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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

Cycling excitement at the 9th of March Beach Cruiser Race
First to race was the Under-14 participants. Over 10 young boys signed up for this free event, which only entailed one lap, but even so, some could just not make the full journey and called it quits half way through. In the end, Alfredo Deandre Gonzalez edged out the competition, taking the first place trophy and prizes. Second place went to Vincent Dawson, while third place went to Dickson. The young athletes did so well that organizers decided to give a tiny token of appreciation to all of them. The junior category required that cyclist race two full laps. 10 athletes participated in this category, but once again, not all completed the race. Jordan Santos blazed through the rest of the competitors and claimed the first place. In a last sprint for the finish line, Kian Ancona managed to take the second place, leaving Byron Lara behind with third place.

BTL Cobb's arm takes the 2015 La Ruta Maya River Challenge
The winner of the 2015 annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge is BTL Cobb's Arm. Consisting of Roy Cano, Eric Cano and Clayton Cabb of Santa Familia Village, Cayo district, the team of three was the first to pass the finish line on Monday March 9th, the last day of the four-day challenge. From the 57 teams that participated, BTL Cobb's arm clocked in at 17:35:27 in the 180 mile race that started from the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio, Cayo and ended at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. Michael Searle, Andres Cabb and Alex Lisbey of Sea Sports Belize on board "Watt A Ting" placed 12th overall and first in the Masters' category with a clocking time of 19:52:03. Their long time rivals, the Grumpy Old Men consisting of Jerry Wilken, Stanley Bailey and Joe Segura finished in second place with a clocking time of 20:39:51. In the Pleasure Division, The Print Belize/Wrobel team consisting of Leroy Romero, Rudolph Gentle and Jason finished first in a clocking time of 19:34:13. The Belize Defense Force team of "Weh Dem DeH," finished second in an overall time of 19:41:28. The Police Crime Fighters, with Tyrell Talbert, Carlos Linares and Armin Lopez Jr., took third place with an overall time of 20:42:05.

San Pedro sailors top 87th Baron Bliss Regatta
San Pedro Optimist sailors took five of the top 10 places in the final standings of the 87th Annual Baron Bliss Regatta held at the Belize City Harbor on Saturday, March 7th and Sunday, March 8th. The regatta saw the participation of sailors from San Pedro Racers (SPR), Belize Sea Scouts (BSS), Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC), San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), Placencia Sailing Club (PSC), Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC) and Caye Caulker Sailing Club (CCSC). The Optimist race was divided into two categories: the green fleet for the beginners and white fleet for the advanced sailors. SPR's 13-year-old Kevin Velasquez won the championship for the Optimist White fleet, placing 1st with a final score of 8pts. 12-year-old Trent Hardwick of BSS was 2nd with 16pts, while 14-year-old Antonio Ricardez Jr from the BCSC took 3rd place. SPJSC's 14-year-old Blanca Velasquez, who was voted Best Sailor of 2014, was 4th with 28 pts. In 5th was SPR's 13-year-old Mitchell Sersland. 11-year-old Peter Joo from PSC was 6th with 39pts, SPR's 10-year-old Caroline Sersland was 7th with 42pts, CCSC's 13-year-old Ronaldo Bo was 8th with 43pts, SPR's 13-year-old Christian Lopez was 9th with 45pts, and BCSC's 13-year-old Nashira Ricardez was 10th with 50pts.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Bids Farewell to Mrs. Celia Fe Trejo
There is a sense of sadness with any farewell, but in saying adios to Chichi Fe, there is a sense of happiness as we celebrate the life of a wonderful person. The island community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, says goodbye to a beautiful person who was fair with everyone and did only the righteous. Adieu to a loving mom, a humble provider who made sure her children had a good upbringing and a fine education. Bye to an admirable wife who stood faithfully to her companion at a time when chauvinism kept women in the home and home alone. We celebrate a jovial woman who never complained but rather faced life with positivity and optimism. In her humble life, Chichi Fe found time to have fun dancing and even playing carnaval.

Underwater Submersible Runs Aground on Reef Off Ambergris Caye
The origin of the apparatus is not known by island officials, but they indicate that it is obvious that it has been drifting out at sea for a long time since a lot of barnacles have settled on almost all its surfaces. "It was not used here in Belize," commented Hol Chan Marine Reserve Personnel. "It just drifted here and ended on the reef. It has not been removed from the reef yet. We were out there this morning and the sea was too rough to attempt taking it out. A preliminary assessment has been conducted on the reef but this was also hampered by rough seas."

San Pedro Police Conduct Sweep of Island Town, 10 Charged for Firearm Offences
It was unfortunate that it took a series of murders and assaults early in the year for island officials in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, to take more action and reach out to the community who has been crying for more trust and assistance from the Police Department. The good news is that the San Pedro Police Department has put into action a few operations that will kick start their energies into fighting crime on the island. Just last week, on the wake of the tragic death of a two-year-old boy, an intense sweep of the island took place which produced positive results in multiple arrests for criminal offenses ranging from drug trafficking and firearm possession to attempted murder.

Aldo and Patricia Marin Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary
Aldo Marin Jr. offered the welcome to the invited guests and expressed his admiration to his wonderful parents. The honor of the main toast was bestowed on Dr. Giovanni Solorzano who also thanked the Marin's for being among the first ones to welcome him into their homes. Giovanni expressed his admiration for this couple and congratulated his large family for being very united and supportive of their parents. In a very symbolic act their 25 grandchildren and one great granddaughter presented roses of love to Aldo and Paty who sowed this garden of love on February 28, 1965. Giovanni Marin offered the vote of thanks, reminisced on the great times all his brothers and sisters had with their parents and the fond memories of their small wooden home which to them seemed a palace. And yes in the end Giovanni broke down as he could not contain his emotions of love and respect for their loving parents.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Passing of Mrs. Celia Henkis
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Henkis family on the passing of Mrs. Celia Henkis. May her soul rest in peace.

Belizean CARICOM Single Market spokespersons ready to show the way
Nineteen Belizeans from the government, education and private sectors were formally launched as spokespersons for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in Belize on February 25 after a two-day intensive training workshop. As spokespersons they join the regional network of CSME spokespersons being trained and launched across the region, and are now on call to give media interviews, talks and presentations on the Single Market. The spokespersons network is coordinated by the ministry of trade, investment, promotion, private sector development and consumer protection in Belize and is one of two outreach mechanisms now developed by the ministry to promote rights and access points for the Single Market. The other is AccessCSME, the Workplace Edition - a CSM presentation that can be booked with the trade ministry's focal point team and delivered in the workplace. Spokespersons training took place in Belize City from February 24 to 25 and included refresher lectures on the five regimes that give Belizeans the legally guaranteed right to work, travel and do business in 12 other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries.

Belize has a reputation for caring and guarding over our remaining jaguar populations. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is known internationally as a refuge for the mighty Jaguar. The Central Belize Corridor, a swath of land which connects the forests of our northern regions, to those forests further south, is credited for providing a "jungle highway" for roaming jaguars. However, there is a bleak side to the jaguar world in our country. Too often, a Jaguar will be killed, and have its canine teeth extracted. Why? There are people in Belize who will turn the teeth into a piece of jewelry. An endangered animal dies, and a few dollars exchanges hands. Recently, a jaguar cub, less than three months old, was brought to the Zoo. Where's Mom? Most likely she was killed. Why? Very likely for the sad reason outlined above. This ugly situation, unfortunately, happens more often than just a casual "now and again". Come on, Belize! It's time to walk the walk! If we are a nation promoting "Jaguars Forever", then we must gear our profile and our actions to fully support our stand. The cub pictured here is newly-acquired "Hero". The Belize Zoo will see that "Hero" stands as a symbol to all about this unfortunate and cruel AND needless activity. People who come to The Belize Zoo wearing a Jaguar canine necklace are NOT allowed entry. The Zoo has developed and distributed posters t spread awareness about the problem countrywide. However, what Belize needs is stronger efforts and more voices aimed at seeing that this illegal activity ceases completely. If Belize is to be taken seriously in its stewardship profile over the greatest cat in the Americas, then a change MUST happen. Tune in to Open Your Eyes on Great Belize Television tomorrow morning at 7:30am to learn more and learn how YOU can help!!

Sneak peak of Oceana Belize's Science Symposium today
udos to the more than 200 attendees that came out to learn more about turtles, coral, sharks and ecosystem goods and services...and how we all depend on them every day. Celebrate our heritage. Protect our future.

Local Government Orientation
Newly elected Councilor Hector "Tito" Alamilla and Newly elected Deputy Mayor Gary Greif join two term Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Town Administrator Patricia Tillett at Ministry of Local Government Orientation in Belize City.

Mrs. Vilma Romero to be Honored
We look forward to honouring a Belizean icon Mrs. Vilma Romero tonight as we launch the 6th Annual Arte con Voz de Mujer Exhibit. Vilma's sculptures are on permanent display in public spaces throughout the country. Please join us as we showcase some of Vilma's creations, as well as works from nine talented female artists of Corozal. Ceremony begins at 7pm.

Replace Rush Hour With Naps and Fresh Coconuts
An accountant and project manager from Calgary, Canada, Kenneth first visited Belize in 2010. He was first drawn by Belize's natural beauty. The country is a haven for those seeking tranquility and nature, a place where breezes make for natural air conditioning, and you're lulled to sleep by waves lapping on the shore after a day of scuba diving and learning to husk coconuts. Kenneth was immediately smitten and began researching retirement there. As he did, he realized there was much more to attract expats to Belize than just pretty scenery. While winters are mild and tropical in Belize and not biting cold like in Calgary for Kenneth, that's not the biggest difference: "The lifestyle of Calgary is a fast-paced urban life. In Belize, there is no rush hour." Other North Americans are also discovering Belize. "Because of the warm climate (about 82 F to 90 F year-round) and the favorable immigration laws (the Qualified Retirement Program), Belize has become a top snowbird retirement destination," says Kenneth.

Oceana Reef Week Open Day
Oceana is having their Reef Week Open Day today in Belmopan. Be sure to stop by and show your support, and learn something new too.

Smart, one of the largest telecommunication companies in Belize has appointed Mistah Geeh as one of their ambassadors to promote its products and services to the Belizean populace via his music. Just last month The Mad Arab as he is also known was voted as one of the top Belizean DJ's on a Belize Hub poll. "SMART made a smart move to appoint Mistah Geeh as one of their ambassadors," a fan of Mistah Geeh told Belize Hub. In a phone interview this morning, Mistah Geeh told us that many of his fans are customers of SMART and now that he is an ambassador for them, he will be promoting SMART at concerts and musical events throughout the country of Belize. Mistah Geeh has been mixing music for the past 10 years and is considered of the top DJ's in Belize and the Caribbean.

Channel 7

Julius Calls John a Liar
Tonight, the meltdown in the PUP continues in the wake of the disclosure of John Briceno's scathing allegations corruption and criminality within the PUP Administration in which he was Deputy Prime Minister. Now, the Prime Minister who Briceno served under is Said Musa and he told us yesterday that the allegations made by Briceno are false. And now one more PUP leader has said that Briceno is lying. Last night PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat posted this on his Facebook page: quote, "John Briceno lied about me in his campaign to be leader again (in his recording)." Now, to understand what exactly Espat is referring to, we have to go back to the recording - to the part where Briceno talks about Espat - and alleges that he hoarded campaign funds. Here's what Briceno told the trusted PUP supporter in Orange Walk East who was secretly recording his conversation:.. Hon. John Briceno, Area Representative - Orange Walk Central "We still could have won but they are not thinking strategically�looking where they should. They gave all the money to Julius supposedly Julius should have delivered."

Bad Wiring Caused House To Burn Down
Tonight, a mother and her two daughters are unable to sleep at home in their Belize City house because a fire damaged it. Single mother Deniesia (Denise -ia) Tillett had just recently put built the house, which she was renting out. This morning, she left for work as she does every day, and her daughters, aged 12 and 4, went to school. She didn't expect to receive a call midmorning that there was a fire in her yard. 7News arrived on the scene shortly after the firefighters put out the flames, and Daniel Ortiz has this report: Daniel Ortiz reporting After the fire was extinguished, fire investigators observed the rubble, asking questions of homeowner Deneisia Tillett and her friend. They were trying to piece together what started the blaze which destroyed part of the house and significantly damaged the main structure.

BSI Factory Manager John Gillett Quits
John Gillett is well known as the factory manager at the BSI Tower Hill Factory - but credible reports tonight tell us that he is no longer there, and that he has abruptly resigned. This comes after he and another senior staffer, Jamil Matar were placed on administrative leave yesterday until further notice. That may seem pretty stern for two staffers who have been at BSI a combined total of over 70 years, but, the decision came down from a pair of ASR managers who were brought in to conduct an investigation into the yearly sale of scrap metals. Apparently, a costly transformer - which was not scrap - went missing during this period - and Gillett and Matar are being blamed for it. Now, we stress, they are not being accused of taking or doing anything with the transformer; but they are being held responsible because they were in charge of securing it.

Department Of Environment May Have To Cut Up Fancy French Sailboat
The 40 foot French sailboat known as the "Termaji," is still stuck on the reef in front of Caye Caulker. It has been there 10 weeks, since December 30th - and every effort to move it has failed. That's because the Termaji has a heavy steel hull - and none of the tugs in Belize have been able to haul it off the reef. The news tonight is that the Department of the Environment is now applying to the court for permission to cut the grounded vessel up into many smaller parts and haul them away. That's the only way to solve a problem that's getting worse everyday. "Worse" because the Termaji is continuing to damage the reef as the waves rock it back and forth: it has moved at least 30 feet along the reef crest since it crashed on December 30th. And the really bad part of that it that the department of Environment can only hold the owner liable for the initial damage, not what has happened subsequently.

Woman Accused of Stabbing Two Girls
33 year-old Nathalie Nicole Cadle, a resident of Iguana Street Extension, stands charged tonight of an almost unthinkable crime: attacking two defenseless young girls: one 13, the other only 3. It happened on Monday at around 3:45 p.m. in Belize City. Police heard a commotion in front of the Civic Center compound, near the Belcan Bridge on Central American Boulevard. They found a toddler suffering with a stab wound to upper right side of her ribcage. They also detained Cadle who had a screw driver in hand; she is accused of stabbing the child with that tool. The child was then rushed to the KHMH where she was treated for her injury.

Kim And The Kids At KHMH
34 plus babies will benefit from the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. It's not finished yet but, today, the Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow took the media on a tour to see the progress so far. We learned that it's more than just a treatment facility. Director of Medical Services Dr. Lisa Johnson explained why they included the family centered element in the design. Here's the story. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This might look like an abandoned building with these pale walls and construction materials splayed across the floor. But it's not. Work is very much in progress at the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. In here is where the isolation rooms will be for critical cases. While in here will be the Neonatal area.

John Noh Dead
On Sunday, Jose Sanchez's social media news site posted a story that John Zabaneh had passed away. Well, he didn't - and the story was taken down - but today Zabaneh called us to complain about the distress that the bogus report caused him. He says that the report reached his 87 year old mother in Dangriga first - and, quote, "it nearly killed her." Zabaneh says he was in Placencia buying ice cream with his kids when he started to get calls - friends trying to find out if it was true. Zabaneh says those calls persist until today - and he just wanted to tell us, that he's alive and well and, basically, that, in the words of Mark Twain, the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated'"

Judge: Chrisdale Laughed When He Robbed Two Girls
19 year-old Chrisdale Courtney is spending the first night of a 6-year sentence after he was found guilty in Magistrate's Court of robbing 2 young women in a snatch and grab which escalated to a chokehold of one of the victims. The women, who are sisters, reported to police that on June 14, 2014, they were on Vernon Street, near to Berger Field. That's when Courtney rode up on bike and tried to rob them of their belongings. When the women resisted, Courtney then grabbed the older sister around the neck and choked her. Fearing for her life, she handed over money, and her cellular phone, but Courtney didn't release her, and using threats, he continued to choke the woman until her younger sister handed over her phone and the money she had on her.

Women Artists In Shadows?
20 Belizean women will be featured in the Women in Art exhibit which opens tonight. The theme for this year's exhibit is "Shadows" - which, seems to say a lot about the world women are often relegated to. But, one of the organizers of the event said the theme aims to do the opposite - which is to encourage women to challenge the status quo with art. Shari Williams, Communications Officer - NICH "What Rachel was sharing with us was that she wanted to encourage more artist to move away from just the paint on canvas kind of field, but to really encourage them to do that 3 dimensional type of art. So, the theme really incorporates a 3 dimensional field to art. Besides the art on the wall and the female painters, we are also celebrating the women who are vocalist and singers and take part in drama and all the rest of it. So to open the exhibit this evening, we are going to have a performance showcase, which will be featuring some 15 women or so. So the opening is usually a grand event and then we have the exhibits on the wall for the rest of the month.

CCJ Tells BNE To Pay Arbitral Award
Last week Friday, the Caribbean Court of Justice handed down a judgment from Belize, ordering Belize Natural Energy to pay Maranco Oil Company 422 thousand, 138 dollars which had been awarded to the oil company through arbitration. This lawsuit turned on the premise that all arbitration awards are final. This legal dispute dates all the way back to May 1, 2008 when BNE and Maranco entered into 2 separate onshore oil-drilling contracts. They were to have lasted for one year, but a business dispute emerged in which Maranco claimed that BNE owed them after refusing to pay on time. BNE disputed Maranco's claim and so the commercial dispute landed ended up at arbitration. They both appointed arbitrators, and an umpire was retained so that both sides could make their case, at the end of that process, the impartial umpire decided that BNE owed Maranco 2.4 million dollars. That became the enforceable by Justice Oswell Legall, but the when it came to cost, through arbitration, BNE was ordered to pay Maranco additional litigation cost of that 422 plus thousand dollars.

Help For Battered Hummingbird Highway
The Hummingbird will be rehabilitated. A loan has been approved for rehabilitation works. The contract was signed yesterday and the Minister of Works explained:.. The Consultancy Services agreement is being signed for the amount of 7.6 million dollars.

He Home Invaded Central Bank Governor's House
22 year-old Kevin Crawford is on remanded tonight awaiting sentencing after he was convicted today before Chief Magistrate of invading the home of the Governor of the Central Bank in broad daylight and robbing the place while the maid was on duty. Crawford, a 6th form student, stood tried before Chief Magistrate Smith, in which the maid testified that on October 9, 2012, she was at the house of her boss, Glen Ysaguirre, when someone rang the doorbell. She went to answer, and that's when she saw a young man at the door who claimed that he had some documents belonging to Ysaguirre. The maid claims that it was at this point that the young man ambushed her, and forced his way into the house. He managed to overpower her, and he then tied her up in one of the rooms upstairs.

San Pedro Sweep
Last night, we told you about the police sweep in San Pedro in which an entire family was busted with a gun. Well, that was just part of a wider operation which went for 5 days from last week Friday, all the way up until Tuesday. Among many other arrests, police conducted a search at the residence of 30 year-old Alex Salazar of the DFC Area. Police found almost one kilo of marijuana, 993.3 grams - or 2.18 pounds. He was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. On Tuesday night, just before 11 o'clock, a team of officers searched the residence of 23 year-old Marlon Chanek. He was present at the time with a 17 year-old male minor when the officers found 2 zip lock plastic bags and a black plastic bag all containing, 2.8 kilos - or 6.1 pounds - of marijuana. They were both arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

Channel 5

Political War Waged on Facebook
Turning to political news�.Following an executive meeting and four hour political post-mortem examination on Wednesday, the P.U.P. appeared focused on the road ahead which will lead inevitably to very difficult [...]

Espat Incensed Over Brice�o Accusation
As we also mentioned on Wednesday, during the meeting at Independence Hall Espat demanded a public apology from Brice�o and called for his head. Neither the apology nor the requested [...]

Fire Leaves Single Mother & Children Homeless
A fire in the city has left a young single mother and her two children without a roof over their heads. Deniesia Tillett left home at seven this morning heading [...]

San Pedro Family Remanded
In response to a flare-up of violence in San Pedro which Police believe is directly connected to drug rivals warring, special units have descended on the tourism mecca. One early [...]

Major Shakeup at B.S.I.
There are significant developments coming out of B.S.I. tonight where it is reported that longtime factory manager John Gillett tendered his resignation today.� News Five understands that another senior employee [...]

San Pedro Police Crackdown
As we told you earlier, there is a major crackdown underway in San Pedro Town, necessitated by violent crime which even resulted in the brutal murder of a two year [...]

Residents Allege Police Brutality
Diego Wade is another San Pedro resident who says he barely survived a meeting with the infamous Gang Suppression Unit earlier this week, and at one point thought they would [...]

Deep Sea Drone Discovered off San Pedro
We've reported the story about a boat that has run aground just outside of Caye Caulker and it still hasn't been removed from the reef. Well, on Wednesday afternoon, the [...]

New Director for the Family Court
The Belize Family Court has a new Director. Today, Magistrate Dale Cayetano was appointed to the position by the Judicial Legal Service Commission, two years after it has been with [...]

Guilty of Aggravated Burglary
Kevin Crawford was found guilty of Aggravated Burglary when he appeared in court today to answer to charges in connection with a burglary at the home of Glen Ysaguirre on [...]

Police Conduct Anti-Drug Operations
Police Special Units have been conducting countrywide operations targeting drugs, and it is meeting with very significant success. On Tuesday morning, a joint Special Branch, K-nine and Belmopan Team conducted [...]

US State Department Releases Crime Report
The spike in violent crimes across Belize in 2014 has prompted the U.S. State Department to release a revised crime and safety report which points out that the country has [...]

International Women's Month Celebrated
Across the world, International Women's Month was celebrated on March eight. Here at home, we continue the month long observance with the Women's Department promoting several events including medical clinics, [...]

A Closer Look at Kidneys
The Kidney Association of Belize, since its inception, has been building awareness to the benefits of getting tested and knowing your status. In light of World Kidney Day, which is [...]

Kidney Association Facing Challenges
There have been an increasing number of patients with chronic renal failure in Belize and the association is looking for support from both the private and public sectors to address [...]

A Tour of an Incomplete Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Work is ongoing at a new wing for pediatric care at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital.� The tragic death of thirteen neonatals who succumbed to an infection known as enterobacter [...]

F.F.B. Hosts Guatemala in Friendly Match
The Football Federation of Belize is hosting a premier league team from Guatemala in a friendly match tonight at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. That game will be aired [...]

Belize to Participate in International Art Competition
An international art competition has been ongoing for quite some time now and different regions have been asked to participate in a wide range of artistic challenges. From video competitions [...]

Healthy Living: Dr. Cuellar Discusses the Kidney
World Kidney Day is commemorated every second Thursday in March. It is a time for healthcare professionals worldwide to educate the public on the vital importance of these bean shaped [...]


O/W Rotaract Observes International Rotaract Week
The members of the Orange Walk Rotaract Club are holding a week of activities to observe International Rotaract Week. Today we caught up with the team at La Inmaculada where they were promoting maternal and child health care with the toddlers at the preschool at that institution. Jinell Azaeta- Vice President, OW Rotaract Club "We came to talk about nutrition to the kids and then play games with them and give them a banana and some orange juice but yesterday we were promoting disease prevention and treatment so we had our zumba party at the park and we had two sessions from 5:30 to 6:30 and then in the evening from 6 to 7. We are celebrating our World Rotaract week which started on Monday and it ends on Sunday, tomorrow is world Rotaract day so we are very excited about that and we will be at Solomon Pre-school little heaven and promoting literacy and on Saturday we will be having our Rotaract fair at the Central Park and we will be out there from 6 to 2 and we will be providing free glucose testing for anyone who wants to come out and check their glucose level and we will be having that from 6 until 10 in the morning and we will be having doctors out there for free consultation."

Corozal Observes Reef Week At Art In The Park
March 9th to 15th is being celebrated as Reef Week. Much can be said about the beauty of Belize's barrier reef, from breath-taking views and splendour, to its wondrous and colourful species! It is for this reason Oceana Belize is once again highlighting and celebrating this week by creating activities to draw public awareness to one of our greatest natural wonders and the world's second largest coral reef system. And while each district has its fair share of events, in Corozal, reef lovers are currently making the finishing touches to their park presentation slated for Saturday. Judy Waight is the Field Coordinator for Oceana in Corozal Town. JUDY WAIGHT - Czl Field Coordinator, OCEANA "We will be having a booth at Art in the Park on Saturday and we are bringing awareness to the importance of our Barrier Reef and this years' theme is celebrate our heritage and protect our future, Believe in the Reef and we know that Corozal is a coastal community and in regards to that we know that tourism is our number one industry and one in every four Belizean is employed in the tourism industry being it tour guide, fisherman so we wanted to bring awareness and also to celebrate our barrier reef."

OWTC Reminds Residence Of Fine If Caught Littering At Central Park
Civic minded residents of Orange Walk have been voicing their discontent via social media about the littering acts that is being seen across Town. The latest looted areas have been the newly inaugurated Central Park where toiletries, food and drink containers are left on the benches. While there are no garbage bins implemented for the park, authorities at Town Council have confirmed that they will be installing the garbage bins by early next week. The public is reminded that if caught littering, you can face a fine of up to 500 dollars and so it is recommended that we all do our part to keep our municipality clean.

La Inmaculada Pre-School Observes Child Stimulation Months
Child stimulation month has been observed throughout the country since the beginning of March and children still have about two fun packed weeks of activities left to enjoy. All preschools have organized a series of such activities all in an effort to encourage more active learning and have parents and guardians more involved in their learning process. Today, while at the La Inmaculada Infant Division, we spoke with Agnes Valladarez on the school's program for the month. Today the children were receiving visits from a number of community workers. Agnes Valladarez - Teacher "Today we are doing community workers because it is something important for them to know and we started this morning with the Rotaract group they are part of the community and they work with children, they work with people and they came to school today and we have the Traffic Officers and the Nurse and the Firefighters and the policemen who were also invited to come and talk to the children."

Two High Post Employees Of BSI/ASR Placed On Administrative Leave
Two employees who hold high positions at BSI/ASR have been placed on Administrative Leave effective yesterday afternoon. We understand that a few days ago ASR brought in someone from abroad to investigate the matter of a missing transformer worth some $70,000. After the investigation was complete the company brought in a regional recourses manager and that person placed John Gillette, Factory Manager and Jamil Matar, Engineering Manager on Administrative Leave until further notice. Unconfirmed reports are that John Gillette, who has been with the company for more than 40 years did not take the administrative leave too lightly and tendered his resignation this morning. He was due for retirement in September. We understand though he may have gotten a contract pass his retirement. Matar on the other hand has not taken any action and reports are that the will see through his suspension.

Missing Person Found To Be In Good Health
Yesterday we told you about a missing teen who left home last week Thursday following an argument with her guardians over a cell phone. And after the news aired of her mother pleading for her safe return, this morning we spoke to the mother of Angelie Guerrero who informed us that she was found in good health. According to the mother, she was staying with an aunt in Corozal and after hearing the news, turned herself in to the authorities in Corozal. We also told you about a missing person report of 55 year old Reynaldo Chuck who was last seen in the Honey Camp area near the Fresh Water Creek Forest Reserve. Up to news time, authorities say he is still missing but the search continues. Reynaldo Chuck is of clear complexion, 5' 1" in height, black hair, brown eyes and has a mustache. He was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, grey pants and a pair of black rubber boots.

Police Continues To Crack Down On Illicit Drugs
Despite the peddler's creative ways in concealing their precious illicit drugs, the police in Placencia village, Stann Creek District, continue to crack down on drug peddlers on the Peninsula. Their latest operation on Wednesday morning, conducted jointly by Special Branch, K9 Unit, the BDF and Placencia police, resulted in the discovery of 377 grams of marijuana and the arrest of two persons. Based on a tip, 23 year old Randy Chan and 38 year old Barrington Martin have been jointly charged for the crime of drug trafficking. Chan pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $1,000 plus $5 cost of court. The charge was withdrawn from Martin.


Mayor Bradley Response to Media on Councilor’s Accident
On March 2, reports reached us that City Councilor Alifa Elrington-Hyde got into an accident while driving the vehicle assigned to Mayor Darrell Bradley. The vehicle was extensively damaged. We made numerous attempts to speak to the Mayor about the incident however we were unable to. Today however when we caught up with him at the local government workshop we asked him about the incident. "Well this would have been some time ago I think it was the week before elections and the accident occurred at about 11 something in the morning she had flipped and she was driving my vehicle which is nothing unusual the vehicle is assigned to my office but routinely councilors when they are on council business will be using the vehicle the deputy mayor for example uses that vehicle often times when he goes to mayor's association meetings which are once a month.

Early Morning Fire Leaves Mother of Two Homeless
A bungalow wooden structure that was home to a mother and her two daughters caught on fire this morning in the Lake Independence area. The flames were noted just before eleven o'clock by neighbours but despite the quick response by the Belize Fire Service, the wooden structure was burnt to the ground. 25-year-old, Deniesia Tillett is the home owner. She works at Travellers Limited on the Philip Goldson Highway and was called out of work and informed of the situation. DENIESIA TILLETT "I didn't get to save anything, everything that I owned was in there. Anything. Only me and my two daughters lived in there. All of the things I worked hard for is gone. I don't know where I will stay. This is the first time something like this has ever happened to me. I am still in shock. This is where I call home." Preliminary investigations into this morning's fire have been conducted. Love News spoke to Oren Smith, Public Relations Officer for the National Fire Service, who told us what they believe, led to the fire.

Re-Elected Mayor Speaks on City Infrastructure Works
In his first term in office, Mayor Darrell Bradley focused his attention on cementing of streets. Today we caught up with Bradley and asked him if there will be a shift in his focus during his second term in office. "Well I think we are going to concentrate on a lot of infrastructure. We have always tried to promote economic development for Belize to have a comprehensive policy particularly in terms of urban planning and strategic development so you are going to see a lot of emphasis being placed on working with our partners for example earlier this week I had a meeting with the BTB with NICH and several other stakeholders who are really lead agencies in the downtown rejuvenation project that is going to see renovations to the house of culture and renovations to the commercial center so that you are going to have significant infrastructure spending. We are seeing the completion of the Lake Independence Boulevard, the entire area will be zoned you are going to see construction taking place very shortly with the National Bank...

US Discourages Its Citizens to Travel to Belize
The Overseas Security Advisory Council of the United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security has issued a warning to its nationals against travelling to Belize. According to the online report, Belize's crime threat is very high with the majority being burglaries and thefts. The report goes on to say that corruption, human smuggling/trafficking, the drug trade, money laundering, and organized gang activity remain significant problems. US nationals are advised to avoid south side Belize City. The reports goes on to remind the would be tourists to Belize on how many foreigners have been murder recently including the charge d'affaires at the Panamanian Embassy, Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa, and Lynn Nichiporowich who was stabbed to death in Corozal. As for the Belize Police Department, the report describes it as understaffed and poorly equipped with investigations being slow and deficient. The report also speaks of Belize's road conditions describing them as generally poor. Several reports have been published warning US Citizens against traveling to Belize, so what is being stated in the report is nothing new. How it affects tourism, if it does at all, is uncertain.

Sugar Cane Harvesting and Production Going Well
The Sugar cane crop is in its seventh week and so far for week 6, the over five thousand cane farmers have managed to deliver more than three hundred thousand tons of cane. Last week alone they delivered more than fifty thousand tons enabling the factory to mill close to seven thousand tons of sugar. So far for the season, the factory has produced a little over thirty six thousand tons, five thousand tons more when compared to this time around last year. The average ton cane per ton sugar stands at 8.52 compared to the 10.02 of last year. BSI reminds farmers to harvest cane at peak maturity and avoid cutting over matured or under matured cane.

Special Envoy Updates Media on Children’s Hospital Unit
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow took the media houses on a tour of the progress of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) being housed as an extension to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. The construction is underway with a deadline for June 2015 and was designed by woman architect, Esther Ramirez. Simplis-Barrow spoke on the sections that the facility will be housing upon completions. "The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is really for our children to have a space where they can get medical attention however this space that you're seeing here is pretty special because we tried to accommodate parents as well. As you know when your child is ill there is nothing like having your mom there holding you or talking to you and so basically what we did was added a parents' lounge area and a parent cafeteria area. We also have male quarters so that a dad who is the head of the household, and there is no mom, and the child is sick that the dad can stay at the hospital and there's also a female section so those really are the unique features to this area. Now the clinical side you will see the pediatric intensive care units which are six units and then you have the isolation rooms which are four rooms. These isolation rooms are very very important because those are for infectious diseases."

Musa Questions Briceno’s State of Mind; Espat Says Briceno Lied; Briceno Hasn’t Retracted
Yesterday, the leader of the People's United Party, Francis Fonseca, faced the media and commented on the now popular recording of John Briceno, engaged in a private conversation with fellow party members in which he vented on issues surrounding the party, ranging from past alleged infractions to the current leadership. Following the release of the recording the PUP held a National Executive meeting yesterday which was followed by the senior politicians claiming unity within the PUP. Briceno publicly accepted Fonseca as the Party Leader and Fonseca told the media that the situation is being dealt internally and would be solved with brotherly love. At that meeting, all the party's standard bearers were present and what came out of it was that the party's internal issues will be worked out and they would all unite for the party's benefit.

Former Policeman Wins Murder Appeal and Walks Free
An appeal by Burton Caliz, a former police officer who was convicted of manslaughter, was allowed today by Belize court of Appeal. Caliz' conviction was quashed, his sentence was set aside and he was acquitted. Initially, Caliz was charged with the murder of 23 year old Leroy Pilgrim, who was shot and killed in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye in February 2004. The murder charge was reduced to manslaughter and Caliz was convicted of manslaughter in January 2007 and he was sentenced to 10 years. Caliz appealed and he won his appeal and a retrial was ordered. At the retrial he was convicted of manslaughter and he was ordered to pay a fine of three thousand dollars by Justice John Gonzalez. Caliz was not represented by any attorney at today's appeal hearing. Crown Counsel Linsbert Willis represented the respondent.

Court of Appeal Denies Retrial for Jorge Vidal
An appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the case of Jorge Vidal whose indictment for murder was quashed by Justice Denis Hanomansingh, was allowed yesterday by Belize Court of Appeal. The order of Justice Hanomansingh was set aside and it was the order of Belize Court of Appeal that Vidal's indictment stand. Vidal was charged with the murder of Hortencio Contreras who was killed in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town on December 31, 2005. Vidal was not present at the appeal hearing. Last year in Belmopan Supreme Court when the case came up for trial, Justice Hanomansingh quashed the indictment because he said the preliminary inquiry was not properly conducted. His contention was that the preliminary inquiry document was not signed by Richard Swift, the magistrate who had done it. Swift was unable to sign the document because he was killed.

Draconian Actions Reported By Teacher at Baptist High School
In 2012, Belmopan Baptist High School was in the spot light when the school's former principal, Norman Willacey, was fired following an accusation of having inappropriate relationship with a female student. Following his unceremonious departure, the student body staged a protest and walked out of the class rooms. Last June, the school made headlines again when two teachers were being investigated for allegedly having inappropriate sexual relations with their female students. Now, less than a year later, the school is back in the news as frustration is reportedly growing by both students and faculty. Several media houses received a letter from one of the school's teacher, stating, "the purpose of this letter is NOT to tarnish the reputation of the school but rather to seek assistance for the students and develop the standard of learning at the institution".

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Update on Roaring Creek Shooting
Supt. Howell Gillett also updated on the shooting incident that occurred on Sunday March 4th in the Hattiville Area, �Roaring Creek Village that left two persons in the hospital receiving treatment for gunshot injuries...

Murder Update in Roaring Creek
There has been an increase of criminal activity in the village of Roaring Creek that left at least three persons dead and several others injured with the latest murder being that of 30 year old Elroy Ramirez� who was shot dead inside a yard in the Another World Area Roari...

PUP affirms unity in official meeting
The People’s United Party (PUP) was searching for common cause following last Wednesday’s landslide defeat in the municipal elections and the release of a secret recording of a conversation between former leader and Orange Walk Central area representative John Briceno and two trusted party operative...

Fake diplomas circulating?
There have been reports that unscrupulous persons are attempting to take advantage of qualifications from Belizean schools by parading ungenuine diplomas and transcripts of course credits completed in Belize which they never actually completed...

New Belize City Council Sworn In
Yesterday, Belize City’s 23rd municipal council since its incorporation as a city in 1943 formally took office at City Hall on North Front Street. From start to finish the ceremony took about 40 minutes – a briskly efficient pace for a council that has a high mark to live up to...

UNESCO gives grant to RESTORE Belize for Peace in the Parks
The National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today handed over a grant of BZ$51,175...

BNE Charitable trust expands student loan programme
We are only a few months away from the end of the 2014-2015 school year and as one year closes another one opens which means more prospective Belizean students seeking opportunities to further their education in Belize...

Police operations in San Pedro yield unlicensed weapon
The crime in San Pedro Ambergris Caye has spiked over the past few months with reports of shootings and killings becoming more frequent...

Noh Mul destruction case moved to Belize City Court
The case against UDP standard bearer Denny Grijalva over the� destruction of the Noh Mul archaeological site, was setback in court today� in the Corozal Magistrate's Court.�In 2013, Denny Grijalva's employee at DeMar's Stone Company, destroyed the ancient Mayan monument when excavating for ...

The war on Drugs in Roaring Creek
Belmopan Police continue to remove illicit drugs off the street. At around 10 am on Tuesday March 10th a joint Special Branch; Criminal Investigations Branch, K9 and Belmopan Police team, conducted a search at an abandoned lot in the Hattieville Area, Roaring Creek Village...

“Mechanic" makes off with car
Police in Belize City are investigating a case of attaining property by deception. According to authorities, at around 4 pm on Tuesday March 10th, Luigi Zaldivar reported that sometime in late February, a man of Hispanic decent went to his house in Kings Park Area, Belize City seeking a job...

The Guardian

At this newspaper we have always maintained that the People's United Party while in government stole millions upon millions of dollars from the people of Belize. This is something that is a known fact in this country. And while for years now we have known what the PUP did, and there was always some proof or the other that backed up this statement, never have we heard from the PUP what they did. That was until this week when a conversation which was recorded between a PUP supporter identified as Julian Chell, his son and Johnny Briceno surfaced. Apparently in his bid to secure a victory for the PUP in Orange Walk, Johnny Briceno approached and had a meeting with PUP stalwart in Orange Walk East, Julian Chell. What he did not know is that the one he considered his friend was actually his worst enemy. And so it was that after an hour and five minutes of talking, Briceno, laid bare in gory detail what the public already knew, the PUP during their maladministration sacked the coffers of the government without a shred of regard. A transcript of the more poignant things he said can be found on page 5 of this edition.

The political fallout of the secret recording from former PUP Party Leader, John Briceno, in which he confirms most of the scandals during the then Musa Administration, continues to rage out in the public. Unfortunately, current Party Leader Francis Fonseca actually has the gall to insult the intelligence of the Belizean people by suggesting that he does not have to discuss those allegations publicly because it is an "internal party matter". Apparently using government finances for personal gain is an internal party matter! Briceno, who was the former Deputy Prime Minister of this country for over 9 years, and leader of the PUP for over 3 years, is a senior insider who had first hand knowledge when those corrupt deals were struck. His candid remarks have only served to confirm what the people of this country already knew instinctively, that the Musa Administration was a parasite, feeding at the detriment of the public purse.

We can never say that the detention of Belizean by Guatemalan authorities is not an important issue. What we can say is that they were returned without any harm or any major incident arising out of it and we are most thankful for that. While at the time of the incident it could have been understood that the country went into panic mode, the fact that all ended well is a blessing and now we must move on and more importantly try to prevent a reoccurrence of such an incident that took place 18 days ago. Can we now move on and focus on more pressing matters? Matters like the Johnny Briceno recording? Apparently not! It would seem that just for the sake of avoiding the topic, on Wednesday morning at least two so called independent talk shows, Plus TV's Rise and Shine and Krem Radio's Wake Up Morning Vibes chose to reanimate the issue of the detention of Belizeans by Guatemalan authorities. The hosts on Wednesday March 18 went on and on and on about the detention of the Belizeans and completely and totally ignored the pressing matter of the Johnny Briceno recording. For context, this is the first time that any PUP official has been heard speaking about the pillaging that took place under their administration.

UDP and Fern Gutierrez will rescue Punta Gorda
For the last 3 years Punta Gorda went through a degradation and backwardness under the former PUP town council led by Mayor Anthony Fuentes. On March 4 the voters of Punta Gorda went to the polls and sent Mayor Anthony Fuentes and his PUP slate a clear message that enough is enough. Municipal Elections 2015 was a historic day for Punta Gorda Town not only because it was the end of a reckless regime but because Punta Gorda Town has elected its first female mayor in the person of Mayor Fern Gutierrez. The UDP Punta Gorda Team that she led was victorious at the Poll, this was because the UDP Team had put in so many hours of intensive-work, many house-to-house and one-to-one visits. On Election Day the machine was well oiled and running without difficulties, shutting down until the polls were closed. At the end of the day, the UDP team rose on top, they defeated the PUP incumbents by a sizable margin of over 500 votes, it was a 2 to1 Blowout.

More concerning borders in need of volunteers
There is no doubt that all Belizeans would love for our borders to be fully secured, manned and respected. Guatemalan incursions continue to frustrate us and the unfounded (dumfounded) Guatemalan Claim to our territory seems like it will never go away. Therefore, symbolic efforts like those made by the Territorial Volunteers receive wide approval. However, such efforts will never receive widescale support. That is because Belizeans tend to look beyond superficial acts of patriotism. How does it benefit Belizeans when they plant palm trees in the adjacency zone or set a plaque on a monument? Belizeans tend to support people who are making solid contributions. This is why Raphael Manzanero and the rangers of Friends for Conservation and Development are strongly supported and hailed as patriots. This is why soldiers of the Belize Defense Force are the most esteemed members of our armed forces. These individuals put their lives on the line to protect our natural resources and defend our borders. They do not go to historical points to pose for pictures. They patrol miles of Belizean territory, months away from home, for the love of country.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Issues Statement on the Situation in Venezuela
The Government of Belize has been anxiously following the developments in Venezuela. As a peace-loving and democratic country, Belize wishes only for social and political peace to prevail in Venezuela for the greater good and welfare of all the citizens of that country, as indeed, for our entire hemisphere. The Government firmly believes that disputes should be resolved at all times peacefully, through dialogue and due process and by strict adherence to the rule of law and good governance. Belize remains committed and calls on all who have an interest to observe fully the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States which is designed to strengthen and preserve representative democracy in the hemisphere, including by the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Rehabilitation of the Hummingbird Highway
The Government of Belize (GOB) has received a Technical Assistance (TA) Grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to assist in financing the services of consultants to prepare a technical and economical feasibility study and detailed designs for rehabilitating the Hummingbird Highway, between Belmopan Roundabout Junction and Dangriga in the Stann Creek District. The feasibility study and detailed design were completed by the end of 2014 and an application for funding was made by the GOB. Members of the Funding Agency visited Belize and performed their due diligence and assessment of the design and scope of works. The project for the Rehabilitation of the Hummingbird Highway was favorably appraised in December 2014. In February 2015 the Board of Directors of KFAED approved the loan for the rehabilitation works.

Former PUP Party Leader John Briceno Confesses to Mass Corruption During 1998 - 2008 PUP Administration
For several weeks now, there have been reports coming from within the Opposition People's United Party (PUP) that an audio recording existed of damning comments made by former PUP Leader John Briceno about corruption in the 1998 - 2008 Musa/Fonseca Administration. Officials of the UDP have listened to the contents of this audio recording where Mr. Briceno is heard to confirm multiple mass corruption schemes during the Musa/Fonseca era including, as he put it, "the robbery of tens of millions of dollars" with such schemes as the St. James Credit Union loans, the Intelco bankruptcy, Social Security loans and guarantees, the sale and re-sale of BTL involving Ashcroft and Prosser, the US dollar/Yen Swap, the accommodation agreement, the giveaway of Belize Bank taxes, among others.

Rotary Park improved in Santa Elena, Cayo
A park that is maintained by the Rotary Club of San Ignacio was dedicated on Tuesday of this week near the Fire Station Building in Santa Elena Town, increasing the chances for the proper upbringing of children in the area. Present for the occasion was the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Earl Trapp and Luis Carballo, the Principal Education Officer; as well as Rotary members from both Belize and Canada. The children from both the Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School and the Santa Elena Roman Catholic School were also the first to experience the newly dedicated park. In his first speech at a major public event since being voted in as Mayor, Earl Trapp stated that the Rotary Club has been instrumental in our community. Mayor Earl Trapp noted that playgrounds allow children to develop social skills and plays a vital role in reducing child obesity. "One of the things that we neglect to look at is having enough playgrounds for our children�children get a chance to run around, learning psychomotor skills, "explained Luis Carballo, Principal Education Officer for the Cayo District.

The United Democratic Party wins again in Cayo
The United Democratic Party UDP has won again the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council, as part of the Nationwide Municipal Elections held on Wednesday of last week; in a crucial area which has the second to largest number of registered voters (12,676) in Belize. By the time the final counting was made at the Center for Employment Training in San Ignacio on the 25 ballot boxes that had come from polling areas 76 in Cayo Central, polling area 73 in Cayo North and polling area 72 from Cayo North East, it had become crisp clear that the U.D.P had won in all of these areas. By 1:30 am on Wednesday, Earl Trapp had exited the counting room as a victorious winner announcing to the media that Cayo Central had won by a margin of 948, Cayo North by 488 and Cayo Northeast by 480 votes. Earl Trapp had obtained 64% of the votes, a remarkable showing given that his predecessor Mayor John August had received 53% of the votes in 2012. Earl Trapp was clearly very happy at these voting results with huge ramifications for the U. D.P. "Minister Montero did excellent in Santa Elena, Minister Omar Figueroa in Cayo [North] and of course our outgoing Mayor John August did excellent in Cayo North East as well," Earl Trapp told reporters.

Roger Anthony back before the court
Roger Anthony, the reputed leader of the Ghost Town Crips, is back before the court, this time for threatening Delsia Bermudez, sister of convicted murderer, Glenford "Bucket" Bermudez. Allegations against Anthony are that last week Thursday, February 26, 2015, he used threatening words upon Delcia Berudez telling her, "I nuh give a damn. I wah kill yuh. Me done kill already." Of important note is that Bermudez lives in a yard on Mayflower Street next to where Moses Gonguez was shot and killed on Wednesday, March 4. Roger Anthony was taken before the court on Friday, March 6, where he appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart. He was read a single charge of using threatening words upon Delsia Bermudez and pleaded not guilty. Bermudez appeared in court and was visibly upset. She spoke out in court and was sent outside. Anthony then told the Magistrate that the woman she kicked out is the virtual complainant who came to court to say she didn't want any court action. Magistrate Stewart told him that she is not aware of the victim wanting to withdrawn the charge and that she was put out of the courtroom because she was causing a disturbance.

Jervis Valencia kills Moses Gonguez, police respond and shoot Valencia
Moses Ervin Gonguez, a 36-year-old resident of Sibun Street, was murdered on the night of 2015 Municipal Elections in Belize City during the time when the ballots were being counted. The man who is believed to have been his killer, was shot by police and continues to be hospitalized. Police currently suspect an internal feud within the Ghost Town Crips Gang which is based on Mayflower Street. It happened at around 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, when Gonguez was socializing with 23 year-old Triston Gordon of Casuarina Street. They were in the company of 4 friends at number 13 Mayflower Street. It is believed that 32 year-old Jervis Valencio, aka Jervis Valencia, ambushed the crowd and fired several shots at the group.

Senseless killing in Orange Walk
Twenty six year-old Orange Walk resident Luis Ricardo Campos was murdered and dumped in a secluded area over the weekend and his body was not discovered until about 5 a.m. on Sunday, March 8. Police have since investigated his death, and they have criminally charged 2 men. Police were called out to the Waldy Cuello's Stables, just off San Antonio Road, where they found Campos' body under a shed. An examination of the body revealed that he had been stabbed multiple times to the throat, right shoulder, and to the face. What police have been able to establish is that he was last seen alive a few hours earlier when he was walking on Asuncion Street. Well, after investigating for 3 days, police arrested and charged Dennis Reneau and Alexis Ramirez with the crime of murder.

Murder Conviction in Court of Appeal
The first case heard by the Court of Appeals this year for criminal matters is the murder conviction of Abimael Pott, 21, of Orange Walk District. Pott was convicted of killing Shamir Gonzalez,19, who was slain shortly after 4 p.m. on the grounds of Louisiana Government School on May 4, 2011. According to reports, Pott got into a fight with Gonzalez and hit him in the head multiple times with a metal pipe. Gonzalez died as a result of the injuries to the head. Pott, who was only 17 at the time of the incident, was arrested and charged for murder. In a trial without jury, Justice Herbert Lord found Pott guilty of the charge and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

San Pedro turning into a crime zone
Nearing the end of February, San Pedro Town experienced one of the most senseless killings for 2015 so far when 3 year-old toddler Daniel Espat was killed as he slept on his parents' bed. On Tuesday, March 3, at around 8 p.m., six days after that incident, San Pedrito Resident Pablo Barboza was murdered in what is believed to be a drug-related incident, only a stone's throw away from where the toddler was killed. The gunman, described as wearing a cap and a rag over his face, was seen arriving by boat. He avoided 2 police patrols which passed by the area only minutes of each other. He then headed straight to Barboza's shop to execute the businessman.

Akeem Trapp remanded for murder of Ian Adolphus
Akeem Kirklin Trapp, also known as Keemo, is now on remand at the Belize Central Prison for the Wednesday, February 25, 2015 murder of Ian "Uno" Adolphus, 21, who was gunned down on Freedom Street. According to Alden Dawson, Commander of Precinct Two Police, Adolphus was walking on Freedom Street and upon reaching its intersection with Justice Street a gunman on bicycle rode up in front of him and fired several shots. One bullet caught him on the right elbow, one on the right shoulder and one to the left side of his chest. The gunman then rode off from the scene. Adolphus was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where efforts to save his life were fruitless. He succumbed to his injuries a day later. Police investigations led to the arrest and charge of Akeem Trapp, 18, of a Neals Pen Road address.

Scratching the surface of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may sound very intimidating but I will talk you through what exactly it encompasses. Let's take it word by word. Veins and arteries. Veins take blood back to the heart and arteries take blood away from the heart. Thrombosis or thrombus is the formation of a clot. So you cut your hand or scrape your knee and it starts to bleed. If there wasn't a way for the body to stop the bleeding, something as small as a cut on the hand could lead to death from an excessive loss of blood. What stops the bleeding is the clot that forms at the region where the vein/artery's lining was disrupted. It's basically like a patch to stop the leak. You might know it better as a 'scab'. You know that rough brown exterior that forms over a cut that you are all too eager to peel off when you know you shouldn't. And sometimes you peel it off and what happens, it bleeds again. That is a clot. Under normal circumstances the clotting would only be initiated when there is a cut and the body is trying to conserve blood loss, often times happening on the superficial vessels.

High school student drowns in Cayo
A young man, Michael Quintanilla lost his life as a result of drowning on Sunday of this past week, in the sometimes turbulent waters of the Mopan River in the Cayo District. The 17 year old student from Third Form at the Eden High School in Santa Elena had just had a meal and had decided to come back, across the Mopan River, when he succumbed to drowning. He had only been socializing with friends at the river for some 40 minutes. On their arrival, Benque Police observed that Michael Quintanilla was lying along the Mopan River bank. His friends had taken him out of the river and attempted to resuscitate him. Police then transported him to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

BTL Cobb's Arm wins the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
The BTL Cobb's Arm Team is the winner of the 18th La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge for the Male Division, which ended on Monday of this week by the BelCan Bridge in Belize City. This team of paddlers had to travel 180 miles along the Belize River, only to be interrupted by night stops, during four days of grueling competition. The three winners of the winning team on the final round of the race were boat captain Roy Cano, his little brother Eric Cano and cousin Clayton Cal, all from Santa Familia Village in the Cayo District, and not coincidentally, the winning team had been practicing during the last three months. Coming in second in the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge was the National Institute of Culture and History NICH, made up of team captain Efrain Cruz, Alexander Cruz and Felix Cruz. Coming in third, also in the Male Division was OCV Wavemakers. The accumulated time for the BTL Cobb's Arms was 17 hours, 35 minutes and 27 seconds, followed by NICH with 17 hours, 38 minutes and 44 seconds and by OCV Wavemakers by 17 hours, 39 minutes and 21 seconds.

Transcript of Johnny Briceno's recording - From the horse's mouth Johnny Indicts the 1998-2008 PUP Administration
JB :- Two years when we had the convention in Dangriga, we had about 15 thousand people who went to the convention and we could have brought more but we didn't have money for more buses. But by 2011 the two sides, Said and Mark on the other side are screwing me, when I go to the people who have money and are willing to help us they say bwai� and they don't give me money. I had already spent 3 million dollars out of pocket. Something that Said nor Ralph nor Georg Price, nobody has done for this party. I spent 3 million dollars that I recorded. I only di tell you what these people do to you. On top of that I made a loan of 1 million dollars for the Town Council elections for 2009. Right now I have to donate $14,800 to the PUP every month for a loan they made. I am paying that, not Francis, Francis no give a f*&k, and I can tell you everything that I spent, but at the end of the day I can only say look here I can continue to lead the party but I cannot continue to spend more money because, I will bankrupt my company and my family. And like you well know your family comes first. So as not to mess up the party anymore I made the sacrifice to say you know what if you want it take it. Said and Ralph and Francis had a ten year plan. Their plan was to screw me, they had a newspaper, the National Perspective, you remember the National Perspective? criticize me. Three weeks after I step down there was no National Convention�the same PUP that is the cancer of the PUP you should be talking about. That's the cancer that we have.

Johnny Can't Shut Up - Noisemakers Can't Speak
The Deputy Prime Minister of Said Musa's administration, Johnny Briceno, ran his mouth for more than an hour in a conversation that was taped by a party "ally" and spoke candidly about some of his party's most filthy laundry and shameful secrets. His most critical remarks were made towards the Musa-Fonseca regime who he considers to be the cancer of the party. "That cancer that came and stole millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars from the people. I'm not talking about a little bit of money�millions, tens of millions of dollars they stole, that had this been another country they would have been in jail right now�" - Hon. Johnny Briceno. This is nothing new for Johnny B to be infected with such a violent strain of oral diarrhea. His last bout with the disease was in October of 2011 when he forgot a party meeting was live on their party radio station and he challenged members to "bring money back to the PUP". He asked Musa:

Loans to be made available to tertiary level students
The BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust (BNECT) on Tuesday March 10, today signed an Agreement with the Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST) to expand the Trust's Student Loan Program to the underserved areas of the Cayo and Belize Districts. The initial investment of $350,000 will be made available to BEST in two tranches of $175,000 each. The overall objective of the partnership is to create a revolving fund to provide loans for Belizean students attending or planning to attend Belizean educational institutions of secondary, tertiary and vocational designation, accredited by the Ministry of Education.

Mayor Calls for Mindset Transformation in Term Two
A lot of people are asking how can Mayor Darrell Bradley follow up on a historic first term as Mayor of Belize City. It was the first question he took on after being sworn in on Tuesday, February 10, at City Hall. Mayor Bradley says the only way for transformation to continue is for residents to transform their mind and start from within. He calls for unity and asked that Belize City residents do their part to transform the city into the type of municipality they want and deserve. "It would be remised of me to say that the City Council over the last 3 years, has done this by themselves," Mayor Bradley said. "I have been very embarrassed because people have said, 'Mayor, you are doing a good job,' and that good work that we have done over the last 3 years is not my work. It is our work. It is the work of 10 [councilors], a mayor - it is the work of some now 400 staff. It is the work of all the 67,000 people who live in our city."

Pawn Shop Loans In Belize
Meet Janet. Janet is a 34 year old employed, single mother of two toddlers - Tyler, 5, and Alex, 3, earning a modest salary of $1,200 a month. Unfortunately, Tyler is suffering from appendicitis and needs surgery to have his appendix removed right away. Janet's salary isn't enough to cover her current monthly expenses as well as the medical expenses incurred due to Tyler's condition; so she decides to pawn her vehicle to get the extra money she needs for her son. Janet visits a Belize City pawn shop and pawns out her 2006 Ford Escape, which is valued at $16,000 on her insurance policy. She settled for the $3,000 maximum that the pawn shop offers for vehicle pawns which must be paid back within a month at a 25% interest rate. The pawn shop also made Janet aware that there is a two-month grace period before she is served by the police to repossess the vehicle. Tyler is now recovering well after surgery. But after paying all his medical bills, Janet didn't have enough to cover her total pawn repayment within the two-month period. Now, the pawn shop is taking her vehicle away. What can she do to get her vehicle back? Legal Advice by Estevan Perera - Attorney-at-Law According to the Belize law, Janet should challenge the Pawn Shop at the Magistrate Court based on the following grounds: 1. The loan agreement appears to violate section 26(1) of the Money Lenders Act and, as such, can be challenged in the Magistrate's Court.

Roger Anthony back before the court
Roger Anthony, the reputed leader of the Ghost Town Crips, is back before the court, this time for threatening Delsia Bermudez, sister of convicted murderer, Glenford "Bucket" Bermudez. Allegations against Anthony are that last week Thursday, February 26, 2015, he used threatening words upon Delcia Berudez telling her, "I nuh give a damn. I wah kill yuh. Me done kill already." Of important note is that Bermudez lives in a yard on Mayflower Street next to where Moses Gonguez was shot and killed on Wednesday, March 4. Roger Anthony was taken before the court on Friday, March 6, where he appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart. He was read a single charge of using threatening words upon Delsia Bermudez and pleaded not guilty. Bermudez appeared in court and was visibly upset. She spoke out in court and was sent outside. Anthony then told the Magistrate that the woman she kicked out is the virtual complainant who came to court to say she didn't want any court action. Magistrate Stewart told him that she is not aware of the victim wanting to withdrawn the charge and that she was put out of the courtroom because she was causing a disturbance.

Private prosecutor appointed for Carlos Espat's Murder
Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold will be the prosecutor in the case against Silvio Espinosa, 23, who is accused of killing former PUP Secretary General Carlos Espat. It doesn't happen often but in sensational cases private prosecutors are appointed to build a case against an accused person. On Saturday, September 3, 2010, just around 12:00 noon, police were called out to Carlos Espat's home at the corner of King and Albert Streets where he was found dead. Espat was found lying in the tub inside his home and a post mortem revealed that he was bashed in the chest and head with a blunt object. As a result of his death, police arrested and charged Nicaraguan national Silvio Espinosa, 23, with murder. There were 24 statements tendered into evidence during the paper committal against Espinosa. He has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison since.

Chryslin Gladden's Alleged Killers to Stand Trial
A Preliminary Inquiry (PI) in the case against Chryslin Gladden's, 16, accused killers, Clement Bol, 23, and Ashley Meighan, 17, concluded before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, March 10, with a commitment to stand trial in the June session of the Supreme Court. There were a number of statements given in the case against Meighan and Bol Jr., including a statement from a 17-year-old minor who placed both of them at the murder scene. According to that statement, Meighan and Bol Jr. were the two persons who he saw in the company of Chryslin. The witness told police that he saw Bol Jr., holding down Gladden while Meighan herself inflicted several stab wounds to her face and body. The prosecutor, Cpl. Christopher Smith is also relying heavily on a statement that Meighan gave police before she was a suspect in the murder that helped the police to link her to the murder. Meighan is being represented by attorney Ellis Arnold who has not challenged any of the prosecution's evidence in the PI phase. Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that the prosecution has made a prema facie case against the accused and committed them to trial at the Supreme Court in June of this year.

Charged with human trafficking of a minor
Naturalized Belizean Estella Gonzalez, 62, was before the court a week ago for immigration offenses and she is in trouble with the law again; this time for a more serious offense - trafficking of a minor. A Preliminary Inquiry was concluded in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, March 10 to determine if there is sufficient evidence to forward a case of trafficking a 15-year-old minor against Gonzalez. She was initially arraigned on February 10, 2014 for one count of human trafficking. She is alleged to have employed a 15-year-old undocumented female at her establishment on the George Price Highway, Temptation Bar. Allegations against Gonzalez are that between August 19 and September 7 2013, she harboured the minor at her Mile 8 residence on the George Price Highway for the purpose of exploiting her as a prostitute.

Cayo man killed in Belize City possibly by a woman; another killed at his home village
A 40 year-old resident of Ontario Village in the Cayo District was killed in Belize City and left inside a hotel room on Thursday, March 5. It is believed that he may have gone to the hotel with a female, and that he was robbed before he was killed. 49 year-old Oscar Amilcar Grijalva reportedly checked into room number 1 at Isabel's Guest House, located at number 3 Albert Street, at around 11:30 a.m. When the caretakers of the hotel went to check on him about 3 hours later, they found Grijalva dead inside the bathroom. He suffered stab wounds to both arms, and his throat was slashed. What police have been able to establish is that he arrived at the room with a woman who left an hour before he was discovered dead. It is believed that he was in Belize City to pick up some money, and that his killer may have stolen from him. Grijalva is known to be a family man in his village.

Near fatal home invasion in San Pedro
While votes were being counted for the San Pedro Town Council Elections, a family man and his wife were attacked by an armed thief who broke into their home and who was brazen enough to shoot the gentleman in his own house. It happened at around 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday March 4 in the San Pablo area of San Pedro Town. 31 year-old Jaime Manzano and his wife had only just left their house to buy food. When they returned, they found a man who had broken in, and was in the process of packing up several of their electronic items. Manzano, who is the holder of a licensed firearm, went for his gun, and realizing what was about to happened, the thief pulled out a weapon and fired several shots at him several of which caught him on the right foot and on both arms.

Belmopan Red Taigaz humbled Orange Walk Running Rebels
The National Elite Basketball League competition continued on Thursday 5 March, 2015, at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan between the visiting Orange Walk Running Rebels and the host team the Belmopan Red Taigaz. At the end of the game, it was the host team the Belmopan Red Taigaz that came up victorious over the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 85-72. The top scorers for the Belmopan Red Taigaz were Farron Louriano with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 2 steals; Terrell Eskridge with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals and Jamal Harris scored 11 points and 5 rebounds. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Orange Walk Running Rebels were Roger Reneau with 24 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals; Jason Grant with 16 points and 5 rebounds and Randy Usher who also scored 16 points, along with 1 rebound and 1 steal. The competition then continued on Friday 7 March with two more games on the schedule. In the game played at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium between the Toledo Diplomats and the Belize Hurricanes, it was the Belize Hurricanes that prevailed over the Toledo Diplomats by the score of 79-62.

Williams FC, Mahogany Heights and Hattieville wins in the Beverly Castillo Cup Tournament
The Beverly Castillo Cup Tournament for Belize Rural Central continued on Sunday 8 March, 2015, at the Ladyville Village Football Field. In the first game played Williams FC defeated Largos FC by the score of 5-3. The goals for Williams FC were scored by Roberto Santor (2), Misael Canul, Jaslyn Lopez and Leon Sedacy. Meanwhile, the goals for Largos FC were scored by Harold Nava, Denroy McCord and Shawn Young. In game two, Mahogany Heights defeated Rockville FC by the score of 5-2. The goals for Mahogany Heights were scored by Oren Gill (3), Kaylon Young and Sean Roches. For Rockville FC, the goals were scored by Emerson Gonzalez and Shemar Maskall.

Stann Creek District Football Association continues in Dangriga
The 2nd week of the Stann Creek District Football Association for the Wamule Cup continued on Friday 6 March, 2015, at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town with two games on the schedule. In the first game played, New Site FC defeated Hope Creek Always Hungry FC by the score of 2-0. The goals for New Site FC were scored by Albourne Marshall in the 27th minute of play and Almor Lemott in the 82nd minute of play. In game two, Hope Creek United and Umadagu FC played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for Hope Creek United was scored by Rollin Burgess in the 5th minute of play, while the goal for Umadagu was scored by Azizi Suaso in the 39th minute of play. The competition then continued on Monday 9 March, 2015, with two more games. In the first game played, Wagierale FC blanked Valley Stars FC by the score of 4-0. The goals for Wagierale FC were scored by Jesse Lopez in the 20th and 23rd minutes of play, Sherwin Lambey in the 55th minute of play and Robert Hernandez in the 64th minute of play.

Athletes to be tested for performance enhancing drugs before the Pan Am Games
Dr. David Julien, Development Programme Manager for WADA, informed the Board Members of the Central American RADO at its Annual Board Meeting that is currently taking place at Hotel El Panama in Panama City, Republic of Panama on Tuesday 10 March, 2015, that WADA will be funding 10 tests for each of the seven Central American countries for athletes that will be participating in the XVII Pan American Games scheduled for July in Toronto, Canada. The tests will be carried out between the months of May and June of 2015 with the samples being sent to the WADA Lab in Montreal, Canada. Athletes selected to represent their respective country will be required to file their Where-Abouts, with the National Anti-Doping Organisation in their respective country.

Central Region high schools softball competition winding down
The 2014-2015 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball competition is fast coming to an end at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City. On Friday 6 March, 2015, in the female game played, St. Catherine Academy defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 14-11. The winning pitcher was Jacqueline Alas and the losing pitcher was Ashley Alarcon. In the male game played, St. John's College defeated Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 22-5. The winning pitcher was Dillan Snaggs and the losing pitcher was Isaac Dominguez. On Thursday 5 March, in the female game, Wesley College defeated St. Catherine Academy by the score of 15-5. The winning pitcher was Shania Pook and the losing pitcher was Jacqueline Alas.

Patrick JonesPJ

Principals in the Belmopan Area Met to Plan Festival of Arts 2015
Principals in the Belmopan Area Schools met today, March 12th, at Garden City Primary School to prepare for the Annual Festival of Arts, which is slated for April 13th - 17th. The schools are divided into 4 clusters for the administration of the performing arts portion of [�]

Belmopan has New Leadership
Belmopan City Council is now officially under new leadership as Swearing In Ceremonies were held today, March 12th, at 3 p.m. at the City Hall Grounds for new Council members. Mayor Khalid Belisle was sworn in by Dr. Geraldo Flowers, City Administrator assisted by Mrs. Barrette Belisle, [�]

Court of Appeal restores murder indictment
The Belize Court of Appeal has overruled a decision by Supreme Court Justice Denis Hanomansingh to quash an indictment for murder against Jorge Vidal in the Central District of the Court and ordered that he stand trial. On Wednesday it allowed the appeal by the Director of Public [�]

Court of Appeal acquits policeman of manslaughter
The Court of Appeal has officially acquitted former police officer Burton Caliz of a charge of manslaughter. His appeal was allowed, conviction quashed, sentence set aside and charges formally dropped after hearing today. Initially, Caliz was charged with the murder of 23 year old Leroy Pilgrim, who was [�]

New neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit nearing completion
Ever since the tragedy of the 13 babies who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) between February and May of 2013 the hospital has been focused on improving its services to ensure nothing of the kind ever happens again. The Office of the Special Envoy for [�]

Placencia man pleads guilty to drug possession charge
The police in Placencia village, Stann Creek district, continues to crack down on drug peddlers on the Peninsula. Their latest operation on Wednesday morning, conducted jointly by Special Branch, K9 Unit, the BDF and Placencia police, resulted in the discovery of 377 grams of marijuana and the arrest of two [�]

PUP affirms unity in official meeting
The People's United Party (PUP) was searching for common cause following last Wednesday's landslide defeat in the municipal elections and the release of a secret recording of a private conversation involving former leader and Orange Walk Central area representative John Briceno. But on Wednesday at a joint National Executive and Parliamentary Caucus meeting held by the party at its headquarters at Independence Hall, the party built on the tentative expressions of support given by members in the wake of the elections defeat. Party Leader Francis Fonseca had a message both for party faithful and the public at large which looks to the PUP as an alternative to the current administration.

UNESCO gives grant to Restore Belize for Peace in the Parks
The National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) yesterday handed over a grant of BZ$51,175.53 to Restore Belize. Restore Belize is the arm of the Government of Belize which coordinates social response, for its "Peace in the Park" Initiative, a means of reaching out to troubled youths to address the crime situation in Belize. Started in 2011, it develops and supports initiatives in education and culture by community organizations with the backdrop of local parks and playgrounds. Reverend Dr. Rudolph Anthony is the Secretary General to the UNESCO National Commission and he told us that this is a means of fulfilling UNESCO's mission to promote the artistic and cultural side of humanity.


Beverly Visits San Pedro AND “The Man Upstairs”
We had some friends visit us from Minnesota for a couple of weeks. This one woke up last Sunday and decided she needed to go to church. Here's her "take" on her visit to the Roman Catholic Church. I will admit, while at home I don't attend church every Sunday. There are days when I just can't muster up the energy or the motivation to attend mass. Vacations seem to energize me in regard to my relationship with God, so I try to make it a practice to attend Sunday mass. It is not always possible, but if I can attend mass in a foreign church, I do. I'm a firm believer that attending services in a community not your own is a wonderful way to experience the culture of the local region and its people. This month I happen to find myself in the town of San Pedro, Belize on Ambergris Caye. As luck would have it, on the main road, Barrier Reef Drive, there is a beautiful little Roman Catholic Church. If you are looking for a Sunday morning mass in English, attend the 8:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. mass. For those wanting to attend a mass in Spanish, 7:oo p.m. is the time for you. I regret that I did not attend mass when I was on the island last March, so I was determined to attend this time around. I showed up to mass an hour early (because of the time change) and took in all the church has to offer. There is a breathtaking view of the ocean from the side doors.

Spring Time In Belize Part 1
Some of the most awesome times you will have in Belize, certainly after your amazing day tours, are in the restaurants and bars combinations. Certainly, the cornerstones are the Belizean beers, dark rum and the impossible to resist, Rice, beans, stew meat (of your choice), salad, and fried ripe plantain. Yes! Yum! Now, back to the bar section. Here are 5 things to know about a Belizean bar: 1. Yes, we are this friendly! Smile. Engage your waiter/waitress in conversation. They will offer you interesting information on what happened while you were on tour or whats the best thing happening in the bar tonight. Most importantly however, they have the scoop on whats happening after dinner or the following day. Work up a chat!! 2. Your US dollars are twice ours! So, when your waiter says to you that your beer is $3.50, he is suggesting you can buy two beers with your US 3.50. This economic decision to link our Belizean dollar 2 to 1 to your US dollars happened in 1973 when we internationalized and made the US dollar the anchor of our currency. Yes, when you have inflation there, we do too. None-the-less, smile, you can buy twice the beer with your money here!

International Sourcesizz

Great Australian Bight oil search 'opens door to disaster', US marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle says
SEISMIC testing and drilling for oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight threatens whales, dolphins, sea lions, and other sea creatures, warns visiting US marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle. Ever since she started diving in the 1950s, world-famous marine explorer Dr Sylvia Earle has been "a witness to change in the ocean" including the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. "I have been a witness, in recent years, to some of the most devastating oil spills, a consequence of carelessness associated with the extraction of oil and gas from the sea," Dr Earle said. "Most recently the biggest spill in history, with the loss of millions of barrels of oil as a consequence of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill ... where I first learned to dive 50 years ago ... "It's likely to happen wherever drilling occurs. There's a great safety record going back for many years but occasionally, a disaster. "Not being prepared is one of the concerns about this development. Places that have been leased in the Great Australian Bight are right over areas that are designated for protection. It's baffling."

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Arturo Ramos; also known as Ben among his family and friends. He died on Monday at his home in Democracia. We miss him greatly but remember him with fondness. Arturo has been our friend and man in the field since 2009. When we first met him, we knew he was someone with a special talent. Here was someone for whom the jungle presented no obstacle, just delight. Any point on a map we asked him to investigate he would reach, often soaked through, waist deep in mud, and covered in scratches, but always with a smile on his face and a story to tell about his latest adventure. He never complained and only spoke excitedly about all the natural wonders he had seen along the way. One hundred percent dedicated to his work; for Arturo, no challenge was too big. Our field research could not have happened without Arturo: making networks of trails in otherwise impassable jungle, building camps out of bush materials, deploying camera traps to monitor wildlife, maintaining the boundary lines of the Labouring Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, helping with the safe live capture of a range of different mammals, maintaining and repairing field equipment, training and supervising countless students in the field, and making sure that they all returned safely and with a newly-found appreciation of the jungle and what it takes to be a true bush-man.

Symposium on avoiding genetically modified organisms (GMO) in our foods
This Saturday 1 pm. The best way to see many new people is for each of us to bring people with us. Please give some thought to who you can bring. Come early and socialize over a lunch. . Belize Wildlife Conservation Network

American Pi: Why the Day Belongs to the U.S. (and Belize)
Pi may be a universal constant, but only two countries can natively celebrate Pi Day: the U.S. and Belize. That's because they are the only ones (if Wikipedia is correct) to shorthand their date format so that it can match the first few digits of pi (3.1415), or March 14, 2015. Most of the rest of the world relies on the day-month-year format, which makes more sense logically because the date elements go from small to big. But this dd-mm-yy format would have pi day fall on the third day of the 14th month of the year. Too bad our Gregorian calendar has only 12 months. You could regroup the digits and say that Pi Day falls on the 31st day of the fourth month of the year. But nope, that doesn't work, either: April has only 30 days.

20 Caribbean Countries to Benefit from Olympics Broadcast Deal
The Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the broadcast of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil to 20 countries and territories in the region, the St. Lucia government said. The Olympic committees "will provide access to 12 television signals and CBU (Caribbean Broadcasting Union) members can select the specific content to distribute to their markets," according to a statement. CBU outlets will receive customized content produced by U.S.-based ESPN. "In addition to their preferred feeds, CBU members will also transmit all semifinals and finals featuring Caribbean sportsmen and women at the Rio Olympics," the St. Lucia government said. The countries covered by the agreement are: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos.

Exploring the Riviera Maya
If you were to look at a map of Mexico, which looks like the lower portion of a mermaid, you would find the Riviera Maya, where her delicate fin curls northward at the tip. The region itself is sandwiched between Cancun and Cozumel, stretching along the Caribbean coast of what is called the Yucatan Peninsula. Getting there is easy, as it is only an approximately three and a half hour flight from New York City, one and a half hours from Miami, a little over three hours from Chicago, two hours from Houston and just under five hours from Los Angeles. After arriving at the Cancun International Airport, which is also the arrival point for those visiting Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen, the Riviera Maya region is approximately a 20-minute drive. This coastline covers 81 miles from Cancun south to the Belize border. Like many coastal areas in Mexico, the Riviera Maya is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, meandering arm in arm with the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Together, they draw visitors from all over the world to enjoy a wide array of aquatic activities and recreational sports, including boating, fishing, swimming, parasailing, kayaking and, yes, just plain laying out and enjoying the magnificent sand and ambience. The Riviera Maya area is also a big draw for snorkeling and scuba diving, as it possesses an extensive coral reef system that is home to an abundance of marine plants, animals and other biodiversity. This falls right in line with its founding as a series of small fishing villages.

The geopolitics of Caribbean security
The advent of global jihad is about to change the security architecture of our hemisphere. So far we have been largely immune to these problems. Islam is beautiful and I lived among them with joy, but Islamists caricature the Prophet (PBUH). Location is our asset but it is also a curse. Proximity to the USA is no fun as jihadists seek to kill the great Satan, as they say. We are at risk as many of our people are venal, do unspeakable acts, and are easily bought. We sacrifice to prosper, but many are wankers who, for dollars, a gun, gold teeth, or bling, create mayhem. We live in peace and poverty, yet not like Gaza or Nigeria; we never lost life, limb to an IED, explosive vest, or had 2,000 people in a refugee camp -- we were lucky poor. But life is about to change here and across the Caribbean owing to Carcom Single Market and Economy's (CSME) vulnerability.

Fighting sex trade trafficking through fly fishing
A charitable non-profit fishing group from the United States is looking to expand it's reach into Canada, and northwestern Ontario. The Fly Fishing Collaborative raises funds by auctioning off donated fishing trips and using that money to build fish farms for orphanages in order to provide them with food, income, water, and fresh produce. The focus of the group is helping children caught in sex trade trafficking. David Fineran, a spokesperson for the Fly Fishing Collaborative, said the idea was born from one simple question by founder Bucky Buchstaber who asked himself "What can I do from my passion of fly fishing and what it's given me, how can I now take that and give something back and what can I create" The collaborative is sending a team to construct a fish farm in Belize and in the Philippines later this spring and a fourth one in Nicaragua in 2016.

In the new installment of Edward Moldenhauer's Spin the Globe children's series, "Spin the Globe: The Incredible Adventures of Frederick von Wigglebottom: Turtles of the Reef" (published by Trafford Publishing), Frederick von Wigglebottom travels, by the spin of the globe, to Belize. In Belize, Frederick explores the sandy island paradise of St. George's Caye. He meets a native Mayan named K'ayab, who introduces Frederick to his culture and its history and teaches him about the animals of the coral reef and the Belizean jungle. Frederick also befriends a girl named Hay�, who teaches him about her unique Garinagu culture. A magical exploration of the mystical jungle and island paradise of Belize, "Spin the Globe: The Incredible Adventures of Frederick von Wigglebottom: Turtles of the Reef" serves not only to entertain young readers, but also to become a jumping-off point for learning and celebrating the world's unique diversity.

Rainforests of the sea
There is an amazing world under water. Take a peek into the charm and beauty in the deep blue. Take a trip to the seaside and you're sure to bring back fascinating little coral souvenirs. However, the real deal is to dive into the ocean and track down reefs from the deep. Reefs - fringing, coral or barrier - are simply beautiful. Right from the brain-structures to those that have fish swimming in and out of them, the colourful reefs are a treat for the eyes. What's more, they are also the most diverse of all marine ecosystems and support a variety of marine life including small fish, prawns, and other sea creatures. They are also referred to as "Rainforests of the sea". Fringing reefs are those that grow directly on a shore. One instance of this is the coral reef at Kaloko-Honok�hau National Historical Park in Hawaii. Barrier reefs are separated from a mainland or island shore by a channel or lagoon while atolls are continuous barrier reefs which extend around a lagoon without a central island. Apart from the three principal types of reefs, other types include Patch, Apron, Bank, Ribbon, Table, and Habili. Described as "the most remarkable reef in the West Indies" by Charles Darwin, the Belize Barrier Reef supports over 500 species of fish, hundreds of invertebrate species and several hard and soft coral species. It is a 300-kilometre long section of Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. It is continuous from Cancun on the north-eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, up to Honduras. It is the second largest coral reef.

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  • SGA hosted student participants from Iowa's Drake University, 2min. Drake University students volunteering with SGA Belize, using the "tool" to remove the meat from the Queen Conch AND eating the pistal!!!

  • Honeymoon Part 1, 3min. The first leg of our honeymoon was spent on Caye Caulker, Belize. This little island (key), which is about 30 miles off the coast of Belize, captured our hearts.

  • Honeymoon - Part 2, 11min. Continuing our journey, we fly from Caye Caulker to Belize City to meet our escort who drives us deep into the jungle. After a four hour drive on unpaved roads we reach Blancaneaux Lodge, our accomodations for the next four days. In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola visited Belize, immediately fell in love with the location, and purchased the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge. For more than a decade the resort was used as a family retreat before Francis opened his tropical paradise to the public in 1993.
  • Belize 2015 Why I want to Go, 4min. A few of our Belize team share Why they want to go

  • Entering San Pedro, Belize on S/V Striker, 1/2min.

  • New Belize City Council Sworn In, 4min.

  • UNESCO gives grant to RESTORE Belize for Peace in the Parks, 4min.

  • From Belize to Caye Caulker in Water Taxi, 1min. Awesome landscape with my brother and father in our way to Caye Caulker on boat from Belize Water Taxi terminal. Vacations trip on March 5th,2015

  • Turneffe Flats Belize, 6min. I captured the highlights of my trip to Belize and put it together for others to enjoy. This was my first saltwater fishing experience and it was absolutely awesome. Bonefish are truly amazing and their willingness to eat a fly makes them so much fun to target. Permit well that's another thing all together! It's tough and that's what makes is so much fun to do! If I could offer anyone some advice on booking a trip like this, I would highly encourage you to utilize a specialty booking agency like Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures! That's who I booked with and it made things super easy and stress free! They know what they're talking about! What a class act outfit! They pay attention to all the details and make the entire experience special! I stressed allot over flies and honestly I caught 99% of all of my bones on a #8 Gotcha pattern which I tied so it made it even more awesome! I only changed it to try something else for the heck of it! My Permit ate a Rag Head Grab pattern! Make sure to have a variety of differently weighted flies for fishing different depths (Lead eyes, bead chain and plastic or none) if you're like me you likely don't have more than one or two saltwater rods yet. I brought 2 with me an 8wt and a 10wt with floating saltwater lines. That was good for targeting bones and Permit but there are so many other species that I just couldn't pass on any shots. Ideally you would have 3 or 4 rods setup and ready at all times. The last thing you want is to miss is a shot at a Permit because your 10WT had a Tarpon leader on it with a clouser minnow hanging off it trying to catch a Snook in the mangroves. Yeah it happens! Another thing, trust your guide 100% honestly he will see stuff you can't and likely never will. It was so crazy the first day of two. The guide tells you the direction & distance to cast. He will tell you when and how fast to strip and then the fish eats! Every fish is special even little guys can take you well into your backing! My wife joined me on this trip and took advantage of the Atoll snorkelling program offered at Turneffe Flats. She had an amazing time as well! Hope to hear about your trip one

  • Arriving to Belize Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, 11min. First time of my father on an Aircraft , Flight AV414 on March 4th,2015 . My brother brought us on this terrific trip to Belize . thanks brother.

  • Belizean Adventure 2015, 12min. Two strangers from far away places manage to get themselves involved in a chaotic tropical adventure that one can only experience in a place like Belize. Thanks Stella Di Mare for letting us stay at your awesome beach house and Seaduced for the incredible adventures!!!

  • Belize Scuba Diving: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye - March 2015, 12min. Thanks Belize Pro Dive!

  • That time I got stuck on a zip line in Belize and didn t want to let go, 1/2min.

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