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Today's Belize News: March 17, 2015 #502308
03/17/15 06:00 AM
03/17/15 06:00 AM
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The San Pedro Sun

Those elusive whale sharks
The opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, is one that many dream of. As we’ve told you before, we’ve tried our very best to catch them in action, but they’ve neglected to show up at the appointed time. That doesn’t stop us from wanting to check them out in their natural habitat – no sirree! The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is by far the largest living non-mammal to ever inhabit the Earth. As the world’s largest fish, it has a recorded length of 41.50 feet and a weight of more than 47,000 pounds! Those statistics sure gives new dimension to those tall fish tales, huh?! Despite all of those big numbers and their sheer size and volume, whale sharks are appropriately known as gentle giants – docile and frankly, aren’t bothered by your swimming/snorkeling/diving nearby. We always caution that you shouldn’t come too close – touching wildlife is a big no-no in our books. Besides, despite knowing their gentle nature, size can always keep us at bay!!

Letter to the Editor: Vision Inspired by the People
The VIP San Pedro Team wishes to bring to your attention a matter of grave concern to the residents of San Pedro. We are urgently calling on the proper authorities of this department to investigate the matter of the state of the environment in this community due to the improper dumping of toxic garbage. We are alarmed by the fact that the Mayor announced publicly that he will “continue using trash for landfill and roads”, despite our public denouncement of this practice. This irresponsible practice of using garbage for landfill to fill lots and build streets in the wetlands of San Pedro has been going on for many years; it has created extremely toxic conditions which are polluting our marine and mangrove systems and also endangers the health of our residents. The garbage being dumped includes all types of garbage, from large and small appliances, tires, fibre glass, and nonbiodegradable products and contaminants. Scientific studies of the water, soil and marine life conducted by various teams for a number of years have found major red flags that we are being exposed to lead, arsenic, mercury and other heavy metals from the infiltration of these toxins into the water.

The media looks at CSME’s opportunities for all Belizeans
Representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) urge media practitioners from around the region to break new grounds in their coverage of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). In Belize, the media was asked to play their part in providing increasing timely and simple information on how Belizean nationals can access their legally guaranteed right to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM nations without barriers. This legally guaranteed right is within the scope of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, to which 14 million CARICOM nationals have the right to move, work and do business as long as they meet set requirements. Information was shared during a CARICOM Single Market Media Workshop held at the Best Western Hotel in Belize City on February 26th. Addressing the media at the opening ceremony was Executive Officer of the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Michael Singh. He said that Belizeans must adopt a new boldness to explore their opportunities in their Caribbean neighborhood. According to Singh, to be bold, it must be ensured that everyone in Belize knows their place, their rights and their privileges within the CSME. He urged media workers to not only report on regional meetings and events as news fillers, but to explain the implications of decisions made by CARICOM leaders and their impact on our people.

Disposal of Raw Sewage- What are the protocols?
The Department of Environment (DOE) was identified as the regulatory body for sewage disposal in Belize. According to DOE, BWSL is the only authorized agent in San Pedro to dispose of sewage. Any other business that offers septic cleaning/sewage disposal services needs to be registered with the DOE. This is to ensure that the sewage is being disposed in a proper and controlled manner. DOE states that untreated sewage cannot be dumped into the environment directly and that is why the BWSL ponds play a vital role in the community. Mayor Daniel Guerrero also indicated that the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is completely against the dumping of raw sewage in to the open environment. “It is totally wrong what that person did by dumping sewage on the roadside. The SPTC will not tolerate anyone damaging the environment. I have spoken to the culprit and cautioned him about his offences. He has indicated that it will not happen again, but this incident serves as a warning that we need to monitor these activities more closely,” said Guerrero. SPTC will be working along with Health Inspector Tillett to ensure that sewage collected from septic tanks is being properly disposed.

No maritime and hardship allowances for island police
According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Retired Colonel George Lovell, the cut in allowances was as a result of amendments made to regularize the compendium of allowances to public officers. That regularization took place in January following a list of allowances that were approved in October of 2014 for the Belize Public Service by Ministry of the Public Service and the Ministry of Finance. “That circular that was sent out dated the 1st of October, and there is a revised edition that was done in January of 2015, and that compendium of allowances speaks to the allowances that public officers in general are entitled to. That was done as a result of a comprehensive consultation within the public service from across the entire ministry. That then speaks to the new allowances that were approved for the public officers and that is the basis under which allowances that people were probably once enjoying, that was not regularized, have now become regularized under this new compendium of allowances,’ said Lovell.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Beltraide Costing and Pricing Workshop
The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to determine all costs related to the production of their goods or services and es all the costs and allows them to make a profit while still being feasible for customers. to consequently apply an adequate price that encompass. Presented By: Mr Omar Castillo Sr. Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE. Cost of Workshop: $25.00. Workshop Date: March 19th, 2015 Time: 9 am to 12 noon WORKSHOP LOCATION: ITVet Campus - Freetown Road (BTEC Building), Belize City, Belize Tel: 223-3195 or email: [email protected]

Commentary: Former PUP leader in Belize is crying for help to revive his party but will he get it?
By Wellington C. Ramos. When I went to Orange Walk Town in 1975 to be stationed as a police officer, John Briceno was a young boy at the age of 15 years of age. I know his father Joe Briceno, his uncles Polo Briceno, Dallie Briceno, Charro Briceno and all his other family members well. Renan, who is Polo’s son, and I played football together for the Orange Walk Selection and used to travel in his uncle Joe’s white Bronco to play football throughout the entire country of Belize. In those days Orange Walk was a town where money was flowing all over the place. John Briceno was a young man who gave me a lot of respect when I visited his father’s home. PC Daniel Cacho and myself were also responsible for the newly formed Police Boys Club. I have not met John Briceno since I left Orange Walk Town in 1977 to be transferred to Belize City. However, whenever I go to Belize I make it my business to go and visit all my friends in Orange Walk Town. John Briceno is speaking the truth because he is at a point in his life where he feels that he has done and is doing enough for his People’s United Party (PUP) and they should treat him better. He is also concerned about the future of his party because at the rate they are going it does not look good to him and many other diehard PUPs.

Belize Electricity Limited Hosts CARILEC Human Resources and Public Relations Conference
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is this week hosting the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) 2015 Human Resources and Public Relations Conference under the theme “Achieving the Synergies: Corporate Leadership, PR and HR”. CARILEC is an association of electric utilities, suppliers, manufactures and other stakeholders operating in the electricity industry in the Caribbean[1]. The aim of the conference is to allow for the information sharing and networking of Human Resources, Public Relations and Corporate Communications professionals from the region. BEL is thoroughly embracing the opportunity to network with CARILEC members and local participants of the conference.

MERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES: Do you know who your warden is?
Recently, the U.S. Embassy hosted a luncheon for the Wardens in Belize. A Warden is a private U.S. citizen who volunteers to assist the American Citizen Services section at the U.S. Embassy in communicating with Americans living in Belize, preparing for disasters and alerting Americans to emergency situations. Wardens also provide updates on ongoing events to Americans in their district and organizations and assist in the enrollment of newcomers in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) program. In emergencies, Wardens may be called upon to help locate missing Americans, or visit an American citizen in a jail or hospital.

OCEANA BELIZE AND HOL CHAN MARINE RESERVE PERSONNEL CONDUCT SITE ASSESSMENT. Based on requests from residents of Ambergris Caye and the media for more information about the grounding of a deep water submersible on the Belize Barrier Reef, on Friday, March 13th 2015, Oceana Belize and personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve conducted a site assessment of the incident. The team reports the following:

Swearing in ceremony of the newly elected members of the San Pedro Town Council
Mayor Daniel Guerrero is flanked by his council members and the Area Representative Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. Deputy Mayor of San Pedro Town is Gary Greif.

Croc confiscated from an illegal owner
Our patients usually come without a history, but every now and then the x-rays will tell us their story. This croc was confiscated from an illegal owner and was showing many abrasions on snout, arm, back and tail. These abrasions were typical of the abuse crocodiles receive from humans tying their mouths and feet. What had me puzzled was the size of this croc: he was much bigger then the others we have seen, and his body condition is still very reasonable. This means he was recently caught, at a good size and suspected in good health. We took the x-ray to assess his left arm. Whenever possible we will take a larger image to see more of the animal... His arms are beautifully unbroken, but the x-ray showed us how humans were able to catch him (may be he was accidental by-catch?) and that most likely he will require surgery. Fingers crossed and I am sure you all saw it already?

Public Announcement - Water Abstraction
he Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture takes this opportunity to inform the general public of the issue of Water Abstraction Licences and other necessary permissions needed. Under the Water Industry Act Cap 222 of the Laws of Belize, Part V, Chapter II, Subsection 61: “Subject to the provisions of Sections 27 and 60 of this Act, no person shall abstract and use water, and construct works thereof in respect of a controlled area or a controlled use or a controlled class of uses of water except under and in accordance with a license for the purpose granted to him by the Minister under this Part”. The Hydrology Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, under the authority of the Water Industry Act, CAP 222, Part III, Section 14 Subsections (2) and (3), requires all entities to apply for a Water Abstraction Licence where the water source is limited to a natural water body: surface or groundwater.

Protection of the Seabed and Protection of 66 Feet Reserve
The Lands Department, through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, advises the general public that in Pursuant to Section 2 of the National Lands Act, National Land includes the seabed and the 66 feet reserve, which may include riparian forests, beaches, littoral forests and shoals. Therefore, occupation within the above mentioned spaces without permission from the Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture constitutes an offense of unlawful occupation of National Land. The general public is advised that Groynes, over the water structures such as; piers or wharfs, and any use of the seabed and the 66 feet reserve is illegal and requires permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Kindly be advised that the application for the use of reserves that include mangrove also requires clearance from the Department of Environment and a mangrove alteration permit through the Forest Department. The general public is informed that there is an official process for obtaining permission to utilize the seabed or 66 feet reserve in Belize, and takes this opportunity to invite the general public to visit the Lands and Surveys Department Headquarters in Belmopan for more information. From the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys

Four Ambassadors Presented their Credentials to the Governor General of Belize

Channel 7

Hobbled Jervis Still Charged For Murder
32-year-old Jervis Valencia - he was shot on election night by police officers responding to a shooting incident. Well, he was taken to court today in a hobbled state, to be charged for murder. After 12 days at the KHMH under police guard, Valencia was helped up the court stairs by his girlfriend Shelly Meighan. He was taken before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith where he was read a charge for the murder of 36 year-old Moses "Malachai" Gonguez. Gonguez and Triston Gordon were shot on municipal elections night, March 4, while ballots were bring counted. Valencia was also charged for 1 count of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm for Tristan Gordon; 2 counts of aggravated assault, which he allegedly committed against Police Corporal Harold Grinage and Constable Freeman Staine; keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. Due to the nature of the offences, no bail was offered and he was remanded into custody until May 6.

Man Says He Got Off Murder Charge For A Gun
Legendary cyclist Ernest Jawmaine Meighan - he was killed 7 months ago - and though it happened in broad daylight - police have made no arrest. But, today, a man says he was charged for the murder - and then police withdrew the charge. 23 year old Jeffery McDougal says he was charged with Jawmaine's murder, put on the prison bus by police officers and then taken off. He says he was then given 24 hours to hand in a gun in order for them to drop his murder charge. Quite a story and he came to tell it to us himself this afternoon:.. Voice of: Jeffery McDougal - Charged with Murder "The officers took back the charge me and say that I have to give them a gun tomorrow, or else they will give back the charge on me. They had already charged me, but they told me that they need a gun and then they will not charge me. I was supposed to go on the jail bus, but he told the officer controlling the jail bus, not to worry about that, so they just release me like that and they told me that I have until tomorrow to give them a gun or else they will slap that charge back on me."

Dobson Clear Of Staine Murder
And while he claims to have gotten off a murder charge in a few hours time, it was not so easy for Kenneth Dobson who had to wait almost 4 years to get off his murder. Tonight, 30 year-old Kenneth Dobson, aka "Fudgie", is at home after spending 3 years and 8 months on remand while he awaited trial for the murder of Erwin Staine. That trial concluded today before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez, and he was acquitted by a jury of 12 this evening. Police investigation at the time was that at around 10:30 on June 1, 2011, Erwin Staine was socializing with a friend in front of his house on North Creek Street when a man rode up on bike and shot him in the left side of his chest, his left foot, and right side of his abdomen. He died on the spot, while his other friend reportedly ran for cover. Well, the prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Leroy Banner, called the victim's sister as the main witness against Dobson. She testified that she saw the shooter, which she identified as Dobson in court.

Fuel Ship Late, Rations In Effect
The fuel shipment which comes into the country every three weeks is four days late this month - and some service stations are saying they'll run out of gas before it arrives. Diesel and Premium fuels are already being rationed but the UNO fuel company says that a good many of its 11 service stations countrywide will be out of those fuels by the time the shipment comes. That fuel will start to run out tomorrow, most likely, in San Ignacio. The man we call Belize's Fuel Czar, John Mencias, who is the Deputy Chairman of Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited oversees the importation of fuel into Belize. He concedes that the shipment is late but he doesn't expect that it should force a shortage. A number of fuel station owners we spoke to said it is a matter of management. They told us that rationing is happening but fuel station owners should plan in advance and keep their reserves topped up. So far, we know that at least 2 fuel stations: one in Punta Gorda and the other in Belmopan have run out of premium and diesel. UNO says it is only being rationed about 20% of its daily fuel needs and so has had to turn back large customers. Of course, its significant that PUMA, the importer of fuels is also the one controlling the rationing - and PUMA also has fuel stations - which some say is a rather obvious conflict of interest.

Cagey One From Cameroon
45 year-old Emmanuel Ngue-mowuo (N-GWEH-MOWOU), a native of the Central African country of Republic Cameroon, arrived today at the Phillip Goldson International Airport with a forged passport of a deceased Honduran National. According to Immigration Officials, he arrived in Belize at around 11 a.m. from a flight from Honduras. When he arrived at the immigration desk, the alert officer on duty received his passport, and noticed something peculiar about the document. The officer did a background check and it was discovered that this passport belonged to the deceased Honduran National David Emmanuel Fabio Matute. Ngue-mowuo was immediately detained and charged with the offence of using a document he was not entitled to.

Woman Stabbed Stalker
Tonight, 24 year-old Shannon Smith, a mother of 3 who lives in Mahogany Heights, is out on bail after she was taken to court for allegedly stabbing 42 year-old Earlin Butler, who also resides in Mahogany Heights. The incident occurred last week Friday afternoon, March 13. Police reports are that Erlin Butler Sr. went to Smith's home, and a fight ensued between them. It was during incident that Butler was stabbed in his chest. Shannon Smith was arraigned today on the charge of grievous harm when she appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. She pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was released on a bail of $1,000. Her case was adjourned until May 15.

Fatal Accident On Southern
A man was run over and killed on Friday night on the Southern Highway. 40-year-old Salvador Ack was driving his SUV from Bella Vista towards Trio Village when he hit 47 year old Faustino Orellana off his bike near mile 45. It happened at 9:30 when both were heading in the same direction. Ack says Orellana's bike veered directly in front of him on the right-hand side of the road. Orellana died on the spot. Ack was served with a notice of intended prosecution.

Man Claims GSU Beatdown On Pedro
A 42 year old man is claiming police brutality after he said he was badly beaten in the island town of San Pedro. Brian Castillo, a watchman of -Una Cantina Mas- located up the Coast of San Pedro Town told 7news that on Thursday morning sometime after 3am, GSU officers visited the resort and demanded that he handed over drugs. Castillo said he had no idea what the officers were talking about and that was when they began brutalizing him. Today we caught up with Castillo at the Medical Associates where he showed us X-rays of his broken ribs and cuts and bruises all over his body.

Pol Say They Tried To Kill Kenroy
On Friday night's news you heard from the family of Kenroy Arnold - who was shot in Ladyville. They say it was a case of mistaken identity. Well, Ladyville police say they aren't making any mistake with the charge against 30 year old Alrick Smith and Ronald Michael who have been jointly for "Conspiracy to commit Murder" and 22 year old Ronald Michael who was additionally charged for "Attempt Murder","Deadly means of Harm" and "Dangerous Harm" upon Kenroy Arnold.

Carilec Cometh
Representatives of 35 power companies from throughout the Caribbean are in Belize this week for a regional meeting. It's the Association of Electric Utilities in the Caribbean - CARILEC - which is holding its Human Resources and Public Relations conference at the Radisson this week. The theme of the conference is "Achieving the Synergies: Corporate Leadership, PR and HR" and the association plans on achieving that synergy through improved communication and leadership within and among member companies. Now you may ask, what does PR and HR have to do with you? Well according to BEL's CEO Jeffrey Locke, improving these departments will lead to increased customer satisfaction.

Hon. Dean Asks After Rt. Hon Said's Health
At Friday's House Meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow remarked about the health of his colleague across the floor, Said Musa. Here is how Barrow put it and what Musa had to say in response:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "People who saw the Former Prime Minister on Wednesday, during the newscast were shocked by his appearance to the extent that he might be ill. There is a difference between ill and sick. We know he is sick in his head, but to the extent that he might be ill, nobody will treat that lightly. Nobody will take that as any laughing matter." Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Fort George "Well, the Prime Minister should take comfort from the fact that he believes I am not well, but I am sorry to disabuse him of it, I am very much alive and well - even at 71 in a week."

The Petrocaribe Bottom Line
And while the Right Honorable Musa is expected to prove his battle readiness when the budget goes for a debate next week, one subject he is sure to bring up is Petrocaribe. AT Friday's budget presentation, the Prime Minister disclosed how much had been spent under the programme and on what by tabling a Motion and a Supplementary. Since late 2012 up to February 2015, ALBA PetroCaribe Belize Ltd has imported US$238 million worth of fuel from Venezuela. This money is under a 1.0 percent interest rate with a Repayment Term of 25 years including a two-year Grace Period. The Grace Period is still in effect, so government has not yet had to make any debt payments neither principal nor interest on these loans. But, starting this year, interest and repayment will begin to fall due. Government has allotted $4 million dollars for this in the budget.

Diver's Life Lost In Blue Hole
Police have confirmed that they are investigating the death of an American Tourist which happened on last week Tuesday at the Blue Hole. 66 year-old Roger Piper, a tourist from Texas was reportedly on an expedition with his family, and they had employed Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop to be the expedition's leaders. The San Pedro Sun Newspaper reports that the trip was going according to plan until Piper reached a depth of 50 feet below the water surface. There he reportedly started experiencing breathing problems, and he alerted the crew. They took steps to bring him back to the surface, but by that time he was already unconscious. The crew tried to resuscitate Piper, but those attempts failed, so, they contacted the Belize Coast Guard to assist them in any way possible. One of the Coast Guard's boats arrived transported him from that location to the KHMH for immediate attention. Unfortunately, when they arrived at the hospital, Piper was pronounced dead, and it is believed that a heart attack was a contributing factor in his sudden demise. Nevertheless, police will continue to investigate the nature of the Piper's sudden demise.

Coastal Zone Get Advice From Wake Forest
A new coastal zone plan for Belize is expected to go into effect later this year - but the Coastal Zone Management Institute and Authority is getting advice on how to make it better, even before they put it into effect. A team from Wake Forest University is here to advise them on his to make the police as fluid as the coastline. We found out more today:..

Another Reef Wrecker
But as adaptive as it might be the plan could never foresee events like this one. Another vessel is causing serious damage to the reef off Ambergris Caye - and that's a 12-foot, deep-water-submersible. It was found on Wednesday March 11th about 6 miles north of San Pedro in an area known as Mexico Rocks. According to a release by OCEANA, "the submersible has already caused damage to the coral species at the site and the damage from the reef to where the submersible finally grounded is clearly visible." Efforts at removing the vessel have proven unsuccessful because of high wave action. OCEANA's release continues "the vessel has been identified by the manufacturer as an ROV reported lost in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2014. It has been traced to a company called Impersub International, which does research and exploration for gas and oil companies". OCEANA ends the release by saying "OCEANA Belize supports the recommendation that the submersible be removed as soon as possible to avoid further degradation to the site.....The damage already caused by the ROV and the complexity of it's removal from the Belize Barrier Reef as well as the recent sailboat stranding off Caye Caulker, highlights the lack of the necessary resources to respond properly and timely to incidents at sea."

Who Is Fastest From Belize To Belmopan
The Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is only weeks away, and the 34th Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic is seen as the last warm-up before the big race. So, Sunday morning was the last time to test legs and strength and 7news was there:.. The top finisher in the elite category received 2,000.00 dollars sponsored by SMART plus a trophy and Recliner from Tropigas.

12 Year Sentence Set Aside
Convicted sex offender, Saturino Pop, who was convicted of 3 counts of carnal knowledge, received some good news today when the Court of Appeal announced that they were going to set aside his 12 year prison sentence and order a new trial. That's after his appeal was heard and allowed. His attorney, Oscar Selgado, argued on his behalf and presented several grounds of appeal, but the Court of Appeal accepted the ground that he was not afforded a fair trial. That happened because he was unrepresented at the Supreme Court trial, and the judge failed to assist him in his defence.

Dr. Carla "Eena It" Officially
Dr. Carla Barnett made it official yesterday when she had her Freetown endorsement convention at the park in Belama Phase 1. Even though it rained, Barnett had an all start case of UDP political personalities including the Prime Minister. And while Barnett the newcomer is considered a decided underdog against the leader of the opposition, Francis Fonseca in a Freetown Seat he was won three times - she is likely to be encouraged by the fact that the UDP slate had a strong showing in Freetown in the municipal election, with mayoral candidate Darrell Bradley actually beating out Yolanda Schakron. In the case of councilors, there was only a small margin for the PUP in the solid votes.

Channel 5

Puma Energy Rations Fuel Amid Increase in Demand at the Pump
There is a report tonight that fuel stocks are running low at gas depots countrywide. As a result, the main fuel importer, Puma Energy, has been rationing stocks, in particular [...]

Mahogany Heights Man Stabbed in the Heart by Scorned Woman
A Mahogany Heights resident is tonight fortunate to be alive after he was stabbed to the chest on Friday afternoon in what has been described as a domestic dispute. Forty-two [...]

…But Was It a Case of Self Defense?
According to Hattieville Police, under whose jurisdiction the Mahogany Heights Community falls, they were called out sometime around two-thirty on Friday afternoon. By that time, Butler had already been rushed [...]

Kenneth Dobson Acquitted of Murder after Three Years in Remand
There has not been a guilty conviction for murder since the beginning of the year and in fact, as recent as last Thursday, three men walked free of the charge. [...]

Jervis Valencia Hobbles to Court, Arraigned for Murder and Battery of Related Charges
A bloodbath on Mayflower Street on the night of March fourth ended in the death of a Belize City resident, left another man injured and the alleged assailant under police [...]

Are Jaguars Preying on Livestock in Crooked Tree?
Livestock farmers in Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary have been losing their cattle, but it is not to rustlers. For some time now, farmers have lost thousands of dollars because jaguars [...]

Sergio Martinez Buried As John Doe After Being Hacked to Death in San Victor
A Mexican national was hacked to death in the Corozal District on March first.  The body of a man identified as Sergio Martinez was discovered in his bungalow with multiple [...]

Elderly Man Found Dead in Libertad, Was Foul Play Involved?
On Saturday afternoon, Lenard Logan found his grandfather, George Trapp, dead.  Trapp’s body was found behind his house in some bush.  He was fully dressed, wearing slippers, with his glasses [...]

Hit & Run Driver Indicted 3 Years After Fatal Accident in Corozal
There were a number of road traffic accidents across the country over the weekend and finally, there was one arrest for a fatal road traffic accident that occurred two years [...]

Belize City Youth Shot on Albert Street
Belize City police are also reporting a shooting incident that occurred on Saturday night in the Old Capital. Just after eight p.m., twenty year old Conrad Pitts was at the [...]

PM Barrow Explains Recurrent Expenditure in 2015 Budget
Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the 2015-2016 Budget on Friday, and it will be debated in the next two weeks. While he hasn’t officially dubbed it a budget of plenty, [...]

$195 Million Worth of Road Works for 2015
As he has alluded to with some regularity, the Prime Minister has ramped up the allocation to capital two and three projects this year to one hundred and ninety-five million [...]

PM Barrow Says No New Taxes in Five Years
Even in the face of increased spending in every sector, the PM boasts that the government has done it all, and continues to do it, without any increase in taxes. [...]

OCEANA in Belize Issues on Grounded Submersible
A submersible was found last Wednesday in the waters off San Pedro on the Belize Barrier Reef in an area called Mexico Rocks.  It has been determined that the object [...]

Former KKK Leader, Bill Wilkinson, Living in San Pedro as Resort Owner
The Daily Mail, an online newspaper out of the UK, has resurrected what it calls an exclusive story; the content which has already been reported sometime in Belize. It involves [...]

NBC Back In Belize to Shoot Investigative Feature on John McAfee
And while the story of Bill Wilkinson has re-surfaced, there is another story that has been attracting attention in Belize. John McAfee, whom you will recall, was wanted locally as [...]

B.E.L. Hosts CARILEC Forum in Belize
Belize Electricity Limited is currently hosting the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation’s 2015 Human Resources and Public Relations Conference in Belize City. The conference and others held frequently across the [...]

2015 Preschool Festival of Arts Kicks Off at the Bliss
An anticipated item on the calendar of school activities is the Festival of Arts involving pre-scholars. This morning the festival opened at the Bliss; teachers and proud parents were on [...]

Football, Softball and Basketball Updates in Sports
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Saturday night inside the Isidoro Beaton Stadium saw a crucial matchup as undefeated Belize Defense Force was hosted by [...]


Family Experiences Dispute Over Land Grab
A couple in San Jose Village are in the middle of a land dispute and they claim that politics is at the center of their plight. Sebastaiana Escalante visited out studio today to file a complaint in which she says that the land on which she and her husband Carmelo Escalante have lived on for over 20 years is being taken away by other family members. The couple has decided to fight their rights to the land and have taken necessary procedures to contest the rights to the property. However, Escalante claims that the family has been at the losing end thanks to politics. She first explained how they acquired the land. Sebastiana Escalante – Complainant “Hace 21 ano nos casamos yo y Carmelo y no teníamos casa donde vivir, yo quedaba en una casa de un tio, entonces cuando dio un tiempo mi suegro nos fue a buscar a San Pablo diciéndonos que él quiere que compremos una casa que está a lado de su casa de él, entonces mi esposo le dijo que no tenemos dinero, entonces el mismo se ofreció a llevarnos a Belize Bank a prestar para comprar la casa que es de si hermano Graciano Escalante...

Belize Experiences Fuel Shortage
Ever since the country of Belize experienced a decrease in fuel prices the consumption has skyrocketed especially here in the North, home of the Sugar Industry. The demand for fuel has seen a drastic increase countrywide and tonight the news is not good as gas stations are rationing their supply in order to meet the demand of consumers. The problem lies in the fact that currently fuel stocks are running low at the main depot in Belize City owned by PUMA as the tanker from Venezuela has experienced some setbacks and is yet to reach Belizean territory. PUMA, the importer of fuel has been struggling with its stock since last week and they too are controlling the rationing of fuel even at their service stations. In an attempt to supplement its fuel stock PUMA has had to resort to trucking in fuel supply over land from Central America.

Will The P.U.P Hold National Convention To Elect Party Leader
Tonight there is no shying away from the fact that there is political unrest within the People’s United Party. Last week the media was buzzing with the latest that followed the release of what should have been a private conversation between Orange Walk Central Area Representative John Briceno and two other party supporters in which he made unprecedented allegations that incriminates high ranking officials in his party. While Briceno has refrained from commenting on the matter except to say that he had a private conversation and that he in the end supports the party leader Francis Fonseca, Belizeans are skeptical about the party’s reform efforts. As has been reported nationally, there is doubt surrounding Fonseca’s leadership especially following what some are saying is the historic win by the United Democratic Party for the municipal elections. Last week the party executives reiterated the party’s continued work towards further reform but there has also been talk about a possible convention. When faced by the media, Orange Walk Central Area Representative John Briceno again expressed support for the party leader.

Oceana Investigates Case Of Submersible Equipment
A few days back we reported on a discovery of what was believed to be a submersible equipment of some sort on the reef off San Pedro Ambergris Caye. The discovery was made around three thirty on Wednesday March 11th. Pictures we see were posted on the San Pedro Sun Facebook page. Today, Oceana issued a release on the damages caused to the Belize barrier Reef following an assessment conducted on March 13th in collaboration with Hol Chan Marine Reserve. According to their findings, the deep water submersible was discovered about six miles north of San Pedro Town in an area known as Mexico Rocks, within the recently expanded Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Their report indicates that the item described as a Quantum 9, heavy work class ROV measures almost 12ft in length by 6.6ft in width and includes four propellers topside, another two in the front and two more in the rear. The device also includes several underwater cameras. It came to a stop in approximately three feet of water and the damage it caused substantial damage to the coral species. Oceana Belize’s Communications Director Alyssa Carnegie is quoted as saying, “The damage already caused by the ROV and the complexity of its removal from the Belize Barrier Reef, as well as the recent sailboat stranding off Caye Caulker, highlights the lack of the necessary resources to respond properly and timely to incidents at sea. How we handle these incidents communicates, nationally and globally, the level of respect we hold for our marine wealth.”

Corozal Bus Terminal Relocated
If you commute to and from Corozal then this morning you may have been informed that the Corozal Bus Terminal has relocated. The move is based on the need to complete road rehabilitation works on 7th Street. According to the Transport Department, starting today Monday March 16th, 2015 until further notice, the Corozal Bus Terminal will be temporarily relocated to the Santa Elena Road, just on the outskirts of Santa Rita at the building that used to be the “Super Santa Rita Grocery Store”, adjacent to Majil’s Mexican Products. Authorities says the new bus route will be leaving from the temporary Bus Terminal heading down towards Corozal Town via Santa Rita Road then it will turn right before Magana’s Pharmacy onto the Port Saul road and head up towards College Road. On College Road the bus will turn right and head down College Road until it reaches 7th Avenue where it shall turn right and make its normal route on the Northern Highway heading towards Orange Walk and Belize City.

Man Arrested For Causing Fatal Hit and Run Accident After Three Years
Over the weekend Corozal Police made an arrest into a hit and run accident that left one man dead three years ago. Viewers may recall that on February 2nd 2012, Concepcion Villager, Jairo Isaias Castillo was knocked down and killed as he stood on the left hand side of the highway when the driver of a bus allegedly travelling at high speed lost control and swerved to the left and knocked Castillo down, fatally wounding him. Three years later, on March 13th, Humberto Novelo was arrested and charged for; manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, failure to report an accident and fail to stop and render aid. Novelo’s arrested was made possible with the assistance of the public.

Four Ambassadors Present Credentials To Governor General
Four ambassadors presented their letters of credence to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The Ambassadors who presented their credentials are Ambassador of Ukraine H.E. Mr. Ruslan Spirin, Ambassador of Denmark H.E. Mr. Henrik Bramsen Hahn, Ambassador of Chile H.E. Mrs. Maria Inez Ruz Zanartu, and Ambassador of Czech Republic H.E. Mr. L’ubomir Hladik. All four expressed pleasure to be in the country and offered well wishes to Belizeans, says the release. They also conveyed their countries’ commitments to working with Belize towards common goals and further reinforce ties of understanding and cooperation.

Corozal Police Investigate Traffic Accident, One Person Is Injured
And while police successfully closed that case with an arrest, on Saturday Corozal police were investigating yet another traffic mishap. According to authorities, about 7:30 on Saturday night, acting upon information received, Corozal Police visited an area between miles 79 & 80 on the Phillip Goldson Highway within San Joaquin Village where on arrival officers saw a White Truck in a stationary position on the right lane of the highway with its front facing a south direction, when traveling a north to south direction. Officers also observed what appeared to be blood stains on the right lane of the road in front of the white truck. Initial investigations revealed that the white truck was traveling a north to south direction on the highway and was being driven at the time by 55 year old Daniel Perez, Belizean driver of Mamey Street, Trial Farm Village. Upon reaching an area between miles 79 & 80 in San Joaquin Village a Hispanic male namely 27 year old Aquilino Moh, Belizean resident of Calcutta Village ran from an east to west direction across the street, as a result the driver applied his brakes but nevertheless the white truck could not come to a halt in time and ended up running into Moh. The impact caused Moh to fall onto the pavement and sustained injuries to his head and a wound to his left foot.

Man Detained For Drug Possession
On Saturday around 3:20pm, police apprehended a 38-year-old Belizean/Guatemalan labourer of August Pine Ridge who was seen throwing a plastic bag as the police approached him. The individual was taken to the area where the bag was thrown and as it was retrieved police saw that it contained several small parcels of suspected crack/cocaine and another small transparent plastic bag containing a large broken parcel of suspected crack/cocaine. The individual was escorted to Orange Walk Police Station along with the drugs which amounted to a total 6.6grams.

San Pedro Police Investigate Case Of Stolen Golf Cart
In crime news from San Pedro Town, police have detained one Guatemalan mechanic for theft and damage to property. According to the report from 40 year old Yasmin Aminet Cano of Pescador Drive San Pedro Town, sometime on Sunday whilst in the company of her common-law husband on their Club Car Golf cart, they proceeded to Sea Weed Street and parked their cart. After about 5 minutes they were alerted that someone had taken their cart. Cano then proceeded to the police station where she saw the cart which was towed in and noticed that the front portion of the cart was extensively damaged. The value of the cart is $15,000.00. Police have detained a 20-year-old Guatemalan mechanic of San Pedrito area San Pedro Town pending investigation.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Re: Today's Belize News: March 17, 2015 [Re: Marty] #502309
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Children Involve in Pornography Movie; Gordon Address Concerns
We have been getting reports for weeks now that Ladyville police busted a group of persons filming a pornography movie at a house in Ladyville Village, Belize District. The report that we got was that children were involved; we are yet to ascertain in what capacity those children were involved but we do know that children were in the house at the time of the movie was being made. Today, we asked Inspector Gordon about it and he told us that they did do a preliminary investigation and their findings have been forwarded to the Department of Human Services. INSPECTOR FREDRICK GORDON “We in Ladyville had received information and we had looked into the information but we did not get anything substantive about the information so we passed on the information to human services to look into the matter.”

End of Legal War? Elvin Penner Case Dismissed
In the recording John Briceno said in the last general elections, Cayo South area representative Julius Espat was in control of the money and kept it to himself instead of spreading it around, costing the PUP at least two seats in the Cayo District. Opposition Leader said the allegation is untrue; Espat also shared his comments. LEADER OF OPPOSITION, HON. FRANCIS FONSECA “You have to understand the history of the relationship with John Briceno and I. I came into the People’s United Party because of John Briceno. I served under him from 2009 until 2012 I was his most loyal soldier, I was his treasurer so he knows how I operate he knows how accountable I am and that is why it was disappointing to me with what he said and I requested an apology from him in private and he hasn’t given it to me and therefore I continue requesting an apology but to me it is over meaning I have made my statement, I stand for what I believe in and if he doesn’t want to apologize that is a manly decision of him on his part.”

Espat Says Briceno Should Be Discpline
In the recording John Briceno said in the last general elections, Cayo South area representative Julius Espat was in control of the money and kept it to himself instead of spreading it around, costing the PUP at least two seats in the Cayo District. Opposition Leader said the allegation is untrue; Espat also shared his comments. LEADER OF OPPOSITION, HON. FRANCIS FONSECA “You have to understand the history of the relationship with John Briceno and I. I came into the People’s United Party because of John Briceno. I served under him from 2009 until 2012 I was his most loyal soldier, I was his treasurer so he knows how I operate he knows how accountable I am and that is why it was disappointing to me with what he said and I requested an apology from him in private and he hasn’t given it to me and therefore I continue requesting an apology but to me it is over meaning I have made my statement, I stand for what I believe in and if he doesn’t want to apologize that is a manly decision of him on his part.”

J.B Refuses to Speak on Tape; Fonseca Denies Allegations Against PUP
The drama of the secret recording of Orange Walk Central area representative, John Briceno continued today. Prime Minister Dean Barrow read a statement in which he reiterated his party’s position that the PUP needs to respond to Briceno’s comments in which he speaks of corruption within the PUP Government of which he was a part. Briceno has maintained that the conversation was a private one and should never have been released to the public. He stuck to that position when pressed by the media following today’s meeting. HON. JOHN BRICENO “In that discussion in many instances that if when you are talking that you would have framed what you were saying differently from what came across on that tape but I am not going to discuss it. I think what is important is to talk about this budget. I mean when you look at the numbers and this is what is very important.”

Proposed National Budget Forecasts Increases in Production of Exports and Tourism
During his proposed budget presentation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow went into the projections for the new fiscal year. “As it looks ahead into the rest of 2015 the Central Bank of Belize conservatively expects GDP growth to decelerate to between 2% and 2.5%, they feel that the tail winds that drove the 2014 expansions will moderate. I note however that their native caution has been confounded before, in fact just last year they had forecasted under 3% as I have said we did over a full percentage point better than they had estimated. In any case production of the export crop sugar cane, banana, and citrus should continue to increase though by a smaller magnitude than in 2014. Hydro electricity generation has been trending downward recently due to dryer weather and petroleum extraction has been on its inevitable finite decline.

Belize will Keep Rolling with PetroCaribe Funds
Prime Minister Barrow said his Government will continue to take advantage of the Petrocaribe initiative. He said since late 2012 up to February of this year Government has imported 238 million US dollars worth of refined fuel products from Venezuela. “Under the terms of the agreement which provides for long term financing of a greater or smaller portion of the costs of these imports depending on the world market prices, the government of Belize has borrowed from Acbell a total of $143 million USD during the same period. The main terms and conditions under which these funds were borrowed I repeat include a rate of interest of only 1% per anum and a repayment term of 25 years inclusive of a 2 year grace period. During this grace period the interest itself is capitalized. Because this grace period is still in effect GOB has not so far had to make any debt payments neither principal or interest on these loans but commencing this year interest and repayment will begin to fall due.

PM Says Infrastructural Overhaul Led to Spending Above Budgeted Figures
Barrow said the development expenditure increased by almost 69 million dollars above the budgeted figures. “This huge rise in development expenditure was a result of the government’s decided and deliberate policy to invest massively in infrastructure particularly in upgrading streets and drains in Belize City, Belmopan city and all district towns. Also on the social side we considered it an imperative to provide access through the national bank to lower cost financing for mortgage lending, All this as part of our new compact with our citizens the totality of which is aimed at advancing growth, increasing employment and taking Belizeans to a better place. In bulking up the capital spending there was an outlay of $33 million dollars on road rehabilitation countrywide.

2014/2015 – Barrow Says Was A Part of UDP’s Infrastructural Overhaul of Belize
The 2015/2016 budget was presented today. Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the presentation of his eighth budget, this one under the theme of “Continuing the transformation”. The Prime Minister began with a review of the last fiscal year. “For fiscal year 2014-2015, the Central Government is projecting a primary deficit of $50 million dollar equivalent of 1.5% of GDP and an overall deficit of $141 million dollars or 4.1% of GDP. The projected primary deficit cannot escape the scrutiny provoked by its comparison with the budgeted surplus of 1.1% of GDP and in that same vain the projected overall deficit is almost 2.5% in response greater than the initial estimate of negative 1.6% of GDP. Of course there is a reason for this and that reason simply is that the UDP political directorate is unrelenting in its mission and that mission we are happy to tell the world is to infrastructurally overhaul our country.

Fonseca Says PM Should Bring Evidence or Shut His Mouth
As we mentioned earlier, Prime Minister Dean Barrow insists that the allegations made by John Briceno needs to be addressed by the leadership of the People’s United Party. Opposition leader Francis Fonseca disagrees, saying, the matters addressed in the recording have been well ventilated in the public domain for a number years. FRANCIS FONSECA “The issues discussed on that tape have been widely and publicly ventilated for many years; all of those issues you, yourself have asked the former Prime Minister many questions about many of those issues over the years. So, it is all political grandstanding, public political posturing and rhetoric. I have said to the Prime Minster he has been the Prime Minister of Belize for almost eight years he is completing seven years if there is any evidence of corruption bring it to the Belize people or shut your mouth. That is my response to him, deal with the hotbed of corruption that he talks about in his government; the corruption that is taking place in almost every ministerial department in his government; talk about that, deal with that; that is what the Belizean public wants him to deal with.”


Reward for recovery of Rotarian passport
The Rotary Club of Dangriga has reported that the Passports of Wendy Andrew and Joyce Fofonoff who are two of the five members team of Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Edmonton, Canada were stolen from the Pals Guest House on Thursday 12 March 2015...

Custom broker charged with wounding friend
A woman who tried to stop an argument at her house on Thursday wound up with a split lip for her efforts. Today, the man who slapped her appeared in court. Custom broker Jason Bernard of Handyside Street pleaded not guilty to a charge of wounding before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer...

Mother of three charged for weed at police station
A 29 year old mother of three went to the police station on Thursday to report assault by her common-law husband who she said punched her, but she wound up in trouble instead. Gania Robateau removed 3...

Man pleads guilty for drug bust in front of Magistrate’s Court
A senior citizen was busted in Belize City in July of 2012 for drug and traffic offences, and today his case wrapped up with a plea of guilty to a charge of drug trafficking.  52 year old Fred Buckley must pay a fine of $10,000 by June 30 or he will serve three years in prison...

COLA appeal against Elvin Penner dismissed in Supreme Court
Two weeks ago, at the conclusion of the hearing of the appeal of Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren against the decision of Magistrate Aretha Ford to throw out summary charges against Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner related to his facilitating a passport and Belizean nationality fo...

Man shot in the leg by cops
Around the same time in Belize City, another person was shot. According to police reports, they received information of shots fired on Central American Blvd...

Drive by shooting in Ladyville; man in critical condition
Two persons were shot last night, Thursday March 12,  one in Ladyville and the other in Belize City...

Patrick JonesPJ

New San Ignacio/Santa Elena town council officially takes office
The new San Ignacio/Santa Elena town council officially took office today, Monday, March 16. Mayor Earl Trapp and his councilors were sworn in during a short ceremony held on Sunday afternoon at the Cayo Welcome Center by Senior Justice of the Peace Elulogio Cano. Prior to the start of the […]

Submersible vessel stuck on the Belize Barrier causing major damage
The Belize Barrier Reef is taking a pounding … literally. A 12 feet long by 6 feet wide deep water submersible was spotted last week about six miles north of San Pedro town in an area known as Mexico Rocks. According to Oceana Belize, late last week it undertook an […]

Visiting African caught with dead man’s passport
A native of Cameroon in West Africa must pay a fine after pleading guilty to illegal use of a document, specifically a Honduran passport whose bearer is dead. 45 year old Emmanuel Nguemowuo arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville via a flight from Honduras, but […]

Jervis Valencia charged for murder
The March 5 murder of Moses Gonguez on Mayflower Street disrupted the peace of election night. Initially police thought they had killed the man who reportedly shot him, 32 year old Jervis Diamond Valencia, as he was shot in the forehead, arm and chest; but he survived his […]

Woman charged for stabbing “obsessed” assailant
A mother of 3 residing in Mahogany Heights, Belize District, is accused of grievous harm despite claims she defended herself from a man she says was obsessed with her, although they do not have a relationship. 24 year old Shannon Smith was read her charges before Chief Magistrate […]

Belize: A Post Election View From Under The Bus
By Richard Harrison Municipal elections in Belize are held every three years and were scheduled for March 4, 2015. General elections to elect members of the House of Representatives are held every five years and must be held by March 2017, but can be called by the Prime Minister at any time before then, with […]

Jury acquits man of murder charge
A jury of 8 men and 4 women deliberated for a little over 4 hours today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez before it found Kenneth Dobson, aka “Fudgie”, not guilty of the murder of Erwin Staine. Staine was shot multiple times in the left side of […]

One World Running annual Fun Run to be held on Wednesday
Preparations are well underway for this year’s One World Fun Run. The annual event will be held on Wednesday morning starting at 6 o’clock from the Punta Gorda Central Park. Over a thousand students from Primary School to the University of Belize are expected to take part in […]


Dateline NBC Is Back in Belize For An Update on John McAfee – Ugh
“Dateline – Belize: The Real Blacklist” – the commercials/previews are already showing on NBC for the update on John McAfee and his time in Belize. And the NBC crew has been on the island this past weekend to film parts of the updated episode that will be airing this Thursday. For those who missed the first episodes, they aired on NBC and the show “Dateline” just over 2 years ago… Update on John McAfee: He is still batshit crazy and DYING for attention. Sigh…I hate to even post on this but I’ve been getting quite a few messages about the commercials that are playing on NBC. I guess we have to wait until then. Thursday night 8pm ET – 6pm in Belize.

The hidden force in global economics: sending money home
Last year there was huge debates about what Belizeans in the Diaspora do for the motherland and the people there. Some asked in news papers "What have you done for me lately?" others pointed to other things, but mostly the concept was insinuating that the Diaspora does not do much for the nation. There was one ignorant fellow that made the remark in public forum that: In 2013, the Central Bank of Belize reported that remittances were $72.2 million or about 2.23% of our gross domestic product (GDP). Economists will tell you that any activity generating 2.23% of GDP is not insignificant in-and-of-itself. However, given the nature of remittances, we can discount its overall importance to the economy. In essence, we can take it for granted because remittances are not so susceptible to exogenous shocks. Basically saying that the money sent home by Diasporans does not make a difference for Belize and Belizeans that receive these funding, and mind you this is only monies that went through the Western Unions, Wire Transfers and other expensive and traceable means, this does not include monies that go directly to pay bills using a diaspora family member’s credit card or monies sent with a trusted friend or wrapped up in a parcel, etc. To add to that you have to think about donations made in the form of items like computers to schools, clothes and food drives held in the Diaspora that get sent for those that need, and other such things.

Puerto Rican Pasteles/Tamales Puertorriqueños
Puerto Rican Pastales are somewhat similar to Belizean Tamales except it's made with green plantains instead of corn. This is a very dense dish, but very delicious. I also show you in 3 minutes or less how to make Belizean Tamales.

On Ambergris Caye: A quiet week, crime-wise — but have you heard about the Cynk stink?
It has been a quiet week in San Pedro, my home town, where the coffee is strong, the barrier reef is good looking and the weather is above average. My apologies to Garrison Keillor and “Prairie Home Companion.” But it has been quiet and I think a thank you to the Government of Belize for its quick response to a bad situation might be due. When a drug related turf war flared up and innocent children were caught in the crossfire, enforcement came down on the island like a hammer. Here is Channel 5’s report on the initial actions taken by police. I don’t know enough about the local players to comment but this seems significant. Prime Minister Dean Barrow recently released a statement in which he ordered expanded enforcement support for Ambergris Caye, where loss of tourism could dig a deep hole in the country’s revenue base.

The March 15th, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

    The Police from the Crimes Investigation Branch and the Special Branch are cracking down on drug peddlers in the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Their latest bust was on Tuesday, 10 March, based on the information they received of a cream Geo Prism with taxi licenses plate BVO-00289. Police acted swiftly and intercepted the vehicle between mile 68 and 69, right in front of the Inglewood Camping Grounds. There were four occupants including, a male driver and three women passengers. All occupants were ordered out of the vehicle with their belongings. Police then conducted a search on each individual however nothing incriminating was found on the occupants except for one of the female occupants, whom police found as Merikita Castillo, 28 year old domestic of Belize City. Castillo had a grey crochet bag in her hand. Upon searching the bag police found a dark blue Everest school bag what contained some clothes, cosmetics, personal documents, a clack plastic bag and a transparent Miltex plastic bag. Further search of the black plastic bag, led to the discovery of green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana.
  • Teenager Drowns In The Mopan River:
    A third-form student of Eden High School in Benque Viejo Del Carmen drowned in the Mopan River on Sunday while swimming with friends. Family members believe that seventeen year old Michael Quintanilla caught a cramp while attempting to cross the river. They got the call at around four Sunday evening, after his friends had tried unsuccessfully to save him. Police was call immediately after, and upon arrival found Quintanilla’s lifeless body on the bank of the Mopan River. The body was transferred to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Father of Deceased, Alfredo Quintanilla, said that he was told by the father of one of the kids that they had lunch a couple of minutes before taking a dip in the in the Mopan river and upon swimming across, Michael, unfortunately did not make it.
  • The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust Signs An Agreement With The Belize Enterprise For Sustainable Technology To Serve As Implementing Agent Of The Trust’s Student Loan Programme:
    The BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust (BNECT) 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. The BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust shares the same agenda of our partners and envisions this collaboration as a joint effort to empower and uplift Belizeans so that they can become the conscious architects of their own future.
  • La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2015:
    The 2015 La Ruta Maya took center stage in the Jewel over the Baron Bliss weekend. At the start of the 4th and final stage of this canoe race, were 50 vessels afloat on the calm of the Belize or Old River at Henderson Bank in Burrell Boom Village, the starting signal brings an outburst of unrestrained energy as the competition comes to life. At Lord’s Bank, OCEANA Wavemakers display their intention to make it 2 stage wins in a row with the overall victory mathematically; almost inaccessibly grabbing the 2nd premie en route to Belize City. Behind them, the 2 real challengers for the 2015 title B.T.L. Cobb’s Arm and NICH continue to bitter struggle for supremacy as NICH boasts only a 2 second lead over the Corozal based team that has displayed a tremendous improvement in a year’s time.
  • Cayo Western Ballaz Survived A Scare Versus Belize City No Limit:
    On Friday night, Cayo Western Ballaz(5-0) hosted the Belize City No Limit(1-4) team at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, as they tried to keep their record unblemished. However, the visiting team jumped out to an early 8 - 0 start, taking a 5 point lead into the half. With 3 minutes to go, Cayo Western Ballaz was nursing a 6 point lead, but they were able to pull out the 64 - 57 victory at home, to remain undefeated. The home team was led by Richard Troyer who scored 27 points, and had 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. Giovanni Lennan had 9 points with 12 rebounds, while Akeem Watters finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds. Kurt "Chengo" Burgess scored 7 point and finished with the game high 19 rebounds.
  • Inaguration Of The Rotary Park:
    The renovated Rotary Park, complete with new playground equipment, was officially inaugurated Today. Members of the San Ignacio Rotary Club, with assistance from the Rotaract Clubs of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo del Carmen, spent the long holiday weekend working alongside members of the Rotary Club of Jasper, Canada to complete the installation of the new equipment. The installation included see-saw, swing-set, a circular slide and monkey-bars. The sound of excited children at play filled the park on a bright, sunny afternoon, following the official speeches and ribbon-cutting. Guest speaker at the inauguration was Mayor-designate of San Ignacio/ Santa Elena, Earl Trapp.
  • Herpes Zoster:
    Herpes zoster (or simply zoster), commonly known as shingles and also known as zona, is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body (left or right), often in a stripe. The initial infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes the acute, short-lived illness chickenpox which generally occurs in children and young adults. Once an episode of chickenpox has resolved, the virus is not eliminated from the body and can go on to cause herpes zoster often many years after the initial infection. Herpes zoster is not the same disease as herpes simplex, despite the name similarity; both the varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex virus belong to the same viral subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae. After the initial episode of chickenpox resolves, the varicella zoster virus remains latent in the nerve cell bodies and, less frequently, the non-neuronal satellite cells of the dorsal root, cranial nerve or autonomic ganglia, without causing any symptoms.
  • Tourist Killed By Whale Crashing Into Boat Off Mexico:
    A grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) dives into the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon in Mexico on 3 March, 2015. A record number of grey whales has been spotted off the Mexican coast this season A Canadian woman died after a grey whale crashed into the tourist boat she was on off Mexico's Pacific coast. The woman had been snorkelling off the north-western resort of Cabo San Lucas. The exact circumstances of the incident are unclear. Firefighters say the whale jumped up and landed on the boat, throwing the victim into the water. But the tour company said the woman was injured when the captain had to make a sudden turn to avoid the surfacing whale, which hit one side of the boat. She later died in hospital. Two other people were also injured. A grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) emerges from the waters of the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon on 3 March, 2015. Grey whales breed and nurse their calves in the lagoons and bays.
  • Mexican Mayoral Candidate Murdered:
    The decapitated body of a politician has been found in one of Mexico's most violent states, Guerrero, where she had been standing for mayor in June's elections. Aide Nava's body was discovered on a road near the state capital, Chilpancingo. She had been kidnapped on Tuesday. A note near her body threatened the same treatment for other politicians. Violence in Guerrero has cast doubt over polls scheduled there for June. The note near Aide Nava's body said if politicians did not "fall into line" they would be executed. It was signed by Los Rojos, one of the main criminal groups in the state. Last year Aide Nava's son was kidnapped and has never been found. Her husband, a former mayor, was also murdered.
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International Sourcesizz

Avanti Destinations Expands Belize Offerings in Response to Demand
Avanti Destinations, a specialist in independent travel programs for Latin American and Europe, expanded its offerings for Belize after seeing a 22 percent increase in bookings to the Central American-Caribbean destination. “Belize is a natural for romance travel,” said Dalgaard, “and a logical first destination in Central and South America, particularly because of the fact that English is the official language. Clients may come to Belize for a beach vacation to snorkel and dive along the reef, but the Maya ruins, rainforest, and wildlife soon get them hooked on exploring more of Latin America.” Romance on the Reef is a six-day/five-night package based at Portofino Resort, which has a reputation for having the best restaurant on Ambergris Caye. The package includes a couple’s massage, a candlight dinner and champagne. It starts at $1,729 per person.

The KKK's 'most violent' Imperial Wizard pictured for the first time since he vanished from America in 1984
A former Imperial Wizard of infamous 'white supremacy' group Ku Klux Klan is living on a paradise island in Belize - among the very race of people he fought to segregate, Daily Mail Online can reveal. Bill Wilkinson owns a multi-million dollar holiday resort in San Pedro town on picturesque Ambergris Caye. The small island – a former British colony which imported thousands of African slaves in the 18th Century - has a mainly Black and Mayan population. Belize overall has only a few thousand white English speakers. Wilkinson, 72, from Denham, Louisiana was reviled across America when he served as Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the KKK from 1975 to 1984. He had established a breakaway group of David Duke's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to rival the original, and grew a reputation with the FBI as the most 'violent' and 'dangerous' KKK movement.

Dateline NBC television show will feature an update on the John McAfee story
NBC's crew is currently in Belize gathering information & video for their latest segment. McAfee was named a a person of interest by police in their investigation into the murder of Gregory Faull. According to NBC reps, the segment should air either this week or next. In 2013, NBC did a 12 part series entitled "Trouble in Paradise" on the McAfee story. You can see those videos here.

Travel the World: Visiting Belize and the rich Mayan culture
Tonight on the CommDiginews Hour Travel the World we continue our tour of Central America with a tour of Belize. Geographically situated south of Mexico with Guatemala to the west and south, Belize is the only country in Central America whose official language is English. The Mayan civilization dates to about 1500 BC and thrived until about 900 AD before it suddenly disappeared; Modern Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, gained its independence in 1981. The influence of the British on the schools and the world feel of this tiny county combined with the depth of the Mayan culture creates a diverse community with many cultures, including a strong Amish influence.

Feds to Crack Down on Seafood Fraud and Illegal Fishing
Today, the United States federal government announced its final plans to crack down on seafood fraud and illegal fishing at Seafood Expo North America in Boston. The announcement, which came from a presidential task force created in June, reaffirms President Obama’s commitment to stop these crimes that provide profits to pirate fishermen, rip off consumers and hinder ocean conservation. Since 2011, Oceana has worked to stop seafood fraud and ensure that all seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled. In 2014, Oceana released a study revealing that America’s favorite seafood – shrimp – was misrepresented in 30 percent of the 143 products tested. In a similar study in 2013, Oceana found that 33 percent of the more than 1,200 fish samples it tested nationwide were mislabeled, according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Seafood fraud not only cheats consumers, but can also impact public health and global ocean conservation by allowing illegally caught fish to be sold in the legal marketplace.

The beautiful bugs of Belize
Thomas Shahan is an Oregon-based artist and macro-photographer who specialises in high-magnification photography. He is the imaging specialist for the Oregon Department of Agriculture's entomology lab. For the past two years, Thomas has been teaching at macro photography workshops in Belize, and he took these stunning photographs during those trips. Most tourists visit the country for the clear tropical waters off the coast, but inland Belize includes deep jungle habitats with incredible biodiversity and an enormous amount of arthropod life. Thomas tells BBC Earth, “I find the seemingly endless diversity and beauty of arthropods fascinating. It's like exploring another world full of alien life forms. "Arthropods are often feared, misunderstood, or labelled as pests – unjustly – despite the pivotal role they play in the Earth's ecosystems. They are certainly more beneficial to the planet than we are as a species.” He goes on “By taking portraits and details of their beauty and anthropomorphic qualities - I hope to elevate repulsion to reverence. Bugs are beautiful and people should know.”

Live in Caribbean Belize for $60 a Day or Less
Lots of expats are already living their dream Caribbean lifestyle… Taking leisurely walks along the coast, cooled by the enticing Caribbean breeze…swimming and snorkeling in the living aquarium of the Caribbean Sea…feasting on fresh fruits, seafood and lobster…indulging in afternoon catnaps in a comfy hammock…meeting friends for a fresh catch lunch at a seaside café… Here’s the good news—this idyllic Caribbean lifestyle is still possible for those with a decent Social Security income—if they know where to settle, and how to cut corners… Financially savvy expats are enjoying this enviable lifestyle on $60 a day, or less. Many expats choose to spend more…but plenty get by on less. It’s a matter of making lifestyle choices that fit within your individual budget. Belize has garnered significant tourism attention during the last few years, especially for the highly popular cayes. It is, of course, more costly to live in the most desirable regions frequented by tourists—the cayes and the Placencia Peninsula. (The cost of living on the Placencia Peninsula is now comparable to the cost of living on Ambergris Caye.) And yet there are expats who insist they have been living a comfortable, quality lifestyle in these popular regions, but on an affordable budget…


  • Different areas to live in Belize if you are looking to move !!, 14min. by Macarena Rose. Belize Real Estate is more than looking for houses in Belize for sale. Belize real estate for sale is about WHERE to move to in Belize,how to retire in Belize, how to rent in Belize, how to find Belize properties for sale and how to find a Certified International REALTOR in Belize. Belize has islands for sale, Belize has condos for sale and yet mainly Belize is the number one choice for retirees as it English speaking and is easy to get to. So Belize is Easy to do.

  • The Explorers - Lionfish hunting and night diving at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, 3min. Georgia Tech researchers traveled to the Carrie Bow Cay field station in Belize for the coral spawning season. The team's goal was to collect coral larvae for their research. While there, they helped rid the reef of invasive lionfish.

  • The Explorers - Collecting coral larvae in Belize, 2min. Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech, and team collect and study coral larvae at Carrie Bow Cay Field Station

  • Transiting Through the Barrier Reef Off the Coast of Belize, 1/2min. Transiting through a barrier reef can be stressful even if it has a dredged channel. Can you be sure all the navigational markers are in place and are they lit at night? Watch as a ship with a FarSounder-1000 exits the barrier reef off the coast of Belize. This was a dark night with quite a bit of chop

  • To Belize and Back 2015, 7.5min.

  • Healthy People, Beautiful Life: Maya Healers of Belize, 47min.

    This is the story of the members of the Maya Healers' Association of Belize, a group of Q'eqchi' and Mopan healers in the Toledo District who have come together to form an association to promote their work and correct the false understanding that many have of their dedication, training and healing knowledge. In this film, the healers speak freely of the challenges they face as they seek to help their people, and they demonstrate various aspects of their medical and spiritual practice. The film is in the Q'eqchi' and Mopan languages with English subtitles.

  • Belize Dive Trip 2015 5 (2), 6.5min.

  • Links
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    Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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