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The San Pedro Sun

Alcohol to be sold ONLY with meals on Good Friday
The San Pedro Police Department will once again be enforcing a dry Good Friday. No stores, supermarkets or bars are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages from Thursday, April 17th at 12 midnight to Friday, April 18th at 12 midnight. Hotels and restaurants will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages with meals to bonafide customers only. According to Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department Luis Castellanos, both mobile and foot police patrols will be dispatched throughout the island to ensure liquor stores and bars are closed and stores are not selling liquor or beer. Through the course of the day, random police spot checks will be held at establishments to prevent liquor being sold under the counter. "I will personally be out on Good Friday. It is time for San Pedro to start respecting the laws of Belize, and the law states that no liquor, alcohol or beers should be sold on revered days, such as Good Friday and Christmas Day," said Castellanos.

La Isla Bonita gears up for the Easter Weekend!
Is San Pedro Town ready for the high influx of visitors on the island for the Easter weekend? That is exactly what Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councilors went to find out when they made courtesy calls to the San Pedro Police Department, the Fire Department and the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic. Mayor Guerrero and Councilors Kenrick Brackett and Carlos Barrientos dedicated the afternoon of Wednesday April 16th to visit with providers of essential services to ensure that all their "ducks are in row" for the Easter Holiday.

Belize City Smart No Limits brings pressure on San Pedro Tigersharks
It was no easy match for the San Pedro Tigersharks when they faced off against Belize City Smart No Limits in week ten of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL). The game took place at the Rafael Angel Nu�ez Auditorium on Saturday April 12th. Belize City Smart No Limits brought their A-game, giving the home team a wake-up call and much excitement and anxiety to home crowd. The visiting Belize City team came out strong when Greg Rudon passed the first ball of the game to Brandon Rogers. Rogers moved Tigersharks' Michael Adams out of the way easily opening the scoreboard with a two-point shot. The Tigersharks were forced to respond and Tyrone Edwards quickly crossed over the ball to Darwin Leslie to push the first two points for the home team. Ashton Edward followed with a three-point shot plus a free throw, giving the home team a four-point lead. At the end of the first quarter, the home team led the visitors 24 to 18. With four minutes to go before the end of the game, Smart No Limits' main player Greg Rudon made a spectacular move, capitalizing on a three-point shot then catching a free throw, turning over the game and giving the visitors a four point lead. Moments later Darwin Leslie of the Tighersharks picked up a loose ball catching a two-point, putting the islanders back into the game. Fast forward to crunch time and Leslie come up with two free throws that extended San Pedro's lead to four points. No Limit pressured at the last minute of the game, but back-to-back blocks from 6'11" inches Michael Adams swatted away the golden opportunity of the city boys. San Pedro Tigersharks picked up their eighth consecutive win, finishing the game at 84 to 81 in favor of the home team.

Ambergris Today

PUP San Pedro Announces Slate for Municipal and General Elections
"The Belize Rural South PUP Executive Committee would like to inform its constituents that we have a Standard Bearer and also our PUP 7 for the upcoming Municipal Elections scheduled for March 4, 2015. With utmost respect and pride the PUP announces the candidacy of Dr. Giovanni Solorzano as our Mayoral Candidate. The Councilor Candidates are Mr. Gualberto "Wally" Nu�ez Jr.; Mr. Alex Noralez; Mrs. Marina Graniel Kay; Mrs. Maria "Conchita" Valdez Flota; Mr. Pablo Alejandro Kumul and Mr. Omar "Kanasi" Guerrero. It is with much pride and honor that the PUP announces the unanimous endorsement of Mr. Eulogio "Elito" Arceo as Standard Bearer for Belize Rural South to represent San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker and to oversee their growth and well planned development of the Sister Islands.

Video Pick: Belize Adventure by Alex Parrillo
Looking at Alex Parrillo's video posts on his YouTube page, you can definitely tell that he likes to travel. Well, in his latest video post he complied great imagery of his adventures in Belize. He tackled muddy roads, steep stairs, deep caves and coral reefs as he visited San Ignacio, Caracol Maya Archaeological Site, Caves Branch cave system and the island of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye.

Misc Belizean Sources

Rabbit, Papa Doc, The PUDP
There is a political acronym coined, I believe first, in the Amandala newspaper, that of the "PUDP", referring to any and both of the larger political parties in Belize - the People's United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP). The reference is such as to express to the world that they are one and the same - just different players, same game. If this is the truth, and in Belize, the population seems to believe every letter of the idea of the PUDP, it is appropriate and important to connect with the young people who came into their teenage years in the early part of the new millennium to understand why the larger political parties are referred to as such. These young people are the people who connected with the music of the super star Eminem and probably still connect with the music and even the movie "8 Mile" (released 2002). Simplified, the birth of the PUP the leaders realized two things: they wanted the Belizean people to create our own destiny and they wanted to strengthen the sociopolitical economy of the then colony. The PUP then became the party of social justice. Simplified too, in 1973, the UDP came to life with a pro-business, pro "get with the world economy" mantra, and certainly, a viable option for political management which in opinion, is important for a strong democracy.

Police look for man accused of chopping a woman
Police in Corozal are looking for a man who allegedly chopped his ex-mother-in-law and lashed his ex-common-law wife with a machete. Roberto Locke, according to police, barged into the home of his ex-common-law wife around 3 am on Wednesday and began accusing her of having an affair with another man. The 22 year old woman told police that Locke punched her in the face. Police say that the woman's mother, upon hearing the commotion, went to her daughter's aid.

Fuel for United FC
Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nu�ez, on behalf of the San Pedro Town Council, presented a cheque to Mr. Elvis Budna from United FC football team to purchase 50 gallons of fuel for transportation. United FC will be participating in a football marathon in Sarteneja on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014. The San Pedro Town Council would like to wish them the best of luck in the games!

SHC's Run for Peace
Sacred Heart College had their 2014 Run for Peace. They really put on some mileage. Peace to all, and have a great Easter.

Western Ballaz vs Tiger Sharks
The Western Ballaz are taking a weekend off for Easter, and will host the Tiger Sharks next Saturday, April 26th, starting at 9:00pm. The warm up game will be SHC vs Santa Elena, and will start at 6:00pm. There will be more prizes than ever, and half time will be off the hook! Meluchi's will be hosting the after-bash. In related news, the Belmopan Bandits will be hosting the Corozal Heat in Belmopan, starting at 8:00pm.

Passion of the Christ Procession
Benque is having their annual Passion of the Christ re-enactment and procession tomorrow, Holy Friday, starting at 10:00am. In related news, they celebrated Holy Tuesday with the Procession of El Encuentro. "Take note my fellow Belizeans and facebookers...this is taking place once again in Benque Viejo on Good Friday of this year...bring the family along with you and be part of this annual event!"

University of Belize and BELTRAIDE sign MOU
The University of Belize and BELTRAIDE signed a memorandum of Understanding yesterday, which will see future entrepreneurs passing through the institution get an opportunity to bring their business ideas to life. The MOU will allow BELTRAIDE's Small Business Development Center activate at a higher capacity so that persons interested can receive training on different enterprise management techniques.

BEL Power interruption
8:00am to 12:00noon on Thursday, April 24: Mile 8 to 18 along Philip Goldson Hwy including Ladyville, Lord's Bank, Maxboro and Los Lagos. BEL to install lightning arrestors on the distribution system between Mile 8 and 18, Philip Goldson Highway.

Police and traffic officers conduct road checkpoints for Easter
Authorities have stepped up their vigilance this long Easter holiday weekend to try and keep motorists safe on the highways. The Belize Police Department working with the traffic department for the Town and City Councils has been conducting vehicle check points at various locations. These are designed to ensure that vehicles are properly insured and licensed and that no one is driving while under the influence of alcohol. This was the case this evening in Orange Walk where officers were out in full force doing checkpoints.

86th Cross Country Classic bigger and better
The 86th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is to kick off from BTL Park on Newtown Barracks on April 19 at 5:50 in the morning. Traditionally run from the outskirts of Belize City to San Ignacio's Columbus Park and back, the race has attained iconic status and the battle between Belize's best and visiting foreign teams and individuals is sure to raise the national spirit. The lead-out to the start of the race and its return go by the route of Central American Boulevard, Freetown Road, left on Barrack Road against the flow of traffic and heading up to BTL Park for the finish. The foreign line-up, expected to number over 20, includes representatives from Mexico, Guatemala, the United States and for the first time, Haiti, who is sending a four-man national team.

Caretaker arrested for Hattieville shopping spree
Twenty-seven year old Sherman Hemmans, a resident of Gracie Rock Village, was charged with eight separate counts of theft when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Hemmans pled not guilty to the charges and he was released on bail of $6,000. His case was adjourned until June 3. Hemmans, who is employed as a caretaker, is alleged to have swiped an ATM card from Joseph Fusy and used it to purchase grocery items from Everyday Supermarket, located in Hattieville, Belize District.

George McKenzie Junior faces murder charge
This morning, the son and namesake of late reformed gangster, George "Junie Balls" McKenzie, who was killed several years ago, was charged with a recent murder. George McKenzie, Jr., is accused of causing the death of 57 year old Alfonso Cruz, a resident of Rhaburn's Alley, who was shot and killed around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. McKenzie was brought to court this morning but he was not arraigned because the court is waiting on a directive from the DPP. Cruz was sitting on an old refrigerator that was in the alley when his assailant shot him once in the head from close range.

The Belize Film School is just under a motnh away. Last year the students did quite a few documentaries on local artists and personalities from Cayo, and Bullet Tree Falls. This year, they are focusing on San Antonio. Can't wait to see the footage. "You could be in Belize making a Wildlife Documentary! See where life takes you!"

SI United Tie Verdes
The San Ignacio United played the Verdes yesterday, and it was a draw. Over the last 2 years, that makes their stats 4 - 3 - 3. They travel to PG next week. "San Ignacio United draw with Verdes FC. Anthony Gonzalez scored his 4th consecutive goal in the last 3 games. Paradise Freedom Fighters are next in PG."

Channel 7

McKenzie Jr. Murder Charge Withdrawn
Tonight, George McKenzie Jr. - son of slain gang leader George "Junie Balls" Mckenzie Sr - is in detention after he was taken to court but couldn't be arraigned for the charge of murder. Investigators were sure that they had the right man. But at the very last minute, new information suggesting an alibi was brought forward from the upper ranks of the Department, causing the charge to be suddenly withdrawn - which is very unusual. Police were sure that he was the shooter who gunned down 57 year-old Alfonso Cruz in Rhaburn's Alley on April 12. They got a statement from an eyewitness who Mckenzie Jr had allegedly tried to shoot immediately before Cruz was murdered. Plus, they did an ID parade where McKenzie was identified as the gunman who shot Cruz. But at the last minute, reports tell us a senior police officer intervened with alibi evidence in Mckenzie's favor. This caused McKenzie, who was already at court to be arraigned, to get a last minute reprieve.

Paris Copius Stabbed
Tonight, 19 year-old Paris Copius, a Ladyville resident, is at the KHMH in a critical condition after he was attacked and stabbed in the village. Police have very little information at this time, but they suspected that it happened sometime around 10 or 11 p.m. last night. One of difficulties they faced was that no one informed them of Copius' condition after he was transferred from the BDF Hospital, to the KHMH. That only happened after the professionals realized that his injuries were more serious than they initially anticipated. Today, the Rural Executive Officer provided the media with the information they have about the incident at this time: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "Earlier this morning we learn that a gentleman from the village has been taken to the military hospital and then onto the Karl Heusner Hospital. He was being attended to there and apparently procedures had to be done on him. We've establish that an incident did occur in the village and there is one person that's being sought and we are hoping that by day's end we will wrapped up the information to give something comprehensive. However we know that there was a stabbing and that is from the injuries we understand he received. We have received the information from him and we are working on whatever else other processes to get it sorted out."

Jealousy Led To Caye Caulker Stabbing
And Caye Caulker police are also investigating a stabbing. This one happened on Tuesday night on the island. 24 year old Aquiles Canche and 31 year old James Crawford got into a fight at 10:30 near the village cemetery - and a local resort. The dispute centered over a female Kathy Balam. She was reportedly hanging out and talking with Canche when Crawford who she has a relationship with came upon them and stabbed Canche in the back. Canche then stoned Crawford with a bottle of rum. But the bottle didn't even break, and Crawford continued to stab Canche 5 more times, twice in the back, once to his lower stomach, once in his arm pit, and once in the lower stomach. Neighbors rushed Canche to the clinic but he was in bad shape, and at the height of the night, island Police had to find a boat to carry Canche to the KHMH. He received emergency surgery and is in stable condition. Police have not been able to get a statement from him.

Fisheries Makes Easter-Time Bust
It seems like whenever the major holidays arrive, there's an accompanying spike in illegal activities. Christmas usually brings an increase in contraband goods, and for the Fisheries Department, Easter and its seafood cravings means that off season product is more likely to be illicitly traded. So, the Department has set up checkpoints, and yesterday their diligence paid off in a major way. Daniel Ortiz visited with them today, and found out that they had busted thousands of dollars in prohibited marine products. Here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting What you're looking at is somewhere between 15,000 to 20,000 dollars' worth of illegal fisheries products which were confiscated by officers from the Department's Conservation Compliance Unit yesterday.

Belizean Recruited To Work In Canada Criticizes Job Programme
In December of 2012, we told you about the Canadian company named ACTYL which was in Belize recruiting workers for McDonald's. Hundreds flocked to their interview sessions at the Radisson and many were eager for the opportunity to earn as much as 10 US Dollars per hour - even if it meant flipping burgers in a cold country. But, now a report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says that at least one disgruntled Belizean worker is calling it slavery. Jaime Montero has lashed out against McDonald's - and for that he has been fired, evicted from the McDonald's apartment and ended up in a homeless shelter. But, tonight, his claims are making headlines in that country. CBC network reported on the story: Montero was fired in November and evicted from the apartment. He still has a work permit, but has been unable to find another job. And while his plan was to send money back to Belize, he says his family is now sending him money while he tries to find a job.

Canadian Wife Says Murder Not Suicide, Police Say Insurance
A Canadian woman is demanding that police re-open the investigation into her husband's death, which was ruled a suicide. William Lloyd Webster was found hanged to death in his Cayo home in December of 2012. But, she doesn't buy it. She hired a private investigator who compiled a 10 page report citing inconsistencies in the forensic examination and the scene of the crime. Rene Webster says "there was no suicide note and there are many things that just don't add up." She says they recreated the crime scene and have proved that it was physically impossible for Webster to have hung himself. Nonetheless, she says local police are writing her off as an hysterical grieving widow. But, police say differently. Today the officer in charge of Cayo Superintendent Ralph Moody told us quote, "there is no evidence at all indicating that there is a murder with Mr. Webster." End quote. Moody told us he met with Rene Webster last week and he claims that she told him she quote, "only wants the police to change (the cause of death) from a suicide to a murder�for insurance purposes." End quote. Moody stressed that we could quote him on that and told us that quote, "I will not put my career and my reputation on the line for any such thing."

Making Sense OF the NCL Economies
Last night, we showed you the first part of our interview with Michael Singh, the CEO of the Ministry of Trade, where he explained that Norwegian Cruise Line's Harvest Caye Port project got all environmental clearances it needed. With the Environmental Compliance Plan completed, the project moves on the next phase where Cabinet will decided on a final agreement on the social and economic guidelines that the Company must adhere to so that they can get the final go-ahead. As we've told you, the Belize Tourism Industry Association has been against the plan claiming that it is not environmentally or economically beneficial to the country. They will challenge the Department of Environment's decision to give the project environmental clearance in court by way of judicial review proceedings. The President of BTIA's Placencia chapter has also offered strong resistance to the project on economic grounds. Yesterday, while had the opportunity, we asked Singh to address them, given that he has been present as a trade and investment promotion representative ever since the project first emerged. Here's our conversation with Singh on those economic concerns:

Hemmans Swiped Card and Then Kept Swiping?
27 year-old Sherman Hemmans, a resident of Gracie Rock Village, is out on bail tonight after he taken to court for swiping a man's ATM Card and going on a grocery shopping spree valued at a little over 5 thousand dollars. Joseph Fusy reported to police his card was stolen, and that charges of up to 5 thousand, 38 dollars was charged on it by the thief. Investigators looking into the missing ATM card and found out that all those expenses were from grocery items purchased at Everyday Supermarket in Hattieville. Hemmans was linked to the card and the purchased, so he was charged with 8 counts of theft.

The Pageantry Of Cross Country
The Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is the only certifiably epic event on the annual sporting calendar. And that is because of its history, but it's also because of the pageantry - the colors and the character of the men and their machines. Today as an annual pre-race event, the Cycling Federation arranged a Cycling Parade. We stopped by to speak to a few of the local cyclists about their level of preparedness: Darnell Barrow, 2013 Cross Country Champ "I feeling very amazing and I've been doing all my training so I feel confident right now; myself and my team has been training very hard. I have a good team support to back me up to defend my title, so feeling good." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about the pressure? Every Belizean wants to see a Belizean take the garland and you done it last year and now the pressure is on you to keep it, so how do you deal with that?"

In Search OF Good Friday Fish Finders
Every year, we tell you about the Holy Thursday rush on fresh fish at the markets all over the country. As should be well known, it is both religious observance and cultural practice to strictly eat fish on Good Friday. But with high demand for a fixed supply, the only constant in the marketplace is increasing prices and increased haggling over said prices. This year Monica Bodden went for her education in Good Friday Fish Finding, and here's her story:..

Water Taxi's Ready For Easter Rush
And another fixture of the Easter holidays is the rush to the cayes. Hotels on San Pedro and Caye Caulker are booked to capacity - and so are the water taxis. Between Holy Thursday and Good Friday - thousands of Belizeans set out on the water taxis for their island retreats. Competition between the two leading service providers Caye Caulker Water Taxi and San Pedro Belize Express is fierce and so are the price wars. And while they are competing, the water taxi's are also having to deal with the biggest crowd of the year, kind of like Christmas in April. Today Joe Marin of Caye Caulker Water taxi told us they have multiple boats on standby just to accommodate the rush:.. Joe Marin, Caye Caulker Water Taxi "Yes the rush is picking up like from this afternoon right through the rush will pick right up and then tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday then Monday is start tapering off. But tomorrow and Saturday will definitely be the big rush. We have extra boats come on line and we are handling everything okay."

Easter Destinations Are A Mixed Bag
But we certainly can't all afford to splash out to the Cayes. Still, it is a four day weekend, a time when there are weighty religious observances, and where, for better or worse, "r and r" has become its own kind of religion. So, the question arises, what are you doing for Easter? That's what our colleague Geovanni Brackett went to the streets asking today:.. An observance both religious and Now, we know that most folks can't afford to go there.

Channel 5

2 fisheries busts yield $20,000 worth of sea food
With Good Friday and the Easter Holidays upon us, the demand for fish has increased and so has vigilance by the Fisheries Department for seafood that is out of season. [...]

1 man detained for illegal gill net fishing in protected area
While no one was arrested for the illegal seafood found on the buses, one man, a resident of the Belize River Valley area, was arrested on Wednesday following a patrol [...]

Ladyville youth stabbed multiple times
Sometime either late last night or in the early hours of the morning a teenager from Ladyville was stabbed multiple times. Police are in the middle of their investigations and [...]

Canada issues a travel advisory against Belize
A United Nations report recently released has placed Belize as the third most dangerous country in the world and that dubious distinction might be having some effect. So far this [...]

The demand for fish jacks up the prices
Holy Thursday is a busy time for vendors because fish and other types of seafood will traditionally be consumed on Good Friday. At the various fish markets this morning, we [...]

Gracie Rock caretaker arraigned for theft
A caretaker of the Gracie Rock area is being accused of eight counts of theft which allegedly occurred at the Everyday Supermarket, located in Hattieville, a well-known grocery store in [...]

Prosecutor holds off on arraignment of George McKenzie Junior
Nineteen year old George McKenzie Junior was escorted to the court this morning in handcuffs in connection with the murder of fifty-seven year old Alfonso Cruz. But about an hour [...]

Belizeans recruited to work in Canada say McDonald is modern-day slavery
Belizeans who were recruited to work in Canada are finding out that the jobs are not as lucrative; in fact, some say their experience working at McDonalds is a form [...]

Private investigation shows Canadian William Webster was murdered
On December twenty-third, 2012, Canadian William Webster was found dead in his home in Santa Elena in Cayo. He was hanging from a strap attached to a beam in his [...]

Easter Tips by police for Rural Belize District
As we've done all this week, News Five has been providing tips to all residents on security and safety do's and don'ts this Easter Weekend. Rural Executive Officer, Assistant Superintendent [...]

Hot cross bun, a timeless Easter tradition
Ovens across Belize have been lit since the beginning of Holy Week and bakers at home or at your favorite pastry shop are busy preparing a perennial Easter treat.� Hot [...]

Healthy Living has useful tips to stay safe if you plan to hit the water
Easter is here and within the next few days, thousands of Belizeans will travel to their favorite watering hole for some rest, relaxation and fun. One of the unfortunate side-effects [...]

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More News: Scroll up from here


Canadian Widow Launches Investigation Into Death Of Her Husband
A Canadian widow has launched an investigation into the death of her husband in San Ignacio Cayo that occurred on December 23 2012. For context, when police investigated the incident they concluded that Lloyd Webster had committed suicide since he was found hanging from beam at his home. But the widow of the deceased Renee Webster is not buying that theory. She recalls that after not being able to contact her husband she asked neighbors to check on him. They found him hanging from a beam in the basement of the house.

Forest Department Launches Project To Save Parrots
The Forest department, Orange Walk Office in collaboration with the Belize Bird Rescue has taken on an initiative that seeks to save a species in the country's diverse wildlife population. These are parrots of which a great number, by their count, are in captivity. Last night the officers held a meeting in Orange Walk to educate the public on how to keep captive parrots healthy and also on the laws of Belize. According to Hannah Martine, Officer in Charge of the Orange Walk Forest Station, the main objective of their campaign is to help maintain a viable population of parrots in Belize, which is unfortunately dwindling.

Corozaleno Wins Farmer Of The Year Award
Felix Esquivel of Consejo Corozal District is this year's Farmer of the year. He was selected from a number of nominations that were made from around the country to the Agriculture Department. We spoke with Esquivel today who said that he has spent his entire life as a farmer, weathering all the challenges that farmers face in his sector. We spoke with Esquivel today about his experience as a farmer. Felix Esquivel- Czl Farmer Of The Year "Cuando empez�bamos a sembrar papaya despu�s no nos resultó y empezamos con la cebolla, tomate, sandia, de todo que se consume localmente." Dalila ical - Reporter "Que tan exitosos ha sido su negocio estos a�os?" Felix Esquivel- Farmer Of The Year "Pues como todos los agricultores ten�an perdidas en el principio de la cebolla que no nos organiz�bamos bien y el tiempo pero ahorita la cebolla ya est� yendo bien y ya tiene dos a�os y eso es lo que estamos trabajando m�s ahorita."

Week 12 Of 2013/2014 Crop Season
April 13th 2014 marked the end of week 12 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 12 the factory milled fifty six thousand four hundred and seventy six tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of six hundred and fourteen thousand four hundred and fifty four tons of cane. Last year the factory milled a four hundred and seventy seven thousand three hundred and ninety eight tons cane during the same 12 week period. Taking a look at sugar production, six thousand six hundred and sixty seven tons of the sweetener was produced for week 12. An overall of sixty five thousand nine hundred and twenty eight tons of the product has been produced so far. Last year the factory produced forty seven thousand six hundred and twenty eight tons of sugar. This week the factory worked at a grinding rate of eight thousand sixty eight tons cane per day. Overall, for the 11weeks of crop, the grinding rate per day stands at seven thousand six hundred and eighty one tons cane. Last crop it was at five thousand nine hundred and sixty seven tons cane per day.

UNESCO Places Belize 8 In List Of Must See Sites
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced its list of MUST see spots around the world and Belize's Barrier Reef was among the top nine listed. Many of the places are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which means they are places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. The report says Belize is considered one of the best spots for diving in the world, in large parts thanks to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Belize Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere.

Cheetos Not Good For You
If you, your child or any other family member are lovers of Cheetos chips then we suggest you pay keen attention to the next report. Research conducted by the Health Living Cornerstone in the United States shows that particular spicy snacks and favorite of many children is causing them grave harm. Why is this important to Belize? Parents are being asked to beware when giving their child spicy snacks such as Cheetos Flamin' Hot and Crunchy. Emergency room doctors are reporting treating more and more kids every day who have developed gastritis - a painful inflammation or erosion of the stomach lining - after eating the snacks.

No Arrest Made For Broad Daylight Robbery
Tonight, despite having surveillance footage of the perpetrators in yesterday's brazen mid-morning robbery at the Orange Walk's Bargain Center, authorities are still trying to identify the men in the footage provided by the store. When we contacted Deputy in Command, Selvin Tillett he informed us that they were following up on some leads but no arrests were made so far. For context, two men; one of dark complexion and the other of Hispanic descent entered the thrift store located on Main Street at around 9:45 yesterday morning.

Belizeans Experience Fuel Price Increase
Tonight we have some really bad news for Belizeans who were thinking of traveling in their private vehicles for the Easter Holidays. It's just that your trip will come out a bit more expensive due to an increase in the price of fuel. That's right; the price of fuel saw an increase midnight last night. This means that the next time you go to the pumps; you will pay $11.64 for a gallon of regular gas instead of $11.35, an increase of 29 cents. Diesel saw a two cents increase as it went from $10.47 to $10.49. As for V-Power or Premium gas it remains the same at 11.75 per gallon.

The Reporter

Desperate search for missing students on sunken ferry continues
The desperate, massive search for ferry passengers of a sunken ferry in the Yellow Sea off the coast of southwest Korea continues as almost 300 remain missing. Hope remains that those trapped on board are still alive. The passenger, most of whom are students, reached out to parents and relatives via text messages. One text read: "No phone connection so there is no Internet connection. So just sending text message." Another said: "There are few people on the ship, can't see a thing, it's totally dark�there are few men and women, women are screaming."

Police warn motorcycle owners about increase in thefts
The police press office today issued a warning to owners of motorcycles to ensure that their cycles are secured at all times following an increase in reported motorcycle thefts. There have been two thefts of motorcycles in as many days in the Belize District alone, the most recent of which was over last night. Jose Landero, who lives in Vista del Mar, reported to police that his blue Meilun brand motorcycle was stolen from off his veranda between 10 p.m. on Wednesday and 6 a.m. today.

Woman's leg crushed in traffic accident in Belize City
A traffic accident a few minutes ago on Mahogany Street near its junction with Central American Boulevard in Belize City has left a woman inured. The Reporter has confirmed that the accident involved a car and a motorcycle and that the car ran over the woman's leg. She is at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital receiving medical attention and the police are on the scene. Our information is that the woman was on the cycle. We will endeavour to get the details of this breaking news story as they become available.

WALLBelize rejects Revised Gender Policy 2013
The United Christian Women's Alliance Belize, which calls itself WALLBelize, says that it rejects the Revised Gender Policy 2013. The organization, which says that its mission is to confront systems of oppression, injustice and exploitation, and to defend the unborn and women and girls, is of the view that the government is determined to implement the Policy. WALLBelize, in a press release, takes issue the sections that it says encourage violence and disrespect against people in promoting abortion and same sex relationships, and in its earliest revision, promoting prostitution. The organization feels that these concepts are in violation of biblical preaching. Through implementation of the Policy, WALLBelize feels that the government intends to force the schools, including faith-based ones, to include these concepts in the curriculum, and this would "lead to a perverse and confused society with behaviours that would be difficult to reverse. Such a curriculum would also infringe on the rights of parents and families to raise their children in their chosen religious and spiritual orientations."

The Belize Times

Bloody Streets!! - 6 Murders in 4 days
On the same week Belize was named the 3rd most dangerous country in the world by the United Nations this week, criminal violence has escalated with six cold murders in just four days across the country. Four of those murders occurred in Belize City alone. The latest homicide occurred in the broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon. Well known cyclist, 41 year old Ernest "Dangalong" Thurton, had stopped by his aunt's house in the Junesville Area when he was attacked by a gunman who fatally shot him in the back. Thurton, who is employed by Santiago Castillo Limited as a messenger, was delivering company payments in the form of cheques earlier, and it is believed that may have been the motive for the attack. The Police have not said if anything was taken from Thurton. Thurton is not known as a troublemaker. He had stopped by his aunt's home to ensure that it was secure. His aunt is in the United States, and Thurton had been securing the house.

"We will block US capital" - Maya Leaders say they will "use all necessary action" to defend customary lands
The Barrow Government has aggravated an already tense and flammable situation in the Toledo District with its arbitrary and flagrant Cabinet decision to extend a permit granted by U.S. Capital to continue its oil exploration on Mayan customary land. The decision came days after an April 3rd Supreme Court ruling which declared that the Government acted wrongfully when it granted the initial permission to U.S. Capital without any form of consultation with the Mayan people. On Friday April 11, Maya leaders met to look over the situation and two resolutions were passed. The first is that they would launch another legal offensive with a challenge to the Government's Cabinet decision and would seek an injunction to stop U.S. Capital from proceeding with any activities.

Murder Capital! - UN names Belize - 3rd Most Deadly Country in the World
On the eve of what has been the most murderous weekend for this year, a report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) placed international scrutiny on Belize for its domestic problems related to crime and poor citizen security. The UNODC conducted a Global Study on Homicide to see which countries had the highest murder rates in 2012. Belize, which saw the second highest number of homicides in 2012 than over the past three years, topped the list from the Caribbean, was the 2nd highest in Central America and 3rd highest in the world. The study concluded that Belize had 44.7 homicides per 100,000 citizens in 2012. That was higher than El Salvador (41.2 per 100,000), Guatemala (39.9 murders per 100,000), Jamaica (39.3 murders per 100,000), Swaziland (33.8 per 100,000 in 2012), Saint Kitts and Nevis (33.6 per 100,000), South Africa (31 per 100,000), and Colombia (30.8 per 100,000).

Drill baby, drill
By G. Michael Reid. Attorney General Wilfred Elrington's recent mumbling and bumbling attempt to misrepresent the recent Supreme Court ruling against the government of Belize is pathetic and shows the government's total disregard for the rule of law. On April third, Justice Michelle Arana handed a decision which basically affirms the rights of the indigenous people of Belize. The decision made two major declarations: (1) that the Government's decision to permit drilling and road construction inside the national park is irrational and unreasonable, because it was made without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous Maya communities; and (2) that the permission which the Government of Belize gave to the company to drill in the Sarstoon Temash National Park breaches the legitimate expectation of the indigenous Maya peoples. Justice Arana went further and urged the Government to comply with its obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples to respect the rights of the indigenous Maya. In an interview given following the case, Attorney General Elrington made the following comments; "I read the judgment of Madame Justice Arana, her judgment was very clear and it was evident to me that she had given very careful thought to the matter." In spite of that, Elrington went on to suggest that Justice Arana was not referring to the current treaty with US Capital. What then was Madame Justice referring to Mr. Elrington? Isn't this very agreement what this case was all about?

UDP Politics as Usual�
In terms of this crime thing, can we realistically expect 2011 to be any different from 2010? Can we expect a decrease in murders, in home invasions, in assaults, in robberies and shootings and thefts? The government has offered nothing different from 2010 - no new initiatives, no new agenda, no new plans, no bold, visionary ideas. There is nothing new coming out of the Ministry of Police, nothing new coming out of the Police Department. Operating Restore Belize is still putt-putting merrily along on the wings of a song. Poverty is increasing apace, as is unemployment. Frustration and desperation are heading on up. There have been no social programs offered and no move to address the school dropout rate. There is still no state of the art forensic/DNA lab which Mr. Barrow promised something like three years ago. He continues to promise the lab periodically but still nothing. That's all we've gotten from this government - NOTHING. The Minister of Police did his media thing the other day but while he may be cute (or not) we were given NOTHING concrete, nothing to base our hopes for better on. So far 2011 isn't looking all that great�

Editorial: There is Hope!
The story of the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most powerful in the world. It is therefore much more than a story. To Christians, it is the foundation of their faith - showing that Jesus is truly the son of God and that he washed our sins with his life and blood, promising to return for his children. It is a symbol of Hope. Today Christians all over the world celebrate the great moment and the acclamation: "Jesus has risen!" It is a powerful message of hope and salvation. For this reason the Easter weekend is first and foremost a very spiritual time in Belize. There is a growing trend to mix this holy week with non-spiritual celebratory events, but by and large most Belizeans recognize the need to connect, or for some, reconnect, with their Church to pray and seek guidance. While there are many who would argue that politics and religion should never mix and indeed it would be correct for us to say that pastoral leaders are much better at explaining and interpreting the scriptures than politicians, all of us in Belize can find hope in this great Easter message. This is a message of peace and unity in a time when our nation is grappling with violence and the senseless loss of lives.

Brown Bombers & City Boys enter U-15/ U-17 football playoffs
The Brown Bombers U-15 team and the City Boys U-17 are the No. 1 seeds in their respective divisions entering the 2014 Belize District Football Association playoffs, as the regular season closed at the MCC grounds in Belize City on Saturday, April 12. The Academy FC "B" team held the Pallotti FC girls to a 0-0 draw in the only game played on Saturday. The last remaining U-15 game between the Brown Bombers and the Hattieville United Youth Sporting Club U-15 was compassionately re-scheduled for Sunday, April 13, after the untimely death of promising, young footballer, Richard "RJ" Waight; but on Sudnay, the Hattieville United could only field 8 players and forfeited the game to the Brown bombers who finished the season at the top of the standings.

Lady Jaguars, Moen Stars, SQ Jr. Stars & Dragons win in volleyball
The Lady Jaguars, Moen Stars, SQ Junior Stars, Rebels and SQ Dragons posted big wins when the Belize District Volleyball Association's 2014 competition continued at the Belize Elementary auditorium over the weekend. The Moen Stars had no trouble dispatching the SQ Junior Stars in game 1 on Friday night in 3 sets: 25-15, 25-16 and 25-21. In Game 2, the defending champs, the Lady Jaguars had to go to extra points to win the 1st set: 27-25 over the Belmopan Mystics, but after that they dominated the next 2 sets 25-10 and 25-7.

FC Belize defeats Police United FC 1-0
The FC Belize stunned the top-ranked Police United FC 1-0 in the Belikin Cup closing season competition at the MCC Garden on Sunday. The up-to-then undefeated Police team took the game to the FC Belize with Clifton West, Danny Jimenez, Harrison "Kafu" Roches, Amin "Tacos" August and the Makin brothers, Devon and Andres, leading the attack, but the FC Belize goalie Elroy Rowley came up with save after save to keep them scoreless the entire game. Michael "Chenko" Whittaker just started this season with FC Belize and has not had as much playing time, but when he got the chance, he made Police feel his presence, blasting in the winning goal past goalie Keith Allen in the 39th minute.

AMAZING GRACE - Like Taking Candy From A Baby
The term: 'taking candy from a baby' is used to describe the ease with which one can deceive or steal from someone else. There is nothing 'cool' or glorifiable in it. When someone's actions are compared to taking candy from a baby, in essence, the person has taken advantage of someone weaker; someone more vulnerable to those with power and aggression. To take things a step further, babies are the hope of the future. They are the embodiment of the world's push to progress and new ideas. Children's innocence is a gift that, in this figurative statement, is exploited. Lately, there have been several outbreaks of men exploiting the vulnerabilities of women, by targeting them for robberies. Now, let me clarify that I in no way want to belittle women or come across as sexist, intimating that women are by any means 'weak' or less than a man. As I've mentioned before, women are incredibly strong, the backbone of our country! In fact, one of the women that was held up by three men held her ground and refused to give up her money without a fight. Unfortunately, the men outnumbered her and she was badly beaten up until she could barely use her jaw to talk. This is the injustice that burns me. There is no excuse for beating a woman and I am amazed at the amount of cowardice that would drive men to robbing our ladies.

The Cross of Christ and Gender - EASTER MESSAGE 2014
What does the cross have to do with gender? This is an unusual kind of Easter message, but a timely one I believe. For a springboard text, consider Ephesians 5:25; Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Scripture passages in this message are quoted from the KJV and are in italics). Can you see an important allusion to gender roles related to the cross in this Scripture? When the Titanic was sinking, the captain ordered that the women be placed in the limited number of lifeboats with a man to man each lifeboat to safety; the rest of the men went down with the ship, including the captain. That was not chauvinism - that was chivalry!

More Fake Passports & Visa - Cubans & Nigerian busted at Western Border
There is no indication that the Ministry of Immigration plans to investigate how three men, two Cuban nationals and a Nigerian, obtained fake travel documents in an attempt to enter Belize through the Western Border. The Cubans, 40 year old twin brothers Joel Jaimes Gonzalez and Joany Jaimes Gonzalez, and Nigerian national 53 year old Patrick Joshua Aibaengbee, are accused of using illegal documents including fake passports and a visa. The Cuban brothers were using Guatemalan passports in the names of Nestor Bayona Carreno and Felipe Bayona Carreno, according to Belize's immigration officials. The officials grew suspicious of the twins and upon checking their luggage, they discovered their real Cuban passports.

By Francis W. Fonseca This week as we prepare to celebrate Easter and offer our support to our Belizean Cyclists participating in the 2014 Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic, let us reflect on the meaning of Easter. In doing so, I read once again, the 2013 Easter Message of Pope Francis. Pope Francis says: "This is what Easter is: It is the exodus, the passage of human beings from Slavery to sin and evil TO the freedom of love and goodness. Because God is life, life alone, and we are his Glory: the living man." Pope Francis calls for peace in a world "divided by greed looking for easy gain", a world "wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family."

Six Years of Neglect!
Residents of the Toledo District continue to wonder why it is that the Barrow Government has refused to carry out any kind of meaningful development since taking office six long years ago. Toledo West area representative Hon. Oscar Requena has been one of the loudest critics of the UDP Government's neglect in the face of so much that needs attention and so many who are in need in his constituency. Just two weeks ago, at the 2014 Budget Debate that looked at the Government's spending of one billion dollars, Hon. Requena reiterated his condemnation for the lack of electricity expansion throughout the entire Toledo District.

PUP meets with powerful Latin American Leader
People's United Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca and other Party officials met with Mr. Bernal Jimenez, the President of Costa Rica's National Liberation Party and Vice President of Socialist International at Independence Hall on Friday, April 11th 2014. Mr. Jimenez is a well-respected Latin American leader. He leads one of the two major political parties in Costa Rica which just faced-off in a presidential election on Sunday, April 6th.

Arrogance on Steroids
The Minister of Health, the electrician Pablo Marin and his imported CEO, dentist Peter Allen, are hell bent on awarding the position of Director of Drug Inspectorate to the daughter of their UDP colleague, Erwin Contreras. Marin and Allen have ignored the position of the Pharmacists Association that Contreras' daughter is not qualified nor adequate for the post. She has no experience in the Pharmacy industry, has no qualifications in the field, and from all indications, is politically appointed.

GOB Bruk! - Work at Marion Jones Sporting Complex Stalled!
There was nothing but shame and disgrace in the face of Sports Minister Herman Longsworth as he admitted that the construction work at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex has stalled because the Government ran out of funds. Longsworth accepted fault saying, "government will have to take the blame for this most recent delay". He then tried to piece together a silly excuse that it was because of the "budget cycle" and there being a "delay in payment". This showed just how much Longsworth knows about Government work. The Government smart stream system actually closes prior to April 1st, which is the start of the fiscal year, and opens up right after. There should be no reason for any delays in payments, especially payments having to do with millions that were donated and are sitting in Government's coffers.

Government must follow the Rule of Law
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage strongly condemns any action by Government which would result in the granting of permission for a continuation of work by US Capital Energy after expiration of their current permit on April 30, 2014. Clearly, any such actions would appear to be an attempt to circumvent the Court's decision made on April 3 by Justice Michele Arana. Justice Arana ruled that the issuance of any new permit required free, prior and informed consent from the Indigenous Mayan Communities. The Coalition fully supports the Indigenous Mayan Communities and the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIM) in seeking an injunction to bar Government from "issuing, renewing or extending permission to drill for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park" without first seeking free, prior and informed consent.

"We will block US capital" - Maya Leaders say they will "use all necessary action" to defend customary lands
The Barrow Government has aggravated an already tense and flammable situation in the Toledo District with its arbitrary and flagrant Cabinet decision to extend a permit granted by U.S. Capital to continue its oil exploration on Mayan customary land. The decision came days after an April 3rd Supreme Court ruling which declared that the Government acted wrongfully when it granted the initial permission to U.S. Capital without any form of consultation with the Mayan people. On Friday April 11, Maya leaders met to look over the situation and two resolutions were passed. The first is that they would launch another legal offensive with a challenge to the Government's Cabinet decision and would seek an injunction to stop U.S. Capital from proceeding with any activities.

Murder Capital! - UN names Belize - 3rd Most Deadly Country in the World
On the eve of what has been the most murderous weekend for this year, a report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) placed international scrutiny on Belize for its domestic problems related to crime and poor citizen security. The UNODC conducted a Global Study on Homicide to see which countries had the highest murder rates in 2012. Belize, which saw the second highest number of homicides in 2012 than over the past three years, topped the list from the Caribbean, was the 2nd highest in Central America and 3rd highest in the world.

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What to Expect: Easter 2014 on Ambergris Caye
Easter is a LONG holiday in Belize. Banks close for a half day on Thursday and it seems like the entire country heads to the beach. Good Friday all the way through Easter Monday. The huge party all kicks off with a DRY DAY. Golf carts are ALL rented (and being driven around town like bumper cars), hotel rooms for 2 are packed with 15�let the good times begin! But: Good Friday in Belize is celebrated without alcohol. Dry. Though not exactly. The holy day is observed without alcohol sales. There are low key pool, beach and house parties galore. And check on your boat trips - many tour companies and fishermen dock their boats for the day in observance. The town center is a bit quiet since all bars and most restaurants are closed and there is a Roman Catholic procession through the streets of San Pedro. (More pictures from 2 years ago here.)

"The Sound of Silence" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I was out on the veranda (yes, the western, lagoon, facing one on the first floor) yesterday morning at around 05.00 hours (yes I had a mug of black coffee and my iPad with me - please do stop interrupting otherwise I'll lose the flow. And possibly the will to live) running through the list ((I did what I said I would do (a man who keeps his promises, that's me) and wrote them down)) thinking about which suggested song I would use first. I was somewhat ponderously mulling over (I wish I could say that my brain was on fire with creative thought but I can't, I'd be lying) the list when the sound of silence was broken. As an aside, why is it described as the 'sound of silence' ? I mean the definition of silence is "the absence of sound" ie you cannot hear a thing! Anyway, back to my early morning reverie and the list. I narrowed my choice for the next edition (this one) when the final selection was made for me when I heard the sound of a cement mixer 'kicking' in to action on the lot immediately north of us. The time? It was 06.00 hours. The sound of silence was no more and in no time at all the concrete pour began.

Tropicalogy a new Tropical Travel Blog Directory
In this day and age travel blogs have become a popular resource for people who are planning to vacation or move abroad. It is no surprise that travel blog directories are also becoming popular. Tropicalogy is a new and comprehensive tropical travel blog directory, providing people worldwide with a window into the tropics. If you are interested in the tropical travel, culture, and products then Tropicalogy is the place for you. Tropicalogy website has a large list of tropical destination travel blogs to help you plan a vacation to remember, research moving abroad or just get a tropical escape anytime you need one. These blogs will help you enjoy a a local travel perspective, find unique places to stay and fun things to do. You will also be able to shop for a wide range of tropically inspired and sometimes hard to find products and get information on local events happening right now across the tropics. Plus if you ever wanted to want to know how to quit your job and live on a boat, then Tropicalogy will inspire you in that direction with the cool info-graphic in their blog.

Belize Part 1- Me talk Spanish one day
I don't know if you have ever read any David Sedaris books. His book Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his time living in France and struggling with French, reminded me of my on going struggle with Spanish (I took French as a second language). In Mexico, I am a dumb four year old trying to put three words together. "This food good!" "Me like spicy!" "Mexico so pretty!" In Belize, an English speaking country, I was suddenly funny and smart again. People laughed at my jokes, answered my questions about politics and the environment. I was an adult again. It was glorious! So much of this book resonated with me. I want desperately to understand, to have compassion, to be part of the culture in Latin America. But when you struggle with communication, you force yourself into viewing it all from a distance. I will get better at Spanish. One day I will tell a joke in Spanish and someone will laugh. But for one week I had Belize. I could adapt quicker, talk to people, share, tell a joke, make a friend. We soaked up every minute of it. Here is our first few days in Belize: Crooked Tree This is a bird sanctuary and town full of you guessed it, serious birders. I sat for hours on the balcony of the hotel we were camping at overlooking the lake watching them watch birds. The hours went by like this: "Marge look, a blue heron!" "Write it down!" "A yellow tailed warbler, no, two yellow tailed warblers! Oh my God, I can believe it! Write it down�." Birding is a serious business, I have not seen people that passionate about anything for sometime. Good for them. I like passionate people. I am not sure if I will ever get that excited about birds, but for each his own.

Belize Part 2- "I think I hate the jungle!"
About an hour into our three hour hot, humid, jungle hike in St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, Sam was telling me a story about how when he was a kid he dreamed about exploring the jungle. Who doesn't want to be Indiana Jones when they are young? Movies like Swiss Family Robinson make the jungle seem so adventurous and exciting. Monkeys in the trees, waterfalls, tropical flowers, it was a happy place. In reality spending time in the jungle when it is over 100 degrees out is not very fun. Not very fun at all. As soon as you get into the dense part of the jungle, there is not much light and it gets really hot because there is almost zero breeze and the humidity is punishing. And then there are the jungle critters. I saw a giant orange and black tarantula the size on my fist, and the day before we saw a four foot Fer-de-lance (one of the most dangerous poisonous snakes in Central America) dead in the road next to where we were camping. Sam and I would take turns "breaking the trail" as we called it, which meant the person in front went through all the spider webs.

The Mishandling of Jasmine Lowe' Investigation Part 2
I spoke to my source close to the investigation last night to get a feel of what is happening now. The pathologist (not forensic pathologist) could not determine a cause of death. Not surprising, he is not an expert in that field of forensics, so I learned last night. And BTW, Belize law does not require a forensic specialist to examine murdered bodies; only a medical doctor is needed. Meaning, he was never trained to determine cause of death that is not obvious. I feel like my head is spinning. I feel like screaming WTF. Can this murder even be solved, if they cannot establish a murder even happened? Everything following that evaluation seems to be a big waste of time. According to my source, the police are looking for blood and fingerprinting evidence in the car they impounded to find clues that may link little Jasmine presence in the taxi. Sounds good right? WRONG. Let me remind you that they didn't take any evidence from Jasmine. No fluids or fingerprinting, no rape kits, nada so making that link would be a feat even gods would find impossible. Not to mention, as Faye stated in her dingle berry, the investigating officer is making wide assumptions about what happened based on observations he can neither prove nor disprove. So now they have a "suspect" who may or may not be the murderer. The public fears are somewhat alleviated. Please don't let your guard down now. At this stage, the public need to be very cautious and aware as to the person the police presents to them. The police is desperate for a solution making the environment ripe for a scapegoat. Criminals in Belize laugh at our poor investigative skills.

International Sources

Obama weighs bond hearings for detained immigrants
The action could allow the release of thousands of people if judges approve bond in a move that might allay concerns of Latino groups and other allies over deportations. Obama administration officials are considering allowing bond hearings for immigrants in prolonged detention, officials said, a shift that could slow the pace of deportations because immigration courts expedite cases of incarcerated immigrants. Several thousand immigrants could be released from jails across the country if judges are allowed to hear their cases and grant bond, advocates say. The proposal is one of several being floated as the White House scrambles to ease the concerns of Latino groups and other traditional allies that have turned on President Obama in recent weeks. Some called him "deporter in chief" and excoriated his administration for expelling immigrants who could qualify for legal papers under the immigration overhaul bill that passed the Senate last year but then stalled in the Republican-led House.

Travel in Belize: Top 10 Things to Do
If you're planning your first trip to Belize, here's a list of the top 10 activities you should consider. 1. Experience the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef To truly experience Belize you must see the reef. If you're not a water person you don't need to get into, or onto, the sea to appreciate the reef's beauty. Just hop a local flight to Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker. You'll be enchanted with the stunning view of the Caribbean Sea beneath you, and the waves breaking on the barrier reef, to the east of the cayes. 2. Take a Boat Trip Be sure to get out onto the Caribbean Sea, inside the reef. Take a water taxi, motorboat, catamaran, or sailboat trip. Or get into a kayak and paddle out to the reef. The shimmering, nuanced shades of aquamarine are utterly calming when viewed this way. The sea is teeming with vibrant fish, coral and rays� And the water temperature is perfect, so you'll want to jump right in.

Audubon meeting to discuss birds of Belize
Forsyth Audubon's chapter meeting on Tuesday will feature a program on the "Birds of Belize." Phil Dickinson, the Bird's Eye View columnist at the Winston-Salem Journal, and four other chapter members recently traveled to Belize to develop a partnership with the Belize Audubon Society for conservation of habitat critical to migrating birds. A social half-hour will begin at 7 p.m., followed by the program at 7:30 at the Historic Bethabara Visitor's Center, 2147 Bethabara Road. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, email [email protected].

The Belize Zoo is a hoot at night
Howler monkeys whoop it up somewhere high in the surrounding trees, their loud barks piercing the still night. Nearby, a jaguar roars, its chesty cough adding to the eeriness of the dark jungle. Only our guide's flash light cuts through the blackness, illuminating the narrow path, framed by thick walls of brush. Red eyes stare. It's just another night at the Belize Zoo, home to more than 125 animals native to the Central American country, many of them endangered. Because most of them are nocturnal, night is the best time to see them. And we do. Jaguars. Pumas. White-tailed deer. An American crocodile. And tapirs, also known as mountain cows (although they're shaped like pigs but with longer snouts). The cool thing about this preserve is the animals live in their natural environment. No manmade habitats; they're simply fenced in. You can literally reach out and touch them, though plenty of handmade signs advise you not to do so.


Video: 1, 1min.
U.S. Army LTC Diane Boese provides optometric care in Belize during New Horizons Belize 2014.

Video: A part of the road to Elijio Panti National Park, Belize, 3min.
On March 29, 2014, I went to Elijio Panti National Park with my two friends David Tzul and Antonio Mai, both from nearby San Antonio Village. It had been several years since I was there. I had been told the road to the park was too bad to drive in but Antonio knows the area very well and when I arrived at his house he said we could do it no problem. The road was quite rough in spots. It would not be possible in even a small or medium sized SUV let alone a two-wheel drive car. I was driving a 2013 Mitsubishi L200 4WD diesel pickup which had fairly good clearance but there were some deep ruts and big rocks on portions of the road. Driving required keeping the wheels on one side or the other in VERY specific places. If a wheel went into a rut or dropped off a large rock, we would not be going anywhere for a while. But with guidance from David and Antonio, we made it and had a great two days in the park.

Video: Galen Eagle Band Launches Music Album, 4min.

Video: Belize part 1, 13min.

Video: Belize part 2, 4min.

Video: Chicken Drop Ambergris Caye, Belize, 12min.

Video: Hot cross bun a timeless Easter tradition, 6min.

Video: Black Howler Monkeys, 4min.
Filmed at various locations in Belize (Pook's Hill Lodge, Caracol, Community Baboon Sanctuary).

Video: Dangriga, 6min.

Video: Puma on Trailcam, 1min.
Our trail camera was set at the Bocawina trail and we got this magnificent puma walking on the trail! Mama Noots Bocawina Adventures & Eco-Resort (BELIZE)

Video: Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge - The Chica Travelista, 3min.
The Chica Travelista visits Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge in Belize!

Video: Rafael Caye Belize, 52min.

Video: Diving the Blue Hole Belize, 2min.

Video: Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Belize, 35min.
Explore the wonders of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park in this documentary film! The Mayflower Bocawina National Park was filmed from May to August 2013 by Duarte Dellarole for his Ecotourism BSc. degree internship. The goal was to promote the most recent National Park in Belize and show how Ecotourism plays a fundamental role in the conservation of protected areas. The film you are about to watch shows the work that Mama Noots Bocawina has been developing in the area, the activities that they offer in the park and information on the wildlife and plants that can be found in this protected area. From 2013 to 2014 the resort has made many changes, including new rooms that are not shown on the documentary.

Video: "auf den Spuren der Mayas" Yucatan-Guatemala-Belize, 11min.
Chichen Itza- Merida- Campeche- Palenque- San Cristobal de las Casas- Atitlansee- Flores- Tikal- Placencia Caye Caulker- Chiquila-Holbox

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