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Today's Belize News: June 17, 2014 #492361
06/17/14 04:53 AM
06/17/14 04:53 AM
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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

San Pedro Celebrates High School Graduation Ceremonies
It was a weekend of caps, gowns and diplomas, as the two secondary institutions on the island celebrated their High School Commencement Exercises. The 2014 San Pedro High School (SPHS) graduation ceremony was held on Saturday, June 14th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium starting at 4PM. Mistresses of Ceremonies, and fellow graduates, Alisha Cadle and […]

Ambergris Caye residents help build our blood supply
Submitted by The San Pedro Red Cross Have you considered that your blood donation can one day save a life? Many Ambergris Caye residents are regularly attending San Pedro Red Cross blood drives and helping save lives by building a supply for Ambergris Caye. San Pedro Red Cross currently holds quarterly blood drives, and the […]

Presenting Miss El Salvador for Reina de la Costa Maya!
The Costa Maya Festival adds Miss El Salvador Ana Graciela Hasbun Boscaino to the roster of beauties vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2014-15.

Belize to improve education with $10 million loan from the IDB
News Releases- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $10 million loan designed to help Belize improve its primary education and the governance of its education system. The program aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country’s […]

Ambergris Today

Islanders Enjoy First Batch of Lobsters of the Season
Sunday, June 15, 2014, marked the first day of Lobster Season in Belize and the images from lobster fishermen and those enjoying lobster dishes just a few hours into the season started appearing across the various social media platforms. Those along the cayes of Belize are the first to enjoy the succulent and sweet spiny lobster on the very first day of the season. Many cannot wait any longer to dig into their favorite lobster dish. Even San Pedro’s Lobster Festival kicked off a day before the season opened with a ceremony and dinner specials at El Divino restaurant; but unfortunately no lobster on the menu.

DigiCell Launches PrePaid Voice Roaming Service!
As of Friday, June 13, 2014, DigiCell PrePaid customers can enjoy the freedom of using DigiCell’s Voice Roaming service in over 30 countries around the world. We are also thrilled to introduce lowered voice roaming rates which will be enjoyed by both postpaid and prepaid customers. So talk it up when you travel and stay in touch! International Roaming lets you stay in touch with friends, family and business associates when traveling abroad using your DigiCell phone. Our PostPaid customers have been enjoying this service since 2003 to over 200 countries worldwide. Prepaid customers can now join the roaming family by being able to make and receive calls and text messages in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe to name a few, at the lowest roaming rates. Expansion to other parts of the world will be rolled out soon.

Pic of the Week" View of La Isla Bonita, Ambergris Caye at 35,000 Feet
Here is a picture taken by Belize designer Joris Hendrik on board American Airlines as it ascended to its 35,000 cruising altitude. He had this great opportunity to snap a quick picture of La Isla Bonita, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye as the jet took off from Belize. Joris was on his way last week to represent Belize at Caribbean Fashion week held in Jamaica. Even thousands of feet above you can still appreciate the cristal clear waters surrounding the island and even see the Great Barrier Reef of Belize just offshore the island.

Lobsters Beware!
Wednesday June 15, 2011, the opening of Lobster Season; this is the date that many fishermen in San Pedro wake up early to and dedicate their day and time in checking their shades/trampas. They are catching as many lobsters to sell to restaurants on La Isla Bonita for our lovely tourists and locals to enjoy. Many tourists plan their trip to San Pedro just in time for Lobsterfest; just in time to enjoy everything lobster in a block party/ festival where many restaurants display their best dishes, desserts & drinks. Only in San Pedro! This year I got the opportunity to experience lobster fishing first hand. I woke up at 6a.m. (way too early) and met up with my two colleagues; Perlita and Delsie at Mario Graniel’s dock (Delsie’s Cool Daddy). I hopped on the boat and headed to the south of the island, where we reached the first lobster shade. I will be honest, I had no idea what I was doing out there and I confess it was my first time lobster fishing (the shame). When I was growing up I remember going to my dad’s dock and I would wait for him and my uncles to come in with massive amounts of lobsters, then they would quickly clean them and go sell them. I would never ask my dad to take me with him to get the full experience, so when I heard that lobster season was coming I was up for the challenge.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Harmonyville Subdivision
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture is compelled to clarify the outcome of the court hearing in relation to the interim injunction order against the representatives of BGYEA and Mr. Sam Patton. On May 22nd, 2014 the Government of Belize filed for an interim injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves, their servants or agents or whosoever from trespassing, entering and possessing, clearing, planting crops, placing or projecting any object on or over the land, encumbering or dealing with the reserve buffer zone situate at Mile 41 of the George Price Highway in respect of the area known as Harmonyville. This interim injunction expired last Friday June 13th, 2014. The Honourable Court did not continue the injunction; however the Government of Belize is at liberty by law to apply for another injunction. The substantive claim for Trespass by way of Fixed Date Claim is scheduled to be heard on June 30th, 2014. In late April 2014, at the request of BGYEA, the Department of Lands and Surveys issued eviction notices to all squatters illegally occupying the buffer zone. The Ministry reaffirms its position and continues to pursue the removal of illegal occupants within the buffer zone.

In a News Release from the Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General Announces that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to the MOST DISTINGUISHED ORDER OF SAINT MICHAEL AND SAINT GEORGE AND THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER BRITISH EMPIRE on the occasion of BIRTHDAY HONOURS 2014. KNIGHT BACHELOR To be a Knight Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George: Hon Mr Justice Manuel Sosa OB, CBE, SC, LLB (Hons), for contribution to the Judiciary C.B.E. To be an Ordinary Commander of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Dr Ellsworth R Grant, for contribution to Medicine M.B.E. To be Ordinary Members of the Civil Division of the Said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Pat Andrews, for Contribution to the Community and Banking, Stephen A Duncan, for contribution to the Community and Banking, Crystal Yvonne Vernon, for contribution to the Community and Francis Paul Woods, for contribution to the Community and Business The Date for the presentation of awards will be announced later.

Belmopan Cleanup Campaign
Saturday June 21st starting at 7am til midday

E-course Announcement from the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development

Baffu Magazine - Issue 1 (Google Docs)
What is Baffu? Among other things, it's an e-magazine that focuses on art from Belizeans. It features art of many forms. There are poems in it, and there are drawing and paintings too. Scores of Belizeans contributed to it. There are works from Stacy Ann Rodriguez, Valerie Penner, and Kate Usher, just to name a few. You can download the first issue on Media Fire (PDF). It's free, and it's interesting. Check it out - the cover is not representative of the interior - and you might like it. Its very cool....

Mexican Trade Mission 2014
The Mexican Trade Mission will be happening at the Embassy of Mexico in Belmopan this Wednesday, June 18th, and in Belize City on the 19th, ProMéxico, the Mexican Trade and Investment agency, is having this to strengthen the trade relations between Mexical and Belize. One of the goals is to identify vendors and buyers of many localized products, like jams and jellies, pepper sauces, wines, and liquors. They'll also focus on software, and industrial compounds. Sounds like a great idea. Call 822-0210 for more information. "The Embassy of Mexico invites Belizean entrepreneurs to participate in the Mexican Trade Mission 2014 to introduce and interact with Mexican counterparts."

FISHING REPORT: Week of June 7th – June 14th, 2014
So, let’s talk about the weather. While we would love to see perfect sunny skies and an East 5 – 10 wind for all of anglers, it just doesn’t happen. We have had some big wind for a few weeks now, so yes, we are talking about the weather. After long discussions, we have come up with the fact that challenging conditions in the end do make you a better angler. Sad, but true. All of your fishing experiences make you a better angler. You take that collective story and apply it to your next adventure. And then, one day, you are able to tell the story of your great fish, and how it all happened. Thank you to all of our friends who return here to El Pescador to make your fishing dreams continue. We love to be part of that story.

$2.6 Million Birding Ecotourism Partnership Launches In Belize City to Create Local Jobs in the Americas, Preserve Biodiversity
In an unprecedented gathering, leaders of tourism, development and sustainability agencies from the governments of Belize, Guatemala, Paraguay and the Bahamas along with local and regional conservation nonprofit organizations, and for-profit tourism companies meet today with the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and The National Audubon Society to launch a $2.6 million birding ecotourism partnership. The more than fifty attendees from government agencies, nonprofits, private companies, the National Audubon Society and IDB’s fund have congregated in Belize City to implement the $2.6 million investment in in niche, high-value birding ecotourism, creating sustainable jobs in local communities while simultaneously protecting biodiversity and natural resources. Notable participants at the three-day launch include: - Director of Sustainable tourism and Development of Bahamas, Mrs. Jacqueline Ramsey - Division Director of Natural Patrimony of Guatemalan Tourism Institute INGUAT, Mr. Jorge Mario Samayoa - Mrs. Grace Chun, Deputy High Commissioner for the UK - Mr. Thompson President of the Belize Hotel Association - Mr. Herbert Haylock, President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association - Mr. Earl Green, President of Belize Audubon Society Project participants will be oriented to the major technical components of the project, operational and financial aspects, communication and coordination. Bird guide training, including curriculum development, will be initiated, and project teams will investigate what makes a world class birding experience – sites, routes and attractions – and best ways to market. “The IDB bird-based tourism project is an opportunity to form stronger linkages between protected areas system and the tourism sector” says Amanda Acosta, the Executive Director for Belize Audubon Society. “This project will demonstrate the economic value of our protected areas to local communities through job creation and other economic enterprises associated with an improved tourism product”.

US Air Force surgeon seeks to improve quality of life
For many in the business of helping others, if just one life is made better by their service, then all the effort is well worth it. U.S. Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Jason Massengill, a urogynecologist who volunteered to deploy in support of New Horizons Belize 2014, had the opportunity to better many lives. New Horizons provides valuable training opportunities for Belizean, Canadian and U.S. medical providers as they work together to provide health care options for the Belizean people. With 15 years in the Air Force and starting in obstetrics and gynecology, Massengill decided to take a different path in the medical field that ultimately led to him being in Belize performing surgeries for patients in the local area. "I really enjoyed the surgery aspect much more, and I always have," Massengill said of his transition to urogynecology. "There are a lot of quality of life improving surgeries in the field."

Baby updates! from Belize Bird Rescue
Almost everyone is out in the big, wide world (well, a big, wide aviary...) 14 photos.

Consumer Watch Newsletter
The Belize Bureau of Standards invites you to download and read the Volume 6 Issue 1 of our Consumer Watch Newsletter.

"Contemporary Mexico" Exhibition
The Embassy of Mexico cordially invites you to the opening of the art exhibition “Contemporary Mexico” at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City on Tuesday, June 17th, 2014. The exhibition includes a series of paintings and sculptures by the self-taught Mexican painter and sculptor Carlos Vivar. Vivar was born in Mexico City in 1964; he began the graphic design career in 1981 at Universidad Anahuac, withdrawing in 1985 to move to London. Two years later, in 1987, he moved to Milan, where he studied terracotta sculpting and computer graphics.

UB Wins Belize Hackathon
Beltraide had the first Belize Hackathon over the weekend, and the team from the University of Belize won with their 'Transport Belize' app idea. Congratulations, UB students!

Western Ballaz vs Tiger Sharks - Game 1
The Western Ballaz went to San Pedro to play the 1st game of the playoffs against the Tiger Sharks yesterday. They did great, and pretty much had the game, until a bad call in the last minute. The final score was 52 - 53. They host the next game this Friday. Pictures on fb. Go Ballaz! "The Western Ballaz visited San Pedro to play game one against the Tiger Sharks. It was a great, even game. The Ballaz had it, and then in the last seconds, a bad call from a ref costs them the game by 1 point. It was 52 - 53."

Western Ballaz vs Tiger Sharks - Playoff Game 1
PHOTOS: The Western Ballaz visited San Pedro to play game one against the Tiger Sharks. It was a great, even game. The Ballaz had it, and then in the last seconds, a bad call from a ref costs them the game by 1 point. It was 52 - 53.

Howler Monkey Release - Day 1
Four of the monkeys from Wildtracks are getting ready to be released back into the jungle. There will be more to come this week. Thanks, Wildtracks! "Sultan, Livvy, Kofi and Paz, four endangered Yucatan black howler monkeys, are making the move down to the Fireburn release site in preparation for their release back into the wild..."

Chuck Braindead Experience
The Chuck Braindead Experience was held at the Soul Project Friday night, and the music was different. 'Experimental' is right. There was a jam session in the middle of the concert too.

Channel 7

Mayans Disappointed By Injunction Hearing Back At Court
3 months ago, SATIIM Southern Mayan Communities announced that they were going to court to get an injunction to block the Government from extending US Capital Energy's permit. With all the "hype" behind it, the much anticipated hearing ended in an anti-climax today. Justice Michelle Arana heard the application today and didn't give a clear ruling in favour of either of the parties: neither did she grant nor dismiss the application. Instead, she ordered that both sides must participate in mediation. That came after she heard from Government Attorney Denys Barrow who submitted that the injunction application should be struck out. The ground that he did so was that Justice Arana had already heard the entire case and she fully pronounced her judgement. Barrow says that having fully completed her duties as judge in this case, she didn't have jurisdiction to grant the injunction that the Mayans wanted. Eamon Courtenay, attorney for the Mayan Communities, responded that according to the Civil Procedure Rules of the Supreme Court, she was allowed to grant this injunction even though the judgment was already handed down.

Cotton Tree Sues GOB Over Land
Last month, we told you about the controversy between the Barrow Administration and the Cotton Tree Village council because Government acquired private property to create 254 lots in that village - with the lots to be shared up among 8 UDP constituencies in Belize City. Cotton Tree's village council filed a case in court to fight that subdivision on what they say is their village's land. The case started before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today. The Government of Belize has yet to file their defense, and so, without a case from the other side, Chief Justice Benjamin could only adjourn the hearing. Outside of court, we spoke with the attorney for the Cotton Tree Village Council, who explained how they intend to challenge the Government: Andrew Marshalleck - Attorney for Cotton Tree Village Council "We are challenging two things in the main; the manner of creation of the subdivision and also the manner of distribution of the lots created by the subdivision. With regard to the former the manner of creation of the subdivision, we have 3 problems with it. First and foremost there was no consultation with the village council and the law requires that they be such consultation. Second and third is that there is no compliance with the statutory requirements for the requirements for subdivisions. This I suspect will be a little controversial in that the fundamental position we have taken is that the provisions of the land utilization act and the environmental protection act apply equally to government as it does to private citizens. Historically it's been that government behaves and act as if these things don't apply to them, so they never take any steps whatsoever to comply."

3 Men Injured By Weekend Shootings
But the first shooting which happened on Friday night on Kraal Road in the Yabra area appears to have been a domestic, not a gang dispute. At 8:45 on Friday night, 40-year-old Walter BEATON, was in a dispute with a female near the corner with Ceasar Ridge and Kraal Road. He was riding away when a man on a bicycle shot him. Beaton was only hit in his left hand, but he jumped off his bicycle into a drain adjoining the Wilt Cummerbatch Field - where he laid low until police arrived. He was treated and released. But Saturday night's shooting was more serious. At 9:20p.m., 22-year-old Efrain Assi and four other men were sitting on the bleachers at the Complex basketball court when a gunman crept up behind the bleachers and fired six shots at them. Only Assi was hit and he got it multiple times. He is in a stable condition at the KHMH. And then there was another shooting on Sunday night - this time a 17-year-old minor was almost killed. At 9:25, Clinton Pou was walking on Poinsetta Street, when three men on bicycles and one man on foot pulled up on Pou. The man on foot, shot him once in the face. The bullet entered through his left cheek, and exited through his neck. Miraculously, he is also in a stable condition - and today his mother told us how he made it:...

Farmers Sue Green Tropics For Damage Crops
"I'll see you in court!" - That's basically what the Valley of Peace farmers had to say to Green Tropics today. The two sides were supposed to have a site visit mediated by the Ministry of Agriculture. But when the farmers representatives showed up - they told both the Ministry and the Green Tropics representatives that they rather all discussions be held with their attorneys. On Thursday, the Ministry had gotten both sides to agree to re-commence negotiations towards resolving three key points. But now it's left up to the lawyers, which most likely means a protracted back and forth in court. And court is where we met Julius Espat, the PUP Area Rep. from Cayo South. He was there for another village matter and today he told us why he believes it is a "David vs. Goliath" battle: Hon. Julius Espat - Area Rep. Cayo South "I am fundamentally opposed by the comments made by government ministers and government representatives when it pertains to leaving it to court. You see for too long the impoverish people of Belize are not treated and fairly and I'll explain to you: You have a large conglomerate that have access to money, access to attorneys going to court against a farmer that doesn't understand the system - has no money to take an attorney to court and I believe that it is the representative responsibility - all of us, the 31 of us in the house to be there to protect our people.

Bar President and Prime Minister's War Of Words
2 weeks ago, we showed you the stern resolution from the Bar Association opposing the re-appointment of the Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich. In a statement following that resolution, the Bar bashed Government saying that the sequence of events leading to Justice Awich's appointment would result in a "real likelihood of an appearance of bias". The current President of the Bar Association is Eamon Courtenay, who is also one of the attorneys working for the Ashcroft Alliance which demanded that Awich recuse himself because of an alleged appearance of bias in the second BTL reacquisition case in October 2012. In the House meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow reasoned that Courtenay is simply continuing the agenda as an agent of the Ashcroft Alliance with this latest outcry from the Bar. Here's how he explained it: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "The president of the bar who is a (I don't say this in any bad way) well-known long standing member, activist, minister of the People's United Party - found reason as an advocate and because of a certain case that was before the Supreme Court to complain about that appointment and asking that the judge recuse himself from the matter because his appointment was faulty and there was bias. The court of appeal refused and they went to the CCJ and the CCJ scolded them and sent them packing."

Appeal Court Tells Luke To Pay that $29.4 Mil
In November of last year, Justice Courtney Abel found that Luke Espat and was personally liable for 29.4 million dollars in debts to the Belize Bank. Today - after Justice Abel refused him leave to appeal - he asked the Court of Appeal to allow him an appeal of the judgment. After the attorneys from both sides argued - the court rejected his request after 2 hours of consideration. That leaves Espat with just about nowhere else to go to challenge this judgement. But Espat's attorney, Said Musa, is keeping up the fight; he told the media why they maintain Justice Abel made an error when he ruled against Espat: Hon. Said Musa - Attorney for Luke Espat "My client Mr. Luke Espat liable personally for the debts of his companies to the Belize Bank because of certain guarantees that they are saying he signed. What Mr. Espat has been saying all along is that he signed these guarantees long after the loans were incurred by the companies that he has a group of companies that he was in partnership with principals of the Belize Bank with the Port and that the Port was part of the main company in fact involved in this matter and that the misrepresentation came about when the president of the bank made certain promises to him that - sign these guarantees - it's just to satisfy the Central Bank - we won't hold you personally liable - that basically what the background is all about. But yet the court to this point has held him liable and that's what we are appealing."

Hon. Castro, Channel 5, And The Corruption In Public Life Law
Another major case which went back to court today was the lawsuit for defamation which Belize Rural North Area Rep Edmond Castro brought against Channel 5 and Immigration Agent turned whistle-blower Alvorine Burgess. Viewers may know that Burgess gave an interview to that news station alleging that Castro was selling scores of visa recommendations for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The attorney for Channel 5 wanted Justice Courtney Abel to strike the case out because they are supposedly insulated from a defamation law suit under the prevention of corruption in public life law. It was a closed in-chambers session, and so outside of court, we asked the attorneys for both sides how the hearing went: Godfrey Smith - Attorney for Channel 5/Great Belize Productions "Essentially the judge decided this was an application where we were saying that the claim against Channel Five/Great Belize Productions should be struck out because of the immunity from suit provided by section thirty-five of the prevention of corruption act. The judge came to the view that he preferred that this matter be dealt with at the trial of the matter as a preliminary point so he did not allow us to proceed with that. So he says we are not dealing with it today, you are free - nothing bars you - from bringing this precise point when we're dealing with the whole matter and I will rule on it then no order as to cost."

How the Proposed Puerto Azul Location Really Looks
Puerto Azul - it's one of the most discussed non-projects in the history of Belizean investment. Really, Puerto Azul is just a concept - and the developers don't even own the caye - even though they have put down a substantial deposit on it. But, while the project concept hovers in the ether, on the ground, the backlash has been deadly; conservation groups have rejected the project as potentially damaging, while government officials have called it "fantastical" - and overly-ambitious. And the things that caused that public conflagration are, first, those now immortal pictures of a ministerial junket to Cannes France, and second, the promotional material on the Puerto Azul website. It really does make it look like the project is a done deal; in fact, it makes it look like it's already been built. But that's just Hollywood type hype; there's nothing on Northern Two and Sandbore Cayes. How do we know? Well, the developers' local representative invited the media out there on Saturday. Here's what we saw:..

Fiesta Chicken Was Robbed of Over $7k
Fiesta Chicken at the Corner of Vernon and Sarstoon Streets was burglarized between Thursday and Friday. Sometime between closing time on Thursday and opening on Friday, someone broke in and stole the entire Iron Safe. It contained a total of $7389.00 Belize dollars and 97 dollars US.

GOB Clarifies The Loss To BGYEA
On Friday, we told you about the decision of the Supreme Court to discharge the injunction against BGYEA, which blocked them from legally planting corn in the Harmonyville Buffer Zone area set aside as road reserve. Today, the government fired off a release setting out its side of the story: it says the injunction expired and the court did not extend it, but the Government can apply for another injunction. Government says it, quote, "continues to pursue the removal of illegal occupants within the buffer zone." Today, we ran into BGYEA's attorney at the courthouse and she gave us a reaction to Government's statement: Audrey Matura-Shepherd - Attorney for BGYEA "It's just a nice, diplomatic way of admitting that they lost - because they cannot refute the fact that the interim injunction was removed. And that's a given. I can even recap why it was removed if you want - but most importantly the Judge even said clearly that if there is any other application for any other injunction it will not be ex-parte.

Gun With Crafty Silencer Found
Today two men were taken to Orange Walk Magistrate's Court - after they were found in Trinidad village with an exotic firearm, a .22 pistol with a silencer. A silencer is considered rare and expensive, but this one isn't; its improvised. Get this, they used an oil filter from a car to make the silencer. Yup, that's what these pictures show: a threaded extension on the barrel adapted to screw into an oil filter. No word on whether it has to be changed every three thousand shots, but the men, Joel Moh from Orange Walk and Nayef Agha from Belize City were today taken to court, charged for possession of an illegal firearm and remanded to prison.

Jailed For Shooting At Tourism Minister's Dogs
He allegedly shot at the Tourism Minister's dogs, and tonight, 33 year-old Byron Evans is at prison for it. Evans was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate on the charge of discharging a firearm in public. His attorney, Oscar Selgado, explained that he shouldn't have been charged for this offence. Selgado explained that on June 10, Evans was walking on Tarpon Street in San Pedro going to pick up his wife when he was attacked by the Pit Bulls and he drew his licensed .38 revolver and fired shots at the dogs to avoid being bitten. Selgado said that a section of Firearms Act provides for the holder of a licensed firearm to use it to defend himself against attacks. Selgado also said that had the police looked at the entire circumstances and used their discretion they would not have charged his client. Still, Chief Magistrate Anne Smith remanded Evans into custody until tomorrow.

The Galindos Accused of Assaulting GSU Officers
48 year-old Nestor Galindo Sr and his son, 21 year-old Nestor Jr, told Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser that they were beaten on their backs with their own machete by members of the GSU on Sunday when the GSU went TO their home, located at 86 M and M Street. This was after Senior Magistrate Fraser arraigned them today on charges of assaulting a police officer, harm, using insulting words and resisting arrest, to which they pled not guilty. Their attorney, Bryan Neal, drew to the attention of the court that his clients had visible signs of assault. Senior Magistrate Fraser allowed them to lift their shirts. After carefully observing their wounds, she offered each of them a bail of $2,000, which they met.

Distinguished Belizeans Honoured
President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Manuel Sosa will be a Knight Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George - KNOWN AS A CMG. Other honors go to Dr Ellsworth R Grant of the Dangriga Cancer Treatment Center, he will be a C-B-E, or Commander of the British Empire. Receiving O-B-E honours are Pat Andrews and Stephen A Duncan, for Contribution to the Community and Banking, Crystal Yvonne Vernon, for contribution to the Community Francis Woods, for contribution to the Community and Business.

When BPO Becomes Knowledge Outsourcing
We all know about business process outsourcing, or BPO - which basically refers to the call centers that you can find all over Belize these days. Well, now, BELTRAIDE wants to take it to the other level: knowledge outsourcing. That would have Belizean software developers writing programming code for international companies. Today, Beltraide and BTL staged an effort to recruit some of the best young developers. They were given a problem to solve on Friday afternoon at 2:00 - and they had until this morning to present it. We found out more about the problem that was posed to them:.. Hero Balani, BPO Development Officer "The nature of the problem that these students were looking at solving this weekend is transport. When a tourist comes to Belize they are often not familiar with our transport system, so what we are doing is trying to find a mobile application solution to help male their lives a little bit easier."

OW Student Should Have Been In Top 5
A standard 6 student from Louisiana Government school in Orange Walk got jilted by the ministry of education testing unit. Jose ARCIGA should have come in fifth overall on the PSE after being the only student to get a perfect score in math. He got 365 points, an "A", but he wasn't even in the top 30! Today his principal explained the mix-up that affected him and two other students who somehow got a negative score - which is impossible:.. Principal - Louisiana Government School "He got 100% pass in the problem solving which is 50 out of 50 and his paper one shows that he only got 20 out of 50 which is 40%. So we queried that and we got a response on Friday saying that the error was corrected that in fact he did get 100% pass in Math paper one. So we realize that there were some children who were present at the exam, but it's being recorded as them being absent. Also there is one particular child who got two negative scores and that is statistically impossible. The lowest score you can get on an exam is zero or absent or inadequate but no negatives are supposed to be given, so we are querying that and awaiting the response." The mixed up score reportedly factored into other considerations made by the school in their assessment of the top student in their graduating class.

Channel 5

Court orders Luke Espat to pay $29 Million to the Belize Bank
Businessman Luke Espat is personally liable to the Belize Bank to the tune of twenty-nine point four million dollars. That’s the ruling which was handed down this afternoon by the [...]

President of the Bar has choice words for the PM
At his press conference last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that the contract of Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich has been renewed and extended until he is seventy-five. The [...]

Eamon Courtenay calls PM Penner loving and Castro hugging
And then Courtenay really got doing, calling Prime Minister Dean Barrow a liar…not only that…but a Penner-loving, Castro-hugging liar.   Eamon Courtenay, President, Bar Association “So for the Prime Minister [...]

Attorney not surprised that G.O.B. would seek other injunctions against BGYEA
On Friday, the Supreme Court did away with G.O.B.’s injunction against BGYEA prohibiting that association from planting corn on sixty acres of land in Harmonyville which they say is a [...]

SATIIM et al files injunction against G.O.B. and US Capital Energy
Today, the Supreme Court heard an application from SATIIM et al for an injunction against the government of Belize and US Capital Energy. It’s was actually a post-judgment injunction, since [...]

Courtenay says PM is a very special type of individual
The case against US Capital and the Government of Belize, at its inception, was brought by SATIIM and five buffer communities. Still, at his press conference on Wednesday Prime Minister [...]

SATIIM’s Executive Director openly critical of the Prime Minister
Executive Director of SATIIM, Greg Ch’oc, also pulled no punches when he spoke to the media today. He was openly critical of the Prime Minister for the decision to bar [...]

Greg Ch’oc says issue is personal
Ch’oc finished his commentary on government and the Prime Minister by claiming that none of this is about SATIIM. He says it’s the action of a vindictive PM who has [...]

Cotton Tree Village Council sues the government
The Ministry of Natural Resources has also been taken to court over the acquisition and distribution of two hundred and fifty-four lots in Cotton Tree. The allegation is that those [...]

Valley of Peace Farmers versus Green Tropics
C.E.O. in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche has scheduled a meeting today with representatives of Green Tropics and the Valley of Peace Farmers Association. The meeting became necessary after [...]

Media gets a first-hand view of proposed Puerto Azul development
There are still more questions than answers in the Puerto Azul mega development planned for Sandbore and Northern Cayes. Last Friday, the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia finally spoke on [...]

Application heard in case of Edmond Castro against Great Belize Production
It was a busy day at court today, complete with an appearance by Minister of State Edmond Castro. Castro was accused of facilitating visas for Chinese nations and filed suit [...]

A brewing land dispute in Belama Phase 4
There is a land dispute brewing tonight in Belama Phase Four, as a number of squatters who have been occupying property in that area are under threat from a landowner [...]

Professor Brendan Bain granted injunction barring his dismissal from UWI
In the Jamaican Supreme Court, an order has been granted preventing the dismissal of Professor Brendan Bain as Director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Training Network. That is, until a lawsuit [...]

Gang related violence over the weekend in the City
There was more gang related violence over the weekend in the City. On Saturday night, twenty-two year-old Efrain Assi of Miller Street was rushed to the hospital after he was [...]

17 year old is shot in the face
There was another shooting in the Old Capital in which seventeen year old Clinton Pou of Jasmine Street was shot and wounded on the cheek and neck. The incident also [...]

Father and son claim they were brutalized by GSU
A father and his son are alleging police brutality after police stormed their residence on Mahogany Street Extension and reportedly beat them up for no reason.  The home of Nestor [...]

San Pedro man fires shot at 2 dogs and ends up in court
A San Pedro resident is tonight in police custody for discharging a firearm in public… on two pit bulls.  Thirty-three-year-old Byron Ashford Evans was today before the court to answer [...]

Sporting highlights with Kaya Cattouse
Good evening, I’m Kaya Cattouse and this is Sports Monday.   In the National Elite Basketball League, Game 1 of the finals took action on the Tigersharks home court in [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: June 17, 2014 [Re: Marty] #492362
06/17/14 04:53 AM
06/17/14 04:53 AM
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More News: Scroll up from here


Hon. John Briceno Speaks On Road Infrastructure Of O/W Town
But that is not all that occurred inside the House today. Some issues hit home one of them being the topic of streets. There is no doubt that the Government of the day has been receiving much scrutiny on the blatant neglect of the roads infrastructure of Orange Walk Town since they have refused to assist the PUP Town Council and today Briceno highlighted that issue as he asked Central Government for support in a 5 million dollar project proposal for infrastructural works for Orange walk Town. “We are asking a number of things from the Prime Minister, the first one is if the Prime Minister can speak to the with the people from BWSL to see if they can lay the water pipes a bit quicker and I know it is necessary I am not arguing against that but we want to see if it can go a bit quicker because they are saying it can take like six months and we really need to see if that can get done shorter so whent ehy finish with that they can pave the highway. Secondly Mr. Speaker we are asking that whenever the Town Council finishes studying the proposal to raise five million dollars to fix the infrastructure in Orange Walk Town, it is not going to be enough but this is going to be used to pave some of the main arteries around the town and of course the three of us on this side and we are going to ask the DPM to oin us because he is the representative of Orange Walk North and lives in Orange Walk to join us in asking the P.M for his support as the Minister of Finance to carry out the project.

Works At The Phillip Goldson Highway In Orange Walk Town To Comence
Yesterday the government launched the work on the Philip Goldson Highway which has been in dire need of repairs for many months now. In a short ceremony, the works were kicked off. We must note though, that not a single PUP Area Rep was invited to the ceremony much less the Mayor of Orange Walk and from what we have been told that did not sit too well with certain organizations. So, who managed to make it on the list of invitees? Well, wanna be political figures seeking office under the UDP umbrella. Back to the upgrade of the road, why did it take so long for works to get started? According to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, there was a need to wait as assessments were a vital part of the entire process. Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister “We have made our studies, different contractor brought in their different bids, but we ensured that along the construction or the upliftment of the street we would have done proper drainage because we are convinced that if we do not have proper drainage it would be a street for much less time that what it could probably serve if it is done with the best planning and for you to do that it takes time, they had to do a topographic study to ensure where the water is going to be drained out to because we don’t want a drain on the street that will accumulate water and keep the water there, it has to be drained out.”

Northern Districts Shows An Increase In 2014 PSE
The results of this year’s PSE have surely shown an increase of passes compared to last year. But there is no shying away from the fact that more works need to be done in all districts including Orange Walk and Corozal. “As northern Districts when we look at the performance of the district in general, Corozal and Orange Walk continue to top, it means then that collectively as a district overall that we are doing well, our performance here in the district and what I want to say is that last year we flagged a number of schools in terms of their performance, we targeted those school in terms of providing, doing supervision trying to get to the bottom of what were some of the challenges and we are happy to report that a couple of the schools that we supervised we’ve seen improvements, unfortunately there are couple schools that are still at the bottom, but what we have in terms of the results we are certainly concerned about three schools that are showing inadequate performance overall as a school; one is Chunox SDA and they were in a better position last year, the other one is Ranchito government and they have been flagged last year in terms of not performing well so it is a government school so certainly we have to dig deeper to find out what is going wrong and the other one is Sarteneja La Inmaculada which is also a school that didn’t do well last year and they failed to meet the requisite GPA and so we have those schools that are repeating in terms of not meeting the minimum pass.”

Onion Farmers Shows an Increase In Production This Year
In the month of January we reported on the assistance rendered by the Ministry of Agriculture to local and small farmers in the north and across the country. The assistance came after the weather conditions damaged most if not all of the famer’s crop. Farmers dedicated to the production of onion were practically the most affected hence a program was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture to assist them in order to avoid a shortage of the product. We spoke to Barry Palacio from the Ministry of Agriculture for an update on the onion production. “Right now as we speak we are on the last stages of the Onion crop, basically through the intervention of the ministry when we issued seed earlier in the month of January farmers were able to bounce back from that adverse weather situation from last year in which they basically lost their crop, with the assistance of the ministry they were able to rebound and I am estimating that through this intervention, there is an estimated 2 million pounds of Onion being produced for this year Onion crop, and it is something that I think is a major accomplishment and allowing the farmers to get back on their feet and be able to generate some income in that and I must say that we have partnered with the Belize Marketing Develop Corporation and there has not been any importation of Onions whilst the local production is happening so that with a close collaboration with the farmers we have been able to basically allow the farmers to sale their product without any alteration or any competition from the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation which I think is good for our local industry.”

No Electrification Yet To Villages In The Toledo District
And moving on to the bigger matters in the house, Prime Minister Barrow brought into force a convention to which the GOB has already signed unto and has been operating under provisions; this is the Caribbean Development Bank Sixth Power Project to grant Belize Electricity Limited a loan of over 11 Million US dollars to assist and expand its sub-transmission and distribution systems across the country. This motion was met by the Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, with much fervour since residents down South have not been entitled to power in that area. It was a fiery exchange between both leaders, here is how that went. Honourable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition “In Toledo for example in the villages of Sunday wood nothing has happened because not one single village has been electrified in the last six years in Toledo, it is disgraceful; Sunday wood, Mahbil Ha, Dolores, Otto Sha, Corazon, San Lucas, Santa Teresa, Cricket Zarco, Conejo Creek, San Vicente, Jalacte, Santa Elena, Santa Cruz, Medina Bank, Golden Stream, Indian Creek and my colleagues can tell me if I have left out any these communities, all of these communities we have visited many times and the people need our help that is why people feel so frustrated that when they see all the money government spending in particular parts of the country, in particular constituencies they are angry and frustrated, we need greater equity in the use of resources of government.”

COLA's Attorney Speaks On Information About The Investigation Done By Auditors General
Yesterday Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, made a striking revelation into the investigations done by the office of the Auditor General into the immigration scandal starring disgraced former Minister Elvin Penner. COLA officials say that the report further incriminates Penner and other high ranking officials in the Immigration Department. The information found in the report also helps the NGO in their case against Penner which goes back to court on June 26th. But despite all the evidence and some being obvious, the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow has said repeatedly that Penner has committed no criminal act stressing that there is a difference between, what he calls legal, and factual guilt. The PM again referred to this in his press conference held Wednesday of this week. COLA’s Attorney, Kareem Musa however feels otherwise. S “How else can you establish legal guilt without the facts, you need a factual matrix and it is called evidence Mr. Prime Minister, that evidence which your functionaries and I am naming the Commissioner of Police, I am naming the Auditor General because this was leaked this did not come from her, I am naming the Ombusbudman who backed up that auditor General in saying that they will not disclose the true facts to the private Prosecutors in this case, so I want to tell the Prime Minister that there is not difference between legal guilt and factual guilt in order to get the legal guilt you have to get the facts and that is what is missing and that is what your government is covering up.”

Results For PSE 2014 Are Out
The Primary School Examinations preliminary results were released yesterday. Topping the examinations is Ashton Tillett of Crooked Tree Government School. That is pretty close to home and, tonight we also present the students who also made it on the top list. The first student is twelve year old Alessa Castillo from La Inmaculada Primary School. Castillo is the fourth best performer countrywide. We had interviewed Alessa when she walked out of class after completing her exams and she expressed confidence back then. Today, she told us more about receiving the good news. Alessa Castillo – 4th place, PSE “I felt really good because I wasn’t expecting to do so high but when I found out that I did very well I was really excited.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “What is your grade?” Alessa Castillo – 4th place, PSE “My grade is a 91.75 so now I am getting ready for graduation.”

New Controlled Price For Butane Gas
On May 9th the price for a hundred pound cylinder of Liquid Petroleum imported from Pemex Mexico saw a reduction of $13.00 while the LPG imported from Central America saw a $16.00 decrease. Tonight the good news is that the price for a hundred pound cylinder of butane has experienced drop. The new controlled price per 100lb cylinder of butane imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company Limited from Pemex in Mexico, which saw a reduction of $1.00, is as follows: Belize City $114.00, Belmopan and San Ignacio $116.00, Benque Viejo Del Carmen $117.00, Orange Walk $115.00, Corozal $114.00, Dangriga $118.00 and Punta Gorda $119.00.

MOE Calls On Parents To Do Their Part In The House Of Representative
Today, members of the House of Representatives converged at the National Assembling Building in Belmopan for another round of discussion on national issues. And of note is that the disgraced Minister of State, Elvin Penner made an appearance. But, kicking things off on a stern note was Minister of Education Patrick Faber who reflected on the Primary School Examination results which were disclosed yesterday. And while the performance was anything short of impressive, the results says Faber is a reflection of what is being thought at home, in this case, lack thereof. Faber says the only realistic solution to perform better is to make it everyone’s business to fix what is wrong with the education system; this will require a strong foundation for the onset of a child’s life.


Three Separate Shooting Incidents Reported in the City
Three persons were shot over the weekend, luckily no one died. The first incident occurred on Friday night and the victim was 40-year-old Walter Beaton. Police say that Beaton, a construction worker, was riding his bicycle on Kraal Road when someone approached him from behind and pointed a black in color firearm in his direction and fired several shots injuring him on the left hand. The second incident occurred on Saturday night, and this time the victim was 22 year old Efrain Assi. Assi was with four other persons sitting on the bleachers at a basketball court on Alicia Street when short dark complexion male person, dressed in red T-shirt, long black pant, with a black cap on his head, stood behind the bleacher and fired six gunshots in their direction. Assi was shot twice to his back. The third victim was shot last night and he is 17 year old Clinton Pou. Pou was shot once to the neck while he was walking on Poinsetta Street heading towards Jasmine Street. His mother, Dorla Foreman, spoke to the media.

One Month in Prison for Attacking Estranged Spouse
Twenty-eight year old Kearney Thompson, who was remanded to prison last week after he pled guilty to theft and harm, was sentenced to one month for each offence today by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Thompson will only serve one month because the sentences are to run concurrently. The charges arose from an incident that occurred on June 1 in which Thompson attacked his ex-common-law wife, while she was walking on Antelope Street and beat her and stole her purse containing her cell phone.

GSU vs Galindos
Forty-eight year old Nestor Galindo Sr and his son, 21 year old Nestor Galindo Jr, who were charged with assaulting a member of the GSU, said they were the ones who were assaulted by the GSU. The father and son said that on Saturday night, June 14, members of the GSU came to their house, located at 86 M and M Street and beat them on their backs with their own machete for no reason. When they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser they lifted their shirts and showed the welts which they said were caused by the beatings. Their attorney, Bryan Neal, said that he was told by his client that an officer even fired a shot. Nevertheless, the father was charged with assaulting a police officer and harm. The son was charged with assaulting a police officer, harm, using insulting words and resisting arrest. They pled not guilty to the charges and were released on bails of two thousand dollars each. Their next court date is August 6.

Magistrate Sends Security Guard to Prison
Eighteen year old Chrisdale Courtenay, a KBH security guard residing on Sibun Street, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was charged with two counts of robbery. Courtenay pled not guilty to the charges. Although the offences were not committed with a firearm he was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until July 14. The incident occurred around 1:15 p.m. on June 14. Two women were walking on Sarstoon Street when they were approached by a young man riding a bicycle. One of the women reported to the police that the man held her around her neck and demanded that they hand over their belongings. She said she gave the man her LG cell phone, valued at 125 dollars plus 90 dollars while the other woman handed over her I Pro cell phone, valued at 200 dollars. They said the man then rode away.

Students Design Phone App on Transport in Belize
Four tertiary institutions competed in a coding competition as part of an event dubbed, Belize Hackathon 2014: Unlocking ICT Innovation. It may sound a bit complicated for the not so technologically savvy but what it simply means is that students from the University of Belize, Galen University, Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College and St. John’s College Junior College were tasked to develop an phone application, particularly for tourists, that will provide them with the schedule of the various modes of transportation available in Belize. Hero Balani of Belize Telemedia Limited laid it out for us this morning when Love News visited the ITVET for today’s program. HERO BALANI “The nature of the problem that these kids were looking at solving this weekend is transport. When a tourist comes to Belize they’re often not familiar with our transport system, so what we’re doing is trying to find a mobile application solution to help make their lives a bit easier. We as Belizeans, we know where to get the water taxi; we know where to go to get the local flights, international flights and also the bus system but we want to help make those frequently asked questions for a tourist more easier. So we gave the students that problem and today we’ll see what they came up with. The theme this year for the Belize Hackathon is, “Mobile Application Design and Development” and again as you saw in that presentation from our US consultant from Wal-Mart and Proctor and Gamble, it is moving the world and the way technology is going in the world, everyone has a smart phone; you saw it in the photo right? Everyone pulls out their smartphone, even in Belize, it’s a necessity now.

BGYEA Gets Green Light From Court
Last Friday Justice Courtenay Abel lifted an injunction that had been brought by the Government against the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association to prevent the group from working in the buffer zone at Harmonyville. This action came after BYGEA indicated they would be parking corn in the buffer zone. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture says while the court did not continue the injunction; however the Government is at liberty by law to apply for another injunction. The substantive claim for Trespass by way of Fixed Date Claim is scheduled to be heard on June 30.The Ministry reaffirms its position and continues to pursue the removal of illegal occupants within the buffer zone. Attorney for BGYEA, Audrey Matura-Shepherd responded to the government release. AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD “It was just a nice, diplomatic way they were admitting that they lost because they cannot refute the fact that the interim injunction was removed and that’s a given. I can even recap why it was removed if you want but most importantly, the judge even said clearly that if there is any other application for any injunction it would not be exparte; that means that it will not be in the absence of Petillo or anybody they want to injunct; it has to be that we get notice before. Of course, we expect the government to be malicious and seek anything possible, as many injunctions as they want but no matter how many injunctions they seek, at the end of the day, the law will prevail, the court will be utilized to deal with this matter civilly and I just ask that they stop harassing my client because no matter what you do, Government, the fact is that you cannot have this exparte injunction, you lost it, you disobeyed your own court order. I wish the media would have been allowed in chambers to hear when the judge said that the Government needs to learn to act lawful not unlawful. By their own policy, that could never be a buffer zone, a buffer zone along any roadside can only be twenty feet that is an open communal space.

Island Man Fires Shots at Minister’s Dogs
Thirty-three year old Byron Evans, a cabinet maker of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye who allegedly fired shots at two Pit Bulls belonging to the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, was charged with discharging a firearm within 40 yards of a public road when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Evans pled not guilty to the charge. His attorney, Oscar Selgado, told Chief Magistrate Smith that he is awaiting a response form the DPP because Evans used his licensed .38 revolver to fire shots at two dogs that attacked him as he was walking on Tarpon to go to pick up his wife. Selgado said that section 40 1 A of the Firearms Act provides for a person with a licensed firearm to fire shots at the dogs if the dogs were attacking that person. He also said that if the police had looked at the entire set of circumstances and used their discretion they would not have charged Evans. Chief Magistrate Smith remanded Evans into custody until tomorrow, June 17. The incident occurred on June 10 and Evans was charged two days later. Selgado said that it was an abuse of process that his client was not brought before the court until today. He said that on Friday, June 13, there was no magistrate at San Pedro, so Evans was not arraigned and he had to spend the weekend at the police station before he could be brought to court.


Police Looking for BGYEA President?
On Friday evening the interim injunction ordered against BGYEA executives and Sam Patton to legally refrain them from planting corn on the buffer zone of Harmonyville was lifted based on a technicality. The interim injunction, expired on Friday, June 13th and the Senior Crown Council Nigel Hawk, who represents...

Man Survives Shooting
Police are investigating three shooting incidents in Belize City over the weekend. The first took place around 9:12 p.m. on Friday when construction worker 40 year old Walter Beaton, was riding on Kraal Road headed toward Fabers Road. At the corner with Ross Pen Road, he was approached from...

Shooting at Basketball Court
On Saturday night in Belize City, another youth was targeted by shooting. 22 year old Efrain Assi was with four men at the bleachers on the basketball court on Alicia Street when a dark-skinned man shot at them six times from behind the structure, hitting Assi several times. Police...

Fiesta Chicken Burglarized
A productive business place was broken into, sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning in Belize City. The branch supervisor for Fiesta Chicken at the corner of Vernon and Sarstoon Streets reported that an iron safe was taken between 5:10 in the evening and 6:18 in the morning, which...

Minor is Shot by Stalking Group
The last shooting took place on Sunday night around 10:00 p.m. 17 year old Clinton Pou of Jasmine Street was shot to the left cheek and showed an exit wound to the left side of the neck. He was walking along Poinsettia Street when three unknown men passed him...

Terrible Accident in San Ignacio
Sometime about 4:00 p.m. on Sunday June 14th, 30 year old Eli Eleazar Obando, Belizean employee of BTL, reported to police that he was driving his Honda SUV on the Benque Viejo Road, San Ignacio. According to reports, upon reaching Chuc’s Gas Station, Obando’s vehicle overturned. Acting Officer in...

Another Accident in Cayo
There is another minor accident to report on. According to information received at around 8:00 pm somewhere along the Humming Bird Highway a resident of mile 25 on the Hummingbird Highway was coming back from Dangriga. The vehicle was heading in a northerly direction when it slammed against the...

Cotton Tree Village Council Challenges Government on Subdivision
The first hearing of a claim by the Village Council of Cotton Tree against the Ministry of Natural Resources took place before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning in the Supreme Court. The village complains that its consent was not obtained before a parcel was blocked out for potential...

Valley of Peace Farmers to Get Legal Assistance
We have been following the efforts of the farmers of Valley of Peace, Cayo, to seek a negotiated solution with Green Tropics Limited over destruction of valuable crops by herbicide spraying which occurred some months ago. Recently the attorney for Green Tropics appeared to slam the door on negotiations...

Government Issues Permit Extension as Parties are Ordered to Mediate
The Supreme Court of Belize was set to hear an application for a post-judgment injunction this afternoon filed by Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the four Maya communities of Graham Creek, Conejo, Crique Sarco and Midway against the Government parties managing the Sarstoon Temash National Park...

Future of Information Technology Displayed at Belize Hackathon 2014
Information technology affects our lives on a daily basis, whether to make our lives easier or occasionally more difficult. Belize has already been rapped for a low concentration of access to the Internet which ranges between 15 and 25 percent of the population, meaning that few have access to...

Activist Menzies Continues Pressure on Government over Gender Policy Reform
Belizean activist Patrick Menzies is known for his very direct approach to the Government as it pertains to the gender policy. His latest attempt to get the Government’s attention  is not a one day event, however, it is for, and we quote ” as long as it takes”. This...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

5 ladies vie for Miss Lobster Fest 2014
Five beautiful young ladies will be vying for the coveted title of Miss Lobster Fest 2014. They are Miss Britany Ysaguirre, Miss Gleselie Chan, Miss Jessica Tzalam, Miss Jolene Williams, and Miss Veida Gomez. Click on a photo to see a larger version of the image. Who is your favorite? Comment below with your responses.

Patrick JonesPJ

Luke Espat on hook for bank guarantees on Port
Today in the Court of Appeal, Justices Samuel Awich, Dennis Morrison and Minnet Hafiz-Bertram refused the application of businessman Luke Espat to have the court hear his case on a summary judgment issued against him last October. Espat continues to fight the takeover of the Port of Belize […]

Supreme Court oders mediation for GOB and SATIIM over oil exploration
The Supreme Court of Belize was set to hear an application for a post-judgment injunction this afternoon filed by Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the four Maya buffer communities against the Government parties managing the Sarstoon Temash National Park and U.S. Capital Energy. The buffer […]

Man charged with shooting at Minister’s pitbulls
A San Pedro man appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court charged with discharging a firearm within 40 yards of a public road. But he claims that he was doing it to protect himself from two pitbulls who came after him. The man is 33 year old cabinetmaker Byron […]

Security guard charged with robbery of women
A security guard working for a prestigious firm finds himself accused of robbing two women. 18 year old Chrisdale Courtenay of Sibun Street in Belize City was remanded without bail at the order of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer when he appeared in court today, charged with two counts […]

Father and son charged over fight with police
Forty-eight year old Nestor Galindo and his son, 21 year old Nestor Galindo Jr, pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting a police officer, harm, resisting arrest and using insulting words respectively today in court. On June 14 at their residence on M&M Street they were visited by […]

Edmond Castro strike-out attempt put off
Justice Courtney Abel today presided over case management in the matter of Minister of State Edmond Castro versus Alvarene Burgess, who gave Great Belize Television (Channel 5) a series of interviews alleging the involvement of the Minister in visa procurement. Castro sued for defamation of character but attorney […]

Eamon Countenay calls out the PM regarding Justice Awich appointment
Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow responded to the furore over his reappointment of Court of Appeal Justice Samuel Awich for seven years until the age of 75. He essentially suggested that the jurist’s opponents are being personal because they have found no way around him at the […]

Thirty days in jail for domestic beating
Twenty-eight year old Kearney Thompson, remanded to prison last week after he pleaded guilty to charges of theft and harm, will serve thirty days in jail for the offences. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today handed down sentences of one month on each charge but ordered them to […]

Police nab trio in connection with Orange Walk robbery
Police in Orange Walk town have moved quickly to apprehend three men believed to have been involved in the robbery of the Travel Concierge and MoneyGram Agent located on Otro Benque Road last week Monday. Formal charges have been laid against 22 year old Martin Rogoberto Rosado, 26 […]

Six Belizeans named on the Queen’s Birthday Honors list
Six Belizeans have been included on Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honors list for 2014. According to a communique from Belize House in Belmopan, Justice Manuel Sosa was awarded a knighthood and made “a Knight Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George.” The […]

Crime and Violence: three more shooting victims in Belize City
There was no shortage of criminal activities involving firearms over the weekend. Between Friday night and Sunday night three men were shot in Belize City. The first gunshot victim of the weekend was 40 year old Walter Beaton. He was shot twice to the left hand. Police […]

Mexican painter to mount exhibition in Belize
The Embassy of Mexico in Belize today announced the mounting of an exhibition by self-taught Mexican painter and sculptor Carlos Vivar. The exhibition will open officially on Tuesday night at the Institute of Mexico in Belize situated at the corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street. The […]

Rainy weather at the start of the work week
It is a wet start to the work week, and indications are that it will be a rainy week for the most part. The 24-hour forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for sunny skies with cloudy spells today. Showers or thunderstorms will be generally isolated. […]

Car crashes on the Hummingbird Highway
There was a traffic accident early this morning on the Hummingbird Highway. Reports are that it happened sometime after 8 o’clock this morning and involved a resident of Mile 25 on the Hummingbird Highway. The small blue car was extensively damaged as it appears to have crashed […]

PUP chooses candidate for Orange Walk North division
The People’s United Party (PUP) today held a convention to choose a standard bearer for the Orange Walk North constituency. Three candidates, namely Alfredo Ortega, Ramon Cervantes and Jaime Castillo contested the convention. The results, which were released late this evening showed that Ramon Cevantes bested the other […]

Police believe Friday morning murder is gang-related
Police have launched an intensive investigation into Friday morning’s murder of 30 year old Tulio Caceres, a building inspector and resident of Taylor’s Alley in Belize City. Taylor’s Alley and Majestic Alley are believed to be the bases of warring rival gangs. But both also recently hosted editions […]

Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association holds information fair
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association held a mini-fair on Saturday at the Welcome Centre in San Ignacio Town. Various Neighborhood Watch groups from the district came together to share information with the general public about what they do and to encourage people to join in the effort. Among […]


SO I Was Thinking…Maybe Belize Electricity Should Turn Off Power Every Sunday
Yesterday there was a long inconvenient but announced power (or current – as it’s called here in Belize) outage. 6am to 3pm for the entire island. BEL would be replacing poles and things, maintaining radiators and things. Who knows. But in the heat of early summer that is a very very long time. Minutes without your fan seem to double…maybe triple. Hours? An eternity! The US government website says that food is safe for up to 4 hours in your fridge when power is out. Questionable but not good. But REALLY not good? Yesterday was Fathers’ Day. Yesterday was the first official day of San Pedro’s 2014 Lobsterfest and maybe most importantly to the local population? Yesterday was day 3 of the WORLD CUP. Disaster I thought. But as I often am, I was totally wrong. Yesterday was a beautiful day with a stiff breeze. A few generators were running for the die hard football fans but most people just went OUTSIDE. Fancy that. Outside on the beach on a gorgeous gorgeous day. HERE is what I saw around town…

“Turning Japanese” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I’ve had a busy -well by my standards- few days since the last edition. Not so busy though that I haven’t started the day out on the veranda – the first floor, western one for those of you that are interested- with the ‘must have’ mug of black coffee and my iPad. In between what I needed to do I’ve done my utmost to catch as many of the World Cup games as possible. Last Thursday afternoon I got a telephone call from Louis Gillett, the engineer we’d chosen to make our ‘sick’ engine ‘healthy’. When I heard his voice I thought he was going to give me bad news. But no. He’d finished his work, the boat was ready to collect. Feeling pretty elated I told him I’d be down the next day to pay him and collect the boat. Knowing that I needed someone conversant with the waterways from Louis’ boatyard in Boca Del Rio to our house I then ‘phoned the multi-talented, ever dependable Lloyd. He told me he had some work to do up near Journey’s End but would come and collect me around noon.

Celebrating the start of Lobster season in Belize
I did my first two lobster fest events this past weekend and ate to my hearts content. In fact I am still doing so I just polished off a delicious piece of key lime pie for breakfast from the Saturday night party. Opening night of Lobsterfest at El Divino is always fun and this year was no exception. I hung out with the Grand Caribe party posse. There are lots of Montana peeps in town – of course that led to many crazy stories and lots laughter all night long. Since Lobster season in Belize officially starts on June 15th, this years special menu was crab & fish cakes, Surf & Turf and key lime pie for dessert. Soon as the food showed up our table grew very quiet – everyone was busy salivating over their shrimp and steak. After dinner the party got lively and people started dancing, Banana Beach did a really good Rock and Roll song request list for DJ Tracks and he threw down a great mix. My Montana weatherman emailed Cowboy and I this morning to see how we were enjoying our annual lobster festival - Brent the pictures below are a good indication of our satisfied souls – especially the food ones :)

Crooked Tree Village Tops The Primary School Examination - Belize
The Primary School Examination (PSE) results were announced this week and the Crooked Tree Village School top the nation with the highest score. A total of 19 students sat the exams and all of them were successful. Twelve year old Ashton Tillett was the top scorer for Crooked Tree School with a score of 381 of 400. The top 5 for Crooked Tree School are Ashton Tillett, Damion Tillett, Raheema Sealy, Gabriel Crawford and Elias Flowers. According to a release from the Belize Ministry of Education, across Belize, seven thousand two hundred and forty five students sat the exams. As has been for the past several years, the results show major weaknesses in Maths, English and Social Studies. In Maths forty seven percent of the students scored below the fifty percent of the passing grade; in English the grades improved slightly, and fifty-eight percent of the students performed at satisfactory levels in Social Sciences, which is below the level from last year.

How safe is Belize?
I am regularly asked the question: Is Belize safe or is it a dangerous country to travel? And my general answer is yes… Overall, Belize is one of the safest places to visit. However, it is not all fine and dandy throughout the entire country. I always advise travellers to be weary of when WALKING in certain areas of Belize City. Due to it being the old capital, it has the largest populace in Belize and high unemployment has made poverty a major issue. Catch a cab when getting from point A to B! To be honest, I get a lot of shit from many Belizeans for being blunt about Belize City. Still, I stand by my word. If I’m a local and I personally don’t feel safe walking in certain areas, it will be much worst for a tourist. I remember as a teen I would go buy my New Era hats in the city and in more than one occasion I would end up running from guys who wanted to rob me. Friends even joke around and say stuff like, what do you call a guy on a bike in Belize City? A thief. It was a funny thing to say among friends when I was growing up but digging deeper, it is very sad. I hope things change in the future. But to be clear, not all of Belize City is sketchy. In fact, the country’s wealthiest people live there and the tourism police also heavily patrol some areas to ensure safety – for example, the tourism village, the various tourist attractions and downtown Albert street.

International Sourcesizz

United Adding New Service to Belize
United Airlines is expanding its service to Latin America and the Caribbean, the carrier announced Monday. The company has announced a pair of new flights, each of which will begin on Dec. 20. The first is service from Houston to Punta Cana, including year-round service on Saturdays and Sunday service during “periods of expected higher demand.” The company will also be adding flights from Chicago to Belize City, with Saturday service through early May 2015. The latter is subject to government approval, the carrier said. Additionally. United said it would be expanding its Houston Aruba service, resuming Saturday service on Dec. 20 that will last through early May 2015, along with Sunday service during periods of higher demand. United is the largest carrier in Houston.

The Last Resort: A $20 Million Deal
Belizean conservation organizations and Wake Forest University biology professors and students all share one commonality—they might be the only things standing between a group of Italian developers and the destruction of important ecological habitats in Belize. PuertoAzul Belize Limited—a branch of the international PuertoAzul Exclusive Resorts franchise—might be the most alluring and expensive new tourist destination in Belize in coming years. It would come equipped with 200-300 luxurious rooms to accommodate thousands of well-endowed guests, a golf course, villas, spas, a Formula 1 race track, a health center and much more. Developers intend to construct all of these amenities atop Northern Caye and Sandbore Caye, collectively referred to as the northern two cayes, both of which are dangerously close to two marine protected areas (MPAs) at the Lighthouse Reef (LHR) Atoll.

Caricom: A Light Not Yet Fully Turned On
DR Franklin Johnston, a strategist, project manager and advisor to the Jamaica Minister of Education, wrote a column in the Jamaica Observer of May 30 in which he basically contended that the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM) and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) are the constructs of “Anglophone black people” and not in the interest of Jamaica. #Rooting his contentions in anti-colonialist sentiment, he stated without evidence that CSME is a “clever fiction inspired by the Brits, aided by Cabinets, and sustained by well-paid, unaccountable regional civil servants”. He sets-up both CARICOM and CSME as hostile to the economic well-being of Jamaica. Further, he claims that “CSME zealots” all come to live in Jamaica; “we (Jamaica) are the big name brand”; “CSME disrespects us” (Jamaicans); and “we (Jamaicans) are small with a big brand and balls to match and need no union to prosper, but CSME controls us by making the arcane and distant familiar; ‘the phrase English-speaking Caribbean means zilch as CSME does not work”; and “Jamaica is the largest nation in CSME, so we are its backbone – finance, market, innovation, brand value, yet we are the poorest member”.

Belize, Guatemala and Mexico on a College Budget
My boyfriend and I love to travel, but we’re both in college so we don’t have a large budget. Belize has been on my bucket list for a long time, but has always felt financially out of reach until I started travel hacking. I started collecting miles and points about a year ago, and I finally cashed them in for my dream vacation. Our itinerary was HNL-BZE, over land to Cancun, then CUN-HNL. We both applied for the Citi AAdvantage card (30,000 points each), which took care of both of our tickets to Belize (15,000 miles each during off-peak), and his return ticket from Mexico. My 40,000 United miles (from the 30,000 mile sign-up bonus plus a few domestic trips) got me home from Mexico. What would have cost us over $2,000 wound up costing us less than $100 in fees. We also both applied for the Barclay Arrival card, which covered our tour to the Tikal ruins in Guatemala, a snorkeling tour to the Hol Chan Marine reserve in Belize, and a snorkeling tour in Mexico where we swam with whale sharks. During the snorkeling tour in Belize, we saw sting-rays, nurse sharks, eels, and even manatees! Each tour was over $100 per person, but we paid absolutely nothing for these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.


Video: Sharks of Belize, 2.5min.
Nurse sharks were plentiful during every dive in Belize. They were very relaxed and curious. Please excuse the shaky camera work, but it took me a while to get comfortable with these "close encounters!"

Video: Does It Ever Rain in Belize? | Homestead Kids, 4min.
Definitely YES. During the monsoon season (the wet season), it rains hard for an hour or so every afternoon. The kids love playing in the showers. Sometimes it rains hard, sometimes t has torrential downpours. The harder it rains, the more the kids love the shower. The rainy season is super beneficial for plant life and so much more there.
The rain coming out of the sky is often caught by the villagers for drinking water, wash water and so much more. The rain water is amazingly soft water. It cannot of course have mineral in it that would make it hard water - it is more like distilled water.

Video: 2 Sharks & a ray on the wall in Belize, 1.5min.
Reef Shark and a Bull Shark I shot on the wall at Half Moon Caye in Belize in May 2014.. with a photobomb by a Spotted Eagle Ray!

Video: 2014 Howler Monkey Release Day 1, 2min.
Sultan, Livvy, Kofi and Paz, four endangered Yucatan black howler monkeys, are making the move down to the Fireburn release site in preparation for their release back into the wild...

Video: Snorkel in Belize March, 2014, 6min.

Video: Tubing through St. Herman's Cave - Belize, 2min.
We took a guided tour through St Herman's Cave in Belize.

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