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Today's Belize News: January 16, 2015 #499985
01/16/15 04:58 AM
01/16/15 04:58 AM
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

OC Castellanos returns from FBI training program
Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department, Superintendent Luis Castellanos is back on duty after taking a three month study leave. Superintendent Castellanos left in September, 2014 to participate in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy Program in Quantico, Virginia, USA. He was selected to represent Belize in the training program alongside 215 other law enforcement agents. Superintendent Castellanos officially resumed his duties in San Pedro on Monday, January 12th. According to an official release issued by the FBI on December 19th, 215 law enforcement officers graduated on December 19, 2014 from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. The 258th Session of the National Academy consisted of men and women from 49 states. Included in the class are members of law enforcement agencies from the District of Columbia, 26 international countries, three military organizations, and four federal civilian organizations. Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy Program, held at the FBI Academy, offered 11 weeks of advanced investigative, management, and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals within their agencies.

CNU Teachers host workshop for Island Schools
A team of 15 student interns are currently on the island as part of a two-week workshop in Belize. The interns, led by Professors Rita Kohr and Judy Pantelides of Christopher Newport University (CNU) in Newport News Virginia, USA, are currently working along with teachers from Ambergris Caye as part of their final internship for their Masters of Teaching Degree. According to Professor Rita Kohr, CNU has been sending interns to the island since 2008 as part of the University’s “Teaching across Cultures Course” through a relationship formed by Dr. Marsha Sprague, Director of CNU’s Masters of Teaching Program and the founders of Holy Cross Anglican Primary School. While on the island, in addition to gaining teaching experience in the Belizean classroom, the interns are also hosting several workshops.

Record number of manatees killed in 2014
34 manatees were found dead in 2014 in Belizean waters. Overwhelmingly, 65% of the deaths registered were caused by boats. Commonly known as the “sea cow”, the Antillean manatee can be found across Belize in rivers, lagoons, estuaries and most coastal area. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Antillean manatee is listed as Endangered because the current population is estimated at less than 2,500 mature individuals. According to Janelle Chanona, Vice-president of Oceana in Belize, death by propeller is threatening the population of manatees in Belize. Irresponsible boat captains are not respecting the ‘No Wake Zone’ regulations which at many times lead to the injury of manatees. “We always talk about the importance of protecting the manatees. Not only are they a significant part of our environment, but they also have an economic importance. Tourists pay money to see these creatures in the wild. But if this threat continues, we may no longer have any manatees left in our waters. In the last seven days, two manatees have suffered the same terrible fate: death by propeller. Support efforts on the water can help curb this disturbing trend. Respect no-wake zones and minimize speed in high traffic areas,” said Chanona.

Ambergris Today

More Sargasso (Seaweed) Invading Ambergris Caye
It is never-ending and causing lots of frustration, especially to residents living along the beach - TONS of sargasso (seaweed) washing onto the shores of Belize. Here in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, it seems like the Sargaso Apocalypse - the stench!! And it's hard to enjoy a day on the beach when the water is covered in seaweed. What gives? Clean up crews from the San Pedro Town Council, resorts and private homes cannot keep up with the tonnage of seaweed that just keeps washing ashore on a daily basis. As soon as it is cleared up, more rolls in. Just yesterday, our good friends at Chuck and Robbie's Scuba Diving and Instruction posted these pictures of a sargasso patch the size of a football field coming onto shore. And fishermen say that it's everywhere, from back in the San Pedro lagoon to the Turneffe Atoll, large patches of sargasso floating in mid-sea and washing up on shore.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BEL Job Opportunity
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Logistics Coordinator in the Purchasing and Stores Department.

BEL Job Opportunity
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Accounting Clerk II in the Purchasing and Stores Department.

Mo' Mojo in San Ignacio on Wednesday, January 28th for a FREE concert at the Cayo Welcome Center!!!
Mo' Mojo will be in San Ignacio on Wednesday, January 28th for a FREE concert at the Cayo Welcome Center!!! This morning U.S. Embassy staff member Mirsy Ponce joined Lupita Ferguson from San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) and Sam Harris from the World Culture Band, who will perform the opening song for Mo'Mojo on 28th to advertise the concert on OYE FM in English and Espanol with host Nelson Pinelo. Want to come to the concert in San Ignacio? Call OYE FM or visit San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture office, or email the U.S. Embassy at [email protected] for FREE tickets. While the concert is FREE you have to have a ticket to secure a seat at the venue so don't miss out and be left standing! More info. to come on the other concert venues in San Pedro and Corozal, so stay tuned....

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, January 15, 2015: 94. FANTASY 5: 1 23 29 13 31 U

United Cane Farmers sign
United Cane Farmers sign with BSI/ASR Willie Magana (third from left) of Progresso Village took the issue to court and won the right to have associations independent from the BSCFA. Though the court ruled in his favor, it would be years before the Government made legislative changes that would make United Cane Farmers a legal entity. The government has a called for a House Meeting next week Monday and during that meeting the changes will be made to the Sugar Act to allow the existence of this group and other associations. In three years time United Cane Farmers, the Corozal Cane Farmers and what is left of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will be able to renegotiate the price of bagasse. In 2017 preferential prices for sugar in Europe will come to an end.

More Exciting Basketball this weekend in Corozal - Saturday January 17
Come out and Cheer!

Corozal Belize Heroes and Benefactors Exhibit
A wonderful opening of the Belize Heroes and Benefactors Exhibit this morning, so great to see our children engaged in the history of our nation. We want to graciously thank the standard five students of St. Paul's Anglican School, Miss Donna Gillett, and guest speaker Mr. Roy Rodriguez. Also a special thank you to Mr. Benjamin Cal for installing the exhibit. Thank you to our sister institution; the Institute for Social & Cultural Research in producing this patriotic exhibit. We kindly encourage the community to visit and view this insightful, educational exhibit on display through to June 2015..

It is Esquipulas time in Belize! Blessed Esquipulas to all those celebrating it...

Street Arts Fest 2015
February 28th, Albert Street will be blocked off and crammed with arts, crafts, music...a great annual event in the city:

Jan 4 - Jan 11 2015 Belize Fishing Report
Alison and Reeves, congratulations on your marriage! And thank you for bringing your family to El Pescador for your fishing vacation. May your marriage bring you many fabulous fish! Jay and Amy – thank you for bringing your beautiful daughters, Katie and Abby. I know the guys around here are going to miss their beautiful smiles and fun laughter. Jay – I know you are a doc, but tarpon fever never goes away! And of course we love our friends from Cutthroat Anglers in Colorado. Jim and Kouri it is always a pleasure to see you here. Visit more often! Cutthroat Anglers will be hosting a trip in October – give them a buzz and join in the fun! Fish On!

Channel 7

Two New Growers Groups Sign Contracts With BSI/ASR
Tonight, it's official, after months of back and forth, two new Cane Farmers groups have officially entered into contracts with BSI/ASR. The first to sign was the Corozal Cane Producers Association - which has teamed up with the United Cane Farmers Association. United is the first group that challenged the Cane Farmers Association's monopoly on membership back in 2009 - and got a Supreme Court Declaration to say that by their constitutional right to freedom of association, they could form their own growers association distinct from the BSCFA. Today at BSI's Boardroom in Orange Walk, Willie Magana who led that charge then said today's signing was historic:... Willie Magana, United Cane Farmers Association "I am very pleased to be a part of this historical day. I think this is a dream that started way back in 2008 or maybe long before. I've been hearing that they are blaming the Prime Minister for dividing the association, but I think we were divided long before 2008 and that was one of the reasons why myself and 4 other colleagues took the sugar act to the supreme court because it has compel us to belong to one group even though they were doing so bad, but we had to be under that group and for some time we were kind of being discourage. But today's vision was what maintained us together to be able to go there to the end."

Cansino Says BSI Boxing Out BSCFA
And so, while the BSI/ASR is doing brisk business with the new groups, what about old faithful, the BSCFA? That five decades old organization yesterday wrote to BSI/ASR saying its Directors have agreed and it is willing and ready to sign. The letter says they are also ready to go to another general membership meeting to get a resolution if necessary. But they say BSI hasn't answered - and late this evening, Chairman Ezequiel Cansino told the media that he feels BSI is disrespecting the BSCFA. We couldn't make it to that late evening press conference, but at this morning's signing ceremony, ASR Vice President Mac McLachlan did give a dubious response. Mac McLachlan, Vice President, International Relations - ASR Group "This is a new scenario now. We need to consider who it is the BSCFA are representing at this point and who is signing separately, but we are giving consideration to the latest letter that we've received."

NTUCB Lashes Out On Cansino
And while Chairman Cansino is getting a cold shoulder from ASR/BSI - he also got hit below the belt today by union firebrand Audrey Matura Shepherd. The occasion was a midday press conference in Belize City held by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The union group lamented the way things have gone for the cane farmers, and Audrey Matura-Shepherd pinned it on Chairman Cansino:.. Alfredo Ortega - Director, BSCFA Orange Walk Branch "What they are trying to do in that regard is to intimidate the farmers, that if you don't sign this document, you won't be able to deliver your cane and that is [email protected]#^*#!t. Why I say that? It's because the act says that a farmer once being registered by the sugar cane production committee and the season is open, you have that right to deliver your cane. So, I want to see, once the gate is open which of those farmers that didn't sign won't have the opportunity to deliver their cane."

The Enduring Importance Of Rt. Hon. Price
National Hero, George Price would have been 96 years-old today. And though he passed away four years ago, his legend endures and the PUP - the party he founded - is determined to keep that memory alive. And so, today, on his birthday, January 15, they held the annual wreath-laying ceremony in memory of his accomplishments as a leader and a politician. We were at Price's grave in the Lord Ridge Ceremony where Leader Francis Fonseca told us that it is important to his party and to the nation that he is not forgotten:

PUP Launches Education Reform Framework
And from there the party moved over to its headquarters on Queen Street to launch its education reform framework. This is one year after the party launched its social justice platform - which got lukewarm reviews - most probably backlash after the party's ten year neo-liberalist binge. But with education, they wanted to get it right - and to do that they pulled out a career educator with senior pup credentials. 7News was there:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting PUP Standard Bearers, Caretakers, and Area Reps, all crowded into Independence Hall along with Party loyalists. They were there for the Party's release of ideas targeted at Education Reform. And to introduce their concepts, the first two speakers, Cordel Hyde and Francis Fonseca, two former ministers of education, spoke generally about what is currently wrong with the education system.

Evan As Hope Fades, Fred Ortega Still Pointing Fingers
As we told you at the top of the newscast, it's a historic day in cane country - after two breakaway associations representing combined production of four hundred thousand tonnes of cane signed independent agreements with BSI/ASR. That means that with at least a combined 500 thousand tons of cane, the crop season may be able to start in a week or ten days. That pretty much means "game over" for the naysayers - who have held countless press conferences and interviews to urge the farmers to stand strong. Today, in one last swipe at what he considers lamentable circumstances Director of the Orange Walk Branch Fred Ortega blamed it on the Prime Minister:..

NTUCB Sticking By BSCFA, Calls For Unity In A Time Of Division
And at today's press conference, the National Trade Union Congress held its ground as well. The vice president said they are duty bound to get involved:.. Marvin Mora, 2nd VP - NTUCB "This is a matter that will have tremendous effect over the economy of our country and we represent the workers of this country and their best interest. So, we have absolutely no option but to come in defence of the farmers, with moral support, with whatever knowledge we can garnered amongst our members to help them in their plight. In this case, the strength of the cane farmers is in two things; one, their cane and the other, their ability to stay united in the fight. This is our cane, this is Belize's cane and this is the industry of the Belizeans. If we allow a multinational company to come and bully-rag the system, to try to put it in their favor, we run the risks of losing control over the industry and that it would benefit other people and not this nation."

NTUCB President Absent
And while the NTUCB had a strong showing of its leaders at a press conference which was held over the lunch hour to accommodate its various union leaders who are also workers, one person we didn't see is President Dylan Reneau. When asked about it, the vice president made it clear that he was on his own:... Adelaide Guerra, First VP- NTUCB "I am not able to respond for the president. I believe that he will have to answer for himself. The second part of your question, the NTUCB is made up of several unions, it's not the president or the vice president that makes the decision. We have a general council that need to meet every time and they are present here as I speak. The general council is here today in full force."

NTUCB's Battle Cry
And even without its president, and with new growers groups signing left and right - those at the head table put up a mean fight - and even had a battle chorus at the end. They started off with Cansino quoting Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata:..

A Titanic Police Error
The last time we reported on the criminal case against the Bahamians Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach, it was to tell you that they got closer to being acquitted of the holding charge of failing to declare funds over $10,000. Well, the case fell further apart today. The Detective Constable attached to the FIU, who made the error in the last exhibit presentation before the court, was called up today to testify. As we told you, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer refused to accept the only piece of evidence available against Kelvin Leach. That's because the officer, who seized the money he allegedly failed to declare, could not say under oath how much was in the envelope that the prosecution was trying to get admitted against the accused.

History From A Map
History is usually taught or conveyed through anecdotes or timelines of events but there is a new Belizean history book that creates a more vivid perspective on history. The book is called British Honduras: The Invention of a Colonial Territory. It demonstrates Belizean history through 19th century maps. The author Odile Hoffman is a geographer at the Institute of Research for Development in France and it took her and Belizean researchers and observers about 8 months to complete the book. A launch was held today at the Leo Bradley Library to celebrate its publication. Director of Cubola Productions, Montse Duran says that in this book the narrative resonates from both the land as well as its occupants.

Cop Remanded For Carnal Knowledge
Last week we told you about an investigation at the Independence Police Station involving a police constable who'd allegedly had sex with a teenaged girl in the police barracks. It came to the fore because his common law wife found a nude picture of the girl on his cell phone and out of spite posted it on the internet. That's when the 16 year old girl's family found out and they filed a complaint. Well the investigation found that Police Constable Patrick O Brien had unlawful carnal knowledge with the girl when she was 15 year and 11 months old - which is below the age of consent. He was charged in court today and ordered to be remanded. He was taken away in cuffs to the Hattievile prison.

Channel 5

N.T.U.C.B. Pledges Support to Farmers
Even as the start of the sugar cane crop seems inevitable, the chaos within the industry continues unabated. Tonight, there is much to report—both from the farmers and the factory, [...]

Matura-Shepherd Embarrassed by PM and AG
When it comes to the government in this scenario, attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd pulled no punches. She believes that Prime Minister Dean Barrow deliberately and with great calculation did not speak [...]

ASR/B.S.I. Signs Agreements with New Associations
As we told you earlier, there is news to report not only from the farmers, but also from ASR/B.S.I., and it is fairly monumental. Early this morning two associations outside [...]

Associations Say it is a Dream Come True
So where does this leave the B.S.C.F.A.? Well certainly not in a better position than they were in before negotiations. In fact, there are those who expect that the Association [...]

B.S.C.F.A. Chairman on the Hot Seat
That’s bad news for the Association, and there’s more. There’s allegedly a report circulating that ASR/B.S.I. is expressing some hesitation in signing with the B.S.C.F.A. branches who have expressed that [...]

CCJ President Visits Belize
There is a historic visit taking place today. That’s because at the invitation of the Bar Association, Justice Dennis Byron, the president of Belize’s highest court of appeal, the Caribbean [...]

P.U.P. Celebrates Birthday of George Price
Nationally recognized as the father of the nation, George Price was remembered today by the party he led for four decades. Price passed away in 2011, but today he would [...]

Party Launches Education Platform
On the occasion of the ninety-sixth birthday of its deceased leader, the P.U.P. also launched its education platform entitled Education: Creativity plus Technology.  The policy is a call to arms [...]

Prosecutions Rests in Case Against Bahamians
Now to the courts…the case by the Financial Intelligence Unit against two Bahamians, Kelvin Leach and Rohn Knowles, for failure to declare in excess of ten thousand Belize dollars resumed [...]

San Pedro Police Investigate Shooting
The last time we reported of a major crime in San Pedro was on December fifteenth when Pedro Castillo was shot dead in an exchange of gunfire between Coast Guard [...]

Geographer Launches New Book
A book of maps by geographer Doctor Odile Hoffman was launched today at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City. Five hundred copies of the publication, British Honduras: The Invention [...]

Bandits and Police Draw in Game 1
It’s not Monday, but James Adderley reports tonight on game one of the finals of the Premier Football League of Belize in which the Belmopan Bandits defend its title against [...]

Healthy Living: Meditation to Improve Physical and Mental Fitness
The ancient practice of meditation has long been extolled as a life changing practice capable of improving one’s health both mentally and physically. There have been several studies that show [...]


Who Is The Best Man For The East?
On Sunday January 18th, the electorate in the Orange Walk East Constituency will come out en masse to exercise their voting rights in the People’s United Party Convention between newcomer Josue Carballo and veteran Dave Burgos. Both candidates are aspiring to be the elect standard bearer for the PUP in the constituency for the upcoming General elections. And while Dave Burgos has been relatively contested, his fellow opponent is relatively new to the political arena. Mayor Bernard told us his support is with the much younger and vibrant Carballo Camp. “I wish both of them well, I can tell you categorically though that Josue has worked with me when I was President of the National BYM, Josue worked along with me building the bus stops at the Santa Martha School, at the Palmar areas...

OWTC Finalizes Makes Final Arrangements To Pay Off Grijalva
In September of last year, viewers may recall a decision was handed down on the matter in the Supreme Court of Belize in favor of Denny Grijalva’s De’Mars Stone Company for the Orange Walk Town Council to pay for past works done. Viewers will note that Grijalva filed a lawsuit against the Town Council after Mayor Kevin Bernard made the decision in 2012 to not honor a payment owed to the company. And while the Court’s decision was in favor of Grijalva, we asked the Mayor about this financial burden that keeps haunting the council. Here’s what he told us today. “I recently check with our attorney and they say that they are still finalizing an arrangement with De’Mars Stone Company lawyers so at this point we don’t have any really significantly but all what I can tell you is that we cannot afford any huge payment because we have a plan of work to do in the next three years and we expect to continue those work we will not let any major debt hinder us,...

How The OWTC Managed To Stay Afloat
Another financial encumbrance inherited by the present PUP administration was a liability of a little under a half a million dollars. And while the cash strapped Administration did its best to fulfill its other obligations as promised in their 2012 manifesto, the Mayor was quite elated to report that thanks to his prudent management, the council managed to stay afloat even though they were indebted. “I can tell you and I am happy to say that the people of Orange Walk the almost $490,000 in debt almost half a million dollars in debt by the end of February we are out of those debt, I can tell the last major debts that we are paying were the Social Security and the Belize Bank over Draft that we had to convert to a loan and we are settling those debt by the end of February the last payment will go in so I can tell the people of Orange Walk you have a council that practice prudent management and things that were never done before we have been able to stay afloat even though we were indebted and that is why give us the opportunity to serve you and the Orange Walk residence for the next three years so that we can continue to bring more development to our community.”

Mayor Bernard Discusses 2015/2018 Manifesto
And while the dynamic PUP 7 slate are pounding the pavement and hitting the streets in their campaign trails, we had the opportunity to ask the Mayor about their plans of their newly drafted Manifesto. And while we are all aware of the difficulties and hardships faced by this Administration, Bernard sufficed to say that they are looking at a wider scope of community needs and infrastructural development for Orange Walk Town and how best to further improve in their services and boost tourism for Shuga Citi. “Our manifesto, if you look at the theme “Continuously Servicing The People” is driving the message that we will continue to work hard for the people of Orange Walk, we will continue to bring about progress, we will continue to bring about things that we believe that we can better improve the lives of our citizens, if you look at the Manifesto our key issue is talking about the street because we know that is priority and we know how best we can further improve, so in the Manifesto there are several areas where we have touched, financial stability of the council will remain because that was our mantra, we had to turn things around...


Rotary District Governor Elected Speaks on Preparations For District 4250
The Belize Rotary Club, which belongs under the Rotary International, is a club that provides services to others and promotes high ethical standards that foster goodwill and peace through its fellowship of business, professional and community leaders. The Rotary Club in Belize is a part of Rotary Club 4250 which comprise of Belize, Honduras and Guatemala. The Club has the honor of having had three of its members serve as District Governor: John Searle (1999-2000), Salvador “junior” Espat (2004-2005), and Dr. Marcelo Coyi (2009-2010). Our fourth Belizean District Governor Nominee is Rene Villanueva Sr. Love News reporter Leigh-Andra Gentle; spoke to Rene Villanueva Sr. more about his experience in reaching this position. The Rotary Movement is made up of 1.2 million Rotarian’s around the world and can be found in 200 countries around the world with 33,000 clubs. It is divided into zones due to its size. Belize is currently in zone 21 A, which is made up of Mexico right through to South America. The zone 21 A is broken down into 18 Districts which is headed by a district governor. Belize is currently in district 4250, which is made up of rotary clubs in Honduras, Belize and Guatemala. The governor of each district is rotated between the three countries. This year’s Governor elect is Rene Villanueva Sr. who will take over the post on July 1, 2015. Love News spoke to Villanueva about the preparation he has been undertaking to take up the post.

BSCFA Former Chairman Responds to Allegations
In an exclusive interview with Love News, the former CEO of the BSCFA, David Madrid, made several serious allegations aimed at the former Chairman of the Association, Alfredo Ortega and the current CEO, Oscar Alonzo. So we asked Ortega about those allegations today. BSCFA FORMER CHAIRMAN, ALFREDO ORTEGA “From last week when the Prime Minister made his press conference he announced that there was a group of farmers that had sent him a letter that they wanted to form their association and we have heard from ever since that there has been the producers from Corozal and also the United Cane Farmers that arose in 2010. Nevertheless none of those farmers have resigned from the BSCFA so speaking at this point in time, yesterday I was away from the association and I did not see any letter from any particular farmer or group saying that they are resigning from the association. What transpired on Friday after the court session, 18 branch chairmen were called in Orange Walk to have a meeting to settle a way forward.

Education Frame Launch to Add Value to Education
The People’s United Party used the occasion of the birthday of Right Honorable George Price to launch its Education Framework at Independence Hall in Belize City. According to Fonseca, the framework seeks to equip Belizeans at every stage of their lives with the tools they need to create value out of their education. LEADER OF OPPOSITION, HON. FRANCIS FONSECA “The education agenda we present today is grounded in that social justice agenda. The PUP believe in education, we believe that education is the great equalizer, we believe that education is key to national development and our investments as a nation in education continue to be the most effective poverty alleviation strategy. Education reform is one of the three central pillars which will form the foundation of the next PUP government. Our government’s development agenda will have two other important pillars, economic reform and governance reform. All three education reform, governance reform and economic reform all three are linked to and dependent upon each other.

Book Published Shows How Belize Evolved
Today Cubola Productions, a publishing company that has been established since 1973, are conducting the launching of their book “British Honduras: The invention of a Colonial Territory, Mapping and Spatial Knowledge in the 19th Century.” Today Montse Casademont, Publisher, addressed the media and spoke to us about the publication of the book. MONSTE CASADEMONT “It’s the first time that we are able to produce a book in color and for a book of maps it is essential that we see the maps in color so initially I was approached by Edil Hoffman who is the primary researcher and the author of the book and she had been working in Belize for a long time and also in the south and Mexico and she said well I have this book and I would really like to publish it with a Belizean publisher.

UCFA Signs Sugar Agreement with BSI/ASR
A commercial agreement has been signed by a group of cane farmers and the miller. The major event took place at Tower Hill this morning. Arturo Cantún has the story. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING “The Corozal Cane Producers’ Association along with the United Cane Farmers’ Association has signed a commercial agreement with BSI/ASR. The major event took place this morning at the BSI Sugar Factory in Tower Hill where an impromptu press conference was offered by the miller and the new association’s leader. BSI’s Beliz Carballo was one of the key signatories for ASR and categorized this morning’s signing as historic. BELIZARIO CARBALLO “Indeed it is a historic occasions I think it marks the start of what we hope and expect to be a very productive, constructive partnership with the Corozal sugar cane producers association as a recognized player and new stakeholder in the sugar industry of Belize.

Police Releases Comparative Crime Rates
The Belize Police Department sent out comparative figures as they pertain to various crimes committed around the country. The figures looked at the years 2013 and 2014 and the reported crimes for each district. Of the six districts, the Belize District had the highest number of murders recorded with 58 cases in 2013 and a spike in murders for 2014 with 77 cases reported. The Cayo District followed with 25 cases in 2013 and 19 in 2014; while the Corozal District recorded 5 cases for 2013 and 9 in 2014. The number of murder cases reported for the Orange Walk District in 2013 was only two … but that figure more than tripled in 2014 with 7 cases reported. The Stann Creek District showed an increase by one in 2014, with only 8 cases reported while the Toledo District had two cases in 2013 and three in 2014. Other crimes reported ranged from rape to robbery to theft. On a whole, there was a significant increase in crimes committed in 2014 when compared to 2013. The most prevalent is theft, which showed a spike in 2014 with 596 cases reported as compared to 508 in 2013. That was followed burglary, robbery, carnal knowledge then rape. We will look further into the comparison of crime statistics as presented by the Police Department in tomorrow’s newscast.

Ortega Responds to Former CEO of BSCFA
In an exclusive interview with Love News, the former CEO of the BSCFA, David Madrid, made several serious allegations aimed at the former Chairman of the Association, Alfredo Ortega and the current CEO, Oscar Alonzo. SO we asked Ortega about those allegations today. ALFREDO ORTEGA “Well really I have not heard his comments. I don’t know what he commented; I only read on Facebook that he took out some things there on the Facebook but I believe that if he has the information and if he feels that if he has strong allegations on that why did he not come forward with it from long ago.” Hipolito Novelo: “He says he was advised after he did the audit he says that he was advised to go to the police station and report it and name eight directors of the BSCFA, however he says that the police did not want to take that report and after he spoke to some members he was threatened to be fired.”

PUP Remembers George Cadle Price on His 96th Birthday
Today marks the 96th birthday of Belize’s first Premier and Prime Minister, George Price. Price, who many recognize as the Father of the Nation, was born on January 15, 1919. He died on September 19, 2011 – three days short of the 30th Anniversary of Belize’s Independence. Price was a founding member of the People’s United Party and worked tirelessly to take Belize into nationhood. So on this day, Party Leader, Francis Fonseca and other members of the People’s United Party laid wreaths at Price’s burial site at Lord Ridge Cemetery. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “He was dubbed the “Father of the Nation” and if he would be living today he would be 96 years old. He was Belize’s first Prime Minister and a founding member of the People’s United Party, PUP. George Cadle Price died on September 19- three years ago and just before Belize’s 30th Anniversary as an independent nation. He was buried at the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City and this morning, Leader of the PUP, Francis Fonseca, laid wreaths on Price’s tomb.”

Former CEO Reveals Cover Ups of Missing Monies and Mismanagement within the BSCFA
The sugar industry in Belize is going through one of its worst crisis in history. For the past two months farmers have found themselves in a critical position in deciding the future of their live hood. This week a number of harvest groups have expressed interest to leave the association and join other alliances and the newly instituted Corozal Cane Producers Association. Some observers of the industry have said that it’s likely we may be seeing the last of the 55 year old association. And if we thought that was the worst coming the farmers’ way, the former CEO of the association, David Madrid have spoken publicly about mismanagement and lack of transparency at the BSCFA during his tenure. Madrid made his view public by publish it via Facebook. Today, Madrid sat with LOVE NEWS and spoke exclusively to this station about the year and a half he was CEO. One of the matters Madrid touched was a 2009 contract given to the present CEO of the association, Oscar Alonzo, to start negotiations with BSI for a new commercial agreement. Madrid alleges Alonzo was well paid but the problem is he never delivered to the farmers. Madrid says this was unfair to the farmers but no farmer did anything to address the matter.


New book plots geographic history of Belize through maps
Cubola Productions, the leading publisher of books on Belize in Belize, released its latest publication on Thursday in Belize City. Titled “British Honduras: The Invention of a Colonial Territory, Mapping and Spatial Knowledge in the 19th Century,” it is a collection of maps from various sources in Great Britain, France and Spain and closer to home that traces the geographic history of Belize from its genesis as the colony of British Honduras. It is written by Dr. Odile Hoffmann, a researcher and geographer with the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD). Publisher Montse Casademunt explains that each map tells its own story, and collectively, they trace the development of a logging camp populated by the castoffs of British society, that grew to become the multi-cultural Jewel known as Belize by the sea.

Shooting in San Pedro
There was a shooting in San Pedro late Wednesday evening. According to authorities, at around 11:12 pm on Wednesday January 14th, police responded to reports of gunshots being fired in the San Pedrito Area, San Pedro Town, and spoke to the land owner of Lopez’s Apartments Building, who told authorities that he heard a total of 9 gunshots coming from somewhere on his premises. According to police investigations the culprit or culprits visited the Apartment unit of 32 year old Kareem Eagan, and fired a total of 9 gunshots. Kareem’s room was found locked from the outside with a small padlock and Kareem was not found anywhere in the area. No one was reported injured.

No-case submission expected in Titan case
Attorney Godfrey Smith, Senior Counsel, is expected to make a no-case submission on behalf of his clients Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach, the Bahamian executives of Titan International Securities, after the prosecution led by Christelle Wilson closed its case on Thursday. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) accuses both men of failure to declare funds totalling US$12,300 upon leaving Belize, as they tried to do in September of 2014. In December when the case was heard before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, a police officer who picked up both men from the Philip Goldson International Airport testified that the envelope he confiscated from Leach contained US$6,300 and 11 Belize dollars and was so labelled. A check of the envelope, however, failed to turn up the Belizean currency and Senior Magistrate Frazer declined to accept the envelope as evidence, because its integrity was compromised in her view. Detective Constable Julian Chub now says the envelopes were mislabelled – the one he testified to actually contained the US$6,000 to have been declared by Knowles, and not the US$6,300 and BZ$11 to have been declared by Leach.

Re: Today's Belize News: January 16, 2015 [Re: Marty] #499986
01/16/15 04:58 AM
01/16/15 04:58 AM
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The Guardian

Former BSCFA CEO alleges corruption within BSCFA
The former Chief Executive Officer of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association came out on Facebook, swinging at the directors of the association like 'halligator from riva bottom.' In a posting by David Madrid of January 11, 2015 he made wide allegations of corruption against the directorship of the BSCFA. His posting was picked up by Love FM's Arturo Cantun and in a lenghthy interview Madrid catalogued a series of allegations against the leadership of the BSCFA. But it is not the first time that Madrid has spoken up publicly. On October 4, 2010 he had made an appearance on Channel 5 claiming very much the same thing which he claimed on Wednesday. At the time he had just been fired as the Chief Executive Officer of the association. The allegations he's consistently made include the misappropriation of funds from Fair Trade, the Cess which farmers pay to the association, the awarding of supply contracts to select bidders among other allegations. In his facebook posting he notes thus:

Cane Farmers Association splinters
After 55 years of serving a majority of the cane farmers in the north, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has lost just under half of its membership. That follows in the wake of the very misinformed decision to reject the cane deal at the last general meeting held on January 4. Readers may remember that in our last issue, this newspaper outlined what happened at that meeting where Audrey Matura-Shepherd, and others convinced the general membership that they should fight for a better cane deal and sue the Sugar Industries Control Board and have the Supreme Court compel that independent body to declare the season open in the absence of a signed deal between the cane farmers and the factory owners. That was an ill-advised outcome, despite the best efforts of Chris Coye, the attorney for the cane farmers, who tried to convince them at that meeting that the compromise deal, facilitated by the Government was the best opportunity at this time. They clamored for the Prime Minister to go back and convince the factory owners, BSI/ASR, to start accepting sugarcane deliveries without any commercial agreement governing the operation. Well, Prime Minister Dean Barrow did just that, and as he has reported back, ASR/BSI refused to start the season without a signed agreement from both sides. Furthermore, if the Government makes any attempt to force their hand in accepting cane deliveries, they will close down the factory, and leave the country.

Independent Cane Farmer begin to sign agreement with BSI
The Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. announced on Wednesday January 14 that they have begun to sign commercial agreements for the delivery of cane with farmers who are not affiliated with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA). The Guardian has been reliably informed that there are at least two groups of farmers who have signed with BSI while the United Cane Farmers Association headed by Wilfredo Magana is expected to sign shortly, possibly before the end of the week. There is no word yet when the BSCFA will sign but all indications are that BSI would choose to sign with them only after they have gone to their general membership to get a yes vote on the cane delivery.

Largest Heroine bust in Belize
Officer from the Anti-Drug Unit went looking for a stolen car, and ended up busting 4 men who allegedly had 43 pounds of heroine in their possession at a restaurant in Corozal Town on Monday night. At this time, the officers don’t know what kind of quality it is, but the street value is estimated at several million dollars. ADU officers were on an operation looking for a stolen vehicle which matched a grey Chevy Tahoe pickup truck which was parked outside the restaurant. This drew their attention to 32 year-old Jose Antonio Lara, a fisherman from Julio Street, San Pedro; 30 year-old Lenon Leonardo Tillett, a BEL Contractor of Ebony Street, Belize City, who also has a house in Corozal; 42 year-old Gerardo Beraldo Allen, a tour guide of Back Street, Caye Caulker; and 35 year-old Hierder Martin Perez, an employee of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office from San Pedro. Perez had his licensed 9 mm pistol when the ADU Officers approached, and decided to search them. That’s when they found 15 parcels of heroine on the back seat. They weighed it, and found out that it was tallied at 19.5 kilograms - or 43 pounds - the largest amount of heroine seized on Belizean soil.

Honduran busted with fake nationality document
Honduran national, Carlos Roberto Cantiano, 30, has been deported from Belize for an immigration offense. On Thursday, January 8, Cantiano was picked up by police and during questioning the officers asked for his immigration documents. Cantiano presented a Belize National Certificate, #1684, 1/13 Volume 16/26 issued on July 29, 2013 in the name of Carlos Roberto Cantiano Tut. The officers turned Cantiano over to the Immigration Department along with the document. Immigration Officer Robert Gursney investigated and learned that the certificate is one of many on a list of flagged certificates. Cantiano was charged with using a document not entitled to.

Pleads guilty but says girlfriend set him up
David Castillo was busted with .2 grams of crack cocaine and pleaded guilty to drug possession but claims he was set up by his ex-common law wife. The Quick Response Team of the Police Department was on mobile patrol at about 12:05 a.m. on Saturday, January 10, when they saw Castillo riding a female beach cruiser. The officers stopped and conducted a search on him. In his right rear pocket a dry tobacco leaf, a bamboo paper and other items were found. Inside the bamboo paper police found the crack cocaine. Castillo was arrested and charged. In court on Monday, January 12, Castillo pleaded guilty to the charge with an explanation. He told Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser that he had gone to look for his ex common law wife when the police met him that morning. Castillo said he had gone to the shop to buy and that was when his ex gave him an amount of items; including the bamboo and tobacco leaf. He said he didn’t check it until the police stopped him and made the discovery. Castillo told Fraser that his ex wants more than the $150 he is currently giving for child maintenance of their two children and that is why she set him up.

Killed in a boat
Police continue to investigate the very strange murder of 29-year-old Pedro Aldana Ayuso Jr, a fisherman who was killed on a boat near the Belcan Bridge on Tuesday, January 13. Not much is known about how Ayuso was killed, but what police have been able to determine is that sometime around 7 p.m., he was on a skiff. He had just dropped off a skiff to the Conch Shell Bay Area, and was on his way back with another vessel when someone on another boat approached him and fired two fatal shots at him. He was struck in the abdomen, and he collapsed into the boat, with the shooter speeding off toward the Bel China Bridge. Police responded as soon as they got the call. While Ayuso was being transported to the hospital he died. Police have no leads to go on at this time, but they do suspect a possible drug connection, for which there is no proof currently.

Alleged chain snatcher stopped by police
A man walked up to Brea Burgess on Thursday, January 8 and ripped a $475 Cuban gold link chain from off her neck. The culprit then ran from the scene but police in the area were made aware of the incident and responded quickly. The officers apprehended Joseph O’Brien and took him back to the scene of the crime. He was identified by Burgess as the individual who snatched her chain and was arrested and charged with robbery. According to Police Constable Josel Garcia, O’Brien attacked him with a piece of 2x4 lumber while he was trying to make the arrest. Police Constable Victor Cholin also reported that while trying to make the arrest, O’Brien told him, “I wah kill yuh, I see yuh face." O’Brien was additionally charged with one count of harm upon Burgess for hurting her neck, one count of aggravated assault upon PC Garcia and one count using threatening words against PC Cholin.

Snatched weed from police and threw it in a canal
Police are accusing Jane Usher Boulevard resident, Shawn Palacio, of resisting arrest, assault upon a police officer and obstruction of justice after he allegedly grabbed an amount of weed out of an officer’s hands and threw it into a canal. According to reports, police was conducting a search on Palacio’s Jane Usher Boulevard home on Saturday, January 10, and found an amount of marijuana inside. Police say that Palacio snatched the drugs from the hands of PC Delton Mariano and ran out of the house. According to police, Palacio ran up the street to a nearby canal and three the marijuana into the body of water. Palacio was arrested and charged with resisting lawful arrest, assaulting PC Mariano and obstruction of justice.

Prisoner Charged with Murder of Cellmate
Lorenzo Smith Jr., 29, is serving a ten year prison sentence for arson and now he is staring down a much longer sentence for the murder of a cellmate back in 2009. Smith is being accused of killing inmate Alfonso Eck in October of 2009. Eck was found dead on Friday night, October 9, 2009 inside his prison cell. He was serving time for maim and assault and was due to be released in 2010; however, a few months before his sentence was to expire his cellmate, Lorenzo Smith Jr., found his body hanging from his blanket inside the cell. According to reports, authorities initially thought it was a case of suicide. Five years later, police’s investigation now end with an arrest for murder.

San Ignacio Police recover stolen items
A variety of computer related items have been recovered by San Ignacio Police. Peter Redekop reports that he had left for the Casino in San Ignacio Town at about 11:00 pm on Sunday of this past weekend and while there his peach in color bungalow house was burglarized. When he returned home at 4:00 am, he discovered that the door knob of his door was completely damaged. Police were informed of the burglary and immediately went to work, which has resulted in the recovery of four lap top computers and an assortment of computer peripherals worth over $5,500.00. These were found at several residences in the Cayo District and Police are now in the process of laying charges.

Hector Rangel of Benny’s Megabytes is 25th KREM Classic Champion
The 25th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic is now history. The much heralded event was held on Thursday 1 January 2015, where some 68 elite riders participated in the 96 miles event. In the Open Elite category, the first rider to cross the finish line was Hector Rangel, a Mexican who rides for the Benny’s Megabytes Cycling Team, in a time of 3:50:26 to laid claims to the 25th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic. He was then followed by David Santos of Bel-Cal Cycling Club in a time of 3:53:25, and he was followed by Ron Vasquez of Western Spirit Cycling Club in a time of 3:53:00, and he was followed by Angel Tzib of Team Smart in a time of 3:53:27 and he was followed by Giovanni Lovell of Digicell 4G Elite in a time of 3:54:00 for the top five positions. The other top positions went to John Delong who is unattached, and he completed the course in a time of 3:54:00, and he was followed by David Henderson of Team Smart, Nissan Arana of Predators, and he was followed by former champion Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes, and then by Henry Moreria of Team Smart for the tenth position.

Belize Athletics Association to hold Annual General Assembly
Belize Athletics Association will hold the 2015 Annual General Assembly at the University of the West Indies Auditorium, Princess Margaret Drive, on 31 January, 2015 at 2:00pm. There is one vacancy open for the election of a committee member for which nominations are sought. All members are required to pay their 2015 annual dues by the 27 January, 2015. Payment of dues can be made at any of the National Sports Council offices throughout Belize. All members are asked to please bring along their identification cards.

Dr. Omar Figueroa officially sworn in as Cayo North Area representative
Dr. Omar Figueroa was officially sworn in as Area Representative for the Cayo North Constituency on Monday, January 12. Accompanied by family members and close friends Hon. Dr. Figueroa took the oath of office which was administered by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young at 4p.m. on Monday. Along with him now being sworn in he was appointed by Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow as a Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister. He joins other Minister of State Hon. Santino Castillo in the PM's office. Hon. Dr. Figueroa will officially take the Oath of Office as a Member of the House of Representatives on Monday January 19 which is scheduled as the next House Meeting.

Bar President Makes Pitch to Free Agent Attorneys
Belize’s most intelligent legal minds marched through downtown Belize City on Monday, January 14, 2015 for the Opening of the Supreme Court. This year’s pageantry signaled the start of a new era for these officers of the Court. It is the first in which they are being granted the fundamental human right of Freedom of Association. Therefore, the President of the Bar Association, Eamon Courtenay, had to briefly depart from his mountain of complaints about the state of the Judiciary and make a pitch to these first time free agents. Courtenay encouraged his colleagues to stay with the Association as it continues to work tirelessly in an effort to provide continuous education and training to people of the profession and develop the judicial system of Belize. He called on them to exercise their rights and make the choice to join the Association, “voluntarily” because “There is no other body in the legal profession that will continue to do the work that will assist the judiciary, to assist the judicial arm, to assist the government and to advance reform and revisions of the law besides the Bar Association of Belize.” Attorney General Wilfred Elrington championed the amendment to the Legal Profession Act which eliminated the clause for mandatory membership to the Bar Association of Belize for local attorneys. He pointed out that the Bar seems to be doing more for the development of its members recently and pronounced that he himself might consider rejoining the Association.

Stevedores call on their president Matura-Shepherd to represent them
Stevedores have approached this newspaper in the hopes of trying to get the attention of their president for her to get up and actually represent them. Readers will recall that in mid August of 2013 there was a move to oust the then President, Antonio Gonzalez and its General Secretary, James McFoy of the Christian Workers Union (CWU). At the time there was a swirl of allegations of financial mismanagement and irregularities at the CWU where it went as far as it being kicked out of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. There were also accusations that the leadership of the union was not interested in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the Port of Belize. Amidst the entire fiasco surfaced Audrey Matura-Shepherd who somehow managed to be endosed as the president on December 13, 2013. At that time she stated "I told them that I am prepared to serve for one term, I do not believe in holding on to an office forever because you become complacent, you become so complacent; you don't become accountable. It becomes about you and not about the job." Well it appears that her words are turning prophetic against herself.

Belizeans represent our heritage at UWI
The Belizean Students’ Association of Jamaica, BelSAJ, is a group of Belizean students studying in Jamaica at the University of the West Indies, Norman Manley Law School and the University of Technology in Jamaica. These students come together to make the best of their new home away from home and become ambassadors for the Jewel by portraying the rich “Caribbeanness” and Central American heritage that makes Belize unique. Though the Association structure has been a struggle to maintain due to all members being students, the pressures of the stressful academic life and funding issues, 2014 had proved to be its comeback year and the students surely represented with a vengeance.

Bobble Head Journalist
It's amazing how local media houses and talk show hosts expose themselves as either being biased or disingenuous. Day-in day-out these pseudo intellectuals pose on their thrown where they are comfortable since they have control with absolutely no idea of topics discussed. Yet they float along like bobble head dolls pretending to know. Their head bounces from call to call trying to maintain a middle of the road stance to mask their ignorance. Not one journalist or talk show host discussing this issue have ever spoken from an informed position, as none have ever bothered to discuss while reviewing a copy of the sugar act or the draft agreement. At last week's PM press conference a certain religious media person displayed this classic case of media ignorance. The person went to the press conference where he had the golden opportunity to ask and be educated on the cane industry problems by a well informed individual- the PM. He chose not to do so, but rather to big up the Chetumal Street bridge.

Belize Central Prison packed to capacity
To close the 2014 session of the Supreme Court, Honourable Justice Troadio Gonzalez concluded with the “jail delivery” which was sealed by the testimony of Prison Officer Jarette Twist. Twist is in charge of the Processing Unit at the Belize Central Prison Department, Kolbe Foundation, and he gave a report on the prison’s population. According to Twist, as of Friday, January 9, 2015, there were 1,545 inmates at the Belize Central Prison, 44 females and 1,501 males. There are 11 tangos at the prison. In Tang 1 there are 65 inmates, 92 inmates in Tango 2, 95 inmates in Tango 3, 104 inmates in Tango 4, 137 inmates in Tango 5, 56 inmates in Tango 6, 225 inmates in Tango 7, 254 inmates in Tango 8, 129 inmates in Tango 9, 35 inmates in Tango 10 and 120 inmates in Tango 11. There are 102 inmates receiving treatment at the Ashcroft Rehabilitation Center, 44 inmates in the female section and 48 juveniles at the Wagner's Youth Facility. 172 inmates are foreigners: 36 on remand, 80 convicted and 56 presently locked up for illegal entry.

Respect for others - and children too!
Every day we come across individuals that may be older than us, most often share the same generation lineage, or even those that are younger. Who we choose to be affiliated with tells something about ourselves; however, not so much. A person's decency, it has been said, should be judged by the way he treats his subordinates. Deference towards a superior may indicate nothing other than perhaps cowardice. But when we show respect to someone socially or politically inferior to us -- now that is a person of integrity. The finest form of praise is not the compliment you offer someone -- whether sincere or not -- but the real value you attach to his or her opinion. Telling a child she is clever is not nearly as meaningful as genuinely showing interest in what she has to say. Asking your colleague for his opinion goes much further in promoting his self-worth than saying a few nice words.

A new sense of urgency for a San Ignacio Police Generator
Whenever there is an interruption in electrical power in San Ignacio, the San Ignacio Police Station also goes dark and this hinders the operations of San Igancio Police. As a result, a group of concerned citizens recently met at Hodes Place in San Ignacio Town to discuss what can be done to assist the police during such blackouts. At the same time a new measure of urgency now exists at the community level, so that San Ignacio Police can have its own standby, a 55 Kilowatt Olympian Generator now sits at Caesar’s Gift Shop and Guest House at number 62 miles on the George Price Highway, which has kindly been stored there by the owners for the last five months. This expensive Standby Generator came courtesy of the United States Embassy in Belmopan and is intended for the San Ignacio Police Station.

Southern Regions Benefits from Belize Global Fund Malaria Elimination Project
The Southern Region of the Ministry of Health added two new Mahindra pickup trucks to its fleet of vehicles. The new vehicles will assist in the Vector Control Program with a focus on the reduction and elimination of Malaria cases in the south where the disease is concentrated in a few communities. Funding for the purchase of these pickup trucks was made possible through the “Elimination of Malaria in Mesoamerica and the Island of Hispaniola” regional initiative, which Belize signed unto as a COMISCA member state. The initiative, signed in June 2013, is funded by the Global Fund which has committed an initial US$10 M over the next three years. The funding is expected to assist countries to identify gaps in their national budgets to begin the execution of an elimination strategy.

Over 300,000 Overnight Visitors for 2014
2014 was an outstanding year for the Tourism Industry in Belize. The year started with several properties in Belize earning awards in TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards. Ambergris Caye was then named the #1 Island in the World, for the second year in a row. Scuba Diving magazine outlined Belize as the “Central American paradise” who “earned a host of 2014 Top 100 Readers Choice Awards.” Delta Airlines employed additional flights through the Atlanta route to Belize, while United Airlines announced a new direct flight for Chicago-Belize, operational December, 2014, to May, 2015. Then, there was the announcement by Southwest Airlines that they would begin nonstop service to Belize, via Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport, commencing October, 2015. In October, 2014, Belize saw one million visitors into the country, including overnight and cruise arrivals, which was two months earlier than the projected time. Now, the total arrival numbers are in and the Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce that Belize has surpassed the elusive 300,000 overnight visitors mark. The total overnight visitors to Belize in 2014 were 321,220. This shows a 9.2% increase in overnight visitors, when compared to 2013.

UDP Youth Leader Honored by Her Majesty
The Public Relations Director of the Youth Popular Front, Denielle Neal, is one of 60 youths from across the globe that is being recognized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for outstanding leadership and service to peers and the community. 18-year-old Neal will travel to London, England in June to receive the inaugural Queen’s Young Leaders Award. Neal has been active in community organizations since early childhood. She says the emphasis placed on community service by her high school, Pallotti, bolstered her desire to serve. Her ascension to youth leadership dates back to 2011 at the age of 14 when she became an executive member of the Youth Enhancement Services’ (YES) fellowship group.

The Ultimate Judge visiting Belize
Officers of the Courts of Belize will have the privilege to spend some time with the ultimate Judge of Belize. Sir Dennis Byron, the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court of Belize, will arrive in the country on Thursday, January 15. Sir Dennis is coming to Belize on the invitation of the Bar Association of Belize. He will be the Keynote Speaker at the Bar’s Law Conference 2015 on Friday, January 16. According to Eamon Courtenay, President of the Bar Association of Belize, Sir Dennis will be making courtesy calls on key public officials. The Governor General, Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Leader of the Opposition and Attorney General are expected to be on the list of people visited by President Byron.

Improving access to justice is the focus of the judiciary
There are currently 17 Belizeans who have been locked up at the Belize Central Prison for more than five years and have never been convicted of a crime. It is a human rights blackeye almost comparable to Guantanamo - perhaps even worst when factoring that the people we have locked away are our own countrymen. It is an issue that predates the tenure of Honourable Kenneth Benjamin as Chief Justice, Honourable Wilfred Elrington as Attorney General and Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay as President of the Bar; and they, just like their predecessors, have registered complaints, issued challenges and made pledges to speed up the pace of justice. However, at the 2015 Opening of the Supreme Court, these distinguished gentlemen returned to report that their efforts have only resulted in marginal gains. Chief Justice Benjamin introduced a bold new measure on Monday, January 12, to motivate all players in the justice system to pick up their pace.

Public Sector Workers Trust beneficiaries prepare for legal battle against trust protectors
In 1993 when the United Democratic Party took office, it took over an administration laden with maladies enough to give skeletons mange. The economy was performing poorly; the unions were agitating for salary increases at a time when the IMF was instituting standby arrangements and the government coffers had been emptied out by an unconscionable PUP Maladministration. The then Prime Minister, Dr. Manuel Esquivel, whilst facing all these onerous conditions still managed, even at a huge political cost, to salvage the economy and brought it back from the brink of collapse. One of the things that was a point of contention back then was the issue of salary increase. After many hours at the table an agreement was reached and the government approved a raise of 7% in three installments of 3, 2 and 2% over three years. This happened in 1995. At this same time the issue of increments which had been frozen was also a sticking point. As a result of government's arrangement with the IMF there was simply no way that the frozen increments could have been paid to the deserving public servants and teachers.

These days, we spend so much time with electronics at work and even more so socially. When was the last time you and your family spent a day “unplugged,” without watching any TV, checking any emails, or staying glued to your cell phones? Perhaps, such an idea is impossible to happen. Set a goal of spending at least one day a month (if not per week) without your gadgets, and instead, enjoy the outdoors or have a board game marathon. Individual resolutions are easy to give up on, because they are all about you in a world where you’re focused on taking care of everyone else. So, moms and families, why not try making resolutions as a group this year? It can be fun, painless, and are sure to benefit your entire household. For many of us, the New Year means it’s time to take stock of our lives and fix what we don’t like. Whether it’s our diet, exercise routine or tendency to procrastinate, there is always room for improvement in the coming year. We do not only benefit from New Year’s resolutions, our children can also learn a lot about self-discipline and the value of making goals. In fact, this is perfectly in line with article 12 and 13 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: the right to freedom of expression.

Belize City primary schools basketball competition heats up
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball competition continued on Tuesday 13 January, 2015, with three games on the schedule. In the first game in the boys’ competition, St. Ignatius School defeated James Garbutt SDA School by the score of 33-11. The top scorers for St. Ignatius School were Glenford Bermudez with 11 points and Tairel Carcamo with 2 points. For James Garbutt SDA School the top scorer was Ralston Menzies with 4 points. In game two, St. Joseph School defeated St. John’s Primary School by the score of 35-2. The top scorers for St. Joseph School were Justin Williams and Daemion Garcia with 8 points each, while the top scorer for St. John’s Primary School was Levan Tillett with 2 points. In the only game played in the girls’ competition, St. Luke Methodist School defeated St. John’s Primary School by the score of 6-1. The top scorer for St. Luke Methodist School was Khia Leslie with 4 points, and the top scorer for St. John’s Primary was Taliyah Hyde with 1 point.

Belize Athletics Association to hold National Track and Field Championship
The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts once again to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. The event had to be postponed and is now set to be hosted at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on the 24 and 25 January, 2015. All athletes 16 years and older can participate in the events. Registration forms can be obtained from and returned to the BAA via email ( [email protected]) or from our Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association). Registration forms can also be obtained from and returned to the National Sports Council’s offices throughout the country. Please be advised that registration forms should be submitted no later than Wednesday 21 January, 2015; no late registrations will be accepted. Cost of registration is $5.00 per athlete.

Belize Athletics Association to hold Annual General Assembly
Belize Athletics Association will hold the 2015 Annual General Assembly at the University of the West Indies Auditorium, Princess Margaret Drive, on 31 January, 2015 at 2:00pm. There is one vacancy open for the election of a committee member for which nominations are sought. All members are required to pay their 2015 annual dues by the 27 January, 2015. Payment of dues can be made at any of the National Sports Council offices throughout Belize. All members are asked to please bring along their identification cards.

Cycling Community mourns the passing of Duncan Vernon
The cycling fraternity in Belize and Belizeans at home and abroad is mourning the passing of a great Belizean Cyclist Duncan Vernon. Duncan Vernon captured the Annual Cross Country Cycling Classic Title three times. He accomplished this great feat in 1957, 1960 and 1961. He placed second three times in 1956, when he finished behind Edward Miguel and again in 1958 when he also finished behind Edward Miguel, and again in 1965 behind John Miguel when the race went from Belize City to Orange Walk and then back to Belize City. It was in the 1960 Cross Country Classic that two winners were crowned. It was the first and only time in the history of this historic cycling event that two riders were crowned champions. The two riders that crossed the finish line together were Duncan Vernon and Johnito Majarrez. According to cycling history in Belize, the two riders officially crossed the finish line together and as a result it was pronounced a dead heat.

Workshops for writers to begin in Cayo
The first in a series of workshops for writers is scheduled to begin this Saturday, January 17th at the San Ignacio Public Library. Being brought forward by the Belize Book Industry Association BBIA, the Workshops are intended to further expand an already thriving writing community. At the first lecture, the ABCDE of Short Fiction will be presented by Dr. Virginia Hampton, who is a lecturer of English at the University of Belize. There will be further workshops on the ABCDE of Short Fiction for this year, but in March and April, Dr. Hampton wants to do more sophisticated versions, such as talking about character development, publishing and playwright writing. Her presentations on the Playwright’s Craft will further be developed at the University of Belize. “You don’t just write something and hand it in, it needs to be revised; whether it is a poem or a play or a story, and so that’s one reason for the workshop,” says Dr. Hampton.

Failing Grade
Imagine teachers in Belize entering their classrooms one morning to find them half empty. The Ministry of Education does not have any information to explain the empty classrooms but enquiries reveal that a letter had been sent to the various Managements informing them that students would be attending rallies on designated Fridays to learn more about their rights. The rallies are being organised by a group of concerned parents who have read reports showing that high repetition and drop-out rates can be largely attributed to poor teaching and school administration. The Management Authorities appear ineffective in weeding out poor teachers, the Teachers’ Union mandate is to protect teachers and so the full brunt of this institutional failure falls on parents and students. Some parents therefore decided to take matters into their own hands and hold sessions in every district to teach the students and their parents how to monitor the quality of the education they are receiving, rate their teachers and school administrations as well as report instances of inappropriate or inequitable behaviour and poor educational practices.

Patrick JonesPJ

No-case submission expected in Titan case
Attorney Godfrey Smith, Senior Counsel, is expected to make a no-case submission on behalf of his clients Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach, the Bahamian executives of Titan International Securities, after the prosecution led by Christelle Wilson closed its case today. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) accuses both men of failure to declare funds totaling US$12,300 upon leaving Belize as they tried to do in September of 2014. In December when the case was heard before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, a police officer who picked up both men from the Philip Goldson International Airport testified that the envelope he confiscated from Leach contained US$6,300 and 11 Belize dollars and was so labeled.

Leading cane farmers restate position on sugar crisis
The reports of the demise of the sugar industry in Belize and especially that of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) appear to be greatly exaggerated, in the view of at least one senior leader of the Association, although the Association was quick to distance itself today from their comments. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd maintains that the planned signing of the Commercial Agreement between multiple parties and BSI/ASR is under protest and the case for writ of mandamus to force the SICB to open the season under consultation will not be withdrawn immediately.

PUP launches education agenda
Last year the PUP used the occasion of Rt. Hon. George Price’s birthday to launch its Social Justice Agenda in which the party re-committed to the view that all should benefit from the bounty of the nation. One of the three pillars of the agenda in addition to economic/financial and governance reform is education reform – making sure not only that all of Belize’s youngest residents participate in the process of development, but are also able to contribute to it. At this morning’s launch of the party’s Education Agenda, former Minister of Education Cordel Hyde, the party’s standard bearer for Lake Independence, lamented the state of affairs that has kept Belize’s education system from developing and which, he says, contributes to the social ills that plague this young nation.

PUP marks 96th birthday of Rt. Hon. George Price
It has become an annual tradition for the People’s United Party (PUP) to honor and recognize the legacy and contribution to Belize’s development of National Hero and Father of the Nation of Belize, the Right Honourable George Price. This is usually done both on his birthday, January 15, and National Service Day, observed on the date of his death, September 19. Today’s observance at the Lord’s Ridge Cemetery featured appearances from students of three City primary schools and PUP party supporters. After prayers and wreath-laying, grandnephew of Price and PUP chairman Henry Charles Usher said that Price wanted more time to help shape modern Belize.


Caye Caulker, Belize
Caye Caulker in Belize was another location that I added to my itinerary last second, hearing about it from other travelers. The only thing I wanted to do was the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, based from San Pedro. Turns out that this place is packed with hotels though, whereas Caye Caulker has more of a backpacking vibe for it, making my decision to go there instead very easy. I stayed in the Bella’s Hostal just next to the Dirty McNasty’s, which seems to be the place-to-go for all those party hungry backpackers. I was glad I did not stay there.

An afternoon at Cahal Pech Ruins
I’ve never gotten over the fact of how even though Cahal Pech ruins are just a short walk from downtown San Ignacio, it feels very secluded. I can’t pinpoint the age I was when I first visited this Maya site but I think it must have been when I was a grade school because I can recall how huge the temples seemed and running through the arch ways with a bunch of friends who’s faces are unfortunately blurry in my memory. Last week I had the opportunity to revisit Cahal Pech and I excitedly explored every inch of the place just like I must have done when I was a kid. The truth is that since Maya sites are surrounded by nature, I find them very relaxing and hiking temples is a great way to get a nice work out. Enjoy the photo essay.

10 Astonishing Birds of Belize!
Almost 600 bird species have been identified in Belize, 20% of them winter migrants from North America. Even if you are not an ‘avid birder’, you’ll be amazed by the colorful species that you will encounter on any nature trip. The tropical forests, savannahs, numerous cayes, wetlands, and coastal plains of Belize offer a myriad of habitat to many birds. Nearly half of our nation’s land and adjacent waters are protected under forest reserves, marine reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and other protected area designation. We listed the most impressive birds found in Belize: 1. Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) 2. Keel-Billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) 3. Blue-Crowned Motmot (Motmotus motmota) 4. Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) 5. Red-footed booby (Sula sula) 6. Great Egret (Casmerodius albus) 7. Magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) 8. Jabiru Stork (Jabiru mycteria) 9. King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) 10. Yellow Head Amazon (Amazona oratrix)

15 year History of Saga Humane Society
Saga Humane Society recently celebrated it’s 15th year as a not-for-profit humane organization on Ambergris Caye. In order to know where you are going, it is often said you need to know where you have been… Although the organization was named after one of the founder’s dogs, it is an appropriate name as Saga is a seemingly endless story of a community’s tireless dedication to its animals. In March of 1999, Dr. Bronwen Eastwood, a Veterinary Surgeon, got together with six other members of the island community (Walker Marchal, Sari Frank, Eileen Jamison, Ruben Gonzalez, Ramon Nunez, & Lane Llewelyn) to form The Saga Society (also known as The Saga Humane Society or just “Saga”). On June 16th of that year, it was officially registered as a non-profit, non-governmental organization under the Laws of Belize, possibly the first of its kind in Central America, as a means to address stray animal challenges.

International Sourcesizz

Start Using Your IRA to Invest in Foreign Real Estate
So, how has your IRA been performing over the past few years? If you’re like most, you’ve probably seen minimal growth or even stagnant returns at best. At worst, your retirement account may have lost money and/or been eaten alive by broker fees. These difficult economic times have not been kind to what was once our most promising option for saving for retirement and reducing our taxable income. Surely, Americans are telling themselves, there must be a better way. Rather than relying on the standard options that have failed them in recent years, many Americans are taking control of their own retirement savings. And with the subpar performance of traditional domestic investments, many are also looking overseas at emerging real estate markets, such as the many opportunities available in Central America. Investing in offshore real estate is a far cry from the boring Option A, B, or C type investment choices most custodians offer. It’s exciting. It’s outside the box. It gives you complete freedom over your funds and your future. And it offers incredible investment potential that no traditional option could ever rival. Better yet, it’s all perfectly legal.

What Factors Leads To The Development Of Tropical Storms & Hurricanes?
I thought I would give everyone some background on what we look for in terms of environmental conditions and other factors that can lead to the development of tropical storms and hurricanes. There are generally six items (and sometimes more) that we look for in the tropical Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico that are necessary for tropical cyclone development (called tropical cyclogenesis). They are: 1. Ocean water temperatures that are at least 26 degrees Celsius or 79 degrees Fahrenheit to a depth of at least 50 meters or 150 feet. 2. Moist air at about 10,000 feet. 3. A generally unstable atmosphere. 4. An area of enhanced vorticity (spin) which can be caused by low pressure developing or from a tropical wave or tropical disturbance. 5. Weak vertical wind shear. 6. The area of interest has to be at least 5 degrees of latitude away from the equator. So, let’s look at each item a little more in depth:

FIFA and CONCACAF Introduce Club Licensing in Region
FIFA, in collaboration with CONCACAF, today held final discussions during a landmark seminar on club licensing in Miami. The main objective of the two-day event was to inform member associations about the implementation of the FIFA Club Licensing System in CONCACAF that will introduce a set of minimum criteria into national and continental competitions from 2015 and 2016, respectively. FIFA Vice-President and CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb opened the seminar by stressing the importance of club licensing for the future of football in the region: “This seminar is a continuation of everything we do for the professionalisation and the transparency of football. The member associations must be the agents of change, the catalysts for the transformation of CONCACAF.

Consolidated Water Co. Sees Significant Drop in Short Interest (CWCO
Consolidated Water Co. (NASDAQ:CWCO) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 283,423 shares, a decrease of 43.6% from the December 15th total of 502,223 shares, reports. Approximately 2.0% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 206,438 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.4 days. Separately, analysts at Zacks downgraded shares of Consolidated Water Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $13.80 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 7th.

CARICOM reveals initial results of pilot project to reduce youth violence
The Caribbean Community revealed Thursday initial results from of a pilot project to reduce youth-on-youth violence, particularly in schools. For over seven months CARICOM has conducted surveys and focus groups to grasp the experience of 520 school children in five of the 15 member-states: Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. The majority of students between the ages of 11-16 said they were victims of bullying, theft and robbery by other students. "Information from the survey revealed that violence in schools was related to gangs moving into the schools and communities (27 percent); easy access to drugs and guns (14.8 percent); lack of positive activities (13.2 percent); among other factors," CARICOM said.

CONCACAF draw lights 2018 touch paper
The road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ kicked off, officially, on Thursday evening in Miami Beach, when representatives of CONCACAF conducted a preliminary draw for the region’s qualifying competition. The event was overseen Jeffrey Webb, President of the North, Central American and Caribbean Zone, but the job of pulling balls from the pots fell to a quintet of men who have all tasted World Cup action on the field of play. Shaka Hislop, goalkeeper of the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors that made history in Germany 2006, Carlos Pavon of Honduras, Mexico favourite Pavel Pardo and former USA defender Tony Sanneh were all on stage to lend a hand. The biggest VIP, however, was Brazilian World Cup winner from 2002, Ronaldo, who did his part to help decide the fate of some of the smallest fish in the footballing pond.

How Do Sea Turtles Find the Exact Beach Where They Were Born?
The marine reptiles use Earth's magnetic field as a guide back home, new study says. For loggerhead sea turtles, home is where your (magnetic) heart is. After hatching on beaches around the world, these huge marine reptiles undertake multiyear, epic migrations at sea. Then, the turtles return to the exact spot where they were born to mate and lay their own eggs. Scientists have long known that the turtles, like many animals, navigate at sea by sensing the invisible lines of the magnetic field, similar to how sailors use latitude and longitude. But they didn't know how the turtles were able to return to the very spot where they were born.

Ignacio Volunteers serve abroad over break
While most were sleeping in, lounging around and enjoying winter break, 22 students gave up those few weeks to serve as teachers in Jamaica and Belize. The two groups of Ignacio Volunteers spent their fall semester raising money and preparing for the trips. Allison Rogers, political science senior and group leader at the Belize Christmas Camp, said that this included weekly meetings to educate the volunteers about the Mayan culture and lifestyle. They were also required to participate in a day of service with children from local schools along with an overnight retreat. Students who volunteered in Belize were teaching at a camp located in Mayan villages in Southern Belize. They taught the children of the village math, English and arts and crafts, in addition to playing sports like soccer and volleyball.

Bain warned of likely implications of participating in Belizean case
PROFESSOR Brendan Bain yesterday admitted that four human rights advocates had warned him about the likely implications of him giving his expert witness in a Belizean court. Under cross-examination from Queen's Counsel Hugh Small yesterday, Prof Bain recalled that he was approached by Dr Ernest Massiah, director of UNAIDS for the Caribbean; Ian McKnight, former executive director of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition; Dr John Walters; and Dr Peter Figueroa, a well-known epidemiologist and HIV/AIDS researcher. The doctor admitted that Dr Massiah was the fourth person that had cautioned him about the likely consequence of the report that he was to tender in Belize. Prof Bain said that Dr Massiah told him that it would be dangerous for him to participate in the case.

Baseball team serves and scores during Belize service trip
Of all the ways students can spend winter break, several members of the Loyola baseball team chose to spend their holidays volunteering in Belize. Seven members of the baseball team embarked on a nine-day trip to Belize to hold a baseball camp for Mayan children. The players served in the small, Mayan village of San Jose from Dec. 27 to Jan. 5. The villagers of San Jose live without any electricity or running water. While the players were there, they stayed in a community center and slept on mats on the floor. Doug Faust, head baseball coach, said that not only was the trip an opportunity for the team to teach others, but also a chance for them to learn. “The trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only see and spend time in a Mayan village, it allows them to truly make a difference in the lives of the children they work with,” Faust said.


Belize Permit, 3min. I went to Belize for a yoga retreat and was lucky enough to catch a permit of a lifetime!
Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, Belize City, Belize, min.
nouvelle espèce de tarentule, Belize, .5min.
Global Degree visit Belize and Honduras | Season 1, Episode 1, 6.5min. Global Degree set off on their epic round-the-world journey, starting with Belize and Honduras. Highlights include an impromptu rap about Utila, one of the coolest places in all of Honduras; running around the Mayan ruins in Copan; and of course some truly awesome hostels.
Bullet Tree River Belize, .5min. Short clip with a Waterproof Panasonic Lumix in the river @ Bullet Tree Village behind Mahogany Hall Resort, Cayo Belize, during the summer time when its really hot in Belize.
Cross Catholic Outreach Vision Trip - Belize Nov. 2015, 10min.
Fly Fishing Belize 2013, 50min. This is a great video, 50 minutes and good production values and entertaining!. 5 Friends just having fun on their vacation on the beautiful island of Caye Caulker in Belize
Ross Kemp au coeur des gangs Belize, 43min. Entre le Mexique et le Guatemala, se trouve Belize, un petit pays anglophone de plus de 318 000 habitants. Depuis la fin des années 1980, il est devenu un point de transit majeur pour le trafic de cocaïne entre la Colombie et les Etats-Unis, et donc l'un des endroits les plus dangereux du monde. Ross part à la rencontre d'anciens membres de gangs de Belize City et fait également équipe avec la police pour voir comment se déroulent leurs raids.
2014 Bowen Vacay Roatan, Belize,Cozumel,Costa Maya, 10min.
2014.11 - Caye Caulker, Belize, 10min.
San Pedro Belize Aug. 2014, 11min.
Soldiers learn to fight in merciless jungle of Belize, 2min. 40 selected officers and non-commissioned officers of the marine Corps and the Airmobile Brigade to follow in november and december 2013.

Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
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