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Today's Belize News: June 19, 2015 #505349
06/19/15 05:01 AM
06/19/15 05:01 AM
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Holiday Hotel celebrates 50 Years of Tourism Service to Belize
June 15th marked the 50th anniversary of The Holiday Hotel. Established in 1965, the hotel has since contributed its fair share in service to Ambergris Caye, Belize’s Tourism Industry and travelers visiting from across the globe. The story starts off in 1965, with Celi Nunez McCorkle. Before the installation of electricity, running water, streets, airstrips, or motorized boats; back when La Isla Bonita boasted only sandy roads and sailboat transportations to and from the island, Celi had a dream. She envisioned taking her hometown a step further, in creating an industry for the island by providing a resting place for these travelers that visited by boat. She believed in the beauty of Ambergris Caye and wanted to share it with the world. It was with that vision that the Holiday Hotel was born. What started off as a humble five room establishment with modest amenities, is now a 16 room hotel providing a tranquil, intimate beachside getaway to wanderers from around the world.

SPHS graduate injured in traffic accident
Gabriel Zetina a San Pedro High School (SPHS) 2015 graduate suffered major injuries in a traffic accident on Friday, June 12th. The incident occurred near Caribeña Fuel Station just south of Town core. Zetina suffered two critical fractures on his left leg and several other fractures to his lower foot and ankle. Due to this incident, the senior student was unable to attend his graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 15th. Zetina was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he is waiting on news if further surgeries will be needed to save his leg. According to Zetina, on Friday, he was driving a golf cart accompanied by other friends when a blue taxi van coming in the opposite direction, allegedly on the wrong side of the road, almost ran into them. “I was driving on my right, but the other vehicle was on the wrong side of the road coming straight to me. I swerved to the left to try and avoid a collision, and then I did a hard right to avoid running off the road, but when I did that, the golf cart flipped and fell on my left leg,” explained Zetina via a phone interview.

Chef Christy Bono Vacations in San Pedro
Christy Bono, a chef and restaurant owner from Southern California, USA is on vacation on Ambergris Caye. Her father was the late singer Sonny Bono, an American recording artist and producer who partnered with his second wife Cher as the popular duo Sonny & Cher. Christy became well known via her cooking and business skills. She has owned and run several upscale restaurants in Los Angeles and Long Beach over the past 25 years. She inherited the love for cooking from her father who owned a restaurant in West Hollywood. On Tuesday evening, June 16th, The San Pedro Sun had the honor of meeting Bono at Wine de Vine’s Tuesday wine tasting event. “I am truly happy to be in Belize and in San Pedro, the Belizean people are remarkably nice; I am really impressed with their kindness,” said Bono. When asked about her dining experience on Ambergris Caye, Christy definitely agreed Belizean food is good, “I have been savoring the local gastronomy and to be honest, I have no complaints. The local cuisine in San Pedro has really satisfied my taste buds. From the rice and beans to the tacos, fry jacks, pupusas etc. Every time I visit a new country I like to experience their culture, their traditional food.” However, she had hoped to find a good Italian restaurant in town.

Guatemalan Navy Vessel runs into Glover’s Reef Atoll
The Department of Environment (DOE) and Belize Fisheries Department are currently conducting an environmental damage assessment at Glover’s Reef Atoll where a Guatemalan Navy Ship ran aground into the reef. The incident occurred sometime in the late hour of Wednesday, June 10th, but a report was not made until on Thursday, June 11th. Apparently, the 65-foot vessel, bearing the marking GC-651 Tecum Uman, and enroute Isla Mujeres, Mexico, experienced mechanical problems and drifted into the crest of the reef. The grounding occurred about 500 meters north of Middle Caye. The vessel was removed on Saturday, June 13th.

The 2015 International Costa Maya Festival® is set to go!: Presenting Miss Costa Rica!
The San Pedro Sun is delighted to announce that the preparations for this year’s International Costa Maya Festival® are well underway. Naturally, readers will be delighted to know that the Reina de la Costa Maya delegates from all eight countries have already confirmed their attendance. The pageant is scheduled to take place on Thursday August 6th, the first night of the festival. But what about the remaining two nights? Well, fear not, the committee has been working feverishly behind the scenes to ensure they bring you music, entertainment and culture once again! After the pageant kicks off the festival with beauty and color, the Friday night festivities will include a lot of culture and some amazing musical performances. Mexican Dance Troupe Alma Caribeña will grace us with their presence, and joining them will be the Belize Dance Company, an international DJ (to be announced at a later date) and of course, the mighty GILHARRY 7 Band!!

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Dia De San Pedro 2015
Schedule of Events Saturday, June 20th: La Bajada Service at the RC Church, 4am. Novena, 5am. And an exhibition of fishing, the festival and San Pedro at the Lobsterfestival in Central Park. Each night, The Novena will take place at the Roman Catholic Church at 6pm. Friday, June 26th There will be a karaoke competition and dance performance with an after party in the Old Football field. Saturday Night festivities continue in the Sporting Area with dancers, a marimba performance by the Benque Youth Academy and more. Sunday June 28th. There is a Fishing Rodeo.

Please note the new LPG prices your respective area.

First Ever Invest in Belize Seminar Held in the Republic of China (Taiwan)
The Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan) H.E. Cherie Nisbet hosted the 2015 Invest in Belize: Investment Seminar at the Palais de Chine Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 15, 2015. The event was the first of its kind and was held with the aim of attracting Taiwanese investment to Belize. A small delegation from Belize was invited by the Embassy of Belize to attend: Mr. Lincoln Blake, Director of the Policy and Investment Unit of the Ministry of Trade; Mr. Brian Lin, Manager of BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE; and Mr. Hero Balani, Investment Associate of BELTRAIDE. The seminar was attended by approximately 40 potential Taiwanese investors. The presentation focused on the areas of key interest for Belize: Tourism and Leisure, Medical Tourism, Offshore Outsourcing, Agri-Business and Agro-Processing, Aquaculture and Mariculture, Renewable Energy, and Investment in the Free Zone.

Power interruption 6:00am to 6:05am, Friday, June 19: entire Stann Creek and Toledo Districts
BEL to change transformer tap at La Democracia Substation.

Wildfire Gallery Art Exhibit
There's a new art gallery in town: Wildfire. They are launching a new art exhibit tomorrow night, the 19th, from 5pm to 8pm. Nihanda Higinio will be unveiling her mixed media collection entitled 'The Universal Language of Art.'

Sacred Heart College 2015 Graduation
Congratulations to all the SHC graduates! They had a great graduation, and Kenny Lamb was there to capture the moment.

Rice University students capture wildlife of Las Cuevas Research Station in the Chiquibul through field cameras: Tapir

University students capture wildlife of Las Cuevas Research Station in the Chiquibul through field cameras: Puma

Rice University students capture wildlife of Las Cuevas Research Station in the Chiquibul through field cameras: Ocelot

Louisiana Army National Guard supports Exercise Tradewinds in Belize
The Louisiana Army National Guard (LANG) 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is in Belize in support of Phase II of exercise Tradewinds 2015, lending their training knowledge to all participating nations. “We’re here to support our partner nations across various military branches in any medical case they require,” said Capt. Rachel Ward, a nurse from Louisiana Medical Command (MEDCOM), assigned to LANG for the exercise. The Pineville, Louisiana, native added, “We have a water purification section taking well water and ensuring it’s purified then taking it to the troops. And a food service section helping to prepare and serve meals to all of our partners here in theater.” Operating from four sites, the guardsmen have two medics in the jungle, where the U.S. Marines are working jointly with special forces from participating countries; two medics who are working an exercise element along a river, and two medics assigned to weapons proficiency training, embedded with the British Army Training Support Unit, Belize. This is in addition to three medics, a nurse and a physician’s assistant at Price Barracks, the exercise headquarters on the outskirts of Belize City.

BEL Holds Annual General Meeting of Shareholders - Dividend Payments Increase by 87.5%
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is holding its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders this evening to report to its Shareholders, the Company’s achievements and dividend payments for the year ending December 31, 2014. Shareholders will receive news of net earnings of $36.2 million. As a result, BEL’s Board of Directors has approved dividend payments of $0.15 per share for 2014 – an 87.5% increase compared to 2013. BEL’s Mission “To provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize” is being proclaimed as the driving force behind the Company’s business plan, initiatives and decisions. Lowering electricity rates for the fifth consecutive time since 2013 is being highlighted as one of BEL’s major accomplishments under the new leadership. In addition to the recent decision to reduce the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) to $0.35 cents per kWh, the Company is also reporting a 51% reduction in the frequency of power interruptions since 2010.

Channel 7

Guatemalan Ambassador Rejects Narrative of Five Belizeans Held In Santa Cruz
On Monday, a new Guatemalan Ambassador presented his credentials to Governor General, Sir Colville Young in Belmopan. He is Manuel Roldan Barillas – a senior diplomat with 26 years in the Guatemalan Foreign service. He has served as Ambassador in Canada and Brazil but calls Belize his most important posting so far. And he enters at an interesting time – right when a public case is being made in Belize that the Guatemalan military is becoming increasingly aggressive against Belizeans – both out armed forces and our civilians. Today Roldan deflected the suggestion that his country is becoming increasingly hostile towards Belizeans. We started by asking him about the detention of five Belizeans over the weekend in Santa Cruz, Guatemala. H.E. Manuel Roldan Barillas - New Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize "if you were to read the note that your government sent to the OAS office, it states that we had a very active role in trying to sort things out and that's exactly what happened. I haven't got the official information yet, the OAS hasn’t pronounced itself yet as to what was requested of it. It's something that happens, human relations are not easy sometimes and they have a version and we have a version - we have to try to conciliate those. We're happy to see that everything was taken care of rapidly, that they are back in Belize and let's see how it goes from there."

Lots at Stake In Stake Bank Case
For months now, developer Mike Feinstein has been in court against the owners of the Fort Street Tourism Village. He's being trying to broach a resolution with village owners Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Diamonds International which would see his Stakebank Cruise port move forward without any lawsuits. All attempts have failed, and so now, both sides have commenced litigation before Justice Courtney Abel. As viewers may know already, Feinstein is challenging the legality of the head tax that is collected from each cruise tourist, which is then shared between the owners of FSTV, and BTB on behalf of the Government of Belize. His issue is that all tax revenues must be paid into the Government's Consolidated Revenue Fund, but in this case, most of it goes to the Tourism Village. FSTV has countersued saying that if this head tax is indeed illegal, then both the Government and Mike Feinstein, who originally helped to craft this agreement, should pay them an award of damages. The Government's position is that this "head tax" is not really a tax; it's more of a fee that is charged to each cruise passenger entering Belize.

Felix Turns Himself Into Police
Shooting victim Mark Gentle died in the first week of June – and since then police have been waiting to bring murder charges against Maurice Felix – but he’s been on the run from police. His brother was charged for Gentle’s murder on June 9th – and this morning after nine days on the run, 30 year old Maurice turned himself in. His charge of attempted murder was upgraded to murder when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Maurice is also charged with the attempted murder of Mark Gentle’s mother, Pamela Cumberbatch. So Maurice now joins Emory on remand – and they are to return to court on September 8. Last year, the brothers came off eight years on remand for a murder after three abortive trials for the murder of Mitchum Herredia.

ADU Busts The Heroin House In Ranchito
Today, four persons who were caught with heroin on Tuesday afternoon appeared in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court. They are 51 year old Fermin Velasquez, 25 year old Eber Rivera, 38 year old mother of two Alba Velasquez and the odd man out, Chinese hotel owner Kua Hsiung Liao known as Peter. They were all charged for trafficking 16.5 pounds of heroin and remanded to prison until September third. Now, 16.5 pounds is a lot with a street value of 1.4 million US dollars – according to figures posted on the internet. So how were they caught? Well it was the anti-drug unit –which moved on a house in Ranchito, Corozal on Tuesday at 4:30 pm. The police noticed that the Chinese businessman had been frequenting the house – which didn’t fit, because it was quite run down. That caused police to suspect something, and when they raided the building they found Velasquez, Rivera and Peter in a backroom with 7 parcels of heroin looking very surprised. They were downstairs while Alba Velasquez and her two under aged children were upstairs.

Man Remanded After Burning Up Wife
34 year old Joel Pech of Santa Clara Village in the Corozal District appeared in Magistrate’s Court today after he tried to burn up his wife on Monday night. He was charged for attempted murder harm and aggravated assault. He was remanded and more charges are expected to be brought. His 36 year old wife Maria told police that she was cleaning some aluminium to sell when Pech woke up and started cursing her out. He then lashed her with a machete and when she ran, he stoned the machete at her, but it missed. She then caught her, drafed her by the hair and locked her up in the kitchen where he dowsed her with kerosene and tried to light her on fire, but she managed to wash off some of the accelerant. He still managed to light only her forearm but she doused it in water.

Krismar Will spend At Least Eight
Krismar Espinosa was today sentenced to 16 year for the manslaughter of 24 year old Rachel Chun in 2007. He’s been on remand since then, and based on time served, he will serve 8 more years for the killing. He was convicted earlier this month after a jury of 12 was unable to reach a unanimous verdict of guilty for murder - so they found him guilty of manslaughter. In September of 2007, Chun was believed to have been taken into an abandoned building in Santa Familia, sexually assaulted and then bludgeoned with a cement block. She was found days later, half naked and decomposing. She was last seen with Esipnoza in front of her home. The 26 year old Espinoza still has another murder trial pending. He was accused of killing his cell mate Keon Swasey on Christmas Eve of 2009. He had gotten off, but the Court of Appeal ruled in 2014 that he must face a new trial for the same charge.

Capital Cops Got A 357 Magnum
A gun seizure in Belmopan: police found a Magnum pistol and ammunition in the Maya Mopan area yesterday. Yesterday morning at around 11:45 Belmopan Police, Special Branch and K-9 unit searched a vacant lot on Salvapan Street Extension in the Maya Mopan area. They found a silver six shooter .357 Magnum Calibre Ruger Brand Pistol. About 200 feet away 6 live .38 rounds of ammunition along with 6 live 9mm rounds of ammunition were found wrapped in a grey under shirt in some bushes. No one was in the area at the time of the search so all items were deposited as found property.

All Along The Watchtower
Today a new fire observation tower was inaugurated at the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area. This management area is known as the largest private protected area and the best managed in Belize. That status is being maintained with the construction of a new fire observation tower at the management area. While its main purpose is to allow rangers to more effectively detect and control fires in the area –the Executive Director of Program for Belize says it’s serves as more than just a fire watch tower. We traveled to the management area today to find out more. Courtney Weatherburne Reporting… This single column 40 foot cement structure was erected in 1990 and served as the fire tower at the East Gate post of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management area. But it has over served its purpose and now it has been replaced with a larger, sturdier more modern fire observation tower. The new stainless steel tower has a 20 foot wide base and stands 60 feet high. This folding stick chair - mouldy and old – rests at the top of the tower overlooking the wide-open landscape of lush shrubs and pine Savannah. It’s a breath taking view in the somber light of an overcast morning

UDP Pawpa Mena Says People Power Not Petrocaribe Will Make Difference In Dangriga
Next week Monday is nomination day for the Dangriga Constituency when Anthony Sabal will be formally entered in the by-election as the PUP’s candidate. Frank “Pawpa” Mena will be on the other side of the political divide as the UDP candidate. He has been UDP’s standard bearer for a year longer, and so, it is perceived that he has an edge over Sabal, who was named as the Opposition’s replacement for Ivan Ramos one month ago. Last night, Mena was in Belize City, and we asked him about the sudden opportunity he’s being presented with to possibly be elected to the House of Representatives: Frank “Pawpa” Mena – UDP Standard Bearer, Dangriga "I have a committee who's working very diligently and getting things together. So the nomination is on Monday and we're already doing the ground work, the invitations - telling everybody to come out. We start our march to nomination from in front of Ms. Hortence's house at the corner at St. Vincent and we mark to the town hall and after that there is a big rally at the central plaza.

Burglar Got Big Bills From BIL
The Belize Infrastructure Limited at the Market Square in Belmopan was burglarised on Tuesday. The Administrative Assistant 27 year old Aura Montes reported to police that between 4:46 on Tuesday evening and 8:45 on Wednesday morning her workplace was burglarised. An assortment of items were stolen including 1 Dell Laptop, 1 Epson brand Projector, 1 white Oyster blender, 3 Canon calculators and 1 radio all to a total value over $6,000. The thief or thieves broke into the building through the roof by screwing off one of the zinc sheets. Police have no one detained as yet.

Want More From Chetumal?
With hundreds of thousands of Belizeans spending millions of dollars in Chetumal annually – you wouldn’t think that the southern capital of Quintana Roo has to promote itself too much, right? Well, think again: The Embassy of Mexico and the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism organized a Tourism and Commercial Mission today at the Institute of Mexico. Participants included hotels, restaurants, tour operators, travel agencies and other commercial companies from Chetumal, Bacalar and Mahahual. The objective is to promote products and services that Southern Quintana Roo has to offer, as well as to encourage regional integration between Belizean and Mexican companies. The Mexican Ambassador told us more:… Carlos Quesnel -Ambassador of Mexico to Belize "As we all know, Belize and Mexico we have a very good relationship but we also have a very good potential. This potential can be realised through more trade, more commerce and more influx of Belizean visitors to Mexico and more Mexican visitors to Belize. So we are very happy that we have this opportunity today to share this event with Mexicans and Belizeans together - trying to look for new opportunities for business.

The BTIA Bi-Annual
The Belize Tourism Industry Association held its 30th Bi-Annual General Meeting today at the Princess Hotel. The meeting, which was attended by members from across the country, touched topics such as the core importance of customer service from upper management to frontline staff and the importance of teamwork. It was an all-day event - and we stopped in this morning. John Burgos – Executive Director "We have the BTB as I mentioned before, we're going to be doing a proposal for the final destination chapters. Currently we're officially launching the local ad campaign. With the slogan, discover how to be a Belizean traveller and you can sign on for the hashtag #belizeantraveller. We already sent the information, you should be able to sign on basically we want you guys to be able to provide packages to promote local businesses. In other words your family, teenagers, who ever is going to be able to travel country wide this year, especially during the slow season.

San Salvador Expert Says Yes To Min Of Housing
Last night, we showed you day one of the Housing Ministry’s workshop organised to come up with a National Housing Policy. The goal is to create an action plan which will attract more international funding agencies to look favourably on proposals to provide affordable housing to needy citizens. The Salvadoran Facilitator told the media today that they are impressed with the enthusiasm from the Housing Agencies who participated in the workshop: The Housing workshop ended this evening.

The Importance OF Being Cecile
She touched down this afternoon at the PGIA in true -bad gyal- style. We're taking about Jamaican reggae artist Cecile. The reggae songstress is in Belize to perform two shows. This time she didn’t come alone – she brought along one of dancehalls newest female artists -who goes by the name of Amanyea. You might know her as a former Miami Heat dancer – but she is singing now. 7news caught up with the crew. The first show is tomorrow night at Club Elite and then Cecile will hit the stage on Saturday night in Dangriga.

Woodrow Rolling SouthWest To Honduras
According to reports, the Belize National Team goalkeeper, Woodrow West has signed with the Honduran semi professional team, El Progresso. They met with West yesterday evening at Yim Saam restaurant in Belmopan and finalised terms. This picture from PLUSTV shows the 29 year old with a Progresso Team Jersey. Reports said that the same Club Deportivo Progresso would be meeting with super striker Deon McCauley today to discuss him playing for them. We could not reach McCauley for comment. Both players are currently contracted to local teams in Belize – which would have to grant a release.

BEL Nets Big Bucks
Right now at the Radisson, BEL is having its Annual General Meeting. The company will declare a dividend of 15 cents per share, which is up almost 90% from last year. But even more impressive is the 36.2 million dollars in net earnings for the year ended December 2014. The Company is also reporting a 51% reduction in the frequency of blackouts since 2010. All this is good, but lamentably, for a company that is wholly publicly owned, BEL does not open its Annual Meetings to the media as do the other utilities BTL and BWSL.

Channel 5

Woodrow West Signed By Honduras Progresso
Within days of the big win against the national football team of the Dominican Republic, the goalkeeper who pulled off amazing saves for Belize is moving on from the Jaguars. [...]

Maurice Felix Surrenders…Is Remanded on Murder Charge
Relatives of murder suspect, Maurice Felix, confirmed to us today that early this morning, he handed himself into police custody.  But strangely, when Maurice and his sister visited the police [...]

67K of Marijuana Found by Checkpoint Cops
This evening, a group of four persons, who were busted inside a Cherokee jeep, were remanded to the Belize Central Prison, after the prosecutor objected to bail due to the [...]

PACT Act Amendments Tabled in Cabinet
Amendments to the PACT Act which were allegedly tabled at Cabinet have been the cause of much speculation and even concern among N.G.O.s in Belize. Some representatives we spoke to [...]

N.G.O.s Have Concerns About Amendments
Among the complaints we’ve heard about the proposed amendments is that there is much more power being vested in the Minister, and apparently less inclusion of N.G.O.’s and less dependence [...]

Guatemalan Ambassador Admits Incursions Are Not Being Controlled
On Monday, the new Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Estuardo Roldan, was sworn in to assume his diplomatic mission in Belize. He begins his appointment at a time when there [...]

He Hopes to Rebuild Relationship Between the Countries
Ambassador Roldan says that his primary focus will be to build the relationship between Guatemala and Belize. And one of his priorities is to help alleviate the pressures on the [...]

Belize Named as One of World’s Worst Tax Havens
On Wednesday, Moody’s Investors Service reported that Belize’s debt is unsustainable. Tonight, we report that Belize is among fourteen Caribbean countries blacklisted by the European Union as the world’s worst [...]

New Fire Tower for Rio Bravo Protected Area
Nestled in the far reaches of the Belize River Valley is the Rio Bravo Protected Area, a large and lushly forested zone where flora and fauna thrive. But like other [...]

Supreme Court Examines Feinstein/FSTV/G.O.B. Relationship
Can the Government of Belize make agreements with a private party concerning another private party’s operation of his/her business? Can the Government cede collection of revenue by taxes to a [...]

No Legislative Support for Head Tax
The so-called head tax, paid by cruise ship passengers to enter Belize, is collected by the Belize Tourism Board (B.T.B.) and shared with the Belize City Council, Protected Areas Conservation [...]

Marshalleck Says G.O.B. Misrepresented Itself
Feinstein agreed that the original agreement for the village in 2001 designated it the only port of entry for cruise ships in Belize District for fifteen years, this has subsequently [...]

Butane Prices Down
As of midnight tonight, there will be a drop in the cost of butane gasoline. The government, in a press release from the Supplies Control Unit, announced today that effective [...]

San Pedro to Host LGBT Pride Week
In news that will surely fire off much heated debate on the social media, News Five has confirmed that from September fifth to September twelfth, members of the LGBT community [...]

More Works Underway on F.F.B. Football Pitch
The football pitch at F.F.B. headquarters in Belmopan has been an unending source of frustration for national team players and executive members. But not anymore. If you watched the home [...]

B.T.I.A. President Reveals 10 Short Term Goals
The Belize Tourism Industry Association is celebrating thirty years. And with those thirty years, the association has grown tremendously, just as much as the industry. The association president says that [...]

Mexican Embassy Hosts Trade Mission
The Mexican Embassy today hosted a half day trade mission for Mexican businesses to meet with local businesses. The aim is to build a relationship and forge business opportunities that [...]

Healthy Living: Emergency Apps by Red Cross
With the hurricane season upon us, the Belize Red Cross has released two new emergency apps that are tailored to meet the needs of the country. The first app basically [...]


Man Slapped With Three Charges On Trying To Set Wife On Fire
Joel Alfredo Pech, a Belizean laborer of Santa Clara Village in the Corozal District, has been charged for the crimes of attempted murder, harm, and aggravated assault. The charges were filed against him following investigations into a report made by his wife, thirty six year old Maria Pech. Pech told police that on Monday of this week, at about seven thirty in the night, she was cleaning some aluminum to sell while her husband was asleep inside their home when he woke up and began insulting her and when she tried to go inside he began threatening her and her children. At that point, Pech says Joel came outside wielding a machete with which he lashed her on her left leg. The woman told police that she ran but he set chase after her, threw the machete at her but missed. She reports that things got worse when she returned home.

Espinosa Get 16 Years In Prison For Manslaughter
Sentencing for 26 year old Krismar Espinosa was held this morning at the Northern Session of the Supreme Court. Presiding judge was Hurbert Lord and Espinosa’s defence attorney was Leo Bradley. On June 5th 2015, Espinosa was found not guilty for murder but guilty of a lesser charge for manslaughter when it comes to the death of then 24 year old Rachel Cicely Chun. In court today, after 4 witnesses were called for the mitigation plea, Judge Lord sentenced Espinosa to 16 years imprisonment. Viewers may recall that in September of 2007, Espinosa was accused for the murder of Chun. Chun’s badly decomposed body was removed from an unfinished concrete house on Santa Familia Street in Orange Walk Town. At the crime scene, a bloody cement block, which was believed to be the murder weapon, was also found. That same day, Krismar Espinosa, an Orange Walk resident, who was only seventeen years old at the time, was arrested since he was the last person Chun was seen with and due to the conversations he had following the murder.

Consumers Will Get $3.00 Reduction On Price For Butane
We start off this segment of the newscast with some good news. Effective tomorrow, consumers will pay $3.00 less for a 100 pound cylinder of Liquid Petroleum Gas. A bulletin from the Supplies Control Unit reveals that the new controlled price per 100 pound cylinder imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company Limited from Pemex in Mexico will drop $3.00 in Orange Walk Town going from $91.00 to $88.00. In Corozal, consumers will now pay a new price of $87.00 dollars. The controlled price of LPG imported by Belize Western Energy Ltd, Zeta Gas and Gas Tomza from within Central America now stands at $86.00 dollars for Orange Walk Town and $85.00 for consumers in Corozal. The across the board decrease of $3.00 dollars is attributed to a current production boom in North America that has led to a downward pressure in oil derivatives including LPG. It is of note that compared to last year; prices per cylinder are $32.00 lower this year.

Mexicans Claim Mistreatment At The Corozal Free Zone
There are reports surfacing that there is a surge of incidence of violence against Mexicans at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. There is a full write up on the issue circulating on Facebook. According to that report, the rate of violence against Mexicans is rising and fast. The report even states that the level of aggression and bad treatment has risen up to seventy percent from last year. The write-up goes on to criticize and even discriminate against Belizean culture as being one of arrogance, adding that this is clearly demonstrated at the Belizean border. The author claims that there is rampant discrimination against Mexican nationals and makes the comparison to when Belizeans cross into Chetumal where they are treated with great hospitality. Of course we remind viewers of news articles we aired and which were reported on Mexican media in Chetumal of the growing incidence of robberies and abuse of Belizeans by Mexican taxi drivers and at grocery stores.

Belize Has New Israeli Ambassador
The beginning of a new relationships between the Guatemalan and Israeli communities have commenced as Manuel Roldan of Guatemala and Oren Bar El of Israel were sworn in as new ambassadors to Belize. Israel and Guatemala share a long history together; Israel provided weapons to the Guatemalan government during its genocidal civil war. Israel also became Guatemala’s main arms supplier in the 1970’s after the United States refused to supply them with weapons. Ironically, those very weapons were used for causing threats along our Belizean Borders. But it is a new decade, and despite the disorderly history between Guatemala and Belize, Israeli Ambassador, Bar El, assures the public that Israel is unbiased to the disputes. He personally believes that the disputes between Guatemala and Belize can be solved without Israeli input.

Three Men and One Woman Remanded For Heroin Bust In Corozal
They were found in possession of 7.4 kilos of heroin and tonight they are paying the price for committing the crime. Twenty five year old Eber Rivera of San Joaquin Village, Corozal, 51 year old Fermin Velasquez of Ranchito Village, Corozal, 51 year old Kua Liao, Chinese businessman of Mile 8, George Price Highway and 38 year old Salvadoran domestic Alba Velasquez of Ranchito Village, Corozal are spending their first night at the Hattiville Prison after being arraigned this morning at the Corozal Magestrates Court for drug trafficking. As reported last night, the Police Anti-Drug Unit was on a special operation when they searched a residence located near the junction of the Phillip Goldson Highway and the Maya Airstrip road where all four persons were in. There authorities found seven parcels of suspected heroin which amounted to 7, 418 grams. All four will remain in priosn until their next court date. We understand they will apply for bail at the Supreme Court level.


Assistant Coach Believes Football Match was Fixed
Three football players are being investigating by CONCACAF and UNCAF for allegedly match-fixing. The complaint suggests that the game played by the Verdes and BDF FC on April 29 of this year was fixed by the three players. That complaint was made by the Assistant Head Coach for FFB, Charlie Slusher, who told Love News […]

Love Foundation Holds Awards Breakfast Event
Several persons from the private and public sectors as well as the general public attended a Breakfast meeting this morning at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The event was the Love Foundation’s first Awards Breakfast geared at presenting to its stakeholders, the activities and causes that the organization has undertaken over the […]

Butane Goes Down Three Dollars
Friday, June 19 will see a change in butane prices as per the information coming out of the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection. According to the release, the new controlled price per one hundred pound cylinder for liquid petroleum gas, imported from PEMEX in Mexico and distributed by Belize […]

Ambassador Nisbet Hosts Investment Seminar
The Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Cherie Nisbet hosted the 2015 Invest in Belize: Investment Seminar on Monday. The event was the first of its kind and was held with the aim of attracting Taiwanese investment to Belize. The delegation comprised of Lincoln Blake, Director of the Policy and Investment Unit […]


Housing Ministry prepares new policy; grants for repairs available
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is rarely heard from but they continue to work at solving the problems of Belizeans in acquiring and maintaining proper housing. Today it embarked on the creation of a policy on establishing social housing for the country...

Man shot in Lord’s Bank
A man shot Tuesday night is in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. 28 year old Jorge Caseres was socializing at a residence in Lord’s Bank village around 8:46 in the evening when someone knocked on the main front door...

Husband accused of attempted murder of wife
A husband is facing charges for the attempted murder of his wife. 36-year-old Maria Pech, a housewife of Santa Clara village, Corozal District, reported that on Monday June 15 at about 7:30p.m. she was in her back yard when her husband Joel Pech assaulted her with a machete...

Four charged for trafficking heroin
Four persons have been charged with drug trafficking charges in the North. On Tuesday June 17 at about 5:15 p.m.,  Police Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) were conducting operations within the Corozal District when they  searched  a residence in Ranchito Village  and found seven parcels of suspected heroin...

Court to decide on sentence for convict
The Court of Appeal heard a second appeal by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn Vidal today in relation to the sentence given to Wilbert Cuellar of Orange Walk...

Man charged for encounter with police
A man who menaced a police officer with a firearm and then tried to run away has been charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition...

Four Belizeans bestowed the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Four Belizeans were today bestowed the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of the 2015 New Year Honours. The honours were conferred by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at today’s Investiture Ceremony...

Is Woodrow West being drafted for the international football league in Honduras?
Is Belizean goalkeeper Woodrow West being drafted for the international football league in Honduras? Plus news has been informed that today, members of El Progreso, the football club that wants West on their team, met with the 29 year old star goal keeper to finalize the documents...

Re: Today's Belize News: June 19, 2015 [Re: Marty] #505350
06/19/15 05:01 AM
06/19/15 05:01 AM
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

The Guardian

Petro keeps rolling in Dangriga
On June 1, a contract was signed between Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) and Hubert Usher and Sons Construction for the complete renovation of the Carl Ramos Stadium. The project will cost some 1.2 million dollars and on June 15 the first phase of the construction got underway. The Carl Ramos football pitch is one of the few, if not the best, in the country featuring a natural grass field. It has excellent natural drainage, proper slope and planarity. Over the years it has been well maintained, though it has been highly utilized. The rest of the facilities however were in definite need of refurbishment and new construction where major facility gaps existed. That will now be addressed The project will include the construction of a center building to hold the ticketing / entrance space, VIP and Media covered space and the accommodation of bleachers for 800+ along with bleachers for general admission fans. The facilities will also include public restrooms and concession facilities.

Jaguars enter third round of World Cup Qualifiers
There is no question that Government will make another significant contribution to the Belize Football Jaguars to assist in preparations for the third round of World Cup Qualifiers. No decision has been made on the amount to be donated or manner in which Government will assist but that should be decided after consultation with FFB executive. In 2013, GOB covered the travelling expenses of the Gold Cup contending team with a $50,000 donation and supported the decisions of nationally owned companies and statutory bodies to make donations. One person close to the Adminsitration says, “There is no chance that the national team will miss the third round because of weak support from Government.” He says, “If anything, football is the most lucky sport because the Prime Minister and all the senior Ministers are huge football crazies.” The Jaguars qualified for the third round of the 2018 World Cup in Russia with an impressive three-nil victory over a higher ranked Dominican Republic team. After beating the Dominican Republic two Deon McCauley goals to one on Thursday, June 11, at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium in Santo Domingo, the Jaguars returned home for a match at the FFB Stadium in the capital city, Belmopan. Hundreds of enthusiastic Belizeans turned out and purchased tickets to the most expensive sporting event in Belize’s history; a sure sign of genuine love for the Jaguars.

C – Ray Cycling Club Youth Series 2015
The C-Ray Cycling Club Youth series for 2015 commenced on Sunday 14 June, 2015 at 1:00 pm on Princess Margaret Drive in front of the Marion Jones Stadium. Some 60 children registered to participate in 8 different categories.

Mayor Humphreys rolls out tax dollars into Dangriga’s development
These days, just about every infrastructure project that is being seen is thought to be Petro Caribe rolling, and while a significant number of those projects are indeed Petro-Caribe financed, it is not all being done through that program. One municipality in which that is the case is Dangriga. Having been in office for 100 days, the Dangriga town council has been able to prove that while Petro Caribe financing is a blessing, much can be done with existing resources. According to Mayor Francis Humphreys, through prudent financial management, he's been able to finance a number of projects from recurrent revenue from the town council itself. The repairing of John's Creek flood gate is one such project. For over three years the flood gate which was a major flood mitigation mechanism for residents in the Wagaerale and Benguche Areas of the town was not operational. That meant that during the rainy season residents would be flooded out. Over the past few days, with finances from the municipal government, the John's Creek flood gate was repaired.

Contracts signed for Cayo Central Constituency
A number of contracts have recently been signed for works in the Cayo Central Division. The good news comes as Chief Engineer Lennox Bradley, says the source of the funding for the new projects will be coming from Petrocaribe. The contracts just signed include the building of the Santa Elena Health Clinic, worth $270,000.00 and when completed will shorten the time for residents to access medical care. (Traditionally residents; especially the weak and elderly have had to travel to the San Ignacio Community Hospital many miles away.) The contractor who signed is Luis Avella and he is scheduled to start works on June 29 and is expected to complete the project in 16 weeks. Under the new contracts, two community centers will be built, one in San Antonio at a cost of $161,426.80 and the other in Cristo Rey at a cost of $90,592.07. The contractors for these two projects are Pedro Gutierrez and Carmelo Pech respectively. The works are to start on June 22 and the expected time of completion for both projects is 16 weeks.

Belizeans detained by Guatemalan armed forces
Five Belizeans living in the District of Toledo took a trip into the Guatemalan village of Santa Cruz, which is the neighbor of the southern village of Jalacte. They went to have a nice road trip for the day and ended up being detained and criminally charged by Guatemalan law enforcement. They claim that they were breaking no laws of that country, but Guatemalan soldiers wrongfully accused them of being drunk and disorderly. As a result Ray Martinez, Ashton Mckenzie, Rafael Cus, Rutilio Cal, and Mitchell Romero had to plea guilty to a charge that they assert absolute innocence of. To understand why these young men would willingly enter into Guatemalan territory for such an outing, readers must understand the dynamics between the Belizean village of Jalacte and the Guatemalan Village of Santa Cruz. The border between these two communities is completely unregulated, and has been for years. There are no Customs and Immigration facilities to regulate the flow of persons on either side. Because of that, an interesting relationship has developed where residents of Toledo travel over to Santa Cruz every day to buy cheap groceries from that side, which have less taxes. Some also go over there and sell their produce, and in some instances it is easier to get goods and services from Santa Cruz, than it is to get them from Punta Gorda Town. Strictly speaking, that’s contraband goods that are flowing in an out, but because it has become such an entrenched way of life, for Toledo, it is seen as normal. And, since the Road to Jalacte has been paved, there are specific bus runs which take residents of the south from whatever village they are from to Jalacte on daily runs to conduct business.

Community Center in Calla Creek being refurbished
4 the World volunteers from Calla Creek Village along with the Village Chairman Saul Uck and 4 the World's Executive Director Robert Keith Froom started a project to refurbish the village's Community Center on Sunday of this past weekend. Calla Creek is a Western Village by the Belize Guatemala border and has the unpredictable Mopan River going by it. In a press release from 4 the World, “..The Community Center is an important need of any community in Belize and Calla Creek's Community Center was unusable due to rotten wood framing, infestation of bats, no electricity and a leaky roof.” This 4 the World project will continue through the summer and will provide a place for the school by the end of August 2015. The Community Center will also provide shelter to members of the Calla Creek Community during severe storms and will also house NEMO’s early warning alarm system that warns villagers of dangerous floods.

Venezuela and Belize Celebrate Petro-Caribe’s 10th Anniversary
The Venezuelan naval vessel “Simon Bolivar” is heading to Jamaica which is its fourth and final stop on a tour to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the Petro-Caribe Agreement. The vessel, which is named after the liberator of Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela, was commissioned to visit four of Venezuela’s closest allies in the Caribbean: Barbados, Belize, Cuba and Jamaica. The Simon Bolivar is manned by a crew of 170, mostly cadets on an educational trip. An official ceremony was held at the Memorial Park on Thursday, June 11, at which the Head of State, Governor General Sir Colville Young, inspected the Guard of Honor. “You have graced our shores as we reach the tenth anniversary of the Petrocaribe Agreement,” said Lough-Ann Burns Martinez, Belize’s Ambassador Designate to Venezuela, as she welcomed the seamen to the Jewel. Martinez praised the late President Chavez for the Petro-Caribe initiative, liken it to a second independence: “Two hundred years ago Simon Bolivar, the Great Liberator, in his letter to Jamaica, called for unity and for self determination. So many years later this Petrocaribe initiative which is firmly based in the belief that we have as fraternal nations, that we own the right to determine how best to steer our economy and our policies for the betterment of our people and countries carry on this very vision.”

Petro Petro Everywhere
On Friday, June 12, two contracts were signed by the Minister of works. The first project is the rehabilitation of streets and construction of culverts in Dangriga. The contractor for those projects is DEC and Sons of Stann Creek. The cost of these projects will be $995,245.40. The second contract which was signed was for the concreting of streets in Succotz Village and the contractor is BCG Construction Limited. On Monday, June 15, four contracts were signed at the Ministry of Works for the rehabilitation of two community centers and a building to serve as a health center as well as the paving of three streets in Santa Elena, Cayo. (see story on Insert D) The Phenom that is the Petro Caribe has touched more lives in the last three years than anything else before it. Although it had been available during the PUP administration it was only enjoyed by a select few associated with some of the PUP leaders. When it was reactivated in late 2012 by Hon. Dean Barrow he sagely predicted that the country of Belize will see the kind of infrastructural growth and transformation the likes of which has never been seen before.

The 10th Annual Belize Public Service Awards
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of the Public Service congratulates and thanks the following Public Officers for their hard work and dedication in serving the people and Government of Belize. Public Officers will be awarded for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions at the 10th Annual Belize Public Service Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at the Blue Water Grill, San Pedro Town, commencing at 10:30 a.m.

Queen’s Birthday honors
In a News Release from Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General Announces that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER BRITISH EMPIRE on the occasion of BIRTHDAY HONOURS 2015. Order of the British Empire M.B.E. To be an Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Mr. Delhart Luthrel Courtney Sr., for contribution to Sports and the Community Mr. Victor Moreno Sr., for contribution to Music Mrs. Norberta Pulido, for contribution to the Community The Date for the presentation of awards will be announced later.

Four Belizeans Bestowed the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Four Belizeans were today bestowed the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of the 2015 New Year Honours. The honours were conferred by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Attorney Michael Young received the order of Ordinary Commander for his contribution to the legal profession and the community; Ms. Esther Ayuso and Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth received the order of Ordinary Officers: Ms. Ayuso for her contribution to the community and women’s rights and Mrs. Tucker-Longsworth for her contribution to nursing and the community. For her contribution to community and leadership, Mrs. Bernadette Fernandez received the order of Ordinary Member. The Investiture Ceremony took place at the Belize House in Belmopan.

Justin Lemott to stand trial for murder
Justin Lemott will stand trial for the murder of Richard Waight Jr., 17, in the October Session of the Supreme Court. On Friday, April 4, 2014 a fight broke out on the basketball court in Hattieville Village and during the exchange Waight was stabbed to the chest. He fell to the ground and struggled to breathe as blood poured out unto the grass. Witnesses point to Lemott as the man who inflicted the stab wound on Waight. A Preliminary Inquiry was held before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Friday, June 12, to determine if there is sufficient evidence for Lemott to stand trial. During the PI, Lemott was unrepresented and made no submission. With that the Chief Magistrate accepted 25 statements and 10 sets of documentary exhibits from prosecutor, Cpl. Christopher Smith, which they intend to rely on at Lemott’s trial. His case was committed to the October session of the Supreme Court.

Diondray McKoy free after appeal
Diondray McKoy was sentenced to 12 years in prison for trying to kill Everal Gray but now he is a free man after the Court of Appeals overruled his conviction on Tuesday, June 16. McKoy was accused of the attempted murder of Everal Gray at Gray’s home on Queen Charlotte Street in June of 2009. Gray reported to police that he was at home when someone called his name. He answered the door and that was when several shots were fired at him. Gray gave a detailed identification of the shooter and later identified McKoy to police. However, he changed his story at trial and was deemed a hostile witness. McKoy succeeded in establishing that the identification evidence against him was poor and the trial judge had failed to give certain directions to the jury deciding the case.

Murder case falls apart after cooperating accomplice changes story
Supreme Court Justice Troadio Gonzalez directed a jury of seven men and five women to declare Talbert Mena and Jamal Jackson not guilty of the murder of Nigerian security guard Kabiru Olun-gu-dudu in February of 2010. Olungududu was working at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel when he was stabbed to death. He sustained 8 stab wounds trying to prevent an attempted and unsuccessful robbery of the establishment by 4 men. Kareem Stevens, who was also charged with the murder, was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying on behalf of the Crown as its chief witness. However, he turned on them and denied giving the police a statement, eventually becoming a hostile witness. Senior Counsel, Simeon Sampson, representing Mena and Jackson, argued that his clients had no case to answer and Justice Gonzalez agreed.

Illegal Honduran Immigrant caught at Bus Terminal
A construction worker from El Parasio Village, Honduras, Yony Nunez, 36, was pulled over by immigration officers on Thursday, June 11, just after he exited a bus at the Belize City Bus Terminal. He was asked to produce documents to show his immigration status in Belize but Nunez was unable to do so. Therefore, he was remanded into custody and an investigation revealed no record of him entering Belize legally through a point of entry. Nunez then admitted to immigration officers that he entered the country through the Mopan River in Benque Viejo on Wednesday, June 10. He was charged with entering Belize illegally.

Patrick Petillo busted with 120 grams of weed
Patrick Petillo was busted by police with 120.9 grams of weed on Wednesday, June 10, and is now out on bail for one count of drug trafficking. Police officers were conducting foot patrol on Lovely Lane when police constable J. Waight and WPC Lourdes Torres saw Petillo acting suspiciously at about 12:42 a.m. on Wednesday. When he saw them, Petillo started to run and that was when the officers ordered him to stop. He continued running and the officers chased after him. They caught up with him in a yard in the area. He was searched and police found a plastic bag in the front of his pants waist. The bag contained a green leafy item suspected to be cannabis. He was detained and taken to the Queen Street Police Station where the item was examined. It proved to be 120.9 grams of weed. Petillo was arrested for drug trafficking.

Belize Softball Federations names national junior girls softballers
The Belize Softball Federation has announced the names of the twenty five junior girls’ softballers that will be trying out for 18 spots to represent Belize at the Central American Junior Girls Softball Championship scheduled for San Salvador, El Salvador from July 31-August 3, 2015. The players selected are from across the country and they are Shareeni Soberanis, Shanaya Soberanis, Rose Simpson, Renisha Richards, Ronicia Vernon, Shanae Williams and Ashira Harris from Cayo, Denika Noralez, Chelsea Young, Kelsy Robinson, Elma Wade, Sabrina Campos, Devonie Reyes, Ranisha Rhaburn, Zhanae Jex, Rebecca Nicholson, Lynese Alvarez, Jalecia Jones and Sherelee Nicholson from Belize Rural, Jasany Westby and Janel Conorquie from Orange Walk, Essenie Ciego and Jahshema Saunders from Belize City.

Health Hookup
The Doctor's Order Can’t Stop Sneezing “I can’t stop sneezing doc!” is probably the most common symptom I hear as it pertains to allergic rhinitis – allergies. Allergic rhinitis is basically a group of symptoms that manifest as a result of exposure to an allergen. An allergen is something that elicits a reaction from the body. It can be consumed (food allergy), touched (allergy when coming in contact with a substance like poison ivy), or inhaled (pollen, dust, smoke). In this case we are focusing on allergens that cause you to sneeze. So why does this happen? The body treats the allergen as a foreign threat and releases something known as histamine to help defend against it; unfortunately it also causes the symptoms that make us uncomfortable and sick.

Temporary Pontoon Bridge Tragedy
This Sunday, June 14th, marks the 53rd anniversary of the Haulover Creek Temporary Pontoon Bridge Tragedy. The Temporary Pontoon Bridge was erected across the Haulover Creek between the end of Pickstock Street on the north side and Richard Sidewalk on the south side. Seven persons drowned in the Haulover Creek when a section of the bridge became loose. Although I personally did not experience this tragedy, it was surprising to me that some elders I spoke to and who lived in Belize City at the time of the accident vaguely remembered the event. I recently read that one well known Belizean writer and newspaper publisher, remarked in 2005 and 2007, that he could not remember if a demonstration/riot of May 29th, 1972, in which he participated, crossed the Pontoon Bridge. I think not, that was 10 years after the event. So when I came across the Official Commission of Inquiry Report,submitted to Governor Sir Peter Stallard, into the circumstances surrounding the event, I thought it would be worthwhile sharing the circumstances of this historical accident with you. Especially with today’s generation. It is not intended to conjure unpleasant memories of those who lost their lives or survived the accident. It is just a reminder that it is good to follow the rules. In this case, following the rules would have averted the loss of seven lives in the Haulover Creek.

8% Salary Increase for Police, Teachers
“We are so very pleased that we are once again coming through with [more than] ten percent over two years for the stewards of our education, our administration, our security.” – Honourable Prime Minister Dean Barrow. In a time when governments in the Caribbean region are raising taxes, freezing wages and laying off workers, the Government of Belize is going to spend $38 million on an eight percent salary increase for teachers, police officers and other public servants. This is the second consecutive year that public officers will benefit from a salary increase. In fiscal year 2014/2015, the Government spent $368 million for personal emoluments and $60 million for pensions. That includes almost $30 million for a six percent salary increase. The increases are based on a formula established in a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Government of Belize and the unions (Public Service Union, Belize National Teachers Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers). Under the Framework Agreement between the negotiating teams of the Government and the unions signed in February of 2014, one half of the increase in actual recurrent revenue from one year to the next (in a three year span) will be allocated to salary increases for public officers and teachers. Based on this formula, $29 million was allocated to salary increases in 2014 and now $38 million this year.

Belizeans detained by Guatemalan armed forces
Five Belizeans living in the District of Toledo took a trip into the Guatemalan village of Santa Cruz, which is the neighbor of the southern village of Jalacte. They went to have a nice road trip for the day and ended up being detained and criminally charged by Guatemalan law enforcement. They claim that they were breaking no laws of that country, but Guatemalan soldiers wrongfully accused them of being drunk and disorderly. As a result Ray Martinez, Ashton Mckenzie, Rafael Cus, Rutilio Cal, and Mitchell Romero had to plea guilty to a charge that they assert absolute innocence of. To understand why these young men would willingly enter into Guatemalan territory for such an outing, readers must understand the dynamics between the Belizean village of Jalacte and the Guatemalan Village of Santa Cruz. The border between these two communities is completely unregulated, and has been for years. There are no Customs and Immigration facilities to regulate the flow of persons on either side. Because of that, an interesting relationship has developed where residents of Toledo travel over to Santa Cruz every day to buy cheap groceries from that side, which have less taxes. Some also go over there and sell their produce, and in some instances it is easier to get goods and services from Santa Cruz, than it is to get them from Punta Gorda Town. Strictly speaking, that’s contraband goods that are flowing in an out, but because it has become such an entrenched way of life, for Toledo, it is seen as normal. And, since the Road to Jalacte has been paved, there are specific bus runs which take residents of the south from whatever village they are from to Jalacte on daily runs to conduct business.

Guatemalan Coast Guard Boat removed from Barrier Reef
After being grounded for two days on the Glover’s Reef Atoll, the Guatemalan Naval Vessel, bearing markings “GC-651 Tecum Uman” was successfully extricated and allowed to leave Belizean waters on Saturday, June 13. An assessment of the damages that this vessel did to the reef is being prepared, and it will be sent to the Guatemalan Government through the diplomatic channels. The Belizean Government intends to seek financial compensation for this navigational mishap. News of the gunboat’s grounding on the reef went out early on Thursday, June 11, and after 3 hours by boat, a team from the Belize National Coast Guard confirmed that the vessel was indeed there. It had run aground on the reef about 500 meters off Middle Caye on Glovers Reef, in Belize’s southern waters. The government officials, like every other citizen became concerned about the implications of a Guatemalan vessel deep in Belizean territorial waters. So, the Coast Guard Officers questioned the boat’s 11-member crew, and that’s when they were informed that the vessel was on its way to Isla Mujeres in Mexico, when either a navigation error was made or the boat’s propulsion system had a glitch.

Indigenous Community Leaders Belize-Guatemala Meet
Following a reunion held in Punta Gorda among Indigenous Community leaders from Belize and Guatemala on the 20th of March, a three day trip was made to Peten by Maya Q’eqchi leaders of Belize. The leaders of indigenous communities from Southern Peten and Southern Belize shared their ideas, and vision on how to unite efforts and promote local participation that addresses the environmental, social and economic problems of their communities situated along the Belize-Guatemala border. The event started on the 5th of June in Poptun, Peten with a Maya ceremony which ended on the 6th of June (Kahib Noj) asking the Creator to illuminate the minds of the indigenous leaders. The representatives of the indigenous communities developed a draft Declaration with requests and recommendations so that more attention is paid to the communities located near the border by their Governments, which can help reduce the level of incursions that is affecting the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains and prevent incidents that can cause much pain and suffering. Once reviewed and finalized, the Declaration, whose contents is based on matters related to Territory, Natural Resources and Ancestral Knowledge, it will be presented to the Governments of Belize and Guatemala.

Belize’s mental health staff being updated on mental health practices
A three day workshop for mental health staff working at the Belize Ministry of Health ended on Saturday of this past weekend at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. According to Eleanor Bennett, Nursing Administrator at the Ministry of Health, the goal of this annual workshop is for the staff to be updated on their knowledge of mental health, so that they can provide the best evidence based treatment that is available elsewhere in the World. Thus; Psychiatric Nurse Practioners from across the Country became attuned to modern mental health practices, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Making the presentations during the workshop was Dr. Cyndi Aronson from the Mount Sinai University; as well as Dr. Stan Arco, a Psychiatrist from the Columbia University, also of New York. Dr. Arco told the participants on Saturday that they do courageous work in difficult circumstances. He also discouraged the use of Benzodiazepines during pregnancy for “…they are associated with congenital abnormalities.”

Upcoming plans for the People’s Coalition of Cayo
In its monthly meeting this past Wednesday night, members of the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC went into planning mode. At this latest meeting, Chairman Eduardo ‘Dito’ Juan appointed Omar Tut, who is a Civil Engineer in background, as his Deputy. Among its plans, the PCC is lobbying for a proper septic holder for the San Ignacio Police Station, which will serve both Police and prisoners. The grouping which seeks to build community and police partnerships is also now planning for a public consultation. The PCC has been able to connect a generator to the San Ignacio Police Station and is now in the process of acquiring fuel from different sources. This generator for San Ignacio Police comes just in time for the hurricane season and the National Emergency Management Organization NEMO has been attuned to its existence. Also on Wednesday night, Jason Jones, a representative from San Ignacio Police, provided the latest crime statistics for San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns and surrounding areas. For the month of May of this year, three vehicles were stolen. They were a white in color 1991 Honda motorcycle L/P CYM-1639, a red in color Meilun motorcycle as well as a blue in color Meilun brand motorcycle with identification number LE3YCM507DA000086.

Devon Bailey to Supreme Court for attempted murder
A Preliminary Inquiry in the case against Devon Bailey for two counts of attempted murder concluded with a commital for trial at the Supreme Court in October. Bailey is being accused of trying to kill, Charles Hines, 31, and Eldon Solomon, 41, on Elston Kerr Street on Friday, August 15, 2014. According to a police report, Hines and Solomon were walking on Elston Kerr Street when they came across a group of three men. One of the men opened fired in their direction. Hines was grazed on the top of his head. Solomon was shot in the back. Both were treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial.

Bail for teacher accused of having sexual relations with a minor
A teacher of Seine Bight Village, Desmond Ramirez, 30, is out on bail after he was charged for allegedly engaging in sexual activities with a 15 year-old minor. On Monday, June 8, Ramirez was arraigned in the Independence Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Yolanda Demoya for a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and Magistrate Demoya denied bail and remanded him to the Belize Central Prison. However, Ramirez’s attorney, Oscar Selgado, applied for bail at the Supreme Court. The bail application was heard before Justice Adolph Lucas on Friday, June 12. Selgado submitted that his client has an alibi witness placing him somewhere else at the time the sexual allegation is said to have occurred. According to Selgado, his client was neither in the village or near the virtual complainant on the date specified in the charge sheet made against him. Justice Lucas granted Ramirez bail in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount, with conditions.

Gun Assault charge dismissed against Daniel Caine
Daniel Caine, who is on remand for the murder of Harrison Smith Jr., saw another serious charge against him dropped on Friday, June 12. A charge of aggravated assault with a firearm against Caine was dismissed in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Caine was accused of assaulting Iran Jones with a firearm on Friday, October 4, 2014. According to a police report, Jones said that he was on North Front Street when Caine pointed a firearm at him. However, on Friday, June 12, 2015 Jones appeared in court and said he does not wish to proceed with the matter against Caine. Therefore, the case against Caine was dismissed.

Daniel Bradley, 19, remanded for sex with 14-year-old girl
Daniel Bradley, a 19-year-old resident of Ladyville, was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, June 16, to answer to a single charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old female. Bradley was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. The matter was dealt with “in camera” so all media personnel were asked to leave the court. Allegation being made against Bradley is that on Monday, June 8, 2015, he had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl at a home on the Phillip Goldson Highway. No plea was taken in court since the matter is an indictable offense and due to the nature of the crime Bradley was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 16, 2015. Bradley’s attorney is presently seeking bail through the Supreme Court.

Antonio Gongora cleared of rape charge
Cayo taxi driver, Antonio Gongora, 30, is free from a charge of rape after a jury of nine found him not guilty of the charge on Friday, June 12, 2015. Gongora was accused of raping a teacher in the Cayo District on December 29, 2012. The teacher reported to police that sometime after midnight on December 29, 2012, she asked the taxi man to take her home after a night out with a friend at a restaurant and bar. However, instead of taking her home, the teacher says he took her to a racetrack and raped her in the back seat of the vehicle. The incident was reported to police and Gongora was arrested and charged with rape. The trial took place in the courtroom of Justice Denis Hanomansingh in Belmopan last week. In the alleged victim’s testimony, she says Gongora is a man she knows well. She says that she was with a friend at Meluchie’s Restaurant and Bar on the night of the incident.

Belize City Man Lured to his death
Twenty eight year-old Allison “Wally” Williams, a resident of Rivero Street, was gunned down and killed on Friday, June 12, breaking 2 weeks of peace and calm in Belize City. Police investigation is that at around 8:00 p.m. he was visiting a few friends at #1011 Partridge Street Extension. He was leaning on his car and speaking with 2 of those friends when a man approached from behind and fired a number of shots at Williams. He was injured in the head and body, and he went down in front of his vehicle, dying shortly after on the scene. By the time the police took him to the KHMH, the doctor on duty pronounced him dead on arrival at around 11 p.m. Right now, the suspicion is that Williams may have been lured to his death by someone he was in communication with recently. He reportedly began visiting the Partridge Street residence regularly about a month ago.

PI Concludes Jason Sanchez to Stand Trial for Murder
Jason Sanchez, 19, is the man police believe shot and killed BWS employee, Emmerson Arnold, 35, on Friday, November 28, 2014 at the corner of Gibnut Street and Central American Boulevard. Arnold was heading to work at around 7 a.m. when he was gunned down by a lone gunman. Sanchez was unrepresented when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Friday, June 12. The prosecution presented statements from 12 people and documentary exhibits in the form of post mortem results from Doctor Estradabran and pictures of Arnold’s murder scene. Sanchez was asked if he has any alibi witness. He said yes but the person he was referring to is already on the prosecution’s list as one of their witnesses. Sanchez then said he has no one else. Chief Magistrate Smith then ruled that there is sufficient evidence for Sanchez to face trial at the Supreme Court. She committed him for trial at the October Session.

Belize advances to the next round of World Cup qualifiers
The National Football Team of Belize waltzed into the history books when it eliminated the Dominican Republic from further play it the FIFA World Cup qualifier for Russia 2018 at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Sunday 14 June, 2015. Still on a high from its 2-1 victory over the Dominican Republic’s National Team on Thursday 11 June, 2015, at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium in Santo Domingo. The National Team went into the home game at the FFB Stadium full with confidence and determination which paid off for it. The National Team jumped out to an impressive start. The Belizean National Football Team scored the 1st goal of the game when a pass from Danny Jimenez to Harrison “Cafu” Roches which found itself the Dominican Republic’s goal in the 17th minute of play for a 1-0 lead.

Shanicka Augustine captures Gold in Central American Junior Championships
The Belize Athletics Association contingent of 30 junior athletes and officials that participated in the Central American Junior Athletics Championship from June 10-14, 2015, in San Salvador, El Salvador returned home on Tuesday with 8 medals. The delegation captured 1 gold medal, 4 silver medals and 3 bronze medals. It’s worthy to note that Belize had quite a number of its athletes finishing in the fourth position. We extend congratulations to all our student-athletes that represented well in El Salvador.

Gerald Garbutt passes
The Sports Desk at the Guardian Newspaper mourns the passing of Mr. Gerald Garbutt former President of the Belize Cycling Association and a former President of the Belize City Softball Association. Mr. Garbutt passed away on Wednesday 17 June, 2015. We extend sincerest condolences to Mrs. Anita Garbutt and daughter Andrea of Kingston, Jamaica.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Michael Feinstein challenges Stake Bank takeover
Provisions in the amended contract of operation of Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV) between its owners and the Government of Belize and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) had the effect of ensuring a continued source of revenue and satellite development through the Stake Bank project being developed by […]

BTIA claims progress at general meeting; remembers Peter Tonti
Late executive member of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and chief executive officer of Belize Media Group (BMG), Peter Tonti, was remembered at today’s general meeting of the Association in Belize City, as the Association reported progress with its tasks assigned at the last meeting. Tonti, who […]

Former cashier charged for theft
A woman who worked as a cashier for the Ladyville Shell Gas Station on the Philip Goldson Highway is accused of stealing from her former employers. 35 year old Gaynor Richards faces two counts of theft to which she pleaded not guilty before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Richards […]

Maurice Felix charges upgraded to murder
Reports are that wanted accused for attempted murder 30 year old Maurice Felix turned himself in to police today. Felix was originally charged with the attempted murders of Mark Gentle and his mother Pamela Cumberbatch at their residence on Caesar Ridge Road on May 24 when two men […]

Moody’s keeps Belize bond rating stable; worries over debt
The Moody’s Investor Service on Wednesday released its outlook for Belize’s bond ratings at CAA2, with overall outlook being stable. According to Moody’s, quote, “The expectation of ongoing economic recovery mitigates the negative trends in public finances, although downside risks to the fiscal outlook remain. The risk of losses to bondholders […]

Woodrow West, Deon McCauley to play in Honduras
National team footballers Woodrow West and Deon McCauley will suit up for the Honduran side CD Progreso de Honduras, based in the central city of El Progreso. The team was promoted from the Honduran second division last year, made the top league playoffs in the opening half-season and finished sixth […]

Dominican Republic continues deportation of thousands
The Dominican Republic Government plans to resume deportations of thousands of Haitian-descended Dominicans and Haitian migrants after the deadline for them to register under the “Regularization Plan” passed yesterday, June 17th. Registering under that plan allows those who would have been subject to deportation, to be recognized as lawful immigrants. […]

Caterpillar infestation at San Estevan RC School
Officials from the Agriculture Department and BAHA are currently combating an infestation of pests, particularly caterpillars, at the San Estevan RC School campus. According to the school’s administration, since last week the problem emerged and days after, the schools buildings have been covered with the roaming pests. The issue has […]

Placencia Lobster fest 2015 is happening this weekend!
One of the most popular gastronomic events of summer in Belize is here. We are talking about the Lobster Fest activities being held in San Pedro Town, Caye Caulker and Placencia. The Placencia Lobster fest is the village’s savvy way of celebrating the opening of the lobster season and the […]

Football Players accused of match-fixing
Three members of the BDF football team have been accused of match-fixing. These grim allegations were made by BDF coach and current Jaguars Assistant coach, Charles Slusher, after the BDF/Verdes game on 29th April, 2015, where Verdes emerged victorious by a score of six to nil. Slusher forwarded a letter […]

GOB might assist Belize Jaguars in third round of the World Cup Qualifiers
The Belizean public is still in jubilation after the Belize National Football Team raised victory flags over the Dominican Republic. Celebrations have been soured however, after the Federation expressed lack of funds to prepare or participate in the third round of the World Cup Qualifiers. President of the Football Federation […]

British Empire celebrates Belizeans
On behalf of her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Governor General Sir Colville Young, bestowed honors of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire to four outstanding Belizeans. The recipients were: attorney Michael Young, who received the order of Ordinary Commander for his contribution to the legal profession and the […]

Belize welcomes Israeli Ambassador
The start of the week saw the start of new relationships with the Guatemalan and Israeli communities; Manuel Roldan of Guatemala and Oren Bar El of Israel were sworn in as new ambassadors to Belize. Israel and Guatemala share a long history together; Israel provided weapons to the Guatemalan government […]


Xunantunich part 1
Last year, I visited Cahal Pech. Mr. Jorge Can was more than willing to provide information of the developments at the site. Yesterday, tour guides of the Cayo West Association and the Cayo Tour Guides Association visited the site of Xunantunich to listen to the new developments. Under the direction of Dr. Jamie Awe, the new excavations will be conducted on several buildings that have not yet been investigated and other areas that were previously excavated by Richard Levental. The areas that will be excavated and consolidated are structure A2, A3 and A20. This will certainly change the face of the site core as it is today, but I heard a rumor that the south end of el Castillo will also be done on a later project. So we met with Mr. Jorge Can at the base of A3, where he has already done a few discoveries. In fact, he had unearthed remains of a building infront of the A3 which was built during the terminal phase likely a residence for someone just before abandonment. We see similar structure in front of A4. Today on the right side of A3 we see the round corners protruding from the earth previously consolidated in 2004, when A4 was excavated during the tourism development project. Although the A3 building had round corners, it may have been covered up by a later construction done during the post classic period. This structure did feature balustrades. We see that at Cahal Pech, Caracol, and El Castillo Building at Xunantunich also had it at the base of its stairs but it was removed because it was poorly preserved. The stairs up to the first terrace is complete, but beyond that it is missing; likely the people in the terminal phase living near the site took the bricks to build the foundation of their homes or on other projects. We see that activity all over the site. Just to the right of the balustrade there is a deposit of mostly pottery shards but certainly we can see fragments of dishes and a few vases. There is a lot of work yet to do on A3 but the the structure face is going to be excavated and consolidated. Another team will come in later to dig for tombs. What secrets will we find then and what will they find under A2 where work has not yet even started?

From resistance to rebellion
Asian and Afro-Caribbean struggles in Britain. This article is taken from the author’s book, Race, Class and the State, to be published next spring by Pluto Press. Copyright © 2015 by Institute of Race Relations. On 25 June 1940 Udham Singh was hanged. At a meeting of the Royal Asiatic Society and the East India Association at Caxton Hall, Lon- don, he had shot dead Sir Michael O’Dwyer, who (as the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab) had presided over the massacre of unarmed peasants and workers at Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, in 1919. Udham was a skilled electrician, an active trade unionist and a delegate to the local trades council, and, in 1938, had initiated the setting up of the first Indian Workers’ Association, in Coventry. In October 1945 at Chorlton Town Hall in Manchester the fifth Pan-African Congress, breaking with its earlier reformism, pledged itself to fight for the ‘absolute and complete independence’ of the colonies and an end to imperialism, if need be through Gandhian methods of passive resistance. Among the delegates then resident in Britain were Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, George Padmore, Wallace Johnson, C.L.R. James and Ras Makonnen. W.E.B. DuBois, who had founded the Pan-African Congress in America in 1917, presided. In September 1975 three young West Indians held up a Knights bridge restaurant for the money that would help set up proper schools for the black community, finance black political groups and assist the liberation struggles in Africa. Of such strands have black struggles in Britain been woven. But their pattern was set on the loom of British racism.

Everyday Life of Birds in Belize
As a birder, I draw familiarity not just from my surrounding landscape, but also from the local bird communities. In Durham, where I have now lived for two years, I make my usual walk to campus surrounded by the common suburban species: the American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, Song Sparrows, and others. Though I have seen the birds a million times, I still find delight in watching their antics, or marvel at particularly red cardinal males. When I travel to a new place, the first thing I do is try to gain a similar familiarity with the common species of my new location. I can’t really say for sure why I do it, other than I find it fun! With that aim in mind, I had my new field guide out only moments after my husband and I touched down for an eight night stay in Belize. Belize, a small Central American country facing the Caribbean Sea, is home to over 500 species of birds. Some have ranges that reach up into the United States, but the majority would be completely new to me: life birds. When we arrived in Hopkins, our beach destination for the first five nights, I sprang out of the car in a tizzy, rapidly snapping pictures of every feathered thing I could find. Did I have any idea what they were? Nope. Partly because I was mildly overwhelmed with excitement, and partly because many were simply new species for me.

Traffic jam, road rage: And to think that I saw it on Middle Street
I was cycling down Middle Street this morning and such a strange site did I see. A traffic jam was building up there before me, so unexpectedly. What could cause such a thing in little San Pedro, I wonder. An elephant? A camel or two? A brass band playing like thunder? Like little Marcos, a fatherly warning crashes upon my head: “Stop telling such outlandish tales. Stop turning minnows into whales.” So, no less strange as it is, I decide to go with the truth instead. In front of me sit golf carts, motorcycles and bicycles — all very still Except for horns blaring, (always a thrill …). I creep forward on my cycle, past one vehicle at a time, Until by Greenhouse Grocer, I spy the perpetrator of this crime.

Note: I had promised to publish Part 3 of my assessment of what was happening in the Dangriga constituency from 3 days ago. I dallied because I wanted to “wrap up” this analysis but found that it is a live and on-going story and events over the weekend were of great portent to what is going to happen there in the near term, and in regards to the by-election. So while I had written most of this part, I could not conclude the analysis until I knew what had happened in terms of the candidates actually lining up and had a better idea of what was happening with the PUP decision-making. Sadly it seems there may have to be some more articles …

San Pedro’s Lobsterfest And An Interview with The Breeze – San Pedro’s Newest Radio Station
Over the past week, there has been a bit of a guerrilla marketing campaign on posts around town..Infuriatingly smart. I was dying to know what the breeze was. And then…yesterday? It was announced. OH! A radio station. Wait…what? A radio station? Hmmmm…. Being honest, I haven’t listened to the radio in…years. But I do know that the local stations in Belize (and there are only a handful of them) are listened to constantly in every kitchen, auto mechanic shop and store on the island. But this one (on the website) was billed as a radio station for expats. Interesting…

International Sourcesizz

Fifteen regional jurisdictions on EU tax haven blacklist
A blacklist of the world’s 30 worst-offending tax havens, published on Wednesday by the European Commission, includes 15 countries and territories within the wider Caribbean. The list includes various well-known havens -- among them the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda -- but other jurisdictions that are commonly labelled as offshore tax avoidance hubs were notably missing. Switzerland, for example, was not named. The Commission explained that the list of 30 “non-cooperative jurisdictions” was designed only to assess non-EU members. As a result, the new register does not include countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland, or Luxembourg -- all of which are under investigation by the European competition authorities, suspected of offering “sweetheart” tax deals to multinationals.

The next schedule Cal-Bel Event is a fundraiser to help this Youth to get back up on his feet again. Mykelt Anthony is one of Belize's top Cricket Stars who have represented our little Jewel Internationally for years with an outstanding record. He is a family man who was trying to do right for his family, when he became the innocent victim of a gang shoot-out for being in the wrong place at the wrong time just doing legitimate day to day business. He is from a poor farming community in Rural Belize where jobs are scarce and money is hard to come by. He is presently laid up in a Belize Hospital hanging on and hoping that some way some how he would be able to raise the money to pay for a costly operation that would allow him to walk again. Cal-Bel is trying to help and is asking Belizeans in the Los Angeles Area to please do your best to support this Youth at our fundraiser on Saturday (See Flyer) or make a donation if you are not able to attend. Cal-Bel is a very solid, disciplined and well established Club, and we will make sure that all your contributions will go towards this most urgent and noble cause. May you be richly Blessed as You open up your hearts and give whatever you can afford. Every little bit helps. Thanks.

Were the Mayas the ultimate ancient civilisation?
Ahead of a major exhibition, Alastair Smart explains why we remain so fascinated by this magnificent, mysterious and bloodthirsty people. The trouble with the great civilisations of Mesoamerica isn’t just the sheer number of them, but the fact that their names sound so similar. From the Olmecs and Huastecs to the Toltecs, Mixtecs and Zapotecs, it can be hard, at times, telling one culture from the next. That said, two stand out above the rest, the Aztecs and the Maya – and there was always an easy rule of thumb for distinguishing them. The former were fighters, the latter thinkers. The Aztecs were the Romans of the New World, the Maya its Greeks. This line of thinking held sway for much of the 19th – and 20th – centuries, ever since US explorer John Lloyd Stephens and British illustrator Frederick Catherwood discovered a host of ancient cities, lost to the jungle and overgrown with tropical vegetation, during an expedition to Mexico and Central America in 1839. The monumental Mayan sites they helped uncover included Copan, Palenque, Uxmal, Tulum, and Chichen Itza. Now tourist hotspots on the well-worn “Ruta Maya” (Mayan trail), these were not so long ago depopulated and barely known, even by locals.

It’s not all bad news from FIFA, soccer world governing body, embroiled in recent corruption scandals. FIFA’s decision to expand the 2015 Women’s World Cup, presently playing in Canada, from 18 to 24 teams was a good move and proved historical. All seven debutante teams gained valuable experience and enhanced and expanded the game, but Cameroon did more - it made history as the first African team in 16 years to advance to the second round since Nigeria in 1999. With all but two of the six groups completed in group play, two of the debutante teams have qualified for the second round, the Round of 16, with a possible third newcomer still in with a chance to move on. In Group C, Cameroon (2-0-1, 6 pts.) finished second when it rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeated Switzerland, 2-1, and advance; defending champion Japan (3-0-0, 9 pts), which won all three matches, won the group. Switzerland finished as one of the best third-place teams and will move on to play Canada (1-2-0 5 pts.), which won Group A. China (1-1-1, 4 pts.) was second in Group A and will play Cameroon. Ecuador (0-0-3) was the other newcomer in this group and was unfortunate not to get a win despite its strong play at times.

Putting a Price on Nature
I’ve done the math, and for $1.20, you can preserve a 19-inch by 19-inch square of rainforest habitat—home, on average, to 0.000006 long-tailed macaques and 0.0000001 pangolins. All you have to do is pay a bit more for palm oil, found in roughly half of all grocery store items: chocolate bars, cereal, and lipstick, to name a few. “Most people probably consume some palm oil every day,” says David Wilcove, a professor of ecology at Princeton University. The ubiquitous stuff is squeezed from the fruit of trees whose rapidly expanding cultivation has infamously contributed to widespread deforestation in southeast Asia, and increasingly, parts of South America and Africa. In 2005, there was only one practical example of applying dollar value to ecosystem services, Guerry says, and even that was almost a decade old. In 1996, rather than build a purification plant, the city of New York decided to restore an upstream watershed in the Catskills—which provides most of the city’s water supply. Two years later, in a commentary in Nature, Columbia economists Geoffrey Heal and Graciela Chichilnisky estimated the Catskill project saved the city $6 billon. The project and the paper helped cement the idea of natural capital. Now, Guerry says, there are hundreds of stories of accounting for or discovering ecosystem services. For example, one study in the PNAS collection describes how a coastal development plan in Belize prioritizes both wildlife habitat and development revenue. In another, researchers found that environmental protection in a part of the Brazilian Amazon was associated with reduced instances of diseases like malaria among inhabitants.

EU Launches Tax Action Plan To Crack Down on Sweet Deals
The European Union's tax watchdog unveiled on Wednesday a plan for tackling corporate tax avoidance and ending the practice of sweet deals for multinational companies. The EU's executive Commission also published a blacklist of 30 countries it says are not doing enough to crack down on tax avoidance. The list ranges from Belize to Panama, European principalities like Monaco to Hong Kong and Pacific nations like Vanuatu. "These tax havens cover the five continents," said Pierre Moscovici, the EU's top tax official. He urged them to quickly adopt "agreed international standards" to fight against tax evasion. The plan aims to make sure that multinationals pay taxes where they generate profits, that tax rules in one country do not penalize others, and that honest businesses don't lose out to unscrupulous competitors. "Our citizens can no longer tolerate that certain companies, often the most prosperous, avoid fair tax contributions and that certain tax regimes encourage them on this path," Moscovici said.


  • Belize: Lamanai, 5min.

  • Belize 3, 10min.

  • Development in Placencia, Belize, 5.5min. This video was created in partial requirements for courses of the Water Resources Management, Coastal and Marine Resource Management and Climate Change streams at CERMES, University of the West Indies, Cavehill. It speaks to development in Placencia over time, both negative and positive impacts of this development and potential solutions to curbing unfavourable effects.

  • Go Pro Loyola Belize 2015 1, 3.5min.

  • Up Close interaction with Reef Shark in Belize 2014, 1.5min. Unedited video of a Reef shark checking out my camera (he seemed like he was looking for piece of fish on the end of my GoPro stick).

  • Go Pro Loyola Belize 2015 3, 7min.

  • Tricking Progressions | BackHandsprings Backflips, Gainers (Fails At The End), 6min. How's it going everyone This is a more progressed version of our Tricking here in San Pedro. Hope you guys like this and tell us what you think At the end of the video you will see all the fails lol so make sure that you check those out.

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