The Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Belize Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blogs

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

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

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

International Sourcesizz

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

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

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

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

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

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

Videos

  • Nelson Fuller Funeral Sevice, 35min.

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

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

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

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

  • Dark Cave Swim Through Belize, 1min.

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

  • Ruta Maya Day 1, 4min.

  • Bruk it Down Miss Jenny!, 28min.

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

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

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

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

  • The Caribbean Crew, 4min.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • BELIZE 2003, 37min.

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