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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun

US Embassy hosts 'town hall' meeting in San Pedro
Representatives from the Embassy of the United States of America held a US citizen 'town hall' meeting on Monday, April 20th. Held at the Blue Water Grill, the gathering began at 11AM and saw a turnout of more than 50 US citizens who call Belize home. Following their brief presentation guests had the opportunity to collect various informative printed materials, visit with the representative's individually or take care of consular public services such as obtaining passport renewal and additional visa pages applications and limited notary services. Many stayed to socialize and eat lunch as well. For more information about the Embassy of the US and their services please visit their website at

PROJECT EARTH 2015: Atlantic Bank Helping Reduce Overdraft on Nature
Atlantic Bank Ltd, in collaboration with Institute for Sustainability of Community and Environment (IN.S.C.E) and a group of women have engaged in an initiative to help reduce the overdraft on nature, while at the same time taking a simple action to help reduce poverty through an income generating activity. The initiative includes underprivileged women sewing bags that can be used for everyday activities. Through the creation of beautiful hand sewn bags using natural fabrics in earth colors, these women receive a much needed additional income. These women that are ultimately working hard to advance their children's well-being and on this Earth Day "it's our turn to lead" as Atlantic Bank Ltd. will be giving out these bags to all its customers. On Tuesday, April 22nd people joined hands worldwide to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Globally, citizens are working together to educate and inspire others to take simple actions that can prove to be powerfully beneficial to Planet Earth and its inhabitants. Atlantic Banks Ltd. hopes to accomplish the same as this collaboration indeed lies at the heart of innovation and so this tripartite partnership is a meaningful activity to celebrate Earth Day. Green is the predominant color in nature, and today it's associated with environmentally-friendly choices and lifestyles.

Fly Fishing Fun
I always wondered about those guys with the lower half of their faces wrapped, their eyes covered with reflective sunshades, and maybe wearing a hat. They often have on long sleeved shirts with many, many pockets, and long pants too. Perhaps you've seen those same guys without their usual garb on, the sun marks clearly visible on their faces, that tell-tale bright patch of skin (generally the eye region) standing out from the sun-baked rest of their face. Fishermen. Most importantly�fly fishermen. How do they do it? What keeps them out on the flats, in nooks of the lagoon side of the island, patiently awaiting for that Grand Slam (3 fish in one day: Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish)?

Rugby Belize goes mobile
Rugby Belize is continuing its mission to promote the popular English sport Rugby, in Belize. As such, they have launched a mobile app that links users with the organization's social media pages. The Rugby Belize App was official released on Saturday, April 18th and is compatible with iOS and Android devices.16 Rugby Belize app-1 Rugby Belize is a voluntary non-profit organization that aims to develop, encourage and promote the participation of men, women and children in the sport of rugby sevens throughout the country. San Pedro Town is among five destinations in Belize that have established rugby clubs (the other destinations are Belmopan City, Belize City, Hattieville, and Orange Walk Town). The local club: San Pedro Turtles, is being spearheaded by local resident Martin Dawson. According to founder of Rugby Belize, Tony Gillings, the app is crucial to the development and recognition of the organization. "The Rugby Belize App means that anyone downloading it to their smart phone, can keep up to date with everything rugby in Belize and beyond. It gives them immediate, up-to-date news from around the globe and, perhaps more importantly, allows them immediate contact with Rugby Belize.

Sunset Boardwalk plagued with vandalism and garbage; SPTC details new plans for the area
Since the inauguration of the multi-million dollar Sunset Boardwalk project in 2014, there have been several unending issues with it. The bathrooms have been vandalized to the point that it would need major repairs. In addition, the football grounds and general area around the Sunset Boardwalk Welcome vicinity abounds with the unpleasant sight of garbage. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has confirmed however, that with the new plans for the area, repairs will be done and security will be put in place. While the garbage situation is one thing, the other issue has to do with the bathroom facilities that have been completely wrecked. The facilities at the Sunset Board Walk have no night security, making it an easy target for vandals. As such, the doors of the bathroom have been broken for months and all indications are that huge rocks were used to break the urinals to pieces. The toilets and wash basins have equally been vandalized beyond use. "The place is wrecked and the sad part is that nobody is there to watch over the facility. When you go into the bathroom area, the stench of feces that is just left in the toilet bowls is unbearable. The condition is unsanitary, unhealthy and unacceptable," said Arceo.

Ambergris Today

HGTV Loves Belize, Back Filming in San Pedro
Just last month a film crew from HGTV (Home and Garden Television) was in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Placencia filming footage for their newest tv program Beachfront Bargain Hunt, but this past week a new crew was back on the island filming another episode of House Hunters International. Yeah its not the first time HGTV's House Hunters International has been on Ambergris Caye or elsewhere in the country to film an episode of their popular program. This just shows how Ambergris Caye is still the #1 island in the world and Belize is becoming a prime destination for both visitors and people looking to retire or just find a new home. This time around the film crew and the happy hunting couple were seen at Portofino, Indigo condominiums, cruising around the island on golf cart and at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, among other sites visited. They were looking to find an island home to live in paradise. The show is expected to air in about three-month's time.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church Invites the entire Ambergris Caye community for a fun-filled Family Day on Sunday, April 26.
The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church is inviting everyone to come and enjoy a family day on the beachside of the church. We are currently asking for volunteers and donations for food. Persons interested can contact the office at 226-2479.

CCJ official consent order
Official Consent Order entered by the Caribbean Court of Justice affirming the rights of the Mayas of southern Belize to their ancestral land homeland.

Press Release: Change in the Price for LPG - April 2015
To view the BBS Press Release on the change in price for LPG, kindly click on the link.

Open Letter to the National Garifuna Council from Joseph Guerrero
Dear Members of the National Garifuna Council, I'm sure you will join me in congratulating the Maya of Belize for their ground breaking victory in the landmark Maya land rights case against the Government of Belize (GOB). You may also join me in hoping the agreement the Mayas reach with the Government of Belize will take all their rights into consideration. What was at stake in this very important landmark case which will have resounding effects in legal circles worldwide was the freedom from marginalization and from discrimination. It accomplishes this end by giving indigenous people of Belize more say in the development of their ancestral lands. With the result of this land case now indigenous groups in Belize including the Maya and Garifuna both can now apply for and receive title to communal lands. With these titles which carry the same rights as individual land titles, they will be able to develop their ancestral lands in a way conducive to their preservation and proliferation as a distinct indigenous people. The Maya were immensely aided by the Articles of the ILO 169 adoption of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention. This is the precursor to the later adopted United Nations Declarations of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which Preamble and Articles makes it clear the international standard on the way nations should treat their Indigenous population.

Planting the national tree of Belize
This week U.S. Embassy personnel celebrated Earth Day this year by planting the national tree of Belize, the mahogany tree, at the New Horizons SDA School on San Pedro. The Embassy also expanded the reusable bag program to three stores in San Pedro while there (more to come on this)

Magical Mayan Night
A Magical Mayan Night at Ramon's Village to support SHINE girls program. Saturday, May 16 at 5:30 pm Chinese Auction, Dinner Buffet, Program, Live Music Tickets $60 per person and available at Warpaint

Habitual Tres Cocos area Thief
Jackson Rawson better known as "CHANCE" lives in the neighborhood, has stolen from almost every neighbor including his own parents and no one has filed charges against him. Most don't even don't take him to jail because they can't prove it "they all know him and what he do and he grew up in the neighborhood and lives in the neighborhood. He is a habitual liar and a habitual thief who does not belong in society. At 18 years old he needs help before he ends up being more of a monster than he already is. He spends a few hours in jail then gets out and goes back home, take shower and watches tv in is ac room, no consequence whatsoever.

1st Annual @Walk/ Run for Awareness 5K this Sunday in San Pedro
We are excited for the to the 1st annual @Walk/ Run for Awareness 5K this Sunday, April 26. ACES will be selling raffle tickets, refreshments and BBQ at the post- race celebration. Contact the school to purchase a $10 ticket for BBQ in advance. Look forward to seeing you there!

Strengthening Belize's Offshore Outsourcing Sector
Reference: NXCWG0898/BEL/2 Location: Belize Closing date: 11th May 2015 Contract duration: 90 consultant days over the period June to December 2015 Budget: �36,000 in consultancy fees. Travel (economy), per diem and workshops will be covered separately. EXPECTED PROJECT OUTCOME A more diverse ITES sector in Belize providing more value added services, underpinned by effective quality control. KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS: Project deliverables produced within budget and on schedule.

Northern Caye Caulker Beach Reserve
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, through the Lands and Surveys Department, takes this opportunity to clarify to the general public the allegations made regarding surveys that may have included the beach reserve on Northern Caye Caulker. The general public is reminded that in accordance with the legislation that governs National Land, the policy of the Lands and Surveys Department makes provisions for the allowance of a beach reserve for public access that precedes any property line. Any and all crown land that adjoins such reserve is subject to distribution or further reservation by the Minister responsible for Lands.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, April 24, 2015: 69

Installation of the Wireless Internet (WiFi) at the Central Park
Great News! The San Pedro Town Council along with Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) have commenced the installation of the Wireless Internet (WiFi) at the Central Park. The estimated date for completion of installation is around Wednesday of next week.

Phase 2 commencement of the paving of the road on North
We are excited to announce the Phase 2 commencement of the paving of the road on North, Ambergris Caye. Work has initiated on Mile 6 (by Portofino). Phase 2 is projected to be done in a three-month period and the completion of the project will see a total of 7 miles of paved road.

Standard five students and educators from Sacred Heart RC School of Dangriga Town visit Corozal House of Culture
So great to have the standard five students and educators from Sacred Heart RC School of Dangriga Town visiting us today. On their visit we were also able to showcase Manuel Villamor's historical mural at the Corozal Town Hall and the last standing fort in the country; Fort Barlee. Great thanks go out to the school for choosing Corozal Town as their destination!

Garifuna Dishes, Karaoke in the Night, Grand Football Marathon
Sarteneja Village invites everyone on May 2nd:-

FCD's Research team has documented the first baby macaw for the 2015 season. This baby macaw was born on Earthday, 22nd of April - therefore it has received the name "Earth". Now that the season has started, for the next 6 months the task of the research team is to protect and monitor the breeding population of macaws in the Chiquibul.

Channel 7

Public Officer Charged For Treasure Theft
The media has been reporting on the theft of $550,000 the Treasury Department since last week - and while we knew the amount and the how it was done, we could not find out whodunit - because of the tight lid police kept on the investigation. But today, it all came out when one public officer was formally arrested and charged for half of the missing money. He is 28 year-old David Enriquez, a clerk at the Treasury Department. Tonight, he's in jail, facing 3 counts of theft. Enriquez was arraigned this morning before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, and because he will be tried on indictment, no plea was taken. The first theft occurred on March 14, 2015 and the amount was for $225,296, which was supposed to be deposited into the account set up to receive the monthly subvention funds for the Toledo Community College. Somehow, the money was diverted from that account to the Siene Bight Community Training Program's Belize Bank Account, which was then withdrawn at the Dangriga Branch over a period of time. Police believe that Enriquez was somehow involved in that diversion of funds, and a check of the system reveals that he was involved in another diversion for just over 47 thousand dollars.

Busted BDF Truck Gives New Meaning To "Off Road"
There was an accident this morning at mile 13 on the Phillip Goldson Highway in which one of the BDF J8 military vehicles crashed into another vehicle and flipped. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but the male BDF soldier who was driving suffered minor injuries, while his female passenger, another BDF officer, had her arm crushed. Today, BDF's Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Loria, told 7News via telephone, that the officer was delivering supplies to soldiers off base when he got into the accident with a Mitsubishi L-200 Pick up. Here's what the driver reported to them: Lt. Col. A. Loria, Chief of Staff - BDF "He said that he was trying to overtake a vehicle at the Los Lagos junction area, but as we all know that the road in front of Los Lagos junction is a bit rough. He was trying to overtake a blue Mitsubishi L200 pick-up driven at the time by Santiago Perez, with Orange Walk license plate 19530.

Customs Contraband Bust Cost Smugglers Plenty
Tonight, the Customs Department in Orange Walk is still tabulating the full value of the massive contraband bust they made yesterday on the Rio Hondo, 12 miles behind August Pine Ridge. There were five dories coming across from Mexico loaded with fruits and vegetables, beer and soft drinks. Two of the dories threw their contraband cargo into the river - while the other dory captains abandoned their vessels. So Customs only got the goods from three of the five dories. And that included 52 sacks of onion, 25 cases soft drink , 20 sacks of lime ,15 cases pears, 15 crates of mango, 30 cases raisin, 15 cases lettuce, 5sacks cabbage, 5 cases tomatoes, 25 cases of beer, 3 sacks of carrots, 15 sacks of flour, and 2 sacks of potatoes. Along with the dories, this had to be carted out on two BDF four-ton trucks, a police F-150 truck and four Customs vehicles. This is just an indication of the scale of the contraband operation - and as many as 40 customs, police and BDF personnel had to be called in to deal with it. Originally, only four officers spotted the dories coming across - and the contraband smugglers had set road blocks to prevent them from leaving with the very valuable goods. Those road blocks were dismantled when the additional personnel came in. And while the bust is substantial, Customs authorities tell us it's really just a microcosm of the robust cross border trade in contraband that flourishes in areas such as San Victor and Santa Cruz - which are nearer to the Hondo.

Unidentified Body Was Caucasian, Had A Tattoo
Tonight a little more is known about a body that was found floating near mile five on the northern highway yesterday - adjacent to the Usher Estate. Police got the call from a caretaker who reported that he saw some vultures circling. He went to go see what they were after, and that was when he discovered a male person floating in the mangroves apparently dead. Police say that it is a "Caucasian" male dressed in a khaki shorts and a black T-Shirt who was floating face down. He had no identification, but a tattoo marked "Ninfar" was found on his right arm and a black and red wrist band was on his left arm marked "Anibal." No cause of death could be determined due to the advanced state of decomposition but, as we told you last night, there were no signs of injury to the body - so police do not suspect foul play. But they are still looking for an identity for this John Doe.

Lands Department Says Beach Reserve May Not Be Beach After All
Last night you saw our expose on shady state sanctioned land dealings on Northern Caye Caulker. A British couple claims that they bought beachfront property in 2005 - only to find out in 2012 that the beachfront had been converted into private property. Now, to be clear, the letter of their 2005 land title makes it clear that the property constitutes 120 feet of beachfront. The map shows the same thing. And yesterday the lands commissioner told LOVE FM that what is inscribed on the land title with the approval of the Commissioner of Lands does matter. Here's what he told LOVE yesterday: Wilbert Vallejos, Comissioner of Lands "Also we are looking at the titles that they got and interestingly confirms what you said that the title that they got from the government, the original title, makes a specific mention that it is a beach front property. The interpretation what is written on the title is very important to be able to settle this case and so what we are trying to establish at this point in time is in fact the beach reserve is compromised." According to the former village chairman, the new titles do compromise that beach reserve. And more than that Sydney Higgins said the language of the land title - and the official sanction from the then Lands commissioner cemented his certainty that he bought beachfront property:..

Fire In The Wire
Last night, we told you about the fire which destroyed a house on Patridge Street Extension. It was being rented by Edith Valentine, and she lost everything in that fire, while her landlord must now rebuild the house. So, what caused the fire? That's what we asked the fire investigators today, and Station Officer Orin Smith told the press that it is still undetermined. They did however determine that it spread from an electric wire in one of the bedrooms of the house: Orin Smith, Station Officer, National Fire Service "On Thursday 23, April 2015 at approximately 1:42pm the National Fire Service received and responded to a call of a structural fire in #1041Partage Street Extension address Belize City. Two units were dispatched to that location. On arrival on scene, we saw a plycem structure approximately 20 by 16 ft. with zinc roofing, elevated approximately 12 ft. off ground fully engulfed in flames.

7 Years For An Act Of Rage
29 year-old Kendoll Ottley went to his ex-girlfriend's house uninvited and tried to speak with her, and because she refused, he threw a fan at a new born infant who was injured. Because of that rash act, he's now spending 7-year sentence in jail. His ex-girlfriend, Nadine Gordon, testified in court that she had a 6 month relationship with Ottley. After it ended, he went to her house on June 14, 2015, and she tried to get him to leave. He ignored that, broke the door down, and stormed in without her permission. She said that he wanted to have a conversation with her, which she again refused, and that's when he picked up a fan. In his rage, he threw it at her grandson, who was only a week old at the time. Gordon's daughter, who is the mother of the baby, also testified and corroborated her story. In his defence, Ottley testified that he went to Hattieville for a job, but he decided to call Ottley to retrieve his bicycle so that he could go look for the job. He says that he went to the police to get assistance to get his belongings, they ignored him. He says that he did go to the house, but he never made it inside because Gordon pulled a machete on him and chased him off.

UN Agencies Addressing The Larger Issues
How should the state address adolescent and teen pregnancy? What about improving health care services? And how do we alleviate poverty? These are the questions that were brought up at the United Nations conference this morning at the Radisson. Representatives from UNICEF, UNDP and other agencies of the UN presented on the programs and initiatives that address these issues. Now it might seem like a mighty uphill battle to address all those ills, but today I found out that progress is incremental:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This folder features just a few of the studies and surveys from the UN system that have focused on Belize. And there are others. And today the various sub agencies operating under the UN brought those issues to the media. Some of the topics include health and violence against children. Kathleen Israel, PAHO/WHO Representative "Our primary objective then is to help the country to address its public health needs. And within that framework we look at disease prevention and control, communicable disease prevention and control and non-communicable disease prevention and control."

Riding "Up-Stop", Man Gets Busted With Weed
34 year-old Marlon Chavez was caught by police riding "up-stop," and when police stopped him for breaking the rule of the road, they also searched him and found marijuana. So, now, instead of facing a bike offence, he's also being charged with drug trafficking. Police were on mobile patrol when they spotted Chavez riding his bike against the flow of traffic in the area of St. Joseph Street. They found 60.5 grams - or 2.1 ounces - of marijuana in his pocket - which exceeds the legal maximum for possession, and is listed as drug trafficking. He arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on bail of $500, and his case was adjourned until June 18. If convicted, Chavez faces a mandatory fine of $10,000 and a possible jail sentence of 3 years in prison.

Central Bank Says Banking Industry Stable
On Wednesday, we reported that the Belize Bank would be losing its correspondent banking relationship with the Bank of America on April 30th. This makes it impossible for them to make international wire transfers and bank drafts. Today in a rare press release, the Central Bank of Belize confirmed that Belize Bank and Belize Bank International are losing their correspondent banking relationships. The Belize Bank International is a foreign currency banking service for non-Belizeans. The press release confirms that Scotiabank, Atlantic Bank, First Caribbean Bank and Heritage Bank have not been affected. The release adds that the Belize Bank will continue to offer credit card services and is seeking ties with other foreign correspondent institutions. CEO of the BCB Group Lyndon Guiseppi told us he expects the Belize Bank to establish a new correspondent banking relationship in three months.

Keeping Kids Clean And Green
The Young, Clean and Green programme started in 2010. It is spearheaded by a German NGO called Aldebaran and targets high schoolers for involvement in environmentally pro-active initiatives. They launched their third campaign today at Steffi Lupp's residence on Princess Margaret Drive and she told me what it's about:.. Stefanie Lupp, Managing Director - Aldebaran "For me it's more to educate the youths. Belize need this and we started visiting up campaign... all districts. And two years ago we started visiting young, clean and green campaign, all high schools in Belize. And this is our second campaign. The first young, clean and green campaign was amazing, it was so successful. And this year 20 schools already decided to be a partner." Deborah Sewell, Managing Director - Love Foundation "So we work with 200 children in the south side. that's an area where there's a lot of pollution, there's a lot of waste and a lot of the children really don't, have never had an opportunity to think about what that means to the environment. And so one of the main focus is we are looking at is plastic is the real sea monster. So we know some of our communities is in the Yabra area, so it's just so easy for us to work with the kids and in reference to looking at what pollution does to the sea."

LPG (Butane) Prices Down 30% In A Year
You may not recall it, but one year ago butane, or LPG prices were at 128 dollars per hundred pound cylinder, and, by contrast, today the price went down to 90 dollars. That's a 30% decrease, and it is owning to world oil prices which are in decline. That's the price of LPG form Mexico, the one from Central America is 88 dollars per 100 pound cylinder in the city.

10 Years Ago, Faber Was Tossed Like A Thug
Last week we looked back at the Troubles of 2005, when Belize was roiled by civil unrest. In mid-April, the phone, lights and electricity went down - and by the end of April, the discontent with the Musa Administration was erupting on all sides. On the 28th of April, then Prime Minister Musa was supposed to address University students at the UB Gymnasium, but because every public appearance attracted rage from the unions and opposition - crowd control was a must. So police tightly screened those going into the UB compound - which included the then opposition member for Collet Patrick Faber. Police took him down like a common thug - in one of the most memorable - and actually quite funny - moments of 2005. Faber was arrested and charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault. Those charges were later dropped. But he did make a constitutional challenge of that event - saying he was denied his right to liberty and freedom of movement. But, in 2009 former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh found, quote, "Freedom of movement is not a license to trespass."

Channel 5

Treasury Employee Charged for $500,000 Theft
Two persons have been arrested and charged for their roles in a half-a-million dollar Treasury Department scheme. The internal fleecing was brought to light, at least officially, by Prime Minister [...]

B.D.F. Private Seriously Injured in Early Morning Collision
This morning, if you passed by the Los Lagos junction, you probably saw a B.D.F. Jeep lying on its side just off the road. That vehicle was in a collision [...]

Police Need Help to Identify John Doe
Tonight, police are still unable to say whose badly decomposed body floated up into the mangroves near Mile five on the Phillip Goldson Highway. But there is more information emerging [...]

Investigations Into Belize City Fire Ongoing
The month of April has been a record month for 2015 when it comes to fires. Across the country, there have been several fires since the start of April, gutting [...]

Construction Worker Guilty of Harming Toddler
Twenty-nine-year-old Kendoll Ottley, a construction worker of Belize City, has been found guilty of burglarizing the home of his ex-girlfriend after their relationship turned sour.� He was accused of forcefully [...]

Serving Time for Old Fisheries Fines
A fisherman of Sarteneja Village is tonight serving a four-year sentence at the Belize Central Prison after old fisheries fines dating back to 2003 caught up with him.� Earlier today, [...]

No Update in Military Ammo Missing Three Months
Almost exactly three months ago, two containers of military-grade ammunition were stolen off the secure, guarded B.D.F. Echelon Base in Lord's Bank. The ammunition, about two thousand, seven hundred rounds [...]

UN Residents Host Media Breakfast
The United Nations Country Team resident members UNICEF, U.N.D.P., U.N.F.P.A., and PAHO held a press conference this morning to talk with the media about some of the social issues in [...]

Central Bank Issues Release on Derisking
Earlier this week, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight commented briefly on the ongoing derisking exercise that a number of large American and European banks have undertaken.� The process has seen the [...]

New Patroness for HelpAge Belize
HelpAge Belize has a new Patroness. Appointed by the Board, Maria Elena Sylvestre is now the lead advocate for the N.G.O. that champions the rights of the elderly. Sylvestre has [...]


OCEANA prepares for court appeal
In the wake of Wednesday’s landmark consent order in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) with regard to Maya land rights in Toledo, where the Government is now refused the ability to hand out leases, concessions and other instruments related to land in that District without the informed consent of ...

OCEANA continues challenge of draft petroleum guidelines
In January of this year OCEANA Belize and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued vehement objections to the draft petroleum guidelines for exploration and extraction developed by the Geology and Petroleum Department of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utili...

Murder in Punta Gorda
A former prisoner Frank Castro was gunned down last night in Punta Gorda. 38 year old Frank Castro was serving a 15 year sentence for robbery...

Somerville dismissed; no charges levied
In October 2013 it was reported that 189 cheques amounting to over $367 thousand dollars were embezzled from the Southern Regional Hospital over the course of three years...

Opposition within the Maya community on communal land rights
Despite the sweeping nature of Wednesday’s judgment there remains opposition within the Maya community itself to the very idea of communal land rights. The Alliance and the Alcaldes Association have long maintained that their opponents are ignorant of the scope of the issue or are short-sighted...

Update on Developments in Belmopan
In January earlier this year two contracts were signed under the banner of the Belize Road Safety Project for the construction of a roundabout at the Guanacaste Park junction – Lot 4A- and the complete uplift of the Belmopan Ring Road- Lot 4B ...

More Heat Until Next Week!
Fill up your water bottles and put on your sun block because it’s going to be another long week in the heat. While we are in the hot and dry season this past week has been notably hotter. This is expected to continue on until next week...

A pair of fishermen fined for offences
Belize is currently in closed season for lobster but the lure of a quick buck is irresistible for some and today it cost two fishermen more than $1,500 in fines...

Toledo Farmer Charged with Drugs
A farmer of San Pedro Columbia, Toledo, was formally arrested and charged this morning after he was busted with 276.6 grams of weed...

65 Year Old American Drown at Sea
A 65 year old American reportedly drowned at sea earlier this week. According to Police reports at around 2:50 pm on Tuesday April 21st, 45 year old Jonathan Carle saw his father 65 year old John Carle struggling in the sea...

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Frank Castro, 38, shot dead in PG
Since being released from prison in early 2013 after spending 21 years behind bars, Frank Castro, 38, had been leading a virtually low-key life in his native hometown known as Indianville, situated just outside Punta Gorda Town. That life, however, was abruptly cut short last night when Castro - who is certainly no stranger to police - was ambushed and murdered by a gunman while returning home after going to the store on an errand. The incident reportedly happened sometime after 7:00 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, when Castro went to buy a case of soft drinks from a store in the Indianville area. Police said that while riding his bicycle on Corozal Street heading back to his residence, Castro was surprised by an assailant, who immediately opened fire on him. Two bullets found their mark in the upper left part of his chest and left shoulder, and as a result, Castro died on the spot. His body was transported to the Punta Gorda Town Hospital, where it awaits a post-mortem.

"Beaten like an animal" by fellow cops!
Varied accounts of police abuse against civilians make the news on a regular basis, but this week, the peculiar news is that police officers allegedly violently abused one of their own. The incident reportedly happened last Sunday, April 19, at the Partridge Street residence of well-known personality, Lloyd Flowers, who offers rooms for rent on his premises. In an interview with Amandala on Monday of this week, Flowers recounted the incident in which PC Daryl Ebanks, who is one of his tenants, was allegedly "beaten like an animal" by fellow police officers and elements of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) while in uniform. He said, "We were in our living room at around 6:00 p.m. when my wife heard noises at the gate, so she peeped through the window and saw the group of policemen standing at my gate. I went downstairs to find out what was the matter, and they told me it's nothing, so I went back upstairs and stayed on the verandah watching them, but then I got concerned because they stayed there for half an hour, just waiting in my yard."

Maya triumphant!
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) made major progress this week in brokering a resolution of a decade-old legal struggle between the Maya of Toledo and the Government of Belize when it handed down a consent order, reaffirming the 2010 decision and orders issued by then Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, firstly affirming that indigenous Maya land tenure does exist in Toledo and also mandating the Government to take affirmative action to protect Maya rights. The Government had appealed Conteh's 2010 decision. When the Court of Appeal heard the case, it abandoned the orders which Conteh had made, but upheld the finding that the Maya do have customary land tenure. Neither the Government nor the Maya were happy with that decision, and so they appealed to the CCJ. Even ahead of the CCJ hearings scheduled for today, the parties had reached a settlement-except for the question of monetary damages, proposed at roughly $1.5 million, which the Maya insist the Government must pay.

Bank of America severs relations with Belize Bank
Bank of America, the second largest bank in the US, has severed its correspondent banking relations with the Belize Bank, our largest commercial bank, which means that unless the Belize Bank can find another bank partner overseas, it will (as of April, 30) no longer be able to provide wire transfer services to its customers. Roughly two weeks ago, Prime Minister Barrow used the platform of the Summit of the Americas held in Panama to highlight a potential financial crisis unfolding in the Caribbean, where, he said, US banks were de-risking by cutting off correspondent banking relations with banks in the region. Without providing details, Barrow said that, "�even as we speak, there is a crisis in my own country and in several others in the Eastern Caribbean, where the big US banks are 'de-risking' by terminating their correspondent relationships with our domestic banks. Indeed, even our Central Banks are being cut off; and our financial and trade architecture cannot survive this phenomenon."

Cracking the case of the missing ammo
The investigation into the embarrassing recent theft of over 2,500 live rounds of high-powered ammunition from the Belize Defence Force (BDF) may be one step closer to unraveling the circumstances behind the heist, an army spokesperson said today. The $10,000 worth of ammunition, which belonged to the military's US counterparts, went missing during a 3-week period sometime between December 7, 2014 and January 23, 2015, when a routine security check uncovered a breach at one of the holding bays at the property which is used to store ammunition and explosives at the BDF's Echelon Compound in Ladyville. Today, almost three months later, BDF Lieutenant Colonel Azariel Loria told reporters that there has been a breakthrough in the ongoing investigation. He said, "What we discovered at the bay in question at the Echelon compound was that there was a handprint on one of the zinc fences, so police investigators took note of that handprint, and they are following it up."

CCJ concludes week of sittings in Belize
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) concluded its first itinerant sitting in the country of Belize after 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon, after hearing arguments over whether the Government of Belize should pay damages to the Maya community in a land rights appeal - the first of its kind heard by the regional court. In concluding the proceedings, CCJ president Sir Dennis Byron lauded the parties for their contributions to the case, and for helping the CCJ to expedite the proceedings by working with the court on a consent order which settled all issues in the case, with the exception of damages. After hearing the parties on the matter on Wednesday morning and early afternoon - without taking a lunch break - the CCJ has reserved judgment. Byron said that the court was very pleased to be able to sit here in Belize. He explained that the itinerant sittings-the fourth being held by the CCJ in its member states-are important because they help to establish personal identity with the constituent citizens who they serve.

Deon is back!!
It felt good to see Deon McCaulay back on home soil and appearing upbeat in preparing himself along with the rest of the Belize Jaguars for our next World Cup Qualifier date, against the Dominican Republic in June. Deon appeared yesterday morning on Krem WUB along with the young man who led the community fund raising effort to bring him home to join the team's training at the FFB Stadium, where our home game will be played. Amandala's Wednesday, April 22, editorial, "Bring back Maccabee Version�" called for the national team coaches to "be replaced immediately, because they will poison the selection's training atmosphere on Deon's return." Those coaches did not object when the FFB insisted that Deon was an "ordinary player," while Deon maintains that he is still a registered "international player" with the North American Soccer League.

Wayne "Hogman" Olivera Day, May 1st
Some friends of legendary Belizean football striker, Wayne "Hogman" Olivera, who is presently receiving professional physiotherapy to help his recovery from a stroke, have come together for a fund raising effort to assist Hogman in meeting his therapy bills, which are running at $50.00 per week. Well known sports/community activist Anthony "Mango" White accompanied Hogman to our sports desk this morning to seek publicity for a one-day event at the Third World Football Field near St. Martin's Church, to be held next week Friday, May 1, Labor Day. "All proceeds from the event" he said, will be given to Hogman to defray his therapy costs. Hogman said that after his first week of massage treatment being administered by renowned veteran bodybuilder Joseph "Mud" McClaren, he feels a lot better, and with continued therapy, he is determined to one day put down the crutches he now uses to aid his walking.

This Sunday: to Wadani Shed into Hopkins and back
Cycling: The Southern Regional Cycling Association continues its monthly race every last Sunday in the month. This Sunday, April 26, the race will start (and finish) from in front of the Wadani Shed on St. Vincent Street at 10:00 a.m. sharp, head all the way into Hopkins Village, make a U-turn in front of King Cassava, and back. It's an Open race for amateur riders from across the country of Belize who would like to take part. First place gets $300.00; second, $200.00; and third, $100.00. Station prizes will be provided along the way. Registration per rider is only $10.00. Confirmed teams taking part in this race are: Team Chavarria from Georgeville, Team Police from Belmopan, Team Shake And Bake from Dangriga, and Team Smart. NEBL: Dangriga fans are filled with joy after that big victory last week Friday at home against one of the powerhouses from the NEBL, Belmopan Red Taigaz. Basketball fans from around the Stann Creek District came out in numbers last week Friday to support the Dangriga Warriors to victory. Dangriga Warriors are back on the road for the last time this Friday night inside Cayo to take on the red hot Cayo Western Ballaz. Dangriga Warriors are confident that they can take the victory against Cayo Western Ballaz. With Byron "Shackles" Flowers on the coaching staff, working along with the entire staff for Griga Warriors, things can change around for the Warriors. Shackles said that the 4th spot for the playoff will be for the Dangriga Warriors. After the Cayo road game this weekend, the remaining 2 games will be at home in Dangriga against Belize Hurricanes and San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The Dangriga Warriors basketball team plays much harder at home.

Cricket Corner
The Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, continued over the weekend with the following results. Zone One: Western Eagles over Excelsior, 150 to 54. For Western Eagles, Conway Young top scored with 40, while Keve Flowers took 8 wickets. For Excelsior, Derick McFadzean scored 14, and Lloyd Casasola took 3 wickets. Excellence over Bright Star, 44 to 43 with 8 spare wickets. For Excellence, Burke Howard scored 23, and Kenroy Roca took 6 wkts. For Bright Star, Kendis Moody scored 15. Zone Two: Brilliant and Suga Boys tied at 175 each. Points are shared. How it happened? Suga Boys batted first, and in 50 overs, at the fall of the last wicket, they had 175 runs. Brilliant went to bat next, and at the fall of their last wicket in 49 overs, they also had 175 runs. For Suga Boys, Sonny Wade scored 28, and Jamie Wade took 4 wkts. For Brilliant, Valentine Young, Jr. scored 26, and Calbert Reynolds and Charles Lewis took 2 wkts each.

Editorial: Differences between 2005 and 2015
At various times in the three years since the present United Democratic Party (UDP) government was elected in March of 2012, it has seemed that there was opportunity for the Opposition People's United Party (PUP) to make a statement in the streets. Spokesmen for the PUP have consistently said, however, that the PUP does not want to take over issues, such as the agitation of the teachers' union for salary adjustments or the Elvin Penner passport scandal, and that the party prefers for the matters to be resolved outside of party politics. In the case of the increasing uproar over the recently passed PetroCaribe Loans Act, however, it was remarkable, at a Wednesday press conference this week, that it was the Belmopan-based Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) which was threatening to lead the Belizean people into the streets in protest. That is because the controversial Act represented the Dean Barrow administration's attempt to cut off a PUP-organized court case at the pass, so to speak. Clearly, it is the PUP which should be threatening to take to the streets. The case is being spearheaded by one of the PUP's Deputy Leaders, Hon. Julius Espat of Cayo South, and it is accusing the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow, of being in violation of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act of 2005.

From the Publisher
In the kind of businesses we run on Partridge Street, we are always trying to improve our technology. In order to improve one's technology, and thereby fight to keep up with one's competitors in the newspaper printing and broadcast fields, one has to acquire investment capital to purchase that technology from the United States. The Germans make the finest printing presses in the world, but we have never been so fortunate as to own one of their Heidelbergs. I don't know anything about radio and television technology, actually. Our brain there is J. C. Arzu, who has been with us from the founding of KREM Radio in 1989. The long and short of it is that we make all our technology purchases from the United States. In the matter of investment capital, one can go to the bank or the credit union and make a loan. Historically, though, we have been careful about such financial commitments, because we have always been outsiders where the mainstream business community is concerned, and we have usually been critics/opponents where the political bosses are concerned.

Horrible treatment by Customs at PGIA for Belizean-born
Dear Editor, Could you please publish this letter for me, to Mr. Emil Grinage, Comptroller of Customs? Thanks, Dorothy Middleton. Dear Sir: Subject: Treatment by Custom Personnel in Belize - Philip Goldson Airport I visited Belize in August 2014 for eight days and I am appalled and disgusted by the treatment received from the Customs Officer. I had one suitcase (weighing 48 pounds) and one carry-on bag which contained my personal clothing and toiletries for my trip. My suitcase and carry-on bag were opened, poked, prodded and personal clothing items even taken out and put on the table. To tell the truth I was horrified and could not believe my eyes. I even asked the officer what she was looking for in my bags, and was told "she had the right to search my bags. Another point to note is that this woman did not wear a glove and imagine her touching and grabbing all the other items before me, and for her to touch my personal clothing items is revolting. I was so upset I had to wash all my clothing before I could wear them. Just think about all the viruses and/or diseases that can be transferred by touching items from one bag after the other. Where is the training here? As a country that depends so much on tourism, it is shocking the lack of training and professionalism the staff at immigration and customs has.

Was the controversial PetroCaribe law necessary?
Financial Secretary Joseph Waight told Amandala this morning that the reason the Government of Belize introduced the new PetroCaribe Loans Act-now the subject of public debate-is that there is a major difficulty with the PetroCaribe loan transactions when it comes to meeting the requirement of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act of 2005, which stipulates that any loan agreement of $10 million or more has to be first approved by Parliament before any such commitment involving public funds is made. Waight told us in an interview today that, "the difficulty with the PetroCaribe program is that we don't know how much is going to come in terms of flows at any one time�" What we gleaned from our interview with Waight, though, is that the central issue is not that Government cannot take the loan request to Parliament before it is finalized, but that it would require a drastic alteration of the customary meeting cycles of Parliament-an important concession, since the Opposition People's United Party has said that it would be willing to go to Parliament as often as is required to give attention to the PetroCaribe loan agreements.

Restore Belize looks at conflict resolution
The Restore Belize organization, which was formed in May of 2012 as an initiative aimed at deterring crime and other social ills that affect youths, organized a conflict-mediation forum today at the ITVET compound in Belize City. The program features mediators and others that are trained in conflict stabilization and resolution who have trained over 140 persons to effectively address issues related to crime and violence as part of a pilot project called Mediators of Belize for Youth Service Providers. During today's session, those mediators, along with police officers, members of the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP), district representatives and other peer mediators discussed the impact of conflict mediation within their respective institutions, and charted a way forward for Restore Belize's conflict mediation program. One of the facilitators, Sandra Cadle, spoke to us about the event, its importance and the impact of conflict mediation in schools.

CCJ split on whether suspension of school admin violated rights
Two senior educators who were suspended by the Ministry of Education back in 2008-and whose careers remain on pause even though the courts have quashed their suspensions-had their appeals seeking constitutional redress dismissed in a 3-2 split decision by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). During its first itinerant sittings in the country of Belize, the CCJ announced its ruling in the case of Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo, former principal and vice principal of La Escuela Secundaria Technica de Mexico in San Roman, Corozal, saying that it would uphold the decision of the lower court-which had both agreed that their suspensions should be discontinued, but found that the suspension of the teachers did not truly violate their constitutional rights, as alleged. The administrators were suspended in 2008, following a series of mass sickouts by teachers at the school, as well as a slew of complaints by parents. The upheaval also occurred during a political transition, when there was a change in political administration, with the People's United Party being replaced by the United Democratic Party, as the ruling party.

Man, 27, drowns after saving stepdaughter, 20
A father of five lost his life in the process of saving his stepdaughter, who was drowning in the Old Belize River that runs behind Gracie Rock Village, located off Mile 22 on the George Price Highway, at around 4:30 p.m. this past Sunday, April 19. Amandala understands that Jamel Erin Canto, 27, was swimming at the popular site with a group of teenagers when his stepdaughter, 20, began having difficulty in the water. When Canto noticed what was happening, he went over and rescued her from the deep water, but after doing so, he paid the ultimate price. According to eyewitnesses, the young woman - who reportedly did not know how to swim - was saved by Canto and placed in a dorey; however, Canto unfortunately went underwater during the process and did not resurface.


Custom officials intercept a contraband operation
Custom officials intercept a contraband operation and confiscate over 40K in undeclared goods! Meanwhile the "banditos" remain unknown and absconded. We'll tell you about their follow up investigations in our 7pm News!

The Reporter

One charged for Treasury embezzlement
One employee of the Treasury Department was arraigned in the Magistrates Court on Friday for the misappropriation of more than $500,000. David Enriquez, a clerk at the Treasury Department, was read three separate counts of theft before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The charges against him allege that he embezzled the money in two $225,000 transactions plus a $47,000 transfer. Enriquez was denied bail and was remanded to the Hattieville prison until his next court appearance. His attorney will appeal to the Supreme Court for him to be granted bail next week. According to Oscar Selgado, Enriquez' attorney, maintains his client's innocence. He said Enriquez wasn't provided with any disclosure or proof against him to detail the nature of his implication in the matter.

BDF Ambulance overturns on the highway
A Belize Defense Force (BDF) pickup truck ambulance traveling on the Phillip Goldson Highway around 6:30 a.m. on Friday was involved in an accident and one person was injured in the incident. According to Inspector Frederick Gordon, officer commanding the Ladyville police formation, the accident happened near mile 13 of the Phillip Goldson highway. Gordon said their initial investigations have revealed that the BDF truck was attempting to overtake another vehicle in front of it when it clipped the vehicle and careened off the road, then overturned, he said. One person who was traveling inside the truck received minor injuries and was taken to the BDF camp to be treated. Officers at the scene took down information from both drivers and according to Gordon, he was not aware yet if any charges will be filed, but he was informed that it was the BDF truck that was at fault.

Oceana waiting for consultation with GOB on draft zonation plan for oil exploration
This week Oceana Belize held a press conference to explain the organization's position on the draft Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines, circulated to members of the NGO community by the government of Belize. At the press conference held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza on Thursday, Oceana Vice President Janelle Chanona, presented factual data submitted to the Ministry of Energy Science and Technology and Public Utilities during the consultation period. Chanona also expressed her disappointments in the Ministry's failure to upgrade the donation plan to include the input from the environmental organizations. She said that while the ministry has acknowledged that it has received Oceana's comments, no date has been set to continue consultations. "To see that the map and the plan is the same that was presented in 2011, is disappointing to say the least," she added.

Woman and teen shot at home
Wendy Lambey, 49, a resident of Curl Thompson Street and Aaron Munnings, 18, a neighbour, escaped death when a gunman ran through her yard on Friday night and shot them as they scoured for cover inside her home, occupied by several young children. Lambey told […]

Tour guide shot dead in front of daughter
Vern “Bird” Magdaleno, 35, a tour guide of Belize City, was shot dead in the presence of his daughter shortly after 8:00 p.m. on Friday at Titoe Fry Chicken at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Faber’s Road in Belize City. His killer, […]

National Security CEO speaks on police corruption
The Ministry of National Security says it will continue its zero tolerance policy against police corruption. The Chief Executive Officer in the ministry, Ret. Colonel George Lovell, speaking on the extensive work that the ministry has done to improve the working conditions for police officers, […]

Furious murder/suicide in Ladyville!
The shocking homicide/suicide which resulted in the death of Michael “Mike” Estell, 54, and his common-law-wife, Colleen Michelle Sharp, 30, rocked the Ladyville community on Sunday April 18 morning. An investigation and autopsy on the bodies has certified that Estell used his licensed .380 […]

Cop accused of teen rape
Police Constable Cyril Casimiro, attached to the Corozal Police Formation, is on remand at the Hattieville Prison after he was denied bail on a charge of rape upon a minor. The girl, 14, in the company of her mother, reported to Corozal police on Monday […]

Caribbean and Latin America partner with World Bank for catastrophe risk insurance
The Council of Ministers of Finance of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (COSEFIN) and CCRIF SPC (Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility), this week, signed a memorandum of understanding enabling Central American countries to join the facility to access catastrophe risk insurance. The […]

Mayor makes appeal for public to take care of public property
Mayor Darrell Bradley, is appealing to Belize City residents to take care of the public spaces that the Belize City Council renovates or upgrades for citizen enjoyment. Bradley, speaking at a launching of the new historical displays at the BTL Park on Princess Margaret Drive […]

FinSec says Treasury employee put on leave
An employee from the Treasury Department has been put on administrative leave until the completion of investigations into more than half a million dollars that were discovered to have been embezzled from that department. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight said the police and the Financial […]

Port CEO says no to proposed bargaining agreement
The Port of Belize has written to the Christian Workers Union (CWU) to inform them that they have rejected their most recently submitted Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) because they feel proper due diligence was not done. Port of Belize Chief Executive Officer Arturo Vasquez […]

NTUCB president speaks on Ray Davis’ controversy
National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) President Marvin Mora said despite everything that has been said in the media over the past week, the union has not requested the resignation of Senator Ray Davis, though all options are on the table. According to […]

Man charged with attempted murder
Eugene Reneau, 52, was remanded to the Hattieville Prison on Thursday on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and two counts of wounding, after he entered the house where his estranged common-law wife was staying on Saturday night, and chopped her […]

Bird flu costs Belize $3 million so far
This week the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that the avian influenza outbreak detected in Spanish Lookout in January has caused some $3 million in lost revenue to Belizean poultry farmers. Chief Executive Officer in the ministry, Jose Alpuche, explained that about 75,000 birds had tested […]

VIP ready to protest against the PetroCaribe Bill
The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), in a press conference on Wednesday, shared its criticisms of the controversial PetroCaribe Loan Act, announcing it is prepared to take its protest to the streets along with other issues of concern for the party. VIP candidate, […]

The issue of Mayan ancestral rights to land in the Toledo District, as now resolved by order of the Caribbean Court of Justice has been the most complicated, most devisive problem the Barrow Government has been called upon to face. The court order not only requires the government to respect […]

How much do we owe Petrocaribe? Documents indicate GOB has known all along
An agreement document between the Government of Belize and Alba Petro Caribe Belize Energy Limited (APBEL) has surfaced, revealing that GOB knows beforehand the specific sums of money it would be borrowing at any given time. According to Senator Mark Lizarraga, the agreement between […]

CCJ settles land rights case. Mayas want more than $1 million in compensation
The Government of Belize agreed this week that the Maya people of the Toledo District have a historic claim to their traditional village land, ending two decades of dissension in a consent order endorsed by the Caribbean Court of Justice. However GOB continues to say […]

Petrocaribe Bill 2015 under attack! - GOB launches PR campaign.
Faced with growing unease, controversy and outcry over a recently passed Petrocaribe Bill, the Government of Belize has launched a public relations media blitz. The PR initiative is led by UDP legal advisor Michael Young and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, and it has met with not much success. The business […]

Mystery corpse found in sea near highway
Police are asking for help from the public to identify corpse found floating in the sea today. The badly decomposed body was recovered by Police just after 4:00pm on Thursday evening, between miles five and six, just off the Phillip Goldson Highway, following a report by a resident in the […]

The Belize Times

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize Banking Industry is Stable
Two days ago, we reported that on May 1st 2015, the Belize Bank Duty Free Branch in northern Belize will close down. While many investors in the north have not been provided with a reason of the abrupt closure, the financial institution is once again on the spotlight. According to [�]

Belize City man charged for drugs found in traffic stop
Drug trafficking charges were filed against 34 year old Marlon Chavez, a welder of Gentle Avenue in Belize City, after police found marijuana on him during a traffic stop. According to police they were patrol in the vicinity of St. Joseph Street and Baymen Avenue when they saw [�]

BDF truck and civilian car in crash
This morning on the Philip Goldson Highway near Mile 13 at the junction with the entrance to the Los Lagos Subdivision there was a crash of two motor vehicles - one a jeep vehicle used by the Belize Defense Force (BDF) and a civilian vehicle. There were no [�]

UN Belize country team reports on work
Belize joined the United Nations four days after independence in 1981 and since then has been an active participant in the work of the umbrella organization of nations. Several pan-national organizing bodies of the UN have made their home here and contributed to national development in key ways, [�]

Fisherman sent to jail for outstanding fines over conch
Fisherman from Sarteneja in the Corozal District, 48 year old Sansermo Torres, has run afoul again of the law on possession of undersized conch, and it will cost him four years in jail. On Monday, Torres pleaded guilty to possession of 95 undersized conch. The law says that [�]

Treasury clerk charged for theft
Police have made an arrest in the massive theft of what amounts to just under $500,000 so far from the Government Treasury and the fingered man is 28 year old David Enriquez, a clerk with the Department. Today he was read charges of three counts of theft before Chief Magistrate [�]

"HOPE Punta Gorda gets a new building"
HOPE Punta Gorda is made up of a group of volunteers who saw it necessary to take care of the communities elder citizens. The group was formed back in 2004 and since then has grown bigger each year, helping more elderly folks with medical check-ups, food packages and engaging them [�]

Did his criminal past caught up with Castro?
Wednesday night murder of Punta Gorda resident, Frank Castro, has left the peaceful Indianville area, and the entire town in a state of shock and disbelief. Castro, who was known to the police and had recently been released from jail after serving a 21 year sentence, had turned his life [�]

Two arrested and charged for missing monies at Treasury Department
Two persons were arrested and charged today in connection with the missing monies from the Treasury Department. As we've previously reported, a Belizean Business analyst for the Treasury Department, and the Government of Belize, reported that on January 28th, of this year $225,296.97 was sent from the Treasury Department to [�]

Villagers in San Vicente receive water pump donation
San Vicente is one of the most remote villages in the Toledo District as it located 43 miles away from the Punta Gorda Town. Like many communities, San Vicente has seen its fair share of challenges, one of them being the lack of electricity. The village is the closes bordering [�]

Preparations for 2015 Agric. Show underway
The much anticipated National Agriculture and Trade show is only a week away and the final stages of setting up is currently underway. The event is one held annually under the auspices of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and will be hosted from May 1st to 3rd at the agricultural grounds in the Capital City Belmopan. Currently, construction teams are finishing the infrastructure improvements for this year's show, which promises to attract thousands of local and international visitors to the grounds. An official ceremony with the presence of invited guest, Governor General Sir Colville Young will signal the opening on Friday. Over the course of the weekend and as is customary, winners of the farmers of the year awards will be announced.v

A pair of fishermen fined for offenses
Belize is currently in closed season for lobster but the lure of a quick buck is irresistible for some and today it cost two fishermen more than $1,500 in fines. 45 year old Keith Barrow and 18 year old Jim Ramirez pleaded guilty to illegal possession of lobster during the closed season, engaging in commercial fishing without holding a valid license and using a vessel for commercial fishing without a valid boat license. On April 10, 2015 around 3:30 in the afternoon, Fisheries Department officers on patrol near Caye Chapel saw three men in a vessel identified as Darcia. The boat sped off as the officers approached and they gave chase. One of the men aboard jumped into the sea and escaped but the others, identified as Barrow and Ramirez, were apprehended.


My Yesterday: Winds, A Dog Training Cruise, Croc Hunting and A Pupusa
Yesterday the sun and the relatively high winds continued. "The Easter winds" or "The March/April Blow" - the late Spring is usually pretty blustery and warm in Belize. Perfect for our kite boarder from yesterday's post� and equally nice if you are taking a walk around town. No one in the hot sun ever cursed a cooling breeze. At lunch time yesterday (STRICT NOON IN BELIZE) I walked down the beach to Island Time Bar to watch a bit of dog training. It's just past beautiful Victoria House where the usually clear blue waters were a slightly muddy brown due to the high winds. Heather Beck, who is on the board of our local humane society and the founder of K9 Lifeline AND was featured on House Hunters International - Belize, is a dog trainer. And this past week, she has been leading an Education at Sea Cruise with Royal Caribbean.

International Sourcesizz

The Implementation of Sustainability Indicators in the Advancement of the Sustainable Tourism Industry
Recent research has proven that increasing numbers of today's tourists are concerned with environmental and social responsibility in the management practices of their chosen destinations. According to data collected by Centre on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (CESD) and the International Ecotourism Society (TIES), "it is important to the vast majority of [tourists] that their trip not damage local ecosystems. They are interested in patronising hotels that are committed to protecting the local environment, and increasingly view local environmental and social stewardship as a responsibility of the businesses they support." (Consumer Demand and Operator Support for Socially and Environmentally Responsible Tourism, 2005). According to additional research on tourism demand published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), "Sustainable Tourism is the paradigm of the future, the basis for attraction as well as a determining factor of the destinations' competitiveness. The adoption of Quality Norms and Environmental Sustainability Certification is driven by the National Programmes and is increasingly influenced by international markets. Such is the growth of regional standardisation."

11 Reasons to be Excited Southwest Airlines is Coming to Belize
Belize is a hot spot in the world right now. The booming little country sits atop many "World's Best" lists for travelers, retiree's, and families just like mine who want a different lifestyle. The English speaking country is bracing itself right now in the midst of its biggest tourism year - EVER. And the numbers are slated to continue rising. As a native Texas, I could not be more excited that Southwest Airlines will begin flying to Belize. October 15, 2015 will be the beginning of my more frequent travel back to Texas. Even though airfare hasn't been announced yet I can certainly tell you I will be switching from United to Southwest. Sorry, United. You're just too difficult. And your baggage fees keep getting higher. And $275 to change a flight? Its just too much. Can't wait to fire you, United. I bet I'm not alone.

Guatemala's tax scam, a very interesting read. VP has land in Belize? What was her secretary doing here for days? Interpol wants him arrested.
Guatemala‬'s current and former tax chiefs were detained on Thursday along with more than a dozen other suspects in a crackdown on a ring that allegedly defrauded the state through corruption and theft. The illicit scheme at Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT) profited from contraband and tax fraud at customs posts with the collaboration of senior and medium-ranking officials. Through allowing firms to under-report the amount of goods entering the country and by charging bribes, the ring waived taxes for approximately 500 incoming shipping containers between May 2014 and February 2015. During 8 months of investigation over 60,000 phone calls and some 6,000 electronic communications, as well as seizing written documents and photographs. From the recordings delivered to the court two code-names emerged, whose identities are still unknown: "the president" and "the lady." Judging by the tone and context of the conversations, investigators believe they had authority over the whole grouping.Authorities identified the alleged ringleader as Juan Carlos Monzon, private secretary to Vice President Roxana Baldetti. The arrests were the fruit of a probe by prosecutors and by the U.N. International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, which was set up to investigate and prosecute organized crime and its pernicious influence over the government and judicial system.

Treasure Cove Belize Supports DiCaprio Island Development
The developers of the proposed resort, Treasure Cove Belize, fully supports the proposed eco-conscious resort on the island of Blackadore Caye, owned by Leonardo DiCaprio. This private island development is just west of Ambergris Caye, on which the environmentally-conscious actor is partnering with NYC developer Delos for the resort, which will be called "Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island." The renowned actor and environmental activist has teamed up with the Four Seasons to develop the 104-acre tropical private island into a conscientious exclusive eco-luxury resort. Treasure Island Management, Ltd., incorporated in Belize, plans to build Treasure Cove Belize, the proposed largest Mega-Green Resort in the world, on the island of Drowned Caye, and has extensive plans drawn to incorporate sustainable practices that leave no carbon footprint. These environmental best practices also encompass economic and social benefits. Treasure Cove Belize is wholly committed to work with and support others in the ecotourism industry through involvement in public associations, environmental groups, governmental departments and through educational programs for the Belize citizenry. These programs will focus on environmental awareness, sustainability and conservation. One sustainability effort, among many, of Treasure Cove Belize includes the building and development of a coral propagation center as well as a seahorse sanctuary.

Belizean Journalist Visits Murray for "100,000 Strong in the Americas" Initiative
Murray State University is one of four places in America to host a Belizean journalist for a part of the "100,000 Strong in the Americas" initiative. The initiative's designed to increase educational exchanges between the US, the Americas and the Caribbean. Hipolito Novelo, reporter for LOVE FM in Belize, along with US Department of State contractor Julie Umstead, spoke to Kate Lochte on what the initiative's all about.

10 remote places where your cellphone won't work
Cockscomb Mountains, Belize: Walk just one minute off the road into this jaguar habitat, and you'll find yourself tangled in the jungle, complete with waterfalls, snakes and poisonous plants, says Galland. "It's as jungly as jungly can get." While he went deep into the wildlife sanctuary, visitors can follow hiking trails and easily find their way back to safety.

Jamaica signs MOU for integrated development of logistics hub
5 BILLION for a Jamaican technology hub. Technology is the future, peeps, not tourism.... On Wednesday, the government of Jamaica signed of a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) to pave the way for a possible US$5 billion investment in its planned logistics hub. The MOU, which was signed by the minister of industry, investment and commerce, Anthony Hylton, minister of transport, works and housing, Dr Omar Davies, and the proposing parties, Krauck Systems and Anchor Finance Group LLC, came about as a result of an unsolicited expression of interest (EOI) to the government. The expression of interest is a comprehensive funding and development package to allow for the build out of various elements of the global logistics hub initiative (GLHI). In response to this EOI, the government moved to put in place an MOU to facilitate discussions and negotiations with the proposing parties.

St Lucia government signs MOU for island-wide Wi-Fi
Saint Lucian residents and visitors are to benefit from a US$4 million Government Island-Wide Network Project (GiNet), aimed at improving the urban and rural digital divide and low internet penetration rate. The five districts that will be targeted during the first phase of the GiNet project are: Castries, Canaries, Dennery, Micoud and Vieux-Fort, where the necessary infrastructure will be placed in key public areas such as schools, community parks, and tourist attraction sites. During the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the GiNet project earlier this week, Taiwan ambassador, James Chang, disclosed that his government would be contributing US$3.28 million towards the GiNet project. The GiNet Project will be executed over four years, 2015-2018, and although the goal is to increase internet penetration from 11 percent to 30 percent over that period, the government of Saint Lucia will be embarking on several other initiatives that could realize a 50 percent internet penetration rate.


  • ITVET, Orange Walk annual expo and trade fair 2015, 5min. Hundreds of students and the wider community converged at the IT VET Campus in Orange Walk for their annual expo and trade fair. The event is one designed to feature mainly works from students from the various technical and vocational education and training sectors. Organizers say the expo aims at showcasing student innovations and creating bonds between the schools and community. Our newsteam was there and Reporter Maria Novelo filed this report.

  • CUSTOM OFFICIALS REMAIN ON HIGH ALERT NEAR KNOWN SMUGGLING HOTSPOTS IN THE NORTH, 4min. we told you about a massive contraband bust 12 miles behind the Village of August Pine Ridge on the Rio Hondo. Authorities said that a team of four Customs Officers moved in to the area where they observed five large dories with engines traveling across a waterway connected to the Rio Hondo and inside the vessels was a large volume or merchandise. Since the interception, authorities have been sorting out the undeclared good at the Orange Walk Customs office trying to determine a value. We followed up on the incident today to get a better understating of the sequence of events thereafter. Maria Novelo reports�..

  • ITVET, Orange Walk annual expo and trade fair 2015, 5min. Hundreds of students and the wider community converged at the IT VET Campus in Orange Walk for their annual expo and trade fair. The event is one designed to feature mainly works from students from the various technical and vocational education and training sectors. Organizers say the expo aims at showcasing student innovations and creating bonds between the schools and community.


  • Belize Silk Island, 6min.

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