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Today's Belize News: November 18, 2014 #498087
11/18/14 05:31 AM
11/18/14 05:31 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,329
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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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

I come to you this evening to ask your support for LIBERTY CHILDREN'S HOME in Ladyville, Belize. Please in kindness can you help lend voice and support through newspaper article for my Annual Christmas Campaign for the Beloved Children at Liberty Children's Home. Amidst the sounds of Howler Monkeys and the tranquil beauty of Mayan ruins therein lies in the Central American jungle a small orphanage in Ladyville where 37 abused and neglected children reside. With a pittance of external money to operate, house, clothe and educate the beautiful children, Miss Agatha Valentine the Director of this tiny community works tirelessly night and day to bring each child a sense of HOPE, LOVE and PEACE. It is again my desire this year to bring the spirit of Christmas to each of the children who call this place home, so that they may enjoy and experience a day filled with love, laughter and gifts of their own.

Decorating tips for the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
• Santa’s Gifts- Start collecting refrigerator, washer, dryer, stove boxes or any large ones. Paint them in different colors, bright colors will show best at night. Outline boxes with Christmas lights. Shape wire into bows and cover with cheap netting, you can also run lights inside of the net to highlight the bow. Boat passengers can be dressed in pajamas and nightgowns to give the feeling of a Christmas Eve night. • Christmas Angel- Use PVC pipes and heavy wire to make an open shape of an angel. Run a tall PVC pipe up and put a star on top. Do in it all white. Guests dress in white for the purity religious theme. • Party boat- Talk to Bowen & Bowen Limited to see if they have a blowup Lighthouse Beer of Belikin Beer bottle. Illuminate with green light and use a spotlight to highlight it. If not, build one out of 1/4″ plywood, paint it and illuminate it with Christmas Lights. Have a good time on board or charge persons to join your party boat! • Christmas Octopus- Get in contact with Will Alamilla who created the octopus themed float of this year’s September Celebration parade. Use the octopus diorama. Have each tentacle hold a wrapped present or star fish. Outline with strands of Christmas lights. You could even use blue rope lights in a wavy pattern on the side of the boat to look like water. • Net Christmas Tree- Raise a tall PVC pipe or pole and Shape the net over it like a Christmas tree. Decorate with lights and Christmas ornaments. Remember the star on top.

Smile Clinic celebrates 10 Anniversary with free dental clinic
On November 12, the Smile Clinic located at Holy Cross Anglican School in San Pedro Town celebrated their 10th anniversary since their foundation. To mark the occasion, the patron of the Clinic Dr Mark Johnson hosted a second group of hygienists and dentists at the clinic. The volunteer group is part of a wider program for the clinic which will see several volunteers from the United States of America offering free dental care to students on the island in the coming months. The second group was on the island from the 10th to the 12th of November, and over the three days, over 60 students were treated. The three US volunteers that were on the island are Dr. Hal Solomon, along with hygienists Julie Feeley and Donna Duallo, all from New Jersey USA. Also helping were Dr. Mark Johnson, Hygienist Bonnie Musbach, Jen Wochner, Elizabeth Hudson and Norma Chin. According to Dr Johnson, each visiting group costs about $25,000 which includes the value of the treatments, leave of absence from their official work, food, accommodations and airfare. Clinic treatments are free and are open to all Belizean students. Once treated at the Smile Clinic, each student’s record is entered into a computer database for reference.

Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado goes missing
Honduran police are searching for 19-year-old Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado who went missing on Thursday, November 13th along with her sister Sofia. The women were reported missing by a family member on Saturday, November 15th after they could not be contacted. Alvarado is no stranger to the island, as she represented her country in this year’s Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant held pm Ambergris Caye. According to initial reports, Alvarado and her sister were last seen leaving a birthday party in Santa Barbara, Honduras. Police have since arrested four persons in connection to the disappearance. “The missing women were last seen getting into a vehicle as they left the party. Four people are under arrest. They include the owner of the party venue and Sofia’s boyfriend. They are being investigated,” said Chief of Police Jose Coello during a press briefing. Mother of both women, Teresa de Jesus released a statement imploring for her daughters safe return. “Open your hearts and understand my pain. There is an all-powerful God that sees everything and I hope you set them free,” said Teresa de Jesus.

Editorial: Keeping the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Afloat
This year The San Pedro Sun has opted to give our Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest a hiatus, and as disappointing as this may be, we’ve decided the lack of the annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade last year was far more disappointing. We are instead committing all of our holiday energy into helping the San Pedro Business Association make sure this beautiful, signature island event continues. This gorgeous flotilla of sparkling boats is not only enjoyed by the entire community but has become a destination event for many tourists abroad. Despite the financial benefits the island may see from attracting tourists to this event, to me it is ultimately about kicking off the holiday season island style and as a community sharing an evening of holiday spirit and camaraderie. People have been decorating their homes for the holiday’s decades before there was any sort of contest to applaud their efforts, and we should embrace that same holiday spirit when it comes to participating in the boat parade. It is all in the spirit of the holiday that we adorn our homes (and boats)…not about the prize. For those who do not have a boat why not organize your friends and find someone who does? Why not make is a neighborhood project, a church project, a special interest project or just a group of good friends? If you need funding to help with purchasing lights why not approach one of your favorite businesses to sponsor you, and if you want to offset expenses why not ask for a $20 donation from those who want to join you on the boat? There are many decorating ideas that don’t have to cost a fortune and we outline some of those ideas in this week’s issue (see Page 20).

Caye Caulker’s famous Lazy Lizard at the Split closed down
The iconic Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill at the Split on Caye Caulker is closed and its ownership is in dispute. The issue escalated last week when the lease-holder was forcefully and apparently illegally evicted along with all his belongings off the premises. The establishment, operated by Immer Perez, sits on an area that is internationally known, a naturally made split on the island caused by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. The business has been closed for almost two weeks since the Lazy Lizard owner has been in a battle with the actual landowner, American, Dan Nichols. The area is known as The Split or Lazy Lizard, but it’s under the name of Emerald Point at the Lands Department. “I recently got a contract of 5 years; last year June 1st. So it’s valid up until May 31, 2018. Three days before Lobster Fest this year 2014, he (the owner) told me and gave me the news saying that he sold the Split – 99% of the place,” explained Perez, who said that since then everything has been downhill. He told the media during an interview that the problem started in August when he got a 90-day notice that he must leave the premises on Emerald Point because it was sold. Perez explained that after doing his research, he realized that the land could not have been sold. “I got to know that the place is not sold. Emerald Point has a caution on it, so that caution means they cannot transfer-they cannot sell the property due to someone else that he had a previous deal with for obtaining the property. My contract that I have states carefully that the property must be sold for me to get 90 days’ notice,” he explained

Ambergris Today

Miss Honduras World (Costa Maya) Reported Missing
The Costa Maya Festival Committee and Ambergris Caye community are today in shock to learn about the disappearance of Miss World Honduras, Maria Jose Alvarado and her sister Sofia Trinidad Alvarado in their country of Honduras last week. Island residents met Maria Jose this past August during the Costa Maya Festival where she was a contestant representing Honduras at the Miss Costa Maya Pageant. San Pedro residents express their concerns and pray that both women are found safe and unharmed. La Prensa newspaper in Honduras reports that authorities from the country have confirmed that Maria Jose and her sister went missing since last week Thursday, November 13, 2014, when both women visited Santa Barbara, Honduras to spend a few days their parents before Maria Jose traveled to London to participate in the Miss World pageant. Eduardo Zablah, director of Miss Honduras pageant, confirmed that on Thursday night Maria Jose, her sister and a group of friends went out to celebrate a birthday. When both sisters left the party that was held at a resort in Santa Barbara, both were seen getting into a vehicle but since then, their whereabouts are still unknown.

Belize Director of Marketing Industry Relations Resigns
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hereby announces that after more than two years of service, the Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, has resigned from the BTB, effective December 12th, 2014. Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans, says, “Alyssa’s contributions and dedication to the BTB and, by extension, the tourism industry, haven’t gone unnoticed. Working with her for the past seven months has been an absolute pleasure. While we are sad to see her go, we understand and respect her desire to move on to pursue her own endeavors. We are grateful for the achievements under her leadership of the Marketing & Industry Relations Department, and we wish her the very best.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Front Street Pups, ready for their homes
a big lovable huggable boy, the only male we had. Now available for adoption. BHSAS will provide deworming, vaccinations and sterilization once he gets a bit older. Please contact Linda Searle, if you wish to adopt him. S Renee Wentz (paperwork on all three... Rastaman, Rosie and Buttercup, most probably needed. please contact Linda to organize all that. thanx). Belize Humane Society & Animal Shelter

Belize Fishing report Nov 16 2014
El Pescador celebrated our 40th Anniversary this week! A great big thank you to all of our guests who helped us to honor this great event. Jim Klug celebrated the release of his book, “Fly Fishing Belize.” It’s a beautiful book and signed copies are available in our fly shop! Jim Klug is considered family here, so we are thrilled to his book release along with our 40th celebration. To our return guests – you make it all happen. John and Danny from Hatch reels, thank you. All of our demo reels are Hatch and now we will feature their new fly lines as well! Phil Monahan from Orvis and American Angler, Kirk Deeter from Field & Stream, Scott Morrison, and Adam Marton – we look forward to seeing you on your next return. Thank you for all you do for El Pescador. Mike, thank you for bringing Jenny – she is a treasure. And we are so happy you are back to your health and better yet, standing on the bow looking for your beloved tarpon. We are humbled and appreciate all that our guests add to your El Pescador experience. Keep sharing your ideas – we learn from you. Photos from this week will be coming in, and for this, we thank you. Cheers!

Consejo Village Youth Group (CVYG)
This newly formed group has come together to help all the children of our village learn to live and work in harmony together. Our first project is to give our children a Christmas party on Dec 24. In order to reach that goal, we are hosting a Tea Party for all that are interested in participating with us in raising funds and gifts. Tea Party Date: November 30,2014 Time: 8-11:30 a.m. Place: Consejo Village Library (Red brick building in front of Customs) Presents and donations are very welcome. To help you in your gift giving, we have 16 children from the ages of 2 to 8 and 14 older kids from the ages of 9-14. Any money donations we receive will be used to purchase needed presents, food, gift wrap, sodas, piñata, table and chairs, etc. A bulletin will be sent out after our event to show how the money donations were used. If you would like to donate and cannot attend our Tea Party, please feel free to call and we will pick up your donation, Ronnie Arana 620-0519. Every gift or donation gets a big smile of gratitude from a child in return!

Extended Power Interruption in Belmopan caused by Difficulties Experienced during Upgrades to Power Distribution System
Customers of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) in the City of Belmopan and surrounding areas experienced an extended power interruption on Sunday, November 16 due to extended delays experienced during planned works in the area. A power interruption was originally scheduled for 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon to facilitate works to upgrade the power distribution system in Belmopan City and surrounding communities. These works included replacement of utility poles and equipment, adjusting of high voltage lines, installation of lightning arresters and maintenance works at the Belmopan Substation. During the process of works, BEL crews faced several difficulties, which impeded completion of the scheduled upgrade works. In particular, additional deteriorated equipment was identified, apart from those scheduled for replacement. As a result, the duration of the works extended past the slated six hour period.

Channel 7

Lino - Alleged Andrew Tate Gunman - Limps Into Court
Tonight, 22 year old Carl Lino, the alleged gunman who reportedly targeted Andrew Tate in a broad daylight shooting, is at the Belize Central Prison. As we told you, that shooting happened right in front of Eden Site Alley, which adjoins Majestic Alley, just after 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon. That's just a few hundred feet from the center of the city, and shooting Victim Andrew Tate told police that he was riding his bicycle on North Front Street, when a gunman opened fire on him. The man fired 3 shots at him, one of which struck him in the back of the head. As soon as he went down, the shooter ran in the direction of Pinks Alley, but an off duty officer joined up with two others on foot patrol to run him down.

BSCFA Says It Stands Strong - "99% Support From Farmers"
Tonight the impasse in the sugar industry stands - there's been no deal between the factory and the caneros, except there is one significant change. After an emergency meeting on Saturday, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association says the farmers stand with them - and that no one has or will sign any independent contract with BSI or ASR. Jules Vasquez found out more when he went to the meeting on Saturday:... Jules Vasquez reporting About 500 farmers came out to the open air auditorium at Escuela Secondaria Technica Mexico in San Roman Village. Jules Vasquez "How do you respond to the criticism that only a few hundred farmers attended? He counted 700, I counted 500, but its only 10% of the full amount." Alfred Ortega, Bagasse Negotiating Team "Well Jules, you see me here standing up, I am representing 8 farmers. Mr. Keme is representing 10 farmers and there are many of us in this meeting that we work as family and we represent family members. So if you see 800 members here and you times them by 5, you don't have to go to 8 - by 5 and you will see the amount of farmers that are here. So the voice of these people that are here today is a strong voice."

Today the National Trade Union Congress expressed its support for the Cane Farmers Association. A release says quote, "the Congress unequivocally denounces the current stand being taken by American Sugar Refinery… as downright undermining of the bedrock of collective representation/bargaining that the foundation of labour and labourers' rights is built on." End quote. They warns that quote, "If given life, it will entirely change the landscape of private sector; interfacing with public sector." And while so much is being said about it - at this time, ASR/BSI isn't saying anything. The company says tomorrow is the deadline for consultation and by Friday 21st. November, it will issue a final agreement.

FECTAB: One Shot Of Happy, Two Shots Of Sad
Last week Wednesday, the President of NICH wrote to FECTAB telling the group that the enforcement of the much-derided 48-inch rule at the Nohoc Che'en cave would be suspended until the end of the year. So, when we heard FECTAB was having a press conference today - we thought it would be to say thanks. But, while there was a little of that - there was much more of what FECTAB has become famous for: lamenting the increasingly difficult commercial landscape in the cruise sector. Here's more:... Tom Greenwood, President - FECTAB "And this represent a victory not for FECTAB okay, not for this one and that one; it represents a victory for the movement of Belizean humanity." David Almendarez, FANTASEA Belize "I'd like to remind the Belizean public that this is not a pardon, this is just a stay of execution. The stay of execution will end December 31st. We are calling on NICH and the powers that be that we meet immediately or as soon as possible, so come January 1st, we are not running around with our heads off."

Policeman Stands Accused of Carnal Knowledge In South
San Ignacio Police are waiting patiently for their southern counterparts to process a 28 year old Police Constable who is wanted for having sexual relations with an under aged minor. The female visited the station with a social worker and reported to police that on Sunday, she had intercourse with that Constable in his home village of Seine Bight. An examination was conducted on the female and it was certified that she was carnally known. San Ignacio Police told us today that he has to first be arraigned on those similar charges, and then, he will be transferred over to them to be investigated on other charges.

BWSL Asks For 5% Increase To Fund Major Investment Drive
BWSL wants an increase in water rates - not a big one, just 5%. The company says it wants to invest 108 million dollars - and it needs the increase in revenue to help cover its costs. The utility has put in to the Public Utilities Commission for a Full Tariff Review Proceeding covering the years April 2015 to March 31, 2020. It says the 5% is the initial increase, but there could be possible adjustments in future years. If you don't like it - or if you just want to know more, you can attend a meeting that the PUC will hold on Thursday 27th November at the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino at 7:00 pm. You can also submit written comments on the proposals by 17th December 2014. The PUC will deliver its Initial Decision by January second, 2015 followed by a Final Decision on January 17th.

Traffic Accidents Have Killed 46 In Belize In First 10 Months Of 2014
Road Traffic accidents kill nearly 1.3 million people every year around the world. It is an alarming figure and in this region, Belize's number of fatalities per hundred thousand is the highest. So far, up to the start of November 2014, 46 persons have lost their lives, compared to 56 total in 2013. To reflect on all these tragedies, World Day of Remembrance is held every year on November 16th. This event serves to remember lost loved ones and to highlight the devastation caused by traffic accidents. This year World Day of Remembrance was observed on Sunday at St. Martin de Porres and Belmopan Methodist with mass.

Two More Fatalities
And there were two more fatalities this weekend. First, there was a traffic accident in the west which claimed the life of 52 year old Roaring Creek resident Maria Wright. 41 year old Jorge Luis Romero, the man who knocked her down, told police that on Friday night he was traveling from San Ignacio Town to his home in Belmopan. He says that sometime after 8:30 p.m., he was passing by Westar Gas Station when he saw Wright bolt across the highway. He says that he couldn't avoid the accident, and his van ended up hitting her. She was flung a short distance away from the front of that van, and she suffered massive injuries to the head and face. Wright died on the scene, and after police gathered whatever evidence they could, they issued a notice of intended prosecution against Romero.

Expat Caught With Cannabis In Consejo
Consejo Shores in the Corozal District is a community made up mostly of expatriates who have moved to Belize after retiring in their home country, and tonight one of those "expats" stands charged with drug trafficking. Corozal police visited the home of 60 year old American retiree Jannette Elaine McKean on Saturday evening art around 6. The officers informed her that they were there to conduct a search of her house for illegal items. It was at that time that McKean willfully handed over a black plastic bag to the officers. Inside they found 161.3 grams - or 5.69 ounces - of cannabis, and two pipes, and so police charged her with the offenses of drug trafficking and possession of pipes. She was given police bail due to her age, and it is expected that she will be arraigned in the Corozal Magistrates Court at the earliest convenience. As per police protocol when an American is arrested, the US embassy was informed shortly after the decision was made to charge McKean.

Citco Says Weekend Funerals Fine, Just Ignore the Letter
Just about three weeks ago on October 29th, the Belize City Council's Sanitation Manager Percival Murillo sent out a letter to undertakers telling them that there would be no more funerals on weekends. Murrillo didn't really offer an explanation, only saying vaguely that this would enhance the Council's service to undertakers. But what he meant was - "you'll save us from having to manage the weekend overtime for the city's cemetery workers." The letter was met with consternation from undertakers who mostly have their own workers to dig graves and cement vaults. Someone else who views it with alarm is Councilor with responsibility for the cemetery Dion Leslie. He told us today that Murillo acted unilaterally and without consultation with the council and that is not the policy of the council. He says the letter should be completely disregarded.

Immigration Officers Meet Caricom Citizens
There were rumors this morning that discontented immigration officers were supposed to stage a sick out at the Belize City and Belmopan officers in protest of the Director - but, it never happened. Director Maria Marin was instead facilitating a workshop for senior officers on the Caricom Single Market and Economy. This gives Caricom Nationals the freedom to move and work within the region - where immigration officers are their first point of contact:

Monchie's Attorney Says His Client Did Not Intend To Disparage DPM Vega
Last week, we showed you how Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes said publicly that he had no intentions of retracting the allegations made against Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Well, his attorneys have put it formally in writing now. A letter sent on last week Friday from the law office of Musa and Balderamos, says quote, "Our client denies making or publishing any statement calculated to disparage the Deputy Prime Minister… Gaspar Vega… Our client's …. sole concern was to assist the authorities in their investigation into this heinous crime.." End quote. The lawyer letter continues, "The recorded telephone conversation between Manuel Castillo… and the widow of the deceased was a matter of grave concern and public interest. At no time was our client or any member of his family actuated by malice against the Hon. Gaspar Vega or anyone else. Our client felt duty-bout to act as he did…"

Cricel Comes Out On Top
Professional bodybuilder, Cricel Castillo, is in Miami right now celebrating her first ever win at the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Competition, which was held on Saturday night at the Hyatt Miami Convention Center. It's a major rebound for Cricel who made the news 3 weeks ago when it was made public that she had been suspended by the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation for an internal fight, which spilled into the public domain. Her two-year suspension meant that she couldn't represent Belize at any tournaments held by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness. Refusing to allow the suspension affect her career, Castillo became a member of WBFF, the open federation which had extended an invitation to her. She made her debut at the Miami Show, competing against a number of other amateurs hoping to win and be recognized as professionals by the federation. Castillo won in the Diva Fitness Model Short category.

TV Ramos Bust Goes Home To Dangriga
The last time we reported on the TV Ramos bust sculpted by Stephen Okeke was 5 months ago. That's when he couldn't find a buyer and smashed the bust. Well, tonight, all has been restored: the bust is in Dangriga, after Okeke personally delivered it today. And, No, he didn't get paid for it. He told us that the sculpture is on credit to the town, and when he gets paid for it - if he ever does - it will be at a 30% discount. What we do know is that Okeke decided to deliver it to Dangriga in time for Garifuna Settlement Day. Okeke stressed to us that he is contented with finally getting the bust to Dangriga, which is where it was supposed to have gone when it was first finished.

A New Intake Of Youth Apprentices
Another intake of youths will get the opportunity to positively transform their lives through the Youth Apprenticeship Program. Today the general meeting for the 7th intake was held at the ITVET. There were 400 applicants but only about 200 showed up for the meeting - which is just fine because the program can only cater to 150 youths at time. Beyond the educational and job benefits of this program, there is a life skills component that teaches discipline and encourages productive attitudes in youths. Two of the participants shared with us their plans for the future at the meeting today. A two week orientation session will be held in January.

Agua Para Sarteneja
And while the Youth Apprenticeship Program will transform lives in the city, there is another major project that will improve the standard of living for residents of Sarteneja Village in Corozal. It is the Sarteneja Reverse Osmosis Rehabilitation Water System Project and it will provide clean potable water to residents. An official ceremony was held this weekend and some of the residents expressed their content with the timeliness of the project. Over 4,000 residents will benefit from this project. The cost is $789,077 dollars.

Channel 5

Cane-farmers United – Deliver Ultimatum to GOB
Cane-farmers from the Orange Walk and Corozal districts have given the Sugar Industry Control Board one week to break the impasse between BSI/ASR and the BSCFA. If that does not [...]

SICB to Hold Meeting With Parties
Faced with an ultimatum from the farmers, SICB Chairman Gabriel Martinez promised to ‘try his best’ to call a meeting before November twenty-fifth to facilitate a way forward. It’s a [...]

BSCFA Awaits PM’s Decision
It’ll be an interesting week ahead. The farmers have stood strong, called out SICB and by extension GOB. The Prime Minister went on record first to offer to pay for [...]

No Apology or Money for Gaspar Vega
Last week Wednesday, through his attorneys Barrow and Williams, Deputy Gaspar Vega threatened to sue CTV-three in Orange Walk, Love FM and Ramon Cervantes Junior. That threat arose from very [...]

BTB Concedes…FECTAB Speaks
A press conference was held this morning during which FECTAB officially announced that the forty eight inch regulation which prohibits persons less than four feet in height from enjoying caving [...]

COLA Sounds the Alarm on Cruise Industry Threat
At today’s press conference, COLA president Geovannie Brackett raised alarms on what he calls an issue that has the potential to shut down the existing cruise tourism industry. Fort Street [...]

COLA Calls on PM to Play Saviour
The firebrand activist signaled an intention for his organization to address this issue at length as COLA recognizes the importance that cruise tourism has for many families who survive off [...]

Castro Visa Case Still in Pre-trial
The case of Edmond Castro versus the visa scandal whistleblower got underway in February of 2014. In 2013, Castro was accused of facilitating visas for Chinese nationals by Alvarine Burgess. [...]

Attorney Condemns Inhumane Detention Conditions
Pending the passage of amendments in the House, the Firearms Act continues to create controversy among attorneys and those they represent who have fall afoul of the very wide shadow [...]

Two Die in Separate RTAs
Over the weekend, two persons were killed on the highways. On Friday night, a woman lost her life in a traffic accident between miles fifty and fifty one on the [...]

Cop Remanded for Carnal Knowledge
A police officer from the village of in Seine Bight in Southern Belize is in trouble with the law tonight. A minor is accusing him of having sexual intercourse with [...]

Cricel wins Big in Miami – Earns Pro Status
There has been enough bad news in this newscast but there is something positive to report on tonight. The World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Competition was held at the Hyatt [...]

COLA Accuses FSTV of Holding Industry Hostage
Earlier in the newscast, COLA president Geovannie Brackett spoke on the need for a new cruise port for Belize District.  He accuses the Fort Street Tourism Village of acting to [...]

Lino Arraigned for Attempted Murder
After five days under police guard at the K.H.M.H, twenty-two year old Carl Lino of Belize City, was taken to court in handcuffs this morning for arraignment on five criminal [...]

UNICEF commemorates 25th Anniversary of Convention
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted on November twentieth by the United Nations. The CRC, as it is known, establishes measures to ensure the protection, survival, [...]

Weekend Sports With James Adderley
Good evening I’m, James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The action remains fast and furious inside the PLB completion and we’ve got proof. So let’s head to the Peoples [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: November 18, 2014 [Re: Marty] #498088
11/18/14 05:32 AM
11/18/14 05:32 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,329
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More News: Scroll up from here


Mrs. Luisa Bardalez Celebrates 101st Birthday
Today, sodality brothers and sisters, Helpage volunteers and honorary family members gathered at the home of Luisa Bardalez for a celebration of her 101st birthday. It’s a milestone for any centenarian to say the least and today her living room was filled with love and caring from many well-wishers. Reporter Maria Novelo has that story. Maria Novelo – Reporting Born November 17th, 1913, Luisa Bardalez or ‘Gran’, as she is fondly known, was in jovial spirits today as she celebrated with friends one more year to her century mark. The centenarian has declared that a life close to God is the secret to an extended period of living. Maria Novelo - Reporter “Mrs. Luisa, you are celebrating 101 years old, how are you feeling? Luisa Bardalez – 101 Years Old “I feel pretty good and happy.”

UDP Supporter Rally In Support Of DPM
On November 9th, Attorney Rodwell Williams of Barrow & Williams wrote to Ramon Cervantes Jr., threatening to sue on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega for offensive statements made against Vega on November 5th. In the letter Attorney Williams is demanding a retraction and public apology from Cervantes Junior and payment for damages for defamation. Cervantes Junior was given until today November 17th to offer a retraction and apology or face a file suit for libel without any further notice. In an interview with Cervantes Junior he made it clear that he has nothing to apologize for and for the law to take its course. And it seems that is exactly what will happen since we are told that up to news time the DPM has not received an apology from Cervantes. How this will all play out at the end is anybody’s guess but what we can tell you is that due to the damming allegations made against him by allegedly Manuel Castillo, the man police believe was the author in the death of Cervantes Sr. in July of this year, Vega has stated that the allegation of him being involved in Cervantes’ Senior demise has endangered him and his family. At the same time the DMP has emphatically denied having any involvement whatsoever with Cervantes’ death.

Orange Walk Hosted Its Education Roadshow
The Ministry of Education concluded its Education Roadshow in Orange Walk on Friday night. The Education Roadshow, which is a countrywide initiative, aims to get all stakeholders including parents, students, teachers and school leaders to dialogue and think differently about learning and schooling. Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Education, David Leacock, says they are focusing on helping to raise the quality and development in the teaching sector. David Leacock – CEO, Ministry of Education “One of the main goals of that project is to improve the quality of education in our schools by attracting quality teachers in to teaching, by training half of our primary schools teachers that are already in the classrooms more effective ways in teaching English, Math and Science and also by working with our Teacher Education Institutions to improve the training that goes on those institutions, they will also include leadership training as you know we’ve done leadership training already here in the north and also add to training we have already done across the country and also we are going to be working on how to engage parents more into the education of their children.” The roadshow forms part of the Education Quality Improvement Program (EQIP) which focuses on recruiting people into the teaching profession. National Council for Education, Jamoula Vasquez, told the congregate that the training will provide teachers with the tools necessary to perform better.

Guinea Grass Residents Caught In Traffic Accident
One man is dead and another is recovering from injuries sustained in a road traffic accident on Friday evening. According to police, they received information of a road traffic mishap four miles in the Guinea Grass Village Road. Preliminary investigations revealed that 26 year old Erick Pook who was accompanied by 19 year old Wilbert Garcia, both of said village, were heading home on Pook’s black and blue Meilun Motor cycle when tragedy struck. It is alleged that the men were speeding and collided into the back of a moving trailer that was attached to a tractor heading to Guinea Grass Village. The tractor with the trailer did not stop and render aid. The injured persons were taken to Northern Regional Hospital with severe body injuries. Driver, Erick POOK later succumbed to his injuries and pronounced dead at 7:05 pm at Northern Regional Hospital that same night. His companion, Wilbert Garcia we are informed is still recovering from his injuries. Police were in Shipyard today to summons the driver of the tractor but we haven’t been able to confirm if a notice of intended prosecution was given. We’ll have more on this in our subsequent newscast.

BSCFA General Assembly Passed Two Motions
The Sugar Industry continues to make headlines tonight as it currently finds itself navigating in turbulent waters due to the current impasse in the bagasse negotiations between BSI/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. If you follow the developments of the Sugar Industry you might be well acquainted with the story by now. A few days ago BSI dropped the bomb on the BSCFA when they announced that they were willing to sign contracts with individual farmers or small reaping groups in order to commence the 2014/2015 crop in time. Since then BSI/ASR has met with cane farmers presenting the seven year agreement and its conditions. The agreement, says BSCFA, is the worst they have seen in the history of the industry, meaning that it is not beneficial for cane farmers. And while BSI/ASR has done everything in its power to convince cane farmers to sign on to the contract, BSCFA is fighting hard on the other side of the ring trying to persuade cane farmers to do otherwise. An according to representatives of the association they have won round one, or at least that is the perception they got after meeting its members on Saturday.

BSCFA Are Ready To Deliver Cane But With Interim Agreement
As mentioned in the story the BSCFA will send a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Monday informing him of the resolutions made by cane farmers. This includes the ultimatum given to the Sugar Industry Control Board, SICB, to have BSI/ASR sign an interim agreement for the crop to commence and the intervention on of an independent expert when it comes to the bagasse negotiations. Both requests have already been denied by BSI and when it comes to the Prime Minister, he has clearly stated that the law does not permit him to take a position since it is a commercial arrangement and both the miller and the producer have to meet halfway. Bottom line is GOB cannot force BSI/ASR to sign an interim agreement. Based on this fact BSCFA is of the sentiment that the P.M has already taken sides. Oscar Alonso- CEO, BSCFA “In a way he has taken a position and that position seems to be in support of BSI/ASR, the thing is that he should weight the issues and the consequences in terms of the point relating to the cane farmers, we are saying that we are prepared to start the crop and that we will be happy with an interim agreement to begin the crop but ASR/BSI is saying no they don’t want they want a full agreement and I don’t think even the Prime Minister would be happy for us to proceed with a negotiation process that would conclude a hasty agreement that would be harmful to the cane farmers, I think have the cane farmers interest at heart and this is why we try to let them be aware of our decision was today and we hope that he supports the process, we can still have a crop, there is still be an agreement, we can still sort out our differences during the course of the crop because we cannot just sing for sign just to suit multi nationals desire for certain conditions fort their investments to succeed in Belize.”

Cricel Castillo Victorious In The 2014 WBFF
Despite the adversities she faced being banned from the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation a few weeks ago, Belize’s fitness guru, Cricel Castillo has earned her Pro Fitness status in the international arena. Over the weekend, Castillo participated in the 2014 WBFF Miami Fitness and Fashion Spectacular. The show saw fitness, beauty, fashion, and modern muscle on center stage but Belize's Cricel Castillo out-shined and out-muscled the competition with style and grace from the onset. She dominated and placed first in the competition. We take the time to join the rest of Belize in congratulating Cricel on her Pro Diva status, she also won awards for Best Costume which was designed by Gabriel’s Magix of Orange Walk Town and won in the Best Diva category. Cricel who is a Pro Division member of the WBFF, will be a part of an elite team in the US who will work to promote her through contacts with some of top fitness magazines in the fitness and bodybuilding industry.


FECTAB And COLA Dissappointed With Tourism Industry Management
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations in Belize once again summoned the media to a conference inside the VIP Room at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City to express their continued disappointment at how things are being run in the tourism industry and how concerned they are regarding the deteriorating of the country’s

Cricel Castillo Wins International Body Building And Fitness Competition
Belize’s very own, Cricel Castillo, won an international body building and fitness competition in the United States of America. Castillo won the category of Diva Fitness Model Short and was awarded her pro-card. Castillo competed in the World Beauty, Fitness and Fashion Incorporated. The WBFF strives for international recognition as an industry leader by providing

Castro Faces Allegations In Court Case
The case brought against whistle blower Alvarine Burgess by Minister of State Edmund Castro continued today in the court room of Justice Courtney Abel. As you may recall, Burgess is accusing Castro of taking bribes and facilitating visas for Chinese nationals. Burgess made the allegations on Channel Five. Soon after, Castro issued a statement refuting

Bautista Speaks About Challenges For Libertad Villagers
While the Village of Sarteneja now has portable water, villagers of Libertad and Concepcion have been experiencing challenges in their water system for a month. According to the Chairman of Libertad Village, Oder Bautista, the water that has to be shared between both large communities is not enough. He says that the tank gets empty

Audreyanne Thomas Speaks About Recycling Workshop Held In Belize
Representatives from Guyana Total Recyclers Co-operative Society were in Belize on November 12 and met with more than 25 recyclers at the Belize City Transfer Station to hold a workshop. The workshop was facilitated by the Solid Waste Management Authority and funded by the International Development Back. Audreyanne Thomas of the Guyana Total Recyclers Co-operative

Mother Seeking Answers From Department Of Human Services
The Department of Human Services in Belize is there to provide a temporary, safe and caring environment for children who seek refuge during difficult stages in their lives. The ultimate goal is to look out for the best interest of the child. One mother is seeking answers however after she claimed her child was taken

PUP Area Representative Steps Down; Michel Chebat Steps Up For Cayo North
The PUP area representative for Cayo North, Joseph Mahmud, is stepping down and attorney Michel Chebat, has been on the ground meeting with voters in the hope of becoming the PUP candidate for Cayo North. We caught up with Chebat this morning and he told us he has what it takes to be the Area

Matura Defends Woman That Was Detained And Denied Of Her Constitutional Rights
A 41 year old woman who was detained on Friday says that her constitutional rights were infringed. She along with her two sons was detained on firearms offenses after a gun was found in her open yard. She was taken to the Queen Street Police Station and the woman is saying that her rights were

Mother And Sons Charged With Kept Firearm and Ammunition
A mother and two of her sons were charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. They are 41 year old Indira Skeete and her sons, 23 year old Linsford Lord and 20 year old Hansel Ciego. They plead not guilty to

Rhys Charged With Profess To Be Member Of Criminal Gang
Twenty-three year old Nicholi Rhys, a resident of George Street, was charged with profess to be a member of a criminal gang when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Rhys plead not guilty to the charge. He was remanded into custody until January 22. The police reported that on Friday, November [...]

Karl Lino Charged With Attempted Murder
Twenty-one year old Karl Lino, who was shot in his left foot by the police, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Lino was also charged with dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. He was remanded into custody until January 15.

Man Charged With Kept Firearm And Ammunition
Thirty-five year old Bryon Vialdorez, an unemployed civilian of Maskall Street, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Vialdorez plead not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until January 16, 2015. The incident occurred around 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, November 15.

Letter From Musa And Balderamos Regarding Allegations On Deputy Prime Minister
A letter dated Friday, November 14, was sent to Attorney Rodwell Williams, who is representing the Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega regarding the allegations fired off during what was believed, would have been a Memorial Mass for the late Ramon Cervantes Sr. in Orange Walk Town.


Motorcyle Accident on George Price Highway
Reports reaching our desk are that there was another traffic accident on the George Price Highway. According to reports, sometime before 8 on Friday night, a blue motorcycle was travelling in the direction of Roaring Creek to an unknown destination, where upon reaching in front of the Community Cent...

Fatal Traffic Accident in Guinea Grass
On Saturday there was another fatal traffic accident; this time in Guinea Grass Orange Walk District. According to police reports, at around 6:30p.m...

NTUCB says, How dare ASR!?
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a press release tilted “How dare ASR?” The release says that the National Trade Union Congress of Belize has been observing with keen interest, the various stages of undertakings of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA), as it negot...

28 year old cop seduces 15 year old runaway
On Friday we told you about the 15 year old child from the Cayo District, who was reported missing by her father, and then found in the company of an interdicted police officer in Dangriga. According to Police, the minor, accompanied by a Social Worker reported that while she was with the police off...

Cayo Police searching for alleged pedophile
A female minor of Benque Viejo, accompanied by her mother and a social worker, reported that on the 26th of October, 2014, at around 1:00pm, she left home and met a man  whom she has known for a year...

15 year old raped by two men
On Sunday November 16, a 15 year old female minor of Santa Cruz area accompanied by her mother visited the San Ignacio Police Station, and reported that she and her sister were walking on George Price Avenue, Santa Elena Town about 2.00a.m., when a red 4 door car pulled up beside them...

Human remains found in Orange Walk District
On Friday, 14th November, 2014 about 7:20am, based on information received from Orange Walk Police of the remains of bones to be from a human being; Police visited an area about 2miles from Maskall Village, going to Santa Martha Village on the Old Northern Highway, where checks were made in some bus...

Edmond Castro / Alvarine Burgess case continues in court
Minister of State Edmond Castro has taken Alvarene Burgess, the whistleblower who accused him of involvement in corrupt transactions over visa recommendations, and Great Belize Television (Channel 5), who aired those allegations, to Supreme Court for suit of defamation of character. The case retu...

Accused North Front Street shooter charged
21 year old Karl Lino has been formally charged with last Wednesday’s shooting of 28 year old Andrew Tate at Eden Site and North Front Street, Belize City. He is accused of attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and keeping firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Karl Li...

Former murder suspect jailed for gang membership
Professed member of the George Street Gang and former murder suspect 23 year old Nicholi Rhys, a resident of George Street, Belize City, was remanded to prison on Monday until November 22. Rhys is alleged to have admitted membership in a criminal gang, specifically in George Street, to officers at a...

The Reporter

Road traffic accident victims remembered
People who have lost loved ones to road traffic accidents held activities on Sunday to observe World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims. The day is a United Nations adopted event celebrated every third Sunday in November, landing this year on November 16, under the theme “Speed kills. Design out speeding.” In Belize the Ministry of Transport and Departments of Transport countrywide and the newly formed Belize Road Traffic Safety & Injury Association raised awareness by liaising with media houses around the country. The association, founded by traffic accident survivor, Isabel Bennett, is dedicated to helping road traffic accident survivors deal with recovery as well as being a support for those who have lost their loved ones to RTAs.

Trio get 20 plus years for killing and using women’s flesh for food
A judge in north-eastern Brazil has sentenced three people to 20-23 years in jail after they were convicted of killing a woman and eating her. Jorge Beltrao Negromonte da Silveira received 23 years while his wife, Isabel Cristina Pires, and his mistress, Bruna Cristina Oliveira da Silva, were sentenced to 20 years. The trio allegedly sold pastries made from the woman’s flesh to neighbours. They also confessed to killing two more women and will be sentenced later. The defendants’ lawyers said they would appeal against Friday’s sentences.

Patrick JonesPJ

Edmond Castro versus Alvarine Burgess continues in court
Minister of State Edmond Castro has taken Alvarene Burgess, the whistleblower who accused him of involvement in corrupt transactions over visa recommendations, and Great Belize Television (Channel 5), who aired those allegations, to Supreme Court for suit of defamation of character. The case returned to court today for […]

Michel Chebat wants to be PUP Cayo North standard bearer
A son of San Ignacio, Michel Chebat, is planning to run for the People’s United Party (PUP) in the Cayo North division. A convention is due to be held shortly to choose a candidate who will replace incumbent area representative Joseph Mahmud who has announced that he will […]

FECTAB satisfied with amnesty plan; welcomes dialogue
The National Institute for Culture and History (NICH) has agreed with the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) on a short amnesty period for proper consultation on the implementation of the Health and Safety Manual for Access to Archaeological Sites. Implementation is now slated to go […]

Firearm charges in separate incidents
Three persons were charged separately with keeping firearm and ammunition without a gun license when they appeared in court today. The first was 35 year old Byron Vialdorez of Maskall Street. Police recovered a .22 pistol with five rounds of ammunition in the magazine which they say they […]

Accused North Front Street shooter charged
21 year old Karl Lino of Gabourel Lane has been formally charged with last Wednesday’s shooting of 28 year old Andrew Tate at Eden Site and North Front Street. He is accused of attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and keeping firearm and ammunition […]

Former murder suspect jailed for gang membership
Professed member of the George Street Gang and former murder suspect 23 year old Nicholi Rhys, a resident of George Street, was remanded to prison today until November 22. Rhys is alleged to have admitted membership in a criminal gang, specifically in George Street, to officers at a […]

House gutted by fire in Corozal
A house was destroyed by fire this morning in Corozal, leaving a family of seven homeless. The house on College Road, which belonged to the Gibson family caught on fire around 11 am today. Fire-fighters responded to the call for help and within 15 minutes had brought the […]

Cold Front approaches Belize
Moist and unstable conditions are starting to set is as a Cold Front approaches the country. This Cold Front is expected to cross the country on Tuesday, so changes in the weather are on the way. The general forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for […]

The Fire Hearth: still a part of the Maya culture
For generations in the Mayan homes, the Fire Hearth has played a prominent role in the preparation of delicious meals for the dinner table. Here in Toledo, it is no different; but as for Ms.Cristina nothing beats the Fire Hearth for cooking. For this proud Maya woman, the […]


You MUST Overnight at the Belize Zoo – But Only If You Like Giving Jaguars Treats
I absolutely love the Belize Zoo – the staff, the carefully hand-painted signs that are a mixture of funny, informative and stop-and-think beautiful… and of course the animals. In small but lush enclosures filled with local flora and AMAZING local animals. Where else can you see a pile of slumbering jaguars? or ocelot kitten, Rhaburn, playing with his toys? We spent half of the morning and some of the afternoon at the harpy eagle’s birthday party, we ate lunch (affordable and filling at the zoo’s cafeteria) and it was time to see our zoo housing for the night. We had the Belize Zoo Night Tour in our future and we were staying across the street at the TEC – The Tropical Education Center. No offense Belize Zoo, my love, but that name does nothing to describe how beautiful this place is…and this area. I promise you…and your kids will LOVE it.

Belize Garifuna Settlement Day Celebration 2014!
Garifuna Settlement Day, a national holiday celebrated on the 19th of November each year, is one of the most important days in Belize, and rightfully so. Commemorating the arrival of the Garifuna, or Garinagu, people on the shores of Belize on that date in 1802, Garifuna Settlement Day reminds us of the struggles, successes, and invaluable contributions of this resilient people and their vibrant culture. To say that Belize wouldn’t be the same without the Garifuna is an understatement of epic proportions. In education, government, the arts and many other areas, the Garifuna have had a profound impact on the shaping of modern day Belize. And this year, with the recent passing away of master Garifuna singer/songwriter and national icon Paul Nabor, the celebrations will take on an added poignancy.

“So Long It’s Been Good to Know Yuh” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Saturday had started much the same as every day starts for me. I woke up, made a mug of coffee and … well regular readers know what follows. After enjoying my ‘me time’ I set off for ‘Town to pick up Nick. Nick, you might recall from previous editions, is a member of the BATSUB team and his tour of duty in Belize finishes in just over a week and he was here on Ambergris Caye for his farewell party. And the party was going to be held at our house. With the purchases made it was time to get in front of a TV to watch England play Slovenia in a European Championship but it was perilously close to 11.00 hours (kick-off time) and we were ‘forced’ to pull in to Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill. Bad luck or immaculate planning? I’ll leave you to judge. Four or five beers later (I wasn’t really counting) and a three to one win for England under the belt it was time to get the purchases chilling

How to Celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize
The place to be is definitely Hopkins and Dangriga Town. Hopkins is a Garifuna Village where you will be encompassed by the rhythmic beats of the Garifuna drums blaring as native Garinagu gather round to partake in the punta or “Jankunu”. You can even learn to drum too at the Lebeha Drumming Center. Dangriga Town hosts a huge 18th Night concert at Y-Not Island featuring a host of Punta artists, and this year an international Dancehall artist will be partaking in the event. Following the concert, the crowd then gathers at the beachfront awaiting the arrival of the Garifuna coming toward the shores as they re-enact the Yurumei. Yurumei is the name given to the arrival of the first Garifuna to the shores of Belize which originally took place on November 19, 1802. The party doesn’t stop after the Yurumei, as a festive parade through the streets begin which is filled with drumming, dancing and singing.

Celebrating El Pescador’s 40th Birthday
Since late last week, I’ve been at El Pescador in Belize to help owner Ali Gentry and her staff celebrate the lodge’s 40th anniversary, which is a pretty big deal. We got in three great days of fishing, although not always catching, and enjoyed a little tropical paradise while The Big Chill set in back home.

Belize, Day 1: Oh, the Things You Learn on the Flats!
If you hang out with a renowned marine biologist for a whole day on the water, you can learn a lot of stuff. Today, I learned that permit are jerks. They will hang out in schools, just out of comfortable casting range, and then refuse everything you throw at them—even when you’ve done everything right. I watched Dr. Aaron Adams make some beautiful casts to pods of very happy permit, which proceeded to flip him the fin and move on. They didn’t even seem to care that he is the head scientist for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust! We are down in Belize at El Pescador Resort, on Ambergris Caye, to help owner Ali Gentry, her family, and her crew celebrate the lodge’s 40th anniversary. It’s a pretty remarkable achievement to last so long, through changing angling tastes, economic downturns, and a terrorist attack that virtually shut down international travel for a time. I caught my first bonefish here some fifteen years ago, and in the intervening years, El Pescador has become an even more impressive operation.

Belize, Day 2: A Slammin’ Day on the Flats
On our second day of fishing at El Pescador, I got paired with the great Kirk Deeter—editor of Trout and Angling Trade Magazines, as well as one of the minds behind Field & Stream’s Fly Talk blog (along with Tim Romano). Kirk and I have known each other for years, but we’d never fished together. Our guide for the day was young Alex Gomez, another third generation fly-fishing guide, and he’d brought along his apprentice, 15-year-old Alan. Kirk and I had both taken a beating on permit the previous day, so we told Alex we’d like to catch a few bones and then just play it by ear. We were both interested in a low-pressure day of gorgeous water and good company. And things started out that way: we both caught a decent bonefish within a half hour, once we figured out that the fish were looking for something smaller than what we’d started with.

Belize, Day 3: The Needlefish and the Damage Done
For our final day of fishing out of El Pescador Resort, I was back in guide Alex’s boat, but this time partnered with Steve Seinberg of Southern Culture on the Fly. (He’s also an accomplished artist.) Since Alex had put Kirk Deeter on a Grand Slam our last time out, I had pretty high hopes. The weather looked a little sketchy, though, so we made sure to pack raingear. Alex motored us all the way across the bay on the backside of Ambergris Caye to the mainland, as a way to get out of the weather skirting the barrier reef. We poled around there for an hour or so and got a single shot at some bonefish and a couple at big snook, but none of them showed much interest in our flies. Steve did manage to hook a trophy needlefish, which got its teeth tangled in the craft fur of his streamer. (Just like gar fishing!) As we fished, we watched the skies darken until they looked downright apocalyptic. That’s when Alex decided that we should head back toward Mosquito Caye.

International Sourcesizz

Why a looming world chocolate shortage might be a good thing
On the heels of reports that the Ebola epidemic might threaten the world's supply of chocolate, the world's largest chocolate manufacturer has now put out the warning that it can't keep up with the soaring demand for its confectionary. The Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut Group affirmed what others in the industry have been worried about: a 1 million-ton cocoa shortage by the year 2020. The company revealed demand has already doubled chocolate prices in the last eight years. And yet, sales continue to rise, with the company reporting a year-on-year sales increase of more than 11.8 percent. Rising concern about the shortfall has helped drive cocoa prices up 25 percent this year, according to The Independent. The Swiss mega chocolate producer's report matches what Mars Inc claimed in 2012: that increasing economic and environmental pressures on cocoa farms were not sustainable.

CARICOM to study sustainable development during Energy Week
The Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, on Monday begins celebrating "Energy Week," an annual event in which the 15 member states will study measures to strengthen the regional economy through sustainable development. The planned events, which end on Nov. 22, are expected to "increase awareness" of climate and economic resilience in the region, CARICOM said in a statement posted on its Web site. Energy Week is aimed at increasing awareness, creating a platform for useful dialogue and influencing actions at all levels toward the desired transformation in relation to the community's energy future," CARICOM said. The prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, will officially launch the week-long series of events on Monday.

Past and Present U.S. Ambassadors' Statement on LGBT Policy in Belize
On November 16th, the U.S. Embassy observed the 19th International Day for Tolerance. This day reminds us of the security and human rights implications of intolerance (which often takes the form of stigma and discrimination); this day also provides an opportunity for us to highlight the importance of tolerance and acceptance of those groups living on the margins of many societies. We, the past and present Ambassadors of the United States to Belize, write to you as friends and citizens of a nation that believes upholding universal human rights is one of the defining challenges of our age. We are proud of our ongoing partnership with Belize and affirm that our countries have achieved more together than either could have on its own. We have watched closely the efforts by the government of Belize, such as Prime Minister Barrow’s September 2013 statement on human rights, and First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow’s May 2013 remarks on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, to create a more inclusive society that better serves its most vulnerable citizens. We applaud these statements but respectfully suggest that more must be done.

Best Dive Locations in Belize
Belize has many amazing dive locations. Take a diving tour to explore the soaring diversity of diving sites, from ship wrecks to whale sharks.

Bringing to Light Mysterious Maya Cave Rituals
Why did the ancient Maya take their sacrificial rites underground? Inside Actun Tunichil Muknal, a giant limestone cave in the jungle of western Belize, it has been raining for thousands of years. Water falls lightly from the tips of stalactites into the river flowing through the cave. Beneath this light shower, I wade up the river with University of California, Merced, archaeologist Holley Moyes. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall, and the water reaches up to her chin, leaving a ripple in her wake as she moves deeper into the chamber. In the vast and echoing hall, ou...


Video: Belize birding Mayflower Bocawina NP, 14min.
Stayed at Mama Noots ecolodge in the park for three days. Very convenient for early birding .

Video: Scuba Diving Highlights from Tom Owen's Caye, Belize, 1.5min.
Tom Owen's Caye, Belize. With ReefCI. November 2014. GoPro Hero 4 Silver with dive housing and orange filter.

Video: Belize birding new river and Lamanai, 11min.
Boat trip and birding on the New river and visit to Lamanai.

Video: Reef Shark in Belize, 1min.
Encountering a reef shark while scuba diving in Belize, Chain Wall site at Lighthouse Reef circa 45 feet; November 13, 2014. GoPro3 HD with red filter.

Video: Diving in Belize, 5min.

Video: Stingray near South Water Caye, Belize, 1min.

Video: Top Reasons to Visit or Move to Ambergris Caye, 2min.
Ambergris Caye, a beautiful island in Belize, offers incredible scenery, gorgeous beaches and warm climate. There are so many reasons to visit or even live in this Belizean island. There is no denying that Ambergris Caye, a beautiful island located just north of the Belize mainland, is a stunning destination. With incredible scenery, gorgeous beaches and a warm climate, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind. For many people, one or two weeks in paradise is not enough. If you are interested in visiting or even moving to Ambergris Caye, here are seven reasons to do so and make one of the best decisions of your life.

Video: Cave Diving in Belize, 2min.
Belize is a little known cave diving gem holding some of the most immaculate and under explored submerged structures in the Western Hemisphere. Scuba divers visiting Belize experience the thrill of floating through the massive rooms of Giant Cave and cutting through the shimmering sand coated stalactites of Winter Wonderland.

Video: Belikin - HAPPY GARIFUNA SETTLEMENT DAY 60sec, 1min.
Buidula Hafeduhani Haweyuri Garinagu! Belikin wishes all of Belize a Happy Garifuna Settlement Day!

Video: Belize birding Crystal paradise lodge, 9min.
Great place for easy birding and to visit archeological sites such as Caracol.

Video: Guatemala Belize, 18min.
Road Trip Guatemala Belize 2014

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