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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

Exploring South of San Pedro Town
What better way than to start by fueling up with some delicious coffee! Tamara and I jumped up on the trusty purple bug (aka her cart) and drove down the scenic (paved) southern road, past resorts and homes to our ultimate destination: Rum & Bean coffee bar. Located inside the Mahogany Bay development (which is to the right of where the paved road ends currently), Rum & Bean is an adorable coffee house that serves up hot or iced caffeinated beverages to suit your every need. After a quick tour of Mahogany Bay development, we were back on the cart and headed out to our next stop, the fabulous Victoria House. Victoria House is a chic tropical resort offering breathtaking views, gorgeous grounds and delicious food at their Palmilla Restaurant. But we wanted more of a snack and the quintessential michelada! So off to Admiral Nelson's bar we went! Tamara insisted that I try their fabulous wings, made sticky and sweet 'n' spicy. How could I resist? While we waited for the wings to arrive, our micheladas were served right up. Beer, spices, lime juice, salty rim - mhmmm�it was 'sip, sip�ahhh' for both of us. Out on their dock El Gato catamaran was pulling up with happy guests, and on a beach hammock strung between two coconut trees, another read his book. This quintessential picture of beachside serenity calmed our caffeine high and had us relaxing sip by sip.

What's new? Ray's Big Dog
San Pedro has a new dog in town! Ray's Big Dog officially opened its doors to the community on Saturday, January 10th and they are serving up some good eats. Located on the Tackle Box dock on the beachfront of Black Coral Street, Ray's offers all beef or chicken hot dog sausages with a variety of toppings. But it's not all about the dogs, Ray's also offers peel n' eat shrimp and classic ice cream floats. Whether you prefer a beef hot dog slathered with chili and cheddar cheese like the Four Way, or prefer something a bit sweeter like the Apple and Chardonnay chicken hot dog, owner Dawn and Paul LoCascio have something for everyone's taste buds. Ray's Big Bog is open from daily from 11AM to 7PM. Check out their website for a full menu:

Two island residents arrested in large heroin bust in northern Belize
Police in Corozal are reporting that they arrested four men during a major drug bust in a well coordinated anti-drug operation. The drug seizure took place on the morning of Tuesday, January 13th, in the Corozal District in northern Belize. Two of the four men caught inside the vehicle at the time of the drug operation are residents of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. According to multiple reports, the four men are 32-year-old Jose Antonio Lara, fisherman of Julio Street of San Pedro Town; 35-year-old Heider Martin Perez, Accountant of San Pedro Town; 30-year-old Lenon Leonardo Tillett of Belize and 42-year-old Gerardo Allen of Caye Caulker Village. All four men were inside a white 4-door Chevrolet Tahoe with license plate BC-C 41809.

Flyn Fish takes the top prize in the 2015 Captain Morgan's Wahoo Challenge!
10 vessels participated in the 2015 Captain Morgan's Retreat Wahoo Challenge. The annual event was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday, January 4th but due to inclement weather conditions, it was postponed to Sunday, January 11th. All teams had 12 hours to fish and catch the most Wahoos, and the team with the highest cumulative weight of wahoos would win the tournament. At the end of the full day fishing tournament, Team Flyn Fish took the top prize. This Wahoo Challenge was no ordinary feat, as the teams had to brave the turbulent open waters outside of the Barrier Reef. The day proved difficult for catching wahoos, but a couple vessels still managed to reel some in. Flyn Fish captained by Enrique "Ricky" Marin Sr. pulled in two wahoos, a 42 and a 38 pounder. They ended the competition with the highest grand total wahoo cumulative weight of 80 pounds. For their catch, Flyn Fish walked away with the top prize of $3,000 cash. Taking the second prize was 2014 champions Mad Storme captained by Adrian Huesner, who managed to catch a 64 pound wahoo. They receive a prize $1,500 cash.

Ambergris Today

Flashbacks: The Bullfight Comparsa for Carnival
El Torito has been one of the all time favorite 'comparsa' (dance) during the three days of Carnabal. This dance has one person dancing with the effigy of a bull and the rest of dancers are all bullfighters. Then there is one 'matador' who is supposed to be the hero- the one who kills the bull by piercing the sword into the bull's neck or back. Traditionally all dancers are dressed in red and white with black also as the matadors do in Spain where this sport originated. A comparsa is only as beautiful as the costumes worn by the revelers. The Torito comparsa is only as good as a well-built effigy or figure of a bull. The comparsa is only as exciting as the stunts performed by the bullfighters and the 'matador'. The dance is only exciting and fun when all the dancers and many times the spectators are shouting "Ole" as the bull misses its target and the matador performs his stunts.

In Loving Memory of Edilberto Marin
Betito was also an elected member of the San Pedro Town Council and was among the founding fathers that led San Pedro into the status of township. He served three consecutive terms and retired from community politics to dedicate his efforts in other organizations. He joined the ranks of Lions International in 1975 and served arduously as a Lion up until the time of his passing on. Through this service club Betito was actively involved in the very first Lions Clinic, Mosquito Coast Park, The Lion's Den, San Pedro High School, The San Pedro Poly Clinic, and countless other essential projects and programs for his community. He was a Justice of the Peace, a businessman, a councilor, a loving great grandfather, grandfather, father, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, father in law, 'compadre', brother in law, and most of all a noble friend. He lived in marriage with Manuelita Ayuso Marin for 49 years and finally, on January 7, 2015, passed on to enjoy the fruits of what he harvested to live in everlasting peace with his Creator.

Hon. Omar Figueroa Sworn In As A Minister Of State
- Government Press Office, Belmopan, January 12, 2015 - The newly-elected Member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Omar Figueroa, was today sworn in as a Minister of State by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, the Governor General of Belize, at Belize House in Belmopan.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

8% conviction rate for murders in ‪#‎Belize‬ for 2014
"During the course of the year 2014, 778 new matters were filed inclusive petitions of bail and other petitions. Our records show that 786 cases were disposed of in the matrimonial division, 315 divorce petitions were filed and 258 of the same were disposed of. The disposal rate of cases continues to be unsatisfactory largely due to lengthy trials punctuated by voidier inquiries into the admissibility of admission and confessions. In 2013, the conviction rate was peg at 39%, which although generally above the acceptable general average, was solid by there being only an 8% conviction rate for murders. The remand population at the central prison remains at unacceptably high numbers, notwithstanding a drastic improvement in 2014. Although the total remand population has fall by 27% from 510 persons to 370 persons. The numbers of persons awaiting trial in the Supreme Court has only been reduced by 8. Of the remaining remandees awaiting their trial in the Supreme Court, 17 of them or 9% have been in custody for more than 5 years. Also, 40% of the total number have been on remand for more than 2 years."

(The Following is the submitted view of Mr. David Madrid, former CEO of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) on the current impasse in the Sugar Industry)
The situation with BSCFA/ASR BSI started back in 2010. That's when negotiations started. Looking back, I was the CEO of the BSCFA. Mr. Ortega was the most influential Director, bar none. He personally convinced the directors to give then Oscar Alonzo $ 20,000.00 to negotiate the commercial contract along with the bagasse. At that time, I submitted the 2010 budget for administrative/operational in the amount of $760,00.00, accepted by the farmers. The 2013/14 budget in the amount of $2,600,000.00 also was approved of. Mr. Alonzo took the money and never did any type of negotiations. Mr. Ortega pushed for the termination of myself and I took the BSCFA to Court where only Mr. Ortega and one other Director testified against me. The Supreme Court found that I was an excellent CEO and in fact the COM was mad with me because I did not allow any type of dishonest activities.

Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita Reserve on Thursday, 5th February, 2015 at 8:00 PM.
We would like to invite you and all of your friends and family to this event and to encourage you to participate further in developing and preserving our historic resources to their full potential. Our vision is for Corozal to develop a sustainable cultural tourism product and this requires the support of the whole community. We have fantastic natural and historic resources which could provide employment and economic benefits to our district. Please take this opportunity to attend the Maya Wedding Re-enactment and be inspired to commit fully to our development as a community. Cover charge: Admission $10 and children 14 and younger are free! Thank you in anticipation of your support. Regards, Rosita May Rep & Dahlia Castillo Treasurer For BTIA Corozal

America Music Abroad concert tour on Open Your Eyes
This morning the U.S. Embassy joined representatives from the San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) and the Town Councils in San Pedro and Corozal on Open Your Eyes to discuss the upcoming America Music Abroad concert tour in Belize. Join us for a free concert in San Pedro on January 24, In Corozal on January 26, and San Ignacio on January 28. (starts at 1:13:40 of the link)

by Charles Leslie. ACTION: Expropriate BEL and BTL. If you are after power you will need a source of cash to assist you along the way of procuring power. ACTION: Government told BTL to enforce the Telecommunications Act Edition 2002 Section 44 (5) which requires that all cell phone numbers, whether Pre-paid or Post-paid are tied to a person, thus, establishing ownership of said number. ESTABLISHES: - Control of BEL and BTL gives you access to large sums of money. - Control of BTL gives you access to private information on who owns what number, you are then able to keep track of dissenters, listen in to phone calls, access emails - basically spying on citizens. CASE STUDY: - Anwar Barrow, son of PM now basically in charge of BTL. - 03/21/09: In the course of the budget debate yesterday in the House of Representatives, the Minister of Public Service, John Saldivar dropped a bombshell when he said with much bravado that he had intercepted an e-mail from the Leader of the Opposition, John Brice�o.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, January 13, 2015: 05

PUP announces Cane Farmers will sign BSI/ASR Deal
According to the PUP's Abelardo Mai, cane farmers will sign the BSI/ASR agreement under duress. His statement and those of Leader of the Opposition enforced the feeling that the farmers do not want to dismantle the BSCFA. However, Fair Trade premiums would also be dispersed, signaling either another suspension or de-certification from Fair Trade. Farmers used the funds to support their families during the recent hardship rather than the programs for which they were intended under the Fair Trade agreement. Of note is that the new Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association formed in 2009 representing approximately 1200 members has decided to splinter off the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and agree to sign the agreement with ASR/BSI, independently from the B.S.C.F.A. which has been organizing harvesting for cane farmers of the north for 55 years. Other Groups of cane farmers have also sited branching off from the B.S.C.F.A. The Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSCPA) and approximately 300 of its members have agreed to sign the agreement voluntarily after a meeting they held last night.

Neighborhood Watch Groups in Corozal
The National Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator and the Corozal Community Policing Unit in conjunction with The Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) through the United States Embassy in Belize invite all persons and neighbourhood watch groups in Corozal, especially those who intend to form new neighbourhood watch groups, to attend a special meeting on Saturday January 24th at the Las Vegas Casino (Corozal Free Zone) starting from 8:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. We ask that you share this invitation and encourage your friends and neighbours to attend, including all those from our surroundings villages.

In 1970, under the leadership of Mr. Thaddeus Barrow, The Southland of Los Angels, California was blessed with the first Belize/Caribbean Band, The Skyliters. It began with a vision that became a reality. A group of young musicians, Bill Cayetano, bass player (who gave the group its .name), and six others began sharing the Belizean cultural experience with Belizeans and Caribbean peoples here in Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. They were later joined by Patrick and Raymond Barrow, Earl Waite, Eddie, Aston, Ricky Navas and Harrington Trapp. The Skyliters has backed many popular artists such as: Lord Kitchner, Sparrow, John Jones, Calypso Rose, Lord Melon, Lord Welmington, Azuquita, Ken Lazarus, Eric Donaldson. They also performed along with Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires, when they made one of their earliest appearances in Los Angeles.

Channel 7

Drug Unit Makes Major Bust in Corozal
Tonight, the Anti Drug Unit has charged four Belizeans after officers made a major heroin bust in Corozal town last night. How large? 7News has confirmed that they intercepted more than 40 pounds of the lethal drug - the largest such bust in Belize's history. That quantity of the drug has a street value in the vicinity of 5 million US dollars. The drugs were found in three bags on the back seat of a white Chevrolet Tahoe with Belize City plates. They added up to 15 parcels of Heroin along with one small piece. The total weight is 19.621 Kilograms or 43 pounds. Details of the actual circumstances of the bust are sketchy at this time, but 7News has confirmed that the ADU - acting on intelligence, intercepted four persons, who were believed to be northbound to Mexico. They were at a at the entrance to Corozal town. They are 32 year old Jose Antonio Lara a fisherman/Tour guide of Julio Street San Pedro, 30 year old Lenon Leonardo Tillett a BEL contractor of #20 Ebony street Belize City also of College Road Corozal Town 42 year old Gerardo Beraldo Allen, a tour guide of Back street Caye Caulker and 35 year old Heirder Martin Perez an administrative assistant for Hol Chan Marine Reserve of Escalante Subdivision San Pedro Town. Perez is the holder of a licensed 9 mm pistol which was in his possession loaded with 13 live rounds.

Sugar Saga Winding Down, BSCFA Still Standing, Just Barely
Tonight, after a prolonged saga of discord, uncertainty and delays, the Sugar Industry is inching closer to a start for the 2014-2015 grinding season, but it is not without some measure of deterioration. The result of a month and a half of disagreement is that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has been broken into almost 2 equal parts. Before this crisis, the total membership of the association was approximately 5,500 strong. Now, after the latest survey the membership has decreased to approximately 3,088 farmers. As we told you last night, the 18 branch chairmen of the association went back to their branch members during the weekend to take a survey on whether or not their committee of management should accept the cane deal with the factory owners and sign it.

SICB More Important Than Ever
But even as these new configurations of reaping groups and associations form, they have to be monitored and assisted by the Sugar Industries Control Board, chaired by former UDP Area Rep, Gabriel Martinez. If not carefully monitored, It could result in chaos. Today, Martinez, spoke with the media and discussed the formation of these new cane organizations. He says that they are well within their rights to do so, and he and his team have been working to facilitate the process: Gabriel Martinez, Chairman - Sugar Industries Control Board "Yesterday we had a group of farmers who came to the office to petition to be considered as reaping groups and thereafter sign the agreement with BSI in order to start a crop. What the individual farmers and test groups are doing at this time is visiting the office of the SICB and requesting that they want to start a crop and register as a test group. When they will go to BSI and sign, I don't know if they will do it today or tomorrow or weekend - I don't know.

SICB Says It Will Protect Small Farmers
In his discussion with the media about the next steps, BSCFA Committee Chairman Ezequiel Cansino said that the next step that their attorney, Chris Coye, will take is to communicate with BSI's attorney to finalize the arrangements so that the signatures be formalized on the cane deal. There is some uncertainty as to whether BSI will accept this without a resolution from the general assembly. But, as we told you, BSI may require that the BSCFA's remaining membership go back to another general meeting to pass a resolution to sign the deal. All of that will be discussed among the attorneys. What all of this means for the factory owner is that they will have to enter into agreements with each of these new associations, including BSCFA. So, who will get to deliver their cane first? Well, SICB chairman, Gabriel Martinez, says that it is not in anyone's interest for any association to get preferential treatment when deciding who should go first.

Tourism Numbers Reached New Highs in 2014
As we showed you in our last segment, the sugar industry is in a state of flux and uncertainty, but - numbers-wise at least - the tourism industry is coming off one of its best years ever. A release from the Belize Tourism Board says that for the first time, in 2014 more than 300,000 overnight visitors came to Belize. The precise figure is 321,220 - which is a 9.2% increase over 2013. Every month of the year except November - showed an increase in arrivals, topping out in April, when there was a 23% increase. March saw the most visitors - 30,754 - passing through the Phillip Goldson International Airport - that's up 20% from the previous year. And while those are sharp increases - it's not even close to cruise tourism which registered a huge 43% increase in 2014, when compared to 2013. June and July - which are normally sow months were up over 100% - and December had a record 141 thousand cruise visitors arriving in Belize. And that's because two ships cancelled! Director of Cruise Initiatives for the BTB Valdemar Andrade discussed the reasons for the upturn:...

Costa Ricans Learn About GREAT Program
Yesterday we told you about the training for the Gang Resistance Education and Training program, also known as GREAT. Today a trio of senior representatives from Costa Rica was Belize to learn about the programme. That group includes the Vice Minister of Public Security Maria Elizondo. Today the Costa Rican officials accompanied GREAT police coordinators to city schools to observe and assess the feasibility of the program being adopted in their country. According to the head of Community Policing Elroy Carcamo, this visit along with other evaluations speak volumes to the success of the GREAT program.

Southern Police Investigating Constable
Today reports fanned out across social media that a police officer from Independence was on the run because police want to arrest him for having sex with an under aged girl in the police barracks. Well today we spoke to the officer commanding the southern formation who told us that officer isn't running anywhere - he remains on active duty and worked last night. But Superintendent Ralph Moody did tell us that the constable is under investigation for involvement with logwood smuggling and the carnal knowledge case. Moody told us he expects this constable will be arrested and charged in the next few days - but he couldn't say with certainty for which investigation. But, as we said at the top, until then, he remains in uniform and on active duty.

AG: Court Of Appeal Problems "Above My Payscale"
Last night we had a lot of news about the legal system - and efforts that are being made it make it more efficient and responsive to the society's call for justice. But one part of the story that we neglected to discuss is the court of appeal. According to the president of the bar, it has fallen into a troubling state of inefficiency:.. Eamon Courtenay, President of The Bar "The bar association wishes to put on record its serious concern about the state of affairs in the court of appeal. The last session in the court of appeals was historic in its underperformance. For the first time in history there was not a single criminal appeal heard. That is unacceptable. On the civil side, there were a record low number of civil appeals heard. The association took a decision that we should publish to the public the state of affairs and also decided that it intends to take drastic and dramatic action to have this matter resolved." Now, this would seem to fall in the lap of the Attorney General - who is responsible for the administration of the justice system at the policy level. But, he surprised the gathering when he told the members of the legal fraternity that they shouldn't look to him, because the working of that high court is above his payscale:..

Man Drown On Northern Fishing Trip
A Corozal resident lost his life early this morning during a fishing trip. 29 year old Henry Noh along with his friends went to fish fishing in a lagoon between Chunox and Sarteneja villages around 4 this morning. At around 10 they decided to split up, and, an hour later, Noh's body was found in the lagoon. Officer Commanding the Corozal formation Superintendent Andrew Ramirez provided more details: Supt. Andrew Ramirez, Corozal OC. "Sometime around 10am this morning, a couple of them decided to split up per group and then Mr. Noh decided to swim across. He apparently suffered some type of cramps and as a result he went under the water. His friends made frantic searches and I think about an hour thereafter, his body was found in the same said lagoon."

Woman Says KHMH Left Her In A Bad Way
Tonight a young mother is accusing the KHMH of negligence after she delivered her first baby at the hospital in December and then found that cotton swabs had been left inside her. The first time mom explained that weeks after delivering her baby, she detected a foul odor coming from her body and suddenly became ill. Now, this story is not pleasant stuff, and If you're squeamish, you might want to take a five minute break. But while it may be cringe-inducing, her complaint is real, Monica Bodden found out more:... Monica Bodden reporting Today marks exactly one month since 18 year old Lucia Martinez delivered a healthy baby girl at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

18 Year Old B'zean is One Of 60 Young Leaders Selected By Queen
18 year old Belizean Denielle Neal is the recipient of the Queen's Young Leaders Award. She one of only 60 young people from across the world selected for the honour. In June, she will travel to London to receive it directly from the Queen. It is the culmination of years of youth leadership, which started from the age of 14. That's when she got involved with Youth Enhancement Services and YWCA where she earned distinction for her ability to lead and counsel young women. She came to our studio today to share her experience as a young leader in her community. The award ceremony will be held in London in late June. Along with the award, she will be given the opportunity to enroll in a course at the University of Cambridge and she will enjoys a week long residential stay and mentoring services.

Malaria Meeting MDG's
There were only 17 cases of malaria in southern Belize in 2014. That's part of a national trend where incidences have gone down by 98% - since the year two thousand - when 1486 cases were reported, compared to just 26 in 2013. Still, vigilance remains a priority, and the Southern Region of the Ministry of Health has added two Mahindra pickup trucks to its fleet. The new vehicles will be used by the Vector Control Program to focus on a few communities where the disease is concentrated.

Late Evening Murder In City
And before we close tonight - 7News has confirmed a fatal shooting in the city. Reports are preliminarily, but a man was shot in a boat near the BELCAN Bridge. The shooter was reportedly in another boat. He was taken to the KHMH where he was pronounced dead on arrival a few minutes ago. More details on this tomorrow.

Channel 5

Breaking News: Late evening shooting in the city
Late this evening, there was a shooting in the area of the swing bridge in downtown Belize City. We'll have more of this in Wednesday's newscast, but we can say [...]

Caneros Suggest PetroCaribe Funds to Replace Disbursed Fairtrade Monies
It is safe to say tonight, that the sugar industry has plunged into further chaos. According to stakeholders, there is still abundant uncertainty as to when the mill at Tower [...]

Did G.O.B.'s Attorneys Exploit Opportunity to Delay Mandamus Hearing?
According to Ortega, the P.M.'s press conference last Thursday was unfairly weighted as it appeared that he was in support of ASR/B.S.I. ��While P.M. Barrow openly said that he expected [...]

B.S.C.F.A. Membership Says It Will Sign Agreement In Protest
Ortega further explains the reason why farmers believe that they have been cornered into signing the agreement.   Alfredo Ortega, Former Vice-Chairman, B.S.C.F.A. "That has caused a situation among the [...]

Should G.O.B. disburse Petrocaribe funds to replace Fairtrade money?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think Government should disburse Petrocaribe funds to replace Fair-Trade money disbursed to farmers? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones [...]

Major drug bust in Corozal
Late this evening police in the north confirmed that an anti drug unit operation yielded a huge bust of heroin near the outskirts of the Corozal. The exact quantity of [...]

Tourism Numbers Continue Upward Trend in 2014
Last week on ABC, Belize was named as one of the top destinations to visit in 2015.� Well, today the Belize Tourism Board announced that 2014 was an excellent year [...]

CCJ President to Attend Law Conference in Belize
But there is some good news delivered on Monday.� This coming Friday, January sixteenth, attorneys and judges will meet for their annual Law Conference which is a major event in [...]

Bar Association Calls Out Court of Appeal for Underperformance
The January session of the Supreme opened on Monday with the usual fanfare. But beyond all the pomp and ceremony, there are serious issues facing the judiciary. The president of [...]

�Attorney General Says It's Beyond His Pay Grade
In responding to the concerns of the Bar Association, particularly the dormancy of the Court of Appeal, Attorney General Wilfred Elrington admitted that the matter was above his salary.� That [...]

Professor Bain Takes UWI to Court in Jamaica
A week-long session in the Supreme Court of Jamaica commenced earlier today, following a lawsuit filed in 2014 by Professor Brendan Bain.� The litigation involving the University of the West [...]

Angel Dorado's Third Conviction in Less Than Six Months
Angel Dorado today picked up a third conviction in less than six months in the Belize City Magistrate's Court for drug trafficking. �At eleven this morning, Dorado was found guilty [...]

Belize City Woman Fined for Marijuana Cultivation and Possession of Pipe
In December 2014, forty-four year old mother, Olympia King, of Saint Joseph Street, Belize City, was found guilty of cultivation of marijuana and possession of a pipe used for marijuana [...]

Denielle Neal Bestowed Prestigious Queen's Young Leaders Award
A Belizean student of the national university is receiving royal honours tonight as one of the Queen of England's Young Leaders.� Denielle Neal is one of sixty young persons from [...]

Costa Rican Officials Visit Belize City Primary Schools for GREAT Program
The Vice Minister of Public Security, Maria Elizondo, and two other senior officials from Costa Rica are in Belize. The two-day visit to the jewel is to get a first-hand [...]

Is George McKenzie Jr. Terrorizing His Neighborhood?
The police department is not commenting as to why a complaint, subsequently followed by an order of the court, against George McKenzie Junior for anti social behavior, has been made. [...]

Tragedy In St. Vincent
In the eastern Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is grieving a number of fatalities from a horrible traffic mishap. At least five persons have been killed following a tragic [...]

Belizean Reunites with Long Last Nephew on Sabado Gigante
Belize has been getting its share of attention on the international media. We already know of the kudos from ABC in respect of the country as a Life-Affirming Destination. In [...]


Tourist Arrivals Continues On The Rise
The secret is out about Belize as 2014 statistics revealed a welcomed increase in overnight Tourist Arrivals to our shores, according to the latest statistics from the Belize Tourism Board. In October of 2014, Belize saw one million visitors into the country, including overnight and cruise arrivals which were two months earlier than the projected time. BTB reports that Belize has surpassed the elusive 300,000 overnight visitors mark. In 2014, statistics show that 321,220 overnight visitors were recorded which is equivalent to a 9.2percent increase when compared to last year, 2013. March 2014 was the highest month with the most overnight visits and an increase of 8.1% from last year. The month with the largest percentage change was April, with a 23% increase over 2013. April 2014, had 28,969 visitors while April 2013 had 23,555 visitors. Visitors to our shores originate from North America which continues to be our largest market for overnight arrivals. Airport arrivals also saw a significant increase in 2014, with a 7percent increase over 2013. Like overnight arrivals, March saw the most visitors for 2014 with 30,754 airport arrivals and April saw the largest increase with 20.7percent more than in April 2013.

SICB has Its Work Cut Out With The Formation Of Two Associations
With the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association and the United Cane Farmers Association now officially registered, the Sugar Industry Control Board will have its hands full as it will need to work with three associations instead of one as has been the case for more than 50 years. Today when we spoke with Chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board, Gabriel Martinez, he stated clearly that the same rules that apply to the BSCFA will apply to CSPA and UCFA. "Yesterday we had a group of farmers who came to the office to petition to be considered as reaping groups and thereafter sign the agreement with BSI in order to start a crop. The rules of the industry will apply to everyone and there is no preference for anyone in order to keep the industry stable and sustainable and I guess tht is the wish of everyone."

Sugar Roads To Be Fixed As Crop Commences
Tonight cane farmers are closer to signing a commercial agreement with BSI/ASR even if some of them are doing so under duress. And while no date has been set for the crop to commence, there is one other impediment, the sugar roads which are currently in bad conditions and the current weather is not making it any easier. Even if a date is set for crop, cane farmers will face a hard time when it comes to taking out their product from the fields. But all is good says Chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board, Gabriel Martinez, because Government will come to the rescue. Gabriel Martinez- Chairman, SICB "I must say that in one of the meetings when the Prime Minister intervene with both parties the BSCFA and Belize Sugar Industries Limited that question came and he was prompt to answer that whenever there is certainty that a crop will start then the sugar roads will be priority."

Paramedics Learn More About Stigma And Discrimination
Stigma and discrimination happens when others devalue a person or a group of people because they are associated with a certain disease, behavior or practice. Those who are stigmatized often experience discrimination in some fashion. The effects of both can be even worse for groups who already are marginalized because of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity or substance abuse. And in keeping with the Stigma and Discrimination people face on a daily basis, members of the Corozal Community hospital were engaged in training sessions organized by the Ministry of Health and the National Aids Commission. Clemente Novelo is the President of National Aids Commission. Clemente Novelo - NAC - President "Working with the Corozal hospital and the members and our colleague we are trying to reduce stigma and discrimination and that is one of our main focuses, we had embraced with NAC and ministry of health together working with this program and we want that this institution be a friendly in reducing stigma and discrimination."

Two Branches Of BSCFA To Sign Agreement
BSI/ASR via the Prime Minister has announced that they will open the gates of the factory and start the crop start the crop once they have a commitment of 500,000 tons of cane to mill. All indications are that the factory already has that quota secured with group A of the San Estevan Branch under the directive of Arturo Hernandez which is moving away from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. The quota of 500,000 tons of cane is expected to increase as the Patchakan Branch and some members of the Guinea Grass Branch and group B of the San Estevan Branch join forces with Hernandez and seek refuge under the now registered Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association who has aligned with the United Cane Farmers Association. The members of these branches are willing to sign the commercial agreement with BSI/ASR on their own free will, meaning with no if's or but's. But as previously mentioned there are cane farmers who feel they are being forced into signing the agreement. Today we asked Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Ezequiel Cansino, what percentage of cane farmers is starting the crop under duress.

Will BSI/ASR Sign Agreement With BSCFA Without Resolution Being Passed By Its Membership
When we left you last night word was that BSI/ASR was not willing to sign the Commercial Agreement with the BSCFA unless they called a special meeting with its membership and have them dissolve the resolution they passed on January 4th in which they rejected the Commercial Agreement. With BSI/ASR having the ball on their side of the field, the BSCFA is in no position to play hard ball and they are already in communication with their lawyers to see what steps need to be taken as it pertains to the situation. Ezequiel Cansino, Chairman, Committee of Management, B.S.C.F.A. "Si sabemos esta situaci�n que ellos han dicho por eso mismo estamos comunicando al abogado de ellos y que �l se los pase a lo que es el Board de BSI para ver que opinan de ello si siguen en ello pues tal vez no van a ver obligados a ir a una asamblea pero por parte de ellos de que se pueda firmar nosotros estamos dispuestos a firmar lo m�s r�pido que se pueda."

Belize Central Prison Packed To Capacity, New Law Introduced
The Belize Central Prison was established in 1993 and in August 2002, the non-profit Kolbe Foundation Ltd was awarded the contract to manage the facility. And with spiralling increase in crime, the facility is facing problems with overcrowding. The solution to end the knotty issue of prison congestion at the Belize Central Prison appears to be underway as a new law has been enacted for 2015 onwards. The new law which is coming in effect this year will simply persuade the courts with regards to inmates who have been incarcerated over 3 to 4 years and have been remanded to be brought to trial. Currently, there are 1,568 inmates house at the Belize Central Prison and of that figure as it stands; the facility has 188 inmates awaiting trial in Supreme Courts, countrywide. So what is contributing to the congestion? According to reliable sources we spoke with at the facility, it is the police lacking in their investigations because in all fairness the Courts have a duty to adjourn cases when evidence has not been presented or yet to be compiled. Simply put, if all evidence is not compiled and brought forth to court, you cannot put anyone to trial. And so the new law will force the police to pull through with their investigations quicker and in turn will speed up the process at the courts.

Fishing Trip Turns Deadly For One Corozaleno
A fishing trip ended deadly for one resident of the Corozal District. Police are currently investigating the details surrounding the drowning of 29 year old Henry Noh from the village of Patchakan. Initial Investigation has revealed that at 4:00 this morning Noh and nine other friends went on a fishing trip at a lagoon between Chunox and Sarteneja villages in the Corozal District. It was not until around 10 this morning when tragedy hit. Officer Commanding the Corozal formation Superintendent Andrew Ramirez elaborated on the details of the incident.

Major Heroin Drug Bust In Corozal
Late this evening, a major heroin drug bust in Corozal Town was detected by members of the Corozal formation and anti-drug Unit. As a result, four persons were arrested and pending charges from their investigation. While details are sketchy, police arrested 32 year old Jose Antonio Lara, fisherman and tour guide of San Pedro Town, 30 year old Lenon Leonardo Tillett, BEL contractor of Belize City, 42 year old Gerardo Beraldo Allen, tour guide of Caye Caulker and 35 year old Heirder Martin Perez, administrative assistant of San Pedro Town. Perez had in his possession a licenced 9mm pistol Springfield Brand firearm with 13 live rounds of Aguila brand ammunition.

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Ladyville Resident Pleads Guilty to Charges
Fifty-seven year old Lionel Scott, a resident of Ladyville who makes his living mainly by selling bottles, was sentenced to three months today by Magistrate Herbert Panton after he plead guilty to damage to property for breaking 30 glass louvres windows. Magistrate Panton ordered Scott to pay 300 dollars in compensation to Tillett three months after he has served the sentence. If Scott defaults on payment he will serve another three months. The incident occurred on December 31, 2014, in Ladyville. Kenneth Tillett, a security guard who works at Mike's shop, reported to the police that he was doing security work when he saw Scott picking up bottles at the shop. Tillett said he told Scott to stop and Scott got angry and went to his house, located on Quail Street and broke his glass louver's, that have a total value of 300 dollars.

Toledo District Practicing Preventative Measures
Toledo District steps up efforts being made to prevent vector borne diseases caused by wet weather conditions and flooded breathing sights. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details: PAUL MAHUNG "Rainy weather conditions have stepped up efforts being made to prevent vector borne diseases in the Toledo district. With wet weather conditions and flooded breeding sites for mosquitoes throughout this district and surrounding environments of residential areas in Toledo ongoing efforts are spearheaded by personnel of the Ministry of Health as explained by Public Health inspector Lyle Williams."

BTB Releases 2014 Stats For Tourism in Belize
In the latter part of last year we brought you the story of Janae Matute and her mother Georgia Matute. Janea is now 14 years old and was born with cerebral palsy. Janae was born pre-mature by way of a c-section performed by Dr. Raju Meenvalli. The case was taken to the courts of Belize where the ruling was in favor of the Matute's. The case was appealed all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice and that ruling was in favor of the Matute's. The Matute's were awarded more than two million dollars in damages which after months complained that they did not received. However, last week, they got a cheque of three hundred thousand dollars as explained by their attorney, Fred Lumor. ATTORNEY FRED LUMOR "I think it was last week that the government sent through the attorney general's ministry a cheque for $300,000 which is part payment of the monies owed to the Matute family. The government has indicated that they will submit to us proposals for scheduled payment of the balance and we are supposed to work that out for the payment of the remaining balance".


Two shootings, no injuries
There was a shooting in Belize City on Monday morning.According to police reports, sometime around 9 a.m., shots were fired on Faber’s Road Extension.37-year-old Harrison Blades visited the police station in his Mazda van, which had a bullet hole to the left front passenger side door.Initial inve...

Bout of anger costs laborer jail time and fine
57 year old Lionel Scott makes his living mainly by selling bottles, but on New Year’s Eve, when he was stopped from picking up bottles at a shop in Ladyville, he got angry and broke several glass louvers at the home of security guard Kenneth Tillett...

Jail time piles up for Angel Dorado
Angel Dorado is already serving time in Hattieville Prison for separate charges of committing a mischievous act and wounding, totaling 2 and a half years...

Mother fined over cannabis plant
Cannabis is regularly discovered in Belize City, but not cannabis plants which can usually be found in the countryside. However, in July of 2012 police found such a plant at the home of 44 year old Olympia King on St. Joseph Street.Late last year Olympia King, a mother of six, was found guilty of c...

Belizean Nurse Accused of Homicide in Bronx, New York.
Cherrylee Young, a 41 year old Nurse at the University Nursing Home, in Bronx New York, is� being accused of killing a 77 year old patient with sight disability.Reports are that on December 8th, Cherrylee Young, originally from Belize, beat 77 year old Frank Mercado who fell onto a table that brok...

Belize sets records in tourism arrivals
More than 1.2 million persons visited Belize in 2014, according to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), which released its end-of-year statistics for tourism arrivals. Over 320,000 of those persons were overnight visitors, sending Belize past the 300,000 mark for the first time.Cruise ship arrivals tota...

Queen’s Young Leadership Award 2014.
A press release sent on Tuesday from the British High Commissioner's office in Belmopan announced Belize’s winner for the Queen’s Young Leadership Award 2014.This year’s award recipient is Denielle Neal from Belize City...

Human Waste near Citrus Farms?
There are reports of pollution coming from the Southern District of Stann Creek that have been causing quite a stir within the local farmers and residents of the nearby communities. Harry Arzu has the details of that story. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent“Farmers who have their farmlands in t...

Omar Figueroa sworn in as Minister of State
On Monday, the newly-elected Member of the House of Representatives, Hon Omar Figueroa was sworn in as a Minister of State, by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, the Governor General of Belize, at Belize House in Belmopan. Hon. Figueroa was elected at the by-election held on 5th January, 2015, in th...

Nude picture of teenager on FB results in search for a police officer
A police officer is being sought by Independence Police ,after an image of a naked 16 year old girl was found on his phone, and viciously posted to face book by the officer's enraged wife. The image of the apparently sleeping and naked 16 year old girl surfaced on Facebook a week ago. The girl, ac...

American Businessman dies in traffic accident in Belize
There was a fatal traffic accident on Friday night. According to reports, sometime around 6 pm, a Road Traffic Accident occurred by Altun Ha Junction at Lucky Strike Village in the Belize District, 30 � miles Old Northern Highway. The incident involved a red Chevy� Suburban. According to police re...

Transvestite Porfilio Rodriquez bailed for burglary
He was behind bars for the Christmas season, but the man Porfilio Rodriguez, otherwise known as ‘Vanessa Champagne Paris’, was released on bail of $10,000 last week Friday, after he successfully sought bail before Justice Troadio Gonzalez...

PUP accuses Government of abandoning cane farmers
On Monday, the People's United Party (PUP) spoke out with regard to the ongoing crisis in the sugar industry in the North. The party has multiple representatives in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts, and has a long affiliation with the industry in which some of its members make a living. In opening the briefing, in addition to reiterating its support for the cane farmers, PUP leader Francis Fonseca attacked the stance of Prime Minister Dean Barrow as giving in to the quick deal over truly addressing the concerns on the table. "The decision by Prime Minister Barrow and his UPD Government to destroy this long-established partnership in the industry. Barrow and the UDP have abandoned the caneros and the Belizean people's interest, and have decidedly sided with the multi-national ASR.

Supreme Court emphasizes criminal justice reform in new legal year
The 2015 legal year for Belize's Judiciary and Magistracy opened with prayer to the Almighty on Monday morning, at the Wesley Methodist Church in Belize City. It is tradition for the Judges, Magistrates, legal staff officers, attorneys senior and junior and other users of the court system, including the press, to gather at its seat on Treasury Lane on the second Monday in January, to hear of the work done in the past year and look ahead to the coming one. If 2014 was a year of action, as expressed in last year's address by President of the Bar Association Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, then 2015 can be comfortably described as the year of reform, particularly in the long-troublesome Criminal Jurisdiction, which suffers from an inability to obtain convictions in major cases, and apathy on the part of practitioners to enlarge the box they sit in to uphold the rights of all to a fair trial. Chief Justice of Belize Kenneth Benjamin outlined several initiatives designed to improve in that area, but first we bring you the comments of Attorney General Wilfred Elrington, who approvingly quoted Methodist minister the Reverend Roosevelt Papouloute's sermon to his special congregation, at the multi-denominational church service on Monday morning. Here are those remarks.


Belize economy loses millions due to crop delays
Belize's sugar exports netted the country $30 million less in 2010-a year of major upheaval in the industry-than it did the year before, and indications are that the Belize economy lost millions in production and export earnings in the period spanning December 2013-January 2014, when the start of the crop year was delayed by almost two months. The country is grappling with a similar situation this year. In fact, the 2012/2013 sugarcane season was the last crop year to start early. It began on November 28, and according to information published by the Central Bank of Belize, deliveries up to the end of December 2012 were 40.2% higher than those of the corresponding period of the previous crop year. That crop year ended with Belize garnering $107. 4 million in sugar receipts from the export market. We were unable to get more current data on annual export earnings for sugar from our data sources. However, we were able to glean some information from monthly economic reports published by the Central Bank of Belize.

Criminal justice system reform in 2015: Chief Justice Benjamin
The 2015 legal year began today with the traditional ceremony of pomp and circumstance. Members of the bar, the bench and the various auxiliary support staff of the Judiciary attended a church ceremony at Wesley Methodist Church on Albert Street, from where, led by a police marching band, they marched onto Regent Street to the main Supreme Court building, where Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin inspected a Belize Defence Force guard of honor, before proceeding to his chambers to deliver his address, declaring the legal year open. Benjamin said that last year, 2014, was devoted to studying the various areas of reform needed in the Judiciary, but for this year, the focus will be on reforming the judicial system. Last year's budget for the Judiciary was a little under 9 million dollars and that was a modest increase of $166.449 in allocation for the fiscal year, Benjamin noted.

Prof. Brendan Bain vs UWI being heard this week in Jamaica
Justices Lennox Campbell, Paulette Williams and Frank Williams today began a 5-day hearing in the Supreme Court into the constitutional claim filed last year by Professor Brendan Bain, who had filed suit against the University of the West Indies (UWI) alleging breach of due process in his termination as director of the university's Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network. Bain, a resident of St. Andrew, Jamaica, served as an expert witness in the constitutional challenge by Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) against the Government of Belize over Section 53 of Belize's criminal code, which calls for a 10-year sentence for anyone prosecuted and found guilty of intercourse against the order of nature.

Ca�eros to sign "with a heavy heart"
Belize's sugar exports netted the country $30 million less in 2010-a year of major upheaval in the industry-than it did the year before, and indications are that the Belize economy lost millions in production and export earnings in the period spanning December 2013-January 2014, when the start of the crop year was delayed by almost two months. The country is grappling with a similar situation this year. In fact, the 2012/2013 sugarcane season was the last crop year to start early. It began on November 28, and according to information published by the Central Bank of Belize, deliveries up to the end of December 2012 were 40.2% higher than those of the corresponding period of the previous crop year. That crop year ended with Belize garnering $107. 4 million in sugar receipts from the export market. We were unable to get more current data on annual export earnings for sugar from our data sources. However, we were able to glean some information from monthly economic reports published by the Central Bank of Belize.

Dr. Omar Figueroa becomes Minister of State
When Dr. Omar Figueroa captured the blowout victory for the ruling United Democratic Party in Cayo North a week ago on Monday, January 5, we asked him about the prospects of him also being offered a ministerial post, but he told us that he wanted to just focus on serving the constituency rather than becoming a member of Cabinet. His party leader, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, had also indicated to the press that he did not wish to undertake any Cabinet shuffle to accommodate a ministerial posting for Dr. Figueroa, especially in advance of the March municipal elections - a move which could have no doubt stirred dissent within the ranks of the UDP. However, after Figueroa's victory, we were informed by a ranking member of the UDP that the party was looking at working out an imminent accommodation to get Figueroa into Cabinet, and on Friday, that was confirmed with an official release from the Office of the Prime Minister, announcing that Dr. Figueroa would be installed in a newly created post: Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Court grants leave to hear Teck's request for writ of mandamus
The Supreme Court of Madam Justice Shona Griffith became the latest staging ground for the standoff between cane farmers and BSI/ASR, which have been unable to come to an agreement so that this year's sugar cane season can begin. Around 10:00 a.m. this morning, Friday, the courtroom of Justice Griffith was packed with attorneys as an application was sought for leave to hear a claim brought by Lucilo Teck, a cane farmer who is seeking a writ of mandamus from the court that would order the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) to begin the cane season. All stakeholders were represented. Teck was represented by attorneys Audrey Matura-Shepherd and Anthony Sylvestre, and Senior Counsels Michael Young and Rodwell Williams represented the SICB and BSI respectively. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was listed as an interested party and was represented by Eamon Courtney, S.C., while Nigel Hawke, a Deputy Solicitor General in the Attorney General's Ministry, represented the Government of Belize.

Belizean arrested for robbery in Mexico
Belizean Roberto Heredia Bradley, 37, has been detained by Mexican police in the city of Playa Del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo, pending charges of robbery, threat of death, and handling stolen goods and carrying an illegal weapon in Mexico. Allegations against Bradley are that he held up and robbed a woman with a knife in the Zazil-Ha Zone of Playa Del Carmen and escaped with her purse, containing her cellphone and money. Police, who were on patrol in the area, quickly captured the man, and the items reported as stolen by the woman were found in his possession. The incident occurred on Thursday. According to Mexican online newspaper, Diario Respuesta, the Mexican woman was walking in the Zazil-Ha zone in Playa Del Carmen when a man held a knife to her throat, threatening that if she screamed, he would kill her.

Police vs Bandits, game 1 in PLB finals this Wednesday, January 14
Well, the champion of the Premier League of Belize 2014-2015 Opening Season will come out of Belmopan again; that is because both teams in the finals, defending champion Belmopan Bandits and current sub-champion Police United, are using the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan as their home field this season. Of course, the Bandits are more legitimately the Belmopan team, as their track record in Belmopan goes all the way back to the nineties, while the Police team has moved around a bit, playing at one time in Belize City, before moving their home field to the capital, Belmopan. Game 1 in the home-and-away PLB championship finals series was originally scheduled for for Saturday, January 10, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, but was postponed due to rain, and is now scheduled for this Wednesday night, January 14, at the same venue. Police is the #1 seed, so the first home game will be for the Bandits, and the return match this coming Saturday night will be Police's home game.

KREM Classic: Families celebrate!
When Mexican Hector Rangel crossed the finished line on New Year's Day to win this year's Krem New Year's Cycling Classic, he was not the first foreigner to do so, but it was his first victory at this prestigious and prize-laden event. The first foreigner to take the Krem crown was Miguel Perez in 2001, after Belizeans had swept the previous ten outings from the inception of the race in 1991. The 1991 winner was Michael Lewis; 1992- Francisco Flores; 1993 - Derrick Mahler; 1994 - Douglas Lamb; 1995 - Robert Mariano; 1996 - Nigel Matus; 1997 - Fred Usher; 1998 - Francisco Flores; 1999 - Ernest Meighan; and 2000 - Ariel Rosado. After Miguel Perez in 2001, Belizeans took over again in 2002 with Barney Brown the winner; 2003 - Douglas Lamb; 2004 - Marlon Castillo; and 2005 - Michael Lewis.

CSSSA high schools football tournament kicks off today
The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) announced today that its 2015 high schools football tournament gets under way today with 6 female teams and 10 male teams participating. According to CSSSA President Deon Sutherland, if weather permits, the games will be played at the old Hostel field next to the Racoon Street Police Station. (That's because the MCC has still not been declared open by the National Sports Council.) From the tournament schedule released, the females will be playing a single round-robin before playoffs involving the top 4 teams. The males are divided into two groups of 5 teams each. Each group will play a single round-robin, after which the top 2 teams from each group will go on to the 4-team playoffs. Games are played from Monday to Friday, starting at 4:00 p.m., and on Saturdays, starting at 10:00 a.m. The tournament starts today, and the playoffs are scheduled to begin on Monday, February 2.

Editorial: From BEC to ASR
When the nationalist movement began in Belize in 1950, the giant Belize Estate and Produce Company (BEC) was a major issue. BEC was the largest landholder and employer in Belize, and controlled the forestry and chicle industries, besides having entered areas of business such as insurance and import commission. BEC was a quintessentially British company, and it was being challenged by a remarkable Belize native, one Robert Sydney Turton, who had risen from absolute poverty to compete with BEC in mahogany, chicle, and import commission. The tariff structure in British Honduras was such as to force British Hondurans to trade with the mother country - Great Britain. This suited BEC, it may have actually been designed for BEC, but such a tariff structure discriminated against RST, who was doing more and more business with the United States. The devaluation of the Belize dollar at the end of 1949 was the straw which broke the camel's back in Mr. Turton's view of things. It appears that the BEC owners and executives were tipped off by the British, whereas Turton was caught off guard. Devaluation cost him a lot of money. The agitation by the new People's United Party (PUP) in 1950 for self-rule was a Robert Sydney Turton agenda matter. But, the masses of the Belizean people had been fed up with BEC for a long time, and they looked with longing towards opportunities in the United States of America, just six hundred miles away. Robert Sydney Turton and the Belizean people, then, were on the same page.

From the Publisher
When the Belize Estate and Produce Company (BEC) muscled the Maya out of their ancestral lands in Yalbac, and forced them to resettle in what is now known as San Jose Palmar, this was 1936, and roots African people in the capital, now known as Belize City, would not have had the slightest idea what was going on. When the roots African people of that capital had risen up against their European and European-sympathetic masters in July of 1919, the Maya in the villages of the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts would not have known of that uprising until some time after it was over: the uprising lasted only two days. The situation is different today, because of radio and television communications, and because of a modernized road system which enables us to drive from Belize City to Orange Walk Town in just an hour, and to Corozal Town in a half hour more. In Belize City, the roots masses have known of the struggle of the Maya and Mestizo cane farmers against the giant transnational company - American Sugar Refining (ASR), even as that struggle has been going on over the last two years or so. The whole country of Belize, in fact, was being updated from hour to hour and from day to day.

PUC rejects BWS' proposal for 12.5% rate hike
In November 2014, the Belize Water Services (BWS), a utility company whose majority shareholder is the Government of Belize, asked the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve its business plan which proposed total tariff increases of 12.5%: 5% in April 2015 and 7.5% in April 2017. After considering the BWS's application, the PUC announced its initial decision today that it would not approve the BWS's request, but that it would instead approve a nominal 2% tariff increase, which, along with an increase in water usage from 10 billion gallons to 12 billion gallons over the next five years, should be enough to secure the company $30 million more in revenues. What the PUC decision means for BWS's 44,000 customers is that their water bills would increase this April by about 2%, if the PUC's initial decision remains unchanged. Water rates will continue to be the highest in San Pedro and Caye Caulker, where consumers pay more than double the rate of mainland customers.

PUP condemn PM's stance in sugar dispute
Since last Thursday when Prime Minister Dean Barrow gave his blessings to the formalization of a new association/s to replace the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) - a 55-year old institution that acts as the voice of over 5,300 sugarcane growers in northern Belize - as a means of breaking a protracted standoff between the association and the millers, Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and its parent company, American Sugar Refineries (ASR), certain sectors of society have urged the ca�eros to remain united at this existential crossroads, and have even regarded the PM's statements as a plot to "divide and conquer" the beleaguered association. Today, the Opposition People's United Party (PUP) weighed in on the volatile situation via a press conference at their Independence Hall headquarters in Belize City, where they joined the choir of advocators who have pledged their unwavering support for the unification of both the association and its general membership.

David Hill's accident caused by a heart attack
A postmortem exam conducted on the body of American national David Hill, 65, of Rock Stone Pond Village, Belize District, confirms that his death was caused by a heart attack. The autopsy was carried out at about 9:00 this morning by Doctor Hugh Sanchez, medical coroner, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). According to police reports, at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday evening, David Hill was driving his Chevy 1500 Suburban on the Old Northern Highway from Sand Hill towards Rock Stone Pond, upon reaching Mile 30 � on the highway, by the Altun Ha junction in Lucky Strike, Hill went into cardiac arrest and lost control of the vehicle. As a result, the vehicle ran off the road and crashed. Travelling with him at the time was his common-law wife, Eleanor Arana of Rock Stone Pond.

Court grants leave to hear Teck's request for writ of mandamus
The Supreme Court of Madam Justice Shona Griffith became the latest staging ground for the standoff between cane farmers and BSI/ASR, which have been unable to come to an agreement so that this year's sugar cane season can begin. Around 10:00 a.m. this morning, Friday, the courtroom of Justice Griffith was packed with attorneys as an application was sought for leave to hear a claim brought by Lucilo Teck, a cane farmer who is seeking a writ of mandamus from the court that would order the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) to begin the cane season. All stakeholders were represented. Teck was represented by attorneys Audrey Matura-Shepherd and Anthony Sylvestre, and Senior Counsels Michael Young and Rodwell Williams represented the SICB and BSI respectively. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was listed as an interested party and was represented by Eamon Courtney, S.C., while Nigel Hawke, a Deputy Solicitor General in the Attorney General's Ministry, represented the Government of Belize.

Patrick JonesPJ

Jail time piles up for Angel Dorado
Angel Dorado is already serving time in Hattieville Prison for separate charges of committing a mischievous act and wounding totaling 2 and a half years. But he faces another five years behind bars if he cannot pay a $10,000 fine assessed by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith after she [�]

Mother fined over cannabis plant
Cannabis is regularly discovered in Belize City, but not cannabis plants which can usually be found in the countryside. However, in July of 2012 police found such a plant at the home of 44 year old Olympia King on St. Joseph Street. Late last year King, a mother [�]

Unchecked anger costs laborer jail time and fine
57 year old Lionel Scott makes his living mainly by selling bottles but on New Year's Eve, when he was stopped from picking up bottles at a shop in Ladyville, he got angry and broke several glass louvers at the home of security guard Kenneth Tillett. For this [�]

Majority of farmers decide to stay with BSCFA and sign agreement
The impasse in the sugar industry continues as there is still no date set for the start of the 2014-2015 sugar crop. But there is apparently some light at the end of the dark tunnel for the cane farmers. According to information received, the eighteen branch leaders of the Belize [�]

Large heroin bust in northern Belize
There are reports of a major drug bust involving a large quantity of suspected heroin. Details are still emerging, but reports received say that police made the bust this morning during an anti-drug operation on the outskirts of Corozal town. Reports say that police intercepted a vehicle with Belize City [�]

Belize sets records in tourism arrivals
More than 1.2 million persons visited Belize in 2014, according to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) which released its end-of-year statistics for tourism arrivals. Over 320,000 of those persons were overnight visitors, sending Belize past the 300,000 mark for the first time. Cruise ship arrivals totaled 968,131, but [�]

Body of a man recovered in Corozal
There are reports of the body of a man being retrieved from a river in Corozal. According to information received, the man, whose name we will withhold pending notification of his family, is from Patchakan village. Initial indications are that the man and some friends had gone on a fishing [�]


7 of Belize's Most Impressive Attractions To Visit in 2015
There is so much to see in Belize. Sun, sand and beach, tropical rainforests, mountains, extensive cave systems, the mostly unexplored remains of the ancient Maya civilization and it's diverse cultures. We have compiled the top 7 impressive attractions in Belize just in time for your 2015 vacation. You better Belize it! 1. The Great Blue Hole: 2. Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave): 3. Xunantunich Maya Ruin: 4. The Belize Zoo: 5. Belize Barrier Reef: 6. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary: 7. Gladden Spit

Worried about January weather
I recently saw a forum post from someone who was worried about January weather in Belize. They were concerned about the forecast, wondering if it was jeans n sweater weather and would they be out of luck on activities. This morning was a prefect example of how the forecast can look bad and be throwing down with rain one minute and do a 360 not long after. I had every intention to walk to town and go to the Tuesday morning farmers market, unfortunately Chaac the Mayan god of rain, water and lightning had other plans. He opened the flood gates and poured full force over the island causing me to abandon ship on leaving the house.

The Animals of Belize
Who said a honeymoon had to be taken immediately after the wedding? Jim and I just took ours, two and a half years after the fact, and it could not have been sweeter. We stayed at the Hamanasi Resort in Belize and loved it. Yes, it's expensive and not all that easy to get to (three planes, the last so small I thought it might be easier to carry it to our destination), but hey: It was our honeymoon, so it was worth it. Hamanasi is committed to eco-tourism and sustainable practices, and that was clear from, for example, the extensive composting (which brought in great birds, including tons of warblers), careful snorkeling guidelines ("Please do not touch the coral or feed the fish.") and wooden, multiple-use containers for shampoo and conditioner. The staff is sincerely friendly and accomodating, the country is a fascinating amalgam of cultures and races, and the food rocked. But for me, nothing was as wonderful as the animals. (Of course, Jim is my all-time favorite animal, but you all already knew that�). Hamanasi settles between the extensive rain forests of the Maya Mountains and the Southern Barrier Reef, which is perhaps the healthiest reef in the western hemisphere. Because of the range of habitats, there were fascinating and beautiful animals everywhere. Here is the male Iguana who sat just a few feet from our dining table every day, courting a smaller female in the branches below. He was one big lizard, perhaps three feet long. We loved having him eat breakfast with us every morning.

International Sourcesizz

You Better Belize It! Eight Fabulous Hotels in Belize
The Central American country of Belize is surrounded by Guatemala to the west and south, Mexico to the north, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. The tropical country attracts visitors with its lush jungles, snorkeling, and Mayan ruins, among many other things. Between the scuba diving, zip-lining, horseback riding, and Mayan ruin exploration, travelers don't have to stick to lying out on the beach -- though that's fine too! Read on for eight of the most fabulous hotels in the gorgeous country of Belize! Turtle Inn, Blancaneaux Lodge, Chan Chich Lodge, The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Chabil Mar, Robert's Grove Beach Resort, Portofino Beach Resort, Xanadu Island Resort.

Watch revolting moment maggot emerges from insect researcher's skin - having been kept there ON PURPOSE
Entomologist wanted to know what it felt like to produce another 'living, breathing being' from his own flesh An insect researcher has purposefully reared fly maggots inside his body, and filmed the moment they crawled out of his skin. Piotr Naskrecki is an entomologist and photographer from Harvard University, who was bitten by mosquitoes on a photography trip to Belize in the summer of 2014. When he got back, he had three bits that weren't healing. It turn out that these weren't regular mosquito bites: they contained the larvae of the botfly. Bot flies - which don't have their own jaws, so can't bite or sting - have to rely on mosquitoes to get their eggs into a living host.

How to incubate a parasitic fly under your skin
Entomologists aren't like you and me; they're way more comfortable with truly disgusting stuff. Which is why not one but two entomologists recently announced that they had incubated parasitic bot flies under their skin. On purpose. Bot flies are parasites. First, a female bot fly chases down a mosquito and lay eggs on its belly. Then, when the mosquito gets its next blood meal, the eggs hatch and the tiny larvae drop onto the skin of the animal below, where they burrow in head-first. The bot fly, as a foreign object, inflames the immune system, sending white blood cells to the site - which the larvae use as snacks. Over the course of about 10 weeks, bot fly larvae grow from the size of a grain of sugar to that of a peanut, writes Piotr Naskrecki, one of the bot fly incubators, and an entomologist at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, at Harvard University. This process, as you might expect, is weird for the host, but "relatively painless," Naskrecki writes, "unless the larva decides to munch on nerve endings."

Court throws out second application by Prof Bain
Professor Brendan Bain's case against the University of the West Indies (UWI) started out with him losing two applications concerning witness statements filed in the controversial matter. In one of the applications, Bain, through his attorney Georgia Gibson-Henlin, had tried to have the court strike out portions of the witness statement of UWI Vice-Chancellor Dr Nigel Harris but the application, which was opposed by Queen's Counsel Hugh Small, was shot down by the court. The court also shot down an application by Bain to allow into the proceedings an additional witness statement filed by him. Bain is suing the UWI regarding the decision last year May to terminate his services as director of the regional coordinating unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART). The decision came from the fallout over Bain's evidence in a Belize court which irked gay-rights and other lobby groups, who reportedly pressured the University to let him go.

CONCACAF Announces Starting Dates for 2018 World Cup Qualifying
CONCACAF announced on Monday the starting dates for its 2018 World Cup qualifying process, which if you can even believe it, starts this year. The "minnows," if you will, kick things off in the first round of qualifying the week of March 23-31 as North and Central America's bottom 14 teams, according to the August 2014 FIFA rankings, will be drawn into home-and-away series. The seven series winners will move on to the second round where they'll again be drawn into a home-and-away series, this time among CONCACAF's ninth- through 21st-ranked teams (June 8-16). The first- and second-round draws will be held on Thursday, Jan. 15, in Miami.

Caribe Goin' Up: 3 Mainstream Rappers Of Belizean Descent
Let's be honest, no one is ever really sure whether to group Belize in with "Latinos" because of its unique background within Latin America. The only country in Central America whose official language is English, its colonial history has more in common with Caribbean nations like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas, than its neighbors Mexico and Guatemala. Still, Spanish is commonly spoken there, and also who cares about labels. At the end of the day we're all fam. More importantly, Belize is cranking out some rappers that have the clubs lit. Here are three artists you may not have known were of Belizean descent. iLoveMakonnen, O.T. Genasis, Shyne.

See what Belize said in the Caribbean Property Investor magazine
We talk to "King of Magic" David Copperfield about his private island home in The Bahamas and present a guide to golf in association with OMEGA. Plus, we look at the joys of travelling by private aircraft and 7 of the very best water toys.


Belize bird songs Part 2 new years day 2015, no music, 4min.
Dad kiteboarding in Belize, 1min.
Xunantunich - Belize, 4.5min.
THE SKYLITERS LIVE WITH KPFK'S HOST MARIO CASSETA!, min. This rare live performance of the legendary Belizean band in Los Angeles in the 1970's, The Skyliters, came to Belizean Legends through the courtesy of Belizean music producer and artist, Patrick Barrow of Caye Records and Belize Music World. Barrow who was also the rhythm guitar player in the L.A. based band, later formed the reggae band, Babylon Warriors. This live performance done in the North Hollywood area in the 1970's during a KPFK radio, 90.7 FM, with the late radio DJ and broadcaster, Mario Casseta, was a full recording of the Skyliters captured live on tape. A Belizean classic that will go down as one of the best Belizean band performances that was performed live. Enjoy!
Relaxing Rainforest Bird Songs of Belize, no music, natural sounds, 20min. Made early in the morning on new years day 2105. Usually our subjects will be Cute wild animals, nature, birds, mountains, oceans and some travel locations.
RDX Concert Belize 2013 RDX P1 (Unofficial Video), 13min. Flavaz Ent. & T-Dubs Promotion's RDX Concert highlights. Look out for the Official DVD!!
Study Abroad in Belize, 8min. This experience has truly been the most amazing experience of my life and I have all of these people to thank for that.
Lewis Family - Belize - Tube and Zip, 3min.
Adventure & Conservation in Mexico & Belize, 3.5min. A highlight reel from my solo trip to Mexico & Belize in May 2014. Making this has taken way longer than I'd like, but deciding what to cut from this epic trip has been a tough choice. There's so much more stuff that just couldn't fit into 3.5 minutes.

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