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Specials and Events

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

Ambergris Today

Belize Takes Steps Towards Online E-Government
The Belize Fisheries Department and Belize Forest Department announced the launch of the Belize Electronic License and Permit System (BELAPS) on April 6, 2016. This means that fishermen or loggers can now sign up to apply for their license online. This is being provided under the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, with support from the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), and in partnership with Central Information Technology Office (CITO).

Is Zika Already in Belize? Health Officials Monitor Situation
The Ministry of Health this past weekend conducted a field investigation based on the reported case of Zika by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and based on the provisional data they provided. The field investigation revealed two local potential cases, one in the Stann Creek District and the other in the Toledo District. A person of interest was also identified from the Cayo District. Samples were taken from the persons in the southern districts and will be sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) today, Tuesday, April 12, 2016, for testing. CARPHA is Belize’s Regional Referral Laboratory in Trinidad. On April 6, 2016, Ministry of Health officials received a communication message from the United States International Health Regulations National Focal Point regarding a confirmed case of Zika detected in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the transmission may have originated in Belize. The CDC reported that, “The patient is an adult female resident who travelled to Belize from 14 -19 March 2016. She had onset of fever and rash on 23 March, 2016. Zika virus RT-PCR was positive on serum at the health department of the state. The patient reported no other recent travel history and there was no evidence of possible sexual transmission.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BHA at the Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show
Last weekend, April 9 and 10, The Belize Hotel Association, was in Ottawa, Canada, at the 22nd Annual Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show which was held at the Shaw Centre (formerly known as the Ottawa Convention Center) The show was an immense success and the Belize Hotel Association booth was visited by over 500 attendees who were very interested in finding vacation packages and hotel and tour packages to Belize. Before the end of the day, emails were already coming in to the BHA from visitors to the booth who were planning their next vacation in Belize. Also in attendance, were two major Canadian Tour operators who are currently selling Belize hotel and expedition packages, but wanted to broaden their market, to include more hotels and tour options to offer to their clients. The Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show was attended by over 14, 000 visitors, and more than 200 exhibitors from around the world! Board Director Ted Tejada and Marketing Director Tessie Duran Tonaco represented the Belize Hotel Association at the show.

On Friday, April 8th 2016, the Corozal Junior College (CJC) held its annual Business Expo where 31 companies from the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts displayed information on their products ranging from candles, food and drinks, arts and crafts, agricultural services and many others. BELTRAIDE was among those exhibiting companies and its booth showcased numerous brochures on the work of its various units. A central feature of the booth was a video presentation on the work carried out by Beltraide’s four technical units: BelizeINVEST, EXPORTBelize, SBDCBelize and BTEC. Prospective young entrepreneurs visiting the booth obtained information on how to establish a business and where to get assistance to create their market and business plans. In addition, all visitors to the booth received a copy of Invest Belize Magazine, a BELTRAIDE publication aimed at keeping the business community informed on current events.

Power interruption 8:00am to 1:00pm Friday, April 15, Cayo District
Area along George Price Highway in San Ignacio Town between Kontiki & Santa Elena, entire Santa Elena, Cristo Rey, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Red Creek, Esperanza, Baking Pot Rd, Billy White and Duck Run 1 & 2. Two 15-minute power interruptions 8:00am to 8:15am & 12:45pm to 1:00pm will also affect Central Farm, Georgeville & Unitedville. BEL to replace insulators, epoxilators & cement poles, re-tension high tension conductor, install gang switch, relocate utility poles and conduct line clearing in the area.

Education Month Theme Competition
The Ministry of Education is having a theme competition for Education Month. You could win $500! "The Education Month Planning Committee invites students, teachers and the general public to submit themes for Education Month 2016. The focus of this year’s theme is "LITERACY - the ability to read and write." CASH PRIZE: $500.00!!!!!

I Rave Music Festival
The I Rave Music Festival is the Saturday, at Thirsty Thursdays. D!rty Jok3s will be there!!! They'll have the full rave lighting too. These are the real DJ's of Belize. "The first annual I-RaVE Music Festival! Bringing it for the first time in Belize. A full blown EDM experience For all the edmaholics. This epic! Be there! Music by deejays that love the genre as much as you do! Sponsored by smart, fiesta fm, dcatch and red square vodka. All happening inside thirsty thursdays san ignacio"

Get to know the Hol Chan staff
Mr. Eldgar Badillo (left) and Mr. Javier Bardalez (right) are valuable members of the technical arm of Hol Chan that is responsible for biodiversity monitoring and enforcement. Hol Chan thanks them for their hard work and dedication.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Los Salones Conservation Area
No longer just reef but so much more. BIRDS!!! Los Salones Conservation area is a beautiful part of the Hol Chan that few ever get to see. Here are some pictures to let everyone know that the western portion of Ambergris Caye also has a lot to offer.

Crooked Tree Village Bird & Fish Festival
April 16, 10am - 6pm. Live steel pan entertainment.

Channel 7

Bze-Guat Diplomats Search For A Sarstoon Solution
Things have been heating up on the Sarstoon - but, while that southern flashpoint simmers, diplomats from both Belize and Guatemala have been trying to take the hostility down a few notches in bi-lateral talks. Those talks happened last week Friday in Benque Viejo Town, at the OAS Adjacency Zone Office. High ranking Political, Diplomatic and military leaders of both sides engaged in frank discussions on how to defuse tensions in the Sarstoon area. This evening in Belmopan, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington, Ambassador Assad Shoman, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a press conference to update the nation on what exactly came out of those meetings.

Proposals For Peace On The Sarstoon
So, as you heard, the Belize delegation has come up with a draft protocol specifically tailored to the Sarstoon which, if is approved by Guatemala, should significantly improve both civilian and military interactions in the Sarstoon River. That could mean that, hypothetically, SATIIM, the BDF and possibly even the Belize Territorial Volunteers could enter the Sarstoon with no resistance from the Guatemalan military. The Guatemalan delegation which attended last Friday's meeting has agreed to take it back to their principals for discussion, so the approval is still pending. At today's press conference, Foreign Minister Elrington disclosed the proposals that Guatemala will respond to after consideration. Here they are in full detail:

An SUV Smashed Sara
A 21-year-old woman was knocked down and killed in Dangriga Town this morning. Reports are that at around 10:30, Sara Suchite was coming out of a taxi at a mile and a half on the Stann Creek Valley Road. Police say she dashed across the road, which is when an oncoming SUV driven by Elroy Coleman knocked her down. She was flung a distance and died on the spot from her injuries. Coleman is an ambulance driver for the Southern Regional Hospital. He had just left work in his personal vehicle. He has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. A urine sample was taken, but police say there were no indications that he had been drinking.

Police Still Looking For Cawich Bridge Killers
No one has been charged as yet for the murder of Maya Mopan resident Luis Ortiz. Police told us today that 2 of the 6 persons detained have been released and that they continue to investigate this case. As we told you, Luis Ortiz and another friend were hanging out at La Cabana and were about to leave at around 3 Sunday morning when another acquaintance asked for a ride - but 3 of his friends also jumped in the car. One of the 3 men told Ortiz to stop at the cemetery- that is when one of them hit Ortiz's friend over the head, dragged him out of the car, beat him up and threw him in the cemetery. He escaped but Ortiz couldn't because they took him to the riverside near Agripino Cawich Bridge in Camalote, bashed his head in and dumped him and his car in the river. His car and body were found after 11 on Sunday morning. Police still can't establish a motive but say they are looking into the matter closely.

Human Development Intervenes To Assist With Molestation of Cerebral Palsy Child
Police are making some progress in the Dangriga child abuse case. As we told you last night, a15 year old girl with Cerebral Palsy was sexually molested by her stepfather. The girl told her mother that whenever the babysitter would leave, her stepfather would touch her breast, vagina and buttocks. As we mentioned the police can't handle this case alone. They need help from a professional who can communicate with, understand and record a proper statement from the child. Well, they have found someone and will meet with that person on Thursday in Belize City. Human Development is also working along with the police in this case. We will give you an update on Friday as to what came out of that meeting and if police had enough information to detain the stepfather.

She Axed Dad's Head
It was a bloody Sunday in Sandhill for 84 year old Nicholas Ozaeta - after his own daughter chopped him in the head with axe. Lily Ozaeta, was locked down overnight and charged for aggravated assault with an axe and wounding. According to the police report, Ozaeta walked onto her father's veranda at 9:30 on Sunday morning, and the only thing he remembers is hearing a loud noise, and realizing that he had been hit in his head, which caused him to topple over his veranda railing and falling unconscious. When he woke up, he saw an axe lying on the ground beside him. Today in court, Lily Ozaeta pleaded guilty to wounding saying "Yes I did attack my father with an axe in the head causing a cut wound." She told Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, "I think everyone was taking my mother for a fool and I am the only one man enough to stand up for her".

The 19th is For Settlement, April 12 Is For Banishment To The Bay Islands
We all have November 19 marked on our calendars as Garifuna Settlement Day, a holiday set aside to celebrate all things Garifuna. But did you know that today, April 12, is also important to the Garinagu? The Garifuna scholars tell us that on this day 219 years ago, in 1797, the British rounded up just over 2000 ancestors of the Garifuna after they were defeated in the Second Carib War. They were then transported from their homeland of Saint Vincent, and then dumped on Roatan, Honduras, in a sort of exile. Those ancestors, left to fend for themselves in a foreign land, had to survive, and in the years immediately following that expulsion, started migrating to other parts of Central America, such as Nicaragua, Belize, and Guatemala. So, instead of commemorating it as the day they were forced out of their homes, they observe it as Survival Day, the time when those ancestors had to adapt to a new way of life.

NGC Considering Stirm's Apology
While we had the opportunity, we asked these Garifuna elders if they accept Pastor Scott Stirm's apology. 11 days ago, the National Evangelical Association of Belize called a press conference in which Stirm apologised, but members of the Garifuna community who back Stirm also declared their support for what he had to say about the revered Dugu ceremony. We got a reaction from the NGC today, and here's what they told us: Roy Cayetano, Advisor, National Garifuna Council: "If I may, my own thinking is that the gentleman is irrelevant. His marshaling Garifuna people to speak against their own people is evidence of a serious weakness in the socialization of our people and the schooling that our people get. Whoever reported to him was lying and he perpetuated the lies."

Bus Driver Charged For Cyclist's Death
A bus driver has been charged for knocking down and killing Hattieville resident Jason Robinson. The driver, Franco Audinett was charged with one count of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, and drove motor vehicle without due care and attention. The incident happened on Friday March 18th between miles 16 and 17 on the Western Highway. Robinson was heading to Belize City on his bicycle when he was knocked down by a Shaw's Bus heading in the same direction. His body was mangled and pinned beneath the bus's front bumper. The driver claims he did not see Robinson and as soon as he did he swerved but it was too late. Robinson's family also maintains that he was way on the side of the road - out of traffic. Today in court, Audinett was granted bail of $5000 plus one surety which he met this evening. His next court date is set for June 10th.

Seine Byte Mother Pleads For Missing Daughter
A mother from Seine Bight village came to out studio this afternoon in distress- that's because her daughter has gone missing. She is 14 year old Drina Stevens, a second former at George Town Technical High School. The family says that the last time any of them saw her was last week Wednesday. Now with almost 7 days since her disappearance the family is desperate. Her mother recounted the last time she saw her daughter. Laverne Arzu, Mother: "Every morning I usually wake them up before I go to work. I woke her up that day and then I woke the rest of the children to go and check if she go to school. That day they saw her change up, pick up her bag and went off towards the bus. So they saw her going towards the bus, but they didn't see if she had gotten on the bus. They thought she was in the bus and that she went to school, but then afterwards when the bus came in the evening, my brother went and wait for the bus to see when she comes off. But apparently he didn't see her come off, so he walk home and asked me if she came home already. I told him that she didn't reach home as yet. He says that he came to check, because he thought I had overlooked her. I told him that she didn't reach."

Sixteen Shoulder To Shoulder With Saldivar
The UDP special convention for First Deputy Leader isn't happening until the last weekend in May, and even though John Saldivar and Patrick Faber are only fighting for the votes of about 300 delegates or so - judging by the war in mainstream and social media, you'd think this was a general election! John Saldivar today posted another major endorsement lineup on his Facebook page. 16 of the party's 31 standard bearers and representatives are seen supporting him, posted under the caption "maximum unity." The post says the picture was taken today in Belmopan and we note that it includes Gaspar Vega - the outgoing first Deputy who has been reluctant to show his hand in any party matters since he abruptly resigned two months ago. Notably Saldivar has 13 of the party's 19 elected representatives in his camp. But, according to the UDP's party whip, Michael Finnegan all those political stripes don't count for much more than 16 votes in a delegates race, where even he can't whip all his delegates into a single line:..

She Wrote The Book On Maya Medicine
Today saw the launch of the first ever book on Maya Herbal Medicine. It is a straightforward guide to all the medicinal secrets of the ancient Maya. It was authored by a well-known Maya cultural revivalist, Aurora Garcia Saqui. She launched the book today at the Image Factory in Belize City and Emanuel Pech was there to find out more. This assortment of herbal medicines were on display today at a local book launch. They are traditional Mayan remedies for diabetes, common cold, heart burn, skin rash and just about anything else you can think of. It is centuries of medicinal knowledge passed on through the generations are all encapsulated in this one book. The author Aurora Garcia Saqui, is definitely no stranger to Belize. In 2013 she launched her first book- which focused on traditional Mayan cuisine. She is also a well-known Maya craftswoman and slate carver. Now while Garcia has always had an enduring interest in keeping her culture alive, this piece on traditional Mayan medicine was particularly close to her heart because it was inspired by her late Great uncle.

No Easy Answers For OAS Adjacency
At the top of the news, we told you about the press conference that Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington and Ambassador Assad Shoman hosted to discuss the Belize/Guatemala bilateral talks, which happened last week Friday. The main topic was the 11-point draft proposal that the Belize Delegation has proposed to diffuse tensions in the Sarstoon. But, they also discussed how they will raise the funds to keep the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone open. As we've reported, it costs 2.5 million US dollars per year to run the office - and the Group of Friendly Nations who pay the bills are getting antsy because, 8 years after the office opened, both sides are still at a stalemate. Elrington told us about the latest deliberations on the endangered OAS Adjacency Zone office:

TR Shine's Trip To Jazzfest May Be Cancelled Because He Was Rejected For Visa
Well-known Belizean artist Ivan "TR Shine" should be in the last phases of preparation for the biggest gig of his life: the New Orleans Jazzfest one week from now. After all, the headliners for that event include: Snoop Dogg, Flo-Rida, Lauryn Hill, Pearl Jam, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Stevie Wonder. But the 2 time National Song Competition Champion might very well be missing one the greatest opportunities of his career. That's because his visa application was rejected by the US Embassy for a drug charge seven years ago. Now with only 10 days left for the start of the jazz festival TR Shine is appealing to the Government of Belize to somehow intervene. Ivan "TR Shine" Burgess, Belizean artist: "Basically the whole issue arise of a single charge that I had year ago upon applying for an American visa, a P3 Visa, which is an artist working Visa and I was denied the Visa. But the real reason for the interview would be that we are pleading for some format of diplomatic something from our government in order to have us attain this P3 Visa in order to go and work in the New Orleans Jazz Festival, which we have been selected to go and represent our country."

Karate Kids Made The Chet Challenge
5 kids from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy brought back 9 medals from the Martial Arts Championships in Chetumal. The Karate kids participated in a number of categories and garnered 2nd and 3rd place medals. Today we spoke to the Grand Master of the Academy and he told us what this win means to the Karate community. We also spoke to 2 of the winners about the fight challenge in Chet. Samara Vasquez won 2 medals in Women Karate forms and Kata. Hera Kumsal won a medal in the 6-7 year old children division. The winners from this tournament will now participate in another Karate competition in June in Cancun.

Channel 5

A First Look at Eleven-point Draft Bilateral Agreement on Sarstoon
High-level government and military officials from Belize and Guatemala met at O.A.S. headquarters in the adjacency zone to discuss rules of engagement in the Sarstoon last Friday. The draft rules [...]

Was Draft Agreement Well Received by Guatemalan Counterparts?
On the face of it, those proposals should be a tough sell considering Guatemala’s recently very aggressive position in the Sarstoon. At the highest levels of government in that republic, [...]

Ambassador Assad Shoman Says Nothing is Etched in Stone as Yet
Seasoned negotiator and expert in the field of Guatemala dispute, Ambassador Shoman, explained that nothing at this point is set in stone despite first perception. Still, he asserts that the [...]

Do Belizeans Need to Consult Guatemalan Army to Traverse Sarstoon River?
Since we had the experts in the room, News Five also asked about the mysterious current protocols governing the Sarstoon. We’re referring to those purported protocols which dictate that Belizean [...]

FCD Says Environs of Valentin Camp a Hotbed for Incursions
The official jury is still out on the shooting of B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey on Holy Saturday. There has been progress in the multiple subsequent investigations, enough for a [...]

Monitoring the Chiquibul Forest Remains a Challenge for B.D.F. and FCD Rangers
The Friends for Conservation and Development is responsible for the monitoring and management of the Chiquibul, an area roughly the size of Belize City. It’s a challenging task, to say [...]

A Call for B.D.F. to Increase Presence in Marijuana Growing Areas of Chiquibul
Illegal milpa farming may be the biggest challenge facing rangers in the Chiquibul, but the most dangerous one is drug cultivation which has been on the rise. Manzanero says that [...]

Do You Think Guatemalan Armed Forces Can Be Stopped in Exerting Sovereignty Over the Sarstoon?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think the Guatemalan Armed Forces can be stopped in exerting sovereignty over the Sarstoon? Send your comments and responses using your SMART [...]

Belizean Artists to Represent at 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Several Belizean artists and bands have been selected for an opportunity of a lifetime; to represent Belize in the 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Popularly known as the [...]

TR Shine Denied Visa to Attend Upcoming Music Festival
The festival is set for next week and the Belizean artists are to head to New Orleans next Monday. But there’s a major hiccup because all members of TR’s band [...]

An Elderly Sand Hill Resident is Assaulted with Axe During Family Dispute
An elderly Sand Hill resident was hit on the head with an axe in a family dispute this past Sunday in the village. Eighty-four year old Nicholas Ozaeta Senior had [...]

Jack Charles Takes Employees to Court for Stealing Triple-A Batteries
Businessman Jitendra Chawla was in the headlines and in court earlier this year over rice importation. Today, Chawla took three employees to court for stealing from his store a pack [...]

No Charges In Weekend Murder of Luis Ortiz
There are still no charges being brought against six men who were detained for the murder of Maya Mopan resident, Luis Ortiz. Ortiz was killed on Sunday morning; his body [...]

Dangriga Police Investigate Allegation of Sex Crime Against Disabled Minor
Dangriga Police are currently awaiting the results of an evaluation to determine if a minor in that jurisdiction is able to provide a statement to them. The minor has cerebral [...]

219th Anniversary of Garifuna Survival
November nineteenth, is a national holiday celebrated as Garifuna Settlement Day. But today is Survival Day; it commemorates the anniversary of the arrival of the first group of Garifuna to [...]

NGC Responds to Comments on Garifuna Spirituality
The firestorm that erupted in the wake of inflammatory comments made by Pastor Scott Stirm about Garifuna spirituality has since died down.  However, the issue is very much alive within [...]

Should Garifuna Community Have Joined in on Indigenous Land Rights Claim?
The Maya land rights case over the entitlement of the indigenous community to occupy and use land communally in southern Belize remains before the high courts.  Despite a landmark ruling [...]

A Book on Mayan Herbal Medicine
Aurora Saqui is a versatile Mayan woman who has taken on numerous creative roles. Today, she donned her hat as a writer and released a book on herbal remedies following [...]

Belize Sign to be Launched in Fort George
A second Belize sign, similar to the multicolored monument prominently on display at the Seashore Children’s Park in Buttonwood Bay, will be inaugurated by the Belize City Council on Wednesday.  [...]

House of Shotokan Prevails in Weekend Karate Tournament
A group of five karatekas from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy headed to Chetumal over the weekend where they participated in an invitational martial arts tournament.  The event drew [...]

Where is 14-year-old Drina Stevens?
Where is fourteen year old Drina Stevens? That’s the question that her mother Lavern Arzu is asking as it’s been almost a week since the second form student of Georgetown [...]


Teacher Broaden Their Knowledge On The Belize/Guatemala Dispute
Some weeks ago more than a hundred Belizean teachers visited Belize’s southwestern border with Guatemala. During the trip the teachers got a chance to see some of the different cross-border issues at play between the neighboring Villages of Belize's Jalacte and Guatemala's Santa Cruz. Following this trip the Belize Teachers Union decided that as educators of this country they need to take a stand and learn more about the Belize – Guatemala territorial dispute and the possibility of taking this issue to the International Court of Justice-ICJ. As a way to inform and educate teachers on this national issue the Belize Teacher’s Union has organized a forum this coming Friday, where teachers from across the country will be given the opportunity to listen to the pros and cons of Belize going to the ICJ and later will be given the opportunity to cast an informed vote on the matter to determine the official stand of the BNTU. Today when we spoke to president of BNTU Orange Walk, Otilio Munoz, he told us more about the objective of the event.

Is Gaspar Vega Backing Up John Saldivar?
On May 29th the United Democratic Party will hold it convention to elect a new First Deputy Leader after Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega left the seat vacant when he announced that he will no longer seek re-election at the next General Elections and did not want to continue as the First Deputy Leader of the party. Vega’s decision paved the way for John Saldivar and Patrick Faber who so far are the only two candidates who have launched their campaign for the position. Both men have been garnering support from fellow parliamentarians hoping that they can entice the delegates of their area to vote for them in the convention. So far nearly all UDP Ministers have indicated who they are siding with expected for the outgoing First Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega, who told the media the last time he was asked who he will support that he was yet to make a decision.

CJC Students Say No to Alcohol And Drugs
For this entire week Corozal Junior College will be celebrating Drug Awareness Week under the theme “Drugs are Bullies Don’t Let Them Destroy Your School Life”. Today the focus was on alcohol, the most commonly used addictive substance in the country. Two persons were invited to share their testimony with students and their experiences served as an eye opener to the future leaders of the country. Counselor Elvie Samos – Corozal Junior College: “Drugs is a problem for all of us, it is a problem in our society all over the world and drugs is everybody’s business you know if we are going to mold these young minds here at school then we need to make them aware of everything that is happening and that is why I decided to invite two persons that were on drugs and they shared their testimony with the students and to bring awareness for them that they can make better choices as a matter of fact there is a recent there was a recent research that was done by NDACC that sated that most of our teen drug users are between the ages of 14 and 16 so we need to bring this awareness to our students.”

Trial Farm Resident In Financial Need To Seek Treatment
On Easter Sunday eighteen year old Luis Fernando Lopez was assaulted on Mahogany Street in the village of Trial Farm while he was on his way home after shopping at a Chinese store. The incident played out at around 8:30 that night and as a result of the attack, Lopez was severely injured and was left abandoned inside a trench. Lopez was then transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital due to the grave condition that he was in. However, today we can tell you that the teenager remains in a critical state at this point in time and will be traveling to Chetumal tomorrow to seek medical attention. Earlier this morning we visited the victim’s mother, Laura Lopez, who spoke to us about her son’s condition and since she is unable to cover all the medical expenses, she took the opportunity to ask the public for assistance.

Will Guatemala Accept Belize's Proposal To Reduce Tension At The Sarstoon?
As we shared previously, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today held a briefing where it presented the 11 points of the draft proposal for a protocol in the Sarstoon area. The agreement should set down the operational guidelines for peace to be maintained between Belize and Guatemala until the territorial dispute is definitively resolved. The opposition’s representative in the Belize Guatemala talks, Ambassador Assad Shoman said that there are some encouraging signs for the acceptance of those protocols based on the bilateral meeting held in Benque last Friday: “Something that we learnt from the side for example were quite encouraging if true, because as you we can’t really trust anybody in this situation we are hoping that people will keep their word and so on we are hoping that truth prevails but we always have to be in our guards but the Foreign Minister of Guatemala did tell us that he has met with the 22 members of the Foreign Affairs committee of congress and that they have expressed support for sending the Protocol to amend the Special Agreement because as we know right...”


Teenager Killed in Road Traffic Incident
36-year-old Eleoy Coleman has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. This follows a fatal road traffic accident that occurred in Dangriga this morning. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story. HARRY ARZU “Police are investigating a fatal road traffic accident that occurred here this morning sometime around 10:40am around mile 1 and half on […]

Belize and Mexico Holds First Meeting Following MOU Signing
There is a negotiating group comprising of both Belizeans and Mexicans who are looking at how they can reach a bilateral agreement on trans-boundary hydrocarbon reservoirs. To simplify it, Belize and Mexico are looking to place a temporary moratorium on drilling and extraction activities for hydrocarbons. The two teams met yesterday for a first official […]

UNIBAM’s Assessments Ignored by Government Ministers
The Executive Director for the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, has prepared a document that serves as an assessment on Belize’s responsibility to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. In that 28-page document is written with the aim of highlighting the context of LGBT rights in Belize and how they are being ignored when […]

Belize Presents Proposals to Guatemala Regarding Sarstoon
A briefing on the latest meeting between officials from Belize and Guatemala held last Friday at the OAS Adjacency Zone office was conducted today at the NEMO’s Conference Room in Belmopan. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Lawrence Sylvester, opened the session this evening just after four o’clock. Foreign Affairs Minister […]

Guatemalan Military Misinforms SATIIM; No New Protocol on the Sarstoon
On Wednesday, April 6 the Executive Director for SATIIM, Froyla Salam spoke to Love News on an incident in which they were met on the bank of the Sarstoon by the Guatemalan Military. Salam says that they were on a scheduled patrol when the Guatemalan Armed Forces approached them in an aggressive manner. A report […]

Communication Component on Climate Change Needs Strengthening
The efforts being made by various organizations including the Government of Belize and the investments being put into climate change adaptations have been countless. It is a phenomenon that is being attributed to the changes in weather worldwide and a major factor when it comes to marine life, agriculture and the environment. If not urgently […]

Re-Registration and Re-Districting on The Horizon
Since early 2015 several factions have been calling for a re-registration of voters and the subsequent re-districting of electoral divisions. The Vision Inspired by the People and the People’s United Party have demanded that such an exercise take place and the recommendation has come from the observer mission of the Organization of American States following […]

Don Eligio’s Niece Publishes Book on Maya Herbal Medicines
Aurora Garcia Saqui of Maya Centre Village is a well-known natural Mayan healer. Today, Saqui released her second book, this one focusing on Maya Herbal Medicines. Saqui is one the five “Garcia Sisters” who is said to have begun slate carving in Belize. We spoke to Saqui and she told us what inspired her to […]

2 of 3 Fishermen Arraigned for Undersized Conch
Two fishermen, Higinio Rivero and Juan Munoz, were charged with possession of market clean undersized conch when they appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. According to the allegation, Rivero had 40 undersized conch and Munoz had 90. They pled not guilty to the charge. They were each offered a self-bail of one thousand dollars but […]

Doc Speaks of Works in the Cayo North Division
Dr Omar Figueroa first came into political office in in January 2015 when a bi-election occurred in the Cayo North constituency. Upon his election to office, Prime Minister Dean Barrow awarded him with the post of Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister Figueroa has not been […]


Maya Mopan man murdered; body dumped in Belize River
A Belmopan resident of Maya Mopan was murdered on Sunday morning, his body thrown into the Belize River near Agripinno CAwich bridge, the bridge leading towards Valley of Peace. The victim was 39 year old Luis Ostuardo Ortiz , also known as “Chapin”. According to police, sometime after 3:00 a.m....

Prisoner escapes from police; family questions police account
A resident of Belmopan was detained on Friday for questioning in a rape investigation. The individual apparently escaped police custody and the family took the matter to Facebook after they say police harassed them and accused them of helping the individual to escape. The allegations on facebook in...

Ministry of Health still can’t confirm Zika case in Belize
Ministry of Health in Belize says it still cannot confirm there is a first local transmission case of Zika in Belize despite reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which indicated that an American most likely contracted the Zika Virus while on a trip to Belize. A statement issue...

Caribbean Investment Holdings limited refutes ”Panama Paper” claims
Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (CIHL), the parent company of Belize Bank on Monday issued a press release to refute allegations made earlier this month by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the group which published the now infamous Panama papers. . The leak cov...

Aggravated Burglary in Camalote area
There are reports of a home invasion, legally known as “aggravated burglary”, which happened early Monday morning in the Camalote/Roaring Creek Area. We don’t have the details at this time, but neither do the police, who says the victims are too traumatized to give a clear account of what transpired...

Clayton White remanded for machete attack
There was a chopping incident reported in Belize City on Saturday morning which landed Douglas Flores, Jr., in hospital, and his alleged assailant, 45 year old Clayton White, behind bars. White is accused of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm against Douglas Flores Jr.,...

Guatemalan racks up offenses in court
A Guatemalan shoe shiner from the San Martin area of Belmopan found himself in trouble with the law in Belize city after first being caught with crack cocaine and then trying to evade police. 32 year old Victor Sagastume is serving concurrent sentences amounting to ten months in prison on multiple c...

UDP set date for deputy leader convention
At a special meeting of its National Party Council, the United Democratic Party (UDP) set Sunday, May 29th, as the date for a convention to elect the first deputy party leader, who would replace the retiring Gaspar Vega. The convention will take place at the ITVET Grounds in Belize City. The party’s...

Child with cerebral palsy sexually molested by stepfather
A child with cerebral palsy was sexually molested by her stepfather. The mother of the child went to Stann Creek police to rAeport the matter, sayinSg that on March 31, when she got home from work, she looked at her daughter who has Cerebral Palsy and is unable to speak and walk and saw that the c... -->


Driver, 39, murdered by 3 passengers
Luis Ortiz, 39, a carpenter, was found dead in the Belize River by the police at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 10. Sergeant Marla Joseph, the Deputy Commander of Roaring Creek Police Station, told Amandala that they had received information at approximately 3:00 a.m., regarding a fight in front of the Roaring Creek Cemetery. Acting upon the information, Joseph said, they visited the area and found Jose Gonzalez, 40, suffering from injuries to his head and abrasions to the back. Gonzalez told police that he was socializing at La Cabana Nightclub with Ortiz and some other friends. Gonzalez later left the nightclub with Ortiz, who was supposedly giving another friend a ride to Teakettle. However, three other men jumped in the back seat of Ortiz’s green 1999 Chevy Prism vehicle, where Gonzalez was seated, Gonzalez said. Upon reaching in front of the Roaring Creek Cemetery, Gonzalez said, he and Ortiz were assaulted by the men, who then threw Gonzalez out the vehicle and continued beating him and left him to die in the bushes off the highway.

Markel Pitts, 19, pulled from KHMH life support machine
Last Thursday evening, around 7:30, four young men were hanging out at the corner of Marage Road and Compassion Lane in Ladyville when a gunman approached and made a target of one of the young men, firing about seven shots at him. Some of the gunman’s bullets found their mark, hitting Markel Pitts twice in the stomach and once in the arm. The 19-year-old Pitts, was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was admitted in a critical condition and put on life support. On Friday evening, however, Pitts was pulled from the life support machine, unbeknownst to family members, who have subsequently refused to grant an interview to our newspaper. Pitts’ mother, when Amandala approached her today for an interview, pointedly said, “I don’t want to speak to no media.”

Judge rules for Allyson Major against GSU and Attorney General
A man who was arrested, charged and imprisoned under the provison of the Amendment to the Firearms Act decided to seek redress in a constitutional claim against two Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) police officers and the Attorney General of Belize. This morning, Madam Justice Michelle Arana ruled that his constitutional right not to be deprived of his liberty had been violated. Allyson Major, a security guard who was charged with unlicensed firearm and ammunition possession brought the claim that his constitutional rights were violated when he was arrested, charged and held in prison for 38 days before securing bail from the Supreme Court on May 17, 2012. Justice Arana awarded general damages of $6,000 and special damages of $6,050 to Major. The judgment also declared that the arrest and trial of Major for the offences of “kept firearm without a gun license and kept ammunition without a gun license” infringed on his constitutional right of presumption of innocence as contained in Belize Constitution. The judge also awarded cost of court to Major, although that figure has not been agreed upon as yet.

Ashcroft company asks US to seize $38 mil from Belize
The United States Supreme Court has invited US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli to file a brief expressing the federal government’s point of view in a rare case asking the US authorities to move against the assets of a foreign government in fulfillment of an international arbitration award. That case, involving the Government of Belize, on the one hand, and the Ashcroft Alliance, on the other, is pursuant to a US$19 million award dating back to March 2009, in favor of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). Amandala sources say that within the last two weeks, there has been a decision by the US Federal Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear the Belize case, which, we were told “is either the single or one of two cases which the US Supreme Court says it will hear.” The court is said to be the final authority in the US on the matter. Of note is that the Ashcroft Alliance had claimed that the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) award of US$19 million runs only up to February 27, 2009, and does not reflect any monies the claimant deems may be due after that date.

Garifuna stalwart, Celeo Álvarez Casildo, dies at 57 from throat cancer
Afro-descendants of Central America, and especially the Garifuna community, are mourning the loss of Don Celeo Álvarez Casildo, who became known to us at Kremandala for his leadership role in the Central American Black Organization (CABO), based in his home country, Honduras, as well as his founding role in the Organization for Ethnic Community Development (ODECO), which helped to establish CABO in the 1990s. Amandala received news today that Álvarez, 57, who had been diagnosed with throat cancer, passed away at 10:45 this morning at a hospital in Tegucigalpa. Over the weekend, doctors had taken a decision to end his treatment. Sources close to Álvarez said that he had been seeking cancer treatment both at home and in Cuba, and he had also undergone two surgeries to fight his condition. Teofilo Colon, Jr., who runs an online site dedicated to the Garifuna cause,, said Álvarez is noted for his championing of the rights of Afro-Descendants in Latin America.

Bring it on! GOB attorney welcomes Maya lawsuits
The Toledo Maya this week triggered a new round of litigation in the decades-long Maya Land Rights struggle which envisions a homeland for the Kekchi and Mopan Maya communities of southern Belize spanning roughly 800 square miles (or 500,000 acres). This time, the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) is calling on the courts to enforce their land rights, as declared by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and affirmed by the Caribbean Court of Justice, following a consent order by the court, which was issued a year ago, after the disputing parties agreed on all central points in the claim, except the question of monetary awards to the claimants. “I think personally, as an individual—not speaking on behalf of the Government, but speaking from my knowledge—it might be a good thing for the Maya to bring these cases and get a clarification—which I think they badly need—as to the limits on the rights that they have under the [CCJ] consent order,” Denys Barrow, SC, attorney for the Government, told Amandala. We were unable to reach Barrow on Thursday, when we wrote our first story, but we were able to get his reaction to the new lawsuits today.

Bandits and Police win PLB semifinals Game 1
There will be no more questions as to which team will represent Belize in the next CONCACAF Champions League tournament; that matter was settled last week with Police United FC ending the 2015-2016 Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season regular season with a combined total of 40 points over the Opening and Closing seasons, 1 point more than their closest contender, Belmopan Bandits FC, who finished with 39 points. Had the Bandits eclipsed Police United in the regular season point race, then the Champions League berth would still be up in the air, to be decided according to the outcome of the Closing Season championship. If Bandits had then won the Closing Season championship, they would have been the ones to go to Champions League. To make it to Champions League, Police United would have had to win back-to-back championships. However, Police United prevailed in the total-points race in the regular seasons; so, regardless of who becomes champion in the Closing Season, it is Police United FC who will represent in Champions League.

Chief Thursday Race results, April 7
The race, for Weekend Warrior (WW) category, went from Leslie’s Imports to Hattieville and back, for 28 miles. Twenty-four out of twenty-five riders finished the race. They were: 1st place Vallan Symns (Megabytes, 1:12:08); 2nd Gilroy Robinson (Santino’s, st); 3rd Ian Whittaker (Digicell-4G, 1:12:36); 4th Ian Abraham (Smart, st); 5th Ryan Willoughby (Smart, 1:14:54); 6th John Burns (Digicell-4G, st); 7th Ernest Olivera (FT Williams, st); 8th Gilberto Acosta (Spinnaz); 9th Warren Coye (Santino’s); 10th Ruthford Cunningham (Spinnaz); 11th Santino Castillo (Santino’s); 12th Andrew Brown (Megabytes); 13th Kaya Cattouse (C-Ray); 14th Nelson Zyden (Smart); 15th Eustace Ireland (Lampaz); 16th Kirk Sutherland (Digicell-4G); 17th Ingmar Perrera (Stationery House); 18th Charles Lewis (Lampaz); 19th Palas Joseph (Lampaz); 20th Mark Reid (Santino’s); 21st Francis Cassasola (Santino’s); 22nd Damian Gough (Scotiabank); 23rd Jack Sutherland (Digicell-4G); and 24th William Cacho (WKC Strikers).

NEBL playoff teams set
Bandits beat Ballaz in Belmopan: On Friday night, Cayo Western Ballaz took on their district rivals, Belmopan Bandits, at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan, with huge playoff implications hinging on this game. A win and Ballaz is in the playoffs, and a loss would send them home for the first time in three years, after reaching the finals the previous two years. At the half, Belmopan was up 35-24, but the lead was cut to three points, 50-47, going into the fourth quarter. In the fourth and decisive quarter, Belmopan opened the lead behind a few three-point shots, easily winning 73-57. With the loss, the Western Ballaz will not make the playoffs this season, while Belmopan Bandits is riding a 7-game winning streak going into the last weekend of the regular season. With only 1 week remaining in the regular season, the four playoff teams have already been decided. The other 4 teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. Below are the playoff scenarios for the seeding of teams going into the playoffs.

Bill and BRICS
Mr. Bill Lindo is an economist and businessman who co-hosts on Sunday mornings news-related discussions which are simulcast on KREM Radio and KREM Television. From time to time, he writes a column for Amandala, mostly on financial and political matters. Mr. Lindo was an officer of the UBAD Party in early 1973 when the organization split in two. At that point, he joined the ruling People’s United Party (PUP), where he has remained active for the last 46 years. In fact, he was recently added to the national executive of the now Opposition PUP, after being removed from same in late 2011. With respect to Belize’s economic challenges and the growing problems connected with the increasingly aggressive Guatemalan claim to Belize, Mr. Lindo has been suggesting that Belize’s leaders seek a closer relationship with the countries which are referred to as BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This newspaper hereby registers its disagreement with such a suggestion, for the reason that Belize is firmly within the geopolitical orbit of the superpower United States, which is where most of our diaspora population live and work. In addition, the two most powerful members of BRICS – Russia and China, are atheistic politico–economic systems, and the vast majority of Belizeans publicly profess Christian religious beliefs, even though the country often behaves as if it is a pagan realm.

From the Publisher
There are people who pride themselves on making intelligent, logical decisions. Remember now, you can only make an intelligent, logical decision at any given time based on the data which are available to you at that given time. Let us say that you are a slave, and you have to function with iron shackles on your feet. It may be an intelligent, logical decision for you to accept the conditions of your enslavement, such as the fact that your slavemaster is armed and powerful, and the fact that you are chained and bound. So, you choose to go on living from day to day in this wretched state of affairs. Some intelligent and logical people may actually consider you intelligent and logical. Historically, there have been slaves who lived their entire lives as slaves, and then died in slavery without ever drinking the exciting elixir of freedom. There have also been slaves who made desperate attempts to escape their slavery or to slay their masters, and it appears that the vast majority of escape attempts and violent rebellions did not succeed. Very, very few escape attempts and violent rebellions by slaves could be described as intelligent or logical, if we are to judge historically by the percentage of success in such initiatives. But, we descendants of slaves are inspired by such examples of resistance.

A champion in the making
Winning the Annual Cross Country Cycling Race is the dream of every cyclist who enters the race and rides the 144 miles from Belize City to San Ignacio and back. It takes discipline, endurance, stamina and above all, teamwork to carve out a win in the biggest sporting event in Belize and this year, two Guatemalan brothers took away Belize’s coveted Cross Country Garland, while Belizean cyclist Joel Borland placed third. Amandala sat down with the Borlands to find out what goes into making a great rider. Joel Borland, who is 21, told Amandala that he has been competing for about seven years now: three years as a junior and four years in the elite category. Admiral, John Borland, who is the head of the Coast Guard and Joel Borland’s father, is directly involved in his son’s training as the manager and coach of the Belmopan Digicell 4G LTE team. Borland said, “As the coach, I am responsible for developing the training plans, regime, curriculum and to oversee the supervision of the cyclists and members of the team in training – it becomes almost a full time job.”

Girl, 15, who suffers from cerebral palsy, sexually assaulted by stepfather
Police are looking for a man who sexually assaulted his 15-year-old stepdaughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy and is unable to speak or walk. On Friday, the girl and her mother went to police, and the mother told them that when she came home from work, she saw her daughter looking sad and uncomfortable, and began to communicate with her. Through signs and symbols, the girl reported that whenever her babysitter left the house, her stepfather would touch her breast, vagina and buttocks. The child was taken by police to a clinic, where she was examined by a doctor who certified that her hymen was torn. The stepfather is on the run. If he is tried in court and found guilty, he can expect a minimum jail sentence of 10 years.