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Today's Belize News: April 11, 2015 #503249
04/11/15 05:49 AM
04/11/15 05:49 AM
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The San Pedro Sun

Another successful Easter Monday Cycling Race
The San Pedro Cycling Club held its 4th annual Easter Monday Cycling Race on Monday, April 6th. Island cyclists of all ages came out for a morning of racing fun in hopes of winning trophies, medals and prizes. The race was divided into three categories to accommodate all cyclist of all levels: under 12, under 15 and seniors. The race route was from Calvio’s Bike Shop and Rental in Boca del Rio to Captain Morgan’s Resort on northern Ambergris Caye, and back. In the under 12 category, racers had to ride one lap. The young boys raced like upcoming champions, and Adrian Cobol made a last minute sprint allowing him to take the win. Jose Valle managed to take a close second, while third place went to Leroy Arzu. Fourth place went to Joshua Fuentes, while Nestor Castillo rounded off the top five. The last race of the day was the highly anticipated five-lap senior category. Participants in this category are well seasoned cyclists. Not only did the top five finishers receive prizes, but station prizes for the first finisher of each lap were also given. Charles Garay took the first station prize, Michael Roland took both the second and fourth station prize, and Arden Garay took the third station prize. The first place winner of the senior category was Andrew Vasquez who performed exceptionally well in the last lap. Charles Garay took second place while Kian Ancona took third. Jose Rivera took fourth place and Arden Garay ended off in fifth place.

Renovation of Police Barracks is almost complete
The renovation of one of the existing San Pedro Police barracks by the San Pedro Business Community is almost complete. Currently in its fourth week of construction, the three bedroom barrack building now has new roofing, flooring, doors, windows, exterior and interior walls. The barracks also saw new electrical wiring being placed to ensure the building is more fire resistant. Finishing cosmetic touches are being made before the building is officially presented to the police. Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott says he is grateful for the assistance offered towards the alleviation of some of the officer’s deplorable living conditions. “The San Pedro Police barracks has come a long way from what it was at first. Old rotten and poorly constructed buildings are being replaced with the help of the San Pedro Business Community. I couldn’t be happier for the support that has been offered. The officers are finally getting a decent place to rest after a long day’s work,” said Jemmott. Renovations started on Monday, March 16th, and are being headed by Contractor Armando Graniel Jr. Work is expected to be fully completed by next week.

Belizean-American Justin Williams wins the 87th Cross Country Cycling Classic
Belizean-American Justin Williams captured the garland for Belize at the 87th annual Cross Country Cycle Classic on Holy Saturday. Thousands of Belizeans rejoiced when Williams crossed the finish line from amongst 100 riders including 25 foreigners. The annual event saw the cyclists ride from Belize City and into the westerns hills up to Santa Elena/San Ignacio, then back to the old capital for a total of 142.8 miles. After the ceremonial ride through Belize City from the BTL Park to the Faber’s Road, the riders took off with high hopes of capturing the garland. The 2014 defending Champion, Mexican cyclist Juan Pablo Magallanes, was not in the line-up of the race as he is currently participating in a two-week event in Mexico. However, six former champions completed the start-up, which included Darnell Barrow, Giovanni Choto, Shane Vasquez, Michael Lewis, Chris Harkey and Bill Elliston.

Another Sail Boat runs aground on the Reef
Authorities are assessing damages made by yet another boat running aground on the reef. The sail boat “Do Sea”, belonging to 76-year-old Carecen Charles O’Connor, crashed into a portion of the Belize Barrier Reef on Wednesday, April 1st at an area close to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Since then, Hol Chan Marine Reserve has removed the vessel from the reef, but due to a damaged hull could not bring it to land, so it was left sitting over a sea grass bed for the meantime. According to Sherlette Martinez of the Belize Port Authority, O’Connor was attempting to enter the reef late on Wednesday night, when to due to the waves, the vessel landed on the reef. After failed attempts to remove the vessel, O’Connor was left with no other choice than to swim to shore. He landed safely at about three miles south of San Pedro Town. The relevant authorities were informed on the incident and of Thursday, April 2nd, steps were taken to alleviate the stress the vessel was causing on the reef. Manager of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Miguel Alamilla stated that an attempt was made to bring the vessel to land. “After we learned about the sail boat, we went there to see what the situation was. We got some help and managed to remove the boat from the crest of the reef where it was stuck. During the crash, the vessel had sustained serious damage to the hull and water was already going into the boat. We couldn’t bring it back to shore so we had to leave it in an area where it would not cause more damage,” said Alamilla. Due to the damaged hull, the vessel has partially sunk, which will present difficulties when removing it from the sea.

Diving – and snorkeling – Lighthouse Atoll
Did you know that three of the four true atolls in the western hemisphere – Lighthouse Reef, Turneffe Islands and Glover’s Reef lie 30 to 60 miles off the Belizean mainland, just beyond the spectacular Meso-American Barrier Reef? Just one more reason why Belize is uniquely amazing! Atolls are an incredible creation of ring-shaped coral reefs that have a coral rim that partially or completely encircle a lagoon. Jacques Cousteau made this unique natural phenomenon famous back in the 1970’s when it took his team several weeks to map out a path for their ship Calypso into these uncharted waters. Later, Cousteau declared the Blue Hole one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world. For divers today, 50 years after Cousteau’s famous expeditions, it is exhilarating to descend and discover the same waters as this renowned explorer.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Spectacular Sunsets to get Married By in Belize
The northern hemisphere of the globe enjoys the naturally occurring Aurora Borealis, but come sunset time in Belize you can enjoy spectacular display of colors in the darkening skies just as stunning. Pictured here is a couple who got married at Chabl Mar resort in Placencia, Stann Creek, Belize. The setting in southern Belize was perfect for the couple who decided on a Destination Wedding in paradise. - photo by Jose Luis Zapata Photography

Rugby Belize Promotes Sport in San Pedro
Along with the continuing efforts to establish a strong rugby club and affiliation in Belize, Rugby Belize founder Tony Gillings and San Pedro club organizer Martin Dawson, held a clinic to continue promoting the sport amongst the youth of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Rugby Belize is developing the sport in the country by organizing Rugby Seven teams all over the country to compete against each other in order to form a national team to send to the Olympics. The Rugby organization came up with a program called ‘Get into rugby – try, play, stay’ which influences people to play. Given this, it gives Belize a great opportunity to participate. Rugby Belize was out at the Boca del Rio Park during Easter weekend and took advantage of the fact that school was out and invited the island youth to try out the game on the beach.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belizeans on the Button!
36% of Belize on Facebook:- According to a recent survey carried out by (ICT) Information and Communications Technology-Pulse over 36% of Belizeans use Facebook as their preferred social media network. ICT-Pulse also reported that Belize has one of the slowest Internet speeds in the region. According to the survey 118,000 Belizeasn representing more than thirty six percent of the country's population, is active on Facebook as or March 2015. In its 2014 survey, just over 28% of the population was active on the social media site. In 2013 that number was only 23%. Of the 24 Caribbean nations surveyed, most saw increased activity on Facebook as well. ICT-Pulse attributed a significant portion of the increase to the growing young teenage population in the region. The minimum age for creating an account is 13.

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow and U.S. President Barack Obama shake handsToday’s photo of the day is of Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow meeting U.S. President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama this week.

USNS Comfort is in Belize!!!!
TSgt Keisha Harris welcomes the USNS Comfort medical team to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for the first round of medical and dental prescreenings! This is the final screening step for patients to be cleared. Once patients are cleared, they will be scheduled to receive surgery on board the USNS Comfort throughout the week.

Belize Documentary Film Course Coming
Another documentary film course is going to be offered soon. The last one was done during the Summer of 2013, and many of the student documentaries took place in Bullet Tree Falls and around Cayo. The one about the Green Iguana Conservation Project was great. This time, they'll be teaming up with Cayo's Wildlife Institute. "WE WILL BE OFFERING NEW WILDLIFE INTRODUCTION TO DOCUMENTARY FILM COURSE SOON, AND COLLABORATION WITH WILDLIFE INSTITUTE MORE INFO. AND PROMO VIDEO COMING SOON, HERE IS OUR LAST CLASS REFLECTION VIDEO."

Everyone loves a white sandy beach
But mangroves are one of the coolest features of our marine ecosystem. Through a combination of functions, mangroves contribute significantly to the Belizean economy. Mangroves are tropical plants that are adapted to loose, wet soils, salt water, and being periodically submerged by tides; Four major factors appear to limit the distribution of mangroves: climate, salt water, tidal fluctuation and soil type; There are more than 50 species of mangroves found throughout the world. Three species of mangroves are native to Belize: Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa); Mangroves trap and cycle various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients in the coastal ecosystem; Mangroves provide one of the basic food chain resources for marine organisms; Mangroves provide physical habitat and nursery grounds for a wide variety of marine organisms, many of which have important recreational or commercial value. Mangroves serve as roosting and nesting sites for many of our birds. Mangroves serve as storm buffers by reducing wind and wave action in shallow shoreline areas. Mangroves assist in protecting water quality and clarity by filtering runoff and trapping sediments and debris.

National Geographic Highlights The Growing Popularity of Inland Belize
A recent National Geographic article highlights a growing new trend in Belize tourism that sees more and more travellers choosing to explore the little country’s inland attractions rather than spend their entire vacations on Belize’s Caribbean seacoast, according to the owners of Belizean eco resort The Lodge at Chaa Creek. Lucy Fleming, who with her husband Mick opened The Lodge at Chaa Creek on Belize’s Macal River in 1981, said that such articles are indicative of a shift in Belize’s reputation as primarily a Caribbean sea destination and premier dive spot. “Not so long ago, when you mentioned Belize, you received blank looks. By the 1980s, as word spread, people would respond with comments like, ‘Oh yes, that’s where Jacques Cousteau explored the Blue Hole. The beaches and diving sound great.’ “Now, more and more, people are mentioning the pristine rainforests, wildlife and Maya temples and sacred caves. Media attention like the recent National Geographic article is helping to drive a trend towards inland adventures, and we think that’s great,” she added.

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow's Presentation at the II CEO Summit of the Americas in Panama, yesterday
"And I certainly do not leave off from my belief that the current constructs governing our integration movement are the correct ones, if only they can be adapted so as not to exacerbate power disequilibria, so as not to constrict and degrade the weakest among us. That our economics must not lose sight of our humanity, is a central caveat. But once that is accepted it allows us to declare in all conscience that our manner of proceeding is not just a good way, but the best way."

NEBL All Star Game
The NEBL will be having the All Star game next Saturday, April 18th here in Cayo, at the SHC auditorium. 4 Western Ballaz made the team. Way to go guys! "The All Star South Team has been announced. Starting Five : Elvis Usher Jr., Kurt Burgess, Jareel Velasquez, Travis Lennen and Daniel Nolberto Reserve Players: Terrel Eskridge (BRT), Stanley Flowers (CWB), Jamir Flores (DW), Richard Troyer (CWB), Trevaugh Usher (DW), Macario Augustine (DW) and Farron Lourian (BRT) Big UP to our WB players for making the ALL Star South TEAM - Elvis, Chengo, Ritchie, and Ivan"

Belize History Association Logo Competition Winners
The Belize History Association announce winners of their logo competition at the House of Culture today! First place Mr. Joel Cho from San Antonio, Toledo and second was won by Jeremy Cho from Yo Creek Orange Walk. Their entries were combined to form the new BHA logo, it was selected from among 53 entries submitted. Congratulations to them and a special thank you to all those who took part in the competition.

Channel 7

Coast Guard Shooter Keyren Tzib Applies For Bail
Since Tuesday, we've been telling you about 24 year-old Keyren Tzib, the Coast Guard officer with the rank of "seaman" who shot her male colleague, Coast Guard Petty Officer Kurt Hyde on Easter Monday. Today, she went to the Supreme Court before Justice Herbert Lord to apply for an expedited bail hearing after being remanded to prison on Tuesday for the charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Her attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, served the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, with the application documents yesterday evening, and in just a few hours, the Supreme Court granted her an audience. She was seeking to invoke the amendment to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act in which an accused person does not have to wait 2 weeks in jail before their case can be heard. The condition is that if the defendant can show that he or she is of good character with no previous convictions then the bail hearing can be moved up to an earlier date. That's just what happened today, and in response, Crown Counsel Linbert Willis asked the court to grant him more time to be able to provide more information about the case to the Supreme Court. He told the court that the short notice was not enough time to get all the necessary details. One such important issue was the current medical status of the victim, Kurt Hyde, and what the doctors are forecasting about his recovery from the gunshot injury he suffered.

Second City Killing in 31 Hours
Last night we told you about the murder of Mark Rhamdas on Albert Street West. Well, last night at around 11 o'clock, 31 hours later, there was another shooting in the city, which ended up being fatal. 32 year-old Michael Foreman, aka "Popeye", was in a yard inside the well-known gang territory known as Taylor's Alley. He was hanging out with 2 men when a gunman approached from behind and shot him to the back of his head. He collapsed, and police were quickly called in to rush him to the KHMH. They put him in the pan of a police mobile - which might not have been optimal for someone with a shot wound to the head - but, still, he clung to life until around 4:30 a.m. when passed away while undergoing treatment. Foreman's mother is a senior police officer - but he has a long rap sheet. Today, the commanding officer of the Criminal Investigation Branch in the Eastern Division discussed what police have so far on this murder: Supt. Hilberto Romero - OC, CIB Eastern Division "Police personally visited Taylor's Alley where a shooting had occurred. They found one Michael Foreman, with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head. He was immediately transported to the KHMH where he is succumbed to his injuries this morning around 4:30AM. Investigations show that he was along with two other persons in that alley and at some point the shot was heard and his body was found."

Expulsion of Rawell Pelayo On Agenda, But More Orderly Exit May Be Possible
The Football Federation of Belize is scheduled to have its eighth ordinary congress in Belmopan tomorrow and one of the agenda items is the expulsion of FFB Executive Member Rawell Pelayo. As we have reported, Pelayo who was snatched up by US Authorities when he flew to Houston for the Gold Cup in July, 2013, spent 21 months in US custody before he was deported to Belize on Tuesday. The FFB Congress had previously voted to keep him on as senior vice president - and the Federation seemed to think that he had gotten off narcotics charges. But as we have shown you, on June 30th of 2014, Pelayo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle half a kilo of cocaine into New York. And was sentenced to two years. So now, looking at this agenda, it seems that the Federation wishes to expel him. But, sources tell us that agenda item was actually finalized 60 days ago - and it will probably be stricken from tomorrow's agenda. That's because FFB Executive members seem to be planning a more graceful exit for Pelayo - one that he might be disposed to accepting. They expect to meet with him next week, likely to discuss an orderly departure.

Out of Season Lobster On Seas
Today the fisheries department busted two fishermen with illegal lobster. The Fisheries team was on patrol around 3:30 this afternoon when they spotted a 25 foot skiff west of Caye Chapel. As soon as the team approached, the fishermen began to throw items overboard. That raised red flags and the patrol team brought the men along with the out of season lobster to the Fisheries headquarters this evening. According to the team, the fishermen 18 year old Jim Ramirez and 45 year old Kirk Barrow are well known offenders and they have been eluding the team for months. But in the end, the pair were caught with only 4 out of season lobster - because the majority was thrown overboard. The team also found equipment used to harvest lobster such as hook sticks, diving masks and fins. Both men will be offered fisheries bail and will be summoned to court on Monday.

BWSL Lays Off Temporary Workers
In the last two years, BWSL spent over five to seven million dollars replacing mains in municipalities across the country. This was part of the municipal development project and the street paving drive in the city. But now work in the municipalities has tapered off BWS has laid off at least 100 temporary workers. Chairman Alberto August told us that there were twenty additional groups of five men each working around the country to meet the massive request for work on the special projects countrywide. But now that they have been laid off, he says it is only temporary. August says BWS will soon begin a new round of works to connect 100% of the country to water mains and the workers will be re-hired for that.

PUP Allege Nepotism At Belmopan City Hall
Political sparks are flying in the Belmopan City Council - and the new Mayor Khalid Belisle is being accused of nepotism - not on his own behalf, but on the part of his political patron, Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar. The allegations come after head of the engineering section Javier Novelo was released at the end of March - after the new council decided not to renew his contract. Now, he had requested a renewal months ago and outgoing UDP Mayor Simeon Lopez expressed an interest in renewing it. Lopez did so knowing that he was retiring and wouldn't be around when the contract expired on March 31st - sort of like writing a cheque he wouldn't be around to cash. And when the new mayor Belisle refused to cash it - Lopez cried foul - here's what he told Belmopan's Plus TV yesterday. Simeon Lopez, Former Mayor "I was quite surprise and shocked when I understood that his contract was not renewed as of the end of March. I don't know why so abruptly his contract was terminated, because the contract specifies that you need to express your interest or renewal at least three months before your expiration date, and he did that. I know that he had been experiencing some difficulty with one of the City Administrators who was there, and at the time I was the one who was protecting him more than anything. And then after the new Council was elected, I know the same City Administrator had come in to do what they call a transition period, and that was one of her recommendations to not renew the contract of Mr. Novelo. I understand it was done by a round robin phone calls from the office of the Council to the other elected Councilors."

The Petrocaribe Scaleback In Full View
While domestic troubles continue in Venezuela - the Petrocaribe programme is still rolling in the 18 countries that signed unto the initiative. But, it has been somewhat scaled back, principally with deliveries of premium fuel. Belize hasn't received premium fuel through Petrocaribe since the start of the year, and a report from Barclay's Emerging Market Research Unit at the end of March found that, overall, since 2012 Venezuela's oil deliveries to Petrocaribe countries have declined 50%. The report notes that even Cuba, which is Venezuela's principal ally, is receiving almost half the oil it once received. The Barclay's report quotes Petrologistics, which tracks oil tankers around the world, and they say that the decline in deliveries increased after August 2014, when oil prices started to decline. The report notes that, quote, "The average since then, compared with the first eight months of 2014, is 24% lower." Even Cuba has received about half of what it received in 2012. Deliveries to The Dominican Republic and Jamaica have declined 56% and 74%, respectively, since 2012.

US Steps Up To Gain Clout As Venezuela Declines
And while Venezuela's Petrocaribe largesse may be dwindling somewhat - make no mistake it's still rolling and Barclay's estimates that in the past decade, Venezuela has lost out on over 50 billion dollars with the fuel supplies it has provided to its reginal partners under concessionary terms. Now that's much, much, much more than the United States - which is supposed to be the regional superpower - has given during the same period. But, now that Venezuela's petrol power is fading somewhat the US is positioning itself for a re-assertion as the regional leader. That certainly seemed to be the subtext to a US Caricom summit held in Jamaica yesterday. He's there to talk about his government's Caribbean Security Energy Initiative that encourages use of non fossil fuels - meaning less dependence on Venezuela. The US would fund green energy initiatives which meet its standards. And to show his affinity for the Caribbean, US President Obama visited the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston and, in an address to a youth town meeting, made it clear that he is Barack in Jamrock:

Matura-Shepherd Says Senator Davis Should Step Down
Last week, we told you about the meeting that the principals of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize held to discuss the actions of Labour Senator Ray Davis at the last senate meeting. As we told you, he abstained when it was time for the senate to vote on the Petrocaribe Loans Bill, and with a 6 to 5 majority, it was passed to by the Senate after the House did the same. The NTUCB said its clear position was opposing the bill, not abstention and so they asked him to account for his actions. As we told you, Second Vice President Audrey Matura-Shepherd has called for him to step down as the senator representing the unions, and that issue has to be discussed by the entire membership of the NTUCB. So, if you're wondering if Matura-Shepherd's action seems excessive, we'll that's just what the media asked today. She explained why Senator Davis needs to seriously consider vacating the post: Audrey Matura-Shepherd "We said in the meeting and I am prepared to say publicly - I have called for the removal of Mr. Ray Davis as senator. It's not a choice that mine. There should be canvassing of all the different branches of the union, because he represents not only one person or one sector - every sector. I make that call because I believe that already on three occasions, I have seen where his vote has not been in line of what the position of the NTUCB has been.

Wanted To Be Waitresses, Ended Up In Jail
For many Central American women trying to survive in Belize - working in bars as "waitresses" is sometimes the only way they can do it. But a water taxi whistleblower tried to put a stop to that earlier this week. Four Honduran women 21 year old Cindy Paola Pueto Reyes, Nesly Osmara Lara Sarmiento, 32, Cindy Pahola Zelaya Duenas, 36 and 29 year old Nodis Vacanado arrived in Belize illegally on March 23rd through Benque Viejo. From there they were headed to San Pedro to find work - but based on the call form the water taxi terminal, they were tracked down by the Immigration Department which took them to court today. They were arraigned before Magistrate Ladonna John in Court #4 for illegal entry. Duenas was very emotional and cried uncontrollably during her arraignment. They will have to serve 6 months and wait for the Immigration Department to make arrangements for them to be send back home to Honduras at the end of the jail term.

The Look Of The New Phone Book
It's time to put away or store your old phone books because the 2015 telephone directory is now available. An official launch was held today at BTL's Customer Service Center this morning. Now, the main attraction and excitement about the launch of a new telephone directory is the cover page and the additional features and information inside. Well, in this year's publication, the new features are built around the theme of tourism. Ellen Borland, Senior Brands and Events Rep. - BTL "This year the cover boast the Big Fall Waterfall at Bocawina National Park in Southern Belize. It highlights one of the scenic locations that is rarely visited by our visitors and locals alike. It is also important for us to make mention of it there is a need for us to do public awareness in conservation of our local reserves and national parks. One of the main reasons why we made mention and we chose Big Falls is that it goes highlighting with our 'All about Belize' section. Which is locally known as our tourist section and this is highlighting locations where visitors and locals can go and enjoy Belize rather than looking to go abroad or crossing the borders for vacation. You can enjoy Belize and enjoy your vacation right here at home.

The Police Want You
Tomorrow, the Police Department is hosting the examination for their first recruitment drive for the year. Applicants countrywide will report to the examination centers in each of the 6 districts at 7 a.m. to take the written test. Today, the Public Relations Coordinator, Douglas Hyde discussed with us what is expected of these recruit hopefuls when they show up tomorrow to take the exam: Douglas Hyde, Public Relations Coordinator "The Belize Police Department will be carrying out our national police recruitment examination tomorrow the eleventh of April 2015 at 7AM sharp. We want to share with all persons, the applicants, specifically the places where used as the examination centers. In corozal, we have the Corozal Community College, all applicants from the Corozal District can attend there. Muffles High School, all applicants of the Orange Walk District can go there. Gwen Liz. High School, all applicants of the Belize District. The Belmopan Comprehensive High School, all applicants from the Cayo District. The Delile Academy, all applicants of the Stann Creek District and UB Punta Gorda Campus, all applicants from the Toledo District. As a reminder, all Applicants are asked to be at the examination centers at 7AM and please bring along your ID card along with your writing utensils. I've noticed that every year the participants/applicants have been rising, and last year we had over a thousand applicants and we expect more or less that we probably have two-thousand applicants this year. The police academy, who is in charge of the examinations along with the Ministry of Education, we have worked on the logistics, in terms of the preparation for these persons and we are ready for all applicants."

Will McCauley Heed The Football Call?
The Football Federation of Belize is preparing for the second round of its world cup qualifiers against the Dominican Republic in June and they have sent out the call for players. Striker Deon Mcauley's name is on the list and the good news is that FFB Executive members are reported to be in direct contact with him and expect him to be a part of the team - though terms still have to be worked out. Mcauley was one of the most prolific goal scorers in the world during the 2011 world cup qualifiers.

Unity between Belize And Jamaica
There is a new Reggae band that is trying to reach great heights in Belize. They call themselves The Blue Hole All Stars and they bring an interesting element to the musical scene - the band members consist of 11 Belizean and Jamaican singers and musicians. Now we have heard about Belizean and Jamaican artists performing together on stage but these All Stars took it to another level and merged both musical styles and flavors. Today we spoke with the founders of the band and they told us how the idea came about and about the future they hope to realize. The band has performed on Caye Caulker during the Easter break. They are organizing a Mother Day tribute performance at Bird's Isle.

FCD Come Again
And before we go tonight - we have a correction to make to a story we ran last night. IT was about the 2 Guatemalan Xateros who were caught inside the Chiquibul with thousands of leaves. We said erroneously that they were caught 200 kilometers inside Belize - well, that was a mistake. They were actually found 21 kilometers inside Belize - which is about 12 miles.

Channel 5

Keyren Tzib Appears in Court for Bail Hearing
On Easter Monday, twenty-four year old Coast Guard Seaman Keyren Tzib shot a senior Coast Guard Officer, Petty Officer Kurt Hyde, as they returned to base on board a vessel [...]

Tzib Ordered to Take a Psychiatric Evaluation
Keyren Tzib is to return to Court on Wednesday, April fifteenth at two-thirty in the afternoon. At that time, a determination on her bail will be granted, based at least [...]

Michael “Popeye” Foreman Murdered In Belize City
This week has been a particularly violent one … there have been three murders in the same number of days. On Thursday night, just before eleven o’clock, thirty-two year old [...]

Who Killed Mark Rhamdas? Will Surveillance Video Tell?
While there have been no leads in the murder of Foreman, twenty-seven year old Ladyville resident, Ehud Haulze remains in police custody in connection with the murder of twenty-four year [...]

Murdered “John Doe” is Aurelio Montero Jr.
San Ignacio Police have been piecing the story together of a man who was found badly beaten at the San Ignacio Welcome Center and died five days later at the [...]

Lake I Squatters Say They Are Not Getting a Good Deal
On Thursday night, we reported that thirteen families were facing eviction from their homes in the Lake Independence Boulevard area. They have been removed twice before for squatting, but now, [...]

Audrey Matura-Shepherd Wants Union Senator, Ray Davis, Gone!
Senator Ray Davis, union representative, has come under sustained fire for abstaining to vote on the Petrocaribe Loans Bill. On April first, the N.T.U.C.B. met to discuss the controversial bill [...]

Matura-Shepherd on Davis – Round Two
As we told you, the Petrocaribe Bill was discussed by the N.T.U.C.B. after it was actually passed, and not before. So we wondered if perhaps the abstention by Senator Ray [...]

Businessman Busted With Over US $100K
American Businessman and owner of the Palapa Bar in San Pedro, Scott Harnish, was busted with over one hundred thousand U.S dollars in his home. On Tuesday, April seventh, it [...]

Well-known Criminal Figures Receive Bail
Three Belizeans and a Guatemalan were among a group of thirteen persons whose bail application was heard today by Justice Herbert Lord. The four were successful in obtaining bail. Well-known [...]

Undocumented Honduran Nationals Charged
It was an emotional time in court for five Honduran nationals who were caught illegally in the country; they are facing jail time since they are unable to pay their [...]

Want To Join The Police Department? Recruitment Test is on Saturday.
The Belize Police Department will be carrying out its national recruitment examination on Saturday at seven a.m. across the country. Today, Public Relations Officer of the department, Douglas Hyde took [...]

U.S. Naval Ship Makes First Stop In Belize
The US naval Hospital ship, named the USNS Comfort sailed into Belizean waters earlier this week. It’s the first stop of a tour in the Caribbean and Central and South [...]

British Troops, the Series Continues
Earlier this week, we aired part one of a series produced by ITV News of the UK on the experience of British soldiers in Belize. Tonight, we have the remaining [...]

British Troops, the Series Ends
While battle readiness is equal parts physical and mental preparation, accuracy in identifying and eliminating hostile targets is a skill that is acquired with practice.  Penetrating and negotiating thick foliage [...]

Haitians Dead Following Capsized Boat
And finally in our newscast, we turn to the Caribbean where a tragic event has occurred in Haiti. A total of twenty-one Haitians died and nineteen others are missing after [...]


Belize City man murdered in front of family
25 year old Mark Anthony Rhamdas Jr., also known as “Judas,” became the latest target of murder in Belize City...

Murder in San Ignacio; victim unidentified
A man was discovered unconscious at the Welcome Center in Cayo on Saturday. He has since died and police say they are looking for the murderers  and are trying to identify the victim who appears to be of Maya decent. According to police, on Saturday April 4, at about 1:27 a.m...

Why was CITCO Chief Engineer Terminated?
A senior worker at the Belmopan City Council is out of a job after the new Mayor, Khalid Belisle  and his council have made several changes.  One of those changes includes the non-renewal of contract of Javier Novelo...

15 year old recuperating after hit by vehicle
A 15 year old girl from the San Martin Area might miss the first few days of school next week Monday because she is recuperating at the Western Regional Hospital after a traffic accident in the Maya Mopan community put her in the hospital.  According to reports, sometime after 8 o clock this mornin...

Albert Vaughan loitering case draws to close
Last August, PUP activist and reporter Albert Vaughan was charged with loitering in a public place during the riots by then-workers of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) against the Belize City Council...

Belize History Association unveils logo
It was established last year to promote the gathering and preservation of Belize’s history, and the Belize History Association (BHA) is moving full steam ahead in that goal...


In 2015 Cross Country, Justin Williams “brings home the bacon” for Belize
This year’s edition of the 87th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic climaxed with a dramatic sprint that was successfully orchestrated and executed by Belizean-American Justin Williams, 25, who went on to claim the hard-fought victory just after midday last Saturday, April 4. Justin and his brother and teammate, Corey Williams, 21, formed part of an early breakaway group of 7 riders who separated themselves from the peloton just outside Hattieville, while the race was on its way to San Ignacio Town, Cayo. That group momentarily merged with a chase group of 4 just a few miles before the race reached the Belmopan junction, and the lead group of 11 reached the halfway point in San Ignacio in an impressive 2 hours and 35 minutes, just four minutes off the record that was set in 2009 by Costa Rican Marcos Antonio Rios.

Murdered and dumped in Seine Bight lagoon
The decomposed body of George Richard Maskall, 18, of a Belize City address, was spotted by a fisherman yesterday, Tuesday, floating in the lagoon behind the village of Seine Bight in the Stann Creek District. Authorities today reported that, acting upon information received sometime around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, Placencia and Dangriga police visited the lagoon behind Seine Bight, where they discovered the body of Maskall, also known as “Lucifer”, floating face-down, dressed only in a short green cargo pants. Because of the advanced state of decomposition of the corpse, an onsite post-mortem exam was conducted, which certified the cause of Maskall’s death to be “stab wounds to the heart (right atrium) and sharp force injuries to the chest,” and the contributing cause to be “blunt force trauma to the chest”, which indicated that Maskall was brutally murdered.

Mark Rhamdas, Jr., ambushed and fatally shot
The gun violence in Belize City has again claimed a life. Mark Anthony Rhamdas, Jr., 25, a resident of Albert Street West, was shot in the chest and abdomen at about 6:00 last night by an unknown killer who ambushed him and his girlfriend, Etheline Mejia, 21, also of Albert Street, as they were traveling on his motorcycle through an unnamed alley between Southside Meat Shop and U2 Shop. Both Rhamdas, the father of four children, and his girlfriend were hit by the shots fired by the unknown assailant, and the killer then escaped out of the area. Rhamdas, who is well-known to police, was a former “tumbler” who participated for many years in acrobatic performances, known locally as “tumbling”, during parades or other events in the city.

Gasoline for head lice causes severe burns for girl, 9
Katerin Michel Perez, 9, of the DFC area of San Pedro Town, whose head was treated with gasoline to get rid of lice, suffered major burns to her body when her body was ignited by the stove in her family’s kitchen. She is presently fighting for her life at the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Doctors said that Perez suffered third-degree burns to 53% of her body, and that the injuries to her arms, hands and face are especially severe, and she is listed in a critical condition. According to the San Pedro Sun, at about 7:30 Good Friday night, April 3, the girl’s scalp was treated with gasoline to get rid of parasites. However, when she passed near a lit stove in the kitchen, the fumes from the gasoline in the girl’s head ignited, and she was quickly engulfed in flames. Her mother and father, who were at home, rushed to help their daughter, and the mother herself suffered burns to her body and hands. Neighbors went to help them, and they were all taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic in the vehicle of a neighbor, then they were rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and the little girl was flown out via an air ambulance to the burn victims unit at the Shriners Children’s Hospital. Her mother, Carolina Dominguez Meza, sustained second degree burns to the hands and face and has been admitted to the KHMH in a stable condition.

Boat engine explodes; 4 injured, 1 seriously
The Easter holiday for four men who were about to travel to the cayes on Holy Thursday became nightmarish when the inboard engine of the boat in which they were travelling exploded and the boat erupted into flames at about 1:00 on the afternoon of Holy Thursday near the “Hangar” boat landing by the seashore in front of the Belize City Municipal Airport. The men onboard the boat were George Gonzalez, 34; Wallace Flowers, 41; the owner of the boat , Steven Bradley, 52; and the captain of the boat, Romaldo “Romy” Badillo, 59, all of Belize City. Three of the men suffered varying degrees of injury and burns to their bodies. Wallace Flowers was given six stitches over his left eye and was released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) that same afternoon, while George Gonzalez has been admitted to ward at the KHMH. He will remain there for at least a month to avoid the risk of getting an infection because he suffered second degree burns on his hand and left leg. He also suffered first degree burns to the right hand and right leg.

One major hurricane predicted for 2015
In the last 5 years, the Atlantic Basin has generated 79 named storms, 37 hurricanes and 13 major hurricanes over the course of the hurricane season, which spans June to November each year. That works out to an average of 16 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes each year. This year, though, forecasters Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University are predicting a much quieter season. Their April 9, 2015 forecast, issued earlier today, calls for a total of only 7 named storms, 3 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane. “We anticipate that the 2015 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be one of the least active seasons since the middle of the 20th century,” the researchers say. “It appears quite likely that an El Niño of at least moderate strength will develop this summer and fall. The tropical and subtropical Atlantic are also quite cool at present. We anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean,” they added.

Keyren Tzib charged with attempted murder
This afternoon, CIB police officers escorted Keyren Tzib, 24, a six-year veteran female seaman of the Belize Coast Guard, to the Magistrate’s Court, where she appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned her on three criminal charges in connection with a shooting incident on Easter Monday, April 6, onboard a Coast Guard vessel returning from San Pedro after completing a multi-agency operation. Tzib, who was represented at the arraignment by attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, was not required to enter a plea, because she was charged with attempted murder, an indictable offense which will be heard in the Supreme Court if the prosecution succeeds in making a prima facie case at the preliminary inquiry stage. In addition to the charge of attempted murder of Kurt Hyde, 37, Petty Officer First Class, who Tzib allegedly shot once with her Coast Guard-issued M4 Carbine rifle, police also charged Tzib with use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm.

No Deon = No goals for Belize: FIFA
While listing the teams that have qualified for the next round of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers in the region on its website today, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) noted the absence of star striker, Deon McCaulay, in Belize’s opening matches against the Cayman Islands national team. In an article subtitled “No Deon, no goals for Belize,” FIFA referred to the omission of McCaulay as “one of the big surprises of the first round [of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers].” McCaulay – who plays club football in the United States for NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks – was glorified for finishing the Brazil World Cup 2014 Qualifiers as “the top goal scorer worldwide, ahead of even superstars like Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie.” In its criticism of the latest Belize Men’s National “A” Football Selection, known as Belize Jaguars, FIFA added that “what was not a surprise was how the Jaguars struggled to score without him [Deon]. They drew 0-0 at home and needed a stunner of a free-kick from Elroy Kuylen in the return leg to see off the Cayman Islanders and avoid disaster by the width of one slim away goal.”

NEBL basketball returns
The NEBL resumes this weekend with Week 9 games after taking Easter break. The regular season has 14 weeks of games (2 round-robins), so teams are now jostling for playoff positions, as they enter the second week of Round 2. Upcoming games All three games this weekend will be played on Saturday night. Undefeated Cayo Western Ballaz (7-0) will take their unbeaten streak on the island as they take on the defending champs San Pedro Tiger Sharks (5-2), who have not lost at home in two seasons. This game will be shown live on Channel 5 at 9:00 p.m., and this game will prove to be extremely crucial for both teams, as they try to lock up the #1 seed going into the playoffs, and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes (2-5) will remain in the city, as they travel to Bird’s Isle to take on Belize City No Limit (2-5) at 9:00 p.m.; and Orange Walk Running Rebels (1-5) will be hosting Dangriga Warriors (2-5) at the Orange Walk Multi Complex in Orange Walk Town at 9:00 p.m. These last two games will be very crucial, as all four teams are fighting for the fourth and final playoff spot, while the Belmopan Red Taigaz (5-2) will have a bye this week. Tiger Sharks vs No Limit controversial game resolved: A three-member appeals committee met to decide the outcome of the game between San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Belize City No Limit. It was ruled that the last shot counted before the buzzer sounded, and as a result, the game has been awarded to San Pedro Tiger Sharks, who won 88-87. All Star Selections: All Star Night will be held next week Saturday, April 18, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town. Tip-off will be at 8:00 p.m., followed by the Three Point Shootout, then the Slam Dunk Contest. Below are the players that made the All Star Teams, along with the participants of the Slam Dunk and Three Point contests. For the South team, the starters are: Daniel Nolberto (PG) – Dangriga Warriors; Elvis Usher, Jr. (SG) – Cayo Western Ballaz; Travis Lennan (SF) – Belmopan Red Taigaz; Jarrel Velasquez (PF) – Belmopan Red Taigaz; and Kurt Burgess (C) – Cayo Western Ballaz. The reserves are: Terrell Eskridge (PG) – Belmopan Red Taigaz; Stanley Flowers (PG) – Cayo Western Ballaz; Jamir Flores (SG) – Dangriga Warriors; Richard Troyer (SF) – Cayo Western Ballaz; Trevaughn Usher (SF) – Dangriga Warriors; Macario Augustine (PF) – Dangriga Warriors; Farron Louriano (C) – Belmopan Red Taigaz. The team will be coached by Douglas Smith of Cayo Western Ballaz, and the assistant coach will be Bernie Tarr from Belmopan Red Taigaz.

National Team players to train for Round 2 of World Cup 2018 Qualifiers
The Belize National A Team continues its preparation for the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers. Our Jaguars will be going up against Dominican Republic in the month of June. The following players have been selected to return for training on Mondays and Tuesdays, starting April 13: Woodrow Wilson West; Tevin Wilford Gamboa; Dalton Calbert Eiley, Jr.; Denmark R. Casey; Andres Makin; Stephen Martinez; Deon McCaulay; Jarett Nicholas Davis; Khalil V.M. Velasquez; Trevor Bruce Lennen; Carlton Thomas; Highking Arthur Roberts; Elroy Edwin Kuylen, Jr.; Nahjib Kazim Guerra; Shane Armstrong; Ian Elvis Gaynair; Amin Paul August; Marlon Meza; Delone Darren Torres; Daniel Jimenez; Jordy Leonel Polanco. International Players: Shane Orio; Michael Salazar; Allan La Flore; Brian Hulse; Elroy Alexander Smith.

Belizean Youth to attend World Class Laser Sailing Clinic in Antigua, West Indies
Belize has been invited to attend the International Sailing Federation’s (ISAF) 5-day Laser Sailing Clinic at the National Sailing Academy on Antigua, West Indies from 14 – 21 July of this year. ISAF (See note below) is underwriting virtually all significant expenses of those who participate. The Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) is now among the Member Nation Authorities (MNAs) that ISAF recognizes. The goal of ISAF’s Emerging Nation Youth World Clinics is to give skills and knowledge that both the sailors and their coaches will take home and use to build and further develop sailing training and racing in their home countries, all for the benefit of future generations. To this end, part 1 of the ISAF programme provides funds for BzSA to send one coach and up to three sailors to the 5-day clinic, as long as one of them is female.

Editorial: Colonialism, nostalgia, and tourism
There was a class of native people in British Honduras, primarily Creole people in the capital city of Belize, who accepted British colonialism, and, in fact, embraced that colonialism. These are people we may describe as Anglophiles. They admired British dress, British speech, British manners, British ideas, British literature, British diplomacy, and so on, and all this amounted to a vote for the British Empire, which was, undeniably, an imperialist and racist institution. Two aspects of British colonialism in Belize must never be swept under the rug. One is that, while the British administrators accepted the Garifuna people here in the first part of the nineteenth century, the same Garifuna people they had tried to exterminate in St. Vincent, it was clear by the early twentieth century that the Garifuna were being discriminated against where postings in the public service were concerned. It was the Roman Catholic Church which opened up opportunities in teaching for those members of the Garifuna people who were more intellectually inclined. The second aspect of British colonialism here which must never be forgotten is that the Maya and Mestizo refugees from the Caste War in the Yucatán who came to Belize in the second half of the nineteenth century had a tough time under the British. Entry into the public service, again, was pretty much closed to Maya and Mestizo Belizeans in the first half of the twentieth century.

From the Publisher
By Tuesday evening this week, I realized that Calman Williams, the father of Justin Williams, the 2015 Holy Saturday Crosscountry cycling champion, and his brother Cory, who sacrificed his own race (he finished fifth) to bring his brother home to victory, had made a mistake by staying so far in the background. Calman consciously tried to make sure his sons got all the attention and glory they deserved. He succeeded in doing that, but had he made himself available to the Belizean media, then a lot of these “questions” on Belize’s social media about the authenticity of the Williams brothers’ Belizean-ness would have been exposed as, to my mind, frivolous and irrelevant. Calman is a totally roots Belizean brother who migrated to Los Angeles soon after he began riding Crosscountry in 1984. He had fallen in love with Crosscountry, as we Belizeans all do, and began coming home from L.A. every year just to ride the race. According to him, he was actually in good enough shape to ride on Holy Saturday 2015, but decided to coach his sons instead. (Calman is about 53 years old.)

Major Jones on courage and discipline
Dear Editor, The business of nationhood is a rough game as small nation states are under constant pressure by those who wish to exploit both their people and their natural resources. It is my thesis, therefore, that if Belize is to survive as a nation state it will have to do so on a foundation of courage and discipline. In 1776 when the colonists in Boston, Massachusetts could no longer bear the yoke of Mother England they decided to fight back. That decision required both courage and discipline because in 1776, Great Britain was considered a true superpower. Between the time of the Boston Tea Party and the start of the American Revolution, the colonists had to develop and maintain the courage to seek their independence. Britain was not going to make it easy, so they also had to develop the discipline to stay the course, even when things seemed all but lost. It is upon this foundation of courage and discipline that the mighty USA now stands. It has been 33 years since Belize’s independence, an independence “won” without bloodshed or any great sacrifice, for that matter. The result has been a timid and ill-disciplined people. It is not my intention to insult the Belizean people: I simply have no other words to describe our post-independence conduct.

A look at fuel importation from Venezuela
The price of premium gasoline went up again last night, from $8.80 a gallon to $9.36 a gallon, and the price of kerosene increased similarly from $5.45 a gallon to $6.13 a gallon, while the price of regular gasoline remains at $8.80 a gallon and the price of diesel actually fell from $7.97 a gallon to $7.26 a gallon. Another price change may be coming in the next few weeks, when the next shipment of fuel products lands in Belize from Curaçao. The Ministry of Finance is the entity which sets the pump prices, based on the cost of the fuel from the supplier, as well as the cost of landing the product here in Belize. In total, the country is expected to receive about 50,000 barrels of fuel products, the bulk of it being diesel (25,000 barrels) and regular gasoline (18,000 barrels). The remainder will be jet kerosene, which can be used for both domestic and commercial purposes (such as airlines). John Mencias, deputy chairman of Alba PetroCaribe Belize (APBEL), the joint venture company which Belize and Venezuela had established to manage the PetroCaribe program, under which fuel is imported from Venezuela, said that the shipment should be loaded early next week and arrive in Belize between April 9 and 12. Although the shipment will be a few days behind the original schedule, Mencias said that Belize has enough fuel supplies to last until the middle of the month.

Caribbean urged to reverse decline in aquaculture
Fisheries officials who spoke at the 13th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, held in St. George’s, Grenada, earlier this week, highlighted the need for collective action by the 17 member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in order to overcome the mounting challenges which confront the fisheries and aquaculture sector of the Caribbean. Senator Simon Steele, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of Grenada, the keynote speaker for the event, elaborated on some of the challenges: among them international and local economic pressures and rising input costs; threats to fish stocks and habitats from pollution and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; as well as the adverse effects of climate change. “We have no shortage of challenges,” said Steele, adding that, “To confront these challenges as small island developing states with vulnerable economies, it is of critical importance that we strengthen our cooperation and unity within the region, since we share common principles in developing, managing, and utilizing the living marine resources in a responsible and sustainable manner – which is why forums such as this are of such importance to us.”

Re: Today's Belize News: April 11, 2015 [Re: Marty] #503250
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The BLACK Parade: march for peace and crime reduction
A massive crowd of about 2,500 people marched in Belize City in solidarity with police, in a demonstration against crimes and violence that was dubbed “BLACK” — Be Loving And Cease Killing, which is an initiative of the Not in My City anti-crimes campaign. The aims of the 6-mile march through the high-crime areas of the city were to denounce crime and violence, to foster harmony between the police and the community in their fight against crime, to encourage young men to stop the senseless killing of each other in the streets, to bring various communities together, and to encourage people to be peaceful with each other so that residents of Belize City can feel safe. The demonstration started at about 7:30 Friday morning from the Yarborough area and made its way through several streets in high-crime areas, including Jump Street or Wagner Lane, Pink’s Alley, George Street, and Mayflower Street, among many other hot spots and crime-ridden areas. The procession stopped at spots where criminal gangs are known to hang out, and participants engaged in moments of silence and reflection to remember those who lost their lives due to senseless violence, and a pastor said words of healing in their memory. Individuals in these areas were also urged to denounce violence.

Marion Jones Sports Complex opened, but not quite completed
After a series of delays and on-and-off construction that spanned several years, a “soft” opening of the Marion Jones Sports Complex was held today by present Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth. Since the last groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium in August 2009, the projected launch of the state-of-the-art facility had been put off multiple times. Still, the high-caliber multi-purpose sports complex is nearing completion, even if it is only in parts. At this point, the contract for the bleachers and accompanying facilities is complete, and the sports complex is in a usable state. During a media tour of the long-awaited stadium this afternoon, Longsworth elaborated on the progress of the project and its current stage.

Senator Shoman to head OAS mission to observe Guyana elections
Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman, who has also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador for Belize, will lead a mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) to observe the May 11, 2015 elections in Guyana. Shoman, who is also a senior attorney in Belize, told us today that this will be the OAS’s 5th mission to observe elections in Guyana. The OAS observed elections in Guyana in 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2011. Shoman told us that this is the second time she is getting to serve as chief for this type of OAS mission. According to Shoman, back in 2001, she was Chief of Mission for the OAS’s election observer mission in Jamaica. “This one is going to be quite big, because it’s not only the election for presidency, but there are several other races at stake,” Shoman said.

NTUCB votes unanimously against new PetroCaribe Loan legislation
At an emergency meeting held last night, the General Congress of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) unanimously voted to reject the recently introduced PetroCaribe Loan Act, which has also been rejected in this week’s vote in the Senate by the private sector, the churches and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). The law contains provisions which allow the executive arm of Government to borrow unlimited amounts from Venezuela, under the PetroCaribe fuel accord, and also to spend those funds without prior approval from Parliament, providing an exemption to the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act which requires prior parliamentary approval for any government debt of $10 million or more. The Barrow administration has defended the law by saying that the peculiar nature of the transaction, under which 50% of Belize’s fuel bill for petrol imports from Venezuela is automatically converted into a 25-year loan, is not provided for in existing law. When the bill was tabled for approval in the Senate this Monday, Ray Davis, the senator for the NTUCB, which had not yet met to formulate an official position on the law, abstained from casting a vote, but the other social partners registered their disapproval of the bill with a “no” vote.

Online City Hall tax payment service now in effect
In an effort to move away from manual payment methods, which often result in long lines of disgruntled customers, the Belize City Council (CitCo) has teamed up with Atlantic Bank to provide a real-time Property Tax and Trade License online payment feature. As a result, taxpayers in the commercial capital are now able to log onto either CitCo’s or Atlantic Bank’s websites and meet their tax obligations using a credit card effective today, April 1. According to Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, not only are the automated services geared towards making governmental services easier for city residents to access, but these services will also serve as an option for Belizeans living abroad who had been clamoring for an alternative tax payment mechanism. After a step-by-step demonstration of this automated payment method, Atlantic Bank’s Electronic Banking Manager, Pedro Lozano, spoke about the security protocols of the new service.

GOB meets with rice producers to discuss reduction in price of local rice
Senior officials from the Ministry of Agriculture today met with local rice producers in Belmopan to “discuss the way forward with rice production in Belize” following recent tensions which arose over the proposed importation of the staple grain. Those local producers have been expressing concerns to the Agricultural Department regarding the plans of businessman Jack Charles to import Guyanese rice and sell it for 69 cents per pound, which is almost 50% cheaper than the local product. At the end of today’s meeting, both sides agreed that the “draft revised standards for rice” will be finalized within a month, which suggests that different grades of rice will now be sold at different prices. According to a release that was later issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, agreements were also made for all rice sold on the domestic market to be pre-packed to indicate origin, quantity, and quality, among other basic packaging requirements. This is expected to be fully implemented within two months.

Barrow heads Belize delegation to historic hemispheric summit
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow is leading a delegation to the Seventh Summit of the Americas, being held in Panama City, Panama, later this week. Barrow’s delegation includes his wife, Kim Simplis-Barrow; Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrington; Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado; and Belize’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Nestor Mendez, who also appears at the OAS-led summit as Assistant Secretary General Elect for a presentation to youth representatives attending the triennial hemispheric gathering. This is the first time that Cuba will be participating in the summit, the largest political forum for the Americas, being held under the theme: “Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas.” Cuba’s participation brings the total number of participating states now to 35. Cuba’s inclusion in the summit follows a successful vote at the last Summit of the Americas held in Colombia in 2012, as well as the recent normalization of relations between the US and Cuba, which is to be represented in Panama by President Raúl Castro Ruz.

BEL proposes a 10.4% reduction in light bills
A fall in crude oil prices has meant that power generation from traditional fossil fuel sources has become less expensive, and now the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), a government-owned utility company, says that with Mexico shifting to more renewable energy options – particularly hydropower – consumers should see further savings on their light bills. Since last January, the average electricity rate has dropped from 48.65 cents per kilowatt hour to the current rate of 41.29 cents per kilowatt hour – a total reduction of about 15%. If the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approves BEL’s request, consumers could see a reduction of another 10% or so, which would constitute a total rate reduction of 24% since last January. However, the current rates should remain in effect until the end of June 2015.

Drug crisis affecting thousands of mental health patients
The Cayo Consumer Association has successfully lobbied for urgent intervention by the Ministry of Health to address the scarcity of first line medication used to treat thousands of mental health patients in the country, many of whom suffer from schizophrenia and who have traditionally been administered Risperdal to treat their condition. We were advised this evening that the San Ignacio Hospital, which had been experiencing a shortage of the medication since last December, is being supplied with 78 pills, while the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan will receive 500 pills. This supply is nowhere near enough to meet the current demand. Speaking with Amandala this evening, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, said that he had not yet received any correspondence on the matter from the Cayo group, and he was only advised of the drug scarcity this Monday, when it was broadcast on local media.

The Reporter

Decision on Albert Vaughan loitering case due next Wednesday
Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart is to decide next Wednesday, April 15, on a charge of loitering in a public place filed against radio personality and activist for the Peoples United Party (PUP), Albert Vaughan, during protests by workers for Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) in August […]

US Navy medical mission in Belize
The United States Navy Vessel, the USNS Comfort and its crew are in Belize on a medical mission to provide surgeries and other much needed healthcare services. The mission, entitled “Continuing Promise 2015” was officially launched on Friday morning at the Fort George Memorial Park, […]

BTL unveils 2015 Directory
The Belize Telemedia Limited unveiled the 2015 installment of its annual telephone directory, at a brief ceremony at its Church Street office in Belize City on Friday. The front cover of this year’s directory features an image of the Big Drop Falls in Southern Belize, […]

Wrong attitudes keep Belizean youths from employment
Cultivating negative work attitudes and ethics have kept many of Belize’s youths from maintain employment, says Dianne Finnegan, coordinator of the Belize National Youth Apprenticeship Program (BNYAP) “A major factor is the lack of respect, loyalty and value for the workplace”, Finnegan explained. “People, especially […]

Salud Mesoamerican 2015 project goes into phase 2
This week people in the healthcare system gathered in Belmopan for the second operation meeting of the Salud Mesoamerican 2015 (SM2015) Initiative. The four-day workshop began on Tuesday at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan, and gathered representatives from entities such […]

Toddler dies of multiple skull fracture; Human Services confirms history of child abuse
New details surrounding the death of an 11 month-old baby girl who died from multiple skull fractures caused by blunt force injuries last week, reveal that she was a victim of child abuse. The child, Mia Lopez, died at her home at 8694 Curl Thompson […]

Police charge woman Coast Guard officer with attempted murder of colleague
Coast Guard officer, Lt. Keyren Tzib, 24, is facing a charge of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm after she shot Petty Officer, Kurt Hyde, 37,n in the face on Easter Monday. The shooting happened as the two, who […]

IDB urges Latin America and Caribbean countries to increase productivity and efficiency
A recent report published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said that governments of Latin American and Caribbean countries need to increase revenue generation and harness it through better spending to cope with projected economic difficulties. The document, the 2015 Annual Macroeconomic Report, cited that […]

PM Barrow to meet Obama, Maduro and Castro in Panama
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is attending this weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Panama, where regional leaders will converge, including the presidents of the United States, Venezuela and Cuba. Barrow left Belize on Tuesday and made a presentation on Thursday at the second CEO […]

Caribbean leaders gather for clean energy symposium
Leaders from across the region gathered in St. Thomas on the Virgin Islands to participate in the first ever Caribbean Clean Energy Technology Symposium (CCETS), aimed at disseminating information on clean energy efficiency and security for the region. The symposium, the first of three […]

City residents can pay property tax on line
Belize City residents can now pay both property tax and trade license expenses from the comfort of their homes or offices via the Internet, through a partnership between the Belize City Council and Atlantic Bank. The Belize City Council announced the launch of its […]

Castillo charged for killing stepson…chopping stepdaughter!
Patrick Anthony Castillo Sr., 42 year old security guard, was taken to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and formally arraigned on one count of murder, for the chopping death of his stepson, Guatemalan, Jose Maderos, 20, and one count of wounding for chopping his 13 year-old step-daughter, Linda […]

Captain in boat explosion still critical
Captain Romaldo Badillo, who was severely burned in a boat explosion last Thursday, is in Guatemala receiving treatment for second and third degree burns he received to 75 percent of his body. Badillo’s family will hold a telethon on Saturday from 10 a.m. to […]

Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio to build 5-star eco-resort at Blackador Caye
Leonardo DiCaprio, the main actor in the movie, “Titanic” is planning on building a five-star, ecological, luxury resort on his privately owned island, Blackadore Caye. DiCaprio purchased the 104-acre Blackadore island for $1.75 million in 2005, when he first visited Belize and described the […]

Obama urges Caribbean to drop Petro Caribe in Jamaica
United States President Barack Obama reiterated his country’s position that the Caribbean must seek energy alternatives to PetroCaribe during a CARICOM summit in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday. The summit was dominated with discussions about energy and security but Obama’s attendance has been viewed as […]

Do you know this man? Police request assistance in identfying dead man
The police are seeking the assistance of the public in identifying an unknown man who was badly beaten on Wednesday in San Ignacio and later died in Belize City. According to police, the man who was first found unconscious in San Ignacio’s Welcome Center, […]

The action of the Barrow Government in by-passing the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives has produced a disquieting effect, even among men and women who passionately support the party. The United Democratic Party is expected to approach the voters of Belize, perhaps early in the year 2016, […]

Poverty elimination – the real indicator of economic performance
While a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the most popular methods of indicating economic performance, Senator for the Private Sector, Mark Lizarraga, contends that it does not give an accurate picture of the economic impact. GDP growth is calculated by taking performance, […]

House search uncovers over US$100,000 Case handed over to FIU for further investigation!
The home of an American businessman, Scott Harnish, operating on La Isla Bonita in San Pedro, was raided Tuesday afternoon by police, and while nothing incriminating like firearms, amm-unition or drugs were found, cops discovered a significant amount of US currency. The case of […]

Rawell Pelayo deported from US after plea bargain
Former Football Federation of Belize Vice President, Rawell Pelayo, was deported to Belize on Tuesday after spending almost two years in a US prison for drug-related offences. Pelayo’s release came after he made a plea bargain in June of 2014, admitting to a conspiracy to […]

$15 million facelift for downtown Belize City
The entire downtown area of Belize City, from the House of Culture to the Swing Bridge, will soon be the subject of a comprehensive renovation project. Entitled the “Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project”, the plan is a joint effort by […]

Gasoline lice treatment causes freak accident
Nine year old Katerin Michel Perez, is clinging to life at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, after she suffered severe burns at her home in San Pedro Town. The child whose home is in the DFC Layout area, was badly burned in a freak accidentt around […]

The Belize Times

Santi Quits!! – Barrow’s leadership in jeopardy
The United Democratic Party’s (UDP) race in Caribbean Shores is about to take an interesting twist as Area Representative Santino Castillo is planning to call it quits and surrender his Caribbean Shores standard bearer seat to recently re-elected Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley, according to reliable sources. Santi, we understand, has been consulting with close political allies ahead of the June 7th convention and his latest position is that he will not ride to victory but fade into political darkness. Santi has tried his best to insulate Caribbean Shores from a divisive convention and when it became public knowledge that Bradley the upstart newcomer was eyeing his seat, Santi made it publicly known that the party had been advising Bradley to instead focus on the Freetown Constituency which is held by the humble and hardworking PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca. That would not work on the stubborn Mayor, however, and rightly so since he knows he would get the lashing of his lifetime if he had gone that route. Reports are that the Mayor was adamant about Caribbean Shores and he forced the Party into a deal. He would only run for Mayor in Belize City for a second term if they opened the gates in Caribbean Shores.

This morning the Government and NICH announced their plan for a national COLONIAL MUSEUM in Belize City. They proudly announced that $15 million dollars would be blown away on it. They even had the nerve to print a document saying that such a project will: (a) increase people’s knowledge and appreciation of their colonial heritage, (b) increase their willingness to preserve the heritage and (c) increase their awareness of their self-identity and identity as citizens. All three objectives are fundamentally flawed and smacks of intellectual arrogance and stupidity. Last year when the Minister of Culture announced that, “the Belize City House of Culture will be transformed and established as the national Colonial Museum of Belize,” I called it retrograde, racist and disturbing and that it is rank disrespect to our resistance heritage. At today’s announcement they are now calling it the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation, but that is just a cosmetic joke. The crowd called NICH must mark April 8th, 2015 as a celebration of colonial and myopic thinking.

Ministry of Health runs out of Antipsychotic meds!!
The health system has been spinning from one crisis to another. Reports from throughout the country indicate that there is a shortage of the important antipsychotic medicine, known as Risperidone, in Belize at this time. At the moment Government pharmacies are no longer dispensing this medication. Risperidone is available at a few select stores, but they are sold at exorbitant prices. Risperdone is a Second Generation (atypical) medication with very few side effects and is used to stabilize patients, who suffer from both bi-polar and schizophrenic disorders. While other medication, such as Stalazine, is available, these bring with it many side effects. Patients on Stelazine or a First Generation Anti-Psychotic meds will have many relapses, because they will be unable to deal with the side effects (pyramidal symptoms). As a result sufferers of these debilitating conditions are now walking a tight rope around the country; unable to find the funds to buy Risperidone.

Murders in Belize City, Seine Bight, O.W. & San Ignacio
Despite commemorating the Holy Week in Belize, the number of murders spiked over the last nine days, with homicides in various areas of the country. Last night, Wednesday April 9th, 25 year old Mark Anthony Rhamdas Jr. and his common law wife, 21 year old Etheline Mejia, were shot as they travelled on a motorcycle through an unnamed alley near Berkeley Street in Belize City when someone fired gunshots at them. Rhamdas, who resides nearby at #39 Albert Street, was shot on the left side of his chest, while Mejia was shot on her left buttocks. Rhamdas was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but did not survive the injury. Mejia is receiving treatment and recovering. Meanwhile, on Tuesday April 7th morning, Placencia Police found the body of 18 year old George Richard Maskall floating in a lagoon behind Seine Bight Village in the Stann Creek District.

OUR DEMOCRACY IS UNDER ATTACK We agree. The recent Petro Caribe/Dean Barrow law is the worst piece of legislation to be passed since independence. The intention of the law is worse than the law itself. The effect of the law is something no true democracy can tolerate. The Constitutional Opposition has a duty to our country to put out a policy commitment that when it becomes the government it will repeal the law. The Opposition must also take careful legal advice and say in no uncertain terms that if the Prime Minister broke the law as stated in the amendment to the Finance & Audit Reform Act No. 31 of 2010, then the Prime Minister will be charged for each count of criminal wrong doing. The amendment to the Finance and Audit Reform Act 2005 which is to be found in Act No. 31 of 2010 says as follows:

Crossing the tee in Country
From what was considered a mere expedition in 1928, the Annual Cross Country Classic has evolved into what remains the single most prominent sporting event in the country and the region even. We need to get this race placed on the International Cycling Calendar. That would require of course, raising the bar and opening the race to professional riders which would also mean that our own local boys would have to step up their game considerably. This year’s winner, 25 year old Justin Williams, the son of well-known and long-time contender Andrew “Caliman” Williams who himself has ridden many but has never won any Cross Country Classics. The elder Williams migrated to the US but has been returning each year religiously to partake in the Cross Country Classic. Williams has three sons who have followed in his footsteps and have taken up the sport of cycling. Champion Justin Williams himself has been riding in races in Belize for over ten years and has continually caught the eye of the racing pundits. This year, admittedly with the aid of some very hard pacing by his younger sibling, Justin was able to capture the coveted crown and make not only his father but Belizeans across the nation happy and proud. For his efforts, the Champ took home the first place prize of $6,000 along with four trophies and numerous other prizes. A few years ago, someone conceived the idea of giving extra prizes to any homegrown Belizean rider who wins the races. The rationale is that the bonus prizes would act as an incentive to the local riders who are believed to have it more difficult than foreign riders. As a result of being the first Belizean to cross the finish line, Williams also received an additional bonus of $15,000 plus a parcel of land. This is where the controversy develops.

What you see if what you get!!
The unbelievable behaviour of Prime Minister Dean Barrow in rushing through a most egregious law two (2) weeks ago remains the number one concern of all right thinking Belizeans. How could Mr. Barrow have sunk such low to put himself above the law, above the constitution and above the National Assembly? Is it sheer arrogance and hubris that he is so all powerful and can do as he pleases? Is it that he is genuinely threatened by the enormity of what he has done since September 2012 in secretly withdrawing almost three hundred million dollars from PetroCaribe fund without any prior approval or compliance with the laws of the land? Or is it the nature of a person transformed by despotism and power as he seeks a third term? We think it is all of the above. We think also that it is the nature of Mr. Barrow to behave as he has. He is what he is. When Mr. Barrow became Prime Minister in 2008 he immediately set about to weaken the Constitution, which is the supreme law of Belize.

Belize sailors train for ISAF World Class Regatta
Eight young Belizean sailors of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) have completed an intensive 10-day training clinic on Laser class sloops conducted by the Sailing Center’s professional sailing Coach Juan Mazzini over the Easter vacation from March 28 – April 6. The clinic was the first step towards an international training course in Antigua, from which the young sailors may possibly qualify to compete in the 2015 ISAF Youth World Championship regatta to be held in Langkawi, Malaysia from December 27, 2015 to January 3, 2016. The successful candidates were: Antonio Ricardez, 14, Belize City; Christopher Young,15, Corozal; Isaac Ritchie, 15, Placencia; Patrick Rhamdas,15, Placencia; and four from San Pedro: Jerdon Anderson, 15; Jorge Olivarez, 15; Blanca Velasquez,14, and Sarah White, 14.

Albert Davis wins Bob Lightburn Holy Saturday Half Marathon Classic
19 year old St. John’s College Junior College student Albert Davis outlasted and outdid dozens of experienced marathoners as he won the 13.1 mile-long annual Bob Lightburn Holy Saturday Half Marathon Classic in 1:22:52. Davis won 3 trophies, a Brodies’ gift basket & a SMART phone. Vashty Alarcon who represented the Belize Coast Guard, finished 22nd overall, but was the 1st Female to finish in 1:54:18. She won 3 trophies, a Brodies’ gift basket & SMART phone.

Team BelCal’s Justin Williams wins Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
Team BelCal’s Justin Williams brought home the garland to Belize when he won the 87th Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic held by the Belize Cycling Federation of Belize on the George Price Highway. The race was decided in the last 30 miles when the lead breakaway of 11 riders splintered as Weisse and Jimenez-Godinez attacked, and only the Williams’ brothers (Justin and Cory) and David Henderson stayed with them. This lead breakaway eventually opened a 40minute lead on the next chase group, and Byron Pope and Chris Harkey tried to bridge the gap, but it was too little, too late. In the last miles into the city, it was Cory Williams on points sweeping the station prizes as his older brother Justin sheltered in the back of the pack conserving his energy for the final sprint. Weisse jumped out first but Justin stuck with him and when Weisse faltered swung out and around him to take the win.

Rt. Hon. Said Musa’s 2015/2016 Budget Debate Speech
San Pedro Ambergris Caye has been described as La Isla Bonita. It is a beautiful island or perhaps more accurately a beautiful peninsula with long stretches of white sandy beaches, protected by the spectacular barrier reef; luxury homes and fabulous hotels and condominiums. But there is a dark side to this beauty and opulence and that is the back a town areas like San Pedrito and San Mateo. There you will find people, workers living in swamp filth and abject poverty; areas where children have to wade through stinking disease – ridden, mosquito-infested, rat infested dung and garbage on their way to school. San Pedro has become two towns, one that glitters for the tourists, the other that is a ghetto where hard working families live. It is a symbol of what the country of Belize is fast becoming. Yes, Mr. Speaker, we may say we are living in one nation: A Belize sovereign and independent. But in Belize of today our society is deeply fractured. So you may ask what does this have to do with the budget? I would answer; it has everything to do with the Budget and with the economic policies that the Government pursues. Because in the midst of plenty as the Prime Minister tells us the country is enjoying, the easy money of the Petro-Caribe bonanza, the poor struggling working families are not feeling it.

UDP Neglects – PUP Works!!
For a long time the Hon. Jose Mai and the village Council have been asking the Ministry of Works to do repairs on Yo Creek village streets. The Ministry of Works has never done so. At the Inauguration of Orange Walk South highway, Hon. Mai spoke personally to the Minister of Works and requested his intervention. The Minister responded that he was unable to repair the streets in Yo Creek because his Ministry did not have money to do so. He referred the Hon. Mai to the Prime Minister. When the PUP area representative finally made contact with Prime Minister Barrow, the Prime Minister told him that his Government was unable to allocate funds for the repair of streets in Yo Creek. Hon. Mai did not give up, however, and his persistence has proved worthy. With assistance of Tiechrob and Sons, the Hon Jose Mai procured fifty (50) loads of crushed material from David Dyck of Blue Creek construction who then provided two dump trucks to transport the crushed material. The total value of the work being done in Yo Creek is $ 5000.

Finally…Jaguar Paw Road Paving Underway!!
After witnessing the road conditions to Jaguar Paw deteriorate for the past years, the paving of the road is finally underway. Thanks to the persistent lobbying of Area Representative Hon. Julius Espat, Frank’s Eddy community residents and tourism stakeholders the 5 ½ mile road is being paved at a reported value of $4.8 million. As is expected, the UDP will try to take credit for the work, but it if so then they must also take credit for failing to maintain the road, and once it had become badly dilapidated, taking three years to give it any attention while they spent millions and millions of dollars on political gimmicks.

The long Easter weekend has certainly been a welcome break and a time to rest, recoup, and reflect. I give kudos to all Belizeans who have made the most of the down time, even though many pockets may not have allowed a Cancun or Placencia vacation. I for one agree that relaxation time does not mean that we have to spend loads of money. As a matter of fact when we live within our means, we can do so and not have to worry about paying bills later for activities and trips we really cannot afford. There are beautiful places in Belize right in our own backyards. The very heavy rains, iguana rains, of the end of March caused the Mayflower trees to blossom in all their glory by the beginning of April. On the “Two Cents Cam” conducted by KREM Television’s Yaya Marin (a lady whom I have come to respect greatly for the principled stands she has taken against Governmental and Police excesses and corruption), Belizeans almost to a man and woman knew the exact length of our Barrier Reef. God’s goodness has indeed given this land and sea to us to appreciate and to cherish, with more and more Belizeans doing exactly that by being fully aware of the natural bounty we enjoy. Additionally, it seems that in total we cannot have asked for more beautiful weather conditions for the holiday.

If the Petro-Barrow law is bad…why is it good for the UDP?
“This Bill is intended to circumvent the reporting requirements established by the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act 2005. “This Bill will have the effect of vesting in the Cabinet…the ultimate decision as to how funds will be spent and on what, removing all constitutional requirements among others for Parliament to play its role in the authorization of spending. “This Bill will have the ultimate effect of emasculating and robbing the Belizean public of their right through their duly elected representatives of having a say through parliamentary debate.” – Senate Meeting, March 31, 2015 He Voted NO to the Bill!!

Time to March for Jobs and Poverty Elimination
Dear Editor, Concerned Belizeans need to consider having an unemployment March in Belize City to show the government that we aren’t happy with a life of endless Poverty. Despite consecutive Budgets of over a billion dollars, more Belizeans are living in poverty today than 5 years ago. According to the Central Bank figures over 41 of Belizeans are living below the poverty line. That is almost half the population. Despite a billion dollar Budget, in Southside communities like Collet, Port Loyola, and Lake Independence many people have to eat noodles daily to survive, because they can’t find work. With over 12% unemployment over 35,000 Belizean can’t find jobs.

Humphreys’ Shameless and Insensitive Actions
Dear Editor, Kindly allow me an opportunity through this medium to highlight the travesty that occurred in Dangriga and to call on every Dangrigana and all those who support us to unite to take a stand against the senseless political victimization and discrimination against our fellow Dangrigana, Garifuna brothers and sisters. Wednesday 1st April 2015 marked 28 days since the people of Dangriga elected Francis Humphreys as Mayor of Dangriga. Humphreys who dresses like the Slave Master with his white colonial hat, is being true to his reputation and to the UDP’s shameless policy of UDP first, Belizean second and PUP last. Last week Humphreys demonstrated his lack of respect for his Oath of Office and to the Garifuna Nation by firing in the first instance six (06) Town Council employees. None of six employees committed any infraction except that they are perceived to be PUP and known Garinagu. These brothers and sisters were immediately terminated under the guise of restructuring and redundancy.

Luke Palacio Re-elected BNTU President
The BELIZE TIMES has learnt that veteran educator, Luke Palacio, was re-elected as the National President of the Belize National Teacher’s Union as the BNTU’s National Convention held today, April 9th, 2015 at the Mount Carmel High School’s Auditorium in Benque Viejo del Carmen. The news that Palacio, a known fire-brand, is once more the BNTU President is expectedly unwelcome news to the Barrow Administration who was forced after protests in Belmopan to give teachers an overdue salary adjustment, although it ended up being minimal. Also elected to serve in the BNTU Executive is Mr. George Mejia as Treasurer.

Premium Gas Now $9.30
Before the March 4th elections, fuel prices were dropping like deadweight as the UDP Government pulled all the tricks to sweeten up the electorate. Back then, just a month ago, Premium gas stumbled to $8.01 while Regular gas was $7.57 and Diesel gas fell to a low $7.21 in Belize City. But with the election long gone, the Government has resumed its gouging tactics. Regular fuel is now $8.88 while Premium shot up last week without any notice to consumers to $9.30. Shame on GOB for hoodwinking voters. You know when the early election is coming when fuel prices begin to drop again.

Patrick JonesPJ

Stephen Okeke to sue TV Ramos foundation over bust
This afternoon, sculptor Stephen Okeke told us via text message that he is taking the Thomas Vincent Ramos Foundation and director Ivan Ramos to court to recover the remainder of the $35,000 he is owed for the bust of the great Garifuna leader and founder of Garifuna Settlement Day. […]

Supreme Court defers decision on Keyren Tzib bail application
Supreme Court Justice Herbert Lord has reserved his decision on an application for bail made today by 24 year old Seaman of the Belize National Coast Guard (BNCG) Keyren Tzib, charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm in an attack on colleague […]

Michael “Popeye” Foreman is latest City murder victim
For the second time in as many nights, police are investigating a murder in Belize City, also near the center of town. This time the victim is no stranger to police or the press. He is 32 year old Michael Horace Foreman, also known as “Popeye”, of an Iguana […]

BWS announces Water Rate increase
Belizeans are about to see an increase of 2 percent in their water bills starting this month. According to a statement issued by the Belize Water Services Limited (BWS), effective April 01, 2015, the new tariffs approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) have come into effect. Customer bills issued […]

Belize Raptor center makes handsome donation to Belize Bird Rescue’s rehabilitation efforts
The Belize Raptor Center, a non-profit organization registered in both Belize and the US donated the sum of $20,000 dollars for the rehabilitation of the raptor center at Belize Bird Rescue, a Non-Governmental Organization. The barn consists of 5 rehabilitation cells; Two 12’ x 12’ and two 12’ x 24’ […]

Attorney for Keyren Tzib applies for bail
This morning, 24 year old Keyren Tzib appeared at the Belize City Supreme Court where she requested from her attorney to apply for bail. Tzib was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm after she shot a Coast Guard colleague on Easter Monday. The […]

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Meets U.S. President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas
Today’s photo of the day is of Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow meeting U.S. President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama this week. Photo courtesy by Government of Belize

BTL launches 2015 Directory
This morning communications giant, Belize Telemedia limited launched its annual 2015 Telephone Directory amongst a crowd at the BTL Park. The cover depicted features a snapshot of Big Drop Falls which is located in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park in Southern Belize. Inside the directory itself, is an expanded publication of contacts for Businesses and individuals across the country. Since 2006, BTL has partnered with Global Directories to self-publish the Directories which are available in classic, pocket sized and readily available online. The 2015 Phone Directory is available at all BTL offices countrywide as well as outlets such as Courts Belize LTD, A and R Enterprises and in Ladyville at Sky Super Market.

BREAKING: Murder in the Old Capital
Right now Belize City Police are investigating a late Thursday evening murder in the Old Capital. Sometime around 9:42 pm, Belize City police visited an open lot next to Tailor’s alley on cemetery road where they discovered the lifeless body of Mike Foreman, also known as “Popeye” who had a single gun shot wound to the back of his head. Initial investigation reveals that Popeye was sitting on a bucket when a gun man walked into him firing the fatal shot. Belize City Police are planning a press briefing later today.

ICJ: Belize Dances With The Devil
grey ICJ: Belize Dances With The DevilThey say that when you dance with the Devil, you do not change the Devil, the Devil changes you. Let us look at the Devil we continue to dance with, and I will add, continue to dance for. 1960 to 1996 The Guatemalan civil war lasted from 1960 to 1996 or 36 years. It was said to be a fight between mostly the Government of Guatemala and various leftist rebel groups supported chiefly by ethnic Mayan indigenous people and Ladino peasants, whom made up the rural poor, however it was a fight, it was the Guatemalan government slaughtering poor indigenous Mayans. It was genocide and a gross human rights violation against these civilians. 1944 – 1954 The United States backed a coup d’état in 1954, usurping the power from the popular leftist government that was brought to power via democratic elections during the Guatemalan Revolution in 1944 and 1951, and installing their puppet military regime of Carlos Castillo Armas. Armas was followed by a series of conservative military dictators.


Belize, Star of Stage and Screen…
OK, not living around Broadway or London’s West End, we don’t really know about the stage part, but Belize has definitely been featured on screen lately. In the span of two days, we were delighted to see Belize pop up on two of our favourite television shows – on the animated antics of American Dad, and then… hold it…hold it… on the season finale of “Better Call Saul”. How cool is that? On American Dad, Hayley gets a job just as the company’s manager decides to organise a teambuilding retreat to– you guessed it – Belize! Now, there was no way animation was ever going to do justice to the beauty, sights, sounds and general vibe of Belize, but it was weirdly wonderful to see it in cartoon format, complete with funny looking palm trees and a rather imaginative take on Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport. There was also a certain amount of realism involved, as Belize was portrayed as a place where romance happens. It was great to see, but what we really liked was the fact that Belize is now so firmly established in public awareness that American Dad writers chose it as the company’s destination of choice.

“White Wedding” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Well I’ve managed to wrest control of the iPad from Ziggy after his blogging escapade and thought I bring you up-to-date with what Rose and I have been up to. Feeling a little down after saying goodbye to Frank last Wednesday Rose and I had the perfect pick-me-up. We had a wedding to go to. And a beach wedding at that. The son and wife-to-be of friends of ours had decided that they would tie the knot on Ambergris Caye and they arrived to find that all arrangements had been taken care of by his mother Connee and step father Bill at Exotic Caye Beach Resort . Rose and I arrived early – we’d been told that the wedding would start sharply at 15.30 hours . Yeh, right! “I just need the bride and groom to turn up and I can get this ‘show’ on the road”. Groom and Best Man. I mean Woman, in place.

I Know You Don’t Want To…But Let’s Talk Hurricane Season 2015
It’s early. I agree. With beautiful weather like this? Who wants to talk about hurricanes? But June 1st is the official start of the Hurricane Season and weather services are now issuing reports…our San Pedro NEMO group is meeting with the new Town Council (National Emergency Management Organization)… …and while storms tend to swirl in late August, September and October (Sept 11th is the peek date), smaller storms have been known to creep up early.

International Sourcesizz

A Close Look At The Analog Years Colorado State Are Using In Their 2015 Hurricane Season & My Thoughts On What It Might Mean
In their updated forecast released on April 9th, Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University put forth several analog years that may be similar in the overall weather pattern & even the potential tracks of this year’s tropical systems. Those analog years are: 1957, 1987, 1991, 1993 and 2014. Let’s take a look at each of those analog years & see what each season brought: 1957: The 1957 hurricane season started early with a June major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico (Audrey) which made landfall along the upper Texas coast and across southwestern Louisiana. Activity quieted down in July into August with only Tropical Storm Bertha making landfall near the Texas-Louisiana state line in early August. During September, we had major hurricane Carrie come very close to impacting Bermuda with Debbie making landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a tropical storm. Also in September, Tropical Storm Esther came ashore in southeastern Louisiana during mid September. Activity then shut down for the season during October and November.

Inside Belize: British Army soldiers put through their paces
In our series of special reports into the British Army's overseas training exercise in the jungle of Central America, we've seen how soldiers from across the country are learning basic survival techniques, including how to source food and water - and start fires in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. As part of the programme, troops are being taught different styles of attack in live firing ranges. It's training, which more of our military could be put through as Britain ends its combat mission in Afghanistan.

'Passing on the blessings': NWF residents rally for Belizean boy
Until today, Julio Chi had a branchial cleft cyst, a congenital abnormality that resulted in a lump on the side of his neck. "Because of this, the boy doesn't grow well and he gets repeated respiratory infections — mainly upper respiratory infections," Dr. Joseph Peter, a Crestview pediatrician, said. The result is what he called global developmental delay: "He doesn't talk now," Peter said. "He just makes some noises here and there." But three physicians — Peter, of Crestview Pediatrics, along with Dr. Joseph Siefker and Dr. Richard Barnett, of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center — and numerous Northwest Florida residents, want to see a better life for this 4-year-old Belizean boy. ANNUAL MISSION: Operation Medical Care — a group of Crestview area volunteers including Peter and his wife, Bernadine — visits Belize each year to provide free services for impoverished residents. Last fall, Angelica Chi walked 5 miles from her Orange Walk home seeking care for her son.

Jungle warfare is tough test for city soldier
Pictured:The troops sampling the water from a jungle vine. A Company, Second Battalion The Prince of Wales Royal Regiment (2PWRR) have been training to live fight and survive in the jungles of Central America. The 'Tigers' have been learning jungle warfare in the heart of the Belizean forests. From finding food and water, creating fire, to fighting and patrolling, the unit have experienced it all.

US Marines plan force in Honduras for hurricane season
The United States wants to deploy a force of about 250 Marines to Honduras to provide humanitarian help during the region’s hurricane season, officials said Friday. Honduran officials are weighing the proposed task force, which would operate out of Palmerola air base from June to November. The contingent also would assist Central American forces on efforts to counter narcotics trafficking. “We have requested that the Marines be present in Honduras from June through November 2015, during hurricane season, to support Honduras and other countries in the region in the event of a hurricane or other major disaster,” the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa said in a statement. Pentagon officials insisted the proposal would not involve the permanent deployment of U.S. troops, a sensitive political issue in a region where U.S. forces historically sided with authoritarian regimes. “It’s only on a temporary basis,” said Captain Armando Daviu, public affairs officer for U.S. Marine Forces South. “It’s set up to be a quick response emergency force.”

IFF Panama: Central America on the Right Track for Growth
As the leaders of the Americas, including U.S. President Barack Obama, meet in Panama City for the seventh Summit of the Americas, they will be all too aware that it is the economies of Central America that are leading growth in the region. And, according to a report published on Tuesday (April 7) by the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Central America will continue to lead the way in 2015 with Panama, with an expected 6 % increase in GDP over the coming year, at the forefront. Central America, which consists of seven countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama), is also on the right track for growth in its theatrical movie market, according to Luis Vargas, Managing director of Rentrak for Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela.

At Summit of Americas, US Faces Charged Environment
When President Barack Obama meets Friday and Saturday with other leaders of the Americas, he will encounter a charged environment full of factions – some allied with him, some arrayed against the U.S. and most trying to secure an economic future amid diminishing resources. Obama's participation in this year's Summit of the Americas comes as his administration seeks to normalize relations with Cuba but also as it takes a tough stand against the government of Venezuela and its harsh attempts to silence dissent in the oil-rich but economically struggling nation. The U.S. is clearly the biggest economic power and, as such, the most influential voice in the hemisphere. But its sway over Latin America is limited. Even U.S. allies have not been ready to march in lockstep with their big neighbor to the north.

Remarks by President Obama in Town Hall with Young Leaders of the Americas
RESIDENT OBAMA: Greetings, massive! (Laughter and applause.) Wah gwaan, Jamaica? (Applause.) Can everybody please give Aubrey a big round of applause for the great introduction? (Applause.) I want to thank the University of the West Indies for hosting us. Big up, You-Wee! (Applause.) Thank you. I’ve been making myself at home here. (Laughter.) It is great to be in beautiful Jamaica -- not only because I’m proud to be the first President of the United States to visit in more than 30 years, but because I just like the vibe here. (Applause.) I was born on an island, and it was warm, and so I feel right at home. And I’m grateful for the warm Jamaican hospitality that I received this morning, including from Prime Minister Simpson-Miller. I also had the chance to meet with leaders from across the Caribbean, where we focused on issues of shared prosperity and shared security. And tomorrow, I’ll meet with leaders from across the hemisphere at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Remarks by President Obama in Meeting with SICA Presidents, April 10, 2015
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, thank you, President Molina. Let me, first of all, thank our friend, the President of Panama, and the people of Panama, Vice President of Panama, for the incredible hospitality and the outstanding arrangements for this summit. It is good to see all of you again. The last time we met was in Costa Rica, and we, I thought, had a very productive discussion. And rather than just talk, I think our goal was to make sure that we had concrete actions that we could take that would improve our economies, the opportunities for our people, security in the region. And this is very important to the United States, not just because of proximity, not just because our neighbors who are represented here are very close by, but because we have incredible bonds as people. There are Americans who make enormous contributions to our society every single day who come from Nicaragua and El Salvador and Belize, and all the countries that are represented here today.


  • Aimee + Scott, 11min. Video by Island Films Location: Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize



  • The Belize Experiential-Learning Program, 5min. Each year, 10 upper-year University of Toronto students in Aboriginal Studies, Caribbean Studies, Equity Studies and the Human Biology program spend a week in Belize working with Indigenous and other communities, visiting farms and community organizations and attending talks. This video captures what it's like to be a part of the Belize experiential-learning program.

  • Poots Titiman Flores "Paranda fest April 4th 2015 Hopkins village Belize, 5min. Paranda Music,Dangriga Music , Belizean music. Garifuna Culture

  • Nurse Shark, 1/2min. Nurse shark while diving off of Belize. April 10, 2015.

  • Dolphin Frolicking Underwater, 2.5min. A female dolphin frolicking underwater. Taken April 10, 2015 off of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Thanks to Chuck and Robbie for a great dive. Not shown huge sea turtles and a bull shark!

  • chumming for sharks ,Belize, 18min.

  • Mangrove Paddleboard Safari Ambergris Caye Belize, 4min. This is a short clip of the Mangrove Paddleboard Safari offered by the Belize Sailing School and more so the boat ride. It is hard to take video and paddleboard at the same time, unless of course you are Audrius our super talented teacher.

  • Celebrity Equinox 11 Day Ultimate Cruise Dec 18th Belize, 9min. Long lost Cruse the Highlight of my cruise. Had the best time of my life andI show it here!

  • Re: Today's Belize News: April 11, 2015 [Re: Marty] #503251
    04/11/15 05:50 AM
    04/11/15 05:50 AM
    Joined: Oct 1999
    Posts: 73,286
    oregon, spr
    Marty Offline OP

    Marty  Offline OP
  • Hasta Alaska - Jungle Life (Belize) - S03E07, 12min. Talk about off the beaten path...In this episode we follow Eli into the jungle for a day in the life of a local Belician man....and what an experience it was.

  • Hasta Alaska - Belize Tropical Adventure - S03E06, 16min. Belize was relatively expensive for us to travel so we decided to cut down on time and ramp up on energy. This episode may have only taken a couple of weeks to record but 2 weeks in Belize is 2 weeks packed

  • Belikin - NATURE, 1min. Belikin Beer project I shot the underwater stuff for a few years ago- Brings back great memories!! Belikin, the beer of Belize, celebrates the natural beauty that Belize has to offer. Belikin is proud to call Belize, this lovely place, full of nature and culture, its home.

  • Links
    Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
    Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!
    Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
    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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