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Gruesome Murder; One Man Dead, Another Hospitalized
Corozal police are investigating a gruesome murder. 29 year old Mark Massam Jr., was chopped to dead by 22 year old Carlos Cassanova. It happened sometime after 9 oclock on college road and police believe that they had to shot Cassanova in order for hom to stop chopping Massam Jr. Our News team was in Corozal Town today and Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO “Twenty-nine-year-old Mark Massam Jr. was chopped to death last night on College Road in Corozal Town. The accused murderer is 22 year old Carlos Cassanova. Police say that a feud between both men ensured leading a machete wielding Cassanova to ultimately murder Massam Jr., by chopping him countless times to the head. When police arrived on the scene, they ordered Cassanova to seize but that did not work. Police then fired two warning shots, but that did not work either.”

HelpAge Belize Celebrates Human Rights Day
In 1950, the United Nations declared December 10 as Human Rights Day with the objective of garnering the attention of persons from around the world to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to use the points in this declaration as a compass in having all nations achieve the common standards set out in the paper. There are several institutions that are recognizing this day and using it as an opportunity to appeal for the respect and recognition of the rights of a human being. Helpage Belize is one of those organizations that have partnered up with Helpage International in highlighting the rights of elderly persons and persons with disabilities. Love News spoke with Ivorine Bulwer, the Executive Director for Helpage Belize.

Police Search In Abandon Lot; Discovery of Pistol
At 12:50p.m. on 09.12.14, police conducted a search in an abandoned lot on Faber’s Road Extension which led to the discovery of a black and chrome CZ75 compact pistol, S/N-A267482 and (1) magazine containing 5 live rounds. No one was in the area at the time and the items were deposited as found property.

Police Search In Abandoned Lot; Discovery of Cannabis
At 9:00p.m. on 09.12.14, Police conducted a search in an abandoned lot in Corozal Town which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 61.4grams of suspected cannabis. No one was found in the area and the drugs were deposited as found property.

Robbery in Local Super Market; Man Robbed of Cellular Phone
A 20-year-old man of Calcutta Village, Corozal District reported that at 7:00p.m. on 05.12.14, he went to a local super market and while exiting he saw three male persons enter the supermarket all dressed in dark clothing and faces covered. He stated that one of the men pulled out a handgun and fired a shot in the store. He further stated that upon seeing what was happening, he ran and about two minutes later he saw the three male persons on bicycles coming towards him. The men then caught up with him when one whom he recognized as Jermaine Sanker took out a handgun and pointed it at him and robbed him of (1) BLU cell phone valued at $185.00. Police have recovered the cell phone and have since detained 18-year-old Randolph Crawford of #58 Snapper Street, Corozal Town and are looking for 19-year-old Jermaine Sanker of Skeleton Town Area, Corozal Town pending investigations.

Minor Reported Missing
A fifteen year old boy has been reported missing. 36-year-old Kifani Timmons of Curl Thompson Street in Belize City reported that at six o’clock yesterday morning, her 15-year-old son Steven Vernon, a construction worker, left home en route to work on Cemetery Road and has not returned. Steven Vernon is of Creole descent, slim built, has short black hair, stands about five feet four inches in height, weighs about 110 pounds and has two tattoos on his feet with the names Kiandra and Sherie. He was last seen wearing long black jeans pants, red and white shirt and a pair of red and white tennis. He was last seen at three o’clock yesterday evening at a neighbor’s house.

Belmopan Cellular World Burgularized
Over twenty thousand dollars of phones were stolen from the Belmopan branch of Cellular World. 32-year-old Vishal Sabnani reported that between five o’clock Monday evening and 7:45 yesterday morning his business place located in the Caladium Building, Belmopan, was broken into and an assortment of phones totaling twenty thousand eight hundred and thirty three dollars were stolen.

Belize City Man Skiff Stolen Near His Residence
60-year-old Sydney Fuller of Dickenson Street in Belize City has reported his white and red 25-foot fiberglass skiff with a forty horse power Yamaha outboard engine and three fishing nets were stolen. The items have a total value of twenty three thousand dollars. According to Fuller the items were stolen between six p.m. on Monday and eleven o’clock yesterday morning from where it was docked about 75 feet away from his residence. Police are looking for one male person pending investigations.

Chopping Incident Leaves One Dead And Another Hospitalized
A man is dead and another hospitalized following an incident in Corozal last night. Police say sometime after nine o’clock last night they responded to a chopping incident on College Road in that municipality. On arrival they saw 22-year-old Carlos Cassanova inflicting chop wounds to 29-year-old Mark Massam Jr of Bocotora Street. Cassanova was ordered to drop the machete; however, he refused and continued inflicting chop wounds to Massam; that was when Police fired shots at Cassanova hitting him in both legs in order to subdue him. Initial investigations revealed that earlier that night the men were riding on separate bicycles on Collage Road when they got into an argument and escalated into a fight. Cassanova was transported to the Corozal Town Hospital and later to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was admitted in a stable condition. Massam Jr, was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

UNIBAM Celebrates International Human Rights Day
Today is being celebrated as International Human Rights Day. The theme for this year is “Human Rights 365″, which is a reminder that everyone is entitled to basic rights. A number of organizations are holding events to mark the day. The United Belize Advocacy Movement says it joins organizations around the World in celebrating the day. UNIBAM calls on all organization to continue to express the values and principles of human rights, to ensure its inclusiveness and impact to quality of life of all citizens as rights are indivisible and universal.


Unidentified Cayo man died from trauma by blunt instrument
On Tuesday we told you about a Salvadoran man known only as Alex, who was found clinging to life inside a house in San Ignacio. Police have still not been able to identify Alex X but they have now ruled his death as a murder. According to the post mortem examination, the cause of death was certified...

Cellular World Belmopan cleaned out by burglars
Cellular World in Belmopan was burglarized and a number of phones were stolen. 32-year-old Vishal Sabnani, Belizean businessman and owner of Cellular World, Belmopan Branch reported that between 5:00p.m. on December 8 and 7:45a.m...

Caye Chapel Sold to Mexican Luxury Hotel Group
There is big news in the economic sector of Belize and that is because Caye Chapel, a two hundred and sixty five acre island in Belize District, was purchased by a leading Mexican luxury hotel group. The high end destination had been in the market for several years, and several names of would-be buy...

Sanitation worries City Hall
As he predicted some time ago, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is once again confronting the spectre of the sanitation contracts owned by Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and Belize Waste Control (BWC). The latter sent officers of the courts to crowfoot City Council assets to settle a debt. The Ma...

Man found dead in Esperanza, apparent chop wounds
Police have confirmed that the body of a man was found in the village of Esperanza, Cayo District late Wednesday evening. Reports say that the body of the man appears to have what looks like chop wounds. Police are not revealing much information at this moment as the identity of the man has not been...

Government: City Council must hire BML workers
In August of this year, following unrest among workers of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML), who were in danger of being dropped by their employer, because the Belize City Council was heavily behind in payments for the weekly sanitation contract, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made a public commitment to have the Council hire all the workers (about 170) when the contract expires next January. But it represents one of many headaches for forward-thinking Mayor Darrell Bradley, who has publicly contended against the burdensome addition to a trimmed City Hall payroll. While he sympathizes, Prime Minister Barrow made clear that the commitment stands, even as he denied that the party may lose the popular Bradley’s candidacy because of it.

First responders trained in oil spill management
It is the nightmare of Belize’s environmental community and its Government officials alike – the possibility of oil spilling either on land or at sea. With interest in exploration stepping up and at least one operation, that of Belize Natural Energy (BNE), already in place, the importance of tailoring a response to a potential oil spill is important, and so a group of the people who would be first on the scene in any such event was held on Tuesday in Belize City. We hear more from Acting Senior Environmental Officer in the Department of the Environment, Maxine Monsanto.

Picketing over undeclared assets of elected officials
Every end of the year, Ministers, Area Representatives, Councillors, Mayors and every other elected official, is required by law to submit a disclosure of their assets to the Integrity Commission as a means of check and balance, that ensures that elected officials are not enriching themselves unlawfully off of the people’s taxes. The Integrity Commission Act was enacted under the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life in 1994,and was further reformed in 2008- as promised in the UDP’s manifesto. But the broken Integrity Commission has not been able to serve its purpose properly. In his New Year’s speech, the Prime Minister promised that in 2014 he would “remedy omissions such as the failure to appoint the integrity commission.” We are now in the last weeks of 2014 and up to date there are no records of elected officials submitting their declaration of assets.

Cayo police try to identify dead man
Police are grappling with the sudden death of a man only known as Alex, believed to be a Salvadoran National in his twenties. Reports on Monday were that sometime around 9:30 and 11:30 on Saturday December 6th, Alex was socializing with some friends on Awe Street, in San Ignacio. He left shortly after and was not seen again until he was discovered at around 4:00 am on Sunday morning by 22 year old Dennis Guzman, inside a house at Coyoc Street, San Ignacio, in a semi unconscious state. Dennis Guzman told us via phone that he had known Alex X for only a month and a half and had allowed him, in good faith, to lodge with him temporarily in his house. . Dennis Guzman “I reached home between four and four thirty. When I walked into my house, I heard the man breathing hard. The lights were on. I saw him on the bed. He was bleeding. I carried him to hospital. That’s it.”

Son stabs father; father won’t press charges
On Monday we told you about a stabbing incident in Esperanza Village, Cayo, which involved a father and a son. Reports were that that on Saturday night December 6th, 50 year old Joseph August Sr. and his 20 year old son were socializing at a bar in the village when they got into an argument. The son then reportedly left but returned a short while later with a knife and inflicted a stab wound to his father’s chest. Joseph was rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital and later transported to the Western Regional Hospital in a stable condition. Charges were dropped on Tuesday at the request of the father.

Patrick JonesPJ

OpEd: Can torture ever be justified?
Today the 10th day December has been proclaimed by the UN General Assembly as World Human Rights Day with its stated objective as “to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples […]

Sanitation worries continue to bedevel City Hall
As he predicted some time ago, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is once again confronting the specter of the sanitation contracts owned by Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and Belize Waste Control (BWC). Belize Waste Control sent officers of the courts to crowfoot City Council assets to settle a […]

Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School receives computer lab
The student body of Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School got to celebrate a renovated computer lab delivered through the Belize City Council. The school, located along Coney Drive, has a population of 223 and has had to scrap for what it can get. Principal Amelia Bencomo said the […]

Older persons honored on Human Rights Day
Today is International Human Rights Day and there were activities held around the country. Helpage Belize is marking the occasion with a renewed call for government to challenge the wide range of human rights and violations experienced everyday by many older women and men. In Belize City at […]

Bodybuilding Federation calls for athletic support
On the heels of the success of the trio of Rigo Vellos, Clayton Greenidge and Oyinkro Akpobodor at the recent Central American Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in El Salvador, the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBBFF) held a follow-up press conference in Belize City today. According to BBBFF […]

Body found in Esperanza village
The body of a man was found in Esperanza village, Cayo this evening. According to reports received, the body appeared to have what looks like chop wounds. The name of the person is being withheld, pending official reports from the Police and notification of the family.

UNIBAM celebrates international Human Rights Day
Today is international Human Rights Day. It marks the adoption, in 1948, of the adoption and the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. In Belize, the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, issued a statement this morning saying that it […]

Christmas Cheer reaches Families in the Belmopan Area Schools
The students in the Belmopan Area Schools have teamed up to give Christmas Cheers to families with children living with various disabilities. Students and their parents donated food items towards the cause and the team at the District Education Centre Belmopan Office under the coordination of Mrs. […]

Anti-rabies campaign underway in Toledo
The Public Health department along with Vector Control Unit are carrying out and an anti-rabies campaign in the Toledo district. Personnel from the two agencies are visiting the villages in the district to vaccinate dogs and cats as part of the community outreach campaign. The general public is […]

BTL offers economy phone promotion
Belize Telemedia is today offering a special promotion of phone devices and Belizeans are lining up to take advantage of what is being offered. At the BTL headquarters on St. Thomas Street in Belize City, there were long lines of customers who have turned out to take […]

Police investigate Corozal murder
Police in Corozal have identified the victim of last night’s murder as 29 year old Mark Massam, Jr. Authorities say that around 9:15 pm, they responded to reports of a chopping incident on College Road and upon their arrival, observed a man identified as 22 year […]

Corozal man chopped to death
There are reports of a violent attack tonight in Corozal town which has left one man dead. Reports are that a man viciously chopped another during an attack which happened on College Road. The man believed to have chopped the others, was himself allegedly wounded by a […]

The November 7, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Six Santa Elena Men Arrested And Charged For Drug Possession:
    Six Santa Elena men were arrested and charged for the possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply. On Friday, November 28, San Ignacio police were on routine patrol on George Price Avenue in Santa Elena when their attention was drawn to six men sitting around a table in the yard. Upon approaching the young men police immediately smelt a strong marijuana scent. The young men around the table were searched and however nothing incriminating was found. Further checks in the immediate vicinity led to the discovery of a red Emperador biscuit pack lodged between a zinc and a piece of lumber, the bag contained three small transparent plastic bags containing a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana.
  • Organic Produce Becoming A Reality For Belize:
    Organic vegetables are in high demand due to safety concerns. Not too long ago all food grown in Belize was organic. With commercial growing came agrochemicals and concerns about the health of both the soil and the consumer. In recent times in Belize, the only way to assure that food is grown safely and organically is to grow your own. Consumers worldwide have become increasingly alarmed at the incidence of agrochemical poisons in their food because indications are that it is the cause of increases in cancer and other serious diseases. There are many people who simply don’t want produce that has been exposed to agrochemicals or other environmental toxins and GMOs. Some people are turning to organically produced vegetables in Belize because they know that agrochemicals are often not safely used. Washing can‘t make vegetables safe because some of the chemicals are inside the produce. Belize, unfortunately, is not yet sufficiently monitoring the safety of the vegetables in the markets.
  • Another Santa Elena Man On Drug Possession Charges:
    A Santa Elena man was found in possession of 6.6 grams of suspected cannabis. On Tuesday, December 2, police on mobile patrol on Carmen Street, leading into Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena saw a suspicious male person walking in the opposite direction on Carmen Street. Upon seeing the police, Jonathan Smith, 40, Belizean laborer, threw a green object to the side of the street and continued walking. Police stopped and escorted Smith to the area where they saw him throw the object. Upon reaching the area police observed that it was a green leafy substance suspect to be marijuana. Smith was cautioned and escorted to the San Ignacio police station.
  • Clarification on GOB December 2014 Residential Mortgage Payment Program:
    Through the Residential Mortgage Payment Program, the Government of Belize will assist qualifying Belizeans by reimbursing December 2014 interest and principal payments on all residential mortgages with an original value of up to BZ$100,000.00. Borrowers from the National Bank, Commercial Banks, Credit Unions, the Development Finance Corporation and the Belize Social Security Board can apply for assistance; however borrowers must meet the following criteria approved by Cabinet: 1. Must be residential mortgages of original value of no more than BZ$100,000.00;
  • Belize Officially Hands Over Pro-Tempore Presidency of COMISCA:
    Following two days of regional discussions at the XLI Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA), Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin today officially transferred the Pro-tempore Presidency of COMISCA to the Minister of Health of Guatemala Luis Enrique Monterroso, who will now serve for the next six months. Minster of Health Hon. Pablo Marin expressed his appreciation for the cooperation received during his time as Pro-tempore President. Minister Marin commented, “Enormous strides have been made in Belize and the region and we look forward to further progress in the next year.” During Belize’s Presidency, new challenges including Ebola and Chikungunya had been addressed. Renewed attention was focused on chronic diseases including HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis and Family & Community health.
  • Reaching Perfection:
    Steel is iron plus fire. Soil is rock, plus heat, or glacier crushing. Linen is flax plus the bath that cleans, the comb that separates, and the flail that pounds, and the shuttle that weaves. Human character must have a plus attached to it. The world does not forget great characters. But great characters are not made of luxuries, they are made by suffering. I heard of a mother who brought into her home as a companion to her own son, a crippled boy who was also a hunchback. She had warned her boy to be very careful in his relations to him, and not to touch the sensitive part of his life but go right on playing with him as if he were an ordinary boy. She listened to her son as they were playing; and after a few minutes he said to his companion: “Do you know what you have got on your back?” The little hunchback was embarrassed, and he hesitated a moment. The boy said: “It is the box in which your wings are; and some day God is going to cut it open, and then you will fly away and be an angel.”
  • Fruit Comes from Deep Roots:
    “The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it. But they don’t have deep roots, and they believe only for a little while. As soon as life gets hard, they give up.” (Luke8:13 CEV) During the springtime, all the grass in Southern California turns green, the wildflowers and poppies bloom, and it’s really pretty. But the moment the rains stop, the hills turn brown again. Why? Because the grass has no roots. It can’t go down deep enough to get water from the springs that are deep beneath the ground. When there are no roots, when a plant is in shallow soil, it may initially sprout and look good, but it doesn’t last. The plants wither quickly because they don’t have roots. Luke 8:13 says, “The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it. But they don’t have deep roots, and they believe only for a little while. As soon as life gets hard, they give up” (CEV).
  • Opening of the Xunantunich Education Centre:
    The Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project has achieved yet another important milestone, with the completion of The Xunantunich Education Centre, as well as infrastructure improvements and installation of signs at this site. The completion of works at this site marks the first of a total of nine sites which are being enhanced under the MTBCAAS Project. The project is funded under the Belize Rural Development Programme II (BRDPII), supported by the European Union and the Government of Belize. For the first time, the spectacular archaeological site of Xunantunich has a dedicated space to provide training to students and archaeologists alike. The 950 square feet facility will allow the Institute of Archaeology to provide on-site training in a proper facility boasting an audiovisual room and a dedicated classroom that can accommodate up to 40 persons in two different spaces at any one time.
  • Glaucoma:
    Glaucoma is a term describing a group of ocular (eye) disorders resulting in optic nerve damage or loss to the field of vision, in many patients caused by a clinically characterized pressure buildup in regards to the fluid of the eye (intraocular pressureassociated optic neuropathy). In a large number of glaucoma patients, however, the intraocular pressure (IOP) is normal, i.e. below 20 mm Hg. These patients display the same signs of glaucomatous damage as those with an elevated IOP; their condition is thus called normal tension glaucoma. The disorders can be roughly divided into two main Glaucoma categories, "open-angle" and "closed-angle" (or "angle closure") glaucoma. The angle refers to the area between the iris and cornea, through which fluid must flow to escape via the trabecular meshwork, an area of tissue in the eye located around the base of the cornea. Closed-angle glaucoma can appear suddenly and is often painful; visual loss can progress quickly, but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


New Chicago-To-Belize Flights thanks to United Airlines!
We smiled upon hearing the news that beginning 20 December 2014, United Airlines will be adding weekly Saturday flights from Chicago to Belize City, bolstering its current service to Belize from Houston and Newark. United will offer the new Chicago-to-Belize flights through to 15 August 2015, according to a recent post on ASIATravel As we reported earlier, Delta Airlines recently increased its Atlanta to Belize service from eight to 12 weekly flights, and also resumed weekly non-stop flights between Los Angeles and Belize this last November, giving travellers from the City of Angels an extra 160 seats per week.

Local Focal Part 1
Belize has a flavour that goes far beyond September celebrations – on the 10th, the commemoration of the battle of St. Georges Caye and on the 21st, Independence day – it goes beyond the creole we will turn to speak to you and the Jankunu dance and the merriment of the Garifuna drums in the movement of Punta (add some synthesisers and you get “Punta Rock”). Oh yes, the flavour of Belize predominantly lies in your plate! Apart from the awesome spices and the rice, beans potato salad, the deliciousness of the free range, local fowl is what truly dictates the massive intensity of the Belizean cuisine. Sure one can get the chicken sold in stores and they too, well seasoned and prepared are tasty and rich in niceness. But, walk through a village and find a home where you see chickens running around a yard next to dogs and turkeys and maybe even pigs – thats the place you would want to stop for lunch. Don’t get us wrong, not all the yards where these chickens roam “wild” will have lunch readily available for you, but how amazing would that be?!!

Breakfast in Belize: Fry Jacks
Forget the fresh lobster and morning catch fish, the most popular thing to have for breakfast in Belize is fry jacks. I’d never heard of them before either. I’d heard a murmur surrounding they’re deliciousness as soon as I arrived on Caye Caulker, but it took two weeks of being in Belize until I finally got round to trying it. And all thanks to my new Belizean friend Nadine. I was with two friends and we went out for dinner to Sobre des Alos on the waterfront in Caye Caulker. We got chatting with the waitress, Nadine, who’s awesome, and by the end of the night she’d invited us round for breakfast to her house the next morning.

How Much Will I Spend in Belize?
Belize is an expensive country to travel to, there’s no getting away from it, unless you stay west and don’t do anything that is. After I realised how much I’d spent in Belize, and how much more I was likely to spend if I stayed in the tourist areas of Caye Caulker, this is exactly what I did. But how much does a holiday to Belize cost? Overall in 20 days in Belize I spent £998.55 (£49.93 per day). A good 80% of this was in 10 days on the island of Caye Caulker, where I had a lot of fun. Before that I spent four days in Belize City without doing much but going to Belize City Zoo. After Caye Caulker, and realising how much I’d spent, I decided to chill out in Benque on the Guatemalan / Belize border, just catching up with work, life and exploring ruins for a few days until home time.

Shark! Snorkelling at Caye Caulker Marine Reserve with EZ Boys
With all the scuba diving and snorkelling I’ve done this week in Belize I feel like I’m an extra on Finding Nemo. If you ever go to the island of Caye Caulker you absolutely have to go to the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. It was one of the coolest things I’ve done. Take a tour with E Z Boys – there are loads of tour operators on the island, but this came recommended and was awesome – $70BZD and you’ll get to go to four spots to wet your snorkel. After spending the morning drinking rum punch and learning the words to Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid in preparation, 2pm came round and off we went. We had the boat to ourselves; me, Coco and Dick. Real name, seriously, I checked his driver’s license. And it turns out ‘Coco’ is what they call lady parts in Belize. I had to start going by VJJ just to fit in. We became pretty popular.

International Sourcesizz

Season's greetings from Belize
Luci Kennedy’s seventh-graders huddled around her and her tablet Dec. 3 at Holy Trinity Catholic School as they carried on a conversation with high school students about 1,500 miles away in Belize. Luci’s students just finished studying Central America, but they learned more than just textbook facts during last week’s face-to-face conversation. The interaction was made possible by Luci’s daughter, Katherine, who is spending a year teaching math in Belize after graduating from Benedictine College in May. Katherine, who also is a former Holy Trinity student and 2010 Paola High School graduate, actually spoke to her mother’s students in person while returning home from Belize earlier this fall. When she went back to her Central American school, she took with her two suitcases full of treats, clothing, letters and more to deliver to her students.

Foreign Minister to visit Belize to promote ties
Foreign Minister David Lin is leading a delegation on a visit to Belize, where he will meet with his counterparts in the Central America region to promote deeper ties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday. During the visit to Belize, Lin is also scheduled to call on the country's Governor General Colville Young, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and other government officials to discuss issues of mutual concern in an effort to advance bilateral diplomatic relations, the ministry said in a statement. On Dec. 15 in the Belizean town of Placencia, Lin will attend a meeting in which foreign ministers of the six Central American countries that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan are expected to participate.

Belize: 60,000 pounds of onions imported weekly
Due to climatic conditions and the lack of proper storage facilities, Belizean producers supply the local market with onions for only part of the year, usually from January to about August. Currently, Belize imports 60,000 pounds of onions a week, mostly from Holland, said Silvero Marin, interim administrator of the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC). BMDC imports onions for retail sale. Producers who need onions for processing, such as making sauces, import separately. Most shoppers like the yellow-skinned onions, and they are purchased at an average size of 50 millimeters by 70 millimeters (roughly 2 to 3 inches) from Holland, where Marin said yellow onions of better quality are available at a good price. Marin denied reports of a ban against importation of yellow onions from Mexico, where that variety of onions comes in much larger sizes. He said that the larger mauve and white onions are imported from Mexico. Marin said that Mexican prices fluctuate a lot.

Music is a 'weapon to make change' for this Garifuna guitar player and activist
Aurelio Martinez has two major roles in his life: He’s a musician, specializing in the music of the Garifuna people of Central America, but he's also a politician who advocates for their rights. “Music, for me, is my weapon to make change," Martinez says, "to bring power and empower the people in our community, and to give pride to our children. Sometimes, we don’t have any pride around our culture, where we come from.” The Garifuna are already a small minority throughout Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. And with inevitable cultural assimilation, many of the community’s older traditions have already been phased out. “There are certain songs that used to be performed in social gatherings, and they don’t happen as they used to. Especially now, everybody just stays home and watches TV or they go about their lives in a different way," explains Ivan Duran, Martinez’s producer.

Dominica workshop to examine citrus greening in Caribbean
Dominica will host a three-day regional conference on the Haunglong Bing (HLB) or citrus greening disease management. The disease is caused by a bacterium that blocks the phloem and prevents the flow of nutrients, resulting in loss of leaves, deformation and early drop of fruits and eventual death of the tree. The disease is vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri. The Food and Agriculture Organisation-sponsored workshop, which started yesterday, will allow for delegates from National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPO) within the Caribbean Community to discuss ways to prevent and control HL. The organisers describe HLB as one of the most serious and devastating of all the diseases affecting citrus. "Its high socio-economic impact is linked to the fact that all species of citrus are affected and there is no known cure."

Drugs in Early Americas Included 'Magic' Mushrooms and Toad Skin
From hallucinogenic mushrooms and cacti to alcohol-infused enemas and psychoactive dried toad skins, the array of consciousness-altering substances that people in the early Americas used was wider than thought, a new report suggests. People living in Mesoamerica before the arrival of Europeans used such psychotropic drugs primarily in medicine and religious rituals, said study author Francisco Javier Carod-Artal of Hospital Virgen de la Luz in Cuenca, Spain. (Mesoamerica is a region defined more by shared cultures than by geographical boundaries, but it can roughly be considered as the southernmost region of North America. The modern nations of Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua and Costa Rica are among the countries in the region.) The Maya — whose civilization reached its peak between 250 B.C. and A.D. 900 — consumed an intoxicating drink called "balché" during the ritual of divination, in which they tried to communicate with spirits, according to the report.The Mayamade the drink by mixing an infusion from the bark of a plant called Lonchocarpus longistylus together with honey produced by bees that fed on a type of a morning glory plant that contained ergine, which is thought to have psychedelic properties.

Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals Itineraries for 2016-17
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its highly anticipated itineraries for 2016-17. Among the deployment highlights are the new Norwegian Escape cruises from Miami to the Caribbean. The cruise line will offer an eight-day Eastern Caribbean voyage in addition to a six-day Western Caribbean cruise. Norwegian will also introduce a new island destination, Harvest Caye, for passengers headed to Belize. The cruise line's website claims visitors will find both "solace and adventure" in Harvest Caye. The just announced itineraries are already available for group bookings, but will go on sale for Latitudes Rewards guests and President’s Club travel partners on Dec. 16. The 2016-17 voyages will be open for all bookings on Dec. 18.


Video: Project PAC Belize 2014: Day 3, min. Our first clinic day was filled by 3 different villages across Belize City. We tested blood glucose, measured blood pressures, and administered physical exams to the locals of these villages.

Video: PADI OW Certification Belize November 2014, min. Frank and Wen. Ecologic Divers. Belize, Ambergris Caye, San Pedro. Open Water Certification and post-cert diving. No music - sounds of diving! Filmed with Hero 3+ Black and Hero 4 Silver. Pablo was the instructor. Sharks, Turtles, Rays and a host of other fish and creatures.

Video: Belize Adventure - Part 1 - H'Ohm, 9min.

Video: Landing in Belize City International Airport (Updated), 2.5min.

Video: Belize November 2014 Diving, 17min. Belize scuba diving with Ecologic Divers. Shorty, Greg and Pablo were our dive masters. Kim and Matt, Lauren, Frank and Wen. Sharks, Turtles, Moray Eels and a host of other neat creatures.

Video: Belize - Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, 2min. Took a quick trip down to Belize for a shoot with Offsprings Productions out of the UK. Picking up some aerial shots with the DJI S1000 and GH4 platform. We stayed and the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. All shots are from the Panasonic GH4. Some handheld, some on the DJI Ronin.

Video: School of Princess Parrotfish at Silk/Queen, Belize., 1min. Princess Parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus) swimming in a school. Shot at Silk/Queen Caye Belize with GoPro HERO 3+ Black.