditiously."

    Crazy Cayo Murder Like A Wild West Shooutout
    A businessman from the western village of Duck Run 3 was shot and killed at a bar last night after 11. 59 year old Jose Anibal Molina Estrada went to have a few drinks at the Pasadita Bar near Spanish Lookout. But the trouble began when his business rival, Eddy Larios and his friends 64 year old Guillermo Guerra and 52 year old Duck Run Chairman Victor Ismael Perez, walked into the bar. Now the confrontation among these men wasn't any ordinary bar brawl – there was sort of a Wild Wild West standoff between Estrada and Larios - in which both drew their licensed 9 millimeter pistols and fired at each other. We traveled West to find out what might have led to this bizarre and deadly shootout. These cows cooling off under the tree are only 2 of Jose Estrada's heads of cattle The rest are scattered all about Estrada's farm land in Selena Village. Every morning after 3, Estrada and his workers would come to the farm land and milk the cows. Estrada and his team would then package the milk And deliver them to Western Dairies in Spanish Lookout. That was Estrada's daily routine for almost all his life.

    Southside Commander Denies Knowledge Of GSU Beatdown
    On last week Friday's newscast, we took you into the neighbourhoods of Yabra and East Canal where officers from GSU allegedly put a beat down on several men at Wax House and the Long Barracks at the Corner of Ceasar Ridge and Faber's Roads. That's after the Southside Commander, Assistant Police Commissioner Chester Williams, promised only 2 days earlier that his strategy for dealing with the spike in crime would exclude this type of behaviour. As we reported, the GSU Commander, Superintendent Mark Flowers, told us that he provided officers from his Unit to the Eastern Division South for an operation they were conducting. He told us that he did not know exactly what that operation was, and he also stated categorically that he does not condone this type of abusive behaviour. So, since these GSU officers were reportedly working for Eastern Division South, what prompted these beat downs? We asked Williams about it at today's weekly meet-and-greet sessions. Here's what he had to say about it:

    PM Concedes BTL Compensation "Not Cheap"
    The long saga of BTL nationalization started in August of 2009, and after 8 years of costly battles in court, it's almost over. That's because the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands has just about finished its review of the takeover. As we told you last night, the arbitrators found that the value of BTL's shares was around five dollars and fifty cents, which is about halfway between the 10 Belize dollars per share the Ashcroft Alliance was claiming and the one dollar and fifty cents Belize per share government was claiming. That amounts to more than 200 million Belize dollars – which is in addition to sums already paid. Today, the Prime minister told us that the arbitration panel has not made a final decision, but has offered an outline of their findings:… Rt. Hon Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: "While it's not final it's a clear indication of what is likely to be the end result that is true they've come down in a little under the midpoint valuation which is good for us and 60% of what they are indicating the award is likely to be is going to be attributable to the accommodation agreement. So since as you know I had agreed with Lord Ashcroft any portion of the award that is attributable to their accommodation agreement will be in Belize Dollars and must be spent in this country on projects to benefit the people of Belize; that also is good news. All that will go out is 40% of the award our US dollars liability is therefore limited to that."

    BTL Boss Says Arbitral Award Is A Matter For GOB
    And while it's the government that has to pay all those hundreds of millions with taxpayers' dollars – what role does BTL play? True, it's government that acquired the Aschroft Alliance's 45 million shares, for which it got super majority share-holding in BTL, but it would be ideal if they could recoup what has turned out to be a very costly investment. Today, BTL's Chairman of the Executive Committee Anwar Barrow said it is a matter strictly for government:… Anwar Barrow - Chairman, BTL Executive Committee: "As far as the award of the arbitration tribunal, that's a government matter that is between the government and the former shareholders. So whether there is an award, how much the award is, you really have to pose the question to the government." Jules Vasquez: "Does the executive management of BTL feel any pressure to earn at a level or to make profits at a level which would justify the rather costly acquisition of BTL?" Anwar Barrow - Chairman, BTL Executive Committee: "I think that's a question for the board and not the management because the board sets policy and then the management executes it. So that's really a policy question and far as you know how much you want to push financially and that's something you have to ask the board."

    BTL Reports 10% Spike In Revenue
    But as the major shareholder in BTL, government does have some reason for optimism. We spoke with the younger Barrow at a BTL press conference to discuss the company's robust earnings. Now usually we just hear about that at an annual general meeting in September, but there's been record growth in revenue and BTL's senior managers wanted to tell the public about it. Here's how they explained the 10% spike in revenue and 25% growth in profits:.. Anwar Barrow - Chairman, BTL Executive Committee: "This year I'm happy to report is going to be a banner year as to the financial performance of BTL. We had for the past 6 years either a decline as far as our revenues go or stagnation and this year we've been able to switch that trend around and we're up some 14 million dollars. Profits are also up some 5 million dollars over last year. So we are profitable as we are doing well." "What we sought to do with BTL over the last two years is repositioning the products and services so that we can offer the Belizean customer more."

    No Arrests For Island Footballer
    Police in San Pedro have yet to arrest anyone for the murder of 31 year old Melvin Almendarez. It's gotten the attention of San Pedro residents because Almendarez was not known as a troublesome person. Everyone knew him for his involvement in youths and sports- particularly football. In fact, on the same weekend he was murdered, the team he used to coach was supposed to participate in an ongoing tournament on the island. But that never happened. So while the family continues to mourn the death of Almendarez, police continue their investigations. Unfortunately they are still no closer to making an arrest. As you may be aware island cops were questioning a Canadian National for the murder. So, is he off or he still a person of interest in this homicide? Today we posed that same question to Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, the public Relations officer for the Eastern Division North. Here is what he said.

    Teeanger Helen Yue's Killers, Case Falls Thru
    It caused national outrage in August of 2010 when 14 year old high schooler Helen Yue was gunned down inside her family story for no reason. But, the 3 men who were charged with the murder were set free today. The 3 men: Jermaine Matura, Elbert Miller and Emmanuel Lemoth were told today in the Supreme Court that their case was thrown out. That is because there were no substantial witnesses and not enough evidence to proceed with a case against the trio. Although they were found with the weapon police believe was used in the robbery turned murder, that was still not enough to proceed with the trial. The murder happened on August 12th, at the Yue family store on Iguana Street Extension. Armed men went in to hold up the store but Helen's father Brian grabbed his weapon to defend his family and his business. That is when the gunmen shot at Brian but Helen was caught in the middle of that cross fire. She was shot to the chest. Her father Brian was shot to the arm and stomach and survived.

    Back And Forth Over Bus
    For bus commuters in the city, the city bus system is an important element of everyday life. But commuters often complain that the regulations aren't strictly enforced. And tonight there is another such complaint. 45 year old Herbert Jerez claims that his wife, 44 year old Stephanie Young Jerez, fell out of a bus on Monday. He claims the bus sped off as she was getting off on Regent Street, causing her to break her wrist. Here is his story. Herbert Jerez - Complainant: "My wife went to Social Security to pick up her Social Security card. Coming back from Social Security she caught a bus which was the Belize In transit Bus Service. Upon getting off the bus, the driver let off two other person while my wife is trying to get off the bus, while she was getting off the bus, he start driving off. Right then and there my wife fell off the bus, hit her head, not realising she broke her wrist. Last night I was at the hospital until about 9 o'clock. This morning again I'm doing the same thing this morning. Went to Mr. Novelos, Mr. Novelos he doesn't want to hear anything about it. The bus, he no want to hear anything about it. I made a report to the police already and they are going to do something about it but I need to make the public know that the buses they need to be safer for passengers, not trying to pick up the next dollar but they need to think about the passengers getting off and on the bus because it could have been his wife, could have been his children."

    BERT Opens Up To Students
    Today the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT, for short), held a full open day event at their Belize City Branch on Sunrise Avenue. They were joined by students from Trident Technical College, of South Carolina, who are enrolled in the Emergency Medical Technician program of that institution. 6 students and one lecturer who made the journey to Belize to assist in teaching school kids about what it is they do and inspiring the future EMT experts. Javier Canul - Education Coordinator, BERT: "We're having what you call an open day and basically inviting the public to see what the ambulance is all about and what it entails and unveiling what is going on inside the ambulance once you catch an ambulance. As well as hoping to catch a few people who would like to come into BERT to work as an EMT or paramedic." Emanuel Pech: "What is the importance of having the public know or be aware of what is going on once BERT or any emergency response team for that matter respond to an emergency for a car accident for instance?"

    Japan For Climate Change
    Today, the Government of Belize, the United Nations Development Program, and the Japanese Government launched a program called the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Project. It's an ambitious initiative where the Japanese Government is donating 16 billion US Dollars to 8 CARICOM Nations to try to reduce the negative effects that climate change has on agricultural and sustainable development in these countries. Belize is one of those 8 nations, today, the Japanese Non-Resident Ambassador to Belize, who is stationed in Jamaica, flew in for the launch. We spoke with the coordinators of the initiative to find out how they're tailoring it to fit the needs of this country. Dr. Colin Young - CEO, Ministry of Sustainable Development: "Today we're here to do the national launch of the Japan Climate Caribbean climate change project. This is a multi-country project between the government of Japan and CARICOM countries. Belize is one of those countries. We have St. Lucia, we have Suriname, we have Guyana and its 15 million dollars US that is being shared across this project. In Belize the government of Belize has decided that the funds that are earmarked for Belize would be used to cover areas in climate change governance to help us govern the way we manage and plan climate change as well as sustainable agriculture in alternative livelihoods at the community level as well as water resources management."

    Police and People
    Earlier in the news, we showed you our interview with Southside Commander Chester Williams, where he addressed the allegations of police brutality coming from a group of men from Wax House and others from the Yabra area. We caught Williams as he was conducting the weekly meet and greet sessions. Today, the Southside cops went talking to residents of Southern Foreshore, Albert Street West and the surrounding areas. We tagged along and found out what has been police's crime reduction strategy for this part of the City:

    Northside Meet and Greet Police and People
    And while that was the southside, what about the Northside? That’s less of a crime hotspot, but, their meet and greet sessions are just as important. Today they visited the area of Kings Park.

    Guats Make Mexican News
    Earlier we told you how tensions remain high on the Sarstoon. But, while this is happening, the Guatemalan Congress has issued a travel advisory, asking their citizens not to travel to Belize. The story was broadcasted on Noticieros Televisa yesterday where they spoke to the Deputy leader of the Guatemalan congress, after the recommendation was passed. According to him the congress saw it necessary to make this move in advising their citizens about the dangers of travelling to Belize, given what they call, quote “constant violation of human rights on the part of the Belizean military.” Here is that interview. For balance we note that that Guatemalan Armed Forces has a long record of human rights abuses, dating back to the country’s genocidal civil war which ended in 1996.

    Channel 5

    Another Leaked Video Shows Recent B.D.F./GAF Confrontation on Sarstoon
    Two weeks ago, we aired a video of an encounter between the Belize Defence Force and the Guatemalan Armed Forces in the Sarstoon in which the B.D.F. and the police [...]

    B.D.F. Commander Says Military Patrol Would not be Disturbed
    As recent as March sixteen this year, we asked the B.D.F. Commander, brigadier David Jones if in fact the situation in the Sarstoon was regressing for the B.D.F., as well [...]

    SATIIM Responds to Relaxation of Sarstoon Law
    Aside from the B.D.F., Coastguard and Police, others are similarly being blocked from traversing the Sarstoon River. The Sarstoon and Temash Institute of Indigenous Management, SATIIM, is one such N.G.O.  [...]

    B.T.L. Award, How Much Will G.O.B. Have to Fork Over?
    The decision of an arbitration award for B.T.L. shares is perhaps weeks away, but there is early information suggesting that the value to be paid to Dunkeld International and other [...]

    G.O.B. Says B.T.L. Award Still Not Finalized
    Government, on the other hand, says that what has been issued is a draft from the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s findings on the valuation of a little over forty-five million [...]

    Wild West Shootout at Pasadita Bar Leaves One Man Dead
    The murder stats in the west continue on an upward trend. The most recent murder victim is a businessman man who was shot at a bar after eleven o’clock on [...]

    Crime Spikes in Cayo District
    Estrada is the fifth murder victim in less than two weeks in the San Ignacio jurisdiction. There was a drug-related double murder involving Guatemalan nationals Santos Ramon Gomez and Orlando [...]

    P.U.P. Files Claim, Challenging Sarstoon Law
    The People’s United Party is proceeding to challenge the Sarstoon Law. The claim is being brought by the Party Leader John Briceño against the Attorney General and the Governor General. [...]

    P.U.P. Says There Was No Rationale Basis for Passage of Controversial Law
    Now by definition, Civil Commotion is a legal term defined by common law as an insurrection of the people that’s of a magnitude little greater than a riot and a [...]

    P.U.P. Legal Advisor Says Party Should Stay Within the Law
    The National Party Council of the P.U.P. has also approved an expedition to the Sarstoon by the Party. As legal advisor, the media asked Marshalleck if he is in support [...]

    B.T.L. Announces Record Earnings
    As we reported earlier, government will have to pay more than two hundred million dollars to Dunkeld in an arbitration award for the expropriation of Telemedia. That information came out [...]

    A Nolle Pros in the Case of Helen Yu’s Murder
    Turning to the courts…On August twelfth, 2010, fourteen year old student of Edward P. Yorke High school Helen Yu was shot and killed during a robbery at her father’s shop [...]

    The Guatemala/Belize Student Exchange Examined
    Late last week, the Guatemalan Congress passed a resolution advising their nationals not to travel to Belize because of alleged violence by the B.D.F.  But on this side of the [...]

    Thousands of Indigenous People Protest in Guatemala
    While the Guatemalan military continues to outmanoeuvre the B.D.F. in the Sarstoon River, on the ground in Guatemala, President Jimmy Morales is facing huge protests. Today, thousands of indigenous people [...]

    Japan Invests in Local Climate Change Programs
    As much as fifteen million U.S. dollars will be invested in climate change programs in Belize. The Japanese Government today launched the Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Project which is [...]

    FIU Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Police Department
    In Belmopan today, a memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit Ambassador Joy Grant and the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie.  The M.O.U. provides [...]

    CTV3

    Prime Minister Barrow Tells Guatemala To Come Back To The Drawing Board Or Else
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on this latest encounter this morning right after his plane landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport. As you heard, he confirmed that incident played out last week Wednesday ironically while meetings were being held in Washington to discuss other incidences at the Adjacency Zone and the Sarstoon. If not for the release of the video to the media the encounter would have remained in the shadows since P.M Barrow did not even give me the media a hint of the incident when he held his press conference just one day after. As we told you previously…..nothing came out of that press conference other than the PM stating that the resolution of the meetings are seen as a breakthrough. So, we still don’t known when discussions will resume to set protocols for the Sarstoon. But what we can tell you is that Guatemala has until next week when the Sarstoon Law…which restricts Belizeans from entering the Sarstoon without proper authority expires…to come to the drawing board. Or at least that is the ultimatum the PM has placed.

    Guatemalan Soldiers Continue To Patrol The Sarstoon
    There is no doubt the P.M can talk the talk…but can he walk the walk? We ask because despite diplomatic discussions and the intervention of the OAS who has asked that both countries maintain the peace and to adopt a cooperation mechanism as soon as possible to normalize the situation in the Sarstoon River so that both the peoples and governments of Belize and Guatemala can refocus on strengthening their good neighborly relations…tension only grows as the Guatemalan Government continues to boost the presence of military vessels inside the Sarstoon River. All of this occurs while the Belize Government has prohibited Belizeans, and groups such as the Belize Territorial Volunteers, from going to the Sarstoon in fear that it would "provoke" the Guatemalan military. For this reason says PM Barrow…the S.I must stand. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “To my mind that should make clearer why I felt that the SI, the regulation was necessary it is one thing when our military encounters the Guatemalan military in the sort of climate that is there especially when they are in fact doing these maneuvers and obviously giving the impression that they are spoiling for a fight when civilians are involved, it is difficult enough for the military to take care of itself without having to worry about civilians so that certainly in my mind helps to make the case for the regulation that we passed.”

    Guatemalan Congressman Speaks On Belize/Guatemala Issue
    In a report issued yesterday by the Mexican News Channel, Televisa, a Guatemalan congress official calls out the Belize Defense Force for the murder of thirteen year old Julio Alvarado and for the alleged ill-treatment of Guatemalan nationals both in the adjacency zone and in Guatemalan territory. In the report the Guatemalan official, speaks about the implementation of the travel advisory that was employed by the Guatemalan Congress that warns Guatemalan nationals about the dangers of crossing over to the Belizean side of the border. In the report he elucidates that the implementation of the advisory was necessary due to constant violation of the rights of their nationals who inhabit the over 30 communities that lie in the adjacency zone, by the Belize Defense Force.

    Figures Being Discussed Bot BTL Payment
    The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands has issued its ruling as it pertains to the BTL acquisition. As we told you last night unofficial reports indicate that the Dean Barrow Administration will have to pay Lord Michael Ashcroft some BZ$250 million dollars for approximately 45 million shares in Telemedia. As we told you last night while the Ashcroft side claimed the shares were worth around ten Belize dollars each…. government’s international experts, the valuation company, NERA, put the value at about one dollar and fifty cents per share. Unofficial reports are that the arbitration panel placed the cost per share at about BZ$5.50. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke about the ruling stating that the exact payment figure is not final it is being reviewed by both sides. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize:

    LOVE FM

    PM Explains How Government Will Pay Ashcroft for BTL
    In August of 2009, the Government of Belize took over BTL. This was followed by a number of court battles with the Ashcroft Alliance. Last year, in mid September, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the Government had reached a settlement over the company with its former owners. As part of the settlement, BTL had […]

    PUP files claim against Government for Statutory Instrument
    This past weekend the People’s United Party held its national party council and coming out of that were several resolutions, one of which demanded that the law limiting access to the Sarstoon River be rescinded. It seems that the demands were just the beginning for the PUP. Today they announced that the Opposition Party leader […]

    PM Gives Guat Time to Come to the Table
    The Statutory Instrument by the Government over the Sarstoon has about two week remaining before its thirty day time period comes to an end. While some individuals have said they will wait out the time before attempting to venture on the Sarstoon River, there are others like the Belize National Teacher’s Union and the Opposition, […]

    BDF not able to communicate with Guatemalan Arm Forces due to language barrier
    Conflicting reports have dominated the Belize/Guatemala issue in recent weeks with Belize’s leaders speaking of both countries agreeing to settling the matter peacefully and the Guatemalan media exposing contradictory statements by their officials. It has also become conflicting when the Belize military is told to remain calm and not aggravate or cause any further tensions […]

    BPP Joins in Chorus of Rescission of Sarstoon SI
    Joining the chorus to rescind the SI is the Belize Progressive Party. Today Patrick Rogers told Love News the point of view of the party and he also spoke of other attempts they have made to return to the Sarstoon. PATRICK ROGERS “Currently we’ve been calling for the rescinding of the law from the get […]

    PM says Statutory Instrument is important due to frequent incursions
    From the video you just saw, we can tell you that the incident occurred last week just before the meetings in Washington. With encounters like these, Prime Minister Barrow says this is the reason why the SI is important. He also stated that he had spoken to the Secretary General of the OAS to address […]

    Attorney gives advice to PUP on Sarstoon excursion
    While Attorney Andrew Marshalleck, has taken up the claim for the PUP against the SI, he does emphasize that the law is the law. That means if the PUP still wishes to plan an excursion to the Sarstoon, his advice to them is to follow the law. ANDREW MARSHALLECK “My advice to them is […]

    Fire Exchange Inside Pasadita Bar Turns Deadly
    Just after eleven o’clock last night, a face off occurred inside a humble bar on the Iguana Creek Road resembling a scene from a wild west movie. The only thing is that it was not a movie; a man is dead and three others are injured. Several patrons were inside the Pasadita Bar in the […]

    Another Adjournment in the Rupert Myles Case
    Another court hearing regarding charges against the Santa Cruz 13 in connection with Rupert Miles incident was adjourned today in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “

    BTL Reports Record Figures for 2015/2016
    Belize Telemedia today announced that its preliminary earnings report for the fiscal year of April 2015 to March 2016 signaled an excellent year for the company. Their revenues have reached a record of about one hundred and fifty seven million dollars which is about thirteen point eight million dollars more than last year. Chairman of […]

    PlusTV

    Is US Refugee Transfer Program in “Site Inspection” stage?
    Plusnews has been following the story of the influx of refugees into the country of Belize. As we have reported, there is a lot of movement at the Help for Progress building in Belmopan, and According to a PlusNews source, there are more than one refugee type programs ongoing in the country of Beliz...

    “BPP Response to GOB’s Limited Access to the Sarstoon”
    And while eyes are now turning to the immigration situation in Belize, there is still the matter of the Belize Guatemala issue, to which we now turn our attention. As we reported yesterday, Government has relaxed somewhat on its SI which restricted Belizeans from accessing the Sarstoon for an entire...

    Refugee Type Programs in Belize
    Plusnews has been following the story of the influx of refugees into the country of Belize. As we have reported, there is a lot of movement at the Help for Progress building in Belmopan, and According to a PlusNews source, there are more than one refugee type programs ongoing in the country of Beliz...

    “BPP Response to GOB’s Limited Access to the Sarstoon”
    And while eyes are now turning to the immigration situation in Belize, there is still the matter of the Belize Guatemala issue, to which we now turn our attention. As we reported yesterday, Government has relaxed somewhat on its SI which restricted Belizeans from accessing the Sarstoon for an entire...

    Security Guard Arraigned for Double Murder
    On Monday, police officially charged 30-year-old Andy Joshua Bustillos for the shocking double murder of two women inside a Beauty Salon in Santa Elena on May 3rd. Bustillos, a security guard of Bradley’s Bank, was charged with two counts of Murder. Miriam Mai and Daisy Miranda were at work at the S...

    Accused ATM thieves in court
    Tonight, two Bulgarian citizens from Europe are on remand at the Belize Central Prison after they were arraigned on a single count each of theft from the Belize Bank. The investigation is ongoing, but police believe so far that 28 year old Jeorgi Petrov, and 25 year old Halid Yuksel Aptula, are the ...

    Accused murderer walks over caution statement
    23 year old Reuben Price was accused 5 years ago of the murder of Steven Perez, son of the driver for the Police Department’s Prosecution Branch at the corner of Dolphin and Iguana Street on June 26, 2011. A teenager at the time, he allegedly confessed his involvement to police; but Justice Troadio ...

    Guinea Grass carpenter jailed for crack
    Magistrate Dale Cayetano today sent 53 year old Augustine Pott to jail for the mandatory 3 years and issued a 10 thousand dollar fine after finding the carpenter from Guinea Grass, Orange Walk, guilty of drug trafficking. Pott was found aboard a Sarteneja bus in Belize City with about 1.5 ounces of ...

    Las Flores has new Police sub- station
    Las Flores area of Belmopan now has 24 hour policing services. The police sub station opened yesterday and is located on Maravilla Street at the Las Flores Community Center. Community members have expressed gratitude for the police presence in the area and say it is a step towards a safer environmen...

    Belcare Football Youth Academy Donates 2300 Footballs to Belize
    Michael Lindo the Executive Director of Belcare Football Youth Academy shipped 2,300 footballs to Belize. Yesterday 2000 of those footballs were donated to four organizations that manage and nurture grassroots football for children. This is the second consecutive year that Belcare has donated footba...

    NASA Astronaut Gives Belize shout out from Space
    Belize received the ultimate shout out from NASA’s own astronaut Jeff Williams. Williams just so happened to be in space and decided to past time by spotting coral reefs and the second largest Barrier Reef the world has to offer. “Good Morning! Beautiful Belize coastal waters, where Central America ...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Man walks away from charges of carnal knowledge
    Leandro Botes has been found not guilty of carnal knowledge after his trial concluded today in the Orange Walk Supreme Court before Justice Herbert Lord. In the trial, which started on May 3rd before a jury of nine, Botes was charged with one count of carnal knowledge for allegedly […]

    PM says arbitration award is win for Belize, but it is not final
    Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow on his return from his latest medical trip abroad today said that the final arbitration award deciding the value of BTL shares at the time of Government’s first nationalization in 2009 can be viewed as a victory for […]

    Two caught with illegally cut woods
    A British national and a Belizean were found allegedly illegally cutting trees in the North, including logwood and mahogany. 47 year old Silas Ramos of Maskall, Belize District, and 62 year old Martin Renisson of Bomba, Belize District, have been charged with restriction of conversion […]

    Case fails against accused Hellen Yu killers
    Nearly six years ago, the Chinese community in Belize was stunned by the death of Edward P. Yorke High School student Hellen Yu, 14. She was shot and killed during a robbery at her father’s shop on Iguana Street in Belize City. But the office […]

    Murder accused changes plea to manslaughter
    22 year old Devaughan Goodger, only 17 when accused five years ago of the murder of 27 year old BDF soldier Jason Pott, has decided to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Pott was stabbed on March 5, 2011 on Cleghorn Street near […]

    Guatemalan military again stops BDF vessel on Sarstoon
    Getting almost 22,000 views, more than 600 shares and hundreds of comments since being posted late this morning, it’s safe to say that a video put up on News 5 Live’s Facebook page has gone viral as it showed Guatemala’s military again bullying our […]

    Orange Walk man missing since last week
    A 24-year-old man, Pedro Alfonso Caliz, has been reported missing from Orange Walk by his adopted family who last saw him on the morning of May 4th. We were told that Caliz, who is not in good health, was sent to do errands at […]

    Financial Intelligence Unit strengthens domestic cooperation with Police Department
    A Memorandum of Understanding between the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Police Department signed today strengthens the already close relationship between the parties. Ambassador Joy Grant, FIU Director, and Police Commissioner Allen Whylie are committing to facilitate their offices’ shared investigations of money […]

    Boy finds lost Mayan city in the southern Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico
    A 15-year-old boy from Quebec, Canada with a passion for ancient Mayan civilizations and constellations has discovered a lost Mayan city near the coast of Belize in the southern Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and his theory is about to be published in a scientific journal. […]

    Bar fight turns to murder near Spanish Lookout area
    A bar argument near the Spanish Lookout area turned deadly last night leaving one man dead and three others hospitalized with gunshot wounds. The incident happened at Pasadita Bar on the Iguana Creek Road, Spanish Lookout area around 10:45 last night. Guillermo Guerra, 64; Victor Ismael Perez, 52; […]

    1 dead, 3 hurt in shooting near Spanish Lookout area
    Breaking Belize News has received reports about a shooting that happened near the Spanish Lookout area last night. According to reports, 1 person is dead and 3 others are in a critical condition at the hospital. The incident happened at a bar around midnight and the […]

    Blogs

    Silk Cayes: The Ultimate “Castaway” Experience
    For some reason, these islands were given two names: Silk Cayes and Queen Cayes. Call them either when you travel here and you’ll encounter sugar-white beaches, the occasional coconut palm and water lapping along the shoreline, beneath which, a lively community of aquatic life awaits wide-eyed visitors. Spot vividly-colored fish, benign sharks (yes, they do exist), eagle rays and stingrays from your perch on the beach where a picnic is the perfect accompaniment to a day-long adventure. Silk Caye is a jumping off point for scuba divers and other aquatic sports enthusiasts, eager to explore Belize’s barrier reef. Don your choice of diving gear and you’re off to see tropical aquatic life unmatched in the Caribbean region. Rings of coral reef that pre-date humans offer divers a close look at the earth’s earliest natural aquatic formations–they include the Staghorn, Fire, Star and Elkhorn varieties. See more than fish off Silk Caye waters: spot Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill Turtles plus Great Hammerheads. Don’t be scared if you encounter Whale Sharks; they’re more scared of you than you are of them! Due east of Placencia Village on the Placencia Peninsula; approximately 20 nautical miles from shore. Don’t expect a dock! Visitors pilot their boats directly onto the sandy beach.

    When to Visit Belize? A Comprehensive List of Holidays & Festivals in Belize
    It seems like festivals and holidays come in rapid fire in Belize and that is because…they do. And rather than just continuing to wing it…I thought I’d put together a comprehensive list because 1. I need to make sure I attend each and every one at least one time in my life and 2. because you should too. Belize is a country of people that love to party and parade and party some more. For such a tiny place, you’ll find that this list of festivals is quite an extensive one. We’ve got wood to chop people! The year is ticking by. I have added links to the events that I have attended…and PLEASE, if I have forgotten some or many, please let me know. Muchos gracias. Oh…and here is a map of the country. Just for reference. Smaller than the state of Massachusetts. For more information on the areas, check out my “Locations” page.

    Get Your Pirate on at Glovers Reef Atoll
    Originally settled by Mayans who sailed here from mainland Belize, Glover’s Atoll is a fragile marine reserve that’s been lovingly preserved for posterity. At just 80 square miles in circumference, you’ll be bowled over by the stunning coral that shapes a snug wall around what travel magazine writers love to call a “rainbow colored lagoon” that features more than 700 shallow coral patches. Since the atoll is only 18 miles long and 6 miles at its widest point, you can see every inch, and if you are interested in the deepest ocean drop in the world, don’t skip the Caiman Trench which plunges 15,000 feet to the bottom of the ocean. Loccated about an hour and a half from Dangriga by boat, There is only one way to get here: by boat, unless you plan to parachute in! If you’re coming for a sporting holiday, you may prefer tent camping, but you can also duck into a resort and opt for a package that includes diving, lodging and meals. By booking a tour, you don’t have to become a mountain goat, dragging gear, worrying about boat rentals or facing your own navigational shortcomings. Of prime importance is having your fill of nature’s bounty; seeing wonders on display that are heavily protected by laws passed beginning 1993 under the Fisheries Act.

    International Sourcesizz

    Use your travels and passions to get into college
    High academics may be the top priority for college admissions officers, but intangible traits, such as leader- ship, kindness and humility, score points as well. Caroline Gillespie from Rye, NY, found this out as a high school junior. A water-lover, Gillespie furthered her interest in marine life and ocean conservation as a participant on a National Geographic Student Expedition trip to Belize during the summer before her senior year. The company organizes experiences for middle-school and high-school students worldwide. During the 12-day assignment, she learned about ocean conservation from experts. “We were snorkeling and picking up plastic at the same time. And at night, we spotted hermit crabs on the beach that were using bottle caps as shells,” says Gillespie. “This experience inspired me to become an advocate.”

    Caribbean indigenous peoples want “seat at the table”
    The Caribbean’s indigenous people have called to be given a seat at the political table so as to safeguard their rights to their ancestral lands and resources. The call for political representation for the minority first peoples of the region is one of a slew of recommendations on health, education, gender, sustainable livelihoods, land rights and access to justice, drafted after three days of deliberations by the leaders and representatives of indigenous peoples from six CARICOM nations at a historic University of the West Indies (UWI) conference of indigenous peoples. Host country Belize is home to more than 50,000 Maya and Garifuna peoples, roughly one-tenth of the population. The conference, organised by UWI IMPACT Justice, a Canadian-funded project to improve access to justice in the Caribbean, has been hailed as a rare, unique and historic gathering of the region’s indigenous peoples and a recognition of the need to redress centuries of degradation and discrimination.

    Maya exhibit draws on the discoveries of archaeologists
    Mayanist David Stuart’s career path was more or less set by the time he was 10. His dad was an archaeologist and his mom was trained in the field as well. Stuart was raised near dig sites and got an up-close look at what that work involved. “I fell in love with it,” said Stuart, who grew up to be a noted archaeologist himself and now teaches at the University of Texas at Austin. “The romantic archaeology thing was right there; I was living it as a kid and sort of realized I didn’t want to do anything else with my life except explore and try to read these crazy things called hieroglyphs. “I remember very vividly when my father would run up to our little hut that we were all living in, and he was excited because a new tablet with hieroglyphics had just been found a few minute before, and we would run over there and he would brush to dirt off of it. It was like something out of a movie — I’d be looking at this carving coming out of the ground. Once you see that happen in front of you, you realize this is what archaeology is, and it’s exciting. There are a lot of boring parts of archaeology, too, that I got to know, as well. But when it’s exciting, it’s really exciting.”

    Council for Foreign and Community Relations Communiqué
    Communiqué issued at the conclusion of the Nineteenth Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) , 9-10 May 2016 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. "Foreign Ministers received an update on the most recent developments between Belize and Guatemala. The Foreign Ministers deplored the recent escalation of tensions caused by troop mobilisation. The Meeting supported the critical role of the OAS in working with Belize and Guatemala to expeditiously and deliberately adopt protocols that would govern the interaction of both countries on the Sarstoon River that defines the southern boundary between Belize and Guatemala.

    Exploring This ‘Portal To The Underworld’ Will Leave You In Awe Of Mayan Culture
    Fine, fine, that kid we thought was so brilliant, the one who discovered an ancient Mayan city by looking at the stars? Probably not real. But that doesn’t mean that the Mayan world doesn’t still hold secrets untold. Secrets that will only reveal themselves to bold spirits and intrepid explorers. Deep in the lush green jungles of Belize, there’s a cave with a 1,000-year-old skeleton inside. The bones once belonged to a human — killed to glorify the Gods — and can still be visited to this day. The spot is so special that National Geographic ranked it No. 1 in their book Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations. It’s called Actun Tunichil Muknal, which translates to Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre. How good is that? It could be an Indiana Jones title with zero modification. To the locals, it’s known as ATM cave (because it makes the region a lot of money?); to the ancient Mayans it was Xibalba. The word means “place of fear,” which designates the cave as an entrance to the Mayan underworld. For the Mayans, the underworld was not an abstract concept — it was real, accessed through caves like this one. And with Belize being home to the most caves in all of Central America, Xibalba was never far from the minds of the region’s early inhabitants.

    Videos

  • "Respecte el Protocolo" , 1.5min. That's the order given by a Guatemalan military officer as they intercept a Belize Defence Force patrol in the Sarstoon River. The video shows two vessels with Guatemalan Armed Forces blocking a BDF vessel within the Sarstoon.

  • Diving in Belize with Divemaster Big Sexy of Chuck and Robbies, 7.5min. Diving in Belize with Divemaster Big Sexy of Chuck and Robbies Dive Shop in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize. Big Sexy shares about their dive safety procedures, lion fish and dive locations in Belize. Diving and snorkeling in Belize is on the Top 3 things to do while in Belize and Big Sexy is a rock solid Divemaster, who I trust

  • Belize Cave Tubing 5 4 16, 9.5min. Booked online in advance with "Butts UP" and not through the cruise ship we were on (NCL Getaway). Fun trip, but the bus ride over to the tubing site was long and hot because the AC wasn't working properly. The cave tubing was a lot of fun.

  • Belize Day 6 and go, 4.5min. This video is about our last 2 days in Belize before we head to airport.

  • Belize Music Week is a Few Days Away!, 2.5min.

  • NEIU TRIP TO PG, 7min.

  • Morning Matters with Jim Scott, 60min.

  • The Financial Intelligence Unit and the Belize Police Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding, 2min. This morning in an effort to strengthen domestic cooperation in the fight against money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

  • Samir Rosado from the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute CZMAI, 1.5min. Samir Rosado from the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) talks about his contribution to the blue solution “Valuating climate adaptation options on Placencia Peninsula”. Samir Rosado’s input was “..mapping and valuing marine ecosystem services for integrated management…”. The ecosystem services described by stakeholders were assigned to a monetary value to inform government agencies or politicians. An integrated coastal zone management plan was designed, reflecting notions and ideas of stakeholders of Belize, and is about to get manifested in national law.

  • Body And Soul - Common Health Problems in Belize, v2, 3min. This video is about Body and Soul Medical Mission in Belize and the health problems that they commonly treat.

  • Cave Tubing in Belize, 3min.

  • BMX Belize, 3min.

  • Belize Scuba Diving Glover's Reef, 13min. Videos of the Rack and South Caye Wall. The gopros weren't working for the Abyss dive site. Betsy filmed the first 8 or 9 minutes then the rest of the video is from me. Our second dive trip of the honeymoon! May 3, 2016.

  • Actun Tunichil Muknal Belize December 2010, 16min. Our trip to and through the ATM cave in Belize. The ancient Mayan site is a sacred location. and as such, was a place where human sacrifices were performed. The cave is located in Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve near San Ignacio, and is almost as challenging to reach as it is to explore. Guides took us across three rivers, and then you have to swim into the entrance of the cave. Once you enter, you are basically wading (sometimes swimming if you are short) through an underground river. To get to the archaelogical sites, one must crawl through small openings in the rock, climb up a sheer cliff and navigate (in sock feet so as not to disturb priceless remains) through a rocky cavern. According to Wikipedia, National Geographic listed it as #1 on their list of Top 10 Sacred Caves. It's VERY dark inside, lit only by the helmet torches, so the video quality reflect that.

    May 11, 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

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks ready to claim three-peat championship
    On Saturday, May 7th the San Pedro Tiger Sharks took on the Smart Belize Hurricanes in the second game of the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Finals. The heated match between these two basketball titans took place at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium at 9PM. Fans from both teams were out in full force, cheering and chanting for their favorite team. For the Tiger Sharks, this was a must win game as, Smart Belize Hurricanes had won the first game of three in this epic series and their first NEBL championship showdown. Fortunately, the two-time defending champions rose to the occasion, crushing the Hurricanes in one exhilarating match.

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week - Do You Yoga in Belize?
    We dare you to find a more picturesque yoga setting in Belize. Michelle Foster shares her 'Shanti' moment with her yoga group on top of the new 'Belize' sign located next to the Baron Bliss Memorial along the coast of Belize City. She recently completed her yoga teacher training at Om Shanti Belize Yoga School 200hr Yoga Alliance. Where do you Yoga?

    Belize Anglers Win Big at Mahahual, Mexico Fishing Tournament
    The Marin Family (Aaliyah Marly), from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, took second place and a brand new 2016 compact car at the 25th annual Governor’s Cup Mahahual 2016 Fishing Tournament held in QRoo, Mexico this past weekend. The two-day tourney saw 13 boats from Belize competing against a slew of Mexican anglers. Four boats from San Pedro, Belize, won top prizes that included a compact car, ATV four-wheeler and motorbikes: Team Aaliyah Marly (Enrique Marin) 2nd place - Compact Car, Team Arsenal (Jody Leslie) 5th place - ATV four-wheeler, Team Seacarous (Ivan Staines) 8th place - Motorbike, Team Captain Sharks (James Ritchie) 11th place - Motor Bike.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SELL - A - THON at the Lions Den in San Pedro May 14th
    8am - 1pm

    MEDIA TRAINING!
    The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is offering a FREE training program for Belizean and Belize-based journalists. If you are interested, please inbox/message me (include email address)!

    NURSING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION 2016
    The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Education is pleased to announce the call for application submission for Nursing Scholarships 2016.

    Belize Screen on the Green
    Belize Screen on the Green is featuring the movie, "Coal Miner's Daughter" this Thursday, May 12, 2016 at Governor General Field in Belmopan. As always, movie is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Please bring a blanket, a chair and a snack and join us for a fun evening! About the movie - Raised in rural Kentucky poverty and married at the age of 13, Loretta Lynn (Sissy Spacek) begins writing and singing her own country songs in her early 20s. With the tireless help of her husband Oliver "Mooney" Lynn (Tommy Lee Jones), Loretta rises from local honky-tonks and small-time record deals to national tours and hit singles, befriending her idol Patsy Cline (Beverly D'Angelo) and becoming a country music icon despite the toll stardom takes on her family and her marriage. Rating - PG (adult situations/language and violence) *In the event of rain the movie will be held at UB's Jaguar Auditorium and movie will start at 6:00 pm sharp.

    Benque House of Culture Art Sessions
    Art Sessions every Saturday for the month of May starting on the 14th - Still Life Lessons at 2:00 p.m.

    AROUND THE WORLD EMBASSY TOUR- PASSPORT DC
    On Saturday, May 7, 2016, The Belize Hotel Association, was in Washington DC to participate in The Around the World Embassy Tour which is a signature event of Passport DC. This is an annual celebration of international culture, where featured embassies in Washington showcase their countries artists and artisans, performers, lecturers, teachers, and others. The event is open to the public and it allows for visitors to immerse themselves in the culture, traditions, food and music from many countries around the world. Attendees receive a "passport" which is stamped at each embassy that they visit during the event. Besides Belize, other participating countries this year included Afghanistan, African Union, Albania, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Libya, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The Belize Hotel Association, represented by President Leisa Carr-Caceres, saw over 1000 visitors to the booth and over 400 Hotel guides were handed out along with BHA Maps and other promotional materials.

    OCEANA mural in Corozal
    Sarteneja Village artist Chuy Carrillo creates a beautiful mural at Corozal Town's Coronation Park commissioned by Oceana in Belize and the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage.

    Who's ready to paint this week!
    This is a great painting for begnners and also great for advanced painters to get creative and change the snenery if they like. Always remember you are in control of your brush. Let me know who would like a stenciled canvas or a blank one. See you Thursday!

    Government Explains Refugee Situation in Belize
    The Government of Belize wishes to clarify reports in the media that there is currently an amnesty program for irregular migrants or for persons who have illegal immigration status in Belize. There is no such amnesty. The committee was reactivated in June 2015 after several years of dormancy. Since reactivation, the committee has held five meetings to consider applications for asylum from persons fleeing from persecution, especially gang violence in their home countries. To date the Committee has vetted and recommended 92 applications and these have been submitted to the Minister with responsibility for Immigration for the grant of refugee status or otherwise.

    MOTHER'S DAY EXTRAVAGANZA 2016
    The San Pedro Town Council hosted yet another successful Mother's Day event for all the Mothers of San Pedro. The mom's were treated to a night filled with games, music, dances and laughter - and let's not forget the food, drinks and dessert! The event started with an opening address by the Mayor of San Pedro Town, His Worship Daniel Guerrero, followed by the keynote address by Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation and lastly the closing remarks by Councilor Flora, who was head organizer of the event. Once the official ceremonies were over, the fun began with the games! Participants were randomly selected to participate in games such as musical chairs, singing competition, dance competition and many others. While they enjoyed their delicious turkey dinner, they were entertained by Yaka's Elite Dancers in collaboration with the San Pedro Dance Academy. Also part of the line up and headliners of the event were musical sensation and excellent imitator of Juan Gabriel that had the audience waving their roses from side to side as he serenaded them with Juan Gabriel's greatest hits.

    Rehab beautiful yellow loreds
    The air around Wildtracks is alive with the sound of parrots this morning...we have had the pleasure of acting as the release site for six yellow-lored parrots - a Yucatan endemic with a distribution limited to southern Mexico and Belize, and found in Belize's northern coastal forests. These six parrots have completed their rehabilitation at Belize Bird Rescue, and then been moved to Wildtracks for just over a week of acclimatization before their release. Yesterday, their enclosure door was opened...and all six parrots are now back in the wild. Over the coming days we will continue feeding them and keeping an eye on them until we can be sure that they are thriving...but for today we are just enjoying the sight of them stretching their wings. Kudos to Belize Bird Rescue for all their hard work in ensuring parrots such as these have a chance to return to the wild...it is illegal to catch parrots or keep them as pets in Belize, and BBR have worked hard with the Forest Department over the past years to address this issue.

    Channel 7

    Cayo Crowd Came Out To Condemn & Curse Alleged Double Murderer
    Anchor security guard Andy Bustillos was arraigned today in Cayo for 2 counts of murder. Bustillos allegedly shot and killed his ex-common law wife Miriam "Betty" Mai and her sister in law Daisy Miralda on Saturday April 30th. He then shot himself in the head but he survived. It happened inside Betty's Beauty Salon in Cayo. Now this double murder has wrecked 2 families and infuriated the community. And they showed their anger today as Bustillos was escorted to court. Courtney Weatherburne was there to capture that moment. "In our hearts forever" that was the message the Mai and Miralda families and friends carried with them this morning as they gathered beneath the shade in front of the San Ignacio police station. But while they all stood in love and solidarity for the tragic loss of Miriam Mai and Daisy Miralda, they also stood and waited for justice. Mai's and Miralda's alleged murderer Anchor Security Guard Andy Bustillos was charged yesterday evening with 2 counts of murder. So this morning, with loved ones looking on and police officers standing guard, Bustillos was brought out for his arraignment in court. And that same peaceful crowd then erupted in rage and indignation.

    Cop Say Domestic Abuse Law Must Be Changed For Earlier Interventions
    Now although Mai suffered the abuse in silence and her friends also kept it a secret, wasn't there anything else the police could have done? Senior Superintendent Andrew Ramirez explained that if a victim or complainant refuses to press charges there is nothing much the police can do and he told us that is what happened in Miriam Mai's case. As we told you, Mai had gone to the police to complain about the abuse on several occasions. She had also gotten a protection order against Bustillos but according to Ramirez, after all that, she still refused to press charges. Ramirez said that there has to be an adjustment to the law regarding domestic abuse so the police can do more. Courtney Weatherburne: "I know that there are formalities as you said before, the victim has to want to press charges and take it to court but aren't there special situations when you know personally that a woman is being abused by her husband or boyfriend. Isn't there any special situation where you really push on and try to help the woman? Because maybe she's fearful, she's afraid to speak out, she doesn't know how to tell her family members that she's being abused, she doesn't know where to go."

    Bulgarian Scammers Charge CC Fraud
    Last night, we told you about the 2 Eastern European men from Bulgaria who were allegedly caught after going on a prolific cyber theft in Belize of monies believed to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Well tonight, we can share more details with you. Their identities have since been revealed to us as 25 year-old Halid Yuksel Aptula, and 28 year-old Georgi Tsvyatkov (z -vi-at-kov) Petrov, both of Bulgaria. They were arrested, charged, and arraigned in Magistrate's Court this evening, and we'll share the details on that hearing with you a later on. But, first, to the details of a very intriguing tale of cyber-theft. Well, on Saturday, May 7, just before midday, a very vigilant auditor from the Belize Bank was out doing some errands. He stopped by the Belize Bank ATM on Albert Street to withdraw some money, and that's when he spotted Halid Aptula who was trying to withdraw money. This auditor, who apparently had been briefed by his superiors at the Belize Bank, recognized Aptula as the suspicious man in past surveillance camera footage which captured him and his associate conducting fraudulent withdrawals using the cyber theft scheme they'd set up.

    Northern Cops Copped A Kilo of Coke
    Orange Walk police came up on one and a half kilo of cocaine today right in the middle of town. The cops say they got a call that someone had stashed cocaine in an open lot. They followed up on the lead, and at 3:20 this afternoon, they came upon a parcel of uncut cocaine neatly wrapped. Officer Commanding Selwyn Tillett told our colleagues at CTV-3 more:... ASP Selvin Tillett, OC - Orange Walk: "A search was conducted on an empty lot on Pastor Street, where at the back of the lot, behind some grasses was a black rectangular pack that was retrieved by police. When the package was opened, it contained white powdery substance with a pungent odor suspected to be cocaine." Reporter: "Do you know what would be the value of this amount of cocaine found?" ASP Selvin Tillett, OC - Orange Walk: "Roughly about $20,000 - $22,000."

    The Staggering Cost of BTL Acquisition Now Being Tallied
    The full bill for the BTL acquisition is coming due and it's in the hundreds of millions of dollars. 7News has received unofficial information saying that the ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands has been issued - and right now the numbers people on both sides are just reviewing the final figures to see if they are correct. As you may recall, the Ashcroft Allied company, Dunkeld International took the government to international arbitration for the acquisition of its 45 million or so shares in Telemedia. The Ashcroft side claimed the shares were worth around ten Belize dollars each, and government's international experts, the valuation company NERA put the value at about one dollar and fity cents per share.

    Woman Faces Trial For Allegedly Killing Her Ex And Injuring His GF
    Viewers will remember Calaney Flowers, now 30 years-old. She has been spending 3 years and 8 months on remand while she awaits trial for murder and attempted murder. She was accused of knocking down and killing her baby's father, 29 year-old Lyndon Morrison, and seriously injuring his new girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa. That happened on August 28, 2012, and for that entire time the Morrison Family has remained quiet while they waited for the state to prosecute the woman believed to have killed their loved-one with her car. Well, today, at the start of the murder trial against Calaney Flowers the family finally broke the silence. Lyndon Morrison's mother, Laurel Grant, took the stand and testified against her as a prosecution witness, and this evening, after finishing her testimony, she spoke with us about their extended wait for the trial to start. Here's what she told us:

    San Pedro Murder Victim Was Shot In Testicles: Family Says
    Police in San Pedro are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Melvin Almendarez. It is a curious case because as far as everyone knows Almendarez was not a trouble maker. He had a clean police record, and was known in the community for his positive influence in youth and sports. So why would anybody want him dead? That is the question that police are still trying to figure out. When we spoke to police yesterday, they didn't say much. They would not even confirm if he had been shot. But today his post mortem examination states that Melvin died of, "…face trauma as a consequence of blunt instrument type and a gunshot wound to the abdomen." The report says "abdomen" but family members who received the body yesterday tell us he was shot to the testicles. They further believe that after being shot, Almendarez was run over by a golf cart.

    What!? Guat. Soldiers On Belize Side of Border?
    Many eyebrows were raised yesterday around 4:00 in the afternoon when three Guatemalan Soldiers were spotted with their weapons on the Belize side of the border. They were parked near the OAS Adjacency Zone office, which is on the Belize side of the border. As this photo shows, the soldiers were casual - and our unofficial information is that they were escorting a senior officer, who was on official business at the Adjacency Zone office. We did call that office, and they told us the Director wasn't there. But we did send him an email - to which we haven't yet gotten a response.

    In The South, Guate Kids Come Over For School Too
    But as we've shown you, hundreds of Guatemalan schoolchildren freely cross that same border daily to attend primary and high school in Belize. But, it doesn't only happen in the west, it also happens in the south at the unregulated Jalacte border crossing. Except, down there, we can't say how many cross because their is no checkpoint - Guatemalans and Belizeans just crisscross the border freely. We found that out in 2008 when we went down there to investigate a dispute about a Guatemalan warehouse structure which had been placed on Belizean territory. And the dynamic we found down there is the same on driving the encroachments in the Chiquibul, and causing the Guatemalan schoolchildren to go to schools in western and southern Belize. Here's how Guatemalan Edgar Savedra put it:... Edgar Savedra, Jalacte Resident: “I was born in Guatemala but I have to live in Belize because I need somewhere to work. In Guatemala there are only pasturelands and poor people like myself have nowhere to love. I have more opportunities here in Belize because I like to make milpas. I can plant beans and rice and I need to work. In my country I don’t have an opportunity to work because I don’t have any land.”

    Guatemalan Analyst Criticize His Government For Showing Military Muscle
    And those historically easy relations and casual crossings are what the sudden militancy from the Guatemalan military seems to want to put into jeopardy. Today we picked up a report from Chapin TV in Guatemala where a Guatemalan analyst criticized his government for militarizing the terms of the territorial dispute. In fact there are a number of Guatemlan NGO's criticizing the Guatemalan Government for their aggressive response to incident with the 13 year old minor. They said this approach has placed the bilateral relationships in jeopardy. Here's the interview political analyst Hugo Novales did with Chapin TV. He's a political analyst for a Guatemalan organization called "Asi-es."

    Mayor Says City Getting Ready For Rains
    The rains are upon us- well almost anyways. Belize's typical rainy season starts in late May or early June. And as sure as the rains will fail, if you live in Belize City, you can count on your street being flooded - even if only for a few hours. And while there's only so much you can do about floods in a city at sea level, what about all those clogged drains? They don't clean themselves - and so is the city council busy cleaning them before the rains? Here's what the mayor told us today:... Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "We have 3 crews going out right now as we speak and they've been doing this for the last 2 months in terms of certain strategic areas of Belize City and their focu s is exclusively on drain cleaning. They've been working in Lake Independence; we have a crew deployed in parts of Caribbean Shores; we have a crew deployed in sections of Port Loyola and we have a crew deployed in sections of Collet. We are also working quiet closely with the Flood Mitigation Project in relation to certain aspects with the improvement of the canal works that they have been doing over the last year and a half. One of the things that we have also identified is the importance of trying to get the community onboard, because often times assets are developed, drains are cleaned but one of the things we've noticed is that a lot of people block the drains because they don't have a culvert.

    5 Years For Firearms No Longer Automatic
    Last month, we told you how Belize City resident Allyson Major sued the Government and the Police over the Firearms Amendment Act. The law was changed by the Barrow Administration to crack down on crime, and the rationale was that by assigning collective responsibility for individual wrongdoing, the police would increase their chances of a conviction for illegal firearms. Or, to put it differently, the lawmakers figured that if his whole family was charged, the guilty son would be forced to 'fess up'. Well, Allyson Major sued GSU and the court ruled that the police violated his constitutional rights. The pre-trial penalty of an automatic remand that Major was forced to endure violated his constitutional right to the presumption of innocence. So since then, the law has been sort of on shaky grounds, and last week, Anthony Sylvestre, who successfully argued Major's case, represented one of 2 men who challenged the mandatory minimum sentence. They came at the draconian law from the other direction.

    The Other Side of Sandhill's Supposed Arson
    Last night we told you about a mother and her 3 kids who lost their home in a fire. 35 year old Sandhill resident Kafi Davis was in Corozal when she got the call about the fire early Sunday morning. She raced back to Sandhill only to find the charred remains of her house. Davis told us yesterday that she believes it was arson and that it was as a result of an ongoing domestic dispute. Well tonight, we have another side to that story: Davis's husband, Steve Davis who just got out of police custody, sent us an email giving us his side of the story. He said that he was in Belize City with friends at the time of the fire. He claims that the Fire Department has it as an electrical fire, not arson. And then he adds that that even if he was in the area he wouldn't destroy a house he helped to fix. He writes, quote, "I borrowed money to put a new roof on the house so why would I throw away money like that?" Davis continues by saying that he turned himself into police after hearing the stories about him. He did end off on a light note by saying "Any help for my wife to get back on her feet would be greatly appreciated." Again, if you would like to help you can call Kafi Davis at 633 - 5572.

    CitCo Gives Six Computers
    The Belize City Council today donated 6 brand new desktop computers to Gwen Lizarraga High School. They were installed by the City Council technicians earlier today, and when we went there for the official handing over, they were already in use. It is an asset to the school which serves upwards of 600 students. The donation is valued at 6 thousand dollars.

    Mayor Calls Out GOB For Being Slack On Siltation
    Earlier we told you what the city is doing about the drains in advance of the rainy season, but another related issue is the silt that has developed at the mouth of Haulover creek - the main river channel leading into Belize City. Historically that waterway is what brought settlers to this area in the first place. But experts say, that in 5 years or so, we could lose the creek altogether. And that's because it's chocking on its own silt. When we last spoke to Mayor Bradley about the situation he said that the city doesn't have the 2 million dollars funds to dredge the area properly, and that in fact it is central government's job to do it. Today he took it a step further and throw central government under the bus for lacking leadership to get the job done. Here is how he put it. Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "Well I think that this is something that people have been saying for months now. I mean, like I go to Baron Bliss Park, I drive along the Southern foreshore, you see it. It's been reported on the media on numerous occasions and again you just need that leadership to just step up. We have a proposal in place, it's going to cost 2.5 million dollars. We have individuals who have even indicated to the council that they would voluntarily commit resources and energy and people who own dredging machines to do it free of cost."

    Ruben Released; Confession Statement Struck Out
    Twenty-three year old Ruben Price is a free man tonight, after being acquitted of the murder of Steven Perez in a trial without jury. It happened in June of 2011, when Perez was shot and killed at the corner of Dolphin and Iguana Streets. Police picked up Price shortly after on a nearby street - they say he tried to get away. But, there were no eye witnesses to the shooting and the case for the prosecution depended on a confession statement that Price gave to the police. But, in court he said he was tasered and beaten by the police to give the statement. The prosecution called 8 witnesses to prove that the statement was given voluntarily. But, defence witness, Dr. Raul Ordonez, testified that when he examined Price he found that there were abrasions to his chest, neck, abdomen, both arms and knees.

    Channel 5

    Pair of Alleged Bulgarian Cyber Thieves Arraigned in Magistrates Court
    Two nationals from Bulgaria appeared late in court this evening and were charged for theft from the Belize Bank.  There was a delay in their arraignment because the court was [...]

    Bulgarian Duo Implicated in International Credit Card Scam
    Aptula’s attorney says that they are in communication with the Belize Bank to settle the matter. The two Bulgarians allegedly visited the Albert and North Front Streets ATMs of the [...]

    111 Credit Cards Found Inside Their Apartment
    During arraignment today, the police claimed that the scam begun on September seventh, 2015. The men were detained on Saturday and taken to their room at Easy Inn on the [...]

    Andy Bustillos Arraigned for Double Murder of Ex-common-Law and Sister-In-Law
    After spending just over a week recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, on Monday afternoon, thirty-one year old Andy Bustillos was arrested and charged for the double [...]

    Still No Arrests in Double Murder of Guatemalan Men
    Meanwhile an investigation is ongoing in the double murder of two Guatemalan nationals in the San Francisco area of San Ignacio. Fifty-two-year-old Santos Ramon Gomez and thirty-seven-year-old Orlando Antonio Garcia [...]

    Reuben Price Walks From 2014 Murder Charge
    Another murder trial by judge ended with an acquittal today for the accused. In a no case submission, Reuben Price’s attorney, Simeon Sampson submitted that the only evidence the prosecution [...]

    Dionicio Salazar is Convicted of Killing Marlon Rivera
    The prosecution, however, secured a conviction in the murder trial against Dionicio Salazar. On Friday in the Belmopan Supreme Court, Salazar was found guilty of the murder of Marlon Rivera.  He [...]

    Question: Will Guatemala Withdraw its Troops from the Belize Side of the Sarstoon?
    And tonight’s question is: Do you believe Guatemala will withdraw its troops from the Belize side of the Sarstoon? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

    What’s the Latest on Belize and Guatemala on the Sarstoon?
    At news time it is still not certain if there are any planned meetings between Belize and Guatemala in respect of the Sarstoon even though government says it is cautiously [...]

    Trade Union Congress Weighs in on Refugee Eligibility Committee
    The present refugee situation in Belize is another hot-button issue making headlines tonight.  News of an amnesty program for irregular migrants and for persons with illegal immigration status was initially [...]

    Sarstoon Law Fiercely Opposed by N.T.U.C.B.
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize remains vocal in demanding that government rescind the Sarstoon Prohibition Regulation.  The N.T.U.C.B. is in strident opposition of the law, despite a release [...]

    B.N.T.U. Rally is Fully Endorsed by Umbrella Organization
    The Belize National Teachers Union, which falls under the umbrella organization, is coordinating a rally in Belize City on Friday.  The public demonstration, part of the recently launched Stand Up [...]

    Gwen Liz Receives Computer Donation from CitCo
    There was good news today for students at a high school in the south side of the city. At the request of the Gwen Lizarraga High School, a number of [...]

    Belize City Mayor Comments on Citywide Crackdown on Liquor Licenses
    A citywide crackdown on all local businesses selling liquor after hours without the requisite license remains in effect and police officers are wasting no time enforcing the law.  The ongoing [...]

    A New Roundabout with a Controversial Flag
    A newly constructed monument at the roundabout near the Phillip Goldson Highway and Chetumal Street is receiving mixed reviews from residents of Belize City.  The marker, which was built by [...]

    B.N.T.U. President Shares Perspective on BTV’s Thwarted Sarstoon Expedition
    B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio, during a press conference on Monday, shared a rather interesting perspective on recent events in the south, following the passage of the Sarstoon Law.  Palacio told [...]

    An Awareness and Education Campaign on Going to ICJ
    As we told you, the B.N.T.U. is marching on Friday, to Stand Up for Belize. The union is also embarking upon a series of sensitization forums for teachers.  Those discussions [...]

    Belize Music Week is a Few Days Away!
    Fresh from successful presentations at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, artists will keep the pace with a series of events to promote the local music industry. Belize Music Week starts [...]

    Music Ambassador Speaks on Upcoming Music Seminar
    The week-long activities will be held at the Memorial Park in Belize City and will feature live performances on a daily basis by some of Belize’s finest artists. But according [...]

    CTV3

    One Kilo Of Cocaine Found By Orange Walk Police
    Orange Walk Police are today reporting a significant cocaine bust with a street value of over twenty four thousand dollars. The operation happened at around 3:00 this afternoon after Police received information from a concerned citizen reporting a suspicious person hiding something in an empty lot. When the Police, Domestic and Special Branch team descended on the empty lot located on Pasture Street and conducted a search they found a black plastic pack containing a powdery substance believed to be cocaine. Superintendent Selvin Tillette - Officer Commanding OWDP “The package was photographed and taken to the Orange Walk Police station where is was weight to an amount of 1200 grams of Cocaine, a preliminary test was conducted and it resulted in the presence of cocaine detected, at the moment we are still trying to follow up on it to see if we could detect where it came from and if we can find any more in the area.”

    BNTU Orange Walk Branch Calls Teachers To Attend Friday's Rally
    In last night’s newscast we told how the Belize National Teachers Union council of management agreed during a meeting on Saturday to replace its annual Teachers' Day celebrations with a rally in Belize City, as part of their ongoing "Stand up for Belize" campaign. During the meeting the union also called on GOB to remove the S.I. that restricts travel in the Sarstoon. Today we spoke to president of BNTU Orange Walk, Otilio Munoz, who explained the importance for all teachers to come out and join the stand against the implementation of the Sarstoon Law. Otilio Munoz- President- BNTU Orange Walk: “We agreed that we are going to be celebrating teachers day different and it is not going to be again in their respective places that all the branches had already planned, we are going to be taking it to Belize City but at the same time we want to do a rally, a demonstration rally because we believe that the Union is in the position that we don’t believe with the SI that the Government of Belize has come out with and if the SI has been sent and that SI was sent for the people that really wanted to go to the Sarstoon expedition, what about if the government decide we want to have the Union out of this thing and them trying to mess out the negotiations so we going to send out an SI as to that to the Unions that you cannot be participating in anything of rally and demonstration so we believe that this is the time that we can show to the government that we are serious that that SI needs to be remove that is one and two that we are sending a message on our own day, on teacher’s day, as educators of this country we are standing up.”

    Belize National Teachers Union Gets Ready To Rally In The City
    We told you yesterday of the People’s United Party’s resolutions against the Public Safety Act Sarstoon Regulations instrument of April 29. The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) is also not in favor. While avoiding a question on whether the Union would be prepared to join the PUP in going to the Sarstoon in defiance of the regulations, BNTU president Luke Palacio wondered why Government appears not to be heeding a national call: Luke Palacio – President of Belize Teachers Union: “In terms of the mention of the People’s United Party coincidental that when they were meeting we were meeting, our council was in meeting at the same time so it is just coincidental but again the bottom line remain if the Belizean people are saying to the government of Belize almost overwhelmingly the need to rescind the SI so why are they not prepared to do so and they are the best persons to answer that.”

    Belize Project Changing Lives One Book At A Time
    The Belize Project team is a group of individuals who work hand in hand with churches and educators in Belize to develop a program that at the end will combat illiteracy. The group formed about 3 years ago in the Village of Cristo Rey in Corozal and since then have been working along with the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a non-profit organization that promotes early childhood literacy by handing out books to young children free of cost. Here in the north hundreds of books have been distributed. In fact we can tell you that this past weekend 1,900 books were handed out and next in plan is a survey to determine the effectiveness of the reading program.

    Mural Brings The Barrier Reef To Light
    Biological systems are incredibly complex, and can fall victim to serious ecological consequences when disturbed by human activity for example oil exploration, which contributes significantly to noise pollution and contamination of our environment. In an effort to bring awareness of such dangerous activities OCEANA and the Belize Coalition have joined forces to show Belizeans the beauty that Belize has beneath the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Both organizations have embarked on a journey that will display through mural paintings, the beauty that lies within the Jewel’s Barrier Reef. According to OCEANA’s field representative for Corozal, Ryan Rivero, this mural paintings are being conducted throughout the country and displays what could be lost if we do not protect our eco system.

    LOVE FM

    Boycotting Guatemalan Products: A Personal Decision
    Boycott is defined as an act of withdrawal from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest. It is a word that we have been reading regularly on social media as it is an act being promoted by several users when it comes to products made in Guatemala. […]

    An Impaired Andy Bustillos Arraigned for Double Homicide
    Dozens of residents from the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio gathered in front of the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court this morning as 31-year-old, Andy Bustillos was brought in for arraignment on two counts of murder. This case has caught the attention of many for several reasons including reports that it […]

    Ruben Price Walks Free From Murder Charge
    Twenty-three year old Ruben Price, charged with the murder of Steven Perez, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice John Gonzalez in a trial that was without a jury. Perez was shot and killed around 9 p.m. on June 26, 2011 while he was at the corner of Dolphin Street and Iguana Street. Shortly […]

    Taxi and Dump Truck Collide on the Hummingbird
    There was a traffic incident on the Hummingbird Highway in Saint Margaret’s Village at mile thirty eight just (VO STARTS) before five o’clock involving a dump truck carrying oranges and a white taxi sedan. Reports reaching our news centre were that the occupant of the sedan, Manuel Smith of San Ignacio Town was trapped inside […]

    Government Responds to Refugee Concerns
    The issues of the quantity of persons seeking refugee status, the due diligence being put into the applications by these outsiders have been burning in the local media of recent. Yesterday we brought you an interview done with the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Beverly Castillo and tonight we will share with […]

    Living with Lupus
    There is an adage that says, ‘you see my glory but you don’t know my story’ … it is a saying that can be used in many situations … but this evening we use it in our story of Lupus; a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues […]

    Nursing Profession – Unpopular, Unaffordable and Challenging
    Nurses Week officially got started on Sunday, May 8 and with this week designated to highlight the works, successes and challenges of nurses around the country, Deputy Director of Health Services, Augustina Elijio made an appearance on the Morning Show yesterday. The common cry when it comes to the profession is the limited human […]

    It’s Not the Belize Flag!!!
    At a time when the words like patriotism and sovereignty are being used frequently by Belizeans, a misrepresentation of the very object that identifies us an independent nation, the Belizean flag, can be very well deemed as an unforgiveable blunder. If you traverse the Philip Goldson Highway within city limits you may have noticed something […]

    Constructive Dialogue Prevails Between BWC and FSTV
    Last week we told you of a developing situation between the Belize Waste Control and the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City and the payment for the collection of garbage. Tonight, we can tell you that the Belize City Council has intervened and with an update on the issue the media spoke with City […]

    Footballer Shot on Ambergris Caye
    On Friday night, a well-known football player was murdered in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Police found the body of twenty six year old Honduran national, Melvin Almendarez with a number of abrasions to the head and body. The body was found south of San Pedro Town in an area known as Mosquito Coast. Love News […]

    The Challenges of Being a Teacher; Teachers Send Message to Parents
    The entire month of May is being dedicated to various aspects of education ranging from competitions to festival or arts to media presentations and community service by the Ministry of Education and teachers. The profession of being an educator is not one that is highlighted however as there is no set program where teachers can […]

    Teachers Speak on Curriculum Adjustments
    Some weeks ago we told you of the plans by the Belize National Teachers Union to present a proposal to the Ministry of Education that will seek to incorporate history and geography into the school’s curriculum with an emphasis on the Belize/Guatemala situation. It is a proposal that Belize District President, Kathleen Flowers says will […]

    PlusTV

    National Trade Union Congress calls for SI 42 to be rescinded
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, on Friday of last week, issued a press statement saying that the passage of the SI restricting Belizeans from accessing the Sarstoon is “dangerous precedence”. In fact, the statement says that “We believe the principle of democracy is being grossly viol...

    BNTU to host rally; wants SI rescinded
    The Belize National Teacher’s Union has also spoken on the Statutory instrument saying they are calling on GOB to rescind it. At a press conference on Monday evening, BNTU president says they are calling off regular activities for Teacher’s Day which is to be celebrated this coming Friday and inste...

    PUP National Party Council maintains demand for rescinding of Public Safety Act regulations
    At Saturday’s National Party Council meeting in Belize City at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium, the People’s United Party passed a resolution stating that it would rejoin the diplomatic effort to resolve the Guatemala crisis – if, in turn, Government rescinded the Public Safety Act regulatio...

    Government Announces Limited Access to Sarstoon
    This afternoon, GOB issued a statement saying it rejects the demand made by the People’s United Party for the immediate rescission of the Sarstoon Prohibition Regulation. Even so, GOB has softened its position on the Statutory instrument which restricted Belizeans from traversing the Sarstoon ...

    Guatemalan military guarding Sarstoon mouth as a port of entry?
    Interestingly, while GOB’s statement says that” …the military tensions regarding the Sarstoon are no longer as explosive as they were when we passed the Regulation.” , an article in Prensa Libre published on Sunday says, that Guatemala’s “… Caribbean Naval Command and the Marine Brigade conducted ex...

    SATIIM responds to Prime Minister’s explanation
    On Thursday, PLUSNEWS broke the story to the nation at the Prime Minister’s press Conference that a SATIIM trip to the Sarstoon was blocked by the Belize Defense Force. While the Prime Minister had belabored the point at a previous Press conference, that only those with a political agenda woul...

    Drunken Man stabs friend with ice pick
    There was a stabbing incident in Orange Walk on Saturday May 7th. 25-year-old Linsford Daniel Rabateu of Otro Benque Road, Orange Walk Town was stabbed to the right side of his chest. Acording to police, their iInitial investigation revealed that around 7:00p.m., Rabateu arrived at the residence o...

    Amandala

    Life imprisonment for “Life”
    Donicio Salazar, aka “Life,” 30, was convicted on Friday, May 6, in the Belmopan sitting of the Supreme Court, for the murder of Marlon Rivera, 26. In 2010, Salazar was charged for the murder of Rivera and the attempted murder of Dean Dougal, 41, with a separate trial taking place for the attempted murder charge. On Friday, May 6, Salazar’s case was heard before Justice Antionette Moore, without a jury, and Salazar was sentenced to life imprisonment for Rivera’s murder. The incident occurred on June 13, 2010. Rivera, Dean Dougal and Dougal’s girlfriend went out partying. They saw Salazar, with whom they were not on good terms, at a nightclub and decided to go to another nightclub. However, Salazar apparently made his way to that nightclub, as well. As a result, the trio decided to go home. They went to a taxi stand, but while waiting for a taxi, they came under gunfire. Dougal was shot three times, but managed to survive the deadly attack. Dougal’s girlfriend was unharmed, but Rivera was not as fortunate; he was shot twice and died from his injuries.

    Popular footballer murdered on San Pedro
    The family of Mervin Almendarez, 26, a popular football player of San Pedro and the father of three young children, is trying to grapple with his sudden and violent death. Almandarez, also known as “Catracho”, was gunned in the head around 11:30 on Friday night in the Mosquito Coast area of south Ambergris Caye. Police have not publicized details of the shooting, but a man has been detained in connection with the murder. Police say that at about 11:30 Friday night, the South San Pedro Neighborhood Watch Group was on patrol in the area when they heard a gunshot. The group immediately alerted police and waited for their arrival. When police, who were also on patrol in the area, arrived and searched the area, they found the body of a man lying on the ground with a gunshot in the head. The man was identified as Melvin Almendarez. He was taken to the San Pedro Town Clinic, where he was declared dead on arrival.

    Guatemalan gold panners wreak havoc in Chiquibul
    uatemalan gold seekers (“oreros” in Spanish), who seek out the pricey and highly sought-after ore, are wreaking havoc inside the highlands of the Chiquibul, as far as 9 kilometers (or 5.6 miles) inside Belizean territory, where they have gone from panning for gold at streams in the Ceibo Chico area, to now digging out wide trenches in search of volcanic bedrock to tap into the source of the Chiquibul’s gold wealth. The environmental impact is colossal, as these illegal miners leave behind a defaced habitat and an array of unsightly contaminants: garbage, pans, plastics and their feces, which pollute nearby streams that feed the Chiquibul’s headwaters. Ironically, these tainted waters meander their way to the Guatemalan village of Nueva Armenia, but there is also cause for Belizeans to be concerned, since these waters eventually return to the Mopan River, which stretches across from Guatemala into Belize. According to a report just released to us by Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director of Friends for Conservation andDevelopment (FCD), there about 100,000 Guatemalans who depend directly on that water resource.

    Opposition PUP challenge GOB over Sarstoon River law
    On Saturday, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) held a National Party Council meeting at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium, where the approximately 300 delegates in attendance voted unanimously to pass a robust resolution, which demanded that the United Democratic Party (UDP) government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow rescind Statutory Instrument (SI) number 46 of 2016; otherwise, the PUP will travel to the Sarstoon. In response to the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ (BTV) intentions to embark on a Sarstoon River trip on April 30 to celebrate the Anglo-Guatemalan 1859 border treaty, on Friday, April 29, the government passed into law the SI, which restricts Belizeans from traveling to the Sarstoon River for a period of one month, or until a protocol is agreed to with Guatemala on traversing the river. The penalty for violating the SI is a fine of $2,000 or a prison sentence of one year, or both the fine and the prison sentence can be imposed. Under the terms of the 1859 Treaty, the border between Belize and Guatemala was defined at the Sarstoon River, where the North Channel, including Sarstoon Island, has been designated, as Belize territory.

    Rescind the SI now…
    The government’s so-called “stand-off at the Sarstoon River” between Belize and Guatemala, which prompted Prime Minister Dean Barrow to hastily pass into law a controversial Statutory Instrument, # 46 of 2016, last Friday, April 29, banning Belizean civilians from traveling to the Sarstoon River for one month until a protocol with Guatemala is agreed to, was met with a direct challenge today from the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). The PUP, which had characterized the measure as “unconstitutional” and had announced a Supreme Court challenge on Tuesday, May 3, after a meeting of its National Executive, went one step further today when at a National Party Council meeting it issued an ultimatum, through a resolution which received a unanimous “yes” vote, calling on Government to rescind the SI now, otherwise the PUP would defy the new law and go to the now “off limits” Sarstoon River. The new law, naturally, does not affect Guatemalans, who illegally fish with impunity in southern Belizean waters, right in front of the Belizean armed forces stationed in Punta Gorda.

    Villagers arrested by Guatemala police in Arenal handed over to Belize police
    Seven villagers of Arenal , a village in the Cayo District that is set on the border between Guatemala and Belize, have been released from Benque police custody without charges today after they were handed over to Benque police by Guatemalan police who arrested them yesterday. Guatemalan police, on handing over the villagers, reported that they were involved in an altercation at a bar on the Guatemalan side of the village, and when they saw police, they ran toward the Belize side of the village. The Guatemalan police, however, were able to apprehend them before they crossed over to the Belize side of the village. They then held them and handed them over to the Benque police, who were also on patrol in the village. The villagers were all taken to the Benque Police Station, where they were detained, and after they were interviewed, they were released from custody today.

    Tiger Sharks and Hurricanes will battle it out
    On Saturday night, two-time defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted Smart Belize Hurricanes in front of a packed auditorium at the San Pedro High School, in game 2 of the NEBL Finals. San Pedro Tiger Sharks lost 3 regular season games this season, for the first time in franchise history, but they are still undefeated at home in the playoffs. A win by the visiting team, Smart Belize Hurricanes, would have given them a sweep of the best-of-three series and their first NEBL championship; while San Pedro Tiger Sharks had their backs against the wall, in a must-win game, to send the series back to the city for game 3. As the game tipped off, the Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, with Douglas Valley scoring 7 of those 8 points. However, the Hurricanes closed the lead mid-way through the first, trailing 17-13, and the home team led at the end of the first quarter, 34-28, and had a 5 point lead going into intermission, 53-48. Each time San Pedro Tiger Sharks went on an offensive run, the visitors were able to respond, to keep the game close. San Pedro had a double-digit lead 6 times in the game, and each time Smart Belize Hurricanes was able to cut the deficit to 3 or 4 points. The Tiger Sharks led the entire game, and their biggest lead was 13 points. Mid way through the fourth quarter, Tiger Sharks had an 86-80 lead, ending the game on a 15-8 run, to comfortably grab the 101-88 victory. With the win, the series is tied up at one game apiece, with the third and final game scheduled to take place in Belize City, where a champion will be crowned.

    High School Cycling – Series 2 preliminaries
    The C-Ray High School Cycling Series for females and males continued last Thursday, May 5, with Series 2 Preliminary Round races, starting at 4:00 p.m. at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. According to the guidelines explained by the organizers of the Cycling Series: “Student athletes are divided into groups of six in their respective categories, where they race in a preliminary round. The top two from each heat then advance to the semi-final round, and are again placed in groups of six. The top two again advance to the final round, where the top five winners are awarded with medals. All student athletes who complete their races are awarded with points: 1st place through 6th place are awarded from 6 points to 1 point, respectively. At the end of the series, the points will be added up, and this will determine the overall winners in each category.”

    Post-colonial Belize
    In this Western Hemisphere, the Spanish, the British, the French, the Dutch, and the Portuguese all owned colonies. The colony was a specific territory which the specific European society controlled with the use of force, and the colony existed primarily in order to contribute to the enrichment of the motherland, be it Spain, England, France, the Netherlands, or Portugal. The socio-cultural relationship between the colony and the motherland was based on the understood, enforced, and accepted superiority of the European motherland and the inferiority of the colonized populations. In this Western Hemisphere, the bulk of the colonized population were Indigenous peoples, while millions of Africans were introduced as slave labor between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries. What we know as the United States today was actually a group of thirteen colonies controlled by Great Britain. What we know as Mexico today was a colony of Spain, as was Cuba. Brazil was a colony of Portugal. The Dutch owned Suriname. The French ruled Haiti. The British took Jamaica away from the Spanish in 1655. The thirteen American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776, and bought the Louisiana territory from France in 1803. By 1823, the United States was strong enough to declare the Monroe Doctrine, which basically said that the Western Hemisphere henceforth constituted an American regime.

    From the Publisher
    I have always been hesitant to discuss young people in this column, because my personal generation, which grew up in the 1960s, was one of planet earth’s most controversial young generations ever. In British Honduras, Hurricane Hattie in October of 1961 changed my post-World War II generation in that Hattie opened up the United States for us to an extent we had only been dreaming about previously. The effects of Hattie’s destruction changed our domestic socializing mores: socializing became more liberal and less old-fashioned. (I think it was during the years after Hattie that the birth control pill came on the scene in Belize.) We began to view ganja with more favor. In the United States itself, the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962, followed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963, the rapid escalation of the Vietnam War in 1965, and the increasing militancy of the black civil rights movement affected members of the American student population who were around my age in dramatic ways.

    LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Belizean feminism: trapped in the womb
    Editor Amandala, Sir, We celebrate women when we think of them as mothers. A woman’s uterus becomes her entire humanity. She is glorified for giving birth and for working endlessly for her partner and children. After she becomes a mother, she is confined within this idealized notion of motherhood that pervades Caribbean culture. If she steps outside the lines we’ve drawn for her, we amplify our voices against her. If she goes to a bar, we gasp: where is her child? If she uses her voice to promote gender equality, we ask: what does her husband think? If she does not cook a Sunday meal, we wonder: isn’t she embarrassed? If she wears an outfit that you deem inappropriate, you interrogate: what would her child think? Women are more than their wombs. It’s 2016 but our glorification of women as mothers is another way we limit women. A woman is more than her motherhood and we ought to celebrate that – especially on Mother’s Day. We ought to honour all the identities women carry in Belize and encourage their growth. Their growth is Belize’s future. How unwise we would be if we limited women to their reproductive systems.

    Drought concerns over southern half of Belize
    Drier than normal conditions could adversely impact the country’s agricultural sector over the coming months, as drought conditions are emerging in the southwestern part of the country, across several Maya villages in southern Belize. Weather experts in Belize are also keeping an eye on east-central Belize, in the area spanning Belize City to Dangriga, where drought conditions could emerge over this 12-month period. Chief Agricultural Officer, Jose Alpuche, told Amandala that in areas where drought is a concern, farmers have delayed planting corn, as the early warning issued by weather experts in Belize was heeded. Alpuche said that there could be impacts on banana production. The dry conditions will cause irrigation costs in banana fields to spike. He also said that legume crops could mature a bit later this year. The biggest impact, though, could be on corn crops, which not only serves as food supply for households but which is also used for chicken feed. Significant adverse effects could, consequently, drive up the cost of poultry.

    I Met Belize’s Next Dictator
    It all began one afternoon. I had just gotten on a plane leaving Belize, when a woman sat down next to me… with a one year old baby. At first, I was worried the child would be an issue, but it turned out that the kid, Ajax, was a dream — the woman was a nightmare. She began asking me about my major, my school, my future, my trip to Belize. I tend to maintain a healthy distance from my flying partners, but I responded politely; I told her I was a cognitive science major at UCLA with no plans for the future, visiting Belize for the first time. I returned her question in kind: “Is this your first time to Belize?” No, she had a home with her husband there; they visited often. She told me she had, in fact, given birth to both Ajax and Lisa, her daughter, in Belize. When I asked her why, she answered that she wanted them to have dual citizenship, just in case “anything went south” in America. This seemed strange, but potentially logical to me. When I asked her why they had chosen Belize, she said that they almost chosen Bolivia, but Belize was closer. Additionally, Belizean officials were incredibly corrupt and easy to buy off; they would do almost anything for $1,000. In fact, her husband and his friends were sure the government could be overthrown with “200 people or less”.

    Wilser Chavarria will face murder indictment at Supreme Court
    Today, Wilser Chavarria appeared in the Belmopan Magistrate Court before Magistrate Ladona John, where a preliminary inquiry in the case against him was heard. It is alleged that Chavarria, 18 at the time of the incident, murdered the Charge d’ Affaires of the Panamanian Embassy in Belize, Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford, 64, in November 2014. After going over the paper evidence that police had put together to make their case against Chavarria, Magistrate John ruled that Chavarria has a prima facie case to answer at the Supreme Court, where he will be indicted for De La Rosa’s murder on October 4. The Panamanian diplomat left his home at around 9:00 on the morning of November 23, and seven hours later he was found dead, at approximately 4:00 p.m.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Accused ATM thieves from Eastern Europe on remand
    Tonight, two Bulgarian citizens from Europe are on remand at the Belize Central Prison after they were arraigned on a single count each of theft from the Belize Bank. The investigation is ongoing, but police believe so far that 28 year old Jeorgi Petrov, and […]

    Guinea Grass carpenter jailed for crack
    Magistrate Dale Cayetano today sent 53 year old Augustine Pott to jail for the mandatory 3 years and issued a 10 thousand dollar fine after finding the carpenter from Guinea Grass, Orange Walk, guilty of drug trafficking. Pott was found aboard a Sarteneja bus in […]

    Accused murderer walks over caution statement
    23 year old Reuben Price was accused 5 years ago of the murder of Steven Perez, son of the driver for the Police Department’s Prosecution Branch at the corner of Dolphin and Iguana Street on June 26, 2011. A teenager at the time, he allegedly […]

    Eastern Europeans accused of ATM theft in court
    Late this evening, two Eastern European men are in court being read charges of theft. It is alleged by police that the men were part of a massive scam involving automatic teller machines or ATM’s, which started internationally but ended up in Belize, although it […]

    Final BTL arbitration award may be as much as US$220 million
    Reliable information to Breaking Belize News is that the arbitration tribunal deciding the value of the shares in Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) at the time of the first nationalization by Government in 2009 has set that figure at as much as 220 million US […]

    GOB explains refugee situation
    The government clarified its position on reports of an amnesty program for immigrants currently in effect explaining that there is no such amnesty. GOB, via press release, explained that the dormant Refugee Eligibility Committee was recently reactivated in June 2015. The Committee comprises the […]

    Tropic Air employee recognized for three decades of service
    Since joining the Tropic Air family in 1986, this month makes it 30 years that Government Liaison Officer, Barbara Miller has been working with the airline. A press release issued by Tropic today, its president, John Grief III, stated that over the past three […]

    Bustillos arraigned in court, protesters gather
    A small group of protesters gathered this morning in-front of the San Ignacio Police station in solidarity to the double murder of Miriam Mai and Daisy Miralda, as the alleged accused Security Guard Andy Bustillos was arraigned in court this morning for two counts of […]

    Bustillos to be arraigned
    Andy Bustillos, the Anchor security guard who allegedly murdered his ex-common law wife and her sister-in-law on April 30, has been released from the hospital, charged and will be arraigned in San Ignacio this morning. Bustillos was released from the hospital yesterday evening after recuperating from […]

    Blogs

    Checking out the Construction at The Palapa Bar, Ambergris Caye
    It’s like my blog is stuck on Replay, the needle’s skipping…yesterday was a gorgeous day on Ambergris Caye. I gush…I KNOW! But it’s really been spectacular. And a perfect one to trot up to the Palapa Bar to check out a bit of construction work they are doing. A thatched roof circular bar area…very reminiscent of the old spot. And…look at the view! I love this new seating area along the dock.

    Top Reasons Why Moving To Belize Fits Your Retirement Plan!
    If You Are Planning Retirement Then Moving To Belize Should Be On Your List To Consider! You are probably thinking to yourself, “Why should I retire in Belize?” to which I will tell you, there is no one response to properly satisfy that question. So this article serves as a guide for your Belize retirement plan and moving to Belize. Relocating can be a daunting task on its own, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you are provided the proper information to help you make an informed decision that you will be happy about 10 or 25 or 35 years from now, thinking to yourself, “I’m so glad I make a move to Belize” whilst overlooking the Mopan River or swimming in the Caribbean sea. If she loves gardening and rainforests, and your idea of heaven involves endless hours of boating and fishing, preferably in warm crystal clear waters then, why, Belize, of course!

    Cashew Festival & Agricultural Show in Belize
    Located in the northwest corner of Belize District in central Belize is the tiny village of Crooked Tree, named for one special tree with a unique bent that grows here amidst thousands of other very important trees. Known as the cashew heartland of the country, every year the village puts on a Cashew Festival and Agricultural Show where local farmers and artisans display the eponymous nut in dozens of spectacular forms, including the must-try cashew wine and cashew jelly. The Cashew Festival in Crooked Tree is a great chance to get up and close with the cashew in its natural environment. Games, music and local art are all part of the festival to celebrate the delicious cashew, served up in a mind-boggling array of different forms, including cashew cakes, cashew jams, cashew cookies, steward cashew, roasted cashew and cashew wine. By car from Belize City, take the Northern Highway and follow signs for the village, which lies about 3 miles from the highway. By bus from Belize City, take any bus heading to Orange Walk and get off at the Crooked Tree stop. The village is approximately three miles down a packed dirt road from the highway.

    International Sourcesizz

    Los Angeles Belizeans are invited to come out to the Garifuna Film
    On May 27, 2016 to see the screening of the two films by Bilal Morris: Ambassador Bert Tucker International & Leonides Sanchez & The Special Truth! Come one, come all!

    Hershey Expands ‘Learn to Grow’ Program to Belize Sugar Industry and Launches New Sustainable Sugar Sourcing Policy
    The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) announced today a new partnership with the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) to expand its Hershey Learn to Grow sustainable farming program to sugar suppliers in northern Belize. The program will train farmers in sustainable agriculture practices to responsibly grow and harvest sugar cane. The new program builds on The Hershey Company’s leadership in ensuring the raw materials used for its iconic brands are procured from sustainable sources where the entire community benefits from the business. “We’ve seen great success from our Learn to Grow program in the cocoa sector and now have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the sugar industry,” said Eric Boyle, Director of Responsible Sourcing and Procurement at the Hershey Company. “The combination of our new Sustainable Sugar Sourcing Policy and the new farmer training program will give consumers the assurance that the sugar in our products is responsibly and sustainably grown and harvested.” The SIRDI Farmer Field School, funded by Hershey, is an expansion of the highly recognized Hershey Learn to Grow program, initiated four years ago to give West African cocoa farmers the opportunity to improve productivity, raise incomes and benefit the entire community.

    The Placencia Marina Hosts Ocean Cruising Clubs final stop for the Curacao to Belize Rally 2016
    The Placencia Marina owner, Marco Caruso and his team are host to the Rally goers from the Ocean Cruising Club Curacao to Belize Rally 2016! A wonderful Welcome to Belize Reception was enjoyed by all on Friday the 8th of April at The Placencia Hotel Palapa Pier Lounge, sponsored by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and supported by the Placencia Village Council, Seine Bight Village Council and the local authorities involved with clearing of all these vessels into Belize waters. This event has taken 23 participants through 7 countries and many new ports of call, starting in Curacao in the beginning of January and ending at The Placencia Marina on April 8, a wonderful four-month voyage around the Caribbean! Watching all the vessels arriving at The Placencia Marina together was a beautiful sight to behold, there were mono-hulls and catamarans, ranging in size from 39 to 56 feet, each with their own unique style. Many of the vessels stayed over a week at the marina as they explored the inland wonders of Belize, then went on to cruise around our beautiful waters for the next month, while some continued on to their next port of call.

    It’s Mosquito Awareness Week
    The Caribbean took a another step towards dealing with the mosquito-born Zika virus by launching Monday Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week, even as a senior regional technocrat called for greater urgency in dealing with the situation. Assistant secretary general of the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretariat Dr Douglas Slater said the institution is awaiting word from individual countries regarding at least one process that has been put in place to deal with the matter. “We hope that while we await this affirmation by member states it will not be a deterrent for the actions that are necessary to fight the vector,” he noted. The regional leaders, at their inter-sessional summit in Belize earlier this year, endorsed a course of action to deal with the spread of the Zika virus and other diseases, including agreeing to undertake continuous public education on the virus and other diseases spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

    OUR CARIBBEAN: Too silent on financial scandals
    IT IS not unusual for the governments of our Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to be publicly silent, for long periods, amid developments that require some form of practical attention in the interest of the public’s right to know. Therefore, let’s hope that soon, rather than too late, either from Secretary General Erwin LaRocque, or more likely current chairman of the 15-member Community, Prime Minister Dean Barrow of Belize, we may yet learn of the thinking and contemplated action by our economic integration movement on two quite important developments. First, it is now more than five weeks since a group of admirable enterprising international journalists bravely released a huge file of documents revealing the names, nationalities, companies and business dealings of Caribbean nationals involved in what is euphemistically referenced in the media as The Panama Papers. For far too long we have had to grapple with speculations – some quite disturbing – about the spreading corruption of money laundering via varying channels and systems involving big, not so big, but quite influential names of individuals in both the public and private sectors.

    Caribbean is the world's fastest growing tourism market
    The always sun-drenched Caribbean is looking particularly fetching right now. Island sojourns are in high demand, hotels in the region are getting deluxe upgrades and airlines are opening more routes connecting the world to the Caribbean -- all of which has made for tourism growth that's outshining the rest of the world's. The Caribbean opened its arms to 7% more tourists last year, growth that was higher than every other region, and nearly double the 4.4% global average tourism growth in 2015, according to the World Tourism Organization. So why are more folks flocking to the tropics? Mostly because more people have more money to play with now that the global economy is getting itself in order. And because air capacity hit a well-timed growth spurt. Jet Blue was the Caribbean's biggest fan, adding flights from the U.S. to Curacao, Grenada and Barbados, with plans to open up flights from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas in August. Delta increased air capacity to Belize and St. Croix, and Alitalia added flights from Milan to Antigua & Barbuda. The super dollar helped encourage Americans to pack their flip-flops and sarongs for island getaways, with visits growing 6.3% to 14.3 million, or roughly half of all trips to the Caribbean last year.

    Owner of offshore brokerage firm pleads guilty to $250 million money laundering scheme
    A dual U.S. and Canadian citizen and secret owner of Legacy Global Markets S.A. (Legacy), an offshore broker-dealer and investment management company based in Panama City, Panama, and Belize City, Belize, pleaded guilty Monday, to money laundering conspiracy for fraudulently manipulating the stocks of more than 40 U.S. publicly-traded companies and then laundering more than $250 million in profits through at least five offshore law firms. The guilty plea follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Greeg R. Mulholland, 46, used offshore shell companies in Belize and the West Indies to carry out numerous schemes, including the manipulation of Cynk technology Corp (CYNK). Pursuant to his plea agreement with the government, Mulholland has agreed to forfeit, among other things, a Dassault-Breguet Falcon 50 aircraft, a Range Rover Defender vehicle, two real estate properties in British Columbia, and funds and securities on deposit at more than a dozen bank and brokerage accounts. When sentenced, Mulholland faces up to 20 years in prison.

    Teen looks to stars to find lost Mayan city
    A teenager from Quebec has discovered a hidden Mayan city, an accomplishment that proves his own theory that links the location of ancient cities with the position of the stars. William Gadoury, 15, has received accolades by NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency, and his discovery is about to be disseminated in a scientific journal.

    Videos

  • Belize City Tender Boat back to Carnival Dream, 18min.

  • Belize Cave Tubing Video, 2.5min.

  • More Than Fútbol Belize 2016, 7min. Program impact and Growth.

  • Mercer University Biology Department Coral Reef Ecology at Belize TREC March 2014, 2.5min. Belize TREC compound and the Goliath.

  • Belize Seascapes March 2014, min.

  • Weezies Caye Caulker, Belize, 1.5min. Some nice drone footage....

  • BELIZEAN WOMEN AND THEIR ROLE IN POLITICS, 5min. In an effort to honour Belizean women who were elected in Government in the past and to acknowledge those who are presently elected in office at both the national and municipal level, the Belize Women Political Caucus launched a project known as the Development of Belizean Women in Politics. The project launched yesterday at the Banquitas House of Culture targets the younger generation of women who are considering pursuing a career in politics.

  • Clever Fish: Cooperation on the reef, 3min. Fake eels could show that we are underestimating the brain power of our gilled relatives. Redouan Bshary of the University of Neuchatel explains how his observations of grouper fish hunting together with moray eels plus inventive experiments with fake eels led him to discover fish abilities known previously only in primates. Footage from Bshary, Hans Fricke and Alex Vail shows off the groupers' sea-smarts in the lab and in the wild.

  • Jaguar, 11sec. I had asked my gardener to show me how to get best shots of animals in the bush He showed me that to attract Gibnut and maybe even 'Tiger', his words, you have to offer them food He went on to get the nuts out of coconut husks split them in half, then roast them over open fire Then we went for a walk into bush and he picked the spot You can just see the half nuts at the bottom of the frame This is what we caught on camera

  • #5 | The Belize Zoo, 7min. Hey guys, in this vlog I show you my trip to the Belize Zoo and talk about my experience working on the Earth Day video.


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