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The San Pedro Sun

Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival, a full weekend of fun!
While visiting Placencia over the weekend of February 15th for the annual Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival, we found there was so much more to the fun event than just the unique and creative art. Strolling along the once regarded "narrowest main street in the world" by the Guinness Book of World Records (Reutlingen, Germany now holds claim to the title) the sights, sounds and smells of grilling meats invited us in to the very heart of the village.

It's a blowout: Tigersharks beat the Corozal Heats 79-54!!
The San Pedro Tigersharks picked up their second win in round three of the National Elite Basketball League after they defeated the visiting Corozal Heats on Saturday February 22nd. Held at the San Pedro High School Angel Nu�ez Auditorium, the much talked about game saw national basketball action back on Ambergris Caye and had quite a large turnout. Not only did the spectators enjoy a good game, in which the home team blew out the Heats, but fans also got the opportunity to get Tigersharks t-shirts. Looking into the up-coming games in week four of the season, on Friday February 28th, Belmopan Bandits will face the Corozal Heats at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town while Orange Walk Running Rebels will host the Dangriga Warriors at the Orange Walk Sporting Complex. On Saturday March 1st, Belize City Smart No Limits will play Toledo Diplomats at the Punta Gorda Sporting Complex while the San Pedro Tigersharks will host their second game of the season against Cayo Western Ballaz. The Tigersharks game will start at 8:00PM at the Rafael Angel Nu�ez Auditorium and spectators are asked to come in black t-shirts to show support for the home team!

BTB and Industry Partners Give Couple A Belizean Honeymoon
It is not every day that the Belize Tourism Board receives requests to give a couple a honeymoon in Belize, matter fact, it has never happened, at least not that we can recall. So, when the BTB received a letter from WPC Leyna Cano on behalf of Precinct II requesting the BTB's assistance for what we believe was a well-deserved and truly touching story, we knew that we had to try our best to make it happen. The Belize Tourism Board extends a sincere thank-you and acknowledges all the people who made this initiative a success. We want to recognize Tropic Air, Robert's Grove, Tutti Frutti, The Art Affair Gallery, Laru Beya, Splash Dive Center, Maya Beach Bistro, Barefoot Services, Rum Fish Y Vino, Wendy's Creole Restaurant, The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Yute Expeditions, Rolson's Cosina Y Cantina, San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Hode's Place, Boaz Golf Cart Rental, Belize Pro Diving, Caprice Restaurant, El Divino, Victoria House, Elvi's Kitchen, Caramba's, and Seaduced.

Ambergris Today

Terminal Cancer Patient Received Belizean Honeymoon by BTB & Partners
In her letter, WPC Cano articulated what a trip would mean for the couple. Very much in love, PC Leon Flowers and Dana got married in court and never had a honeymoon. Shortly after, Mrs. Flowers was diagnosed with Stage III cancer and despite treatment abroad, a few days ago she returned home after learning her cancer is terminal and that she has only a couple months to live. The couple's positivity in the face of such a difficult time in their lives, coupled with the acts of thoughtfulness and kindness demonstrated by Precinct II, really moved us and we created a nine day itinerary after we received overwhelming support from our industry partners. On Friday, February 21st, Mr. & Mrs. Flowers departed for the much needed break which takes them to the destinations of Placencia, San Ignacio and San Pedro. The pair is set to experience the warmth of our Belizean hospitality and the indescribable beauty of our country through the best of what Belize has to offer in attractions, food, art, transportation and accommodation.

San Pedro Carnival 2014 Kicks off with Masquerade Ball
The San Pedro House of Culture, in collaboartion with the San Pedro Town Council and Holiday Hotel, hosted its first Masquerade Ball to kick off the San Pedro Carnival 2014 celebrations this past weekend on Saturday, February 22, 2014. The invitation was sent out for everybody to join the party dressed in elegance and wearing special masquerade masks. Those who did not have time to create their own masks were able purchase one at the party and join in on the fun filled celebration along with great music, Mardi Gras beads, appetizers and plenty of cocktails. Prizes were given out to the Most Elegant, Most Creative, Best Couple and Most Energetic party goers.

Isla Bonita Elementary School Hosts Drug/AIDS Fair
Students of the upper division at Isla Bonita Elementary School (Std IV, V and VI) in Ms. Sharon Hazel's Social Studies class held a mini fair on Drugs, Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS on Friday, February 21, 2014. Students were divided into groups where they presented on topics given to them. They were very elaborate in their explanations and provided great examples and interactive games. Invited guests included students, teachers, media, San Pedro Police and SP AIDS Commission.

Island Torch Bar & Grill Promises Hearty and Local Dishes
We have found the perfect place for breakfast in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; well, another awesome place with a superb breakfast menu that you can have at any time of the day. Island Torch Bar & Grill offers large hearty breakfast options that will have you satisfied and full of energy for the rest of the day! But Island Torch is more than just a place for big breakfast; although it has gotten popular as a hotspot for morning meals, the restaurant has amazing lunch specials that compare to homemade meals and evenings come alive with delicious pizza and beer/cocktails at the bar. Island Torch opens bright and early at 6a.m. every morning, so you can have a great Belizean breakfast before you head to the office or commence your daily rituals. Or you might just want to relax, sip on some good coffee while you update your social media status or check your emails. It is located across Central Park on Barrier Reef Drive so you can sit back and observe as the island comes alive.

A Glimpse into San Pedro Mayor's Oval Office
It is the equivalent to the President of the United States' Oval Office! It is cleary not as majestic and prestigious as the one in the White House, but the office of the Mayor of San Pedro Town is pretty awesome. With posh furnishings, ample desk space, seating for small meetings, and a private bathroom, 'Mayor Danny's office is very comfortable for a man who has the task of running the very busy town of San Pedro. The most impressive decor in the office is the artwork on the ceiling that depicts a 3D logo of the San Pedro Town Council. A suitable office for our hard-working Mayor.

Misc Belizean Sources

Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the Belize Coalition of Service Providers (BCSP) will deliver a two-day workshop on the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme to attending firms as part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) on February 26 and 27, 2014. Following a recent virtual grant proposal training session delivered on February 11, 2014 by Caribbean Export to BCSP and Beltraide officers, at the request of Beltraide, this workshop was subsequently requested to ensure Belizean firms are in the best possible position to access the available funds from the scheme.

Taximan busted with suitcase of marijuana in his van
elmopan resident Lisburn Marin, 45, was booked on drug trafficking charges late last week. Police busted Marin, a taxi driver and security guard, with a suitcase containing just over 16 pounds of suspected marijuana. Police say that the bust happened in Roaring Creek village on Thursday afternoon. Police conducted a search of Marin's van and the suitcase was found behind the last seat of the vehicle. Marin has been arrested and charged for the offence of drug trafficking.

Community journalists gradaute in Punta Gorda town
Graduation exercise was held on Saturday, February 22 for a group of Toledo men and women who underwent training as community journalists. The training was an initiative of Ak'Kutan Radio and was designed to give participants of the training course a basic understanding and knowledge of what it takes to gather the news, write stories and present the news on radio and television. The training was conducted by veteran broadcaster/journalist Patrick Jones. A total of 12 community journalists graduated on Saturday during ceremonies which were held at the Father Francis Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda town.

Ministry of Health to Benefit from Training in Quality and Performance Delivery
Government of Belize Press Office PRESS RELEASE

FFB Inter-District Championship
Congratulations to the MnM Steelers, for winning the 2nd FFB Inter-District Tournament against the Roaring Creek United yesterday in Belmopan. "Championship of the second FFB Inter-District tournament was held at the FFB Goal Project stadium in the Garden City yesterday 23/2/2014 between Roaring Creek & MnM Steelers of Independence village."

Benque Sawdust Art Project
The Sawdust Art Project that celebrates Holy Friday will be on April 18th this year. Benque's famous sawdust art tapestries always impress, and they are inviting everyone to come out and show off their skills and creativity. See you there. Email [email protected] for more information. Thanks go out to NICH and the Benque House of Culture for setting up this amazing cultural event. "Join us in the elaboration of sawdust tapestries in Benque, be creative, innovative and live the momentum of Holy Friday in Benque Viejo. Interested group from all over Belize are invited to partake in this activity, kindly touch base soon, for more information inbox us."

Armed robbery on the Mountain Pine Ridge road
There was a frightening armed hold up on the Mountain Pine Ridge Road on Saturday morning. Guatemalan businessman Leonel Cardona, reported to police that around 9 am on Saturday, he was driving towards Barton Creek when two men emerged from the bushes armed with shotguns. Cardona, who was being accompanied by Luis Aroldo Ochoa Mendez, says that when the vehicle came to a stop, the armed robbers proceeded to relieve them of a total of $4,000 in cash along with 500 Quetzales. The robbers then fled the area. Police say no one was physically hurt in the incident and an official investigation is ongoing.

Cayo cop charged for extortion
A policeman attached to the San Ignacio police station has been arrested and charged for the crime of extortion. He is Constable #444 Henry Nunez. PC Nunez was arrested and charged following a report made by a motorist that he was shaken down for $300 after he was caught driving a motor vehicle without insurance. The alleged shakedown happened on Tuesday of last week by Esperanza resident Francis Requena, 56. Requena told police that he was stopped at the La Loma Luz Boulevard roundabout on the George Rice Highway and notified of the traffic offence. Requena claims that the officers requested the $300, which he was able to get from his son who arrived at the scene shortly after a call was placed by Requena's wife. Requena's son says that after giving the money to his father, he saw when Francis Requena handed the money to the officer who was seated in the rear seat of the police vehicle after which the vehicle drove off.

Edmund Castro versus Alvarene Burgess in Supreme Court
The case of Minister of State Edmund Castro and the woman identified as Alvarene Burgess who accused him of involvement in corrupt transactions over visa recommendations is before the Supreme Court for case management. Castro is seeking a retraction, apology and damages from Burgess and Great Belize Television, Channel 5 who interviewed burgess and broadcast her allegations in October of 2013.

#1 Island In the World-Again!
Very proud and happy about this recognition for Belize, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation, says that collaboration and hard work with industry partners, coupled with satisfied guests, made this possible, "We are honored that Ambergris Caye is once again the #1 Island In The World. The commitment and love invested in this industry have not gone unnoticed. We are thankful for the great partnership that we enjoy with our stakeholders and applaud their dedication to the standards that they keep setting not just for Belize, but also for the global tourism industry. We are also very grateful to the travelers for sharing their wonderful experiences with the Trip Advisor community, because without the visitors this award would not have been possible."

FISHING REPORT: Week of February 15 - 22nd, 2014
Everyone said, "The week went too fast!" And it did. What fun to meet new friends and most enjoyable for us at El Pescador to see you all leave with big smiles. It is so rewarding for the guide team to see you leave with more confidence and with plans to return! Anglers and guides working together make dreams come true. And remember, you now become the teachers for your family and friends. They look at your adventurous self and think that they too might have that possibility someday to land a fish on a fly. Or wade the flats with a special lure like Scott's. Carlos brought his wife and four children here to run around in the sun and be exposed to the life from the sea. We are thrilled you joined us and look forward to seeing you all soon. In the meantime, practice your cast so you too can cast to your dreams!

National Women's Month
Greetings from the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the National Women's Commission (NWC). The month of March in Belize is celebrated annually as National Women's Month; as a result, the Special Envoy Office in collaboration with the NWC is staging the 20,000 Strong National Women's Empowerment Rally on Thursday, March 6, 2014 from 9:00A.M. to 3:00P.M. at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. The aim of this first-of-its kind event is to demonstrate the power, influence and significance of women by showing the Belizean society a day without women. This rally will serve as a platform for a collective approach at finding solutions to the issues that affect the lives of women. We are, therefore, inviting all women, from as near as Belize City to as far as the Toledo District to take the day off from work as a means of celebrating their collective strength and participate in the rally en mass.

Ya'axch�'s ranger team develops skills for tree conservation
In April 2013, the Ya'axch� Conservation Trust initiated a new programme in Belize focusing on increasing the capacity of protected area managers and staff to carry out tree species conservation. Approaching the end of the project's first year, Gail Stott reports on the early progress made working with Ya'axch�'s ranger team. The first year of Ya'axch�'s Global Trees Campaign project has so far been an extremely busy one, involving training workshops, competitions, monitoring trees in the field, and the revamp of our tree nursery. Bearing in mind the relatively low capacity of Belizean NGOs to identify, monitor and manage different tree species, we have started with the basics: new training materials have been developed and tailored to the needs of conservationists in Belize, focussing on plant identification, core field skills, survey methods and the collection of voucher specimens.

The cohune, the gibnut and us
The cohune, the gibnut and us is a short film produced by Ya'axch� Conservation Trust in Belize, Central America. The film is explains the concept of biodiversity and what an ecosystem is, and why we humans need to take care not to break the links in the forest ecosystem. The film uses the example of the gibnut (paca), a ground dwelling rodent which disperses the nuts of the cohune palm, which is used for thatching. The paca is also hunted for meat by humans.

Galen Wins ATLIB Basketball
Congratulations, Galen Eagles! They won the ATLIB Basketball championships over the weekend, and this makes it 2 years in a row. "Galen University Eagles Basketball Team: undefeated champions for the second year in a row! GO EAGLES, GO!"

Cayo BTIA Website
The Cayo chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association has a web page. It's still being constructed, but it's looking nice so far. Cayo is the ecotourism capital. Great picture of ATM. "San Ignacio Town is the main town in the Cayo District of western Belize and is an ideal base to explore ancient Maya cities like Caracol and Xunantunich, ceremonial caves like Barton Creek and Actun Tunichil Muknal, and cascading water falls like Rio on Pools and Big Rock waterfalls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Nature Reserve. Hiking, kayaking, bird watching and horseback riding are also top rated outdoor activities in the area. San Ignacio is also an important en route to and from Guatemala since it is one of the last towns in Belize before entering Guatemala where many travelers go to visit Tikal - one of the largest archaeological site in the country."

UB Lady Jaguars Win ATLIB Basketball
Congratulations to the UB Lady Jaguars for winning the ATLIB Basketball championship! The UB male team took second place. "The ATLIB Basketball nationals was held on Friday, February 21, 2014 and our Black Jaguars went to represent the University after qualifying in the Regionals. UB Lady Black Jaguars first faced Belize Adventist Junior College and secured a win. The championship game was between UB Lady Black Jaguars and Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College (SCEJC). Our team subdued SCEJC and became the new ATLIB champions. The males defeated Wesley Junior College in their first game but unfortunately lost to Galen University in the final game of the day. UB Black Jaguars earned second place in the tournament. Congratulations to our athletes for representing the university well."

Love is in the Air Concert
The Benque House of Culture has posted pictures from the Love is in the Air Concert that was at Centennial Park on Saturday. "The kindness and support of our community brings us through the celebration of a close knitted community, our Air of Love Concert was a blissful partnership with you all. We are humbled by the support of each and everyone who assist in fortifying our solid arts & culture spirit."

Corozal: Stop searches, vehicular checkpoints, bike patrols
Feb 24 - Superintendent Andrew Ramirez of the Corozal Police Department is notifying the general public that stop searches, vehicular checkpoints, bike patrols, mobile patrols and highway patrols will be carried out every Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. These operations have been instituted and will stay in effect until the conclusion of the sugar cane season. They apologize for any inconveniences caused during these operations.

Toledo Community College Fair this weekend
The Toledo Community College (TCC) is hosting its Annual fair this Saturday March 1 at its campus in beautiful Punta Gorda town. According to one of the organizers Ms. Arlene Pennell, the objective of the fair is not only to raise the public profile of the institution, but also a fundraising event for the school to help support different academic initiatives at TCC. Pennell says that the fair also helps to keep the students committed to giving back to their school and community. Organizers say it will be a full day of fun activities to suit everyone, whether it be children, youth or adults.


Former UDP Deputy Mayor of San Pedro, Romel "Nesto" Gomez was stabbed multiple times on Sunday night by his wife sources say. Details are still sketchy on the circumstances surrounding the attack. Guerrero is said to be in serious condition and has been hospitalized at a private facility and is expected to be transferred to the KHMH in Belize City today. Guerrero sustained injuries to the neck, chest and abdomen.Image

Channel 7

Fugitive Steel Bob Shot
San Ignacio Police shot fugitive Jarod "Steel Bob" Lamb this evening. Lamb had escaped from police last week Thursday by busting out of a police van near Ontario Village. San Ignacio Police say that at around 4, someone in the Santa Elena Town spotted him in the Santa Elena Cemetery. The person, who had seen his photo in the media, recognized him as a fugitive and called police. Officers responded and spotted him in the area, and when he saw them coming, he tried to run. One of the officers shot him in the left leg, one inch below the knee. He fell, and police apprehended him after four days on the run. He was escorted from San Ignacio to the KHMH under police guard, where he is being treated for his wounds. As soon as he is released, he will be charged with escaping from lawful custody.

Anthony Hunter Dead In Traffic Tragedy
Tonight, the Hunter Family is grieving the loss of 52 year-old Anthony Hunter who died in a terrible motorcycle accident at mile 2 on the Western Highway just in front of the Foam Factory. At this time police believe that he slammed his Kawasaki Z motorcycle into a backhoe tractor belonging to Cisco Construction. The impact was massive, and here's what we found on the scene: Daniel Ortiz reporting When we arrived on the scene, it was an hour or so after the accident had occurred. Tony Hunter lay died in the middle of the road, a sheet wrapped over him to try to conceal the damage that had been done to his body. Police worked quickly to process the scene. They had blocked off the Western Highway for at least a half a mile, and so they needed to reopen it as soon as possible.

Former PUP Minister Hunter Discusses Loss of Third Son
And while the police put the pieces together, for the family, it's more like picking up the pieces of a shattered life. Today, Anthony Hunter's father, former PUP Minister Freddy Hunter, told Monica Bodden that they couldn't have expected to get news of his death because he had left for work and was expected home soon. And then, they got the call that all families hope to never receive: Freddy Hunter "I was up there at 8am when I got the phone call and my daughter Lourdes call me and said Anthony just passed away and then she told me that he had an accident on the motorcycle; the motorcycle ran into the back of a back hoe and he died on the spot. They came for me, my granddaughter Gina and another grand daughter Amy came and brought me to Belize City and then I found out what really happen that - he works for Bowen and Bowen, they have a car rental and there was two customers in a car that he was showing how to find the Western Highway, so they were riding behind him and when he got them on the highway and they were satisfied that they were on the right road - he went ahead to most turn around or go through Boom, I don't know what his intentions were, but he sped up the motorcycle and when the passengers pass the curve they saw him on the highway already dead. It was on a curve that he went. That is all we know about it."

Alfredo Allegedly Chopped By Brother
Alfredo Martinez, a resident of 170 East Canal, continues to receive treatment at the KHMH tonight after he was either chopped with a machete or slashed with a knife in the head and face. But it's no common "cut him up" crime because police say that his brother is their main suspect. Today, they told 7News why: Inspector Jorge Villanueva, Operation's Commander "Last night shortly after 8pm police responded to an incident. They visited #170 East Canal where on their arrival they encounter a dispute between two brothers. As a result, one sustains superficial cut wounds to the head and the nose. He was transported to the KHMH where he was treated and police are investigating into the matter. His brother Ricardo Martinez, 53 years old, Salvadorian security of the same address - he has been detained and he will be charged shortly."

Nephew Charged For Uncle's Murder
And while that brother is being investigated, a nephew will now face murder charges after the uncle he was accused of stabbing, died this weekend. 44 year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr. got into a fight with his nephew, 36 year-old Oliver Peters on December 7, at a house on Arlington Drive. Peters took out a knife and allegedly stabbed his uncle in the center of the chest. Ferguson had been fighting for his life since then and on Saturday, 2 and a half months later, he passed away at the KHMH. That means that Peters, who was charged and arraigned on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm, will now be upgraded to murder.

Andrew Augustine Shot In The Neck
Almost 12 hours later, police had to return to the KHMH to investigate the shooting of 21 year-old Andrew Augustine, who was hit in the neck. Police told us today that Augustine's shooting last night on Jasmine Street is being closely looked at as an escalation of violence in the Lake Independence area: Cpl. Jorge Lemus, Admin "Acting upon information received from the police control room on Sunday 23rd of February, 2014 at about 11 minutes after 10 police from Precinct 2 visited the KHMH hospital where they saw a male person suffering from a single gunshot wound to the neck area. Initial information received is that one Andrew Augustine, he is a computer technician of a Belize City address was walking on Jasmine Street when a lone gunman rode up and pointed a firearm in his direction and fired a single shot which caused the said injury."

Still No Gold For Employees Of Princess Gold
Former employees from the Golden Princess Casino, who were abruptly laid off last week Friday, intend to go back to the Human Resources Department tomorrow to find out if they will be paid their severance packages for the years of service that they were employed at the company. 7News understands from solid sources that those who were terminated were promised that they would be called today, so they postponed the plan to go asking for their pay to give the former employers a chance to follow up with them. We understand that the employers have not gotten back to them, so they will now go and seek out HR. As we told you, reports to 7News were that over 130 employees were laid off without notice on Friday morning at around 11, and our colleagues at CTV3 were on the ground just after the news was delivered to them, and they spoke with one of the former employees. Here's what she told them about how management had ensured them job security days before they were blindsided:

Alleged Sea Cucumber Queen Pin In Jail
Tonight, Guatemalans Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana, her common-law husband Honduran, Hugo Salas, and their associate, Cesar Gerardo Ramirez are in jail. They couldn't pay substantial fines incurred for pleading guilty to a slew of fisheries offences. One week ago, they were busted with 7,033 sea cucumbers, weighing 3 thousand pounds, which were destined for illegal export from Belize. Aldana and her crew were expected back in court last week Friday, but it seems that her charges had to be amended before they were finally arraigned. They were read charges of engaging in commercial fishing without a fisherman's license before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton today. They all pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to pay a fine of $500 each. The other 2 charges of engaging in fishing for Sea Cucumbers and attempting to export fisheries without a valid exporter's license were both withdrawn.

Castro Vs Channel 5 Goes To Court
By now, you know very well about the consequence arising from the allegation that Minister of State Edmond Castro used the Belize Airport Authority like a political piggy bank. Prime Minister Barrow made the entire board resign, and the BAA was removed from Castro's Portfolio as the Minister of state in the Ministry of Transport. But before Castro's name was called in that scandal, Channel 5 and immigration agent Alvorine Burgess accused him of selling dozens of visa recommendations for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Castro admitted he wrote letters for her, but he said he never did the amounts she alleges, and he never did it for money. So, he took out a lawsuit against Burgess and Channel 5 for defamation, and today, that case made its first appearance in the Supreme Court before Justice Courtney Abel.

King vs. Castro On Secret Recording: "Big Man Business"
3 weeks ago, 7News told you about the tension within the UDP Government after Lake Independence Area Representative Mark King secretly recorded a conversation with Belize Rural North's Edmond Castro. There are widely varying reports about what Castro did and did not say in that recording - but the most credible information we have been able to piece together says that he was complaining, quite bitterly, about Prime Minister Barrow leaving him under-resourced, and to fend for himself in his division. It was a Friday evening meeting with a UDP linked businessman, drinks were being served, and Castro's conversation we are told was loose and critical of the PM. Shortly after the meeting, King forwarded the conversation to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who has confirmed to the media that he did indeed receive it. The full contents of that conversation are still unknown at this time, and when we tried to get it out of the Prime Minister, he deflected saying that he considers it an internal UDP matter. But in a climate where the Prime Minister has admitted that the scandals are threatening to destabilize his government, we wondered what King's intention was.

Husband And Wife On Weed Charge
37 year-old Barry Lee Wade and his common law wife, 34 year-old Elizabeth Ann Linarez are facing a drug trafficking charge after they were busted by the GSU with over 8 pounds of marijuana. According to the Gang Suppression Unit, they searched the couple's home on Mahogany Street Extension on Saturday afternoon at around 4:30. Inside their room, the officers found 3 large plastic bags on top of a television shelf. One of the bags contained 10 parcels of marijuana; another contained 6 parcels, and the final bag several small plastic bags. When the officers weighed the drugs in their presence, it amounted to 3.9 kilos or 8.58 pounds of marijuana, so the couple was charged with drug trafficking.

Busted, Disgusted, Remanded
23 year-old Belize City resident Steven Palacio is at prison tonight after police say that they busted him with 9mm rounds of ammunition. When police searched his vehicle on Saturday, they found four live rounds of ammunition. They charged him with keeping unlicensed ammunition, and he was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate. He pleaded not guilty and claimed that the officers who searched him planted the bullets in his vehicle. His protest notwithstanding, due to the nature of the offence, he couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to prison until his next court date.

One Prisoner Caught, Another Still At Large
At the top of the news, we told you that police recaptured one of the prisoners who escaped from their custody. But another prisoner escaped from police a few hours after Steel Bob ran off. According to police at around 6 o'clock on Thursday evening, he escorted Rodney to the KHMH to seek medical attention because he was complaining of severe pain to the left arm. Rodney was taken into a room by a nurse, and when she left, and the officer went in to check on him, he was nowhere to be found. He had made his escape, and tonight, police continue to search for him.

Art: The view From The Street
On Saturday, the 4th annual Street Art Festival took over Downtown Belize City where the streets were closed off to make way for a convoy of creators. 7News was there from the very beginning to the end 8 hours later. Here are some highlites:

Healing Helping Community
And while that was Saturday in the city's downtown area, on Sunday in Lake Independence, community activists joined up with law enforcement to host the 9th Day of Healing, an effort to foster fraternity between at-risk youths living in the different turfs in the Belize City Gang Landscape. It's a grassroots initiative which started on George Street, but picked up and carried on by Perry "Stix" Smith try to show the youths that there are alternative avenues to gang life. It happened at the Complex Field yesterday, where boys from different hoods converged on neutral territory, to make peace from the ground up. Daniel Ortiz dropped by to see how it went. Here's what he found out: Sunday's Healing day was the second for 2014.

Hon. King, Positive Recreation
A few blocks away from the Day of Healing, Lake Independence Representative Mark King was hosting his first 3-on-3 Street Basketball Tournament. He and his fellow organizers, including the Belize City Council as his partner, closed 2 blocks of the main artery into the Lake Independence area yesterday and that was transformed into the basketball court. It's an interesting model of positive recreation in a neighbourhood under heavy influence of violence and so Daniel Ortiz stopped in to see the basketball talents from the hood go at it in the tournament. Here's his report:

I Am 100
How often do you hear of a Belizean citizen reaching the age of 100? That's exactly what Jaqueline Ernestine Gibson Celebrated today; she was born on February 24, 1914. To note the landmark in longevity, Help Age threw her a birthday party and invited the media to join in. 7News stopped in and spoke with Gibson, who has a pleasant disposition which allows her to fit into any social interactions, regardless of age. Here's what she told us about the importance of her hundredth birthday: Jaqueline Ernestine Gibson "100." Daniel Ortiz "Ma'am, tell us about your 100th birthday? The people around you I see they are making it as special as they can for you." Jaqueline Ernestine Gibson "Yes, because I am a special person of course. Anywhere I go I always be the life of the party." Daniel Ortiz "How does one become 100 years old? How do you stay healthy like that to get to that age?" Jaqueline Ernestine Gibson "You just take good care of yourself."

Jaguar Man Is Cayo North's Man For UDP
The UDP has a new standard bearer in Cayo North. He is Dr. Omar Figueroa, the well-known jaguar researcher. In a convention on Sunday where 2051 persons voted, Figueroa garnered 1,383 votes, trouncing his opponent Jorge Tesecum who had 648 votes. It's an impressive showing considering that in the run up to the 2012 election, the PUP had a total of 1250 voters at a four way convention to elect Joseph Mahmoud who went on to become the area representative. Of course, conventions are one thing and elections another, because Cayo North has about 6500 voters.

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Channel 5

Well-known biker, Anthony Hunter, perishes in traffic accident
A traffic accident took the life of well-known biker, Anthony Hunter Senior over the weekend. Hunter had escorted a group of visitors on to the George Price Highway when his [...]

Police believe speeding was involved
Anthony Hunter's family is preparing to lay him to rest later this week. But police investigations continue and contrary to what the family says, the police believe that Hunter was [...]

Uncle, who is shot by his nephew, succumbs
Forty-four year old Thomas Ferguson Senior was stabbed in the chest by his nephew on December seventh, 2013, following a bitter land dispute in which the two were engaged in [...]

2 prisoners back in police custody�.Jarod Lamb is shot to the leg
Last Friday, we told you about three prisoners who had escaped from police custody. Well tonight, the streets are safer because two of the three have been recaptured. Late this [...]

…while Sherman Rodney hands himself into police
A second prisoner who police claimed eluded the long arms of the law is also back in police custody. Twenty-three year old Sherman Rodney handed himself to police this afternoon [...]

Belize City youth shot to the neck
A Belize City youth is tonight in a critical, but stable condition at the K.H.M.H. following a shooting on Sunday night in the St. Martin De Porres area. According to [...]

Vehicle crashes into gate of Taiwanese Embassy
A sixteen year student who was apparently driving without a license is in trouble tonight with the law. On Sunday night, he collided into the gate of the Taiwanese Embassy [...]

Trial of whistleblower in alleged visa hustle begins
Minister of State Edmond Castro was recently under much scrutiny for his part in a Belize Airports Authority check fiasco which resulted in the entire BAA Board being forced to [...]

PAC hearings take place in the Capital, but the P.U.P. remains absent
The Public Accounts Committee met in Belmopan today to continue its scrutiny of past Auditor-General reports. The hearings of the PAC have been all but lost in the outcry against [...]

PAC Chairman on strengthening Parliamentary Budget Oversight
PAC Chairman Julius Espat recently attended a special conference on strengthening Parliamentary Budget Oversight. At that conference he was invited to give a presentation on the Opposition's proposal to restructure [...]

San Ignacio cop arraigned for extortion
A San Ignacio cop is in the hot seat after being accused of extorting money from a Santa Elena couple. Police constable Henry Nunez was arraigned at the San Ignacio [...]

GSU carry out 2 anti-drug operations
The Gang Suppression Unit carried out two anti-drug operations over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, the GSU searched the lower flat of a two storey concrete building on Mahogany Street.� [...]

Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana still in court for slew of charges
It has been a very rocky road for a Guatemalan woman who has been back and forth in court since last week Monday for a slew of charges. Forty-nine year [...]

Centenarian Jacqueline Gibson meets occasion in style
Jacqueline Gibson is celebrating a milestone not shared by many Belizeans. She turned one hundred years old today. While she shows her years in character, it is fair to say [...]

Weekend Sports Update with James Adderley
Good evening I'm James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 3 in the National Elite Basketball League brought a monster to the Sacred Heart College Gym in San [...]


Prestigious Golden Princess Casino Closes Business In Free Zone
A few weeks ago the Statistical Institute of Belize reported a decrease in unemployment rate. The report showed that unemployment went from 16.1% in September of 2012 to 14.2%. But the tonight SIB can kiss that figure goodbye because, after being in full operation for almost 10 years, the Golden Princess Casino. Located near the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, closed its doors today leaving more than 130 men and women jobless. It all happened in the blink of an eye. As reporter Victor Castillo found out, the news took employees by surprise and left them in shock. Castillo - Reporting Unaware of what lay ahead, the men and women employed by the Golden Princess Casino, located in the area of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, adhered to the memo placed on the company's bulletin board: they were to attend a very important meeting in one of the company's conference rooms at 11:00 this morning.

Vegetable Vendor Complain Of The Abuse Of Power By Customs Officers
Tonight a resident from the Village of Guinea Grass is extremely upset with Officials from the Customs Department. This morning Arturo Perez visited our news center to vent on the treatment he has been getting from Custom officials since he started supplying businesses and restaurants with vegetable products. While the issue has been resolved, we deemed it necessary to air the story since it is a common occurrence. Perez claims that while getting off a bus near the Toll Bridge in Orange Walk, with his products, he was intercepted by Custom Officers. And this is where the harassment began, at least for that day. Arturo Perez- Vegetable Vendor "Son tomates, cebolla y frutas como j�cama, entonces cuando est�bamos yendo en el bus hacia Belice, porque yo los llevo a la isla, entonces los Customs estaban haya y ellos pararon el bus y lo chequearon y vieron los tomates y todo los que estaba adentro pero todo es Belice�o no es producto mexicano y ellos agarraron mis cosas aunque est� viendo que es Belice�o lo sacaron y todo y los botaron porque ellos lo tienen que chequea bien que no sea mexicano y les estoy diciendo que no es y que vienen de Maskal y la cebolla pues tengo licencia de Marketing Board porque tengo recibo y todo eso pero ellos no quisieron ver nada solo lo tiraron en la camioneta y vinieron con las cosas en la oficina."

National Transport To Assign Tariff Says Senior Traffic Officer
An educational meeting was held yesterday between members of the National Traffic Department and Municipal Traffic Authority from Corozal Town and over a hundred taxi drivers from the district at the Andres Campos Civic Center. Several issues where brought to the lime light including the revision of the Taxi Laws. During the meeting, two topics that raised tensions was the invading of taxi stands and the different fees being charged by taxi drivers. In order to calm the waters a separate meeting was held with presidents of the taxi unions so as to find a solution to the problems. Today we contacted Senior Traffic Officer for the Corozal District Richard Quan for an update on the meeting. Richard Quan Jr. - Senior Traffic Officer "Well the outcome was good and they shook their hands with one another and they insisted that they will respect one another territory and so hopefully this will work out."

No VIP Area To Be Constructed In The Free Zone Says The Chairman Of The Free Zone
Earlier this year we reported on plans to start construction of a VIP area at the Corozal Free Zone which would feature authentic and luxury goods instead of cheap knock-off goods that is common in most stores at the Free Zone. In late 2013 the Honorary Consul to Belize Jorge Valencia spoke with the Mexican press stating that the facility will cost somewhere around fifty million US dollars to construct and be located next to the international bridge with Belize, "Chactemal". The story has changed today however as again the Mexican Press is reporting that the facility did not receive government's approval. In an interview with the Mexican media, Corozal Free Zone administrator, David Akierman stated categorically that through the Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, the Prime Minister Dean Barrow has confirmed that the government will not authorize the construction and opening of any other free zone anywhere in the Santa Elena border area. Here is an excerpt of the story published today in the Mexican Press.

BHSA Promotes The Mayan Culture At School
At least once a year schools place all their work on display for parents and the general public to view. That is a tradition at the Belize High School of Agriculture which today boasted the students work accomplished since the start of the school year. In addition, though, is a cultural aspect that the community and especially the students have embraced. Reporter Dalila Ical takes a look at the day's event. Dalila Ical - Reporter It's their open and culture day and all 215 students at Belize High School of Agriculture took part in the celebration. High School Principal CecilioPech says the event provides a space for both students and residents in nearby communities to interact. CecilioPech - Principal, BHSA "We are taking the opportunity of integrating both so that the cultural presentations attract more the parents and the community at large and at the same time to take an opportunity to view the students work at school."

Dusty Road Bad For Business
Back in the month of November the Prime Minister of Belize announced that some major spending will take place across the country to improve road infrastructure. The project saw the allocation of 76.72 million dollars funded primarily through the Petro Caribe agreement with Venezuela. The P.M announced that out of the $76.72 million, $2.92 million was earmarked for the Orange Walk District. This would see the rehabilitation of the Philip Goldson Highway which passes through Orange Walk Town. Forming part of the highway is the Belize Corozal Road which is currently in deplorable condition. While some works have been done on the road by the Ministry of Works, we can safely say it is still not up to driving standards and with the hot season upon us the dust has become unbearably for those who live or run a business along the stretch of road. Today, our newsroom was flooded with calls from residents and business owners who did not hesitate to voice their concerns over the dust road.


Traffic Accident Claims Man's Life
The family of 52 year old Anthony Hunter, Sr., is preparing him to rest following a fatal accident reported on Saturday. Hunter was accompanying a friend on the George Price Highway on his Kawasaki motorcycle when he hit the rear end of a yellow Caterpillar backhoe belonging to Cisco...

Man Gets Shot in Belize City
Police are also investigating a shooting incident that took place on Saturday night in Belize City. Investigator Corporal Jorge Lemus tells us more. Corporal Jorge Lemus- Chief of Investigation "Police received information yesterday, Sunday 23rd of February after 10:00 last night on someone being shot on Desmond Street. As...

Man Dies After Stabbed by Nephew
44-year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr. lost the battle for his life on Saturday February 22. Ferguson had been in the hospital since December 7th of last year after he was stabbed. The alleged attacker is Ferguson's nephew, 36 year old Oliver Peters who reportedly got into a fight with his uncle...

4 Year Old Drowns
A four year old boy of the Stann Creek District drowned while swimming with his mother. On the afternoon of Sunday February 23, twenty five year old Serlin Diaz, Honduran domestic of San Pablo Village, was swimming along with her 4-year-old son Ernesto Alonzo Sarabia. The mother told police...

Minister Edmund Castro Takes Alvarene Burgess to Court
Minister of State Edmund Castro is suing Mrs. Alvarene Burgess, who accused him of involvement in corrupt transactions over visa recommendations, and Great Belize Television (Channel 5), who aired those allegations, for defamation of character in the Supreme Court. The case went before Justice Courtney Abel for case management this...

Man Chopped Allegedly by Relative
Police intend to charge a relation of a Belize City man for chopping him during an incident over the weekend. With the details here is Inspector Jorge Villanueva of Precinct 1. Mr. Jorge Villanueva- Inspector of Precinct One "Last night shortly after 8:00 p.m. police responded to an incident. ...

Woman Attacked By Knife Wielding Thief
A woman was attacked by a knife wielding thief. On Friday February 21 at 4:45 in the morning, a 44-year-old woman of St. Martins Area of Belize City was reportedly walking down Mahogany Street on her way to work. The woman told police that she was approached from behind...

Brothers Stabbed in Bar Brawl
A bar fight in Orange Walk has left one man hospitalized. On Saturday February 22nd, three Hispanic men reportedly attacked two brothers at MI CASA cool spot. The brothers, Juan and Jose Ramirez told police that the men attacked them with broken bottles. As a result, Juan Ramirez received...

Police Officer Arraigned for Extortion
Last week we told you of reports of police extortion from the Cayo District in relation to a traffic offense. Police have issued an official statement on the issue. The alleged extortion occurred on Tuesday February 18th when police stopped a vehicle with expired insurance. The officers allegedly asked...

Corozal Man to be Sentenced for Attempted Murder
In opening its first session of the year 2014, the Court of Appeal this morning set aside the order of trial judge Denis Hanoman Singh issued two years ago and ordered the immediate sentencing of Wilbert Cuellar, who was found guilty of the attempted murder of Mr. Josue Chay....

Squatters House on Reserved Land Demolished
Squatters have been removed off prime lands in Belmopan. Today, a house which was illegally located in the Mountain View area was taken down by members of the Belmopan City Council and the Police Authority, leaving a family of 8 persons homeless. The hut was built on the edge...

Woman Builds House On Wrong Lot; City Council Extends Deadline for Removal
Last week, we also told you of one Mrs. Hada Gonzalez, who, through a loan with Atlantic Bank, had bought a piece of property in the Mountain View Area, lot number 6084. Officially confirmed, she has all rights to that piece of land. However, on Thursday of last...

Mr. Omar Figueroa Wins Cayo North UDP Convention
There was a UDP convention in Cayo North over the weekend. The new hopeful for the UDP in that constituency is Mr. Omar Figueroa, who won this weekend. He spoke to our Cayo Affiliate after he was declared the winner. Mr. Omar Figueroa- Winner of the UDP Convention for...

Sea Cucumber Trio Given Fines for Offenses
Last week we told you of three Guatemalans charged with fisheries offenses after police and fisheries personnel stopped their vehicle and found over 3,000 pounds of illegal sea cucumber. Today Georgina Aldana, her common-law partner Hugo Salas and their worker Cesar Ramirez changed their plea to guilty of the...

Cayo Family to Receive New House from Oasis Ministries
Oasis Ministries, led by Pastor Ron Braaten, has been working in Belize for many years since 2003 ; planting churches and building homes. Today, we travelled to the village of Unitedville where the ministry is putting up its 74th home in Belize. When we arrived on location the team...

Fourth Annual Street Art Festival in Belize City
Art comes in many different forms, shapes and sizes, and all forms were on display this past Saturday in downtown Belize City. Albert Street from its junction with Orange Street to its junction with Dean Street was awash with color and life, whether it was musical performances, drama, cultural...


My First Game - San Pedro's Elite Basketball Team, the Tiger Sharks, Leave Me Wanting More
While I may not be a huge basketball fan, I can appreciate lots of what basketball has to offer. Athleticism, fast, exciting games (it's hardly ever boring to watch), good looking guys, Jay-Z and Beyonce�and in Belize? Add in music, snacks and beers, rowdy fun crowds, kids and just�good times. I love our local sports in San Pedro. And when my friend Melody invited to the National Elite Basketball League's first home game on Saturday night, I was in� Cool thing #4: A big crowd attends the games. It's very reasonable to get in - $3bzd for kids (free if you are under 11) and $5bzd for adults. There's a raffle, free t-shirts and candy for the first 50 kids in the door. Although it all started a bit late - around 9pm - it's great fun for kids.

Easter in Belize - a Stunning Spectacular!
Roberto Harrison cites several reasons for the growing popularity of Easter at Chaa Creek, naming excellent weather, the growing trend of families wishing to share memorable holiday experiences, and the springtime urge for couples to do something special together. There's also a distinctly Belizean reason to be in the little Caribbean country that time of year. The profusion of migratory birds adds to the rainforest's riot of colour and captivating birdsong, he explained. "Due to the time pressures people face these days, we're finding that families and couples especially want to get the most out of their holidays together. They're looking for the traditional trappings and closeness they've always associated with Easter along with something to make it extra special and truly memorable.

The weather this month has been glorious. There's been a little rain but this has occurred either late in the night or very early morning and when it has rained it hadn't lasted long. Definitely not enough of it or at the time of day that has prevented me from enjoying my early morning 'me time' on the veranda with my mug of black coffee and the iPad. No sweat top needed. No rainwear. Just the simple matter of deciding what polo shirt and pair of shorts to wear (decisions, decisions). On most days it's seemed like the moon had just 'said' goodbye for another day and it was automatically sunshine. But then again what do you expect when you live in the Caribbean? Snow? Ice? Sub zero temperatures? Of course not, so I don't know why I even bothered to bore you by stating the patently obvious. That is, aside from needing to introduce a link for the headline! Those of you that read my ramblings with any degree of regularity will know that I have taken a prolonged break from the fence painting. It's a big fence and believe me (if you've never painted one) it's boring ( and I mean BORING) just moving a brush up and down or from side to side. It wasn't just the boredom that took me away from the fence though. No, not all - I had other stuff to do.

Great Blue Hole: hardest place to reach of all my travels.
You know those beautiful images that you see on the internet and then you think, one day I want to go to this place! So, this was the case with the Blue Hole, a vertical cave, full of sharks, shaped in a perfect circle in the middle of the Caribbean Sea and nearly 100 km from the coast. I think the Great Blue Hole was the hardest place to reach of all my travels. Since my departure from Guatemala, I faced: 1) a driver who almost left me at the border because I was the only nationality that needed an entry visa for Belize; 2) then a bad diving instructor, who cancelled without notice 3) two hours in a speedboat at high speed, facing a storm with winds and huge waves 4) amazingly enough, I was trying to dodge a million cockroaches that started coming out of all the cracks of the boat as soon as the vessel began to shake because of the stormy sea. But when the intrepid boat slowed down and parked at the perfectly circular reef, with a gradient blue Caribbean sea under the sun, I was numb and ready for whatever might come. A dive to 40 meters deep (the maximum that can be reached by an amateur diver) in the dark cavity filled with sharks, I had only a basic diving course, so I shouldn't do it (don't tell anyone my secret!).

Bacon Cheese Fry Cakes or Fry Jacks
Joe did something different and fun with our Belizean Fry Jacks or Fry Cakes. He added some ingredients to the mixture before mixing the dough and made a delightful breakfast treat.

Belize and the Immigration Hustle
In either late 2007 or early, just before the election, I wrote an article for the Amandala titled: "What Kind of State". The article explored what kind of country Belize had become and addressed issues such as corruption and immigration. This is a section of the article that dealt with immigration, and I am now wondering how much things have changed since then. Feel free to comment on what I wrote. Immigration We must look at the role of migration in helping to shape the kind of state Belize has become. This is in consideration of the fact that the country has experienced significant emigration and immigration, which have help to define Belize in the last five decades. Greater consideration is given to immigration as Belize continue to attract people to its shores. This immigration has brought up questions of national identity and regional integration. Besides the "immigration hustling" that took place, significant immigration has also highlighted the government's lack of a coherent immigration policy, although minister Fonseca acknowledge the immigration situation in Belize. There is a political aspect of this immigration, in relation to issues of sovereignty, citizenship, and voting.

International Sources

Jamaica to decriminalise marijuana?
The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce (CCMRT) says it has been given an assurance that Jamaica will this year decriminalise marijuana as the island seeks to establish a medicinal marijuana industry. CCMRT leader, Dealana Seiveright in a statement, said that the assurance had come from Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell. The statement quoted Paulwell as telling members of the taskforce that "ganja will be decriminalised in Jamaica this year and emphasised that Jamaica cannot be allowed to be left behind on the issue". "He also reiterated the multiple economic, social and cultural benefits that Jamaica stands to gain if the laws are adjusted sooner rather than later," the statement said.

Discover crystal skulls, ruins and other treasures in Belize
Mention the term "crystal skulls" and it immediately conjures images of mystery and intrigue. Even Indiana Jones got into the act. For the traveler, the thought of encountering crystal skulls is seductive enough to challenge any level of curiosity, and the best place to begin the search is in Belize. Though fiction most likely outweighs fact regarding controversies over the crystal skulls, rummaging through ancient Mayan ruins nestled within exotic rainforests while embracing the enigma has universal appeal. In its own unique way, Belize is the best of all worlds for any manner of traveler. Adventurers can savor pristine wilderness and solitude. Environmentalists will discover a wonderland of flora and fauna, whose flowing rivers course through dense forests supporting colorful wildlife protected by a glorious natural habitat. History buffs, curiosity seekers and amateur sleuths alike can speculate about the origins and disappearance of ancient Mayan civilizations as they explore this natural wonderland. For upscale travelers who like to "rough it" by day and luxuriate at night, Belize offers accommodations and cuisine to suit even the most discriminating sensibilities. Not only can Belize satisfy the needs of either an explorer or a socialite. It can also to suit the pleasures of just about anyone in between. Except, that is, for lovers of McDonald's and other fast-food enterprises. They simply do not exist in Belize.

The Suspect Behind Miami's Biggest Gold Heist Caught Hiding in Belize
In October 2012 just outside a pastel-painted Coral Gables apartment building, one of the largest gold heists in Florida history went down. A convicted thief named Raonel Valdez, who was supposed to be wearing a court-ordered GPS device, somehow jacked $2.8 million in gold from courier George Villegas. And within a few months, Valdez had vanished. Private investigator David Bolton, hired by the Bolivian company that owned the stolen gold, stayed hot on Valdez's trail, but not even a $25,000 reward offered by his client produced any good leads. "We tracked him in four different countries," Bolton says. "We were always one step behind." Last week, immigration authorities in Belize caught the wanted man in a small town bordering Guatemala. The arrest brings to a close one of the wildest crime stories in recent years, one that -- as recounted in a New Times feature story last July -- suggested Cuban gangs were infiltrating Miami-Dade County's underworld.

Flavors of Belize: a culinary publication of Belize (recipes Fry Jacks - Shrimp Tostones)
Tanya McNab is the visionary behind the highly regarded Flavors of Belize magazine - cookbook and robust YouTube channel. McNab created the Flavors of Belize cookbook to engender an exchange of Belizean food and culture with the rest of the world. It is her wish that every kitchen will experience something special from Belize. I met with her recently to find out more information on the magazine and here is how our conversation went: Please tell me more about Flavors of Belize Magazine? The Flavors of Belize Magazine is Belize's first comprehensive culinary book. We get hotels, restaurants, and service providers including anybody from real estate agents to photographers to come on board with us; we combine that with noteworthy information, entertaining articles, breathtaking pictures, and recipes from our cookbook - and there you have it - The Flavors of Belize Magazine.

The Latest Cruise Port News and Happenings Across the Globe
New Belize Destination: In major news, Michael Feinstein, a businessman in Belize, says he's received legislative approval for a $100 million island cruise destination with docking facilities for up to six ships near Belize City, according to Seatrade Insider. The expansive project will apparently include shops, bars, restaurants and recreational facilities, plus such Mayan-themed attractions as an underwater city for snorkelers and a lagoon with waterfalls and grottos. Check out the Seatrade Insider story here.

To tackle overfishing, conservation groups look to the past
With small-scale fisheries that feed many of the world's poor under constant pressure from overfishing, a coalition of conservation groups has turned to one of the oldest ways of dividing the catch in an attempt to promote sustainability. Instead of competing for the same populations and hauling in as many fish as fast as they can, participants in the Fish Forever project assign individuals, villages and cooperatives "rights" to areas known as TURFs - territorial user rights in fisheries. The zones are paired with protected areas where no one is allowed to fish, providing adjacent parts of the ocean where fish populations replenish and spill into the TURFs. Local residents develop their own methods of monitoring and enforcing protections for both areas. Rare has teamed with the Environmental Defense Fund and scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara to carry out the effort in five countries: Belize, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil and Mozambique. They have raised $27 million from organizations such as the Bloomberg Philanthropies and are furthest along in Belize, where they hope to have 3,000 square miles of ocean under the system by 2020.

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