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Today's Belize News: March 28, 2015 #502739
03/28/15 05:45 AM
03/28/15 05:45 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,345
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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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

Dreaming on the weekend at Daydreamin’ Bed & Breakfast!
How could we get relaxation back into my vocabulary? Enter Rachel, Marlene (Mar) and Rob of Daydreamin’ Bed and Breakfast in Tres Cocos. They recently opened the most adorable B&B, and would you believe my luck? My hubby and I were invited to stay overnight in one of the cute casitas! I did not have to be told twice – my bags were packed and out the door so fast!! A quick boat ride on board the Coastal Xpress dropped me off right at the Palapa Bar dock. No more than a minute later straight down from said dock, and I was on the grounds of Daydreamin’. Mar greeted me at their on-site coffee house Marbucks with a deliciously cold caramel Frappuccino, which I sipped on and refreshed with before I got the grand tour of the place. Let me tell you, from the outside, the cluster of cabañas is adorable, especially with the pool smack dab in the center of the deck. But on the inside?! So luxurious!

Editorial: Marine Reserve Politricks
On Thursday, February 26th one of our front page headlines read, “Monumental expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve is official”. The photo inside on page seven was taken at the grand inaugural ceremony which was held at the office of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on February 25th. The image featured a group of stakeholders poising with two politicians who are grinning like the cat who swallowed the canary. And why so smug you may ask? Well, they knew what we all now know…it was a grand spectacle for, well, nothing really. Sure the project was one step closer, but not a done deal, not by a long shot. Needless to say this was unbeknownst to us…the gullible, the visionary, the hopeful followers who believed that yes, finally, after YEARS in the works this dream was actually going to be realized. In other words we were duped my friends, and we took the bait…hook, line and sinker! We ran as fast as we could to the polling stations, eager to reward their Party with votes of confidence…and won they did! I personally know one tour guide who voted for these politicians (or Party I should say) for this sole reason…by expanding the marine reserve they were providing him with job security while protecting the area.

San Pedro Food Bank to open its doors in April 2015
Three island residents have joined forces with the San Pedro Lions Club to kick-start an island Food Bank. Britney O’Daniel, Gualberto “Wally” Nuñez and Darwin Palma are the founders of the first ever San Pedro Food Bank, which will provide weekly groceries to low income families. The Food Bank is located upstairs of the San Pedro Lions Den and efforts are already in place to stock up inventory for the distribution to commence on Tuesday, April 10th.

Celebrated Hol Chan Reserve Expansion Yet to Happen
The cold cool beers flowed and a full buffet beckoned as the expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve was launched just days before a major election on February 25th. But even though Cabinet has approved the plan, The San Pedro Sun can confirm that the expansion has not been signed into law, one full month after it was launched in grand style. So what is the hold up and just how long will it take before it is legislated? No one knows for sure how long it will take before it is turned into law. What is known at this time is that the document is before the Solicitor General’s Office, yet to be reviewed before it is returned to the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development to then be signed into a Statutory Instrument (SI). During the official launch of the expansion, Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade indicated that it was just a matter of days before the SI would be signed into law. 30 days after the launch, the document still sits before the Solicitor General’s Office. Before any document is signed into law, it must be reviewed by the Solicitor General’s office to ensure that it does not contravene any other law.

‘Unfailing Bridges’ – Connecting black women around the world
For the first time in Belize, the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI) hosted the International Black Women’s Empowerment Conference. The event took place in Placencia in the Stann Creek District from the 19th to the 22nd of March. A total of 35 women from various countries, including the United States of America (USA), Africa and Belize, participated in the event aimed at connecting black women from around the world. Following the conference, President of the IBWPPI, Barbara Perkins told The San Pedro Sun that the historic event, held under the theme “Unfailing Bridges,” saw positive results. “The success of the conference is that we made a very strong connection with women through WIN-Belize, which is a consortium of women’s organization in Belize. We also made a strong connection with the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Belize who has an excellent program with women from all ages.” During their visit in Belize, the IBWPPI members also made a donation of a wide variety of items to the YWCA that will add to their organization’s supply. They plan to work along with programs that will see the strengthening of women’s agenda in Belize.

Ambergris Today

Belize Telemedia Ltd. Issues Alert After Robbers Pose as Company Technicians in City
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) issued a press release late Thursday, March 26, 2015, with serious concerns of a home invasion in Belize City that was alleged to have involved two individuals who were disguised as BTL employees. The telemedia company stated that the incident is one of great concern to them due to the nature of their operations and the service provided to their customers. Channel 7 News in Belize City reported that there was a home invasion on the Thursday morning at about 10:30am on Albert Street. “Two men dressed in BTL uniforms arrived at the Budhrani residence at the upper flat of Rakhis Hair Salon. Forty-six-year-old house keeper Vilma Rauda who was at the house at the time, along with the cook, let the men in because they told her they were there to check the phone lines. Vilma led them to the phone in the kitchen but the men told her they needed to check the other phone lines and the modem. She then guided them to one of the bedrooms where the modem was located and that's when one of the men grabbed her from behind, tied her arms with tie straps, taped her mouth and threatened that if she made any noise, they would kill her.”

Superintendent Luis Castellanos Transferred Out of San Pedro
In a quiet move by the Belize Police Department, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye’s Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos was transferred out of the island with Assistant Superintendent of Police Henry Jemmott taking control of the office while a new head replaces the vacant position. Speculations have been that Castellanos was removed from San Pedro due to the spike in criminal activity in the early months of 2015 that have included murders, shootings and even threats made to the Area Representative and San Pedro Town Mayor. Sr. Superintendent of Police and Deputy Officer Commanding of Eastern Division, Edward Broaster, says that this is not the case and that Castellanos expertise is expected to be used elsewhere in the country as he just recently concluded a FBI course in Quantico, Virginia, USA.

Officials Investigate Impacts to Coral Patch in Placencia Area
As pictures surfaced a few days ago showing rocks piled on live coral colonies off the coast of Harvest Caye in the Placencia Peninsula area, the Department of Environment (DOE), Oceana Belize and other entities are closely monitoring and investigating the situation. While it is alleged that the rocks are from works being done on Harvest Caye’s new cruise ship terminal/island resort, the DOE stated that since the matter is still an open case, details about the case have been withheld due to legal implications. The DOE did say that during a routine site inspection in the Placencia area on February 18, 2015, their personnel observed the construction of a groin near a patch reef in the vicinity of Harvest Caye. The DOE personnel issued a verbal stop order on site at the time and returned thereafter to conduct a coral damage assessment of the patch reef in question along with the Fisheries Department.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Police in Placencia are again reporting their successful drug operations as they prepare for Easter Activities
With Easter being exactly one week away, Placencia Police continue to injure the drug activity on the peninsula sounding the alarm loudly that drugs on the peninsula is not tolerated. Earlier this week, police conducted Anti-Drug Operations in Seine Bight and Placencia Villages which yielded a combined total of 1,362 grams of cannabis.

Psychedelic Multimedia at Soul Project
The Soul Project had their Psychedelic multimedia show last weekend, and it was quite the spectacle. Eddie Allen did some amazing blues improv through the show. The Soul Project is open most Fridays and Saturdays, and has unique shows like this one often. Truly the cultural hub of Cayo.

Harvest Caye: Coral Damage
Oceana Belize continues to closely monitor the disturbing reports and photos coming out of the Placencia area regarding the destruction of live coral as part of the initial phases of Norweigan Cruise Line project. We note that the Department of Environment has issued a verbal stop order for the project and we look forward to the full report on the damage caused by the introduction of the artificial material to the area. Again, these incidents highlight the vulnerability of our marine resources. Every effort must be made to ensure their protection.

San Pedro clean up of sargassum
On Friday, March 27, The San Pedro Town Council staff, Deputy Mayor Gary Greif and Councilors Ruben Gonzalez, Severo Guerrero and Hector "Tito" Alamilla, hit the beach bright and early to help with the clean up of the sargassum that has been invading our shores for almost a year now. Even some citizens and passers by joined in and helped in raking or forking the sargassum into the wheelbarrows. Thank guys! Great Job! Cleaning the already rotten sargassum was quite a challenge since it is smelly and heavy. After we had finished cleaning we noticed that there was more sargassum washing ashore; however, we managed a lot by removing the stagnant and rotten sargassum.

5th Annual Senior Steps Variety Show
Senior Steps is having their 5th annual Senior Steps Variety Show this Sunday, March 29th, at the GPC. The entrance is free, and it's always entertaining. Thanks, Senior Steps.

Seth Montfort concerts
Seth Montfort is performing his Made for Belize series of piano concerts at the GPC on the 31st of March and the 1st of April.

Carts and Carrier Cycles Exhibition
Belize in the 20th Century, Man Powered Machines. Venue: The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, Belize City. Date: Monday, April 13th, 2015. Time: 3:30pm

Channel 7

Budget Debate Continues; Hon. J. Espat Calls Petrocaribe An Illegal Addition
The budget debate continued today at the House of Representatives in Belmopan - and it went all day. After yesterday's session, there were 20 representatives left to speak - but it went along quite quickly and the Prime Minister started the wrap up at about 5:20. We'll have a clip of that later, but first to the day's theatrics which inevitably came from the self-appointed bad boy of the House of Representatives, PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat. In his response to the budget, he said government had become addicted to Petro-Caribe:.. Hon. Julius Espat "That what we are presented with in this book Mr. Speaker, disguised as a budget, is useless and has absolutely no credibility. You see Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's continued use of supplementary appropriation bills and special warrants undermines the essence and the purpose of what a national budget should be."

Parliamentarians Debate The Importation Of Guyanese Rice
And while that house humour was the most entertaining potion of today's debate - there was also talk about serious national issues. We're referring to the price of rice that we've been reporting on for the past week. As we told you importer Jack Charles is ready to ring in cheap Guyanese rice - which he says would retail for 50 cents per pound less than the current locally produced rice. The local producers have come forward to say that the high price of rice isn't their fault - it's the grocery shops that are driving up prices beyond the controlled price. Government is urging local producers to bring prices down - and they won't grant a permit to Jack Charles. But today Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington said that with the treaty of Chaguaramas, there's only so much they can do:..

PM Responds To Petrocaribe Critics
The budget debate finished at 6:00 pm - and at this hour, the house is debating the Petrocaribe Loans Bill. As per custom, the Prime Minister wrapped up the debate where he challenged the PUP's two principal criticism of the budget: that it was a tax and spend budget and that it relied all on loans - we have this courtesy WAVE TV: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "That we are a government of taxation. You see why I have to accused them of being ignorant and then they get vex? Ignorant, meaning they lack knowledge. My goodness man, the records are there. This government has not imposed any new taxes for the last 5 years. Then the second one was that we borrow. Well Mr. Speaker, of course we borrow. There is no government in the world that doesn't borrow. There is nothing wrong with borrowing, so long as you borrow on the right terms and conditions. So long as you borrow in the right way. So long as you borrow in the UDP way."

Akeem Thurton's Attempted Murder Conviction Affirmed
22 year-old Akeem Thurton, the man who was convicted in the first trial without jury of shooting and almost killing attorney Rodwell Williams, got bad news today: his conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeal. Viewers may remember that his appeal was heard exactly a week ago. At that session, Jamaican American Human Rights lawyer Nancy Mae Anderson worked with local attorney Bryan Neal to prepare a 20 ground appeal on Thurton's behalf. After deliberating, the panel of judges delivered its decision today that his appeal was dismissed, but they decided that a small amount of time needed to be subtracted from the sentence that the Chief Justice handed him in 2012.

Appeal Court President Publicly Berates Former Bar President Courtenay
Today was the final day of the March 2015 sessions of the Court of Appeal, and an unprecedented event - as far as we are aware - unfolded this morning. The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Manuel Sosa, actually scolded former President of the Bar Association, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, and the legal practitioners who are members of the bar. He also demanded that a public apology be issued. That happened in a packed court room full of Courtenay's peers, and it became so serious that the words, contempt of court, was brought up, though no action was actually taken. Justice of Appeal Sosa's contention is a statement which Courtenay made as President of the Bar on January 12 at this year's ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court. In his presentation to gathering and the press, Courtenay criticized the performance of the Court of Appeal October - November 2014 session. For context we re-air that portion of Courtenay's speech; here's what he had to say:

Football National Team Travels To Gran Cayman For World Cup Qualifiers
Today the Belize Jaguars traveled to Grand Cayman for the return match in the first round World Cup Qualifier. Wednesday's nil-nil draw at the FFB stadium in Belmopan wasn't quite what we expected but when we spoke to the players today at the Phillip Goldson International airport, they were confident that their existing game plan is sturdy and according to them, they just need more focus and a little luck. Charlie Slusher, Assistant Coach, Jaguars "I just think that the pressure from the home crowd - I think the guys really wanted to get a victory and maybe even trying to get the 6 goals that was anticipated and I think that we kind of lost our focus and was a little hasty when it comes to that final part of just settling down and making that final pass and making the goal. The level of concentration, I think was a little bit lack in the forward line. I think the goal keeper in the midfield was very great, but the last touches to get the goal was the part that we need to work on."

Police Constable Commits Suicide
Last night the police department was shaken after news went out that a well-known police constable had apparently taken his own life. It happened around 7:00 pm on Aloe Vera Street in the Lake Independence Area of Belize City. Police Constable #1200 Shannon Ramirez was staying at a house which is rented by a number of police officers. No one in the neighborhood heard a gin go off, but he was found dead with a shot to the head. Police believe it is a suicide. Police have not released any details but this morning the police community relations officer Douglas Hyde told us that the Department is saddened:.. Douglas Hyde, Public Relations Coordinator "Emotionally I felt it too when I heard the news a couple seconds after it happened. We work very closely. Actually he came through community policing before he actually went to one of the precincts, so it was more of an emotional hurt to us. I think after hearing the different police officers last night, it was like a shock and stunned, because he has never shown any signs to us that he is emotionally depressed, so we didn't see that angle to say that, that would have happened."

Police's Black March: A Movement For Peace
This morning about 400 police and city residents marched through the streets for the BLACK march. The "Be Loving Cease Killing" march for peace started at the Yabra Green and wound its way all through the city - going through all hotspots. Now we have reported on countless marches and vigils for peace and the message just doesn't seem to be getting through but today the police officers at the Eastern Division say this is more than a march, it is a movement: The BLACK march is just the start of what police say will be A YEAR FILLED WITH community policing INITIATIVES.

High School Students Travel To England
11 students from Belmopan Baptist High School traveled to London today for what's called a World English Experience and we caught up with the anxious group at the airport today. The students will be taken on a tour to major sites in London such as Buckingham palace and Big Ben at Westminster Palace. Apart from sightseeing, one of the main objectives is to provide classes for the students to develop their English skills. One of the coordinators told us how the opportunity came about and how this trip will positively impact their social and academic life. The students will return in time for the Easter break.

Hon. Julius Stays On the Offensive Against Petrocaribe Bill
The Petrocaribe Loans bill was debated after the budget - and that debate finished just a few minutes ago - ending a 10 and a half hour day in the house of representatives. The bill seeks to regularize the inflows from the Petrocaribe initiative. While all loans of a certain size have to go to the house, Government argues that since the Petrocaribe flows change every month - it cannot ask for pre-approval of a figure it does not know. This bill seeks to correct that. But the PUP says it seeks to give the Prime Minister superpowers to keep the oversight of the petrocaribe funds away form parliament. One hour ago - this is what the leading crusader against the bill Julius espat had to say:.. "What the Prime Minister is doing today, is what he should have done from the beginning, except giving him this super human power this authority to override accountability.

Channel 5

Telemedia’s Claim on Channel 5 Struck Out
The Court of Appeal delivered a significant judgment ruling in favour of Great Belize Productions/Channel Five, Channel Overseas Investments Limited, Katalyst Developments Limited and Thames Ventures Limited along with several [...]

Sedi Says CJ Has Not Requested Additional Allocation
Day two of the budget debate, for the most part, was as unremarkable as day one. The Opposition side criticized every aspect of the Budget and the government side criticized [...]

Parliamentarians Squabble Over Agriculture
Elrington was followed by the Area Representative for Orange Walk South Jose Abelardo Mai, who criticized the budget because he says it offers nothing for the agricultural sector, and no [...]

Espat Says Budget Has No Credibility
Following that back and forth Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat, definitely not a favourite of the Barrow administration, got up to make his presentation on the budget. When the [...]

Speaker Shuts Down Espat on Petrocaribe
The debate on the very controversial Petrocaribe Bill, introduced in the House on Thursday, was scheduled to follow the debate on the Budget. But Espat got in some early shots [...]

2 Southern Cops Accused of Raping a Minor
At this time, two law enforcement officers from the south are in deep trouble with the law, and under investigation for a most despicable act. The duo from Mango Creek [...]

Appeals Court Upholds Thurton’s Conviction
Twenty three year old Akeem Thurton had expected to go home today after Court of Appeal Justices Samuel Awich, Dennis Morrison and Christopher Blackman ruled on his case. Despite being [...]

Farewell to Justice Dennis Morrison
In related news, the Court today bid farewell to long-standing jurist Justice Dennis Morrison of Jamaica, who served just shy of eleven years on the bench after more than three [...]

Cop Kills Himself With Girlfriend’s Gun
The police department is tonight mourning the death of one of its officers. Just before seven p.m. on Thursday, Police Constable Shannon Ramirez, who is attached to the Belama Police [...]

Placencia Police Crack Down on Drugs
With Easter around the corner, the police are in high alert to curb criminal activity. Earlier this week, Placencia Police conducted anti-drug operations in Seine Bight and Placencia Villages which [...]

Julius Espat Says PM Barrow Has Destroyed Democracy
Earlier in our newscast, we brought you some of the highlights of a budget debate which was largely uninspiring and lacklustre. Still, the Opposition managed to get in its jabs [...]

Mark Espat on Julius’s Mind
Former P.U.P. Albert Area Representative and current United Democratic Party insider, Mark Espat, may have left the overtly political arena years ago. But there’s no doubt his parting has left [...]

Jaguars Depart on Delayed Flight
The Belize Jaguars has been in the news for the past week; from a controversy of what’s seen as a locking out of star player to a disappointing scoreless qualifier [...]

Spotlight on Table Tennis
The 2015 fourth annual Dutch Lady Primary School Table Tennis Tournament was held today at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. Seven Belize City schools yielded over ninety-two athletes in the [...]

City Hosts First Ever BLACK March
Today, the Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department held a BLACK March. It’s an initiative to take back the city, which has been consumed by gang warfare in the [...]

Wrong Man Receives Death threat
About two weeks ago we told you about a shooting in Ladyville that sent Kenroy Arnold to the hospital for gunshot wounds to the back and hand. Well, since that [...]

1000 Preschoolers Attend Expo in the City
If there is one place where work is mostly play, it’s in the classroom; a preschool classroom, that is. But it’s not just any kind of play; it’s one that [...]

Unprecedented & Controversial Petrocaribe Bill Tabled in the House
Day one of the Budget Debate was uneventful and, as predicted, bursting at the seams with much political rhetoric and very little substance. We’ll have some of the highlights, such [...]

PM Lashes out at Julius Espat
The Prime Minister reserved a special dose of vitriol for Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Julius Espat. Espat on Wednesday said that the Bill, if passed, would in effect allow the [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says Budget’s Short, Empty and Full of Political Rhetoric
With that out the way, P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca got the budget debate started. He lashed out in short order, stating that not only was the 2015-2016 Budget the shortest [...]

Will Arrogance and Corruption Bring the U.D.P. Gov’t to its Knees?
Fonseca ended his presentation on a passionate note, claiming that the People’s United Party may be down, but they are not out. Rolling on the Petrocaribe bounty and unprecedented spending, [...]

The Haves and the Have Nots in Belize
Former Prime Minister and Fort George Area Representative Said Musa this morning echoed the words of Party Leader Francis Fonseca, claiming that the budget is all glitter and no substance, [...]

Musa Says Debt Profile of the Country Unsustainable
One particular area of interest to Musa is the debt profile of the country. He says that in 2008, the U.D.P. met manageable debt, and in less than ten years [...]

Local Rice Producers Say They Can’t Reduce Cost of Rice Production
Rice producers have finally spoken on the hot button issue of the importation of rice from Guyana.  Since last week, it came to light that in May 2014, more than [...]

G.O.B. Says Error by PUMA Led to Increase in Fuel Prices
The cost per gallon of regular gasoline increased sharply at the pumps on Tuesday night, ahead of the overdue arrival of a shipment of fuel from Venezuela the following morning.  [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: March 28, 2015 [Re: Marty] #502740
03/28/15 05:45 AM
03/28/15 05:45 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,345
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Women’s Month Ends with Award Ceremony
Last night the Women’s Department held an Awards Ceremony at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City. The event was held to mark the closing of Women’s Month celebrated throughout the month of March with various activities around the country. Several women were honoured and recognized last night while those from the past were remembered. Cynthia Williams, Director of the Women’s Department told us about last night’s function. As we mentioned, the ceremony marked the closing of Women’s Month in March and according to Williams, the activities held throughout the month around the country were deemed a success.

Father Suffers Memory Loss After Defending Teenage Daughter
On March 2, we told you of the heroic stance that a father of two young girls took against six men who were hurling obscene and disrespectful remarks at one of her daughters. While admirable, the stance left the father, 42-year-old, Oscar Williams hospitalized with a swollen brain and memory loss. The incident marked the start of a troublesome time for not only the father but his children and estranged wife, Yolanda Williams. Since the attack on Williams, his wife, though separated, has been at his side at the hospital and so has his children but it hasn’t been an easy time for them, as the wife explained to us. YOLANDA WILLIAMS “Since then I would say that he is walking around moving about. The thing that still is not working to well is his memory. He doesn’t quite remember much he is living in the past. Every time that he thinks he is going to take his children to school and he needs to do this and he needs to make money to send his children to school so I don’t know if he will ever remember what he was living like before this happened but it is really hard.”

Police Organize The March to Be BLACK
Police officers from various precincts in Belize City met up early this morning in the Yarborough Area in Belize City for an event dubbed, the BLACK March; BLACK, b-l-a-c-K, being the acronym for ‘Be Loving and Cease Killing’. It was a march that went through various streets including communities that have been known to be crime ridden including Jump Street, Pink’s Alley and George Street. Douglas Hyde does public relations for the Police Department and he spoke of the initiative, how it came about and its objectives. “After our first walk last year, we did a health walk, Mr. Broaster and another officer had an idea that the police department can get involved in terms of the whole area of crime and violence. The reason why because many times police officers just as we are tasked to deal with investigations to deal with protection of life and property police officers are also human and when they would have incidents of shootings and murders I do hear the police officers expressing their sentiments about it whether or not they felt it personally, directly or indirectly and their emotions of hurt are expressed likewise.

Police Constable Commits Suicide Reportedly Over Relationship Woes with Colleague
Last night, our news centre received reports of a police constable who allegedly killed himself in his home on Aloe Vera Street in Belize City. Ordinarily, Love News has a police where we don’t cover stories on suicide due to the sensitivity of the incidents. Tonight, however, we are compelled to shed light on this incident as the officer who chose to end his life has been described by many of his colleagues as kind hearted, gentle, soft spoken, hard-working and dedicated ….. And so, that begged the question, why he would end what was described to us as a promising career he had going for him. 28-year-old, Shannon Ramirez, originally from Georgetown Village in the Stann Creek District, was stationed at Precinct Four in the Belama area and was very diligent in his performance and always well attired.

According to Estranged Wife, Heroic Father Conditions Deteriorate
On March 2, we told you of the heroic stance that a father of two young girls took against six men who were hurling obscene and disrespectful remarks at one of her daughters. While admirable, the stance left the father, 42-year-old, Oscar Williams hospitalized with a swollen brain and memory loss. The incident marked the start of a troublesome time for not only the father but his children and estranged wife, Yolanda Williams. Since the attack on Williams, his wife, though separated, has been at his side at the hospital and so has his children but it hasn’t been an easy time for them, as the wife explained to us. YOLANDA WILLIAMS: “Since then I would say that he is walking around moving about. The thing that still is not working to well is his memory. He doesn’t quite remember much he is living in the past. Every time that he thinks he is going to take his children to school and he needs to do this and he needs to make money to send his children to school so I don’t know if he will ever remember what he was living like before this happened but it is really hard.”

Petrocaribe Court Case Continues; Espat Says Politicians Are Not Gods
While various expenditure and programs planned for the upcoming fiscal year were debated over the last two days, the item on the agenda that took centre stage not only in the House of Representatives but also on various platforms including the social media was the PetroCaribe Bill that was tabled and pushed for ratification between yesterday and today. On Wednesday, March 25, we brought to you the objection of the People’s United Party via an interview with their Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat, who made it clear that should this Bill be passed it would give the Barrow Administration full control of the monies from the PetroCaribe fund with no obligation to account for the use of the money. This is not the first time that Espat has been vocal on the PetroCaribe issue, as a matter of fact – he went a bit further than talking and turned to the judicial system to sort out the matter. Espat has express grave concerns as to how the Government has been accessing funds from PetroCaribe and how they have been using the monies without proper accountability to the House of Representatives.

Leslie Speaks on Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic
On March, the Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with the Belize Electricity Limited will be having their 16th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic. The race is schedule to commence at 9:00 am from the Succotz Ferry in San Jose Succotz to Leslie’s Imports. Today President of the Cycling Federation of Belize, Dion Leslie, spoke to Love News more about this weekend cycling classic race. “This weekend is the 16th annual B.E.L Junior Cross Country. It is on Sunday, it leaves from Succotz Village in the Cayo district at 9 am and travels to Santa Elena through to San Ignacio, Santa Elena, down to Belize City where it will finish in front of Leslie’s imports at mile 1 1/2 on the George Price Highway. It is the 16th annual and for the Juniors it is their largest race if you look at the history of it the big names that are in cycling right now have won this race already so it is a prestigious race it is the most prestigious race for the junior category.

Woman Busted With Weed Whilst Visiting Her Son at Prison
Fifty year old Primrose Hendricks who plead guilty to drug trafficking for attempting to smuggle 63 grams of cannabis into Belize Central prison, was spared a custodial sentence today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Hendricks was fined $10,000 and she was given until June 30 to pay. If she defaults on payment he will serve 3 years. Hendricks was busted on December 22, 2013, when she went to prison to take food for her son, who is an inmate. When a search was conducted on the 2 foam plates with food, it was discovered that an additional plate under the foam plates contained plastic bags with cannabis . as a result, Hendricks was arrested and charged.

GOB Funds Training For Residents of PG on Sustainable Development
Residents of Punta Gorda Town are being given an opportunity to attend a training on capacity building training for sustainable national development. The training falls under the program, ‘Organizational Strengthening’ and was funded by the Government of Belize at a cost of one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars. The project was launched today and is being implemented by Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF), as part of its mandate to work in line with the Government’s poverty alleviation strategy. BSIF in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Open Campus Belize will train five staff members of PLENTY Belize as trainers; who will then train members of Non-Government and Community Based Organizations based in the Toledo District. Topics will include Group Facilitation Techniques/Adult Learning Theory, Conflict Resolution, Records Management, Management Skills, Training Evaluations and Customer Services.

Belize Delegation Returns From International Garifuna Summit
Members of the Garifuna community recently returned home after attending an international Garifuna Summit at the invitation of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The summit took place between March 8 and 15 under the theme, “The Garifuna, a Nation Displaced-Cultural Rights, Economic Survival and Reparations.” At the summit, participants from various countries attended workshops, conference, tours, cultural extravaganza and a wreath laying ceremony at the Garifuna Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer Monument in St. Vincent and Grenadines Day of Heroes, March 14. In addition to these events, a pilgrimage to Balliceaux was done the following day as a remembrance of when the Garinagu were sent to that island in July 1796 before being exiled from their homeland.


Roots and Honor releases new music video and single
MD & The R1pple 3ffect Band released their first music video off the album ‘Giant Slayer EP’ for the single, GIANT SLAYER. Giant Slayer is the official second single from their album, Giant Slayer EP (Extended Play), which was released in February 2015...

2015-2016 Budget Debate
Today the was the first day of the budget debate where Ministers on both sides of the aisle gave their input on the Public budget for the fiscal year 2015 to 2016. Last year’s budget was described as a noodles budget by the opposition leader. This year, he had a different description...

Belize Drew with Cayman Island
Last night,Wednesday march 25, The Belize national football team, the Jaguars, played to a very small audience at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan against the national team of the cayman islands, which ranks 205 out of 209...

One Woman Protest Against the Petro Caribe Bill
The introduction of the Petro Caribe loan motion that puts into law what GOB  has been doing all along- which is the acquiring and spending of Petro Caribe monies without prior approval from parliament, has raised many eyebrows especially...

Church Bus overturns on highway
There was a traffic accident last night, Wednesday March 25, on the George Price highway, in the village of Camalote.  The accident involved a Church bus...

Julius: Barrow think He get Weh
The bill was moved through all its stages today however it was not up for debate...

Controversial Petrocaribe loan Bill passed in House
Today is day one of the two day debate on the Proposed budget for 2015/2016. And while the budget would normally be the highlighted arguments in the house, the BILL passed in the House today seems to have garnered most of the attention. That bill is the PetroCaribe Loan Ac  2015. The bill states:

Mother of inmate spared jail over marijuana
Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer declined to send the mother of a prison inmate to serve time herself for allegedly attempting to smuggle marijuana into the Central Prison at Hattieville...

Soldier arrested for burglary and grievous harm
A Belizean soldier has been arrested for the crimes of burglary, grievous harm, and damage to property. Alex Candido Tzul, a  38 year old Belizean soldier of Calcutta was accused by 48 year old Jesus Mossiah,  a vendor of Calcutta Village, Corozal District...

Shots Fired in Belize City
There was a shooting incident in Belize City on Wednesday night. 31-year-old Mark Medina of Belize City reported that at about 9:30p.m. he was walking  towards his car which was parked on East Canal...


The price of rice!
What does it have to do with the price of rice? It is an old adage which happens to be the center of an ongoing controversy that has arisen because an Indian merchant is poised to import cheaper rice, much to the chagrin of local rice producers and government officials who are hesitant to grant him a permit due to the upheaval that it will cause in the local market. The said importer, Jack Charles, has promised to retail the Guyana-based rice for 69 cents per pound – which is about 50 cents less than the current price of local rice – since, according to Charles, the local rice producers, who distribute their product at a wholesale price of 94 cents per pound, are making “unfair and unjust profits” by gouging consumers. After the Government of Belize issued a release yesterday which stated that all relevant ministries are conducting an in-depth review of the local rice industry to address the issue “as it relates to the production and supply of rice to the Belizean public”, the local rice producers called a press conference today to respond to various recent public criticisms, one of which involved an accusation that they have teamed up to monopolize the industry.

Police constable shot himself in the head
A number of residents of Olivera Street in the Lake Independence area came out of their homes tonight to watch as a number of police vehicles descended on their neighborhood. After being on the scene for about two hours, police removed the body of a fellow police officer who reportedly shot himself in the head earlier this evening. Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez has confirmed to Amandala tonight that Police Constable Shannon Ramirez died from a gunshot wound to the head, but he was not able to say whether the wound was accidentally inflicted or otherwise. A neighbor told Amandala that she did not hear any gunshot and was surprised to learn that her policeman neighbor had died from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Wife-beating man sentenced to 2 years in prison
A Ladyville man who was recently released from prison after serving a fourteen-month sentence was sentenced to two years in prison this morning when he appeared for sentencing before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who had remanded him in custody yesterday after he pleaded guilty to one count of harm upon his wife, who had a court restraining order against him. Smith told Nathan Pratt, 46, “You obviously have a serious issue with anger. You like to beat women and you are a bully. I am going to send you away so you can learn how to control your anger. You are sentenced to two years in prison.”

PUP will fight “scandalous” new PetroCaribe bill
Even before the budget debate got underway this morning, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow tried to clear the air on a controversial new bill which had been circulated to Parliamentarians prior to this morning’s House meeting, with the notification that the Government intends to expedite the passage of the new bill concurrently with the passage of the new national budget, which takes effect on April 1. Barrow said that, “On the news last night, some of the people from the other side had some absolutely untrue things to say…” Barrow said that the response of the Opposition People’s United Party has been a mere continuation of their efforts to demonize the government with respect to PetroCaribe funding. The Opposition, he said, had signaled its intent, once again, to try to derail what has been a wonderful initiative that has powered development and transformation across Belize. “We are not going to allow that to happen!” Barrow said.

Surprise price hike – GOB says “invoicing error”
After days of scarcity of premium fuel, the gas stations are stocked with a fresh supply – a supply which allows consumers, at least for the time being, to be able to purchase premium gasoline for 9 cents less than they pay for regular gasoline. Earlier this week, the price of regular gasoline was increased by more than a dollar on the gallon to $8.89, although no new shipment had come into the country. The Ministry of Finance has issued a press release claiming that the “surprise price hike” was due to an “invoicing error.” Even as the price of regular gas spiked, consumers had a hard time sourcing premium gasoline and were forced to fill up on regular gas.

The Opposition begins to pound the 2015-2016 budget
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) today responded to the budget presentation made two weeks ago by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow – a budget which Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca said “had nothing to offer,” apart from political rhetoric and grandstanding. Fonseca said that he had two preliminary observations on the budget. Firstly, he said, that although Barrow claimed that his budget speech would be the shortest speech he has given in the past 7 years, it was “not only the shortest budget speech; it is the emptiest budget speech ever read in this House… because the budget does not offer any meaningful path to sustainable development.” “What they offer is more of the UDP agenda of tax, borrow and spend,” Fonseca said.

Belize, Cayman Islands draw in WCQ
Belize and the Cayman Islands opened their CONCACAF qualifying first round series for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night at FFB Field. The result snapped Belize’s six-game losing streak, while the match was the Caymanians’ first full international since playing the Dominican Republic to a 1-1 stalemate in a qualifier for Brazil 2014 on November 14, 2011. The best chance of the game fell to the host’s Harrison Roches, whose 66th minute goal was disallowed for offside. Cayman captain Abi-Jah Rivers was delighted with outcome against the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup participant, saying: “That’s football.” The two-legged series will shift to the Caribbean on Sunday, when the sides meet again at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town. The winner will advance to face the Dominican Republic in June.

Cricket: Sunrise hits Brilliant hard
The Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2015 continued over the weekend with the following games played. Brilliant of Crooked Tree, to play Sunrise at Lords Bank. What a lovely day it was for cricket. Brilliant took to bat first. Early in the game, things weren’t going well for the Brilliant Boys, as wickets start falling by bowlers Edison Parks and Conway Jones. When 5 wickets fell, Brilliant had scored a mere 38 runs. Later on in the game, the batting started to show good improvement, so the Sunrise captain called in Zaghlool “Zaggi” Muhammad with his tricky left-hand bowling. Things changed again in favor of the home team. Zaggi took down 4 of the remaining 5 batsmen. Brilliant was all out for 83 runs.

BelCare Grassroots Football Festivals in Belize City and Belmopan
Earlier this month, the Belcare Football Youth Academy held two more Grassroots Football Festivals, one in Belize City in conjunction with Stars Football Summer Camp under coordinator Stanley Jordan Reneau, and the other in Belmopan in conjunction with the Belmopan Football Committee, headed by Mr. Amilcar Umana. BelCare in Belize City In Belize City, the BelCare Grassroots Football Festival took place on Sunday, March 8, at the MCC Grounds, beginning at 12:30 p.m., and saw hundreds of “Chevrolet One World Football Project” footballs distributed to 4 summer camp organizations, 10 SMART Mundialito teams, as well as a number of other community sports groupings. Later, footballs were also to be issued to primary and secondary schools, and a few other community sports groupings.

Editorial: ¡Adelante, académicos!
In an article she submitted recently to Amandala (published in this issue) the lady, Therese Belisle-Nweke, a Belizean who has lived in Lagos with her Nigerian husband for several decades, brought up the serious and important subject of West Indian Federation. One of the reasons the subject was serious and important in the modern politics of British Honduras was because of the matter of race. Another reason was that West Indian Federation involved the issue of large scale immigration into the colony. West Indian Federation was a critical subject in the politics of British Honduras in the late 1940s and the 1950s, and it may have been the dispute about Federation inside the leadership of the nationalist People’s United Party (PUP) which, ultimately, caused PUP leaders, Leigh Richardson and Philip Goldson, to be overthrown and replaced by George Price in September of 1956. Unlike the Belgian government, which cast the Congo people into political independence in 1960 without any preparation for that socio-constitutional change, the British did various studies and wrote several reports in order to assist Belize in its move to self-rule. There was, for instance, an Evans Commission in 1948, and the Downie Report of 1959, both of which looked at the immigration matter. It was felt that the colony was under-populated and required an infusion of immigrants.

Petition from the Stann Creek Fishermen Association (SCFA)
Dear Editor, Please allow us a little of your time with this petition. We at the (Stann Creek Fishermen Association (SCFA) have been in an uphill struggle with the Belize Fisheries Department for a couple years now and with this new GoB/World Bank initiative (see info in body), we are trying not get locked out and left behind permanently. It follows: The SCFA, in support of its affected members’ constitutional rights is respectfully calling on the Minister of Fisheries and the Fisheries Department, et al, for an immediate address to the following. The recent realignment of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve (SWCMR) Conservation Zone 1 western perimeter buoys is arbitrary (i.e., absolutely no public consultation was carried out /or nothing was Gazetted to justify amending the S.I. This S.I. was signed into place by GoB Cabinet in 1996 and established specific coordinates for the marine protected area. The current GPS positions of the buoys in question are as follows : 1. Tobacco Caye Range NE, N-16,52,525; W-088,04.812 2. Tobacco Caye Range middle E, N-16,52,256; W-088,04.865 3. Tobacco Caye Range SE, N-16,54,599; W- 088,05.406

World Water Day 2015 focuses on sustainable development
World Water Day 2015 will be formally observed on Sunday, March 22, and this year, the theme is “Water and Sustainable Development”. Leading up to that observance, celebrations were held on Friday, March 20, at the Memorial Park in Belize City, where several booths featured displays and lots of information on the importance of water to Belize’s development. City Councilor Bernard Pitts, Jr., said in his welcome remarks at Friday’s opening ceremony that Belizeans need to individually assess their own water consumption habits. If we are not diligent, we will find ourselves in a predicament, Pitts said. “Water is life: let us all do our part!” Pitts said.

2015 begins with price ease, higher imports, but lower exports
The year 2015 started off with a price ease, according to data just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). Whereas 2014 ended with an inflation rate of 1%, February 2015 is recording a low inflation rate of -1.2%, the same as January 2015, according to data released this morning by Angelita Campbell, Statistician II. The SIB uses a basket of 260 goods to determine price changes. Looking at the major categories, Campbell explained that prices in the miscellaneous goods and services grouping were up by 1.3%, due primarily to increases in health and transport insurance costs, while prices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels were down 0.7%, with butane prices falling from a high of $125.19 for the 100-pound cylinder last year to an average of $93.14 this year. She said that there was also a decrease in electricity prices by about 2-3 cents per kilowatt hour. Prices in the transport category were down substantially by 7.4%, due to a decrease in the fuel index of 21.4%, with fuel prices down by over 3 bucks per gallon this February as compared to last February. Food prices were down about 1%, with meat prices up by 1.8% but eggs down by 18.3% this February, (down from $3.62 to $3.13), vegetable prices down by 11.6 % (with cabbage prices down by about a third), and the price of fruits down by 4.2% (with pineapple prices down 12.8% and watermelon 33.1%).

Complaints against police escalate in 2014: Ombudsman’s report
Since 1999, citizens who are victims of abuses by public authorities have an independent complaints office which could investigate and seek redress on their behalf. That office is the Office of the Ombudsman of Belize, currently headed by Lionel Arzu, MSc. Arzu’s 14th Annual Report, covering the period of January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014, his second year in office, was tabled in Parliament at its last Sitting, and it was this week the subject of a committee review in the National Assembly. Arzu reports that during 2014, private citizens made a total of 220 new complaints against public authorities — comparable to previous years, both in terms of the number and nature of the complaints made. Arzu’s office similarly reported receiving 211 complaints over the course of 2013, and he noted that public authorities had not responded in nearly 7 in 10 of the cases. Of those, 99 complaints were against the police, Arzu told Amandala today.

The Reporter

Belize Jaguars’ 0-0 draw with Caymans disappoints fans
Belizean football fans could not help but voice their disappointment after the Belize Jaguars missed a golden opportunity to score a home victory and settled for a scoreless draw when the Football Federation of Belize hosted the Cayman Islands for the first game of the World Cup 2018 Russia qualifiers […]

PM Barrow’s 2015-2016 Budget Debated
Parliamentarians from both sides of the House of Representatives dissected and debated, at great length, the budget for fiscal for 2015-2016. Much of the discussion was agenda-driven, as has become traditional, and much of it was blatant politicking as opposed to a rational, logical analysis of the document, which will […]

US Coast Guard seizes US $16m in cocaine, three smugglers arrested
The United States Coast Guard says it has transferred custody of three Dominican Republic smugglers and about 1,100 pounds of cocaine to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) following an at-sea interdiction off the coast of Guayama, Puerto Rico. On Wednesday, the Coast Guard said the interdiction was the result […]

The Belize Times

Patrick JonesPJ

Court of Appeal scolds ex-Bar President over comments
Former president of the Bar Association of Belize, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, was widely quoted in his speech at the ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court in January as openly criticizing the Court of Appeal on its recent performance, citing the October-November 2014 session as hearing no criminal […]

Channel Overseas wins court appeal on Channel 5
The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Channel Overseas Investments Limited, Katalyst Developments Limited, Thames Ventures Limited, Great Belize Productions Limited and several former directors of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) in their case against BTL and the Belize Bank over the acquisition and financing of Great […]

Akeem Thurton attempted murder conviction upheld in Court of Appeal
23 year old Akeem Thurton had expected to go home today after Court of Appeal Justices Samuel Awich, Dennis Morrison and Christopher Blackman ruled on his case. Despite being convicted in March of 2012 in the first ever trial of a murder charge heard by a judge alone […]

Businessman accused of employing undocumented worker
39 year old David Betancourt, a businessman of 113 Bradley Crescent, Belama phase 2, was charged with employing a person not in possession of a valid temporary employment permit when he appeared today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. Betancourt pleaded not guilty to the charge. His case was adjourned until […]

Couple charged over assault of woman
A Honduran national is accused of going into a woman’s home in Belize City with the intention of raping her, only to be foiled by his own significant other who then turned on the victim as well. The accused are 39 year old Honduran Justo Murillo and Belizean 28 year […]

Belize Jaguars to Play in Cayman Islands on Sunday
After a spectacular nil nil football match this past Wednesday, Team Belize prepares to travel to Cayman Island to seal what they have already started. This past Wednesday, Belize’s Jaguar’s dominated the entire game, however the opportunity of goal was just not in their favor. The Jaguars attacked the visitors’ goal […]

Belize Prepares for Band Fest 2015
With just a couple hours away, the anxiety and nerves are at its peak in all participants. Over 10 marching Bands are today fine tuning their instruments in sight of one of the largest musical competition in the jewel. It’s the tenth edition of Belize Band Fest. Thousands of spectators […]

Placencia police crack down on drug trafficking
Police in Placencia are again reporting their successful drug operations as they prepare for Easter Activities on the peninsula. With Easter being exactly one week away, Placencia Police continue to injure the drug activity on the peninsula sounding the alarm loudly that drugs on the peninsula is not tolerated. Earlier […]

Two Men dressed in BTL uniform made away with over 7 thousand dollars; BTL responds with a press release
Two Men dressed in BTL uniform allegedly committed burglary and BTL has responded with a press release. According to reports, two men dressed in BTL uniforms arrived at the Budhrani residence at the upper flat of Rakhis Hair Salon, where Forty-six-year-old house keeper Vilma Rauda who was at the house […]

BTIA Revitalizes Chapter in Corozal
The Belize Tourism Industry Association, Corozal Chapter held its first meeting with the objective to update current and new members on the overview of the plans of the BTIA National for all existing Destination Chapters. The BTIA is currently under the leadership of Osmany Salas as President and John M. Burgos as Executive Director. The efforts of the BTIA as Belize’s Largest Tourism organization has not only been focused in promoting the vibrant tourism product, but also, in strengthening and assisting each destination by creating pathways for development which will enhance the sustainable growth of the Tourism industry. BTIA President, Salas emphasized on the importance of building a stronger association which is one of the main goals for this fiscal year.


What You Can Expect From Easter Weekend in San Pedro, Belize Plus The Proper Dress Code
Easter in Belize is pretty different from the Easter I knew in the States. I grew up with a holiday devoted to church, the Easter bunny, candy and fake green plastic grass that your dog ate and later threw up. It was pretty much a one day event, Easter Sunday…but here in Belize, it’s a full blown 4 day PARTY weekend. The longest holiday of the year (even Christmas is only Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day) – Easter is Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday AND Easter Monday. Even the Labour Department applies some heavy-duty overtime rules that give some businesses enough incentive to shut down for the whole weekend. Employees are paid double time on Easter Monday and Good Friday and 1.5x on both Saturday and Sunday.

Traditional Maya Farming In Belize
“’I never say I own this land,” says Eladio Pop, an ethnic Maya who lives and farms near the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Lubaantun in southern Belize. “I can only be a caretaker.’” From “Farming in the forest in Belize” One of the advantages of constantly scanning the media for news about Belize is that you get to learn so many new things. You wouldn’t think that such a tiny country could be that interesting, but when you consider Belize’s colourful history, rich Maya heritage, the amazing ecological diversity packed within an area only some 180 miles long by 68 miles wide (where else can you find the world’s second largest barrier reef, hundreds of islands, vast tracts of wilderness containing the Maya Mountains, pristine rainforests hiding the remnants of the ancient Maya civilization, the largest cave network in the Americas and much more) and an educated, switched-on population, it begins to make sense.

International Sourcesizz

ETBU students spend break in Belize
A small student team from East Texas Baptist University went to Belize over spring break to help a village have pure water again. "Eight 'ETBUers' traveled outside Punta Gorda in the Toledo district of Belize to a small village," said Lisa Seeley, ETBU's director of the Great Commission Center. "This district is one of the poorest areas in Belize. The village of 168 people has no electricity and only three hand pump wells in which all were contaminated." The ETBU team served alongside Hope Springs Water and the Belize Training Center. Hope Springs Waters is a ministry based in Athens, Texas, with the mission to provide safe water, sanitation, and public health education in developing countries. Missionaries Bob and Rhonda Farley are leaders at the Belize Training Center which can house groups who come to Belize to minister. The Farleys also disciple new believers and train local church leaders in evangelism and ministry.

The Real Estate Market of Belize - Why is it So Hot and Happening?
While the grim realities of the country do exist, parallel to it, is the inflating tourism industry. Each year, the number of tourists visiting Belize reaches a higher number, while the month of March is when the most tourists visit the country. According to an article, a report by the Belize Tourism Board states that the country surpassed 300,000 overnight visitors in 2014, up by 9.2% from the previous year 2013. Other than that, cruise ship arrivals saw a big triple digit increase of 120.2%, followed by July with 106.8% increase. The economy of Belize significantly runs through the growing tourism industry, and with the numbers increasing each year, the need for businesses, hotels, restaurants and bars is going up. A lot of businesses are opening up regional headquarters or offices in this country as there is great potential to grow. While investing in the Belizean market is highly risky, it gives high returns too. With businesses opening up, the number of expats is growing too, which has led to a flourishing real estate market. Many expatriates are cashing on the easy government taxes to buy a second home, or a retirement home in Belize.

TaiwanICDF to launch more public health programs overseas
A Taiwanese government-funded agency is set to launch more aid programs later this year to help improve public health in Central American and African countries that are Taiwan's diplomatic allies. The Taipei-based International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) said this week that it will kickstart a program in June to help Belize promote public education on the prevention of chronic kidney disease and improve its medical treatment for people who suffer from the disease. The agency will cooperate with Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City to carry out the program in the Central American country, it added.

Seven Perfect Days in Belize
I have been traveling to Belize every year for more than a decade and am already planning my next trip. Why? As the only English-speaking country in Central America, as well as one of its smallest (it’s about the size of New Jersey), Belize is surprisingly easy to navigate. Local residents are fun-loving, friendly, and appreciate nature; nearly half of the country is protected rain forest, including Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve, the world’s first wilderness sanctuary for jaguars. Just offshore lies the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, teeming with marine life and dotted with dozens of tiny tropical islands ideal for kayaking and snorkeling. Belize’s subterranean rivers make it possible to explore the country’s elaborate underground cave system—which might be the most extensive on Earth (National Geographic explorers have been mapping it since the 1960s)—while floating in an inner tube. There are also dozens of Maya archaeological sites throughout Belize—many still being excavated—including Caracol, which ranked among the ancient civilization’s largest cities. Though most Belize-bound travelers go to escape the winter blues, spring (especially May and June) happens to be my favorite time to visit.


  • Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min. A fun video of Ambergris Caye, set to Pharrell's "Happy". Several Ambergris Caye snorkel sites are highlighted, as well as some deep sea and reef fishing. This is all shot with several GoPro cameras and edited in Premier Pro CC.

  • Moray Eel in Belize, 1.5min. This was very cool to see a Moray Eel out swimming. Usually they are tucked away and I just see their heads.

  • Belize 2015 video, 21min. Lots of scuba and snorkeling!

  • Belize Pretty Please, 3min. Belize Pretty Please, written by Bill Zucky, is a catchy little tune that the San Ignacio Resort Hotel uses in its latest promo. You can see plenty of the Green Iguana Conservation Project, along with a lot of the SIRH, in the video.

  • Belize short, 3min. Erin and I traveled to Belize last summer and fell in love with Punta Gorda. Our guesthouse was just steps from a historic cemetery — rather large pieces of which were scattered a little farther along.

  • Belize Draws Nil with Cayman National Team, 3min.

  • Belgium - Belize, 5min.

  • "Q'eqchi' Maya Reproductive Ethnomedicine and Women's Healing Traditions in Belize", 76min. Jillian M. De Gezelle, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor, Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, NC State University

  • Altun Ha in 3D ancient Mayan settlement in Belize, 5.5min. This was a day trip from our Cruise ship Vision of the Seas after a boat ride up the River Wallace or Belize River. This is one of the older yet well preserved ancient Mayan cities in the region.

  • Altun Ha in 2D ancient Mayan settlement in Belize, 5.5min.

  • Belize - Zip Lining and Barton Creek, 5min. Zip lining at Calico Jack's Belize in the Cayo Distrinct of Belize and then onto Baron Creek Cave. Arranged through Francis Ford Coppola's Blancaneaux Lodge

  • Dolphins Playing in Belize!, .5min. It was an awesome snorkeling day in Placencia Belize, and it ended even better with our dolphin friends saying hello.

  • Belize: Hacienda Maya & Gilligan's Island, 16min.

  • Belize 2015, 9.5min.

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