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Guatemala does not constitute and will never constitute a threat to Belize
The occasion of the 44th Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA) held in Placencia served up the perfect opportunity for a historic meeting between the President of Guatemala and the Prime Minister of Belize. Hon. Dean Barrow presided over the Summit as he ended Belize’s six-month pro-tempore presidency of SICA and handed over the reigns to the President of Guatemala, H. E. Otto Fernando Perez Molina.
Before the Summit, Prime Minister Barrow greeted President Molina at the Riversdale Airstrip in Placencia after which they made their way to The Placencia Hotel for a breakfast meeting to discuss Belize Guatemala relations and the thirteen agreements that both countries had been negotiating and ready to sign at the end of the SICA Summit, signaling a renewed commitment to strengthen relations between the two countries. The thirteen agreements between Belize and Guatemala establish formally and for the first time functional cooperation programmes that are practical and progressive. In their implementation they will bring tangible and practical benefits to the people of both countries. The two governments had set out to embark in such cooperative programmes since 2005 but they could not be done until now. The functional cooperation agreements range from formalizing the serving of penal sentences, to the recognition of educational documents, environmental protection and sustainable use of resources to recovery and return of stolen vehicles.
PM Dean Barrow’s Xmas Message
What a wonderful time of the year Christmas is! It is a time when we as Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a time to be close to those nearest and dearest, and a time for renewal. It also however presents an occasion for all Belizeans, of all backgrounds, to come together in appreciation for all that God has blessed Belize with. Let us remind ourselves that the values that unite us as Belizeans are by far greater and more enduring than anything that divides us.
Jesus’ simple birth is a lesson in humility to all of us. The story of Jesus changed the world and that is why we celebrate his birth every year around this time. The story also reminds us to have faith in humanity; to believe that we all have some good within us.
Let us in this season enjoy the importance of families and close friends. Let us also be mindful of those that are less fortunate than us at home and outside our beautiful jewel. Let us ask for blessings for the many entities –charities and the private sector that work with those less fortunate and contribute to making Christmas truly a season of sharing and happiness.
Cane Farmers force Fair Trade money bonanza
In August, 3 and a half months ago, news emerged that Fair Trade intended to reduce the amount of Fair Trade Funding that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association received after buying Belizean sugar at premium prices. Secondly, the organization which provides oversight of the use of the money, Flo Cert, temporarily decertified the association yet again due to financial misappropriation and theft of the association's funds, and the violation of child labour statutes. Only 2 days after being officially cleared of the most recent ban, the farmers are forcing the Association to do something which is bound to get them in trouble again with the oversight bodies of the Fair Trade agreement.
Readers may remember the expose that this newspaper printed in which we discussed the misuse and poor handling of Fair Trade money over the past 6 or 7 years in which 20 million dollars ended up in the accounts of the Association, set aside as a social program for the farmers. Well, to add to that, the general cane farming membership of the association passed a resolution at their meeting on Sunday, December 14, that 2.5 million dollars will be shared among the general membership of about 5,300 farmers. It's a sort of Christmas cheer that the farmers are giving themselves in which each member will received approximately $470 for themselves. That's not exactly the way the money is to be used for because such wanton spending is not permitted.
Stop Bav Julius
When Myrtle Palacio wrote to the Financial Secretary that, “the PUP will be participating in the Christmas Cheer Program”, she did so as the Secretary General of the PUP; and in so doing spoke for and on behalf of the entire opposition party. Francis appeared shortly after on television, flaunting his hypocrisy as proud as a peacock, at the same time admitting that the program is indeed a transparent and accountable one. On Friday, December 14th the sanctimonious Julius Espat announced that he will not be accepting the Christmas Cheer. He cited a foolish and less than believable excuse for not participating. Our take on it is that Julius is trying to show up his boss and party leader. Julius is on a mission to first embarrass, and then overthrow his party leader.
BELTRAIDE Prepares 74 Youths for Upcoming Jobs
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE) recently formed a new unit to provide industry specific, demand driven employment training for Belizeans seeking jobs. The unit now operates the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC) and its first 74 clients graduated on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
BTEC is the result of Prime Minister Barrow’s call for the Fast Track to Employment Training Institute on July 30 of this year. David Leacock, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singh for BELTRAIDE to partner with ITVET to provide the training.
Christine Smith, Director of BTEC, says the first field her team is focusing on is the Business Process Outsourcing industry. BELTRAIDE began focusing on BPO three years ago. Since then BELTRAIDE has hosted numerous training sessions countrywide as the demand for new employees continues to grow. Mike Singh, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, says that demand for employees in this field is even greater now as the Ministry “receives one or two inquiries a week” from investors interested in establishing a call center in Belize. Singh says the Ministry expects there will be a need for over 2,100 new employees in the sector over the next two years. However, investors are more likely to establish a center if a trained labor force is already available.
New Market for Benque Viejo del Carmen
Belize’s most Western Municipality, the Town of Benque Viejo del Carmen, now has a brand new market. A marching band ‘Ciencia y Tecnologia’ from Melchor de Mencos entertained Benque residents on Monday night of this week at the entrance of Benque Viejo, preceding the informal opening of the new market in Benque Viejo.
In his brief presentation to residents on Monday night, Mayor of Benque Viejo del Carmen Miguel Velasquez thanked the people of Benque Viejo and informed them that the market is now theirs, for them to use. Mayor Miguel Velasquez informed the Guardian that families are now free to congregate within the plaza at the new market.
“I am satisfied that the new market will be benefiting everyone,” says Chelsy Hernandez, Benque Viejo’s Queen ‘Flor de La Feria.’
The Benque Market was built with the support of the European Union and the Government of Belize under the Belize Rural Development Project Two at a cost of about $680,000.00
Belize’s High Seas fisheries get a boost
On Monday, December 15, the European Council adopted a decision to remove Belize from the list of ‘non-cooperating third countries’ in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This decision was taken pursuant to a recommendation by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE) to remove Belize from this list in consideration of the concrete measures taken by Belize to rectify the deficiencies pointed out by the European Commission earlier this year.
This decision by the EU Council shall enter into force on December 18, 2014, the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This is the first case where a country is removed from the list of non-cooperating third countries through cooperation and on-going dialogue with the Commission; and it demonstrates that the EU system of bi-lateral cooperation and collaboration to assist third countries in fully implementing the IUU Regulation is indeed effective and bearing fruit.
Inspiration Center Gets Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
Life just got a little easier for mobility challenged children receiving therapy at the Inspiration Center because on Tuesday, December 16, His Exellency David Lin, Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, handed over two wheelchair accessible vehicles to Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Chair of the Inspiration Center’s Board of Directors.
One of the vehicles is a 2014 Ford El Dorado Aerotech bus. It has three double stationary seats and six double foldaway seats. It has a state of the art wheelchair lift system and has enough space for up to six wheelchair passengers. The approximate value of the vehicle is in the neighbourhood of US$95,000. The second vehicle is 2014 Ford E-250 extended van. It has seating for three and space for three wheelchair passengers. The van is also equipped with a wheelchair lift system. The approximate cost of the van is US$66,000.
Ministry of Works & Transport signs contracts for more infrastructure projects
The Minister of Works & Transport Hon. Rene Montero and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Errol Gentle, signed contracts for the several works on December 15, 2014 at the Ministry of Works Conference Room in Belmopan.
M&M Engineering Consultants Limited signed a contract for the new Mullins River Bridge which was destroyed by severe flash floods during the passage of Tropical Storm Arthur in 2008. The cost of the design and construction of the bridge is BZ$4,461,172.36 with a design/build period of 12 months. The project will be supervised by BECA International Consultants Limited with the assistance of the Project Execution Unit. Funding for the project is provided by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize.
HE&W Consulting of Barbados signed a BZ$857,290.87 contract for the study of the impact of dredging the Mouth of Belize River and Haulover Creek. Using Global Positioning System (GPS), the consulting firm will provide the exact location of the project site as well as a scaled map, indicating the area considered under the study – all of Haulover Creek and at least one mile into the sea (equivalent to 12 km overall on this stretch) and the other stretch equivalent to 24 km, from the Boom Cut off (Boom Bridge) to the mouth of the Belize River and one mile into the sea.
Draft of Municipal Plans developed for San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns
A working document or draft of the Municipal Development Project Plan for the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena has been presented to residents. The contents of the documents were disclosed on Thursday, December 4 at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. The work in progress comes as part of technical assistance under the Municipal Development Project now being implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) in nine of the municipalities in Belize, except for Belize City and San Pedro.
As explained by Clifford King, Local Government Officer working within the Ministry of Local Government, the Municipal Development Project is funded by a 30 million dollar loan facility from the World Bank that was signed in 2010. Under this Project streets have been improved such as West Street in San Ignacio and Eden Drive in Santa Elena, but additional fulcrum have been provided to the San Ignacio based Town Council over the last four years to bring about improved municipal management. Thus; a detailed forward plan that spans for over a decade (fifteen years) for the Twin Towns has been developed, which has already been presented to some stakeholders but more input is now needed from the public.
Sugar Industry back on its feet - Final documents to be signed
Prime Minister Dean Barrow's intervention into the Sugar Industry has once again yielded results that will see the beginning of the 2014/2015 cane crop.
It is a well publicized fact that cane farmers and the factory owners couldn't agree on a value of the payment for bagasse. It has caused both sides a great frustration to solve this issue that spilled over into the commercial agreement for last year's crop. An interim agreement was only reached after Prime Minister Barrow and his Government team brought both sides to the tape for candid discussions over what the cane farmers would need for them to deliver their cane.
The farmers wanted this bagasse dispute solved before the next crop year started, and BSI gave an undertaking that they would seek to try their best to come to an agreement for bagasse. For months they met and had discussions about the price for bagasse, but that stalled due to the huge disparity in the figure that the farmers want for the bagasse and what Belize Sugar Industries Limited was comfortable paying.
Richard Harrison writing bounce checks
On Tuesday of this week, a businessman visited the Guardian Newspaper to provide us with the attached check. There seemed to have been absolutely nothing wrong with it, of course, we have an untrained eye. It was not until the businessman pointed to us that the check was made of rubber.
Yes, Richard Harrison on December 4, just two weeks ago paid someone with this $400 dollar check. The problem with the transaction is that the check did not have sufficient funds in it and it bounced. Yes, the PUP candidate for Cayo North wrote a check and there were insufficient funds in the account. This is no surprise to the Guardian. We have consistently been saying that Richard Harrison is bankrupt.
GSU Parties with City Children
Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit invited some of Belize City’s most unfortunate children to the Queen Street Police Station on Monday afternoon, December 15, for a time of dancing, feasting and merry making.
The unit issued invitations to 75 children, mostly from the Southside, but by the time the event started on the roof top of the police station there were more than one hundred youngsters present. Corporal Samuel Bonilla said, “We prepared for 75 children but I can assure you that none of them will leave here empty handed.”
Corporal Bonilla held true to that assurance, thanks in large part to Caves Branch Adventure Company. Caves Branch assigned its top chef, Executive Chef Peter Brewer, to attend the event and prepare a meal for the children. Brewer cooked rice and beans with barbecued chicken for the party. He prepared nachos for the appetizer and his assistants also served fresh fruit and a slice of cake. Brewer says he loves cooking, “but nothing can compare to the satisfaction of watching the children enjoy the meal he prepared.” He says Caves Branch’s owner, Ian Anderson, was excited to partner with the Gang Suppression Unit to bring some Christmas cheer to the children.
Good to Know
Belize and Belizeans are governed by a set of rules called laws. The original set of rules from which these were derived was known as Barnaby’s Codes. There are sections in these laws that due to the fact that they are seldom used we don’t even know they exist and as strange as some of them may sound, these are our Laws…
It is generally believed that law enforcement officers need a warrant for everything except when they are dealing with Firearms and or ammunition but it is stated under the QUARANTINE ACT CHAPTER 41 PART V under Miscellaneous section 10.-(1) It shall be the duty of every member of the police department to enforce, using force if necessary, compliance with this Act and with any order, instruction or condition lawfully made, given or imposed by any officer or other person under the authority of this Act, and for such purpose any member of the police department may board any ship or aircraft and may enter any premises without a warrant.
Belize attends Climate change conference in Lima
Belize coordinated the participation of SICA (the Central American Integration System) countries in this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima, Peru, December 1-12th. The Conference of the Parties is designated as the supreme governing body of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), aimed at reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The Convention entered into force in 1994 with 195 countries submitting their instruments of ratification.
These countries meet once a year, for two weeks, in order to evaluate the application of the Convention and develop the negotiation process between the Parties in front of new commitments.
Belize is the Pro Tempore President of CCAD (Council of Ministers of the Environment) within SICA, and this is the first time that SICA countries are participating in the COP20 as a coordinated SICA delegation.
If you are wondering how a group of people so staunchly opposed to the berthing facility in Southern Belize is now leading the campaign for the State Bank project; You Do Not Know Money. Christmas is just around the corner and “man need fu eet”. COLA’s President Geovanni Brackett has suddenly become the great crusader for Mike Feinstein’s project. And FECTAB’s President, Tom Greenwood, we can say has been on the wagon a long time ago.
The Feinstein Group of Companies (FCG) is waiting to move forward on a US$150 million project off the coast of Belize City that involves the development of Stake Bank Island and North Drowned Caye into first class destinations for foreign and domestic tourists. Feinstein will invest US$67.5 million to develop the island into an entertainment centre with a port for the berthing of cruise ships. The port will be capable of hosting four voyager class cruise ships at any given time. Stake Bank will also provide a marina for transiting yachts and facilities for shops, restaurants and bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues. There will also be an “independent entertainment and shopping area for cruise crew members” as well as a Mayan themed water park. The second feature of the project has been dubbed Ocean View Grand. It is an US$89 million investment in the development of North Drowned Caye into a multiuse luxury village resort. North Drowned Caye is located two nautical miles from Belize City.
From what I have gathered, political pundits all agree that the by-election on January 5, 2015 to fill the parliamentary seat in Cayo North vacated by Joseph Mahmud will be a crucial gauge of the mood of the voters. The most recent such indicator of support was on November 18 in Belmopan, but that show of numbers for the United Democratic Party was not an election: some say it was just an outing. January 5, then, will be a solid yardstick by which both political parties will be measured.
When we look at the candidates, it is difficult to disagree that the UDP’s Figueroa seems the more attractive of the two aspirants, with Mr. Harrison coming across as the underdog, for various reasons. To me, Figueroa is more articulate in his presentations and very composed in his demeanor.
Harrison seems to have no tangible platform to stand on, or point to. His campaign strategy so far centers on being on the defensive, in that he claims to have failed in several of his business ventures because of new economic policies introduced by the UDP Government.
The saga that has been the crop season for the year 2015 has presented many challenges to all the industry stakeholders. Belize Sugar Industries and the Cane Farmers Association had been at loggerheads for some time now over several points concerning the ownership of the bi-products of sugar cane delivered to the mill. For several years both parties have agreed to disagree and nothing ever came out of it. Of course, those at the helm of the cane farmers association have traditionally supported the PUP. For context we will enumerate some of the so called leaders of the association, we start with Carlos Magana who ran for the PUP, Ramon Monchie Cervantes who is a PUP standard bearer, Alfredo Ortega who ran for PUP and was defeated in a convention by Monchie, Oscar Alonzo who is a known PUP and the list goes on.
Barranco Pier Renovation
On Friday, December 12th, 2014 a contract for the repair of the Barranco Village Pier, which was damaged during a storm in early October, was signed between the Chairman of the Barranco Village Council Dr. Joseph O. Palacio and contractor, Mr. Alexander “Sonny” Garbutt.
The reconstruction project, which is scheduled to be completed in January 2015, is being financed by the Office of the Prime Minister and will be supervised by the Ministry of Works. The works total a little over BZ$41,000.00 and is one of the largest recent inflows the village has received for infrastructural development.
The project will be most welcomed by residents as it is expected to create employment for Barranco Village.
I have stopped reading articles submitted to the Amandala by Clinton Luna for several years, since I believe that he is a very angry and a very troubled person. The last time I perused his writing was when he verbally attacked a couple of American citizens because during walks, their dogs’ barking irritated him when they passed his house.
His masked demand from Government at that time was to basically have the Americans deported from Belize. To me this was not the reaction of a mature, learned individual. Since that awkward incident,I decided, as is my right, to ignore his ramblings.
In any instance, from time to time readers would bring certain articles to my attention and ask me to respond, because it seems that the Amandala has given Clinton Luna free rein to write whatever he wants, whenever he wants, even if his views are bigoted and divisive.
Mayors of Belize Deliver for Municipal Workers
without fear of political victimization, thanks to a document endorsed by each member of the Mayors Association of Belize on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. The Mayors of Belize signed an agreement to abide by the policies and stipulations of the Municipal Service Regulations, a document drafted to establish a consistent set of policies and practices for all nine municipal governments.
Honourable Senator Godwin Hulse says it is a historic day for the country, one that is supported by senior officials of both major political parties. Hulse says the Ministry of Local Government has been pushing for the universal regulations since 2008 and he is glad that it is now passed with him as Minister.
The Belize Mayors’ Association made the establishment of the document a priority item on their agenda in the first quarter of this year. A taskforce was then commissioned consisting of city/town administrators, human resource representatives and legal officers from all nine municipalities. Three Mayors also worked with the taskforce along with Ministry’s Director of Local Government. The taskforce was responsible to review the public service regulations, labor act and other international treaties dealing with municipal workers. They were then to engage employees of the councils’ offices and put together a document that will direct operational procedures for all municipal governments. The taskforce worked together for more than eight months before the document was ready to be presented. Mayor Darrell Bradley of Belize City and Mayor Kevin Bernard of Orange Walk Town were instrumental in providing legal advice and public service guidelines.
Prime Minister’s Opening Statement XLIV Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Central American Integration System (SICA)
On behalf of the people of Belize I welcome you to our beautiful southern shores here on the Placencia peninsula. In doing so I continue a long tradition of Belizean hospitality. Our people delight in sharing both personal warmth and the paradisiacal charm of our natural bounty with all who come in peace and friendship.
Please, therefore, sientensen en casa, at the foothills of our Maya Mountains where the drums of our Garinagu reverberate in the valleys and the melodies of our Mayan Marimbas steal softly down to the Caribbean Sea.
Today’s 44th Summit of SICA marks the culmination of Belize’s stewardship of the pro tempore presidency of our integration movement, and it is now my duty to provide you with a status report.
Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,I am happy to be able to say that SICA is strong; and that our efforts at building better economies, stronger democracies, healthier environments and inclusive societies continue to bear good fruit.
Body of well known disc jockey found in Esperanza Village, Cayo
Three persons are currently in detention by San Ignacio Police in connection with the death of 24 year old Samir Fernandez, whose body was found by Police at about 4:30 pm on Wednesday of last week. His body was found at the far end of the Sedacy dirt road, south of Esperanza Village and some three miles away from his home. Samir Fernandez had injuries to the forehead and to another part of his head. He had apparently been lured from his home to a secluded area and hit on the most vulnerable portion of his body with a blunt object.
Police investigations have so far revealed that Fernandez was still alive at 10:00 am on Tuesday of last week and from his last text messages to other persons have been able to verify his movements that morning. He had left his home on Tuesday in a taxi. Police are also connecting with the Belize City Formation, which has also detained another person who can assist with the ongoing investigations.
Brothers who professed to be gang members out on bail
Brothers Roy Bennett and Ryan Bennett are out on Supreme Court bail after spending more than two months on remand for allegedly professing to be members of the Gill Street Gang. Their cousin Maurice Felix was release on December 5 but freedom took a week longer for them.
The three were arrested on September, 25, for possession of a controlled drug and professing to be a member of a criminal gang. They pleaded not guilty to both charges but professing is not a bailable offense at the Magistrates Court. All three were remanded at the Belize Central Prison.
Taxi Thieves in Chetumal threaten to have warning emitted by Belize
The Mexican Newspaper Novedadez Quintana Roo reported on Wednesday that the state of Quintana Roo is preparing in the event that Belize issues an advisory to its citizens when they visit Chetumal.
The worry stems from multiple reports appearing on Facebook in which Belizeans complain that they have been robbed by taxi drivers in that, a popular shopping Mecca for Belizeans.
Another Chopping murder in Corozal
On Tuesday, December 9, police caught a Corozal man red-handed while he was chopping another to death. On Sunday, December 14, Corozal investigators had to respond to a second chopping incident just outside of Paraiso Village in which 2 persons were killed, presumably by the same assailant.
Acting on information received, they visited a farm less than a mile North East of the Village where they saw the lifeless body of a woman identified to them as Heidy Atherly. She was found in the yard with multiple chop wounds to the head, neck, and upper limbs. Inside a small concrete house, they found the body of 49 year-old Salvadoran Fernando Rivas, a cane cutter who resides there. He too had multiple chop wounds to the head, neck and upper limbs.
GAS GONE DOWN AGAIN!!! Diesel is now $7.88, Regular is $8
Young Mother Gets Bail from Ammunition Charge
Danika Usher, 23, mother of a 2-month-old baby is extremely lucky to be home on bail from an illegal ammunition charge. Attorney Ellis Arnold got the Supreme Court to waive a two weeks waiting period for bail applications and secured bail for Usher on Friday, December 12.
On Wednesday, December 3, police visited Cardinez Alley in Belize City where they conducted a search of Danika Usher’s home. Police found a bullet in one of the rooms and arrested the four persons who were in the house at the time. Danika Usher was charged along with her cousin, Shantel, and two brothers Donovan Charles Usher, 19, and a 16-year-old minor.
Police United top seed into the Premier League of Belize playoff
The Premier League of Belize Opening Tournament regular season came to an end on Sunday 14 December, 2014 with one single game on the schedule.
In that game played out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting Belize Defence Force and the host team Verdes FC played to a 0-0 draw.
With that draw both teams have qualified to the playoff round of the Opening Tournament.
The tournament continued on Saturday 13 December, with three games on the schedule. In the game played out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the host team Placencia Texmar Assassins defeated Wagiya by the score of 6-2.
St. Catherine Academy and St. John’s College are National High Schools Basketball Champions
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association and Bowen and Bowen Basketball Tournament were played over the last weekend at Bird’s Isle in Belize City.
On Saturday 13 December, 2014, in the female championship game, St. Catherine Academy representing the Central Region defeated Muffles College representing the Northern Region by the score of 26-23 to capture the 2014-2015 national title. The top scorers for St. Catherine Academy were Indie Dixon and Andreinae Samuels with 6 points each. The top scorers for Muffles College were Zetina Catzim with 8 points and Julia Puerto with 7 points.
In the third place game Delille Academy representing the Southern Region defeated Sacred Heart College representing the Western Region by the score of 36-24. The top scorer for Delille Academy was Starite Requena with 22 points and the top scorer for Sacred Heart College was Kellsea Wade with 8 points.
Giovanni Lovell captures SMART Test Race
The Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with SMART sponsored an Open Elite Test race on Sunday, 14 December, 2014. The race started from in front of SMART Headquarters on the Phillip Goldson Highway to Carmelita Village and then back to the SMART Headquarters.
The first rider to cross the finish line was Giovanni Lovell of BTL Cycling Team. The second rider to finish was Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray Road Addikz and he was followed by Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes, Henry Moreira of SMART Cycling Team and David Henderson also of SMART Cycling Team to round off the top five finishers in the race.
Jaguars United is Vega’s Cup champions
The 2014 Vega Cup Tournament came to an end on Sunday, 14 December, at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town with the third place game as well as the championship game.
In the third place game played, Awe V United blanked San Antonio FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Edwanie Munoz in the 11th minute of play to give his team an early lead in the game. That lead was never relinquished by Awe V United.
For finishing third in the championship, Awe V United received for their prize $1000.00 in cash, a team trophy and individual trophies for the players and coaching staff.
For San Antonio FC fourth place finished it received $500.00 cash and a team trophy.
Cop Charged with extortion
Police in San Pedro have arrested and charged police constable John Arana with extortion.
Police report that on Friday, December 12, they responded to a report of an extortion in progress and they visited Mamacita's Entertainment Bar which is located on Angel Coral Drive in San Pedro Town. When they arrived they found P.C. John Arana making his way out of the establishment. Police conducted a search on him and in his wallet they found 10- 50 dollar bills alleged to have been extorted from the establishment's owner.
The businessman told police that Arana had approached him and instead of going to court for bills he owed to a supermarket he could make it go away for a fee. At the time Arana asked for 200 dollars up front and for an additional 1000 dollars which he would pick up on Friday. The businessman then gave him 2 - 100 dollar bills and Arana left.
Robbery turns near fatal in Mahogany Heights
Mahogany Heights Village experienced a dangerous shooting incident on Thursday, December 11, in which 5 persons could have been injured. Fortunately, only one out of the entire group was injured, and he managed to survive the attack.
At around 6 p.m., five residents got off a bus and were walking through a grassy path into the village when a dark complexioned man, who was wearing a hooded shirt, approached them. That man then proceeded to hold them up at gunpoint, which caused everyone to panic and flee. At that moment, the gunman started firing at the group, but he ended up hitting 22 year-old Joel Winston Seawell in the right side of the mouth and lower back. He managed to escape and sought help from one of the villagers who rushed him to the Western Regional Hospital for medical treatment.
Chain Saw out on bail
James Swazo, 38, also know as the chain saw man, was offered bail in the sum of $5,000 plus two sureties of $2,500 each by Justice Antoinette Moore on Friday, December 12.
Swazo was charged along with Burton Claire, 20, Gavan Claire, 19, and Kyle Carter, 19, for keeping a .38 Special revolver and ammunition without a gun license. There was an armed robbery at a Chinese Grocery Store on Albert Hoy St. in the Belama area on Thursday, October 30. Three men entered the shop demanding money. One was armed with a chrome handgun and another went behind the cash register and took out $741. The men then ran into a waiting green Geo Prizm and drove out from the area. Quick police response resulted in the men being tracked and captured on Coney Drive. Inside the vehicle were four men along with the loot and a .38 Special revolver loaded with four rounds. They were arrested and taken to the Queen Street Police Station.
Hon Rene Montero Christmas 8-ball tournament, Santa Elena Cayo
The Hon. Rene Montero Christmas 8-ball tournament continued at Link-up Bar in Santa Elena, Cayo on Sunday, December 14, where it was the grand semi-finals with the following results.
Series #1, team seeded # 2, Link-Up defeated team seeded #3, Camp 6 in a truly exciting best of two matches. In the first match, Camp 6 looked good as Rogelio Boteo shot like never before in this tournament as he downed Erwin Woodye, Jr, 4-1. But, Jimmy Rudon of Link-Up tied up the match as he turned it up by beating Angel Vargas 4-3. Then, Juan 'Maestro' Villanueva taught Mark 'Bukis' Trujillo a lesson by winning him, 4-1. This meant Link-up won the first match, 2-1. So, we go to the next match, which means that two players from Camp 6 needed to win to force a tie-breaker, and sure enough that’s what happened. The first game saw Angel Vargas meeting Jimmy Rudon again, but this time Angel won Jimmy, 4-2. Then Wayne Wiltshire chalked up for Link-Up and defeated Mark Trujillo, 4-1 which tied up the match. The third game was won by Rogelio Boteo over Juan Villanueva as Boteo racked Juan 4-3, though Juan had the golden opportunity but Boteo made him pay.
Special Envoy for Women and Children reports a successful year
It has been a successful year for the Office of Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow, capped by Tuesday’s reception of specially equipped vehicles for clients of the Inspiration Center. Looking forward to 2015, the construction and equipping of a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for the […]
Salvation Army hands out Christmas packages
Belize City residents were the first to benefit from the annual drive of the Salvation Army to spread the joy of Christmas to all Belizeans this morning with the first distributions of over 500 packages of basic food items to needy residents of the Old Capital. The items […]
Police to put on show for City residents
This coming Friday the Police Department’s Drama Group and the Office of the Commissioner are hosting Belize City residents at the BTL Park for a special interactive event. We got a preview from Deputy Officer Commanding Eastern Division Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster who said the initiative is the […]
Non-custodial sentence for man who plead guilty to drug trafficking
His house was searched while he was not home, but 33 year old Wallace Rubio, unemployed of Hattieville, Belize District, admitted to possession of 10 pounds of cannabis with the intent to distribute, which is drug trafficking. Rubio today pleaded guilty before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, changing his […]
Man accused of gang affiliation is given bail
It is a charge increasingly thrown at Belize City residents as police attack the gang structure at its roots, but there was a dispute in Magistrate’s Court today over exactly what it means to display gang membership. 19 year old Jason Philip Briceño was one of two persons […]
Men plead guilty to robbery attack outside barroom
21 year old Iran Jones began a five-year sentence for robbery and wounding today, pleading guilty before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer in the No. 2 Magistrate’s Court. He along with 21 year old Lorenzo Ogaldez, who also pleaded guilty, is accused of robbing and attacking boat repairman 28 […]
Man charged for double murder in Paraiso, Corozal
Sixty seven year old Jose Antonio Santos has been arrested and charged for the double murder which happened on Sunday morning in Paraiso village, Corozal. Santos was arraigned before Magistrate Hurl Hamilton on two counts of murder in the brutal murder of 22 year old Heidi Teresita Chable […]
Christmas parade this weekend in Punta Gorda town
A Christmas parade will take place this coming Saturday in Punta Gorda town. The event is the collaborative effort of the Punta Gorda town council and the Drums Not Guns group. Organizer of the Christmas parade Janine Johnson says it will start at 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon […]
Los mejores hoteles sobre el mar
De México a Bora Bora, aquí un recuento de los más exclusivos resorts encallados sobre las aguas del océano.
Este fin de año nos dimos a la tarea de recorrer el planeta para presentarte los mejores hoteles que ofrecen a sus visitantes bungalows construidos sobre el mar. Toma nota y ve planeando la última escapada de tus vacaciones de esta temporada.
5. Cayo Espanto (San Pedro, Belice) ¿Alguna vez has soñado con tener una isla propia? Pues bien, lo más cercano a este pensamiento es Cayo Espanto, una isla bañada por las aguas del Caribe, que ofrece a todos los turistas un universo de confort, lujo y descanso. Cayo Espanto sólo cuenta con seis habitaciones y un Bungalow, hecho que hace que los pocos visitantes tengan a su alcance toda la isla. Además, existe la posibilidad de recibir un masaje en el Spa y disfrutar del Restaurante del lugar, que tiene una carta repleta de platillos tradicionales. Las tarifas van de los 1,500 a los 2 mil dólares por noche, y si quieres visitar este exótico lugar, lo mejor es que reserves con anticipación.
North American expats reveal the beauty of Belize
Retired expats living in Belize have spoken about why they have chosen to live in the English speaking Caribbean country which they say offers a comfortable lifestyle on a reasonable budget.
They enjoy the beaches and the mountains and claim they can live on between US$2,000 and US$3,000 per month. Many are Americans who also say they still feel close to home.
Belize has a population of 330,000, is located below Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and has a rich heritage including Maya temples, seaside condos, jungle lodges, and colonial mansions.
The main settlement, San Pedro, is described as a bustling town with lots of tourists and expats. But Ambergris Caye is the most established of the expat communities in Belize and has seen considerable growth in the last 10 years.
Belize expands visa waivers
Belize's Ministry of Immigration has decided to expand the list of countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the Central American nation.
Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse said citizens from Japan, South Korea, Colombia and Brazil, as well as U.S. permanent residents, will benefit from the decision, according to Belize's 7 News television.
"The reason for that is very simple, we are pushing tourism. COPA wants to fly in from South America to Belize," Hulse said, adding that his ministry can't "hang up people having to apply and it's taking a long time, so we waived the visa requirements."
He said citizens from roughly 50 countries don't require visas to come to Belize.
Belize elimina exigência de visto de vários países, entre eles o Brasil
O Ministério de Imigração de Belize decidiu eliminar a necessidade de visto de vários países da Ásia e da América Latina, entre eles o Brasil, com o objetivo de impulsionar o turismo, informou nesta quinta-feira a imprensa local.
O canal "7 News" divulgou declarações escritas do ministro de Imigração, Godwin Hulse, em que explica que, além dos brasileiros, serão beneficiados os cidadãos de Colômbia, Japão e Coreia do Sul e residentes permanentes dos Estados Unidos.
"A razão é muito simples: estamos impulsionando o turismo. A Copa (companhia aérea) quer oferecer viagens de Belize rumo à América do Sul", afirmou.
O titular da pasta acrescentou que para atrair novos turistas à Belize não será conveniente deixar as pessoas esperando em aeroportos com "solicitações que tomam muito tempo"
RE/MAX SELLS TWO INTERNATIONAL MASTER FRANCHISES
Global real estate franchisor RE/MAX, LLC divided and sold their Caribbean and Central America (CCA) region today. The new owners of RE/MAX Caribbean and Central America are John and Lucinda Turley of Belize, and Ricardo and Teresa Cardenas of El Salvador. A new RE/MAX Dominican Republic region is now owned by Mélido and Marianela Marte of Santo Domingo.
"These two new owner groups are the perfect region owners. Each of these individuals has been a successful member of the RE/MAX network for many years. This change in ownership feels like a natural progression that demonstrates the 'Everybody Wins' philosophy at RE/MAX," says Larry Oberly, Vice President, Global Development, RE/MAX, LLC.
John Turley has owned two successful brokerages in Belize since 2009, earning the title of the #1 real estate brokerage in that country from 2011-2013 for RE/MAX Southwind in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, and the #1 real estate brokerage in Caye Caulker Village in 2013 for RE/MAX Island Real Estate. Turley himself was recognized as the #1 RE/MAX Global Sales Associate in 2013 and has been a Top 30 RE/MAX Sales Associate since 2011.
8 Luxury Treetop Stays to Experience
Mountain Pine Ridge, BELIZE
In the protected Caribbean forest of Mountain Pine Ridge, the Francis Ford Coppola mountain lodge Blancaneaux Lodge is located in one of the highest points of the country, and from its vantage point in the forest, affords views over the surrounding area, with a cooler climate for outdoor pursuits. The Balinese-style lodge overlooks a small river and waterfall, which you can look out on from the lodge's private infinity pools. The lodge is near the ancient Maya archaeological site of Caracol, and a pool, spa and stables are all a part of Blancaneaux Lodge too.
DirecTV secures FIFA rights in the Caribbean
DirecTV has acquired the exclusive Caribbean media rights to FIFA events across all platforms from 2015 through 2022, which includes the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, among other FIFA events. The agreement includes the territories of Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks and Caicos.
Novelty driving sales of fruits from Caribbean, Central America
Produce items coming out of Central America and the Caribbean are numerous and several are gaining in popularity.
Robert Schueller, director of public relations for World Variety Produce in Los Angeles, which markets under the Melissa’s label, said his company is having success with red Caribbean papaya from Belize, okra from Honduras and snow peas, sugar snaps and rambutan from Guatemala.
“Red Caribbean papaya has shown the most growth potential over the last four to five years, especially,” Schueller said.
There’s growing demand for “a sweeter large papaya variety,” as compared with the maradol papaya, he said.
Jessie Capote, owner of Miami-based J&C Tropicals, said mangoes and green-skin avocados are among his company’s biggest-selling items.
“There’s more variety coming from those countries, and there are more distribution points. There’s just a lot growth in that category all the way around,” Capote said.
Mangoes have entered the mainstream with other staple fruits, he said.
SICA pushes for stopping child migration, welcomes Cuba-U.S. pact
Leaders at the Central American Integration System, SICA, summit have agreed to continue pushing for actions to stop the migration of unaccompanied children to the U.S. and congratulated this nation and Cuba for their agreement to normalize relations after a more than five-decade break.
The 44th Summit of the heads of the SICA nations, held in Belize, also agreed Wednesday on a human-centered approach in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, after the expiry of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals next year.
On the initiative of Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, SICA approved a resolution congratulating the U.S. and Cuba for agreeing to renew diplomatic ties.
SICA, with headquarters in San Salvador, said in a statement that the summit dealt with the group's five pillars of priority: social integration, economic integration, institutional reinforcement, democratic security and risk management, and climate change.
Belize Provides a Luxurious Home Away from Home for the Holidays
There is a growing trend for holiday travel, and more families are looking for new and unique holiday experiences. Families are realizing that spending Christmas abroad can actually take stress out of the holidays, and create the opportunity for loved ones to truly connect and spend quality time together. This Christmas, Villa Verano will be transformed into a luxurious “home away from home”. Located on the beach, Villa Verano is within close proximity to jungles, rivers, waterfalls, as well as the spectacular Belize Barrier Reef with an abundance of diving, snorkeling and fishing adventures.
Christmas in Belize is magical. The weather is perfect for exploring jungles, reefs and ancient Mayan cities. Families will experience the familiar elements of the holidays, but in a warm, tropical setting. Most Belizeans share in the traditional rituals of Christmas. Decorating, baking and socializing are the highlights of the holidays, and with so many ethnic groups, the celebrations are truly multi-cultural.
Manatee Footage in Belize from Blackbird Caye Resort, 1/2min. Manatee sightings like this are rare. On a recent dive trip to the Great Blue Hole our very own Cardinal was able to capture this amazing footage of the West Indian Antillean manatee. Cardinal has been with us for 5 years and was his first time seeing one so that tells you how rare this is! Enjoy....
Bamboo Beach Resort - Copper Bank, Belize - Central America, 12min. Aerial video and some stills of the Bamboo Beach Resort in Copper Bank, Belize, Central America
Belize Vimeo, 4min.
San Pedro Belize 2014, 12min. This is a video of my vacation to San Pedro Belize December 2014
Trilogy The best proposal, surprise wedding and honeymoon set 1.part Proposal in Lands of Maya, 9min. This is a video of my proposal, surprise wedding and honeymoon which took place 10000 km away from my home in Latvia - in Central America and Caribbean. My girlfriend thought we are going only for two and half weeks long trip to Guatemala, Honduras and Belize, but trip was extended to 7 weeks. In Belize she got proposed at secluded Caribbean island, than 4 weeks latter, she was taken to uninhabited island and one of the most beautiful and inaccessible beaches in the Pacific – Playa de Amor. None knew about wedding plans, even our parents and herself, and everything was organized behind hers back. She thought it was the last hours of the trip, but straight after wedding there was another surprise to come – honeymoon for one month in Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands.
Vinelli Teaser, 3min. Richard Vinelli is the founder of the Ojojona Foundation and the interim representative of the Honduran Consulate to Belize.
Belize Bike Rally 2014 Ride Slide Show, 15min. First Belize Bike Rally, February, 2014. We are so fortunate to have ridden our motorcycle from Los Angeles, California all the way to Belize City, Belize, Central America, to join the celebration of the historic first Belize Bike Rally. We hope and pray that we could be able to attend in February next year the second Belize Bike Rally.
Belize 2014, 4.5min.
Althea Moses Belizean Cultural Dance, 3min. With Lorna Smith & Ms. Myrna
At Lil Belize Restaurant Event Center
Belize vs Honduras punta style pt1, 2min. Big Music