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Today's Belize News: April 2, 2015 #502916
04/02/15 06:16 AM
04/02/15 06:16 AM
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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Easter Holidays Calendar of Events
San Pedro Roman Catholic Church Holy Week Schedule Thursday, April 2nd – 7AM Washing of the Feet/ Last Supper Mass, 8AM Transfer of the Holy Eucharist to Parish Hall, 10AM Adoration Vigil in the Parish Hall Friday, April 3rd – 4AM Stations of the Cross (Around Town), 12PM The Seven Last Words, 3PM Celebration of the Passion of the Lord, 5PM Procession (Across Town) Saturday, April 4th – 7PM Easter Vigil Mass Sunday, April 5th – 7AM Encuentro, 8AM Mass, 10AM Mass, 7PM Mass Monday, April 6th – 7AM Mass

Red Taigaz blow out Tiger Sharks
The Nation Elite Basketball League (NEBL) continued over the weekend in various venues across the country. On Saturday March 28th, defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks were soundly defeated by the Belmopan Red Tiagaz inside the University of Belize Gymnasium in the Garden City. It is the second loss on the road for the Tiger Sharks, who now fall to third place in the league and are struggling to maintain a good standing as the defending champs. From the tip off, Belmopan Red Taigaz jumped into an early double-digit lead. As much as the visiting (and ailing) Tiger Sharks tried, they just could not keep control of the ball. At the end of the first quarter, Red Taigaz was ripping the Sharks apart by a 17 point lead. Moving into the halftime, Tiger Sharks made a few improvements, but the host team maintained a commanding 13-point lead. As the match went into third quarter, a much disorganized Tiger Sharks team found itself crushed by a score of 72 to 56 points in favor of the Red Taigaz. There was no turning back for the Tiger Sharks when the game moved into the fourth quarter. The lead had ballooned and it was evident that the Tiger Sharks were praying for the long buzzer to go off. When the game ended it was at 94 to 74 points in favor of the Red Taigaz. With the victory, Red Taigaz handed down the San Pedro Tiger Sharks their first blow out in two seasons.

Aidan Williams and Amber Rivero are the new representatives for ACES
Six students of Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) graced the stage of the San Pedro Lions Den on Wednesday, March 25th during the sixth annual Mr. and Ms. ACES Pageant. Four lovely ladies and two handsome young men took part in the pageant held to raise funds for the upcoming school semester. Vying for the title of Mr. ACES was Aidan Williams and Peter Ramirez, while Amber Rivero, Angelica Aranda, Naggii Valladarez and Jan Coy competed for the title of Ms. ACES. In the end, it was Aidan Williams and Amber Rivero who took the crowns. The students performed for a crowd of spectators who cheered them on every step of the way. The theme of the pageant was Nature and the participants dressed in elaborate costumes representing the rich and vibrant flora and fauna of Belize. The boys and girls also participated in a talent segment showcasing amazing performance skills. In the elegant formal wear segment, t

Belize’s historic participation in CONCACAF Beach Soccer Champions
For the first time ever, Belize has formed a Beach Soccer selection to participate in the 2015 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Beach Soccer Champions. The team traveled to El Salvador to compete in hopes of earning a spot in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015. The competition started on Saturday, March 28th and is scheduled to end on Sunday, April 5th. While Belize did not advance beyond the first round of competition, they did make history by winning a match in their first tournament. The participating CONCACAF selections were drafted into four groups. Belize landed in the A Group along with El Salvador, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. The B Group included Mexico, Trinidad, Turks & Caicos and Guadeloupe. Bahamas, United States of America, Antigua, Bermuda and Barbados formed the C Group, while Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and Virgin Islands formed the D Group.

Ambergris Today

Miss San Pedro Lions Club Pageant 2015
Marisha Thompson as the Club’s newest beauty queen ambassador.

Santander Group Promises Growth with New Sugar Mill in Western Belize
While Belize Sugar Industries reports that cane farmers in Belize need to produce more cane per acre to be able to cope with the projected falling earnings of 2017, Belize’s newest Sugar production mill is set to crank up operations in February of 2016. Santander Group projects that the company’s production will grow the country’s agricultural GDP by a minimum of 4%. Santander began working on their investment to construct and operate a new sugar mill in Belize back in 2008. The investment group has brought with them over 50 years of experience in the sugar industry that includes sustainable and efficient methods. Today the construction of the mill, located on a 20,000 acre property in the Cayo District, is well underway with less than a year away from their first milling season. The Guatemalan-based company chose Belize for this project after looking through a list of possible sites in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and even Brazil. Why Belize? Legal certainty, security and fertile land were just a few of the reasons that made Belize perfectly suitable for their investment, stated Santander. Belize’s important trade agreements with European markets (because of its Commonwealth status) and wit the CARICOM countries.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Looking for good homes for these awesome puppies!
GERMAN SHEPHERD PUPPIES: Born Feb.7, magnificent, purebred, plush coats, ideal as family/personal companions and protection. Extremely intelligent, loyal and protective, the best security $ can buy! Shots and meds are new owners' preference, puppies are in a pristine, remote location and have not been exposed to other dogs/contaminants. $750. [email protected] for photos, appointment or viewing locations.

REWARD for items and cash STOLEN on Sunday March 29th from Finca Solana Area
one 1’ x 1’ PURSE white polyurethane faux leather KGB brand with beige snake design accents) Two compartments separated one had $10,000 dollars in United States currency (all $20 bills).There was an additional $300 Belize dollars and $ 200 USD in the zipper compartments. Money was in zip lock bag inside the purse. Also the purse had old comb, moisturizing eye drops, a pen and a black vinyl wallet with a lot of credit cards, driver license, a gun licence, health card, bank cards etc. Typical north American set, useless for anyone here, as all cards cancelled and on watch. Also two Canadian passports for Helena Black and Eugene Black.

Public Service Message - Any establishment caught selling alcoholic beverages/liquor products will be faced with the cancellation of its Liquor License, have its liquor inventory confiscated and will be summoned to court by the Corozal Police Department. Stores that have liquor bottles on display should either bring down the bottles or cover the items, as well as alcoholic beverages in coolers. Restaurants that have liquor bottles on display should also cover the said items. We ask for your cooperation and understanding.

Notice to all BTL Customers
As of April 7th, 2015 BTL will NO LONGER correct TopUp mistakes that are the fault of the customer. Make sure you write down the correct number when you go to TopUp. We apologize for any inconveniences caused.

UB Launches INsights
The University of Belize has launched their new INsights e-magazine. In this first issue, they highlight UB's Environmental Research Institute, which is in its 5th year, and the tablet distribution. "There are many good things happening at UB – but very few people get the opportunity to hear about them. INsights is a bi-monthly e-magazine. Its content will showcase the positive things happening at the university in an effort to change the image of UB." In related news, the ladies won the UB ralathon for the 4th year in a row.

16th Annual BEL Junior Cross Country Classic

A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
For the post of Storekeeper in the Purchasing and Stores Department.

Belmopan Active Youths (BAY) Graduation Ceremony
Political/Economic Section Chief J. Nathan Bland (second from right) attended the Belmopan Active Youths (BAY) Graduation Ceremony for its Job Creation and Entrepreneurship Development Project. BAY, a 2014 CARSI ESF fund grantee, trained15 youth in small business and entrepreneurship development, and another 12 youth in massage and spa therapy. The 2015 CARSI ESF application process is now open!!!! Please visit our website for more information.

COMING SOON - The U.S. Naval Hospital Ship, USNS COMFORT
The U.S. Naval Hospital Ship, USNS COMFORT, will visit Belize from April 9-18, 2015 and other ports in Central and South America and the Caribbean this spring. While in Belize, the USNS COMFORT will partner with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Belize Defence Force, and the Belize Coast Guard to share and build capability through medical, dental, engineering, and veterinary events and exchanges. As part of the events scheduled for Belize, USUN Comfort personnel will partner with Hattieville Government School and Independence High school to provide a variety of outpatient medical, dental, preventive medicine, and health education services. These locations will be open to the general public for one free medical or dental service each day. For those requiring transportation, Ladyville Health center and Bella Vista Health center will provide shuttle service to and from the medical sites.

Christian Workers Union says Don't Roll it!
Christian Workers Union (CWU) denounces the Petrocaribe Loan Bill, claiming it lacks transparency and accountability while seeking to legalize actions that go against the current laws of Belize. It removes PetroCaribe from being subject to the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act (2010)The CWU calls on other unions to denounce the act and demand that it is repealed.

Gov't meets with rice producers
The Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture and officials of the Ministry met with rice producers in Belmopan today 1st April 2015 to discuss the way forward with rice production in Belize.

BEL Submits 2015-2016 Annual Tariff Review Proceeding Application to the Public Utilities Commission
On April 1, 2015, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) submitted an application to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. BEL is requesting an average reduction of 10.4 percent in the Mean Electricity Rate from 41.29 cents to 37 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). The proposed rate reduction is attributed to a significant reduction in the cost of purchasing power from Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), following Mexico’s move to dispatch energy at a cheaper price, by utilizing hydroelectricity and moving to the use of cheaper, cleaner fuels such as natural gas and other renewable energy sources, compared to heavy fuel oil and diesel. BEL’s request to reduce electricity rates for the 2015 – 2016 tariff period is in line with the Company’s Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.” Whilst every customer will see a reduction in their rates, BEL is also proposing changes to the Tariff Basket that will:

BAY 1st JCED Graduation
Belmopan Active Youths had their first graduating class from their Job Creation and Entrepreneurship Development project. Congratulations, Graduates! "Nothing makes us quite as proud as EMPOWERING our youths. We were thrilled to see 27 youths graduate from two programs under our BAY Job Creation and Entrepreneurship Development (JCED) Project on Sunday, March 29th... Our first graduation under our new project, this one makes us super proud. Congratulations to our 27 graduates!"

Channel 7

BEL Offers Electricity Rate Decrease
BEL wants to lower your light bill by 10%! That’s what they asked the PUC for in an application today. The new rate would take effect in July, 2015. The proposal is to lower the average electricity rate from 41.29 cents to 37 cents per kilowatt hour. Now, that’s an average rate – between the social rate at the low end and the commercial rate at the high end – so your individual rate may be higher. But BEL is also asking the PUC to give regular consumers a break. They want to give a greater subsidy to Social Rate customers while passing on most of the savings to Residential and Industrial customers. There would also be a carve out for medium and large manufacturers that are not benefiting from the lower Industrial Rates. BEL also proposes to install additional streetlights in crime hotspots countrywide.

Youth Hostel Fire Was Arson
Last night we told you about the fire Youth Hostel at Mile 21 on the George Price Highway. The suspicion at the time was that one of the troubled girls, who was a resident there, started the fire. Well, the Fire Department has determined that someone id intentionally start the fire. This afternoon the Fire Department discussed their findings with the press, and with that final piece of the puzzle in place, Daniel Ortiz took a closer look at the fire: When we arrived on scene yesterday, the Female dormitory was ablaze, thick grey smoke kept rising, and the intense heat meant that the fire was doing major damage. Daniel Ortiz Reporting… The Fire engine arrived shortly after the fire was reported to Police, but try as they might, the fire fighters could only work to stop it from spreading any further. Benisford Matura – Operations Officer, Fire Department "Approximately about 5 pass 3 in the afternoon we received call from police of a structure fire at the youth hostel at mile 21 on the George price highway. We immediately dispatched our Ladyville fire truck being that would be the closes one. Upon arrival a 50 by 30 structure to the back of the compound was engulfed in flames and grey thick smoke coming from the roof area. We got into operation and extinguish the fire. The fire was mostly based in the roof so it's an open structure it spread all over the entire roof."

GOB Steps In On Rice Issue
The issue of the price of rice – has been dominating headlines for almost two weeks now – and finally, today, the Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega and senior officials from his ministry met with rice producers in Belmopan. Coming out of the meeting, they have agreed on what an official release calls “draft revised Standards for Rice”. Though no explanation is given, that suggests that different grades of rice will be sold – at different prices. The release says that, quote, “discussion commenced for a reduction of the price of rice to consumers with…emphasis on a reduced price for a more affordable grade of rice.” So that means that in order to compete with Guyanese rice, a lower grade of local rice will be offered. The new price structure will be finalised within a month. They also agreed that all rice sold locally must have packaging which states the origin of the rice, the weight and the grade. This will go into effect within two months. Having this in place last year would have avoided the situation where Guyanese rice – over 3 million pounds of it - was imported to make up for drought related shortfalls – and then passed off by local producers unto unwitting consumers as local rice – an act of willful market deception if ever there was one.

Mayor Bradley: City Hall's Wage Bill Unmanageable
In mid-January, the Belize City Council took over 158 workers from BML – and instantly their bi-weekly wage bill went up from by eighty thousand dollars to three hundred and ten thousand dollars. Of course, the city is saving seventy eight thousand dollars weekly by no longer having to pay BML. So, just doing a rough calculation, you might be tempted to say that with one hundred and fifty six thousand dollars in savings, minus the eighty thousand for wages, and add to that another thirty thousand dollars for operational costs – the council would still be ahead by over forty thousand dollars every two weeks. But, the mayor says he doesn’t think so:… Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "My assessment would be that it will not yield a savings. I suspect that perhaps maybe, I see Ms. Ordonez saying no. But we have a running debate going on and I will tell you this, the staff of the city council and myself, we have ideological differences. Whenever government does anything it becomes more expensive. You're talking about acquiring 150 staff - you have a problem. Okay then, maybe somebody else, 150, bring on a 10 more people. It becomes a hole that gets bigger and bigger and bigger. But I am saying that as a political person, I see a difficulty in making that work because I think it was the wrong course.” And if you missed his answer to the retrenchment questions, he said – in an under breath – that the council isn’t dealing with that.

Accused Stalker To Court For Assault
18 year-old Robert Varella, a Belize City food vendor, is on remand tonight after he was taken to Magistrate’s Court for allegedly stalking and assaulting his ex-girlfriend, who is a member of the Court’s staff. According to her, on February 10, 2015, she was at a restaurant at mile 2 and a half on the George Price Highway when Varella allegedly cornered her and choked her. According to this Magistrate’s Court staffer, Varella even pursued her at work yesterday. She says that she had just left the office, and while she was getting into her vehicle in the parking lot, Varella approached her. Fearing for her life, she tried to drive off, and she almost end up ramming into other vehicles which were parked in the parking lot as well.

The Easter Rush To The Cayes
So where are you going for the Easter weekend? Chetumal?…Cancun or maybe you will just stay at home with family or friends. While those are all options, there is one spot that we know will be crowded with locals and tourists: and that’s the Cayes. Today we went to both Water Taxi’s in the city to find out just how crowded it will get – and what you can do to avoid the rush and stay safe: Courtney Weatherburne Reporting… And that signalled the start of the Easter weekend vacation for these passengers. This is the crowd we caught up with this morning at the San Pedro Water Taxi. And more people are expected to pour in later today and during the weekend. According to Operations Manager Kein Marin, Easter 2015 is hectic but manageable. Kein Marin - Operations Manager, San Pedro Water Taxi "It's a hectic one for us. Our high season is good this year. Of course it's easter so we will be having more passengers but so far so good. We have control of it."

Make Way For Manatees In Easter Rush
And the port Authority will also be monitoring the movement of boats in and around the mouth of the Belize River. That’s to try and cut down on the alarming number of manatee deaths that have been reported this year. Manatee researcher Jamal Galvez today convened a meeting of relevant stakeholders from the marine and tourism sectors to try and find a way to save the manatees, or, in the worst case, cause less of them to die by boat propeller. We were there to find out about the meeting’s outcome:… Jamal Galvez – Program Coordinator, Belize Coastal Zone Management "The coastal zone management authority called this meeting to get the key holders to come to the table. With the increase in manatee deaths, it seems like i'm singing this over and over. We've had basically 17 manatee deaths, 17 manatees died this year and we're just 3 months into the year." Jules Vasquez "What do you think is driving the steady increases in manatee deaths?" Jamal Galvez "The Belize river mouth is a key area for manatees. They do need fresh water to survive just like we need air to survive. So at any point in time each manatee that live within this area would go to the Belize river mouth to get fresh water. It's a heavily traffic area mainly for tourism."

Pay Your City Hall Taxes Online
Earlier, you heard the mayor complain about the hard time city hall will have keeping up with its wage bill. But, the council is collecting revenue at a record clip – and today it unveiled a new way for you to pay your property tax online – thus avoiding lone lines at city hall. Here’s more:.. Jules Vasquez Reporting… Marilyn Ordonez - City Council – Financial Controller “City council is moving from being static to dynamic. Welcome.” Indeed, it is a tax collector’s dream – paying online without the administrative hassle of lines or paperwork. But the mayor says it’s also about city residents: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "We're talking about an approach the city council really believes in to make governmental services easier for people to access. An we are moving in this area to have more of an e-governance approach.”

Octogenarian Assaulted In Home Invasion
There was a troubling home invasion on Hyde's lane on Saturday morning. At around 6 Saturday morning a man broke into an 88 year old's house and stabbed him. Police told us more: Supt. Suzette Anderson - Commader Officer Precint 3 "There was an incident that occurred early Saturday morning, I believe something after 5 to 6 in the morning. An 88 year old person was inside his home when he claims he was awaken by a noise inside the house and upon awaken he was attacked by a male person who inflicted some stab wounds to him. So far from what I know he was taken to the hospital as a result. He was admitted and he was treated. The injures he sustained was superficial injures according to the medical doctor.” Police have no suspects.

Police Department: How Not To Become Victims Easter Criminals
And if you are wondering how to keep your home safe this Easter – police also had tips to share today:.. Supt. Suzette Anderson - Commader Officer Precint 3 "Due to the fact that the easter holidays is already approaching we have been embarking on providing safety tips to residence, to business places in as for them how to secure their places of business, their homes whenever they are away. Because we do know that the easter holiday normally see a large percentage of people leaving the city to go to the cayes, the islands to different locations where there is sea, river. They leave their premises behind unattended and we as a police department it is our responsibility to patrol in an effort to prevent burglaries from occurring within the respective homes that will be left unattended. Safety must first come the person himself or herself. Which means in order for you to have that assurance that you practice safety of your own homes that you establish communication with your neighbours that is the first step to it.

Police Make Major Drug Seizures
Government is considering the decriminalisation of small amounts of marijuana – but the police aren’t letting up on weed dealers and their stash spots. On Tuesday morning at around 11:20 the GSU descended on a residence on Oleander Street in Belize City- and found Eugene Gabourel with a bag containing 415 grams – or 14 and a half ounces of weed. They then took him to his residence at CET Site in Lake Independence where –the real stash was hidden. The discoveries started small with a box of 74 grammes in a car in front of his house. But, police were led to a nearby house owned by Deseree Cadle They found a large plastic hand bag under some dirty clothes on the back verandah. It contained a parcel of 3.68 kilos or 8.1 pounds of cannabis. Cadle told police that Gabourel was the one who dropped off the bag of clothes for her to wash.

Channel 5

Too Little Too Late? N.T.U.C.B. Meets to Discuss Petrocaribe Loans Act
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has come under fire since the beginning of the week, and at this hour it is meeting in an emergency session to discuss [...]

No Arrests in Ricardo Triminio’s Murder, OW Police Continue to Follow Leads
The murder of fifty-seven year old businessman Ricardo Triminio in Orange Walk Town has left the community stunned. Triminio was shot and killed in his shop, Munchies Snack Shop on [...]

Fire Department – Blaze at Youth Hostel Deliberately Set
On Tuesday night, we told you about the fire at the Youth Hostel at mile twenty one on the George Price Highway. The fire, which is suspected to be arson, [...]

Fish, It’s What’s for Easter
Earlier today, we headed out to the local fish stands to see how fish vendors were preparing for the last minute rush for fish as the Lenten season comes to [...]

B.E.L. Wants to Slash Electricity Rates by Ten Percent
Will your light bill go down for the period June first 2015 to June thirtieth, 2016? According to a release late this afternoon, the Public Utilities Commission says that the [...]

Charting the Way Forward in Endangered Rice Industry
Tensions within the local rice industry are somewhat at ease tonight, following a meeting held earlier today with Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Gaspar Vega.  The sit down saw [...]

City Council Automates Payment of Property Tax
Overwhelming demand from Belizeans living abroad has led to the Belize City Council automating its property tax services.  This morning, CitCo and Atlantic Bank jointly introduced the online feature which [...]

…Is Online Transaction Secure?
Despite its user-friendliness, there are concerns over the safety of online transactions using the new system.  Pedro Lozano, a representative of Atlantic Bank, allayed those fears by explaining the security [...]

GSU Raid Yields 13 Pounds of Weed, Belize City Trio Arrested and Charged
The GSU raided a home located in the Set Site area of Lake Independence on Tuesday afternoon; the bust yielded over six kilograms or more than thirteen pounds of cannabis. [...]

Honduran Man Gets 3 Years for Armed Robbery
A Honduran national living in Belize pleaded guilty to robbery with a firearm and while he was spared from being imposed the minimum mandatory sentence of seven years, he could [...]

Manatee Fatalities Prompt Immediate Action from Conservationists
Belize’s population of manatees is one of the healthiest in the region, but they are still endangered species. Countless times we have reported on the deaths of manatees to boating [...]

What You Need to Know to be Safe this Easter
“Safety is like a lock, but you are the key,” says the Belize City Police Department as it prepares residents to protect their homes and businesses over the holidays. It’s [...]

Police Department Increases Patrol During Holy Week
But while there are several things that residents can do to ensure that their properties are safe while they are away, the police will also increase its patrols across the [...]

Safety Remains a Major Concern for Cross Country Riders and Spectators
The annual cross country cycling classic is set for Holy Saturday. Normally, the event attracts thousands of Belizeans, who either line the highway or come to the city for the [...]

FIFA Says Return of Deon McCauley is Smart Money
While the Belize Jaguars is among seven other teams that have moved up in the World Cup Qualifiers, having scored one goal against the Caymans, there is uncertainty as to [...]

What Does Easter Mean to You?
The mass migration to coastal and inland communities across the country has begun.  Belizeans and visitors alike have all joined the exodus to Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Placencia where [...]


Jaime Chavarria murdered in Belize City
Belize City police are investigating the late night shooting of 26 year old West Canal resident Jaime Emmanuel Chavarria, who had been shot three times to the head and back while he walking through a dark unnamed alley off Berkeley Street around 7:10 Monday night...

Espat On Lawsuit Against Government
On October 29th Julius Espat, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and PUP Area Representative filed a lawsuit against the Government as it relates to the process of borrowing and spending Petro Caribe sponsored monies...

BAY Massage and Entrepreneurship Program Graduation
On Sunday March 29th, the Belmopan Active Youths held a graduation ceremony for 25 youths of Belmopan and the Cayo District who graduated from the BAY Massage and Entrepreneurship program under the CARSI funded project “BAY Job Creation and Entrepreneurship Development Project...

General Elections Called Early?
The Deputy Party leader Julius Espat says he has also activated his campaign team and will be ready for the general elections which he suspects will be called in this year in the month of October. Hon.  Julius Espat – Area Representative, Cayo South “Our agents out of the UDP camp have informed...

Christian workers Union on Petrocarbe Loan Bill
The Petrocarbie Loans Bill 2015, was debated at the Senate Yesterday March 30th. After the debate all 12 senate members voted on the bill that gives the Government the Freedom to spend Petro Caribe monies as it deems fit...

Remains of a Man Found in Camalote
83 year old Cayetano Nah,  a resident of Camalote Village, Cayo District, was reported missing on February 3rd. According to reports made by 43 year old Alexander Sheppard, Belizean Caretaker, on Tuesday February 2nd, he visited the residence of Cayetano Nah, to give him his breakfast...

Guinea Grass Man Charged for Aggressive Assault
Orange Walk police have arrested and charged one person and minor for aggravated assault upon 43 year old Eluterio Camara Jr...

Court orders sale of attorney’s assets to pay debt
Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel has ordered that senior attorney Ernest Staine sell his assets to return some $230,000 owed to former client Rita McField for the final sale of a parcel of land to Forward in Faith Ministries on Douglas Jones Street for the building of a church...

Curtis Swasey continues Mek Mi Rich challenge
Businessman Curtis Swasey claims that Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and MMR Belize Productions, parent to the popular television game show Mek Mi Rich, collaborated to take away his intellectual property consisting of the idea of lottery texting and the various items he created with BTL staff for t...

Tour guide charged for death of student
The tour guide accused of knocking down a student of Stella Maris School and causing fatal injury around 8:20 a.m. on March 17 was read charges of manslaughter by negligence before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today in the Magistrate’s Court...

Teenager sentenced on gun, ammo charges
Nineteen year old Shakir Perrera,   a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard, was sentenced to 10 years today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license...

PUP Starts Their Campaign
The People’s United Party says they are kicking their campaign into full gear and for good reason too, because sources have indicated to us that the general elections might be called by the end of this year...


Berkeley Street execution of a “wanted” man
Last night at about 7:30, a man who was walking in the dangerous Berkeley Street area, in Belize City’s south side, lost his life to the seemingly never-ending gun violence in the city. Jaime Chavarria, 25, originally of Ladyville, but who lived in the West Canal Street area of Belize City, was shot multiple times by unknown gunmen. Police report that Chavarria was walking through a dark pathway, which is a shortcut from the canal side to Berkeley Street. The pathway passes through an incomplete 2-storey concrete structure. When Chavarria passed through the incomplete structure, unknown gunmen fired about three shots at him. Police found Chavarria lying on the ground under the concrete structure in the alley. He had been shot in the head and the eye, and also in the upper chest and upper back, they said. Chavarria was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at about 9:00 p.m.

Sugar City 2 a.m. execution
Residents of Progress Street in Orange Walk Town were awakened by the sound of gunshots that rang out early this morning when an assassin/s took the life of a businessman for reasons yet to be determined. Orange Walk police said that at 9:50 a.m. today, they were called out to Munchie’s Snack Shop, located at 10B Progress Street, Orange Walk Town, and upon arrival, they saw the lifeless body of Ricardo Triminio, 57, owner of the business, who resided at the said address, lying face-up with multiple gunshot wounds. Triminio had been shot in the face, chest, left and right shoulder, and left arm. Details surrounding the murder remain relatively sketchy, and Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police, Inspector Selvin Tillett, told us today that no known motive for the murder has yet been established, and neither have any suspect/s been detained.

SUV slams into 16-wheeler at Mile 13
A return trip to Santa Elena Town, Cayo District, almost turned fatal for a couple whose SUV crashed into an 18-wheeler towhead shortly after 8:00 last night. According to Hattieville police, Angel Lopez, 32, of Ebony Street, Belize City, was in the driver’s seat of a white 16-wheeler trailer, with a loaded container, that was reversing onto the compound of Caribbean Paper Company at Mile 13 on the George Price Highway when a Ford Escape SUV slammed into its side. The SUV was being driven at the time by Jefferson Dawson, a businessman and resident of Santa Elena Town, who was traveling in the direction of Belmopan with his wife, Carmella Dawson, 47.

Mayor Bradley takes dead aim at “Santi”
Today marks the twenty-sixth day since voters of Belize City returned United Democratic Party (UDP) Mayor Darrell Bradley to City Hall for a second 3-year term, but if the Mayor has his way, he will demit that office for a seat in the House of Representatives as the Caribbean Shores area representative. From as far back as February 2013, Bradley has made no secret that his ambition is to run for national office as a representative of Caribbean Shores, and today, Bradley pitched a tent at the junction of Blue Marlin Boulevard and Coney Drive to announce his candidacy for the division — a challenge to the sitting area representative, the UDP’s Hon. Santiago Castillo, Jr., who is Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance under Party Leader and Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Bradley, without mincing words, declared, “…one of the reasons why we decided to have it on a Monday morning at 10 a.m. in the form and fashion that we have, is really just to make a public announcement that we are coming for the Caribbean Shores seat.”

Claim against Mek Mi Rich and BTL goes into case management
Curtis Swasey and his attorney, Kareem Musa, were in court today for a hearing to address the intellectual property rights violation claim Swasey filed last month in the Supreme Court of Justice Courtenay Abel, against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and the Mek Mi Rich game show. Late this evening, the claim went into case management. Swasey is claiming that the type of gambling that takes place on the game show – lottery texting that phone users can participate in by using their credit balances —was an idea that he came up with and pitched to BTL, and that his intellectual property rights were violated when BTL allegedly passed on the concept to Mek Mi Rich.

Senate passes new budget and controversial PetroCaribe law
The 2015-2016 budget and the controversial PetroCaribe Loan Bill, which were both hotly debated in Parliament at the end of last week, were approved by a majority of senators who met in session on Monday. Whereas no vote was taken on the budget, a vote was taken on the PetroCaribe bill after a division was called by Opposition senator Lisa Shoman. Only the 6 senators of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) endorsed the PetroCaribe Loan Bill, which provides a special carve-out for the Government’s borrowing from Venezuela, granting an exemption to the rule in the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act which requires that any debt of $10 million or more must be approved beforehand by the National Assembly and granting blanket authority to the executive to spend the funds acquired through such borrowing without prior approval from Parliament. The Prime Minister has said that the law is necessary to address the peculiar nature of the agreement with Venezuela, under which half of the payments due for fuel imports, which enter the country once or twice a month, are immediately converted to a 25-year loan.

Akeem Thurton’s conviction affirmed
Akeem Thurton, 22, the first defendant in the Belizean court system to be tried by a judge without jury, lost his appeal of his attempted murder conviction. The Court of Appeal did, however, rule to uphold the appeal against his sentence, and the panel of three Appeal Court justices ruled to reduce Thurton’s sentence by six months—the amount of time that he had spent on remand following his arrest for the shooting of attorney Rodwell Williams on May 31, 2010. On March 15, Thurton’s attempted murder trial ended with Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin returning a guilty of attempted murder verdict. Thurton was undefended at the trial and the Crown’s case was presented by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal.

Skeletal remains found, believed to be that of Cayetano Nah, 83
The ongoing search for senior citizen Cayetano Nah, 83, of Camalote, Cayo District, who has been missing since Monday morning, February 2, ended about 2:30 this afternoon in a pasture in Camalote. The skeletal remains of Nah were found in a feeder road about half a mile from the highway in the village, in a pasture, almost two months after he left home and failed to return. The owner of the pasture told police that about 2:30 this afternoon, his workmen were cleaning the area when they found the skeletal remains of a person. The police were notified and Nah’s family were told, and the group then went to the area, where they saw the skeleton.

Tracy Taegar-Panton is UDP Albert standard bearer
During a press conference that was held at the United Democratic Party (UDP) headquarters today, the leader, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, announced that he is in the process of fine-tuning his party machinery to be battle-ready for what he expects to be a hard-fought campaign leading up to the next general elections. Part of those adjustments involved the replacement of current Albert division area representative, Hon. Herman Longsworth, with the outgoing Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Tracy Taegar-Panton, a political newcomer who has functioned at the highest official level in the tourism sector for almost two decades. The unexpected installation was confirmed today by Barrow, who described the well-known technocrat-turned-politician as “supremely qualified academically and professionally”, with a record of service that is “next to none”.

Fonseca takes “the high road” on PetroCaribe
Last October, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) commissioned Cayo South area representative Julius Espat to lead a Supreme Court challenge to what the Opposition has maintained are the illegal borrowing and spending of funds obtained via a peculiar credit arrangement with Belize’s ally, Venezuela, under which Belize receives fuel products from that country but pays only half of the bill upfront, while the government gets to retain the remainder of the funds due to Venezuela as a part of a 25-year loan agreement at 1% interest. The result is that the Government of Belize has $286 million in financing from Venezuela since late 2012, and a new bill tabled in Parliament this week seeks to retroactively validate all the borrowing and spending based on the PetroCaribe accord. Although the financing terms are unbeatable, the Opposition continues to maintain that the way the Barrow administration has been racking up the debt and spending those funds—as well as the latest bill taken to Parliament to retroactively approve the Barrow administration’s actions since September 2012—runs afoul of both the Belize Constitution and the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act 2005.

“We will continue to spend; we will continue to borrow…” Barrow tells Fonseca
After two days of debate on the proposed national budget, interspersed with political campaigning and mudslinging in the extreme, the House late this evening approved the 2015-2016 budget tabled in Parliament two weeks prior on March 13—a budget which Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow said calls for no new taxes for a consecutive 5 years, contrary to assertions from Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca that the budget is a tax, borrow and spend budget. While most of the more senior members of Parliament weighed in on the budget on Thursday, Friday’s debate was not without its intrigues. Julius Espat, PUP area representative for Cayo South, said, in effect, that the budget is bogus. “This book, Mr. Speaker, disguised as a budget, is useless and has absolutely no credibility!” he said. While the Opposition pointed to the rising debt stock, the deficit in the national budget for the year now ending, PetroCaribe spending, and the apparent lack of a sustainable economic development plan for Belize, the ruling UDP’s boast has been on infrastructural developments across the country, much of it fueled by PetroCaribe.

Legend in the making…
Tears of joy rolled down the eyes of Ernest Bradley, 16, moments after he rolled past the finish line unchallenged to become the 16th Annual BEL Junior Cross Country Classic champion today. The 3rd form Gwen Lizarraga High School student, who is the son of the late two-time Holy Saturday Cross Country champion, Ernest “Jawmaine” Meighan, was among a field of 33 riders who lined up at the San Jose Succotz ferry at Mile 71 on the George Price Highway at 9:00 this morning under overcast skies. Shortly after the cyclists took off, there were a series of sustained attacks, launched mainly by members of the SMART Zoom Junior Cycling Team, who evidently went into the race with every intention to execute the game plan that they had in mind. The hilly terrain of the Cayo District quickly took its toll on the riders – who were grouped as Youth (riders between the ages of 11 to 15) and Juniors (those who are 16 to 18 years old) – and by the time the bunch entered San Ignacio Town, 9 participants had dropped out, while Darien Anderson, 16, of Team Smart Zoom opened up a 1 minute 51 second lead ahead of the main peloton.

Kuylen strikes, Belize progresses in WCQ
On the strength of Elroy Kuylen’s expertly taken first-half free kick, visiting Belize advanced to the second round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, thanks to a 1-1 draw with the Cayman Islands at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Sunday. The Belizeans captured the series on the away-goals rule after a scoreless draw between the sides in the series opener on March 25. Striker Mark Ebanks shook off a groin strain and gave the host a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute. Unmarked at the back post, the 24-year-old powered home a cross from the right side for his third career qualifying goal. Belize slowly gained its composure on the wet pitch and leveled in the 20th minute.

Retiring cycling legend, Michael “Big Wire” Lewis, considers coaching
Legendary Belizean cycling champion, Michael “Big Wire” Lewis says he is considering one final Crosscountry ride this coming Holy Saturday. “If I ride, I want to complete the race,” commented Big Mike on Friday last when we met him briefly on Water Lane in Belize City. But, more importantly, Big Mike presently has his sights on a coaching career, and for credentials, he shared with us a prepared list of his awesome cycling accomplishments over a career spanning 30 years of competitive cycling.

4th Annual DUTCH LADY Table Tennis Tournament
The 2015 4th Annual DUTCH LADY Primary School Table Tennis Tournament took place this past Friday, March 27, at the BES Auditorium. This year, 90 students participated from 8 of our local primary schools. These included St. Joseph, Trinity Methodist, St. Mary’s, Hummingbird, Belize Elementary, Wesley Upper Primary, Ephesus, and Holy Redeemer. This year was also the first year that the primary school tournament has included a Girls Division, with 18 girls from 4 different primary schools participating. These schools included Belize Elementary, St. Mary’s, St. Joseph, and Hummingbird…. Over 200 matches were played throughout the event.

Pointing fingers and PUDP politics
The thing about electoral politicians in Belize, as indeed all over the planet earth, is that their position on issues is based on whether that position is favorable to their political party or not. In absolute terms, there is no good or bad in party politics: there is only what benefits me and what does not. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) introduced an extraordinary bill into the House of Representatives last week which gave them leave to dispense with the Finance and Audit Act of 2005 when it came to the PetroCaribe loan funds. The circumstances under which Belizeans had demanded and obtained the Finance and Audit Act almost a decade ago should be recalled in detail, but the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) will scream bloody murder if those circumstances of 2005 are recalled in detail. The PUP will argue that 2005 is in the past, and it is what the UDP is doing now with which the people of Belize should be concerned.

From the Publisher
If I watch a sporting event at night on television and I have an emotional connection to one of the teams, it will be impossible for me to fall asleep after the game. Thus it was that when the Belize football selection played their home game against the Cayman Islands on Wednesday night, March 25, at 8 p.m., I decided to go to sleep early the night. Thursday is a difficult day in the newspaper business, and I didn’t want to be walking around groggy the Thursday morning after the game. Of course when I got up, around 4 a.m., I was desperate to find out what the result of the game was. (Everybody who had watched the game was now asleep.) The Cayman Islands is a small British colony in the Caribbean Sea between Belize and Jamaica. Most of their business is offshore banking, and theirs is a wealthy economy. Belize has been an independent nation for going on 34 years. Our economy is not as wealthy as the Caymans’, but there are attitudinal benefits to independence which are supposed to translate into improved performances in international sports. In the FIFA rankings, Belize is almost forty places higher than Cayman.

Protect our Scarlet Macaws!
Dear Editor, I would like to bring your attention to the immediate need for protection of the Scarlet Macaws in Red Bank Village. Norwegian Cruise Line is attempting to place an ATV trail through their critical habitat. This will cause an already very fragile species to die off in Belize. They are a part of our heritage and have a right to be here; these birds are some of Belize’s most famous icons. Consider that they are literally priceless! Their value to the tourism industry should be allowed to profit for generations to come – instead of allowing a one-time gain for a very few people. And this is aside from the species’ own intrinsic value. I am asking, as a concerned citizen, to please do whatsoever you can, to protect our magnificent macaws! Thank you for your consideration,

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40, Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 9:31, Luke 11:30) There are not 3 Days and 3 Nights between 3 pm Friday and Early Sunday Morning – John 20:1 The Beloved Son In the Bible, God revealed Jesus as “- – - My beloved Son- – -” (Matthew 3:16-17, 17:5); and as the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 35). Jesus came into the world by natural birth (Mat 1:18-25). He came through the womb of a young virgin, of a people chosen by God (Deuteronomy 7:6-11) to become the nation state of Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). He was therefore, by birth, a citizen of the nation of Israel.

Akeem Thurton’s conviction affirmed
Akeem Thurton, 22, the first defendant in the Belizean court system to be tried by a judge without jury, lost his appeal of his attempted murder conviction. The Court of Appeal did, however, rule to uphold the appeal against his sentence, and the panel of three Appeal Court justices ruled to reduce Thurton’s sentence by six months—the amount of time that he had spent on remand following his arrest for the shooting of attorney Rodwell Williams on May 31, 2010. On March 15, Thurton’s attempted murder trial ended with Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin returning a guilty of attempted murder verdict. Thurton was undefended at the trial and the Crown’s case was presented by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. An American-Jamaican human rights attorney, Nancy Mae Anderson, subsequently learned about Thurton’s conviction and she teamed up with attorney Bryan Neal, and together they filed 20 grounds of appeal against the conviction and consequent 15-year sentence.

Caribbean Fisheries Forum to review regional spiny lobster declaration
Heads of national fisheries authorities from the seventeen member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), as well as observers and partner agencies, will attend the 13th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum in Grenada this week. The representatives will review the status of fisheries and aquaculture in the region and chart the roadmap for enhancing their contribution to national and regional development. CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said, “The fisheries and aquaculture sector is playing an increasing role in food and nutrition security, as well as the provision of income and livelihoods for the people of the Caribbean.” The 13th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum will open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, 30th March at the Flamboyant Hotel in St. George’s, Grenada. It will conclude on Tuesday, 31st March 2015. The Forum is the arm of the CRFM which provides technical and scientific leadership to the organization. It also provides advice to the CRFM Ministerial Council on regional actions for sustainable development and conservation of the resources.

Gracias a Dios border marker plaque removed
A bronze plaque with the name “BELIZE” that was recently erected by the Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV) at the border marker known as Gracias a Dios in southern Belize has been unceremoniously removed. The incident is believed to have happened during the latter part of last week, and this past Saturday, March 28, exactly one month after the plaque was placed at the site, leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (the activist group that started the initiative), Wil Maheia, told us that they found out about what had occurred last Friday, but up to now, it is not certain who removed the plaque and what were their reasons for doing so. In a response to the news on his social media page, Phillip De La Fuente, a member of the Orange Walk-based Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV), which is an arm of the BTV, said, “[I] don’t know what to say. [I] feel a little numb…but we were expecting something like this to happen.” We contacted Antonio Giovanni De La Fuente, who is also a part of the NTV, by text on Saturday, and he told us that he was not aware that the plaque had been removed.

2 families, victims of fire, seek assistance
Two families comprising 11 individuals have been displaced after their three houses were completely destroyed by a pine ridge bush fire, and are seeking public assistance to help them to rebuild their lives. The houses – two owned by the Colinas family, comprised of 6 persons, and a third house owned by the Pop family, comprised of 5 persons – were destroyed at about 12:30 Friday afternoon in Silk Grass, and their collective loss has been estimated to be about $60,000. The Colinas family said that their house was a 4-bedroom lumber house with a thatched roof, and their kitchen was made of pimento, also with a thatched roof. All their household belongings were destroyed. The Pop family reported that their house was a 3-bedroom lumber house with corrugated roof, and, as was the case with the Colinas family, nothing was saved.

BTL’s suit against former directors over sale of Channel 5 struck out
The Court of Appeal on Friday announced its decision to strike out a claim filed back in April 2011 by Belize Telemedia Limited, making claims for losses and damage allegedly caused by 7 former company directors and 4 associated companies, in a challenge to a move by the Ashcroft group to detach Great Belize Productions and its subsidiary Channel 5 from BTL, right before the Government of Belize moved in to nationalize the telecommunications company back in 2009. The decision, written by Justice Christopher Blackman with the concurrence of Justices Dennis Morrison and Minnet Hafiz-Bertram, supports the arguments by the attorneys for the appellants, that the directors are absolutely indemnified from any such claims under BTL’s Articles of Association, as well as a separate deed of indemnity dating back to September 2006.

Re: Today's Belize News: April 2, 2015 [Re: Marty] #502917
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The Reporter

Man chops stepson to death
A man chopped his stepson to death on Wedbesday night. Sketchy details are that the incident happened on Kutt Avenue in Belize City shortly after 10 p.m. The Reporter Online will have more ibfornation on this incident on Thursday.

City residents can pay property tax on line
Belize City residents can now pay property tax and trade license expenses from the comfort of their home or office over the Internet through a partnership between the Belize City Council and the Atlantic Bank. CitCo announced the launch of its latest on-line service […]

Shooting claims man’s life! Chavarria dies after being shot twice in four weeks
Only weeks after surviving an attempt on his life, Jaime Chavarria, 26, was gunned down in Belize City this week. According to police, Chavarria, a Belizean construction worker of 163 West Canal Street, Belize City, was walking through an unnamed alley in the Berkeley […]

GOB to raise police salaries
The Belize Police Department will be getting a salary adjustment, effective April 1st. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, retired Colonel George Lovell, explained that the ministry proposed to Cabinet in January that the increment cap for police officers be increased from […]

PUP rejects all PetroCaribe financing
PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, announced Friday, perhaps to the dismay of PUP voters, that his party will no longer accept any funds from the government through the PetroCaribe initiative. Fonseca, who criticized the government for passing a Bill which by-passes the authority of the […]

Amos Ford dies at 98
With deep regret and a sense of loss the Reporter records the death of Mr. Amos Ford, proud Belizean, who died last week in England at the age of 98. Mr. Ford was among the many Belizeans who left this country during the early years of World War II to […]

Police department rolls out new social initiative
The Belize Police Department has rolled out its new social campaign, designed to build community relationships by engaging with youths from the most crime ridden parts of the City. “Be Loving And Cease Killing (BLACK) is a movement to reduce the hatred, the violence […]

Elderly man stabbed during home invasion
Robert Acosta, 88, an elderly man who lives alone on Hyde’s Lane in Belize City, was released this week from the hospital after he was attacked and stabbed inside his home early Saturday morning.   Acosta was asleep between the hours of 4:00 and 6:30 a.m. […]

Belize’s inflation rate is third lowest in region
Belize holds the third lowest inflation rate in Central America for the month of February, according to the latest data produced by the Statistical Institute of Belize. The SIB recently released its Consumer Price Index, which measures the fluctuation in prices of numerous commodities (inflation), […]

Courtenay in contempt? Appeals Court fires back at Senior Counsel
Court of Appeal President, Manuel Sosa has questioned whether comments made by then-President of the Bar Association, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, during the ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court in January, constituted contempt of court. In remarks made at the close of the first session […]

Darrell Bradley announces Caribbean Shores candidacy
Mayor Darrell Bradley will contest the upcoming June 7th United Democratic Party convention for the Caribbean Shores constituency against current UDP area representative, Santiago “Santino” Castillo. “Not to take anything from the honorable Castillo, because he is a minister of government, he is an […]

Financial Secretary explains fuel increase
The dramatic increase in regular gas last week was caused because an adjustment had to be made for a previous increase that PUMA failed to make on its last shipment of fuel, explains Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight. According to Waight, PUMA had previously reduced […]

The price of staying online
High speed or home/work internet prices in Belize have gone down since October 2014, when prices were slashed by half and the speeds doubled. But according to Caribbean standards, Belize still ranks among the countries that offer the slowest speeds and still the highest […]

San Pedro garbage woes cause growing health concerns
A garbage disposal problem in San Pedro is causing serious health concerns for marine life and residents on the Isla Bonita experts claim and the island’s marine food sources are being compromised. Household and commercial waste, produced by garbage, is being used as landfill […]

Christian men and women all over the world will be using this last week of Lent to reflect upon the swift and terrible events leading to the arrest, the trial, the condemnation and the brutal crucifixion of the man called Jesus. Jesus suffered the most excruciating death that any human […]

The Belize Times

Patrick JonesPJ

Develop a Management Plan for our Beaches
By Charles Leslie Jr. As a 6th generation Placencian, I am compelled to write about my thoughts on the Placencia beach, however what I propose in this article can be applied to all beaches in Belize, since our beaches are publicly owned spaces and should be respected, cherished and protected by all Belizeans. I also […]

Ailing Stephen Okeke pleas for TV Ramos bust money
Stephen Okeke, creator of the bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos and many other sculptures of national heroes and related monuments, says he has been unable to make contact with the Thomas Vincent Ramos Foundation, which took possession of the bust from him last November in time for Garifuna […]

Belize City Council introduces online payment for taxes
Aaron Humes Reporting. Residents of the Old Capital now have additional means of meeting obligations to the Belize City Council for trade licenses collected every December and property taxes collected by the start of the new financial year in April. Previously, residents had to either wait in line at City Hall […]

CitCo sanitation litigation settled, wages a concern
It has been several months since more than 175 former workers of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) joined the Belize City Council to continue their employment after months of wrangling. The Belize Waste Control maintains quite busy extracting its pound of flesh from the Council for many years on […]

Community health workers participate in a two day training
70 community health workers and voluntary integrators wrapped up two-days of training at the Gala Lounge today where they were engaged in learning the integrated approach to vector management and prevention. Coordinators say it’s a country-wide initiative in equipping these individuals with the right tools and knowledge in vector diseases […]

GSU weed bust goes to court
Police have charged a man and two women with possession of multiple amounts of cannabis intended for distribution. On Tuesday members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) searched a residence in the Set Site area and recovered 3.68 kilograms and 3.1 grams separately on the verandah for which […]

Students from Galen University Attend MOAS
Last week, six students from Galen University attended the 33rd Model OAS General Assembly (MOAS) Summit for Universities of the Hemisphere in Saint Kitts and Nevis. The MOAS for students of the Hemisphere is a program of the Organization of American States (OAS), designed to promote democratic values among the […]

Dangriga Community United to Begin Holy Week
The Anglican, Catholic, and Methodist Congregations gathered on Palm Sunday to celebrate the beginning of Holy Week (March 29th – April 4th) with a Procession that began from the Drums of Our Fathers Monument in beautiful Dangriga. Canon Jerris Valentine, Rev. Clare, Rev. McBride, Fr. Rolando, Deacon Nevis […]

Education Leaders Met in Dangriga to chart the way forward
District Education Center Managers and Education Officers met last week to get updated on the current projects and programs within the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and to report on the various activities at the District levels. Co-workers from District Centers in Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize City, […]

Tractor truck and SUV collide on highway
Police are investigating a late night accident on the George Price Highway between Miles 11 and 12 involving a tractor truck and SUV colliding. Two persons were injured and the vehicles extensively damaged. Assistant Fire Chief for the National Fire Service Ted Smith was one of the first […]

Jaime Chavarria murdered in Belize City
Belize City police are investigating the late night shooting of 26 year old West Canal resident Jaime Emmanuel Chavarria, who was shot three times to the head and back while he walked through a dark unnamed alley off Berkeley Street around 7:10 Monday night. Police say Chavarria, whose […]

Coye family challenges income tax assessments
One year on from their acquittal on money laundering charges in the Court of Appeal, the Coye family continues to face legal challenges. On Monday Melonie Coye sued the Commissioner of Income Tax Kent Clare over an assessment of the Coye family’s finances by the Income Tax Department, which […]

Court orders sale of attorney’s assets to pay debt
Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel has ordered that senior attorney Ernest Staine sell his assets to return some $230,000 owed to former client Rita McField for the final sale of a parcel of land to Forward in Faith Ministries on Douglas Jones Street for the building of a […]


Plans For Caye Chapel Could Push Belize, Our Jewel, to the Next Level
Once a private playground built by Kentucky coal titan Larry Addington, the caye (with the first golf course in Belize) has sat largely idle and for sale for the last decade…until recently. Reports have been circulating that a “Mexican investment group” purchased Caye Chapel for development. There has been lots of buzz – could a “Four Seasons Resort” finally be coming to Belize? This past weekend, as the rest of the country readied itself for The Easter festivities, a meeting took place on Caye Chapel. Present were representatives from PEMEX, Impresub, representatives from Belize’s Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities, Minister of Natural Resources Gasper Vega, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia and Prime Minister Dean Barrow himself. It appears 1,500 thread-count linens and butler served mimosas are NOT in store for Caye Chapel. So what is you ask? AN OIL REFINERY. That’s right, a feasibility study is already underway. As many have said, Belize’s oil: Let’s do it right.

“I Remember You” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yes, I know it’s been an absolute age since I last commandeered John’s iPad and knocked out an edition for you, my adoring fans. But I’ve been busy. Enjoying myself if you must know. I thought something was afoot when Rose and John spent time at the beginning of last week in the ground floor apartment. Giving it a bit of a dust over is, I think, the way Rose described it. Now it’s not that uncommon for them to both descend the stairs with brooms, dusters, buckets and other cleaning paraphernalia and go into the apartment but it’s normally on a Thursday or Friday (getting quite clever with the days of the week aren’t I). Never on Tuesday. This was puzzling. What was going on? Wednesday came and Wednesday went and still nothing. I was getting quite perturbed and agitated. The suspense was excruciating. If they were doing this to test my patience then they were succeeding.

People, Market and Love
The San Ignacio market is a must for everyone who lives in Belize and for those who visit us. Its situated literally in down town San Ignacio, left of centre of town and right next to the Macal river which was a cornerstone of the transportation and communication industries of western Belize. This market is incredible. Its small and there are stalls that are open every day serving fresh fruit and vegetables. Then something incredible happens starting Friday afternoon. More and more tents start going up, meaning more and more opportunities to get you something that perhaps would not be there between Snday and Friday morning. Certainly, to know what ‘that’ is you must go to market. We suggest Saturday morning. The San Ignacio market is a place of culture. A place where one can see the interesting multi ethnicity of the country of Belize. One can see the differences in the faces of the people or, in the multitude of different food that are being prepared and the languages and accents attached to the different languages.

CWU does not support the PetroCaribe Loans Bill 2015
The Christian Worker’s Union denounces the PetroCaribe Loans Act 2015 as lacking in transparency, and accountability and for its attempt to validate and legalize outright illegal actions that go against the laws of Belize. Belize will recall that in 2010 there was an amendment to the Finance and Audit Act, which aimed at increasing oversight of public finances governance. Despite these amendments and call for better oversight of our monies, this recent PetroCaribe Loans Act flies in the face of any measures to be accountable and transparent with the monies of the people. Once it takes effect, this Act will: bypass the National Assembly, where approval would have otherwise been obtained beforehand and the nation would have had an opportunity to be informed about public spending, frustrates Auditor General accounting of PetroCaribe funding as it will not be part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to be tracked by the Auditor General; removes PetroCaribe spending from being subject to the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act 2010 bestows on GOB with power to borrow ANY amounts to be used “without limitations”; and also validates, legalizes and legitimizes previously illegal and unconstitutional Government conduct for the past two and a half years.

International Sourcesizz

Gross! Watch Undercover Cruise Ship Inspection
The NBC Today Show aired a special this morning on cruise ship germs titled Cruise ships may carry unwelcome passengers: Germs. An undercover team went on an unidentified cruise ship (looks like a Royal Caribbean ship) to the Caribbean to find out "where germs may lurk aboard cruise ships." They used test swabs and a bacteria meter. Any reading over 100 on the bacteria meter is a "fail." Several readings were acceptable but many were not. The team sent the buffet spoon swabs to a certified lab. The team interviewed a emergency room doctor who said "It's very bad. . . they make you really sick." The doctor suggested that cruise lines utilizing someone with gloves doing the serving instead of a self-serve arrangement. That's "the best way of preventing the spread of infection," he said. The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) dismissed the results, referring to the inspection as a "clandestine demonstration."

There’s a heartbreaking amount of plastic on this Caribbean beach
The image of a lone bottle washing up on a remote tropical island is the clichéd stuff of literature, movies and New Yorker cartoons. But what about the image of thousands of bottles, millions even, washing up on shores as near as the Outer Banks, or as far away as the Caribbean island where I spent a week in early March with a coral ecology class from Wake Forest University? Each of those bottles carries a message, and it’s this: our actions here have an impact there. We produce and consume far too many disposable, single-use plastic containers. And we don’t safely dispose of, or recycle, nearly enough of them. Look at it this way, argues Sylvia Earle, the 79-year-old pioneering marine biologist and oceanographer whom I met recently, “What we must do is acknowledge a sea change in attitude, one that acknowledges we are a part of the living world, not apart from it.” IN THE LATE 1960s, a NASA engineer named Jackson Lane Edwards II purchased a tropical island called Long Caye (pronounced key) some 47 miles off the mainland of Belize in Central America. It’s part of the six-island Lighthouse Reef Atoll, home to the Great Blue Hole made famous by Jacques Cousteau, and surrounded by the second-largest, and today, the healthiest coral reef on earth.

Retire And Start A New Life In Sunny Belize
Lynn Ann Snellman and her husband Tony DiPiazza's lifestyle in Belize is very different to what they knew back in Okemos, Michigan. "Our main reason for leaving was the weather. We crave warmth and sunshine. The winters are intensely cold in Michigan, with lots of snow and ice, and there are lots of cloudy days year-round. Here in Belize we are thrilled to enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle year-round," says Lynn. "We live full-time on the beach in a development on the Placencia peninsula. We enjoy the warm climate, with sea breezes, the dramatic ocean view, and the natural beauty all around us. It's great to be able to bathe in the sea, snorkel, and kayak right off our own beach. I've even watched baby turtles emerge and helped them get to the sea. A couple of months ago that occurred right on our property." Two nights a week Tony also plays beach volleyball at Mangos, a nearby bar. And since the DiPiazzas are animal lovers, Lynn explains, "We have adopted (rescued) two dogs and three cats since we've been here. Nearly every day includes a long dog walk on the beach with some of our neighbors."

Where to go diving, from Sharm el-Sheikh to Sri Lanka
There's nothing quite like the sensation of cruising through the blue, surrounded by shimmering fish and limitless space. A new exhibition at the Natural History Museum, "Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea" (020 7942 5725;; £10), explores the world's subaquatic habitats, the creatures that live there, and what we can do to conserve them. As well as underwater photography and live sea coral, the exhibition includes a "virtual reef dive". But if you want to try the real thing, there are countless options, from Sharm el-Sheikh to Sri Lanka. To find out more about the aquatic environment you're exploring, join an expedition. The award-winning marine conservation operation Blue Ventures (020 7697 8598; offers training in species identification and scientific method, after which you can help to collect important data on coral reef ecology. There are two projects, one in a remote fishing village in Madagascar and the other in a marine reserve in Belize. The long-term aim is to support coastal communities in conserving the spectacular ecosystems they inhabit. Placements last from three weeks and cost from £1,900pp excluding flights. The price includes full board in shared beach cabins, with Padi training available if required.

Lisa Rinna ditches Depends for bikini
You can depend on Lisa Rinna to be smoking hot. The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star, who became synonymous with adult diaper brand Depends after she starred in their ad campaign in 2012, declared she had nothing to hide in a steamy snapshot from her tropical vacation in Mexico. Wearing a plain black bikini, an oversized hat and sunglasses, Rinna showed off her fit frame for the camera. “Is it too much?” she asked on Tuesday. “Enough already? Ahhh f—k it. I’m 51.” She also ended the caption with a cake emoji. While in Belize, Rinna also posed with longtime husband Harry Hamlin. The couple is celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary.

Check Out The Hottest Celeb Pics This Week
Lisa Rinna soaked up some sun while visiting El Secreto Belize luxury resort for her and 18th wedding anniversary vacation with her hubby, Harry Hamlin.

Infantrymen learn how to stay one step ahead in the jungle
Soldiers from across the area have been learning to fight and survive in one of the world’s toughest environments – the jungle. In the third part of a series of special reports, defence correspondent SAM BANNISTER reports on the tactical elements of the troops’ training. The dense foliage of the jungle provides some of the best cover for sneaking up on your enemy – but unfortunately this tactical advantage can easily be used against you too. Around 120 troops of the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (2PWRR) are in Belize on a tough jungle training mission which is teaching them how to fight and survive in the hostile environment. But as well as learning how to survive in the wilderness, hunt for food and find fresh water, the soldiers must also know how to gain an advantage over the enemy in an unfamiliar climate with hazards at every turn. A Company, which includes soldiers from the Portsmouth area, are undergoing tactical training lessons aimed at giving them the upper hand over any foes. They are covering everything from how to cross a river without being left exposed to an attack to how to sneak up on an enemy position and observe their movements from the cover of the foliage.

Porpoises Use Sound Like a Flashlight
Porpoises have the amazing ability to not only locate prey with a beam of sound, but adjust the field of clicks and buzzes as they move in for the kill, preventing the fish from slipping away, a new study finds. The lead researcher from Denmark's Aarhus University tells the BBC that the switch is much like adjusting a flashlight. If you're looking for your car in a parking lot, "you could use a narrow beam over a long distance and still see a lot," she says. "But when you're trying to get your keys into the car, you would switch to a wider beam. This is similar to what we see in porpoises." The beam is controlled by a fatty structure in the porpoise's head called the melon. "Like some bats, harbor porpoises can broaden their biosonar beam during the terminal phase of attack but, unlike bats, maintain the ability to change beamwidth within this phase," the researchers write in the journal eLife. The team, which studied harbor porpoises in a semi-enclosed research facility that gave the animals seafloor access, believes other dolphins and whales have the same sonar ability. The lead researcher tells the BBC that the discovery suggests many porpoises end up in fishing nets because of "attention blindness" that causes them to ignore potential hazards as they zero in on a fish. (Porpoises in San Francisco Bay face another hazard: gangs of angry young dolphins.)

The world's best airport bars
Enjoy a drink at the airport in style, whether it be a cocktail, local brew or fine wine. At these airport bars you'll want to have a layover. Jet’s Bar, Belize City International Airport: Hold onto that relaxed holiday feeling at Jet’s Bar. Try the owner, Jet's, famous rum punch, while eating a hotdog, the only food served. Before a fire last year, the bar was covered in currencies from all over the world, police badges, religious icons, pictures of Jet with celebrities and more. The bar re-opened with a simplified look, however the chilled atmosphere is still makes this great. Visitors are encouraged to leave souvenirs for Jet to restore the bar to its former glory.


  • Another Shade of Blue - Belize, 23min. Ty Sawyer, TV program

  • Sugar in Belize: An uncertain future, 4min. Fairtrade sugar has been a success story. In 2013, more than 60,000 smallholder farmers in countries such as Belize and Zambia earned over $13m (£8.1m) in Fairtrade Premiums, to invest in their businesses and communities. But a recent sugar price crash, and a reform of the Common Agricultural Policy that will allow unlimited European beet sugar production from 2017, means these farmers and their communities face an uncertain future. Fairtrade is urging businesses and consumers to keep buying Fairtrade so that the Belizean sugar cane farmers who feature in this film, and tens of thousands of others like them, can keep working towards a better future.

  • Mayan Ruin of Belize-Episode 1, 8min.

  • Scuba Dive Central Belize, 3min. Check out this adventurous video featuring diving off the second largest barrier reef in the world. Barrel sponges, French Angel fish, and tons of gorgeous coral are just a few cool things in this video. On the surface I used the Flip Ultra HD and below a GoPro 720P

  • Backpacking Central America - Belize - Guatemala - Nicaragua, 7min. Here is a glimpse of my last backpacking trip to Central America.

  • Belize In Motion // Shot On Location, 4min. Traveling through Belize is an exercise in movement. Busses, vans, boats, planes, bikes, and golf carts cruise the country supplying the needs of visitors and natives alike. In this video, I wanted to capture the perpetual shifting that is apparent in Belize, a country where the water, the sun, the stars, and the people, are constantly in motion.

  • Belize Diving 2014, 6min.

  • Belize Study Abroad over Spring Break. University of Florida, 7min. Promotional video for Belize study abroad program over spring break from the University of Florida's Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.

  • Belize Kids Mexico Rocks First Dive, 1min. This is the kids first open water dive which made them decide to get PADI certified while on vacation. Special thanks to Roberto and Blinky at Action Divers for making this a success.

  • Belize City Swing Bridge Aerial video with drone, 1min. Belize City flying over the 'Swing Bridge' up river from the river mouth......Looking good Belize City.......Yaaaaaaay!!!

  • Belize Spring Break 2015, 8min. AED Medical Mission.

  • Caving in Belize, 11min.

  • 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
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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