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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Canada contributes to enhanced security in Belize
Today the Canadian High Commissioner to Belize, Stuart Savage, and Belize's Chief Executive Officer for National Security, George Lovell, participated in an event to witness the delivery of equipment valued at more than $1.2 million to the Belize Defence Forces (BDF). This donation is made possible by Canada's Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program through its Department of National Defence. "Canada is pleased to contribute to Belize's capacity to combat transnational organized crime and to provide greater overall security for the Belizean people," said High Commissioner Savage. "Canada will continue to work with Belize and our other Central American partners to help strengthen security institutions and increase capacity to respond to immediate security threats in our hemisphere." "The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) continues to work with our international partners in support of Government of Canada initiatives," said Brigadier-General Denis Thompson, Commander CANSOFCOM. "By assisting our partners in increasing their capabilities to combat crime domestically, there will be a direct impact on the security of North America. Our partnership in Belize has been positive and mutually beneficial."

World AIDS Day: "Together We Can"
December 1st is internationally recognized as World AIDS Day, and it is a day to educate and raise awareness on HIV/AIDS. The San Pedro AIDS Commission held several events to observe this significant day. 9AM brought a group of supporters together for a walk commemorating those who are fighting HIV/AIDS and in memory of those who have succumbed to the deadly virus. The Isla Bonita All Star Marching Band led the walk through the island of San Pedro Town. Also present was Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his San Pedro Town Councilors, Miss San Pedro Solani Graniel, Miss San Pedro Lions Arlethe Lima, Miss San Pedro High School Chelsea Mu�oz and Miss Chiquitita Zillah Flota.

Ambergris Today

Jehovah's Witnesses Invite to The Convention- "God's Word Is Truth"
Jehovah's Witnesses are convinced that the positive message and practical suggestions that will be presented at the Six District Conventions will be of benefit to all. The convention theme is "God's Word Is Truth". This theme is significant because it underscores a core family value for Jehovah's Witnesses families. Witness families embrace the Bible as the most trustworthy guide and source of advice in these troubled times and feel the public will likewise benefit and enjoy the various and practical program. Two dramas will highlight the lessons learned from two actual Bible accounts. The conventions will all be held at the Assembly Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, located on Lord's Bank Road, Ladyville, with the first one starting this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Over the next six consecutive weekends, attendees will include congregations in English, Spanish, and Creole. The program will also be available in American Sign Language, December 6 - 8th at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Belize City Cemetery Road; Trial Farm Orange Walk; San Pedro and December 27 - 29 in San Ignacio. Special invitations to these six conventions will be distributed throughout all of Belize among the 56 Congregations countrywide. Admission is free, as Witness conventions are covered by voluntary contributions and no collections are taken. It is estimated that over 4,000 will attend all the various conventions. Program Chairman's Office Brendon Brooks 604-8725 News Service Department Dennis Sunderman 610-0353

Trip Advisor has Ambergris Caye as Destination on the Rise
Earlier this year island residents and all of Belize celebrated when La Isla Bonita, Ambergris Caye, was named the Number 1 Island in the World by Trip Advisor. It was a great honor to know that the award comes from actual travelers who voted for Ambergris Caye as their favorite island destination. This week we discover that Ambergris Caye is in yet another Hot List on Trip Advisor. La Isla Bonita has been listed as Number 6 on Trip Advisor's Traveler's Choice 'Top 10 Destinations on the Rise'. It solidifies the voters' decision in naming the island #1 in the world and proves that Ambergris Caye, Belize is an up and coming top contender in world travel destinations. Need we say more? Below is what Trip Advisor posted for Ambergris Caye at #6 in the Top 10 Destinations on the Rise list: "Ambergris Caye hovers in a vacation sweet spot: just enough amenities to make it exciting, but not so overdeveloped that you're tripping over flip-flopped tourists. A mangrove swamp is the eye of this white beach island, the largest in Belize, and golf carts are the main form of transportation along the sandy roads. Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites."

The U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Helps Belizean Flood Victims
The U.S. Office of Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) has donated USD $10,000 to the Belize Red Cross Society to help assist the residents and families affected by the flooding with the purchase of drinking water, rain boots, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies and fuel for transport of relief supplies to areas affected by flash flood in San Ignacio and Santa Elena. On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, a flash flood hit the San Ignacio and Santa Elena area and washed out a bridge and wreaked havoc on the area. According to residents, waters over six feet high slammed into their houses and families were fortunate to evacuate in time. There were estimates of another one thousand residents in Crooked Tree that have been affected by the floods and that it will take at least two months for the water to subside.

Tropic Air is Making Things Happen
After traveling to Roatan, Honduras, on Tropic Air's inaugural flight on November 13, 2013, and posting a little glimpse into my travels, adventures, dining and accommodations, the feedback from family, friends, readers of Ambergris Today Online and my followers on Facebook, as well as other social media outlets, has been tremendous. They not only want to know more about Roatan, but also about my personal experiences on the island. Tropic Air's non-stop service between Roatan, Honduras, and Belize City's Phillip Goldson International Airport is an excellent addition to the airline's existing international flights to neighboring countries around Central America and Mexico. Tropic Air's other international routes include Cancun (Mexico), Flores (Guatemala) and San Pedro Sula (Honduras) in addition to its 11 domestic destinations within Belize. Conversations that I have had with Tropic Air personnel have indicated that their Roatan flight is already a big success, launching with positive numbers. The inaugural flight was fully booked. Tropic Air's Belize connection with Roatan, Honduras, opens up other opportunities for the tourism market as hotels from both destinations can reap the benefits by partnering up for great vacation packages. I can tell you that the business people we talked to in Roatan are very happy with the convenient new connection.

Misc Belizean Sources

Presentation of the exhibition "Death is allowed" of Jose Guadalupe Posada.
The Embassy of Mexico cordially invites you to attend on Thursday, December 5th at 18:30 hrs. in the gallery of the Institute of Mexico in Belize City, to honor the opening of the exhibition "Death has permission" with works by important Mexican illustrator Jos� Guadalupe Posada, on the centenary of his death. The exhibition consists of 59 works, which are facsimile reproductions of some of the most significant prints of great Mexican artist and engraver.

An issue of critical importance to the people of Dangriga in southern Belize
The article by Mr Wellington Ramos addresses an issue of critical importance to the people of Dangriga, in southern Belize, and those in surrounding communities that depend on the North Stann Creek River watershed for their sustenance. Thanks very much for bringing this issue to the fore. Water IS life. Any pollution of that vital resource affects the health of the people and indeed other life. It is unfortunate that several companies in Belize are not held to rigorous standards with strict monitoring to protect our water sources. Within the past few years, for example, Belizeans have seen incidents of the floating of hundreds of dead fish in the New River near the sugar factory. The level of pollution noted in Dangriga is alarming and the citizens must be immediately alerted. The town council, village councils, area representatives, health and environmental authorities as well as the citizens must immediately act to ensure that this situation is corrected. Certainly we wouldn't want to see illness and death before corrective and preventive measures are taken.

Cooking with Flavors of Belize & Chef Sean Kuylen - Fish Filet Bruschetta
On the Flavors of Belize menu tonight is Fish Filet Bruschetta! Chef Kuylen prepares this delectable recipe submitted by popular local hotspot - The Riverside Tavern. Located in Belize City, they're known for their original menu items, a mean burger, and a very happy happy hour. A recipe that is especially appropriate for this time of year as they make for the perfect finger food for your Thanksgiving or Christmas parties if you want to infuse a little Belizean flavor into the mix.

Channel 7

12 Year Old Sabrina Died Of A Sports Injury
Tonight, one small child is dead and another is injured after a horrible accident in the city this evening. 4 year old Jaston Terry was killed on Cemetery Road in Belize City while his older brother was injured. Our team is just back from the scene and Monica Bodden will have the full story with eyewitness accounts for you a little later in the newscast. But first, an update to the news of the death of another child� The post mortem on 12 year old Sabrina Almendarez finished last night and it determined that she died from a sports injury, not a tetanus shot. Pathologist Dr. Hugh Sanchez found that there was "blunt trauma to the right forehead" as a consequence of a sports injury. The death certificate says she died of broncho-aspiration and noted cerebral edema and cerebral hemorrhage as complications which led to her death. Audrey Matura-Shepherd - Attorney for Almendarez Family "Like the family said, they never knew what caused her death, and so, the post mortem was important. The results of the post mortem is rather alarming because what has revealed is that she died broncho-aspiration. What the doctor explained to us that means is that she had a trauma on her head. As a result of that trauma on her head, her brain was bleeding, and the brain was swollen. And as the brain got more swollen, and the blood filled the cavity of the skull, it pressed down on the rest of the organs in her head. That then went to her trachea, and as a result, of that, she suffocated. So, she last her breath, but the real original cause is that injury on top of her head. That is the cause of her death.

Justin West Wanted For Radisson Embezzlement
Police have released the name and photo of the former accounts payables clerk at the Radisson. He is Justin West, a 26 year old resident of Rivero Street in Belize City and Lord's Bank. But now, police say he is on the run in the USA, and the wanted poster quotes a US address, as Los Angeles, California, West Adams area, at the corners of Jefferson and Western. Now that's in South Central LA and is in the middle of the area where many Belizeans live, but that address will only take you here, at an intersection - so police probably aren't going to find him there. But, they're determined to smoke him out, by putting out this wanted poster, which serves kind of like an international all-points bulletin. It says that he is wanted in connection with the theft of 186 thousand dollars from the Radisson Fort George between August 2102 and September 2013. As we reported, West, who has a sixth form education, used his accounting skills to trick the system at Radisson. As an accounts payable clerk, he would generate false invoices from known suppliers, and get the higher up's to make out cheques to pay off the invoices.

Woman Murdered in Belmopan
Belmopan police are tonight investigating the murder of 29 year-old Zoila Elizabeth Garcia, a resident of the Las Flores area of Belmopan. Garcia is a well-known BTL and SMART! phone top agent, and her family believes that sometime before 8 p.m., she was going to deposit her earnings to her boss, and that's when someone ambushed her, shot her in the head, left her on the street and stole the money. That's one of two theories that investigators are looking into, and today, ASP Sinquest Martinez updated the media about what his officers have discovered so far: ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "Police were on mobile patrol last night, when they came across Elizabeth Garcia's body. We processed the scene; the body was taken to the Western Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival by the doctor. So far, what we have gathered is that there are two different angles that were are following as it pertains to this investigation. I am not at liberty to divulge them because that could have an impact on the investigation. We are following them; the post-mortem, as we speak, is being conducted in Belize City, today. We have no leads as yet. We need to establish those; we need to find a motive. We have one person detained."

Third Form Female Stabbed With Compass Outside School Gate
There are two disturbing cases of violence or the threat of violence near Southside Belize City high schools to report tonight. A 17 year old female in third form was attacked and stabbed with a compass when she was leaving Gwen Lizarraga High school yesterday afternoon at 3:20. She told police that another female student had been harassing her for weeks and calling her names. Well, when she walked out of the campus, the student and her 25 year old sister, Shandi Tillett, known as Chucky were waiting for her. She told police that she ignored them, but seconds later, Chucky ran up on her, wrapped her left hand around her neck and punch her in the face with the other hand. The 17 year old says she felt a burning sensation under her eye and saw blood flowing down her face which is when she fell to the ground. She says the group of girls then crowded her and kicked her in the ribs. She said she saw Chucky running away and spotted a shiny object on the street side that looked like a compass - the kind you would find in a geometry set. A doctor certified the injury as a wound on her left cheek.

Driver Knocked Down And Killed Child On Sidewalk
This evening in Belize City a four year old was killed when he was run over as he stood on a sidewalk with his older brother. It is a horrible accident - and as Monica Bodden found out, onlookers were outraged at the driver. Here's her story: Monica Bodden Reporting The lifeless body of 4 year old Jaston Terry lay on the sidewalk - where he was knocked down and died on impact. Eyewitness Voice of: Eyewitness "When we see the white van, it sped pass my business on the sidewalk." Reporter "Did you hear the child scream or anything like that?" Voice of: Eyewitness "No, I couldn't." 4 year old Terry was standing on the sidewalk along with his older brother waiting on a bus to go home - when this white van from out of nowhere made its way onto the sidewalk - running over the child and then knocking down this sign.

14 Year Old At Gwen Liz Tells Pol He Needs Firearm For Personal Safety
In our last segment we told you about a violent incident at Gwen Lizaragga high school. Well there is another concerning case coming from a high school is at Maude Williams High where a 14 year old second former has told police he needs to carry a gun for protection not in school, but on the streets. It all came to light yesterday afternoon when classes were dismissed at 3:50. Precinct two Police got information that a student was carrying a weapon and responded quickly. They found the student about to get into a van. A constable searched his school bag and in the small front Pocket he found a Black CZ nine millimeter pistol brand with an empty clip. The serial number had been filed off and he had no license for the weapon. The teenager was then placed under arrest for carrying an unlicensed firearm. He told the police that he receives threats on his way home. He was with two other students - who are both from the same neighborhood - which is across the bridge, meaning the youths have to cross multiple gang territories when they walk home. That is why, we understand, they are dropped to and from school on most days.

Yohnny Says BTB Playing Games With Him For Being Outspoken
Anyone who watches the news should know Yhony Rosado, the outspoken member of FECTAB. But, that's what he does when no cruise ships are in port. On days like today when four ships made call in Belize City, Rosado is a top level tour operator, moving hundreds of tourists in his busses. But this morning, BTB threatened to seriously cramp his style when they said he couldn't legally carry passengers because his company's tour guide license had expired. Now, a license is two hundred and fifty dollars and Rosado has a multi-million dollar operation - not to mention his internet reputation as reliable operator to maintain. So why wouldn't he pay a few hundred dollars for a license? Well, he did pay it, but BTB never registered it in their system properly. So, in their end of year review it came up as unpaid - which would make Yhony's operation illegal! We met him at the tourism village this morning upset and alleging a conspiracy: Yhony Rosado - Tour Operator "We came out this morning, and the personnel from BTB were claiming that my tour operating licenses are up. They were supposedly expired from September. I couldn't be operating from September, October, November, and December without a licenses. All of a sudden, 4 cruise ships are out there but they are penalizing me because I am one of the most outspoken person through FECTAB. If they want to shut me up, then just do the right things. FECTAB is all about fighting for the crumbs. All they try to do is quiet us. They cannot quiet the president of FECTAB, Mr. Tom, because we are crying because we can't make a living anymore. We been doing this long before PUP, long before UDP, and suddenly, under this Government, we cannot make it. The last time we met with the Government, the Prime Minister treated us so nicely, and we decided that the government of the day is down-to-earth. But all the hammering that has been falling on us is ridiculous."

Convicted By Fingerprints
48 year old Luis Romero, a.k.a. "Sho", is spending his second night in prison after he was sentenced to 7 years yesterday by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He changed his plea after he was confronted with AFIX finger printing evidence from police that he was at the scene of a burglary. As we had reported, Romero burglarized the home of Traffic Manager Kevon Jenkins, around 8 a.m. on January 28, 2013. Jenkins reported to the police that at about 9:30 a.m. he received a call from one of his neighbours and when he arrived home he saw that the burglar bars of one of his windows had been pried open and 3 louvers were missing. He told police that the items that were stolen included jewellery, fashion jewellery, a pair of high heeled shoes and $150 dollars cash. When the police arrived at the scene they found the louvers on a bed and they lifted finger prints from the louvers. It was the prints they found on the louvers which led to the arrest of Romero, because the prints matched his.

B-Sag Gets Big Money Donation
On the news from time we have reports involving the Belize Special Assignment Group, or B-Sag as they are called. But who is this highly specialized military unit? We found out today when they got a lavish donation. Here's the story from Price Barracks in Ladyville: Jules Vasquez Reporting The B-SAG, or Belize Special Assignment Group is the BDf's Special Forces: Brigadier General David Jones - Commander, BDF "B-SAG is our special forces unit. This unit was created about 7 years ago, primarily for terrorism training, for any terrorist attack that may come into Belize, or any high-risk, danger operation, hostage rescue, or search and rescue. These guys are our elite forces. A soldier is trained to kill; these guys in the Special Forces are trained to do it even more efficiently, or even better. They have been training with the US Special Forces for the past almost 7 years now. The US Special Forces and the Canadian Special Forces work closely together, and since we work closely with the Canadians as well, there is a hand-off for a period, where the Canadians have volunteered and are willing to come and train, and continue the training with these special forces here that we have, at least for the next 3 years. So, they are committed; starting last month, Canadian Special Forces are going to be training our B-SAG for the next 3 years."

Taiwanese On Tourism
It has become an annual event where the Taiwanese Embassy in Belize hosts an End of Year Luncheon and Experience-Sharing, in which they discuss a topic of importance which they are able to speak on as observers. This year, the theme of the Luncheon was "Tourism" and the President of the BTIA, Herbert Haylock, who had visited Taiwan earlier in the year, was invited to address the gathering. In keeping with theme, at this year's luncheon, the speakers made sure to compare the successes that Belize and Taiwan have been having in their respective tourism industries. After the event, the Taiwanese Ambassador spoke to the media, and he shared some of his observations about Belize, and what he's seen as important things the country has done right, and things which need to be worked on. He told 7News today that Belize's rich cultural experience and natural resources still remain untapped: In his address to the gathering, Ambassador Wu commented that as an observer, he would like to see more Belizean artisans on the front lines.

BTL Park Opening Pushed Back By Rains
At a projected cost of 1.4 million dollars, the BTL park is projected to be the most expensive public space in Belize City's history. It was supposed to be opened this coming weekend, but, time's up on the project and the much-hyped countdown is off, for the time being at least. That's because of the rains which put back work significantly. The contractor tells us that 150 workers on and off site are going at it 7 days a week to make a new opening date, which the mayor says is December 20th. We'll keep following the progress...

City Quick To Repair Streets
And while the park is on 7 day a week work timing, the Belcan roundabout was paved at night! It opened yesterday and is fully concreted - which probably should have been done from it was first developed 15 years ago. Today, after a few grueling days of intense traffic jams, traffic was flowing as normal in the area. Work has also started on Neal;s Pen road. As we reported, the street was paved just this year, but was poorly built and only lasted a few months before it was overtaken by major pot holes. That street is now, form the looks of it being entirely re-surfaced.

Mali's New Book
2 years ago, showed you the first children's illustrated book published by Mali Cayetano, the daughter of well-known Garifuna artist Pen Cayetano. That book, called "We are Free", paved the way for her on the local artist's scene, and it was written and illustrated with the assistance of her mother, Ingrid and her brother, Ibo. Well, today, she released a sequel called "Wanaragua". It follows up with the characters introduced in "We Are Free", and those who choose to take the journey with them, get to learn about this very important ceremonial dance from the Garifuna. Cayetano is studying in Germany, and so today, her mother and father, Ingrid and Pen Cayetano, launched the book in Belize City at the Leo Bradley Library. 7News stopped by and spoke with Ingrid about why the public should support this budding artist, who came up with the concept while doing her master's thesis. Here's what she told us:

FCCA Keeps Giving

Channel 5

Accident leaves one child dead and another hospitalized
There was a terrible traffic accident this afternoon immediately in front of the Belizean Chinese Fast Food restaurant on Cemetery Road. A white van hit two school children, one died [...]

Businesswoman murdered execution style
There has been a reduction in the murder statistics in the City, but the count notched up today by one in the Capital. On Tuesday night, a businesswoman from the [...]

Sabrina’s family receives autopsy results
Twelve year old Sabrina Almendarez will be laid to rest on Thursday in Independence. The young athlete and star pitcher was pronounced dead early Friday morning at the Southern Regional [...]

Family awaits full analysis in hope that there is a connection with the tetanus shot and Sabrina’s death
What the family has been given at this point is just a preliminary report of the autopsy. Samples have been taken of different organs for further analysis. It is hoped [...]

Justin West wanted by Belize Police Department
The Belize Police Department has issued a wanted poster for twenty-six year old Justin West, a resident of Lord's Bank who is believed to have fled to the United States. [...]

B.D.F. and Coast Guard receives over one million dollars in specialized equipment
Two weeks ago the U.S. Government gifted the B.D.F. and Coast Guard with over one million dollars in specialized equipment, to be used primarily for capacity enhancement. That early Thanksgiving [...]

BSAG gets new equipment and gear
The equipment and gear will all be used specifically by the Belize Special Assignment Group in their operations in the country. BSAG is an elite unit of the B.D.F., tasked [...]

Belize gets a B minus slash B credit rating from S and P
Belize is facing plenty trouble from the European Union over illegal fishing in the high seas and an even more dangerous threat from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force because [...]

“Chucky” charged with wounding of a sixteen year old student
Today, the woman who reportedly went to a high school and attacked a student over her younger sister was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate's Court.� She is twenty-five year [...]

Cayetano family launches “Wanaragua”
There is a new publication, a children's book, to add to your home library. It took approximately a year to put together by the gifted Cayetano Family. Artist Pen Cayetano [...]

Taiwanese embassy hosts annual end of year luncheon
The Taiwanese Embassy today hosted its annual end of year Christmas luncheon with its partners in tourism to express its appreciation to the good relations with stakeholders. Although both countries [...]

Florida Caribbean Cruise Association bring cheer to the needy
Every year the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association partners with the Belize Tourism Board and the Ministry of Tourism to bring cheer to needy children. About two hundred children headed up [...]

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More News: Scroll up from here


Soak Away Causing Problems For Residents Of San Pablo Street
While the streets in the Marcus Canul area are being fixed by the Orange Walk Town Council, residents in the area of San Pablo Street have another complaint. It is related to stagnant water that doesn't particularly accumulate as a result of the rains. It's a problem caused by another household in the area and residents say they have grown tired and want the problem resolved soon. Reporter Dalila Ical has more on the matter. Dalila Ical - Reporting The problem, as stated by one of the residents of San Pablo Street, is stagnant water that floods the side of the road. It is not caused by rains. The water comes from one yard where the complainant Maria Wright says there is no soak away. Maria Wright - Complainant "El problema es de esa agua que sale de la casa del vecino y �l se llama Armando Usher. �l no tiene soak away �l tiene cemento toda su casa entonces pone su tubo directo en mi terreno y all� lavan todo los d�as y ponen el pool grande y bota el agua all� y como puede ver hay agua todo el tiempo llueva o no llueva aqu� siempre hay agua, mis ni�os se van a la escuela a veces salen descalzos hasta all� y ponen sus zapatos hasta all� porque aqu� se llena de agua como usted lo ve y ya todo los vecino estamos cansados de esto porque Town Board componen la calle pero es como si no hacen nada pasan carros y se hace un desastre en la calle."

OWTC Will Embark On Campaign To Fix Streets
Since the start of the week, the Orange Walk Town Council has been seen doing some remedial works on the dilapidated roads of Town. And while the Orange Walk Town council says it is an ongoing effort to ease the woes of motorists, work will be carried out in phases. Operations Manager at the OWTC is Omar Mendez, who told us more. Omar Mendez - operations manager, OWTC "The streets were impassable even for pedestrians and worst for vehicles so the council will embark on a campaign to start the repairing of streets especially within this Marcus Canul area, and you can see it for yourself we started at San Martin and presently we are here in San Jose street, and we will continue finishing all these areas up to Guinea Grass Street if possible within this week and then next week we expect to work on the Pasadita area because we did some work there but we still need a lot of work to be continued there so hopefully by next week we will continue definitely on that area in repairing all the street on that side." Dalila Ical - Reporter "In this particular area, how many streets in total are on the,to do list?" Omar Mendez - operations manager, OWTC "Within this area we have San Martin, which was the first one way to the north then we have San Estevan, we have San lazaro, we have San Felipe, we have San Diego, San Joaquin, San Pablo and lastly San Jose, those are the streets we working presently and Guinea Grass Street."

Raddison Employee Charged For Embezzlement Of Funds
A former employee from the Radisson Fort George is facing serious jail time for the embezzlement of over 180,000 dollars from its employers and is currently being sought by police. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Radisson, he noticed an upward trend in the hotel's financial statements in the Food and Beverage Department. As a result, he ordered an internal audit. What that audit uncovered was an elaborate scheme which resulted in a total of 60 Belize Bank cheques, to a total value of $186,526.65, being cashed, based on fraudulent invoices. According to police reports, false invoice numbers of suppliers were inserted into the accounting system, which resulted in the cheques being issued. Late last week, police arrested and charged 24 year old Justin Lacroix with 28 counts of uttering a forged document; 28 counts of claiming upon a forged document and 28 counts of handling stolen goods.

St. Peters Hold Open Day for Disability Week
It could be said that it is just part of human nature to not be interested in some things or worry, even, about others once the problem or situation does not affect us or our homes directly. However, the hope is that the public change that attitude as it relates to special needs children. In an effort to spread the awareness of this, teachers and students at Saint Peter's Anglican Primary School teamed up to share their experiences and knowledge of the subject to the general public. As part of Disability Week being observed throughout the country, here's a look at what the Orange Walk students were busy doing today on campus. Dalila Ical - Reporting The Special Education Department at Saint Peter's Anglican Primary School works directly with at least thirty special needs children who each have different needs as it relates to autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and learning disabilities to name a few. These are conditions that many children face, children who for some unfortunate reason or the other are unable to access the services and attention offered at the school. It is also a very real part of the lives of many people who may not be properly informed on how to properly care for affected children.

Work On The Pueblo Nuevo Bridge Continues
The 2013 hurricane season has come to an end, and according to the National Meteorological Service of Belize this year's season was just below average. This year the Hurricane season officially culminated on Saturday, November 30th, and while Belize were spared from any disastrous hurricane/ tropical cyclones, stationary thunderstorm systems have caused many areas to see severe flooding around the country. Up North, in Corozal Town major flooding was recorded especially in the Sarteneja road, Consejo road and the road leading to the Pueblo Nuevo ferry impeding villagers to commute on a daily basis. The good news tonight is that the weather has been holding up significantly, allowing Ministry of Works to conduct major ground works. Today when Victor Castillo travelled to the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry it was evident that works were being carried out in the area. CTV3 News understand that since the weather has been holding on, they have double the man force on the ground, in order to accomplish a major part of the road that needs significant attention.


Post Mortem Results Leave More Questions Than Answers
The post mortem conducted on the body of 12 year old Sabrina Almendarez of Independence Village concluded after 7 o'clock last night. The results of the autopsy disprove what most of the public believe. The cause of death was not due to the tetanus injection Almendarez received prior to her death. But the results have raised more questions than answers. The death certificate states that the 12 year old dancer and sport enthusiast died from bleeding and swelling of the brain that resulted in her being asphyxiated. The death certificate further states that the findings are consistent with "blunt trauma to the right forehead" and what has raised many eyebrows is that no external signs that are consistent with the findings. Attorney for the family, Audrey Matura-Shepherd addressed this shocking revelation. AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD "Sabrina Abrianna Almendarez died from bronco aspiration, cerebral odema, and right inter-cerebral hemorrhage due to blunt trauma to the right forehead. So that simply means, as the doctor had explained to me is that the brain was damaged and was hemorrhaging due to a severe trauma to the right frontal lobe of the head. What is interesting however is that during that finding there was no external evidence of any injury which is a puzzling one for everyone so far. What happened, he explained is that the brain filled and then it was bleeding and eventually because nothing was done to reduce the swelling, that swelling became so severe that it was pressing down on everything in the skull and then that pressing down actually press down on the trachea therefore blocking the air to her lungs and therefore she suffocated and died, which is not what anybody expected."

Canada Supplies Belize with Military Gear and Equipment
Commander of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones, today received equipment, tools and military gear worth over 1.2 million Canadian dollars from Canadian High Commissioner to Belize, Stuart Savage. The equipment is specifically to help Belize in its reconnaissance capabilities in its fight against illicit drug activity, organized crime and terrorism. It comes as part of Canada's regional effort in the Americas - an investment commitment of 25 million Canadian dollars. But while Belize gets to benefit from the regional investment, it is also a choice location for Canadian military training. STUART SAVAGE "We have chosen Belize as a country of focus for our military and political cooperation. This is just one part of a broader range of engagements that has been going on with Belize since the 1980s and many Belizeans coming to Canada for training and Canadians coming here and also joint training regionally for the Caribbean." Locally, the specialized unit trained to utilize the equipment is known as the Special Assignment Group or B-SAG for short. B-SAG's capabilities have now been significantly upgraded, according to Lt. Col. Hank Szelecz, the Commanding Officer of the Canadian Special Forces. Lt. Col. Hank Szelecz "The equipment centres around soldier systems and that's to enhance the capabilities of the soldiers themselves and with the training provided by Canadian Armed Forces Troops, it is those equipment that enhances the capabilities of the Belize Defense Force has at this time. It ranges to more advanced stuff in terms of surveillance gear which consists of camera equipment, night vision equipment, thermal imagery and then we move into some very simple stuff like tools for recovery of vehicles, during the rainy season for example that enhances the mobility of the soldiers to conduct their role."

Toddler Dies at Hands of Reckless Driver
Traffic on Cemetery Road was interrupted for over an hour between 4:15 and 5:30 this evening to yield to investigations of a fatal traffic accident. The victim, three year old Jaston Terry, a student of Building Blocks Pre-School, was reportedly walking on the sidewalk along with his older brother, Jaheem, when a white van careened on the sidewalk and knocked them down. Based on numerous eyewitness accounts, the driver, whose name has not yet been ascertained, was attempting to overtake another vehicle when the incident happened. Love News spoke with someone who told us off-camera what she saw. Voice of Eyewitness: "We saw the little boy walking on the sidewalk and the van passed. It was going fast and it knocked down a sign as well and he continued on." Little Jaston and died on the spot of severe head injuries. His older brother Jaheem, was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for an injured leg. The white van, which evidently also destroyed a traffic sign post in its path on the sidewalk, came to a stop about 200 feet away from the child's body. The driver, the man in the white shirt, was detained by police and, spectators who gathered around the scene, then grew into an angry mob, gesturing at him as police gathered evidence from his vehicle and escorted him to the police vehicle.

Wanaragua – A Garifuna Tale Launched
This morning the Wanaragua Children's book and exhibition was launched at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City. Wanaragua is a colorful and vibrant story revolving around the Garifuna Culture in Belize. The authors of the book are Ingrid and Ibo Cayetano and the designer is Mali Cayetano. Ingrid Cayetano was on hand for the launch. INGRID CAYETANO "The book is a story on the dance of the Garifuna people called Wanaragua and we have a first book called, We Are Free and this is the follow up book with the same characters in the book. This book depicts the Garifuna culture and the preservation. It's actually me, my daughter and my son, he is the co-author and my daughter is doing her Master's Degree and she needed some subject and we came to the same Wanaragua topic because it is one of the most popular dances of the Garifuna people and the most beautiful elaborated costumes and so we continued on the same topic on the Garifuna culture. The book explains the next adventure of meeting this old lady in the jungle and it was dark; there is this beautiful bird and they are looking for the feathers because the crown of Mr. Cayetano you need these feathers and they are not so easy to find especially in Belize so they had to travel far to see the Arawak Indians because they are part of the Garifuna people and so they went down south to look for the Indians and to get some feathers and they came back to Dangriga to learn the steps and to have a fair at the school and to do the dance."

Young Woman Found Dead in Football Field
Belmopan Police are investigating the apparent murder of a woman on Tuesday night. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story. FEM CRUZ "On Tuesday night, December 3 sometime around 7:50pm, Belmopan Police were on mobile patrol in the Las Flores Area and upon reaching Marla's House of Hope Children's Home about two hundred yards away on the right hand side of the street saw the lifeless body of Zoila Elizabeth Garcia, a 29-year-old resident of Las Flores with what appears to be a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. Love News spoke with the father of the deceased, Lionel Garcia who told us the last time he saw her alive." LIONEL GARCIA "The last time I saw her alive, she was taking a bath and that same time my wife said she was going to the church and my daughter told me she would take her mother to church. I went to take a bath and about half hour later when I was changing my clothes, she came back home and told me she came to return my cycle. I asked her if she wasn't going to use the cycle and she said that there was someone waiting for her and so she is going walking and that her mom said that around nine o'clock she will call him for him to go pick her up from church.

Police Seeks Third Man For Radisson’s Missing Money
Twenty six year old Justin West is wanted by police tonight in connection to the one hundred and eighty six thousand dollars that was stolen from the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina between August 2012 and September 2013. West is the third individual who police believe was involve in the scheme. West who held the post of an accountant at the Radisson is believed to have coordinated with 24 year old Justin Lacriox and 33 year old Brian Myvette. After the company noticed that its cost on their monthly financial statements for their Food and Beverages Department was on the rise, an internal audit was conducted. Auditors discovered that the three men generated sixty cheques by their payable accounts department by inputting false invoices numbers of suppliers into the system. Lacriox has been formally arrested and charged 28 counts of uttering a forged document, 28 counts of claiming upon a forged document and 28 counts of handling stolen goods while Myvette was charged with eight counts of uttering a forged document, eight counts of claiming upon a forged document and eight counts of handling stolen goods. However, police have not been able to locate West and they are asking for your assistance to do so. West who is originally from Lords Bank Village is five feet nine inches tall, weighs about one hundred and eighty pounds and has low cut hair


US Embassy recognizes World AIDS Day
The World Day of Aids was celebrated on Sunday, December 1st all around the world under the theme "Getting to Zero", instated in 2011. But though the official day was celebrated this weekend, the US Embassy in Belize held their World Day of AIDS symposium today; 'better late than...

Another Burglar Sentenced to Jail
48 year old Luis Romero, a.k.a. "Sho", was sentenced to 7 years today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty of burglary. Romero had asked for a fine but Chief Magistrate Smith said her hands were tied because he...

Buena Vista Chairman Steps up to Clarify his Name
Last night, reports in the local media was that the Chairman of Buena Vista, Eddie De La Rosa was detained in Melchor on alleged marijuana possession. According to the story published, De La Rosa was with some friends at the Puerta Negra Bar when they were approached by Police....

Mexican Congress Establishes the Belize-Mexico Friendship Group
The Mexican Congress has established a Belize-Mexico Friendship Group. Through the introduction of the high-level forum, Mexico's Congresswoman Gabriela Medrano Galindo, along with Belize's Ambassador to Mexico, H.E. Oliver del Cid, are hoping to strengthen the existing diplomatic mechanisms between the two countries, as it is an opportunity to expand...

12 Year young Sabrina's Mysterious Death under Question
Yesterday evening an autopsy on the body of 12 year young Sabrina Almendarez of Independence, Stann Creek District, is taking place. The young girl died suddenly early on Friday morning at her home after being found motionless by her father. Known as active and healthy, she was given a combination...

Alwin Gabb Sentenced to Life Imprisonment
42 year old Alwin Gabb, convicted of the 2007 murder of Nolan Arana was today sentenced to life imprisonment. On July 6, 2007 , Mr. Gabb was accused of murdering Arana, a friend of his ex common law wife. The reports had it that Gabb allegedly stabbed Arana multiple 7...

Two Charged for Forgery at the Radisson Hotel
Two were last night facing charges of fraud. The CEO for Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina reported that during the months of January 2013 to August 2013, he noticed rising costs on their monthly financial statements for their Food and Beverages Department. He then directed an internal audit....

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Rashida Jones Talks Up Oceana and Belize on Jimmy Fallon
Last week, Oceana traveled to Belize with actresses Rashida Jones and Angela Kinsey. They spent four days visiting the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the entire western hemisphere, and learning about ocean conservation in Belize. After returning from the trip, Jones talked about Oceana and her experience snorkeling with nurse sharks on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Check out the clip below!

EU warns Belize, Curacao about fishing sanctions
The European Commission (EC) is urging European countries to impose trade sanction on Belize over illegal fishing, while warning Curacao that it may be next. The EC also urged European Union governments to hit Cambodia and Guinea with the sanctions, cautioning South Korea and Ghana that they, too, may be next in line. The EU executive called for action against Belize, noting that no "credible progress" has been made since hitting it with the so-called "yellow cards" last year. "Once placed on an official list of "non-cooperating countries" in the fight against illegal fishing, related products from those territories will find themselves all-but shut out of the EU market of half a billion consumers," the EU said in a statement. The Commission also flagged up a new round of "yellow cards", which puts key free-trade partner Curacao under mounting pressure to meet international obligations.

American Eagle Outfitters Expands Global Presence with New License Agreements in Central and South America and Thailand; First Stores to Open in 2014
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO) further expands its global presence in the Americas and Asia Pacific markets with three exclusive multi-store licensing agreements as follows: -- Venezuela, Caribbean Islands and Central America, including the regions of Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Belize with Grupo David Enterprises -- Columbia with Grupo Comercializadoras -- Thailand with Pacifica Lifestyle Co. "We are excited to introduce our brands into these high growth and vibrant international markets as we continue to expand our global presence and build on our success to date," said Robert Hanson, Chief Executive Officer. "Our partners bring deep customer insights and knowledge of their markets as well as proven operational experience. We look forward to successful and prosperous partnerships."


El Pescador Resort and Fishing Lodge: My Two Night Stay
At the beginning of the year, I silently bid on an auction item and actually won. Two nights at the well-known Ambergris Caye fishing lodge El Pescador. Cool. Though I am no fisherman, fly fishing seems different�more�regal. Maybe I can give it a go. And if not, two days laying around a resort with multiple pools, a great swimming dock and close proximity to lots of good restaurants? Heck�I'm in. Here are some (in fact lots) of pics of the resort� The slightly smaller pool next to the villa where I was staying.The lovely lounge area next to the bar and to the main pool. The main dining room. The meals at the resort are eaten family style around the tables�a great way to chat with your fellow guests about your day, your plans and�well yes�about your catch. I was even there for an awards ceremony�a bit like ancient Greek but apparently there are three types of fish (a trifecta of sorts) to catch while you are trolling the Belize flat. Bone fish, permit and tarpon. Men and women alike had caught one or all three.

Belize's Hidden Treasure in I.T. Outsourcing
It is evident that in recent years, Belize has seen the advent of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry with the boom of contact centers providing services to various offshore companies. The first center opened its doors in 2005 and today, there are 14 active BPO's in Belize offering both outbound sales and inbound customer service. Though the interest in Belize's BPO industry continues to be strong, there is a shifting focus where multinational companies seek to outsource their I.T. services in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to tap into lower costing near shore markets due to rising costs in Asia, while also leveraging a new talent pool of ICT innovation. The worldwide I.T. outsourcing (ITO) market is forecast to reach $288 billion in 2013, a 2.8% increase in U.S. dollars from 2012 according to Gartner, Inc. Statistics also show that ITO markets in emerging Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Greater China will all grow more than 13% in 2014 with the expansion of multinational buyers into these regions. So where does this leave Belize amidst this growth in the global ITO industry?

Constitutional Conference For Belize: Is This an Idea Whose Time Has Come?
by: Hubert Pipersburgh Should the people of Belize call for a Constitutional Conference an event to bring together the best Belizean minds possible that can fashion a document that represents our struggles while crafting a new direction for the 21st century and will have built in mechanism for the participation of the people? This is a legitimate public policy question. As the debate rages on in Belize on the merits or demerits of amending the current Constitution to bring into effect preventative detention and government control over key utilities, we have seen both sides making passionate arguments for their respective positions. The evidence is in its been 30 years since political independence, we are even more divided, alienated, adversarial, and lack civility (balancing conflicting interest with conflicting demands) towards each other. I am formally calling not for an amendment, but a constitutional conference. In all these charges and counter charges, one fact stands out clearly, although the PUP and UDP may tend to bicker about details, they both agree on the fundamentals of the economic and political system in Belize. Acceptance and accommodation of the Westminster Model from the self-government constitution to the current constitution was not accidental.

Invaluable tips for retirees considering Belize
As the number of retirees moving to Belize continues to climb each year, The Lodge at Chaa Creek is offering a few tips to make what could be one of the most important decisions in life a success. A recent Huffington Post article "Why An Increasing Number Of Expats Are Discovering Belize" describes an exodus of retirees to the northern areas of Belize. But Chaa Creek Marketing Administrator Roberto Harrison said the trend is nationwide, with many people choosing the Cayo District of Western Belize to settle. "Belize is still one of the world's most underpopulated countries, so people thinking of retiring here have the rare luxury of choosing the type of geography and community that suits them best," Mr Harrison said. "Whether you're looking to live in a retirement community, out on your own ranch with perhaps a few horses, on a sandy beach along the Caribbean Coast or one of our many cayes, the lifestyle choices are almost endless," he said. According to "A Place in the Sun", an online overseas property guide , until relatively recently the numbers of foreign retirees living in Belize numbered only a few dozen, but that number is now growing dramatically. However, Mr Harrison said that Chaa Creek has been helping people retire to Belize, where English is the official language, for decades

Guest Blogger: Trina Hazell "Why we are catching lionfish with ReefCI!"
The Lionfish are not indigenous to the Caribbean sea. They are new to the sea and have no predators. As a consequence they are able to roam the reefs of the sea, effectively eating their way through the juvenile fish stocks of the reef and as a consequence the reefs become unhealthy as they cannot progress their normal detoxification and living cycles, without a balanced population of fish and associated life. So when the Reef CI team are out there catching Lionfish they return to base and do a dissection survey, record the results and provide the data to marine biologists so allowing work to continue to try to track the status of Lionfish populations and see if there is someway in which work can be done to restrict the population explosion. Nothing is wasted in the dissection survey. The meat is taken as fillets for selling to local traders to sell in the local restaurants in PG.

International Sources

Scientists Hope Coral Reef Breeding Will Save Great Barrier Reef
Little known fact: coral reefs procreate. And since the number of reefs has been cut in half in the last 30 years thanks to climate change, pollution, and predatory species, coral reefs are procreating like there's no tomorrow. Unfortunately, for many reefs, there might not be a tomorrow, which is why, in an effort to save the foundation of the ocean's ecosystem, scientists are crashing the breeding party. Called the 'Greatest Sex Show on Earth,' the coral of the Great Barrier Reef spawn every spring under a full moon, releasing countless sperm and eggs into the sea. The sperm and eggs join to form larvae called planulae, which float to the surface of the water, creating a sea of red that can be seen from space. The planulae then swim back down to the reef and settle to create new coral. During this year's spawning period, which occurred last week, scientists captured billions of sperms and eggs to cryogenically freeze. (The coral release significantly more reproductive cells than necessary to compensate for predators and other hazards, so scientists aren't depleting the stock.) They plan to simulate human fertility methods with the cells to breed endangered coral in labs.

Shooting Belize: Challenges Amid Beauty
I spent this past winter producing, directing, and shooting a modest budget, super-mobile television program featuring the beautiful western Caribbean country of Belize. (I know - life is tough!) For those who don't know, Belize is a small country nestled just down the coast from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, bordered by Honduras to the south and Guatemala to the west. The country is naturally tropical, boasting the world's second-largest barrier reef, a myriad of historic Maya sites, a melting pot of races and cultures, and a vast variety of plant and animal life. It's absolutely stunning what a wide array of things there are to document in Belize. If you can't find dynamic images to film in Belize, you're definitely in the wrong business.

Exploratory travel isn't about creature comforts
I've been to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and the bottom of the Grand Canyon, but one of the most stunning adventures I've had fits squarely between those extremes. On a recent trip to Belize, I spent a day at the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave in the western part of the country, not far from the Guatemalan border. The journey begins innocently enough at a parking lot at the end of a heavily divoted dirt road ("free massage," as Belizean tour guides say). My group of four - our Belizean guide, Ben; a woman from Atlanta; and my travel companion and I - divided lunch, water, headlamps and helmets across our backpacks and headed out on what momentarily seemed like any other jungle hike. It quickly was not like any other jungle hike. Within 100 yards, we reached our first river crossing. Ben, who is one of about 20 guides certified to lead ATM expeditions, jumped in and started walking. We followed.

Brussels' 'non-cooperating third country' decision causes surprise
The European Commission's (EC) decision to formally identify Belize as a 'non-cooperating third country' in the struggle against illegal fishing has been received with surprise by the local government. Through an official communication, Belize government stressed Brussels' announcement follows a written communication addressed to the EU Commissioner, Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries reaffirming the country's commitment "to fully cooperate with the EU to eradicate the scourge of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing." Apart from Belize, which currently has a fleet of 128 fishing vessels landing their fish at the European Union ports, this list of third countries not offering cooperation also includes Cambodia and Guinea.

Meet Alliance Defending Freedom, Fox's Favorite Anti-LGBT Legal Organization
Drafted in accordance with other 19th-century British colonial laws, Section 53 of Belize's criminal code bans "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal." Violation of the code is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. In May 2013, gay rights activist Caleb Orozco launched a legal challenge to Section 53, enduring homophobic death threats as a result. Section 53 is no mere anachronism in Belize. The SPLC highlighted a March report by the Heartland Alliance, which documented Belize's climate of anti-LGBT violence and discrimination, stoked by laws like Section 53. The Heartland Alliance cited the brutal murder of an openly gay doctor and the slaying of a lawmaker's gay brother, in addition to anti-LGBT harassment by law enforcement officers in the country. Media have further fanned homophobic sentiment in the country, particularly in light of the Section 53 challenge. Amandala - Belize's top newspaper - has compared homosexuality to pedophilia, while online comment sections on the case are rife with anti-gay vitriol.

3 Places To Live The American Retirement Dream Overseas
#2: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize "Walk down the street on Ambergris Caye," a friend, Peter, who lives there says, "and you hear the music of the Boomers all around--the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin... "These folks, the Baby Boomers, who have been moving onto the island in growing numbers for years," Peter continues, "had a great time in the 1960s, listening to their music, growing their hair long, and getting stoned all the time. Then they became the most boring people on the planet. They made a lot of money by ignoring everything but hard work. "Now they're looking to reclaim their lives. They're finding their way, in retirement, in bigger and bigger numbers, to places like Ambergris Caye, Belize, where they're listening to their music again, growing their hair long again, and spending their days stoned again." Peter is joking about that last bit, but the point is that Ambergris Caye has what a lot of North American retirees are looking for right now, making it another of the most turn-key and user-friendly places in the world to retire overseas.

Top 10 up and coming destinations
Top 10 destinations on the rise in the world 1. Havana, Cuba 2. La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica 3. Kathmandu, Nepal 4. Jerusalem, Israel 5. Cusco, Peru 6. Ambergris Caye, Belize

Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System: Why it's special: This is the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. Visit for the coral-made islands, more than 500 species of fish, and the "Great Blue Hole," a famed diving spot that's nearly 1,000 feet deep. Why it's in danger: In addition to development in the area, extensive mangrove cutting has removed food sources and shelter for marine life.

VIDEO: Snorkeling Belize
Snorkeling in Belize offers encounters with diverse marine life in waters with good clarity. While snorkeling off Belize, you may encounter dolphin, turtles, stingrays, eels, sharks and other reef fish common to the Caribbean.

VIDEO: Travel Thru History Belize
Un-Belizable! We're off on a Central American Mayan excursion. We head up the steps of the ancient high temple at Lamanai. Then we take a city tour of the main tourist destination, Belize City. We learn about Belize's colonial roots at the Belize City History Museum and dive the amazing Blue Hole.

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