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The San Pedro Sun

Carnaval 2014 kicks off with music, dance and color
Carnaval 2014 kicked off on Saturday, March 1st with the annual Street Block Party at the Central Park. The event was organized by the San Pedro Cultural Committee in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme “Alegría y Color, La Máscara de la Tradición”. The main on-stage event included dance performances by the some of the best young artists of San Pedro Town. Master of Ceremonies, Eiden Salazar emulated the carnival spirit as he introduced the performances which included routines from Little Angel Pre-school, Miss Chiquitita 2013 Zillah Flota, San Pedro High School, San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School, San Pedro Revolution Dancers and the San Pedro Dance Academy.

Belize Defence Force and U.S. Military training exercise
The Government of Belize and the Government of the United States of America have approved a joint Belize Defence Force and U.S. Military training exercise to take place here from March 5 to 14. The exercise, titled “Fused Response 2014” will be conducted by the Belize Defence Force, along with members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The training events will be held in the Cayo District and in the San Pedro,Ambergris Caye.

Steven Bowen Jr. injured in Shooting Incident
On Saturday, March 1st, the San Pedro Police responded to a shooting incident that occurred around 7:40PM in the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town. The victim of the incident was identified as 26-years old-tour guide, Steven Bowen Jr. He was transported the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II where officers observed him suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds across his body. An official medical report revealed that Bowen had gunshot wounds to his left leg, right leg, right elbow, left shoulder and back. Further investigations by police revealed that the shooting occurred while Bowen was walking to his home in the San Mateo Area, along with some friends. Two male persons approached them from some nearby bushes armed with handguns and fired several shots in Bowen’s direction. As a result, Bowen fell to the ground for cover, at which point one of the assailants approached Bowen and fired several shots at him, causing the injuries.

20,000 Strong National Women’s Empowerment Rally
Women from the districts and surrounding villages will journey by buses and boats while Belize City women will march from Central American Boulevard to the Marion Jones Stadium where all women will descend for a rally featuring dynamic speakers with women’s rights messages. On March 6th, we are asking all women to wear something orange. This vibrant colour brings together every woman under the banner of the UNITE Campaign to end violence against women and girls. Our empowerment efforts will continue from that event into various nationwide activities, all designed to motivate and empower our women. It is against this backdrop that we are asking you to support our effort to show women their limitless potential and signal your own commitment to women’s empowerment by allowing your female employees to come out to the rally on March 6th.

¡Que viva el Carnaval!
Carnaval dates back to 150 years and is centered on a Mestizo character called Juan Carnaval. The celebration of Juan Carnaval was brought to Northern Belize and San Pedro by the Mestizos who migrated from Southern Mexico. In San Pedro, Carnaval is three days of celebration including comparsas (groups) that choreograph original dances and songs that they perform through the town streets. The groups wear vibrant costumes that depict all forms of livelihood. By standers are painted and all enjoy the three day festivities. So if you are ever in San Pedro on the three days prior to Ash Wednesday join in the festivities as we celebrate Carnaval!

Carnaval 2014 (64 photos)
Comparsas dancing and much painting - a colorful tradition of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye!

San Pedro Carnaval Paint Party Video
Every February on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, islanders and visitors celebrate Carnaval. There is much dancing and partying in a unique way. By unique I mean, going out on the town and painting one another. Painting at Carnaval is spread into three days. The first and second day is for the children and lastly is a mixture of children and adults. On the third day at approximately five-thirty in the evening is when everybody heads to the central park to get their paint on. This year I set a goal to get the best footage of our unique Carnaval for all of you to enjoy.

Ambergris Today

Belize Defence Force/U.S. Military To Conduct Training Exercise in San Pedro
The Government of Belize and the Government of the United States of America have approved a joint Belize Defence Force/U.S. Military training exercise to take place here from March 5 to 14. The exercise, titled “Fused Response 2014” will be conducted by the Belize Defence Force, along with members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The training events will be held in the Cayo District and in the San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The joint training exercise, in which approximately 500 military personnel from both countries will participate, is aimed at improving the interoperability of the participating forces and increasing their capacity to confront common threats, such as organized crime and illicit trafficking. The Belize Defence Force, U.S. Southern Command and Special Operations Command South conduct military activities every year, which keep them updated on the advances in the areas of military operations, readiness, and the mutual interaction between both militaries. Observers to the exercises will include military personnel from Canada and Brazil. During the conduct of the exercise, the public is asked not to be alarmed at the sounds of simulated explosives, gunfire, and low-flying aircraft. Training activities will be conducted with strict adherence to security procedures that will prevent harm or injury to any member of the public.

Leonor Rosado is San Pedro’s First Mrs. Reina del Carnaval
It’s that time of the year when our beautiful island comes alive and colorful with all the street dancing and painting during Carnaval. To add more fun to this year’s celebration Mrs. Flora Ancona’s Comparsa Group decided to hold the first ever Mrs. Reina del Carnaval Pageant where older women challenged the stage as the pageant was not for the ‘Miss’. The contestants proved that beauty comes in all ages. The Angel Nuñez Auditorium was a full house on Friday, February 28, 2014, as spectators gathered to enjoy an evening with the six beautiful contestants who had promised an evening of much entertainment. The crowd went wild as the lovely contestants Shelly Huber, Sherlette Belisle, Leonor Rosado, Edilma Leal, Mel Spain and Zeida Alamilla came out in their opening presentation in colorful costumes and proudly introduced themselves to everyone in attendance.

VIDEO: San Pedro, Belize Carnaval Comparsas Day 1
The painting and street dancing (comparsas) were in full swing on the first day of Carnaval in San Pedro, Belize as the traditional celebrations commenced on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Carnaval revelers took to the streets of downtown to enjoy in the painting while other residents came out to see the fun and entertaining comparsas (street dancers).

Carnaval 2014 Day 2: El Chapo Guzman Comes to San Pedro!
Day two of El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro was full of laughter, color and fun! Children and adults hit the street in bright colors painting and having much fun. The comparsas did not fail to impress this year once more as four comparsa groups hit the streets of San Pedro and danced the night away. Coming out with Comparsa groups on Monday, March 3, 2014, were: * The San Pedro AIDS Commission: with a rendition of The World Cup dressed in soccer uniforms * Doña Flora's Group: that dressed up as the Belizean Creole and celebrated their culture with authentic dresses, headbands and accessories * The Barbies: always entertaining with a tribute to El Chapo Guzman *Ambergris Caye Elementary School: (ACES) stepped out with a comparsa dancing the May Pole a typical and traditional Mestizo Dance

Carnaval 2014 Day 2: El Chapo Guzman Comes to San Pedro!
Day two of El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro was full of laughter, color and fun! Children and adults hit the street in bright colors painting and having much fun. The comparsas did not fail to impress this year once more as four comparsa groups hit the streets of San Pedro and danced the night away.

Misc Belizean Sources

Final preparations for the Belikin Ruta Maya Challenge

Rescue operation saves drifting vessel off the coast of southern Belize

Trip to Belize to shoot a Teak Tree Plantation

Video: Esmerelda, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Nurse sharks, morays and a little bit of chum.

The Egg, Blue Hole, Belize, Feb. 2013
The effects of pressure on an egg at 130 feet.

Visiting Snakeman in Belize
This Fellow earns his living by putting on show like this for tourists.

Weekly Mill Report - week 5
Belize Sugar, A review of the milling performance in Week 5.

Accident claims the life of Lennox Garbutt
Traffic accident between mile 9 1/2 on Northern Highway around 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning claims the life of Lennox Garbutt of Corozal. More on this accident as we get the official report.

Corozal Preschoolers Parade for Child Stimulation Month
For the past twenty-seven years, preschoolers have marked the beginning of March with a parade through the streets, promoting early childhood education. Yesterday, that tradition continued countrywide, as the activities for Child Stimulation Month got underway. The events planned for the next thirty days are tailored to encourage parents, not only to enroll their children in pre-school, but to actively support them in that important period of development. The Ministry of Education wants to create awareness in the general public so people can know the importance of sending their pre-school aged children to pre-school. It is very important that at a very young age our children be stimulated since that is the time in the child’s life when the brain is rapidly developing. The Corozal Daily congratulates all the efforts made by our teachers to educate our children of Corozal. Power to the teachers in the struggle.

World Wildlife Day
World Wildlife Day was yesterday, and in celebration of the event, they had a fair and MOU signing in Belmopan. The BWRC was there to sign and capture the historic event in pictures. "Congratulations to Victoria Chi for setting up an awesome first ever World Wildlife Day today, with our fabulous Honorable Minister Lisel Alamilla, a historic signing of MOUs for 4 organizations and several school classes visiting lovely information booths of Belize Forest Department, Fisheries partners. Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic was honored to be within the signing organizations together with Wildtracks, Belize Bird Rescue and ACES."

Bandits Visit Corozal Heats
The Belmopan Bandits travelled to Corozal to play the Corozal Heats. They didn't win, but the Bandits are 2 and 2 and are ranked in 3rd place.

Spanish Lookout Expo
The Spanish Lookout Expo was this weekend, and the students from Cayo Christian Academy went to the event to have some fun and food. In related news, CCA is having their Science Expo on the 21st of March. "The Spanish Lookout Business Chamber hosted its annual Spanish Lookout Commercial/Industrial Expo on Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1, 2014 from 9:00a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ... at the Country Side Park in the Spanish Lookout Community. CCA Students visit. Come see CCA's Science Expo on 21 March!"

San Pedro Town Council
Out staff went to the schools to educate the kids on the rules and regulations of Carnaval in order to have a safe Carnaval

San Pedro Town Council
We would like to inform everyone that ANYONE caught covering their faces with bandanas, rags, t-shirts, etc., throwing eggs or caught in a mischievous behavior, they will be arrested and taken to the police station. We would like to wish everyone a HAPPY and SAFE Carnaval 2014! We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

Video: Belize in America in Belize
Belize in America is currently traveling all over the Jewel (Belize), producing videos ranging from the stories of prominent Belizean figures to major sights, eateries, recreational spots and resorts. This mission, we believe, will inspire, encourage and empower Belizeans at home and in the diaspora. If you would like to be featured (business or individual), feel free to email us at [email protected]

BDARRT Leadership Training
The Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team conducted some leadership training over the weekend. Just in time for La Ruta Maya this weekend. "A training was conducted over the weekend which introduced six participants from NEMO into our unit leadership program. This will enhance their leadership skills and ensure that they have the necessary skills to conduct and mean a small search and rescue operations."

Belize Raptor Research Institute Bird-a-thon
The Belize Raptor Research Institute is having their 2nd annual Bird-a-thon. Interesting and unique idea. It lasts just over a week, from March 14th to the 23rd, and is open to all lodges. It's basically a bird count. La Milpa Ecolodge won last year. Who'll win this time. "The Belize Raptor Research Institute announces the 2nd Annual Lodge Bird-a-thon from March 14-23, 2014. Any and all Lodges, Inns, Hotels, Resorts in Belize can participate. Last year there were 3 competing lodges, which included Hidden Valley Inn, Belcampo Lodge and La Milpa Ecolodge. With 171 species, La Milpa Ecolodge took home the H. Lee Jones Cup. Our goal is to have 10 participating lodges this year. Register your team, form your team, choose your date, find sponsors and compete to win prizes! Does your lodge have what it takes to take home the cup this year, which will be showcased at your lodge? register your team by sending us an email [email protected]"

Video: Sylvia Martinez Death
The death is announced of Sylvia Louise Martinez, affectionately known as Ma Lou.

Court of Appeal strikes out money laundering convictions

The Court of Appeal this afternoon allowed the appeals of Belize City businesswoman Melonie Coye, her late father Michael, employees Atlee Matute and Dietrich Kingston and the family company, Money Exchange International Limited, and quashed their convictions and set aside their sentences from the August 2012 retrial before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. […]

Legally Speaking: The Cover-Up
“The Cover-Up!” By Anthony Sylvestre, Jr. On Thursday the 19th September, 2013, when most Belizeans were getting ready and making preparations for the celebration of our 32nd anniversary of Independence, the Office of the Prime Minister sent out a shocking press release that caught all of us unawares. It decreed that henceforth, Hon. Elvin Penner, […]

Heroes and Benefactors exhibit opens in Orange Walk
The annual Heroes and Benefactors Exhibit is underway at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk town. Organizers say the event is designed to provide educational insight into the rich history of Belize, particularly as it relates to our founding fathers and ancestors. Primary and Secondary Schools from the Orange […]

Belize Court of Appeals quashes money laundering convictions
The Belize Court of Appeal has ordered the government of Belize to return BZ$1.5 million that was forfeited from Money Exchange International after its principals Melonie and Michael Coye and employees Atlee Matute and Dietrich Kingston were convicted of the crime of money laundering. The quashing of the convictions, bring to an […]

Vanzie Lamb awaits jury decision following delay
The fate of 44 year old Vanzie Lamb of a Tambran Street address in Belize City is delayed until Friday, after Justice Troadio Gonzalez postponed the summing up of his trial for rape. A male member of the nine-member jury was not present in court today and sent a medical form indicating […]

Self esteem training for Orange Walk women
Women from the rural areas of Orange Walk today participated in a self esteem booster training as part of activities for Women’s Month. The month of activities, organized by the Women’s Department, got underway on Saturday. Chief facilitator at today’s training session which focused on communication was community activist Myrna Manzanares. […]

Ministry of Education closes Biscayne school
Residents of the village of Biscayne on the Philip Goldson Highway want to know why the Ministry of Education has closed the newly constructed Biscayne Seventh Day Adventist School which opened its doors this year. A number of students have transferred there from the local Government School. One parent, Dasia Robinson, says […]

Early morning traffic accident claims one life
Another fatal road traffic accident has been reported on the Phillip Goldson Highway. It happened around 2 o’clock this morning and claimed the life of Lennox Garbutt. Reports are that upon hearing of his sister’s passing last night, Garbutt set out from Altamira, Corozal enroute to Belize City to meet up […]

BFLA has special offer for women
Throughout the month of March the Ministry of Human Development is encouraging women of Belize to get their breast exam and to do a regular pap smear. Belize Family Life Association ( BFLA), has a special offer for the month of March only where it is offering PAP Smear, Breast Exam, Pelvic […]

Here is the Team Police - La Ruta Maya 2014 TVC

Channel 7

Coye Conviction Overturned
The Court of Appeal has ruled that Melonie Coye, and her late father, Michael Coye, are not money launderers, and that they should have never been convicted. That's the bombshell that the Judges of the Court handed down today after they heard the appeal of Belize's first ever money laundering conviction. After fighting this case for 5 years, being incarcerated, their fortunes reduced to the point that they couldn't properly bury Michael Coye, whose illness worsened during the course of this case, the Coye family are finally getting things to turn around. And it's a giant shift - 1.557 million dollars' worth - that's because the Appeal Court has also ruled that all that money police confiscated back in January 2009, must be returned to them within 60 days. It's a seismic judgment, and 7News was there when it was delivered. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting Melonie Coye and her family walked out of court free of a 5 year-old ordeal. They were cleared today of all charges, when the court reversed the decision of the Supreme Court. It's a complete reversal and quash of all crimes and inferences of criminal behavior.

Catholic Church Pulls The Religious Rug From Under Women's Empowerment Rally
By now, you've surely heard about the "20,000 Strong Women Empowerment Rally." It's set for Thursday March sixth - and organizers from the Women's Commission and the office of the Special Envoy For Women and Children are planning for it to be huge. But today they took a serious hit when no less than the Roman Catholic Church came out saying it does not endorse the rally. A quite remarkable release issued this afternoon says quote, "the invitation does not speak to the complementary role between men and women as taught to use by Christ through Her Church." And if that wasn't direct enough, the next sentence makes it clear. It says, quote, "the National Women's Commission promotes values that contradict Christian and moral teachings regarding respect for all human life, family marriage, and human sexuality…we do not believe that the well being of women can be enhanced by advocacy which promotes abortions and so called pseudo rights of men and women and same sex relationships." That's a heavy dose of criticism and the church says it won't be persuaded to support any group which quote, "advocates violence against the unborn or any disordered sexual activity." End quote.

Supt. Vidal And GSU Part Ways
Today, surprising news filtered out of the police department saying that Superintendent Marco Vidal has been removed as head of the GSU, which is the unit he created. Vidal confirmed that the command has already changed. Reports say Superintendent Linden Flowers who is presently at the training school will now assume command. Since its inception in early 2011, the GSU and its hard charging, uncompromising tactics have been synonymous with Vidal's no nonsense command. Even through the thickest of controversies when leading politicians from the ruling party were questioning the unit's tactics, Vidal held on. But, now, quite suddenly, a new commander has been installed and Vidal is left as the head of Special Branch - which is a very senior post in its own right. Still, it's not the feared and respected GSU - and so why was he transferred? Well, Minister of National Security John Saldivar told us via text message, quote, "the head of Special Branch and the GSU have always been two separate persons. But when Vidal's expertise was required at Special Branch, we did not feel it prudent at the time to remove Vidal from the GSU given the difficulties we were experiencing with gang warfare." Saldivar adds, quote, "gang warfare has reduced significantly over the past year and we believe we can now transition to new leadership at the GSU and retain Vidal with the singular focus of inteliigence gathering."

Sixth March Death From Fatal Accidents
Last night, 7News told you about the 5 persons who died in traffic accidents over the past 3 weeks around the country. 3 of them were on the Northern Highway in the jurisdiction of Ladyville Police, where there were 5 accidents. Tonight, we tell you of a sixth accident which happened last night. It happened on the stretch of road just after the Haulover Bridge, and it claimed the life of Lennox Garbutt, a Corozal resident. Today, the Officer Commanding Ladyville Police told us about the frightening spike in accidents in his area: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "Police responded to the call of a traffic accident in the area between mile 6 and 7 on the Phillip Goldson Highway where we met teo vehicles out there and persons out there that had been injured. They were transported to the Karl Heusner Hospital early part of the morning. One of the occupants of on of the vehicle passed. We are presently dealing with an autopsy for that person. Pretty young is our information so far, but we have established that vehicles were traveling in opposite direction; that is, one was traveling to the City and the other to the Ladyville area."

Bowen and Bowen Employees “Bex ‘Bout” New Contracts
For the past few days, we've been hearing whisperings of a group of employees who work for Bowen & Bowen, and who have been unsatisfied with a change in their terms of employment. The problem they're having is that the administrations wants them to sign on to new contracts that they say are unfair to them. It involves their eligibility for holiday pay, commission earned when they sell Coca Cola Products, and the benefits that they currently enjoy. A group of these workers are saying that if they don't sign, their jobs are on the line. Well, it seems that a small group didn't go into work today, and they went to a labor union to see what protection they can get because they refuse to sign the new contract.

The Feinstein Group Takes Over Fresh Catch
The Fresh Catch Tilapia Farm in La Democracia will be going back into operation and the man at the helm will be developer Mike Feinstein. Feinstein told 7News that the deal was finalized last Friday and his group will bring everything back into operation and expects to be harvesting in about a year. That's a dramatic change for the company that's been in receivership after the First Caribbean Bank foreclosed on it in 2010. That was under the Mena group. The Mena's had financing difficulty but still they were doing 4.3 million pounds of fish at their peak in 2008 - and Feinstein told us he is confident he can bring it back. Feinstein says he will be rehabilitating the farm and within three to four weeks he will be importing fish and putting them back into the ponds. And so what's the price? Well, Feinstein is sure to be getting it on the cheap at a distress price. At its inception, before expansion the farm was valued at 36 million Belize dollars and in 2011, the Mena's tried to bring it back with a 15 million dollar buyout form the bank, which was said to be a price of 38 cents on the dollar. That attempt failed.

Johnny Zabs Takes On Tough Questions Says He Wants His Life Back
Like him or loathe him, one thing we can say about Johnny Zabaneh, is that he's got "ganas." Not only did he do an interview in front of the US Embassy in Belmopan, he also spoke out against the feared Sinaloa drug cartel, in which the Americans said he was a Kingpin. So, in a sense he was daring both the Embassy and the Cartel to dispute or disprove his claim that he has never been a part of the cartel. Zabaneh told us his truth, and Jules Vasquez put the tough questions to him. Here's how that went. Johnny Zabaneh, Refutes Kingpin Status "I'm here, for the naked truth. And I hope, at the end of the day, my truthfulness is evaluated by the members of this press and abroad, the US Embassy, Washington and all concerned." Jules Vasquez "However, sir, let's speak plainly and I don't do it to insult you but it is a perceptual fact in Belize, that doesn't mean it's a fact, but it's how people perceive - I grew up hearing that "you da di drug man down south, da you run di drugs down south" and that has morph into a perceptual fact that it's widely accepted Johnny Zab as you are called "you da di king pin down south, you da di boss down south.""

Alleged Free Zone Robbers Offered Big Bail
Last night, 7News told you about the 4 men who police charged for the robbery at the Corozal Free Zone. We'll tonight we can provide you with photographs of 2 of them 26 year-old Hector Kelly, and 18 year-old Zandon Myers. Kelly and Myers were charged robbery, while 22 year-old Israel Rancharan was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, and all 3 were arraigned yesterday in the Magistrate's Court. They pleaded not guilty and were granted bail of $20,000. Last week, 21 year-old Benigno Loria was arraigned for conspiracy to commit robbery in relation to this robbery. These men are accused of robbing 48 year-old Ricardo Villasenor of 208,000 dollars inside the Corozal Free Zone, a facility with tough security protocols.

Ministry Moves To Close SDA School In Biscayne, Rhaburn Ridge Community Cries Out
There's a controversy brewing in the village of Rhaburn Ridge which is in the extreme north of the Belize District. And that's because the HOPE Seventh Day Adventist Academy was closed down. It had no valid license to operate and the Ministry stepped in for a number of reasons. Today Monica Bodden went to the school to find out more:.. Monica Bodden reporting The school first opened its doors on January 6th - but on Thursday they received a letter from the Ministry of Education stating that it had to close down within 24 hours or else face police intervention. Parents of the 25 students who attend Hope SDA Christian Academy - located in the village of Rhaburn Ridge in the Belize District - were informed by the school principal in a meeting yesterday. The school had half day classes on Monday and today when we visited, all doors were closed on the compound. Lorena Vasquez - Villager "On Friday the Ministry of Education came here to the school and say the school have to be shut down by Friday evening and then the principal came and alert all the parents and villagers that they have to be present for a meeting on Monday morning because they will come and shut down the school, so the parents agreed and went to the school. Meanwhile they were waiting for the Ministry of Education they were having a meeting and at the same time they (Ministry of Education) reach and they came in and they didn't even say morning to the parents and the principal told them that the parents have questions for them. They just came and they say that they won't answer any questions."

US & Belize Military Learning about "Interoperability" in "Fused Response"
Starting tomorrow, if you live in the Cayo District or San Pedro, don't be too startled if you hear explosives, gunfire or low flying aircraft. Don't worry, it's not a cartel takeover, it's only a test. Actually, an exercise between the Belize and US Military called Fused Response in which some 500 military personnel from both countries will participate. A release says it's aimed at "improving the interoperability of the participating forces and increasing their capacity to confront common threats, such as organized crime and illicit trafficking." There will be observers from Canada and Brazil. And if you're still worried about those simulated explosives, gunfire, and low-flying aircraft, the release says quote, "Training activities will be conducted with strict adherence to security procedures that will prevent harm or injury to any member of the public."

Channel 5

Move over Marco Vidal…there is a new head of the GSU
Tonight, News Five has confirmed that Officer Commanding Special Branch, Marco Vidal, who has been at the helm of the Gang Suppression Unit since its formation in 2010, has been [...]

Melonie Coye exonerated; Court of Appeal orders the return of money
A five-year ordeal is finally over for the Coye family of Belize City. This afternoon, the Court of Appeal overturned Melonie Coye’s conviction for money laundering and ordered the Financial [...]

Attorney speaks on writ of mandamus
On Monday, People’s United Party leader Francis Fonseca won a significant victory in the court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. With commendable dispatch, the CJ issued a directive to Commissioner [...]

Police begins rounding up immigration officers
Today, News Five tried to contact Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Minister of Immigration and Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. Those attempts were unsuccessful. We actually wanted to ask just one [...]

2 immigration officers reprimanded by Services Commission
On February nineteenth, three public officers appeared before the Services Commission after Director of Immigration, Maria Marin, recommended their termination. The officers – Sharon Neal, Omar Phillips and Erwin Robinson, [...]

Should the ComPol step down following Supreme Court ruling
Do you think the Commissioner of Police should step down given Monday’s Supreme Court ruling? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote [...]

The Church versus the National Women’s Commission
This afternoon, the Roman Catholic Church sent out an unprecedented release signed by no less than the Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan Dorick Wright. The Catholic Church is taking [...]

Attorney says Belize’s nationality cheapened by immigration scandal
On Tuesday’s newscast, News Five showed you three nationality certificates signed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner. We have been able to confirm that these documents were under scrutiny [...]

A further look at the Burrell Boom shooting
The shooting of a Belize City resident in Burrell Boom is drawing criticism in the village. Giovanni Berry was shot by a group of villagers who were reportedly accompanied by [...]

2014 International Report lists Belize as a money laundering country
The following is not good news for the jewel despite a raft of legislation passed in February that includes the Financial Intelligence Unit Amendment Act and the Money Laundering and [...]

Fatal traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway
The sixth traffic fatality since the beginning of March, but the fourth fatality for Rural Belize in less than two days was recorded this morning following yet another traffic mishap [...]

20,000 strong women’s empowerment rally
Earlier we told you that the church is not endorsing the twenty thousand strong women’s rally organized by the National Women’s Commission. All indications are that the rally will proceed [...]

Cop stabbed eighteen times remains hospitalized
Twenty-five year old police constable Abimael Romero remains hospitalized after being stabbed multiple times in Orange Walk on Sunday morning.  The officer was reportedly in town visiting with his in-laws [...]

Rescue operation saves drifting vessel off the coast of southern Belize
A daring rescue operation on Sunday night, conducted by rangers attached to the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), resulted in the successful retrieval of a fishing vessel and [...]

Belize Territorial Volunteers plant trees along Belize/Guatemala border
Also in the south….Over the weekend, the Belize Territorial Volunteers organized yet another trip along the Belize/Guatemala border in the south. Residents in the southern communities led by activist and [...]

Final preparations for the Belikin Ruta Maya Challenge
The yearly coming together of paddlers in San Ignacio for the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is often a spectacle of colors and athletic abilities and with the [...]

Rural Executive Officer of Police say safety in full effect for canoe race
Aside from the marketing aspect of the Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge, there is the issue of citizens’ safety over the extended weekend. The finishing touches of the canoe [...]


Roman Catholic Chancery Is Not In Support Of The Women's Rally
On Thursday it is expected that Belize City will be invaded by women as the 20,000 Strong National Women’s Empowerment Rally takes place. It is an activity organized by the Special Envoy Office, in collaboration with the National Women’s Commission in celebration of Women’s Month. But all indications are that the news of the rally did not sit too well with the Roman Catholic Church of Belize. And the church makes its sentiments known in a lengthy release issued today by the Bishop of Belize, Dorrick Wright. The release cites that the Roman Catholic Chancery is not in support of the rally since and we quote “The invitation speaks to the complementarily role of men and women as taught to us by Christ through HER church. Furthermore, the national commission, promotes values that contradict Christian and moral teachings regarding respect for all human life, family, marriage and human sexuality as ordered by God.” End quote.

Self Booster Training To Kick Off Women's' Month
Women’s Month officially kicked off on Saturday, March 1st and the organization spearheading the month’s slew of activities is the Women’s Department in Belize City. It is set aside as a time for society to celebrate and showcase the achievements of women across the country. There is no doubt that in the many years since the first Women’s Week was celebrated, women’s development in Belize has come a long way and progressively women are working their way towards gender equity and equality within society. As part of the menu of activities set aside for the women in our societies, today women of rural areas of Orange Walk got a much needed self-booster thanks to the uplifting training sessions by Educator and Counselor, Myrna Manzanares. When we caught up with the ladies, training today was based on ‘communication’, Manzanares told us more on the empowerment camps.

Mayor Kevin Bernard Clarifies That He Will conitnue To Serve The People Of Orange Walk
March 7th will mark two years since the Orange Walk Town Council was elected into office by residents of Orange Walk Town. This means that the council has one year remaining in office before the next Municipal Elections. Of course, the council’s record speaks for itself. Without GOB’s assistance Mayor Kevin Bernard and his team of councilors have been able to carry out their mandate for these last two years including the paving and cementing of streets across town. But the council has much more work ahead as their vision for Orange Walk surpasses financial constraints. Projects for 2014 include the rehabilitation of Central Park; continue the upgrading of the remaining of Santa Familia Street under the Belize Municipal Development Project. While the council will have to dig deep into their pockets they are committed to see the upgrading of Mahogany Street, Sapodilla Street, Westby Alley and the remainder of Tangerine Street. The council also plans to see through the double coating of Belize Street, Muffles Street, Staines Alley and portions of San Pedro Street and Barbados Street. The continuous upliftment of low lying areas also forms part of the councils to do list.

MOE Says Hope SDA Christian Academy Needs To Close Down
We have been following the story of Hope SDA Christian Academy in Rhaburn Ridge Village in the Belize District closely. In fact, we can safely say that we were the first to bring the issue to light The school was opened on January sixth this year without a valid license and classes have been held with twenty-five students from infant one to standard four for the past two months. The Ministry of Education has warned the school’s administration to cease all classes but the school continues open. Today the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports issued a press release on the matter. In the release, the Ministry says that the school management of the Belize Union of Seventh Day Adventists submitted an application for a license to operate the school in July 2012. This was referred to the Belize District Education Council for review and recommendations. In august of 2013 however, the license was denied. The reasons include that Rhaburn Ridge is only about 10 miles from Biscayne Government School, which services all communities within a ten mile radius. Second: is that the Ministry of Education provided school transportation for the small number of students from Rhaburn Ridge to the Biscayne Government School.

Heroes And Benefactors Exhibit Opens At BHOC
The annual Heroes & Benefactors Exhibit was launched today at the Banquitas House of Culture. Primary and Secondary Schools from the Orange Walk District joined in on the educational tour which saw guest speaker Fred Hunter share the rich history and culture of our forefathers and ancestors. But while the students got a lesson on Belize’s much cherished roots, inside the Banquitas House of Culture, was an exhibition with a wealth of knowledge. Director of the National Institute of Culture and History in Belize, Nigel Encalada, says two national heroes were added in this year’s exhibit; Trade Unionist Clifford Betson and Pioneer, Lee Richardson. He explained to us their significance and impact to the jewel. Nigel Encalada– Director, NICH Belize “Lee Richardson was one of the original leaders who founded if you want to use that word the movement toward greater constitutional reform and advancement rather and eventually Independence. His early role is perhaps under, he is an unsound hero, his role is understated but he is one of the coeditors of the Belize Billboard and during that period I think the newspaper would have been at least twice a week and the featured regular articles condemning the colonial structure at the time as a matter of fact along with Phillip Goldson, Lee Richardson they were sentenced eighteen months imprisonment with hard labor and I think they ended up serving about twelve and along with Goldson they were the only two nationalist leaders to observe the prison time eventually they split Richardson, Goldson and Jex from the People United Party and in some sense it set in motion events that would lead the merchants of Belize’s democracy eventually left for the US and not much since that time not much had been said about his early contributions in that critical period where the Nationalist Movement took root. Clifford Betson on the other hand he was knows as a Unionist and by his occupation as a shipwright Clifford Betson is what you would consider the guy who was able to galvanize and strengthen the general workers Union in particular during the 1940’s managing to lobby and negotiate wage increases for forestry and water front workers I think one estimate suggest that the strength of the Union had reached at its peak and about 10,000 members during 1940’s of course by that time he was already would have been in his early 50’s more or less and what he did given the strength of the Union he then handed over the Union to the nationalist leaders; Pollard, Price, Goldson who then form partnerships with the BWU and then eventually use Union support to move the constitutional agenda forward.”

Winners For The Grand Fuel Promotion Held At Shell One Stop Service Station
Six winners have been selected in the grand end of the year fuel promotion held at Shell One Stop Service Station. The promotion was kicked off on December 23rd last year and closed on February 7th this year. For every thirty dollar worth of Shell V Power or Shell Diesel purchased at any shell gas station countrywide, customers received a coupon to fill out. The promotion was held last year and due to the response from consumers, the company decided to repeat it. Sangeev - Retail sales and marketing “The highlight of it was of course our flag ship fuel, the V-power so for every $30 of fuel that was purchase for the Shell diesel or the Shell V-power you were able to get a coupon to enter into our raffle where you be able to win fuel for one year, fuel for six months and fuel for three months. It was a single winner for the first prize, two winners for three months and three winners for the three months.”

BTB Holds Training With Artisans On How To Market Their Products Surrounding Archaeological Sites
The Belize Tourism Board launched the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites project in March 2013. Yesterday, under that BTB concluded a three day training with artisans in the Orange Walk District on how to place added value to the products that are marketed at surrounding archaeological sites. Geraldo Flowers, Policy Coordinator, told us more about the project’s objectives. Geraldo Flowers – Policy Coordinator “The project in totality aims to improve economic conditions through tourism for people who live around archaeological sites in Belize. We have around 333,000 tourist that visits Belize every year and millions of dollars are spent by these tourist in the industry and we want to make sure that communities surrounding Lamanai, communities surrounding the Xunantunich in Cayo, communities surrounding Nim Li Punit and Lubantun in Toledo also benefit from the largest of these tourism dollars that are coming to Belize.”

Nahil Mayab Contributes To Assist Feeding Program At Saint Peters School
There are several socially conscious business establishments in the Orange Walk District that have made their contributions within the community. Today one of these business establishments made a significant contribution towards one of the noblest work being done with children at the Saint Peter’s Anglican School. The school is currently running a feeding program that has been benefiting fifty-five children. Proprietor of Nahil Mayab, Osmany Salas, and his team of employees, joined forces with the school’s administration and held a salpicon sale that was one hundred percent success. Salas says the gesture in helping the community, is something they as an establishment, try to do once a year.