Today's Belize News: June 11, 2014
06/11/14 05:52 AM
06/11/14 05:52 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Mexican Trade Mission to Belize
ProMéxico (the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency) and the Embassy of Mexico are organizing a trade mission on June 18th at the Embassy in Belmopan and on June 19th at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City.
The objective of the mission is to strengthen trade relations between Mexico and Belize, identifying potential buyers and suppliers of a variety of products and/or services, as well as to find investment opportunities.
Products include: chilli pepper sauces, achiote marinade, ketchup, vinegars, vanilla, jam concentrates, sausages, wines, liquors, chemical products for water treatment, water pumps and environmental sanitizers, paints, waterproofing pastes, protective coatings (paint, lumber and metals), industrial solvents, demoisturizing compounds, cleaning & drain openers, stainless steel polish & cleaner, non-chlorinated degreasers, CRM Software and GPS.
Services include software development technology focused on e-government and companies, development of CRM software, as well as consulting services on water treatment.
Little Angel’s Preschool students shine in talent show
The young students at Little Angel’s Preschool on Ambergris Caye stole the night away on Thursday June 5th when they hosted a talent show at the San Pedro Lions Den. Under the guidance of their teachers, they young children entertained their parents and members of the public with dances, skits and a few favorite nursery rhymes. The purpose of the show is basically to showcase their talent to the parents. From Humpty Dumpty and Hey Diddle, Diddle, the Cat and Fiddle, to Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears, and even Mestizo dances, the students displayed their talent to the best of their ability.
Oceana Wavemakers Celebrate World Ocean’s Day 2014 at Halfmoon Caye
In commemoration of World Ocean’s Day 2014 (June 8), thirty Oceana Wavemakers and staff travelled Halmoom Caye on the Lighthouse Reed Atoll. Belize is home to three of the Western Hemisphere’s four atolls.
As Belize’s eastern most point, (55 miles east of Belize City) the number of Belizeans who are able to visit the idyllic location every year is minimal. Halfmoon Caye has enjoyed some form of protection since 1982 and is home to one of the region’s healthiest populations of the red-footed booby birds and protects the healthiest grouper spawning aggregation sites in the country. While on the caye, the Ocean delegation also observed the turtle nesting grounds of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle.
Another highlight of the day included a visit to the world famous Great Blue Hole to snorkel among snappers, chub, Nassau groupers and reef sharks. The Blue Hole has the healthiest and most diverse population of sharks in Belize swimming among the stalagmites and stalactites of the underwater sinkhole.
San Pedro High School Student Exchange Program with L.A. Harbor College
Seven students, (Giselly Rodriguez, Ilynn Camal, ( First formers) Brittany Cornejo, Shanilly Arceo, Mark Flowers, (Second formers) Neslen Rivero and Chelsea Munoz (Third formers), along with the vice principal (Mrs. Conchita Flota) and the school counselor (Ms. Alexis Guerrero) from San Pedro High School were invited to participate in a one week exchange program with Los Angeles Harbor College (LAHC).
The students and staff members were officially invited by Professor Juan Baez, present Chairman of the Theatre Department at LAHC and were in Los Angeles, California from Saturday, May 24, 2014 to Saturday, May 31, 2014. This contact was established through now retired Professor, Larry Heimgartner and his wife, Debbie Heimgartner (current costume designer for the Theatre Department at LAHC) both of whom have been dear friends of San Pedro High School for over a decade now.
Gotta love a happy ending!
This is Monkey, formerly known as Lexi loo. She now lives in Whistler Bc Canada and she is adjusting great. She loves running along the bike trails and playing with dogs at the dog park. Just wanted to say thank you saga humane society for all of your hard work and thanks for giving us our best friend.
Misc Belizean Sources
Community supports San Pedro Red Cross blood drive
Recognizing a need to build a blood supply for Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Red Cross
(SPBRC) currently holds 4 blood drives annually. Your blood donation can one day
save a life by helping ensure that blood is available when members of community
require serious medical attention.
The SPBRC would like to inform the community, that the Blood collected at San Pedro Red Cross sponsored Blood Drives, is not sold or transferred to other communities inside or outside the country of Belize. The Blood is held in Trust at Belize Blood Bank on the mainland for utilization by the San Pedro Community. As was the case this weekend, a local resident contacted our Chairman Eiden Salazar, they needed O- blood and he was happy to accommodate their request. If you are a San Pedro resident or visitor in need of blood, simply contact Eiden Salazar at firstname.lastname@example.org or Anthony Anderson, email@example.com, and one of them will be happy to assist.
Power outage on Ambergris Caye
Belize Electricity Limited advises its customers in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye that the supply of electricity will be temporarily interrupted from 9:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2014.
Areas to be affected: Barrier Reef Drive, Pescador Drive and the entire area north of Boca del Rio.
BEL apologizes for the inconvenience caused but this scheduled power interruption is necessary for the Company to energize a newly installed transformer at the San Pedro Substation.
First Belizean Garifuna drafted to play professional soccer in the US
We the Garifuna and Belizean people should be proud of Evan Mariano, one of our Belizean national team football players, who was drafted by the soccer team Hurricanes from Houston, Texas.
We all wish him well and he is following in the footsteps of one of Belize's best strikers ever, Deon McCauley, who became the first Belizean to be drafted to play football in the United States with the Atlanta Silverbacks soccer team.
These players will hopefully pave the way for other Belizeans to get more opportunities to be drafted and play in the United States. My hope is that a Belizean gets drafted to play in Europe, where the best players in the world play.
Ambassador of Israel to Belize Visits San Pedro
Ambassador of Israel to Belize, His Excellency Shmulik Bass and his wife Mrs. Meirav Peleg-Bass make an official visit to Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez.
Another Gang Related Shooting
Gang warfare continued in the city today. After a weekend of violence believed to be retaliations between George Street and Ghost Town, there was another shooting this morning. It happened near Mayflower Street - which is the base of the Ghost Town gang.
The victim is 27 year-old Rafael Cruz who has been living in the heart of Mayflower for years. This morning at around 8:00, he went out on an errand to the store for his family. While on his way, he was ambushed at the corner of Vernon Street intersection by 2 gunmen who opened fire on him and sped off.
7News arrived on the scene shortly after:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
10 bullet markers were laid down at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets where this morning's shooting happened.
The chipping of concrete, spots of blood, and bullet indentations into nearby fences were all signs that the investigators looked for to tell the narrative of the attack.
The victim, 27 year-old Raphael Cruz, was already at the KHMH at that time, receiving treatment.
Roger Anthony Says He Won't Retaliate
One of the persons who has a privileged insight into all these shootings is Roger Anthony. He's the reputed leader of the Ghost Town gang. He's also one of the supervisors working on the Chetumal Street Bridge, as part of the outreach efforts between Government and Cisco Construction to keep embattled neighbourhoods busy. The idea is to provide them with an outlet and an opportunity so that they won't focus gang-related activities.
The brazen shooting at the Graduation party, which was thrown for his daughter who recently graduated, also injured one of Anthony's relatives. It is believed that the party was targeted because of the Ghost Town connection. Now with the shooting of Rafael Cruz right at the base of Ghost Town, it would seem that the rivalry is escalating.
But, today Anthony told Monica Bodden, he has no intentions of retaliating. He asked to appear off camera - we're using a still form an interview he gave us last week:
Voice of: Roger Anthony
"I don't really know what transpired with the shooting that happened on Saturday. My daughter graduate and I had a party for her and two gunman came and open fire on the party. I dont really know."
Alleged Shooter Kirk Smith Critical
Today's shooting was the 4th incident of what is believed to be gang related crime in 36 hours. As we told you last night, the third incident happened at the Brown Sugar Marketplace, which is also the headquarters of the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi.
5 people were shot at a graduation party being thrown by the Diaz family on Sunday night. As we reported 2 gunmen opened fire at about 100 or so guests, most of whom were high schoolers, and when the ordeal was over, 19 year-old Windell Neal, 22 year-old Triston Gordon,26 year Daniel Cain, 21 year-old Adelyn Vernon, and 22 year-old Kirk Smith Jr. were all injured.
Police suspect that of the 5, Kirk Smith Jr. was not a legitimate party-goer, in fact, they intend to investigate him as being one of the 2 shooters who first opened fire on the crowd. But, while he continues to recover at the hospital, his family wants to set the record straight. They spoke with Monica Bodden off camera today to give their version of events:
COLA Gets A Leak Of The Auditor General's Report
For weeks, COLA has been exhausting all official means to get their hands on the Auditor General's report. They say that they need it for their private prosecution against Elvin Penner for the Citizen Kim scandal. The met nothing but refusals and closed doors, but the activist group announced today that they've finally gotten a copy; though this one was leaked to them.
A statement released from COLA, says,
"The Report establishes that Penner did not act alone, that there was a ring of selected Immigration officials and trusted private citizens who engineered the systemic abuse of the process to manufacture Belizean passport and nationality certificates for several undeserving, unqualified individuals, including Won-Hong Kim." End quote.
More dramatic than that, COLA continues by saying that the Auditor General's report also found that Won Hong Kim was but one of the many clients who were facilitated to get fraudulent documents from the Immigration Department. They say, quote,
Laverne "Antichrist" Longsworth May Get Life In Prison Sentenced Reduced
In November 2012, 38 year-old Lavern Longsworth, better known as "Antichrist", became the first accused person to be convicted of murder after the prosecution used interviews she gave to the media against her. Well, she's trying to appeal that conviction. Her case came up today before Appeal Justices Dennis Morrison, Minnet Hafiz-Bertram, Samuel Awich. Her attorney, Godfrey Smith, tried to get her sentence reduced from murder to manslaughter by making an application to the court to accept new evidence. What Smith wanted the court to accept was a report done on Longsworth by British Forensic Psychiatrist, Dr. Gillian Mezey. In that report, the doctor found she wasn't in the right state of mind when she lit her common-law husband, David White, on fire. The Doctor believes that Longsworth was suffering from battered woman's syndrome.
That's because White, who has had a few brushes with the law for violent criminal offences, was allegedly a drug addict who habitually inflicted physical abuse on Longsworth for years before she took action against him.
The Appeal Court accepted this report into evidence today, and outside of court we asked Smith to explain the significance to us:
Vitalino Jr Still In Coma; Sr. Bitter
13 days after he was beaten up inside a Belize City club Vitalino Reyes Jr remains in a coma at the KHMH. His family says he is showing modest signs of recovery - but still cannot speak. They believe he can hear them - and add that he has been taken off the ventilator, so they are encouraged. But he is not out of the woods, far form it. Six men have been charged for inflicting the wounds that resulted in his coma, but today his father told us why he is still very bitter:
Vitalino Reyes Sr.
"No satisfaction because my son is still in there. They could eat, they could laugh, they drinking, they shouting, they are doing everything getting the same air that God provide us, but my son is not doing that. Just that God is so good to us that he is making a miracle. I feel sad. I have never ever cry so much like this time in my life."
"There must be some satisfaction to know that it's not just you against him that the police have agreed with you."
Vitalino Reyes Sr.
"I don't know if the police agree with me. They did it, it's not that they agree with me. It's just that they investigate it and they found out that they are, but I mean how satisfied can I be? They just were arrested two hours and then released."
Social Security Still No Cards?
Last month we told you about the waiting list for Social Security Cards at the Social Security Board. Those waiting for new cards have been on a list for months, and up to today a few folks we checked with still haven't gotten a call to come in. What's the hold-up? Well, according to Social Security, they are out of overlays. That's the protective plastic that goes over the card - a very basic item. It was ordered in January - and was expected to arrive in the third week of May- presumably by pony express. So has it arrived as scheduled? And if so, why are those on the waiting list still not getting their cards? That;s what we tried to ask the public relations officer at Social security this afternoon - only to find out, from other sources that she's no longer the PR officer - and - no new one is in place yet.
It seems that Social Security is in the middle a major re-organization - with major transfers at every level - and even a new organogram. This change-up we gather is not being met by widespread acclaim or adulation within SSB - where there are grumblings of discontent with the process and the personnel decisions.
KHMH Director Of Finance On the Out
There's also change afoot at the KHMH. 7News has been reliably informed that Director of Finance Carlos Perrera has been given his walking papers. Sources tell us that the board met last week and decided to terminate him, but Perrera - we are told - has been trying to work out a compromise where he would be given some time to resign and leave in a more orderly fashion. Up to today, he was still at work.
Preparing Cattle Farmers For Climate Change
The torrential rains in the latter part of 2012 set all kinds of records - and while you might be able to dismiss that as just a very wet year, think back to 2011 when there was a severe drought in the Belize district. In both extreme weather events, there was a significant loss of livestock - dozens of heads of cattle lost. The experts say its climate change - and now they have to prepare farmers for it. That's where the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union come in. They're implementing and funding the Global Climate Change Alliance - which has targeted the Belize River Valley with a pilot project.
But it's not some abstract scientific jaunt; they've come upon a very concrete programme that can be implemented immediately and the benefit will be felt in the short term. It's in the form of what are called Forage Chopping Machines which were handed over to 25 famers at the Sandhill Community center this afternoon.
We visited and found out more:..
Ricardo Thompson, Principal Agricultural Officer
"It a pilot that is actually being tested in the district because we see that the district is the lower reaches of the Belize River where rains that usually falls in the upper reaches in the country of that particular water shed actually finds its way to the lower reaches."
OW BTIA Say Bad Roads Cause Bad Business
Government has boasted about having millions of dollars to spend on infrastructure, but the Orange walk Chapter of the BTIA says it can't wait.
They wrote a letter to the Prime Minister today expressing, quote, "disappointment and frustration in relation to the deplorable conditions of the streets in Orange Walk Town."
They refer particularly to the Phillip Goldson Highway, known as the Belize-Corozal Road, Queen Victoria Avenue, and Otro Benque Road. The letter says that people are avoiding passing through Orange Walk and it has affected several businesses. The letter closes by saying that they implore the Government of Belize to address this urgent matter immediately.
Well, that was this morning; this afternoon, we got a call from UDP Orange Walk East Standard Bearer Elodio Aragon who told us that work on the highway will commence on Thursday morning.
Corozal Police are investigating the death of a 14 year-old girl from Corozal who may have taken her own life.
47 year-old Donaldo Vasquez told police that he came home at 3:45 on Sunday evening, and when he asked his son where his daughter, Vianney Vasquez, was, he said that he hadn't seen her. The child told his father that she was missing for about 3 hours.
Donaldo Vasquez looked around and found her in an abandoned house in their yard. She apparently hung herself.
British Running For Belize
According to a UK website, 23 year-old British Citizen Katy Sealy, who has Belizean parentage, will represent Belize in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland, 3 weeks from now.
Sealy lives in Eastern England, and she has been training for years as a heptathlete. 4 years ago, however, she suffered a major injury. She's now back, and she's told the press in England, that though she didn't make that country's national team, she won't pass up an opportunity to be part of the Belize Contingent.
Sealy's father, David, is Belizean-born.
Gang warfare continues unabated; a construction worker clings to life after being shot
Full scale gang warfare continues unabated in Belize City; nine persons have been shot in three days. The latest casualty is twenty-seven year old Rafael Cruz. He was shot four [...]
Street Figure, Roger Anthony, denies knowledge of rivalry with George Street
As we said, on Sunday night, a pair of gunmen stormed a graduation party at the Brown Sugar Mall and indiscriminately let loose a volley of shots at a number [...]
Roger Anthony says safety of his workmen threatened by the series of events
The shooting incident this morning involving Cruz, an associate of Roger Anthony, is believed to have been retaliatory. When we posed that question to him, Anthony said he cannot ascertain [...]
Broad daylight shooting on Victoria Street
The other shooting in the city today happened less than seven hours after the near-fatal attack on twenty-seven-year-old Rafael Cruz gunshots rang out near a residence on Victoria Street. Shortly [...]
Auditor General’s report is leaked; it says Elvin Penner did not act alone
The Auditor-General’s report on corruption in immigration is out…well technically it’s been out since March twenty-first, almost three months ago…sent to the PM and to the Ministry of Immigration. But [...]
Christian Ebanks…is he also wanted by the U.S.?
On Monday night, we showed you part one of an exclusive interview with Christian Ebanks. Ebanks, who also goes by the name Floyd Ebanks Jurado, is wanted in Ecuador for [...]
Vitalino Reyes Junior still critical at the K.H.M.H.
On May twenty-ninth, manager of Cavetubing.bz Vitalino Reyes Junior was badly beaten at the Long Island Bar in Belize City. Six employees of Yhony Rosado’s Cavetubing.com, a competitor, have since [...]
Was Lavern ‘Antichrist’ Longsworth suffering from Battered Women Syndrome?
Lavern ‘Antichrist’ Longsworth appeared in the Court of Appeal this morning along with her attorney Godfrey Smith. Longsworth was previously convicted for the murder of her common-law-husband, David White, after [...]
Father charged for sexually assault his daughter
Earlier today, a father was before the court to answer to a single count of sexual offense, referred to as a sexual assault, upon his eight year old daughter. According [...]
B.T.I.A. tells PM to fix up Orange Walk Streets
In November, near the end of an unusually prolonged and intense rainy season, Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented what he called a muscular plan, a plan on steroids. It was [...]
Ladyville Tech student wins National Bank of Belize logo competition
The National Bank of Belize, a state-owned lending institution in the country, has a new logo. The design is the brainchild of a first form student at Ladyville Technical High [...]
Supreme Court rules in dispute within the executive of Belize Ex-Services League
A decision by the Supreme Court in a longstanding dispute within the executive of the Belize Ex-Services League has been handed down by Justice Courtney Abel. The administration, led by [...]
Still no resolution to the bagasse issue between B.S.I. and farmers
The 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season was two months delayed due to a bagasse impasse. Both B.S.I. and the B.S.C.F.A., representing cane-farmers, agreed to start the crop in good faith, [...]
A symposium and expo on the impact of climate change
An important symposium is ongoing at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City about an issue that has significant impact on many sectors. It is about climate change and it is [...]
Bob Bou Nahra at the poker table of the WSOP’S Final
Turning to some sporting news, Belizeans got a crash course on poker when business man Bob Badih Bou Nahra made it to the World Series of Poker’s November Nine Final [...]
National Bank Announces Winner of Logo Competition
A first form student of Ladyville Technical High School in the Belize District was presented with a cheque for a thousand dollars along with a plaque after being one out of a dozen students who submitted logo designs for the National Bank of Belize (NBB). The submissions came as the result of a logo competition that was launched in January by the NBB for high schools across the country. The presentation was done this morning on the schools compound in Ladyville Village, Belize District. At the today’s brief ceremony, Love News spoke with Katrina Young, Risk Manager at the National Bank of Belize, who says that one of the objectives of the competition was to foster an appreciation for Belize’s only local bank.
National Bank of Belize
“The logo competition started between the span of January to March 2014. The aim of the competition was to stimulate enthusiasm for the country’s only national bank. At the same time we wanted to be able to foster teams for it as well as school spirit while strengthening the artistic creativity amongst high schools.
Police Investigates Incident that Left Villager Injured on Roadside
Police in Corozal are still trying to determine how a man ended up on the road side with head trauma. Police responded and travelled to Xaibe Village, located in that district, where they found Leocadio Cob. For the details and the progress of the investigation, Love News spoke to the deputy officer in charge of the Corozal Police station, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Daniel Arzu.
ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT OF BELIZE
“Sometime around 8:40 last night Corozal Police received information of a person seen lying on the Xaibe Road. We responded and conducted an investigation. The male person who was lying on the road was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital where he was given medical attention. He was subsequently transferred to KHMH where he is currently listed in a critical condition. Police are investigating the circumstances and we are unable to establish how he sustained such injuries.”
Gang Warfare?!! Gang Boss Says He Knows Nothing
The gang warfare continued this morning as one person thought to be associated with Ghost Town gang was shot four times. It happened at about 8 o’clock this morning when twenty seven year old Rafael Cruz was walking on Vernon Street on his way to buy dog food at a nearby store. Cruz is currently at the KHMH in a critical condition. His family believes that the shooting was retaliation by members of the George Street Gang. However, Ghost Town Gang Boss, Roger Anthony told Love News, they have no part in any gang war.
HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING
Police were quickly called to Vernon Street, where the shooting of 27 year old Rafael Cruz happened about 8 o’clock. Cruz was on his way to a store to buy food for a puppy he got that very same morning. Unknown to him, two men on motorcycle were a mission: a mission to kill someone from Ghost Town.
BTIA Writes Letter to PM on Deterioration of Thoroughfares
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. In the letter, the tourism stakeholders of the Orange Walk district express their disappointment and frustration in relation to the deplorable conditions of the streets of the town. We spoke with BTIA Orange Walk President Osmany Salas.
President (Orange Walk Chapter)
Belize Tourism Industry Association
“The whole purpose of the open letter to the Prime Minister was to draw to his attention of the streets and roads in town. I know this is a problem all over the country but we represent interest in Orange Walk. For several of our last meetings, the conditions of our streets and roads in and around town have been a topic. Our members, we currently number about eighteen; they are quite frustrated and quite disappointed that we are not seeing any improvements at all in particular with the section of Philip Goldson Highway that goes through Orange Walk Town, I’m referring to the Belize Corozal Road, Queen Victoria Avenue and Otro Benque Road; that section is in a deplorable condition. I think that all Orange Walkenos would agree that we can’t remember when it was in such a bad state. We also referring to the Yo Creek/San Antonio Road that goes through town; so in this context, we also draw the whole situation of the streets to the Town Council as well.”
AntiChrist Awaits Decision From Court of Appeals
The Belize Court of Appeals has set June 20, 2014 as the date where it will give its ruling as to whether it will substitute manslaughter for murder for 40-year-old, Lavern Longsworth, who was convicted of the murder of her common-law husband, David White and sentenced to life imprisonment. If manslaughter is substituted for murder the court will also decide on the appropriate sentence. At her appeal hearing today, Longsworth’s attorney, Godfrey Smith, made an application to adduce fresh evidence to show that Longsworth was a victim of domestic abuse. He cited the evidence of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Gillian Mezey, who evaluated Longsworth, saying that the evidence is corroborated by a statement by the former Chief Magistrate, Margaret Mckenzie. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl- Lyn Vidal, who represented the respondent, did not object to the application and it was granted by Belize Court of Appeals. On July 15, 2010, White, 32, was doused with kerosene and set on fire. He succumbed to his injuries 17 days later. Longsworth was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in November 2012.
COLA Gets Copy of Auditor General’s Report on the Immigration Department
Citizens organized for liberty through action, COLA will host a press conference later this week to discuss the Auditor General’s preliminary report in the irregularities at the Immigration Department. COLA had made a formal request to the Prime Minister for the report and other information he had in his possession, a request that went unanswered. COLA says they now have in their possession a copy of the report which shows a number of irregularities. According to COLA the report is a scathing indictment of the behavior of senior officials in the Department, especially the Director of Immigration. It also shows that Elvin Penner did not act alone and that there was a ring of selected Immigration officials and private citizens who were involved. COLA says the report shows that there were numerous instances where several undeserving, unqualified individuals received Belizean nationality.
Early Morning Shooting Rocks Mayflower Area
The Mayflower Street neighborhood is, unfortunately, known as a crime-ridden area and the base for one of the City’s toughest gangs. As such, its residents are used to the threat of death even when not imminent. Around 8 this morning, 27 year old Rafael Cruz had just left home...
Hit and Run in Xaibe?
A man from the district of Corozal is today hospitalized at the KHMH in a critical condition following what is suspected to be a hit and run incident. According to Corozal Police, on Monday June 9th, at about 8:38 pm Corozal Police visited the entrance of Xaibe Village, Corozal...
Auditor General’s Report on Penner Case Leaked to COLA
COLA has been getting the run around as it tries to collect information and documentation that may help in the prosecution of Ex- Minister of State Elvin Penner. The grass roots organization has formally requested of Prime Minister Dean Barrow that he disclose the Auditor General’s Preliminary Report as...
BTIA is not Happy About Roads in Orange Walk
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter is not happy about the roads in Orange Walk and today they made their point very clear in an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Belize. In their letter they expressed their utmost disappointment and frustration in relation to...
Forestry Department Confiscates 32 Pieces of Pine Lumber
Three men from Carmelita Village, Orange Walk, were arraigned yesterday at the Magistrate’s Court in Orange Walk Town for illegal logging and unlawful wild life possession. The three men in question are Wayne Adolfus, Herbert Reynolds and Anthony Rayburn, all residents of Carmelita Village. According to reports the men...
BRC Printers May be in Trouble
Most primary schools across the nation of Belize have been using BRC Reading Books for many years. In fact, many readers today can boast growing up on these stories which have been in circulation for the past thirty –five years. The western community of Benque Viejo has been the...
Ismail Omar Shabazz Dies
One of Belize’s best historians and thinkers, the legendary Ismail Omar Shabazz, passed away earlier today. Shabaz, born on December 8th, 1937, was one of the earliest writers and publishers of the Amandala Newspaper. He is one of the founders of the United Black Association for Development- UBAD as well...
CEMO Symposium and Expo Addresses Climate Change
As we told you yesterday, the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO), as part of its preparations for the hurricane season and continuing education about the threat of natural disasters to the City, began a two day symposium today in Belize City. City Councilor with responsibility for emergency management, Philip...
World Oceans Day Celebrated
Monday, June 8 was World Oceans Day, a celebration of the oceans that cover more than half of the planet Earth and spawn many forms of aquatic and marine life. Here in Belize the main celebration was led by the local office of OCEANA which visited the Lighthouse Reef...
MET Service Warns Against Hurricane Complacency
Belizeans are used to the threat of hurricanes from June to November yearly. In fact, some wait until the very last minute to make their preparations. Those individuals may be heartened to hear that after some years of heavy activity, this season will be average as far as hurricane...
Re: Today's Belize News: June 11, 2014
06/11/14 05:52 AM
06/11/14 05:52 AM
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Caye Caulker Chronicles
Congratulations to the graduates!
Congratulations are in order to our football star, Sofia Diego, who graduated from Saint Catherine Academy this week, for a job well done.
Congratulations are also in order to our future rocket scientist, Ilya Rosado, who graduated from Saint John’s Junior College with honors.
Congratulation, as well, to Giselle de la Fuente for graduating from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Management Systems, and on being accepted to the Masters Degree program at Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria.
Congratulations are also in order to all of the graduates of Ocean Academy, as well as the Standard 6 school leavers at CCRCS.
Atlantic Hurricane Season Began June 1, 2014
The Atlantic Hurricane season began without fanfare on June 1, 2014, and will run until November 30, 2014.
The last few years, hurricanes have shown mercy on little Belize, although Tropical Storm Barry last year drenched the Corozal District with a surplus of rainfall.
Caye Caulker and it’s sister island, Ambergris Caye, are never far away from the danger posed by these storms. It is always with hesitation and many prayers that we move into the season.
There were no major hurricanes during the 2013 season. This is practically unheard of. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this feat will repeat itself, or at the worst, we are well prepared for any adverse weather.
Below is the list of hurricane names for the 2014 season.
Lobster Fest Set To Begin On June 27
Court of Appeal overturns Krismar Espinosa murder acquittal; orders new trial
Krismar Espinosa, 25, who was accused of the 2009 Christmas Eve murder of fellow prison inmate Keon Kyle Swasey, but was acquitted of it in December 2012, when Supreme Court Justice John Gonzalez upheld a no-case-to-answer submission from his attorney and directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict, had his acquittal overturned by the Court of Appeal today.
The Court of Appeal heard arguments from Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, who had appealed Espinosa’s acquittal. Espinosa was represented by attorney Hubert Elrington, S.C.
The appeal was argued before a panel of three Appeal Court Justices, the Honorable Manuel Sosa, the court’s president and Appeal Justices Minet Haffiz and Samuel Awich.
At the conclusion of the hearing, President Sosa announced that the court had allowed the appeal.
2 shot on Kut Avenue
This past weekend, there were three separate shootings in Belize City in which a teenage girl, a 21-year-old woman and at least six young men were all injured by gunfire.
However, it all started on Saturday night sometime after 9:00 p.m., when two men were shot just a block away from the Precinct 1 Police Station at the corner of Kut and Amara Avenues.
According to police, Sigmond Trapp, 28, and Anthony Scott, 25, were walking on Kut Avenue heading towards Euphrates Avenue when a gunman who was travelling in an SUV with dark-tinted windows which came from the direction of Euphrates Avenue, fired several shots at them.
5 shot, 1 critical
The bliss that normally accompanies graduation, and the festivities thereafter, was summarily cut short sometime last night when an unidentified gun-wielding man opened fire on a crowd of celebrating students at the Brown Sugar Market Terminal near the Tourist Village in Belize City, injuring four of the partygoers and an unknown man who was shot in the head.
Police reported that upon visiting the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) at about 12:30 in the early hours of this morning, Monday, five persons – several of them students – were observed with gunshot injuries. Willodel Neal, 19, was shot in the abdomen and left leg; Triston Gordon, 22, was shot in the back; Daniel Cain, 26, was shot in the right leg; female student Adelyn Vernon, 21, was shot in the left inner thigh; and a man who at first was unidentified, was shot in the head and back, and is listed in a critical condition.
GOB unpopularity fuels support for BGYEA rally
Friends, supporters and concerned citizens from all walks of life and all corners of the country came out and gathered at the historic Battlefield Park today to show support for the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) and take a stand against an array of perceived corrupt practices being perpetrated by the present UDP administration. Included among them were supporters of the umbrella organization ROC, the “Rod of Correction” – a new entity formed to “lash” Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s uncaring administration.
Revolutionary messages, which carried themes of solidarity and persistence, echoed from the rostrum as several invited guest speakers, including union leaders and activists, stressed the need for good governance, equality and a desperate need for the abolishment of corruption by the country’s political officials.
Girl, 16, shot; bullet lodged in chest
Cory White, 16, a student of the Police Street area, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after she was shot behind the jaw, and the slug lodged in her chest. Doctors said that she must now live with the bullet in her chest, said her mother, Prudence Wade.
Cory and her boyfriend, a reputed member of the Gaza gang, and others, were walking home from the BTL Park at about 2:00 Sunday morning at the time of the shooting. After they passed a car that was parked in the area near the seafront, on Newtown Barracks, on the curve going towards the Town Clock on Barrack Road, an unknown gunman began shooting at them, hitting White.
DAVCO pledges support for oil exploration in the south
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and other government representatives met with the executive of the Toledo District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO) at the Cabinet room in Belmopan today to discuss the prospects of oil exploration in southern Belize, and according to the Government of Belize (GOB), the association expressed their full support for the endeavor, citing its benefits to education, health and infrastructure in the district.
The meeting was apparently set up in order for GOB to move forward on its consultations on US Capital’s oil exploration activities with villagers who stand to be affected in the south, as ordered by Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana in her judgment, which was issued in April of this year on the heels of what has been described as a long, drawn-out court battle between the GOB and the leaders of the Mayan communities buffering the Sarstoon-Temash National Park, where the pre-drilling activities are currently taking place.
Editorial: The BGYEA rally
This is our third consecutive editorial on the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) and their fight to plant corn in the buffer zone between their Harmonyville community and Mile 41 on the George Price Highway. Clearly, the newspaper considers the matter an important one, both in symbol and in substance.
44 years ago, the People’s United Party (PUP) government of Rt. Hon. George C. Price packed up most of their government’s offices and moved them to Belmopan, officially opening the new capital on August 1, 1970. The decision to build the new capital had been made following the devastation of Belize City (and Stann Creek Town) by Hurricane Hattie on October 31, 1961.
From The Publisher
When I was growing up in “Belize, British Honduras” in the 1950s and early 1960s, the magic of “America” came home to my family through the letters and boxes sent by my grandaunt, Gladys Lindo Ysaguirre, from Brooklyn, one of the boroughs of the fabulous New York City. The magic of America also came home to us through the short wave radio transmissions of United States Armed Forces Radio, which brought live baseball, basketball, and American football games to us. The magic of America also came to us through the records (45, 78, and 33 rpm long-playing albums) the odd Belizean would bring home now and then. We learned about the music of Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Brook Benton, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Presley, some Satchmo and some Ella. The government monopoly radio station played a lot of American country-and-western – Jim Reeves and Marty Robbins and Patti Page and Patsy Cline. After a while more and more of our canned goods and our clothes, our motors and our machines, were marked “Made in U.S.A.” Belizeans were in love with America.
This was especially so in the case of Belizean Roman Catholics, because the nuns and priests who taught us in school, were all Americans, of mostly Irish and German immigrant descent. We were in love with the idea and the image of America which reached British Honduras fifty and sixty years ago.
Stop the cheap sale of rosewood!
Belizean rosewood, Dalbergia stevensonii, is probably the most elite of our precious hard woods. For centuries it has been used to produce the highest quality and most sought-after furniture. In addition to its ability to produce a rich, lustrous finish, its high density (more than twice that of mahogany) gives it a unique resonance when used in musical instruments. The “heaviness” of this wood results in part from its slow growth rate.
Depending on the soil conditions, it may take 80 years or more for a rosewood tree to reach maturity. Even if the logger is conscientious and plants a seedling to replace the felled tree, several generations of people must protect that tree before it will be ready for harvesting. The stump may produce new shoots, but it is unlikely that any will give the quality wood of the original.
At the moment flitches may sell for $4 per board foot and that price appears attractive. But consider this: that board foot of lumber could be sawn into 100 letter openers (thin wooden knives) and each would bring $5 on the tourist market.
US$11 mil loan motion for BEL goes to House Friday
The House of Representatives is due to meet this Friday, June 13, in the National Assembly Chambers of Belmopan. At that sitting, a motion for a US$11 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank to the government-owned utility, the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), will be tabled.
Amendments to Belize’s insurance and trust acts will also be tabled, as a part of an ongoing lobby by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to get member jurisdictions such as Belize and Guyana – threatened with sanctions – to implement anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism measures.
Amandala understands that no amendments to the firearms act will be tabled at this sitting.
Also, the proposed Occupational Safety and Health Bill, tabled in January, is not quite ready to be returned to Parliament.
Drones introduced in Belize for fisheries surveillance
Last September, we reported to you that Belize was considering whether it would introduce drones to police its maritime space for illegal fishing.
In February this year, we told you of the decision by local fisheries authorities to introduce them in 2014; and this week, the Belize Fisheries Department made it official when they proceeded to test-launch two drones provided by Conservation Drones at the conclusion of training for staff of its Conservation Compliance Unit.
This makes Belize the first country in the Caribbean to introduce the technology. Reports to our newspaper indicate that Jamaica is also considering introducing the same technology.
Michael Sabal, chief coxswain at the Belize Fisheries Department, told Amandala today that the drones will significantly cut down on the cost of patrolling Belize’s coastal waters, and it will save them the embarrassment of running out on prank calls, which they do get from time to time.
Penner out, John August in for Cayo North East race
Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley is not the only municipal government official who has been trying to make his foray into national politics. The current mayor of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, John August, Jr., has also been pursuing a seat in Parliament.
If August is successful in the 2017 general elections or an earlier by-election that could be forced by a criminal conviction against Elvin Penner, he could replace Penner as the current United Democratic Party area representative for Cayo North East.
However, his political opponent, Orlando “Landy” Habet of the Opposition People’s United Party, says that win is unlikely, because August is “not a real threat”—although Habet acknowledged that August has strong backing from the ruling United Democratic Party.
Kareem Musa endorsed for Caribbean Shores
Attorney Kareem Musa, a son of former two-term Prime Minister Said Wilbert Musa and his wife Joan Musa, on Sunday afternoon was endorsed to run for the People’s United Party in Caribbean Shores at Lopez Mateos Park under threatening skies.
Speakers at the PUP convention were Dr. Francis Smith; attorney Bryan Neal; Yolanda Shackron, the PUP Women’s Group president; attorney Dickie Bradley; former Lake I representative Cordel Hyde; Belize Rural Central area representative Dolores Balderamos-Garcia; and former PUP leader and area representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceño.
After Kareem Musa was sworn in by the PUP Secretary General Myrtle Palacio, he had this to say:
Suicide in Ranchito
At about 3:45 yesterday afternoon, a 14-year-old girl was found dead with a rope tied around her neck, hanging from the beam of a house under construction in the yard next to the property of her family in Ranchito, Corozal.
The terrible discovery was made by the girl’s father and brother.
Donaldo Vasquez, 47, a laborer of Ranchito, told police that when he arrived home from work yesterday afternoon, his daughter, Vianny, was not at home. He and his son, 13, began a search for her in the neighborhood, and when he went into an unfinished house adjacent to his yard, he found his daughter hanging by the neck, suspended off the floor with a yellow rope tied across the beam of the house. A stool, which had fallen, was under her.
Belize attends 44th OAS General Assembly meeting
The 44th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) was held from June 3rd to the 5th, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General of Belize, Wilfred Elrington, headed Belize’s delegation to the high level meeting, which was held in Asuncion, Paraguay.
According to a Government of Belize (GOB) press release issued today, the session was conducted mainly for hemispheric leaders to “commit their efforts to eradicating hunger and poverty, in particular extreme poverty, combating inequity, discrimination, and social exclusion; and increasing equitable access to health services as well as to quality and inclusive education – priority objectives which should inform actions of the inter-American system.”
Minister Elrington, in the release, spoke of Belize’s efforts towards social inclusion and highlighted government’s pro-poor policies such as the conditional cash transfers, the food pantry, and a program to provide monetary support to elderly citizens over the age of 65.
Supreme Court upholds Chief Magistrate’s ruling to extradite Deon Bruce
After almost two full days of arguments in a judicial review and a writ of habeas corpus application that were unprecedentedly joined together in the Deon Bruce extradition matter, Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel denied the writ of habeas corpus, which would have resulted in Bruce’s freedom, and he upheld Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith’s decision to extradite Bruce to the U.S.
Relying on the extradition treaty signed between the Government of Belize and the Government of the United States of America in 2000, the U.S. has made an extradition request for Belizean Deon Bruce, 28, who has been indicted by a U.S. grand jury for murder, attempted murder and firearm-related charges in Chicago.
In mid-January, Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that Bruce should be extradited to stand trial in the U.S.
Mayhem in Billy White
Two brothers of Billy White have been arrested and charged with wounding, and will be taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Tuesday. Police said that Gumercindo Pop, a resident of the village, was stabbed [...]
Robbery in the city
The Image store on Albert Store was robbed by two armed robbers at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon and thieves got away with about $1,500 in cash and valuables. The store supervisor, an Indian national, told police [...]
15-year-old 8 months, 3 weeks pregnant for father
The father is now on the run A 15-year-old girl of Aguacate, Toledo District, is 8 months pregnant after she was raped repeatedly by her father. The father has since abandoned the family, and has run [...]
$40,000 car destroyed by fire
A Mercedez Benz car valued at $40,000 – the property of Rosaria Romero – Woman Police Constable of Libertad, Corozal District, was completely destroyed by a fire. Arson is not suspected. In an interview with Amandala, [...]
TIDE Junior FWC game results & plans One game was played today at the Toledo Union Field in the TIDE Junior Freshwater Cup (FWC) 2014 tournament. Normalee Sarita Gomez scored the only goal of the game, [...]
Smart 13 & Under Week 5 results There are 10 teams participating in the 3rd Annual Smart 13 & Under Football Tournament, and already 5 weeks of games have been completed, with 4 weeks of games [...]
That’s it for No Limit; Western Ballaz to meet Tigersharks in NEBL Finals In the decisive semifinal Game 3 between Belize City (SMART) No Limit and Cayo Western Ballaz at the Sacred Heart Auditorium in San [...]
Glass Shop U-12
Renan Celiz Progess Street Glass Shop U-12 and Caribbean Rum 5-A-Side in O.W. The Renan Celiz U-12 Finals took place at the Barracks on Saturday, June 7. In the third place game, Elite Promos defeated Barcelona [...]
Shooting on Mayflower/Vernon Streets injures one
27 year old Rafael Cruz is hospitalized following a shooting incident in Belize City this morning, the fourth such incident in three days. It happened in a neighborhood known for crime and as the base of one of the City’s toughest gangs. Even for residents used to the […]
Effects of climate change discussed at symposium
What do polar ice caps melting, higher temperatures, heavier rainfalls and all-around wild weather have to do with ordinary Belizeans? As it turns out, a lot. The City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO), as part of its preparations for the hurricane season and continuing education about the threat of […]
Belize joins in celebrating World Oceans Day
Monday, June 8 was World Oceans Day, a celebration of the oceans that cover more than half of the planet Earth and spawn many forms of aquatic and marine life. Here in Belize the main celebration was led by the local office of OCEANA which visited the Lighthouse […]
Laverne “Anti Christ” Longsworth appeals murder conviction
The Court of Appeal is considering the appeal of convicted murderess Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, serving a life term for the death of her common-law partner David White. In November of 2012 Longsworth was found guilty by a jury of seven women and five men despite claiming that she […]
Chief Meteorologist warns against hurricane complacency
Belizeans are used to the threat of hurricanes from June to November yearly. In fact, some wait until the very last minute to make their preparations. Those individuals may be heartened to hear that after some years of heavy activity, this season will be average as far as […]
Hit-and-run incident leaves Xiabe man in ciritcal condition
Another hit-and-run driver is on the loose in northern Belize. Last night, a man was knocked down by an as-yet unidentified vehicle in Xiabe village, Corozal. The victim of the hit-and-run incident has been identified as Leocadio Cob. He is listed in critical condition at the KHMH. Police […]
Before donating blood think RED
It’s important to the San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) that our blood donors have a pleasant and easy experience.
Our recommendation to help you pass the screening and have a good experience, before donating blood think RED:
Rest, get a good night’s sleep the night before the drive.
Eat a healthy meal before you donate, eating iron-rich foods helps strengthen iron levels for safe and successful blood donation. This includes leafy green vegetables, tuna, red meat and iron fortified cereals. When a person’s body is low in iron, their blood cells decrease, and it can prevent them from donating.
Drink plenty of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages such as water or fresh juice.
The blood donation process is simple, Central Blood Bank in Belize City follows procedures to ensure that personal information is confidential and that each donation is safe for the donor and the recipient. The entire process only takes about 20 minutes, but the reward lasts a lifetime.
Bats of Belize
They are the most populous mammals on the planet and one of nature’s greatest success stories, and depending on your perspective are either cute vegetarian flying foxes or scary Bela Lugosi vampires.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, bats are here to stay and, once you get to know them, you’ll be glad.
There are more than 1100 different kinds of bats sharing the planet with us, from the tiny Kitti’s hog-nosed, or bumblebee bat of Thailand and Burma – the world’s smallest mammal, up to flying foxes with six foot (two metre) wing spans. Making up a quarter of all mammals alive today, bats are found all over the world.
In Belize, some 75 species of bats account for about 58% of the mammal population, thriving on the many types of fruits, flowers, insects and other food sources to be found throughout the country. And, fitting right in with Belize’s biodiversity and multicultural human population, the variety of bat species is impressive, with Argentine Brown Bats, Southern Yellow Bats, Northern Yellow Bats, Little Yellow-shouldered Bats, and Red Bats as well as Great, Pygmy and Toltec Fruit Eating bats, Hairy Big Eyed Bats, Lesser and Greater Doglike Bats, and fifty shades of Naked Back and Big Naked Back Bats, to name just a very few.
Want to know more about Belize?
It’s no secret that Belize is widely regarded as a haven for both tourists and foreign investors alike, although for seemingly contrasting reasons. As a country with so much to offer, it is our responsibility to aggressively market ourselves in such a way that we attract those who are willing and able to explore the many facets of Belize. It is through promotional tools, such as magazines, international trade shows, and an online presence, that we project ourselves to garner attention. This attention, whether it’s for our barrier reef system or for our o shore banks, is what turns into foreign investment and revenue, which in turn significantly boosts our economy.
McNab Publishing has an extensive track record for producing effective publications catering to an audience interested in Belize. Now, as we team up with BELTRAIDE for the third volume of the Invest Belize magazine, we are excited to produce a publication catering to those interested in Belize as a business and investment destination. We invite you to come on board and showcase your business on an international platform.
THE SUN OF THE NIGHT
Maya mythology celebrates the sun. In fact, they deified it in the name of K’inich Ahau (The lord of the day). It rises in the East making its way through a watery, test-ridden and trick-filled place they call Xibalba or in some regions, Metnal (both meaning the underworld, the place of fright, the creation place).
The sun does its 12 hour movement through the sky (in the Maya area), dominating all aspects of our lives and dominating everything beneath its glare. It was a god for the ancient Maya. Homage was important. In fact, the sun deity was so important it was imperative that it was represented in the night time as it was the time maker for a middle world that wanted nothing more but for the sun to bless them and their fields and gardens with its life-giving rays.
But why represent the sun at night by a jaguar? The answer is a little simpler than we would want to think. First, the jaguar is the most powerful feline in the forests of Central America. Secondly, its a nocturnal creature who hunts at night with a stealth unmatched by any of its contemporary carnivores. And third, if you’ve ever had the chance to see one, its regal, perfect design would make you too think its more than a cat.
Healthy Active Life 5K Run
The Healthy Active Life 5K that took place in Belmopan this weekend had almost 200 runners. They have tons of pictures from the event(album 1, 2, 3). Congratulations to everyone that finished, and to the male and female winners. Stay healthy!
"WOW! So many people came out to run and/or walk the 5K race! Thank you Belmopan for supporting a healthy active lifestyle, helping to raise much needed funds for Marla's House of Hope & making this 5K race a success. Congratulations to everyone for crossing the finish line before 60 minutes and CONGRATULATIONS to the top winners. We will be posting their names & all the official times soon.
This month's Screen on the Green is Thursday, June 12th, and they'll be showing the Blindside, with Sandra Bullock, and for which she won an Oscar. A big thanks to the U.S. Embassy for the great movies.
"Belize Screen on the Green is back this Thursday, June 12, and will screen the movie, 'The Blind Side.' Join us from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at GG Field in Belmopan. As always - free popcorn and drinks will be served - but bring a chair and a snack to improve your viewing. Also this week we will have a few prizes for the first people to arrive...."
The Treatery Coffee Shop
The Treatery is now open. It's more than just a coffee shop, it's the total coffee experience. They have a huge selection of coffee styles, and also have more pastries than you can try in a week, and they are all top notch. It's in the Cayo Welcome Center, right next to Fuego Bar and Grill. Album on fb.
"There's a new coffee shop in town, and it's called The Treatery. It's right next to Fuego's at the Cayo Welcome Center. They have great coffees and wonderful treats. Try it once, and you'll go back."
Garifuna Collective Tour Europe
The Garifuna Collective are having fun wowing Europe on their European Tour. They played at the Afro Pflingsten Festival in Switzerland on Sunday. Have fun guys!
In related news, the World Culture Band, without Sam Harris while he's in Europe, still plays most Sundays at Eva's(Eva's is Eva's again).
Computer Courses at the GPC
If you want to learn about MS Project or Quickbooks, then you might want to check out the computer classes they'll be having at the George Price Centre this month. Project classes are Friday and Saturday, with more next week. Quickbooks starts on Monday the 23rd.
EU efforts to promote sustainable fishing struggle to catch illegal imports
In March, the EU took unprecedented steps in its fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Using its common fisheries policy, the union blacklisted Belize, Cambodia and Guinea-Conakry for not being tough enough on this issue. Fisheries and vessels carrying flags from these countries can no longer export their fish to the EU.
"Europe is the largest importer of fish in the world and currently IUU fishing amounts to at least 15% of fish caught globally," says European commissioner for maritime affairs Maria Damanaki. "We will no longer tolerate it."
Her argument is persuasive: the estimated cost of IUU seafood in the EU is €10bn a year. IUU fishing has a negative impact on the world's fisheries, over half of which are nearing capacity, according to WWF. As such the EU must act beyond its borders – but therein lies the problem.
"There are many ways around such bans," says Cheryl Dahle, co-founder of American seafood consultancy Future of Fish. "Vessels can transfer IUU fishing shipments in international waters, or even sail under a flag that they've bought from another country. However the main problem is that IUU fishing is still being handled as a compliance issue rather than a business challenge."
A hot tropical destination hits the global real estate market thanks to this UH power couple
The luxury real estate business in Belize is officially global now that Belize Sotheby’s International Realty recently unveiled an office there — thanks in part to two Houstonians.
Belize Sotheby's International Realty recently closed the deal with McCann & Fisher Ltd. Houston natives Shane and Brittany McCann of the firm will operate the brokerage in that Central America country. Their partner is Curt Fisher.
The husband and wife team, who studied marketing at the University of Houston, live in Belize where they already work in property management and the vacation rental business, the Houston Business Journal notes. The Belize Sotheby's offices opened June 5 on Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye.
"Ambergris Caye is considered one of the most desirable islands in the world," Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC, said in a statement. "The lifestyle offered there is coveted by people everywhere.
The People of Honduras’ Mesoamerican Reef
This spring I traveled to the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras for the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and their partners, Centro de Estudios Marinos Honduras (CEM). The region is part of the Mesoamerican Reef, a marine region extending along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico.
Pressures including population, overfishing, pollution and climate change have affected the reef. These pressures have stressed fishing communities all along the coast of these Central American countries. Fishermen have to stay out longer and travel farther to match the number of fish caught in previous years.
Many conservation organizations focus on the reef system but a few groups like iLCP and CEMS support projects that investigate the connections between the health of the seas and the health of the communities living along the coast.
Video: Endangered Antillean manatee in Turneffe Atoll, Belize, 1/2min.
This Antillean manatee was found just a short distance from the Oceanic Society Field Station at Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll, Belize. The Antillean manatee is an Endangered subspecies of West Indian manatee found in the Caribbean Sea. Less than 2,500 adult Antillean manatees are thought to remain, and Belize is home to the largest population.
Video: Bats in Belize - Part 1, 10min.
BFREE Staff Biologist Dan Dourson nets bats and discusses their natural history.
Video: Bats in Belize - Part 2, 10min.
BFREE Staff Biologist Dan Dourson nets bats and discusses their natural history.
Video: Bats in Belize - Part 3, 10min.
BFREE Staff Biologist Dan Dourson nets bats and discusses their natural history.
Video: Ian Anderson's Cave's Branch Jungle Adventure, 6min.
Adventures in Belize welcomes you to the unforgettable world of the Belize jungle and the adventure of a lifetime. If you are looking for a complete Caves Branch experience, look no further. We have designed several all inclusive vacation packages that should give you all the excitement you can handle at this unique Belize destination.
Video: Guatemala Belize Mexico Trip, 8min.
Video: GoPro: Ambergris Caye, Belize | The Phoenix Resort, 2min.
This is a video of our stay at The Phoenix Resort in Ambergris Caye, Belize. All events in this video were, at The Phoenix Resort, or booked through The Phoenix Resort.
Video: Belize diving, 8min.
Diving with sharks and dolphin.
Video: Trash pick up Belize Display, 1min.
Video: Belize City, 17min.
The ride through Belize city narrated by woman who has lived in Belize for years.
Video: Belize Jungle Zipline (TREE SMACKER!!!), 5.5min.
You can watch it all or go to 4:20 to see her kiss the tree!!!!
Video: Adventures in Belize Grand Slam Fishing Package, 5min.
Whether you're dreaming of the angler's Grand Slam, diving in and around our famous Barrier Reef or just relaxing in a tropical paradise.
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