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The San Pedro Sun

Island Football teams participate in Libertad Football Marathon
On Sunday, July 5th, two island football teams traveled to Libertad Village in the Corozal District to participate in an all-day Football Marathon. Proudly representing San Pedro were United FC and Legends FC. While neither team managed to bring home the first place trophy, they certainly had a fun day of football fun. Hosting the marathon was Libertadores FC. The quadrangular tournament encompassed United FC, Legends FC, Libertadores Fc and Orange Walk Under 21 facing off in heated matches. It was a fun family day with lots to eat and drink, not to mention great football action!

Turtle Nesting season is at its peak!
The sea turtle nesting season runs from May-November of each year, with July being the peak nesting period. Reports are that this year’s nest spotting looks promising. To date, more than 40 nests have been recorded in Northern Ambergris Caye, including seven loggerhead turtle nests north of El Secreto Resort, along with several by Basil Jones and Punta Azul areas. However, due to the fact that the majority of these nests are on the portion of the beach used as a road, most of these nests have been relocated. Therefore, motorists using the beach are asked to be mindful and to avoid disturbing female turtles approaching the beach or running over any disturbance in the sand, as it might just be a nest.

Editorial: Are you going to be the one who trashes our island?
We are pleased to report this week about the new Solid Waste Transfer Station on our island home. Just what does this mean for the residents and visitors to La Isla Bonita? According to Deputy Mayor Gary Grief, who spoke at the site inauguration last Friday, “….no longer will people flying over the island see the plume of smoke from our burning dump site…this is a huge upgrade, one that will benefit everyone and hopefully make the island have a healthier and more beautiful environment.” Deputy Prime Minister Honorable Gaspar Vega, who spoke at the event as well, went on to emphasize that with this transfer station, “…we will be eliminating several problems beside just improper disposal. No longer will there be air pollution from the burning of garbage, nor water and land pollution from the seeping of hazardous materials in to the island’s water sources and land masses.” Unquestionably these a very important and valid points, but as Mayor Daniel Guerrero pointed out in his speech at the ceremony, “…This garbage transfer station will greatly benefit the community. It is without a doubt that we are headed into the direction of cleaning up the island. But still, we need the collaboration of every single resident and even visitors to do their part in keeping San Pedro clean.”

Veterinary Surgeons Board renew DVM Laurie Droke’s License
In a meeting held on Wednesday, July 1st, the Belize Veterinary Association (BVA), Veterinary Surgeons Board (VSB) and Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) agreed to renew Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and co-owner of the San Pedro Animal Hospital (SPAH), Laurie Droke’s license. After receiving complaints about the establishment, the VSB was contemplating not renewing Droke’s license for 2015, which is needed to operate veterinary clinic legally. According to Doctor Miguel DePaz- Chief Veterinarian Officer, Director of Animal Health at BAHA and Chairman of the Veterinary Surgeons Board, while they will be renewing Droke’s license, SPAH will still be closely monitored for inconsistencies. “Like I had said earlier in the year, the board considered not renewing Droke’s license therefore the SPAH would not be able to operate. The main reason for this is because we had received reports that Droke was not always present at the clinic and other unlicensed veterinarians were the ones running SPHA. This is against the law. Under section 24.(1) of the Veterinary Surgeons Act (Chapter 326 of the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000) ‘No person shall engage in the practice of veterinary surgery or hold himself out as engaging in the practice of veterinary surgery unless that person is registered under this Act’,” said DePaz.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Power interruption scheduled for 7:00am to 9:00am Sunday, July 12, portion Corozal
Joseito Layout, Dominguez Layout, Pueblo Viejo, Saltillos, Copper Bank, Chunox, Orchid Bay and Sarteneja. BEL to change a grounding transformer which supplies power to affected areas.

Power interruption scheduled for Sunday, July 19 from 6:00am to 2:00pm, portion Stann Creek and Toledo Districts
Affected areas: the villages of Independence, Placencia, Seine Beight, Red Bank, San Juan, Cow Pen, Maya Mopan, Santa Rosa, San Roman, San Pablo, Georgetown, Santa Cruz, Maya King, San Isidro, Trio, Monkey River and Bella Vista. BEL to conduct critical maintenance and testing of all equipment at Independence Substation.

SISE HoC Upcycling Workshop
The SISE House of Culture had it's recycled art workshop for kids this week, and boy did they learn to make a lot. D Russell Photography was there to get some great pictures of the happy kds and their art, and Mama's Pizza provided the graduation lunch. Thanks to everyone that spent their time making this a great learning adventure for the kids! More pictures here, and here. "Kids from 6-15 were invited to participate in this summer workshop on recycling and upcycling trash into treasure! Mama's Pizza brought lunch for the graduation!"

Pedro Guerra Mena Park Swing Installation
The Rotaract Club of Benque, along with students from JP2JC, installed some swings and cleaned up Pedro Guerra Mena Park in Benque. Thanks! "Our members in conjunction with students from the Small Business Management course at John Paul II Junior College in Benque Viejo installed swings & cleaned up the Pedro Guerra Mena Park in Benque Viejo this morning. We thank Mr. Jorge Iglesias who was mowing the lawn when we arrived at the park this morning. The club extends its heartfelt gratitude to everyone who assisted with the project today!"

Red Lored Parrot finds flock
Tee, a Red Lored Parrot, was surrendered to us by the lovely Candy Power two years ago, with the hope of providing him the opportunity to make friends. When Tee first came to us, he didn't agree with any of the other Red Loreds we'd been housing and it looked like he'd have to continue his life of solitude. After having Tee for two years, this week under the watchful eyes and dedication of a returning intern Lauren, and new interns Carla and Amanda, Tee has found a flock to call his own. Just goes to show it may take time and dedication to find them, but a flock is out there for every parrot.

The Reporter

Journalist, Kareem Clarke laid to rest
Journalist, Kareem Clarke, 27, was laid to rest on Saturday afternoon following a funeral service at Saint Ignatius Church. In his eulogy to the Kremandala “poster boy”, as Mose Hyde described him, Hyde said today he was nit going to mourn Clarke’s death, but celebrate his life. He denounced criminals like Clarke’s killers who live by violence. “Yoh cud shoot ah down; yoh cud bruk ih bones, but Kareem Clarke cannot be destroyed by bullets. …You and a billion others can’t kill Kareem’s spirit”, Hyde said emphatically. Hyde described the young man as a champion who from childhood loved to read. He said that Clarke grew up without a father; yet he displayed every bit of humility, professionalism, dedication to his work and his family. Officiating celebrant, Father Noel Leslie, in his homily, consoled the mourners that death is a door that all of us must pass through, and that brcausr we do not knoe how and when we will face that passage, we must be ready.

Special Envoy returns from Taiwan
Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs Kim Simplis-Barrow has returned home from a five-day visit to Taiwan. Mrs Barrow visited that republic at their invitation, and during her visit, she called on Mrs. Chow Mei Ching, spouse of Ptesident of Taiwan, Ma Ying Jeou, as well as H.E. David Lin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The government’s press office states that Mrs. Barrow also paid a courtesy call to Mr. Fredrick F. Chien, Chairman of the Cathay Charity Foundation, where both officials discussed possible areas of cooperation. On Wednesday, July 8, Mrs. Barrow visited the En Chu Kong Hospital, where she was conferred the Fervent Global Love of Lives Medal by the Chou Ta Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation, “for overcoming the pains and difficulties of life with her indomitable courage and persistence, while making sacrifices for others.”

“Pawpa” Mena says police presence, jobs, land distribution will be priority issues in his area
Frank “Pawpa” Mena says issues such as improving police presence, creating jobs, improving land distribution and ensuring that more children have access to education will be top priority during his term in elected office. Mena, who garnered close to 58 percent of the votes cast in Wednesday’s by-election in Dangriga over the PUP’s Anthony Sabal, was sworn in on Friday as Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, in Belmopan. Mena said that there is an urgent need for better lighting and police outposts, particularly in areas along Sarawee and Hope Creek villages. These were some of the first things he promised to deliver to his constituents before his term in this adminstration expires, when the next general elections are called. First, however, he said there would need to be some kind of assessment to determine the specific locations along the eight-mile stretch of road where these are needed.

Youth shot dead on Friday night
Unofficial but reliable reports reaching The Reporter is that another youth was shot and killed in Belize City. Anthony Smith, 18, was shot multiple times to the chest and abdomen and died a short while later. The police have not yet released any details of this incident.

The Belize Times

PUP Says Minister of State Edmund Castro Must Go!!
Belizeans are in shock and anger at the news that Minister of State Edmund Castro withdrew his lawsuit in the Supreme Court on Friday the 3rd July, 2015 against Mrs. Alvarine Burgess who had accused him of using his Ministerial office for illegal and corrupt practices in the sale of visas to foreigners. Minister Castro, in his lawsuit, told the Supreme Court Mrs. Burgess had said on public television that he: (i) Collected Four Hundred Thousand ($400,000.00) dollars worth of bribes in return for recommending visas for foreigners he had never met; (ii) Used his office in the corrupt practice of selling visas; (iii) Is a criminal and broke the law of Belize; and (iv) Is a corrupt Minister of State. This, he told the Supreme Court, had seriously damaged his reputation and had caused him to suffer great embarrassment and distress. But by failing to clear his name and his reputation and by withdrawing his law-suit in the Supreme Court, Minister Castro is effectively admitting the statements made by Mrs. Burgess are true and correct and therefore he is in breach of the Constitution of Belize and violated the Immigration Laws and the criminal laws of Belize. No serving Minister has ever admitted that he is a corrupt person.

Anthony Sabal: “Here for the Long Haul!!”
Anthony Sabal will continue to represent the People’s United Party as its Standard Bearer for Dangriga, Sarawee and Hope Creek and to fight for the residents of the communities. “I’m in this for the long haul,” Sabal told the media houses outside the Holy Ghost RC School in Dangriga Town at the end of vote counting in Wednesday’s by-election. Sabal, in three short weeks of campaigning, was able to re-ignite a fighting spirit for the PUP in the by-election, and despite the UDP entire national election machinery piling up in Dangriga, he held his ground and battled on with committed supporters and the Party’s support. Sabal attracted 1,526 votes to the UDP’s candidate 2,164. The UDP were on a strange high going into the by-election. They were over confident and predicted nothing less than a 2 to 1 or even 3 to 1 victory.

UDP Buy Election!!
As warned by Melvin Hulse in his now very-famous Barrow-bashing recording, the UDP spent millions to buy the elections held in Dangriga on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Melvin, who has now been cast away from the UDP at the whim of one man despite him being elected in a convention by UDP supporters in Stann Creek West, predicted that the UDP would spend at least 2 million dollars in the Dangriga bye-election. From the looks of things on the ground, the UDP surpassed that amount easily. Reports are that the UDP paid $200 and $300 for votes. To wear a red shirt got you a cool $100 or perhaps up to $200 if you caught the UDP bagmen at the right time. The UDP had been in Dangriga for several weeks, spending on late-night drinking binges and parties, luring the people into deceit. On the day of the bye-election the Government vehicles rolled into town, fuelled with taxpayers’ money. Luxury vehicles with blue plates circled the town non-stop. UDP Ministers had no shame, spending the people’s money for political purposes.

Catholic Bishop Calls for Repeal of Petro-Caribe Loans Act
Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s anti-transparency law, the Petrocaribe Loans Act, has attracted yet another strong voice of opposition: Catholic Bishop, Dorick Wright. In a July 4th, 2015 release issued by Reverend Father Noel Leslie, he declared that “The Bishop of Belize and Belmopan, His Excellency Bishop Dorick Wright, joins me in calling for a repeal of the PetroCaribe Loans Act 2015 and its amendments and for a return to the adherence to the principles outlined in the Finance and Audit Reform Act 2005”. The release further announces that the Roman Catholic Church in Belize believes that “the Act was devised to correct transgressions in the borrowing and spending of Public Funds. The Church has a duty to denounce any legislation that violates the Rule of Law, the Spirit of Democracy and the Constitution of Belize”. Father Leslie’s statement came days after he voted in support of an amendment to the controversial Petrocaribe Loans Act at a July 1st Senate Meeting. The vote provoked heavy criticism because when the legislation was first introduced at a Senate meeting held on March 30th 2015, he had voted against it.

Promising Journalist Murdered
The cold-blooded and senseless shooting murder of 27 year old Kareem Clarke, a reporter for the Amandala newspaper, has left the Belizean community and in particular the media fraternity very shaken. Almost daily, the media has reported on shootings and violent murders, mostly from Belize City where the murder rate is sky high. But on Monday, the victim was one of its own. Clarke was gunned down while riding his bicycle along Vernon Street, near the corner with Lakeview Street, around 1:00am on Monday morning. He was heading home after visiting a female friend in the area when he was stalked by a gunman and shot at. He received two shots in the head and three times on his body. He fell from his bicycle and onto the cold cement pavement. A Police surveillance post that should have been active and manned 24/7, situated about 300 feet away on Vernon Street, was abandoned on the night of the shooting. Police authorities have not explained why this was so, when there have been several shootings and murders in the area over the past three weeks.

Oh! Far more men like him. With twelve such men Jesus changed the world. With less than twenty, Fidel Castro came out of the hills of Cuba and overthrew the USA supported dictator Bautista. History, both ancient and modern manifests many splendid examples of men and women standing up against the powerful, chancey systems of their times. Belize has such men and women, Phillip Goldson, Antonio Soberanis, Will and Sharper, Gwendolyn Lizarraga, and the great George Price, among others. But the times, at present, cry out for such men and women. One such is the Reverend Dorick Wright, Bishop of the Ramon Catholic Diocese of Belize. No religious leader in the history of Belize has ever stood up with such open and straight-forward bravery against governmental wrong doing in Belize. When the Minister of Education a few years ago introduced some weird “gender policy” it was Bishop Dorick Wright who marched in the streets of Belize to show how opposed the church was.

To Whom Much Is Given
Monday morning brought its usual dose of bad news but this time it was rougher than usual; in particular for my colleagues behind the zinc fence. One of their own, a young and upcoming journalist who contributed prolifically and reliably to their headline news stories was shot and killed in the early morning of that same day. Nuri, who is sitting in for Mose, was his usual composed self but co-host India Camile was visibly shaken and affected. It is never easy to lose someone who you see every day; and in particular when the news comes suddenly like that. A release from the Kremandala camp described Kareem Clarke as a “very promising and ambitious young journalist”. When I saw the young man’s picture, I remembered seeing him from time to time, chasing a story or waiting to interview someone in front of Independence Hall where I work. He was a humble and soft spoken individual and someone who was apparently well liked by all who knew him and even by those who simply crossed paths with him. As a regular reader of the Amandala, I have no doubt read much of what Mr. Clarke has written. Being somewhat of a pedant, I am critical of bad writing but I do not remember finding many faults with young Kareem’s pieces. He had a gift and he made the following of his train of thoughts and chronicle of facts effortless and easy. He was young, gifted and black but unfortunately, in this day and age on Belize’s southside of the city, that can be lethal and is usually a prelude to an early and predictable demise. Oh for the good old days!

A Corrupt Government
The man who promised good governance is presiding over the most abusive and corrupt administration. The Lands Department under his Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is “a hotbed of corruption”. Bribery and kickbacks in that Ministry have become the new normal. But the Prime Minister does not hold his deputy accountable. He sees nothing wrong in allowing the brother of the same Deputy to monopolize the exploitation of the rosewood in the Toledo forest. He sees nothing wrong when the nephew of the said Deputy is given a fat contract by Government to pave the road to San Antonio and is fully paid even though no work was done on that road. The Airport Authority funds are looted to provide Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s Minister of State Castro with thousands of dollars for his personal and political use. But the Prime Minister sees nothing wrong. It is, in his words only ‘distasteful’. What the other Minister of State Elvin Penner did at the Immigration Department selling Belizean nationality and passports to foreign criminals who never one day set foot in Belize was, in the eyes of the Prime Minister, not a crime because “factual guilt is not the same thing as legal guilt!” Barrow has also now even defended Castro’s admitted visa hustling, which was exposed by whistleblower Alvarine Burgess.

Rising Starz, Lucky Strikers & UB Jaguars win football matches
The UB Jaguars posted their 2nd win, blasting the Infinites 6-0. Iris Galdamez struck the Jaguars’ 1st goal in the 14th minute, and Iris added a 2nd goal in the 26th minute. Infinites’ goalie Cynthia Boteo had no chance with one of her own defenders deflected Rosaria Cal’s shot into the back of the net to give UB a 3-0 lead at the half. In the 2nd half, Cindy Bush blasted in a 4th goal in the 53rd minute and Rosaria Cal headed in a 5th goal to put the finish on an assist from Daysi Montero in the 60th minute. Delmi Hernandez came off the UB bench to replace Bush, and she too scored the 6th goal in the 64th minute. After that it was a free for all as the rest of the UB squad: Alberta Garcia, Araceli Galdamez, Daysi Montero, Tracy Chi and Delmi Cornelio came up to take shots at goal. Cynthia Boteo must have felt that she was in a shooting gallery as she did her best to keep it to 6-0. The Belmopan Lucky Strikers defeated the Bullet Tree girls 3-1. Clarisa Salgado scored the 1st goal in the 12th minute, and Kimberly “Brazilian” Perez added a 2nd goal in the 14th minute. Bullet Tree’s goalie Daisy Moya stopped Shadalee Ho’s penalty shot after the village captain Rutilia Useta took down Kim Perez in the 18-yard box to keep to 2-0 at the half.

Kent Gabourel wins Weekend Warriors Cycling Time Trials
Team Benny’s Megabytes’ Kent “Bob” Gabourel won the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club individual time trials held from Mile 23 at the Rockville junction to Mile 32.5 on the George Price highway on Sunday, July 5, in preparation for their national road championships to be held on Sunday, July 12. A Division 1st Kent Gabourel – Team Benny’s Megabytes (26:12) 2nd Robert Mariano – Team DigiCell 4G (26:26.04) 3rd Warren Coye – Team Santino’s (26:26.12) 4th George Abraham – Team BelCal (26:29) 5th Daniel Cano – Team Santino’s (26:50) 6th Preston Martinez – Team Benny’s Megabytes (27:09) 7th David Pollard – Team BCB/F.T. Williams (27:22) 8th Fitzgerald “Palas” Joseph – Team Lampaz (28:31) 9th Derrick Smith – Team BWS (29:03) 10th Kenny Gooding – Team BCB/F.T. Williams (29:24)

Bombers & Young Warriors clash in Smart Mundialito finals
The undefeated Brown Bombers and the Young Warriors will clash in the 2015 SMART Mundialito football championship finals set for Sunday, July 12, at the MCC Garden. The Brown Bombers entered the semifinals as the top seed, and won by the same score they had won over the No. 4 seeded Ladyville Jaguars, as they had in the regular season: 1-0; this time Eldon Byrd scored the winning goal late in the 2nd half, just before the long whistle. In the other semifinal, the Young Warriors were stuck in the same jam as they had been in their regular season math with the Collet Strikers 0-0 after regulation and overtime. So they had to go to penalties to decide a winner. In the penalty shoot-out, the Warriors beat Collet Strikers 5-4. Joshaun Flowers, Nelson Nunez, Jose Juan Garcia, Richard “Bigs” Williams and Anthony Usher converted their penalties for Young Warriors, but only Shamar Gillett, Mikey Palacio, Anthony Parham and Troy Gentle scored for Collet as their 2nd kicker missed the goal completely.

A lousy Politician and 3 luxury Prados!
This is a tale of one lousy politician and his three Prados. The UDP politician who belongs to the red party has amassed unknown wealth during his time in office as the Corozal Bay area representative. He now has a three-storey mansion home, forgetting some of the very poor who still live in shabby homes. The politician, an electrician by career, has mismanaged the Health Ministry and every now and again crisis hits the important Ministry such as outbreaks of infections killing babies, poor maternal health care, rats occupying hospital kitchens and monies going missing or being fleeced under large-scale pharmaceutical hustling. But it is his penchant for Prados that has caught our attention.

Rest In Peace Unionism
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize was established in 1966 with the mantra “Workers in Solidarity”. The concept of unionism is based on the foundation of solidarity and the struggle for equality and justice. Frederick Douglas said: if there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want oceans without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will. Sometime circa late 2007 and 2008, the United Democratic Party had the luxury of the various token leaders of unions engaging vigorously to topple the then People’s United Party Government. They took their fight to every crook and cranny of the Public Service departments. The NTUCB took out a paid ad with fiery words – “Who is GOB protecting? Mek we get it straight. Let’s talk about what is ILLEGAL. It’s ILLEGAL for the Government to mismanage funds and then lie about it, accept false documents so as to approve loans to political cronies and a few first Belizeans, mislead the people after they have been robbed. Sell of Belizeans passports, cover up for the big fish and allow the small man to take the wrap”.

St. Matthew’s Government School graduates 27 students
Twenty-seven students marched proudly to collect their primary school certificates on Wednesday, June 24th at the St. Matthew’s Government School grounds, marking an end to their studies at the institution, and the beginning of a new chapter of higher studies. Principal of the school, Michelle Murray, introduced the theme of this year’s graduation, “Service, Collaboration and Community Building: Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”, pointing out that she believes the message is critical to the institution’s success. She added that if it were not for collaboration with partners and the community’s involvement, the school would not exist nor be able to produce promising students. She committed to promoting this spirit. The Valedictorian for Class of 2015 was Orlando Argueta. 13 year old Argueta, whose figure is overshadowed by his taller classmates, had big words of encouragement for his peers.

Lilly White’s Summer Camp Denied Petrocaribe Support
Well-known sports activist Edward Charles Rubio aka “Lilly White” says that all the hoopla over the Government’s “Summer of Sports” has been insignificant to his summer camp because despite his request for support he got none. Rubio, who organises a summer camp at the BTL Park annually, said he had submitted his application for funding to the National Sports Council in May. He waited for a response but none came. Weeks later, on Friday June 26th, upon meeting a colleague who is organising a similar camp, he was asked if he wasn’t going to pick up his cheque at a special ceremony at the National Sports Council. Rubio said that because he had submitted an application, he felt that perhaps he was a recipient who had not been contacted about the ceremony. But when he reached the National Sports Council office, he was met with disdain. Rubio said the Sports Council Director, Patrick Menzies, was “rude” to him when he inquired about support for his summer camp.

UDP Political Alchemy and Propaganda!
Recently Belize’s airwaves have been bombarded by the United Democratic Party political propaganda “Transforming Belize”, “Believe in the transformation”, and “Petrocaribe Rolling”. Belizeans politicians and political parties have always utilized propaganda as a political strategy to win elections. Propaganda is not a novel strategy employed in the realm of politics – it is as old as politics. However, propaganda is considered one of several pathologies of politics. In Carl J. Friedrich’s book, The Pathology of Politics (1972) the pathologies include corruption, secrecy, betrayal and violence. Propaganda as defined by Friedrich is the behaviour, conduct or action of a propagandist – a person who hands out information to gain benefits, material or non-material advantages, for himself, or, more typically for the group he is acting for. The main objectives of propaganda include one of two things: to get people to vote for someone or to join his organisation (party) even if only for the vote or financially to support it.

They pretend to care
Almost 1,000 Belizeans have been murdered since 2008. Belize has been officially recognized as the third most violent country in the world. A crime occurs in this country every 23 minutes. Within the borders of Belize exists Belize City’s south side, which is the most violent place to be. On the south side of Belize 2/3 of the fathers are absent. On the south side of Belize gang infestation is real. On the south side of Belize poverty is pitiless. The negative reviews and realities attributed to Belize City’s south side are unending and have developed somewhat into a monotone. Gun plays and gang wars have become the norm. In 2008 a black man from a south side constituency was elected to become our Prime Minister. That wasn’t the norm. He was to have been the silver lining on the gray clouds always hovering over our south side communities. Things were to have been different. His success at the polls created a feeling of hope for all black Belizeans in the early morning of February 8th when the results had settled in. A black Prime Minister! Our saviour had arrived. Our children would die no more. Our women would be able to find work. Our men would be able to toil the land. This Prime Minister would fight for us and keep our interest at the center of his policies.

UN Office & International Groups Defend Maya rights – P.M. Dean Barrow should apologize to Maya people, say international groups
The Barrow Administration’s disrespectful and oppressive treatment of the Maya people of Santa Cruz Village, Toledo District, has been heavily criticised by the international community, including the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, issued a strong-worded statement on today, Tuesday, July 7th, 2015, urging “the Government of Belize to ensure respect for the rights of the country’s Maya people to non-discrimination and traditional property”. Tauli-Corpuz has been monitoring the Government of Belize’s actions against the Maya people, following the June 20th incident in Santa Cruz involving Rupert Myles. She noted that the Maya of Santa Cruz holds customary rights to its village lands which the government must respect and protect, as affirmed by a 2007 decision of the Supreme Court of Belize. She added that “under international human rights standards, indigenous peoples have the right to use, develop and also to control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership”.

People’s United Party Resolution on the Unjust Guatemalan Claim to Belize
RECALLING WITH PRIDE that since the inception of the People’s United Party, WE have, as a Party. always rejected in its totality, the unjust and unfounded claim of Guatemala to the land, maritime areas and insular waters of Belize; BEARING IN MIND that Peoples’ United Party has worked tirelessly to internationalize the just cause for Belize’s rights to sovereignty, self-determination and territorial and maritime integrity to the United Nations, the OAS, CARICOM and other international Organizations and the world in the decades since 1964 ASSERTING that it was the fortitude, vision and guidance of our Party, under the bold leadership of the Rt. Honorable George Price who carried our nation to its date with independent destiny on September 21, 1981 without any fear of the unjust. unfounded Guatemalan Claim and that we took our due place in the family of Independent Nations on that historic day; BEARING IN MIND that Peoples’ United Party has, up until 2014, been represented and has participated in all dialogue, discussions and negotiations in which the Government of Belize has dealt with the unjust unfounded Guatemalan Claim;

Too Much Politics in the Public Service
Dear Editor, I’m sick and tired of politics in Belize. Today if you want a job, you have to see your area representative who of course must be a member of the ruling party. Now-a-days you can have a degree and it means nothing. It’s not what you have in education, but who you know to get you the job or even worse if you are a strong supporter of the ruling party and show your strong ties, you will get the job even if you are dumb or can’t function effectively. At first the Ministry of the Public Service used to advertise positions that are vacant and an interview is held and the most suitable candidate is chosen. Now, any dumb fool sent by a minister can obtain jobs. I have seen unfairness across the board in almost all government ministries and department. The public service is not what it used to be. It is now a bogus ministry run by politicians. CEO McNab and the Minister for Public Service are wasting their time holding workshops to improve the public service when nothing is being done to implement changes. If they don’t like you, if they can’t gossip with you or if you don’t show political ties connected to them, you are being transferred over and over maybe to frustrate you. Some public officers are untouchable and you know why.

Paul Rodriguez Disappointed with the Belize Council of Churches
Dear Editor, I have noted with dismay that Senator Father Noel Leslie was instructed by the Belize Council of Churches to vote in favour of the Petro Caribe Act and its Amendments. Don’t Churchmen know that on matters of public morality it is immoral to require that your representative sworn by oath to act without fear or favour vote in support of what he considers to be illegal and immoral measures. The Petro Caribe Act and its Amendments support the illegal and dishonest use of public funds. No honest citizen should support the use of public funds borrowed to improve the economic conditions of the whole society where there is no transparency and accountability. I regret that no meeting was held by the Council of Churches to discuss how our Senator should vote. I think it is time for Bishop Dorick Wright to re-consider whether our membership on the Council of Churches is indeed contributing to the Kingdom of God in Belize or assisting the process of conforming the Church to the world instead of the reverse.

6 survive near-fatal accident on Phillip Goldson Highway
The scene of Sunday night’s traffic accident on mile 82, in the outskirts of San Joaquin Village, was gruesome. The grey-coloured Geo Tracker sat on the road side, badly damaged. Several of the passengers were carted into an ambulance, with various degrees of injuries, but the good news was that there was no fatality. 37 year old Lilian Judith Flores, the driver, reported to the Police that she was driving in the direction of her home village, San Jose Village, when she lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle swerved to the right and slammed into a cement electricity post, then landed downhill.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Police and residents aim for Mayflower truce
Regional Commander for Eastern Division (South), Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, reports that he is working along with the mothers and relatives of several known gang members of the Ghosttown Crips based on Mayflower Street, who out of fear of further reprisals, have approached the police department to organize […]

Police stalled on finding Kareem Clarke killer
Funeral services for late Amandala journalist Kareem Clarke, 27 years old, were held this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at the St. Joseph R.C. Church, preceded by reflections beginning at 1:30 p.m. Earlier this week, KREM News aired exclusively the surveillance video that captured Kareem’s murder, which took place […]

Teakettle boys charged for murders
Belmopan police arrested and charged Shaylon Santos and Cardinal Lemoth, Jr., this week for the murders of Americans Julian Christopher Jones and Paul David Signorino. Jones and Signorino were killed at Jones’ estate in Teakettle, Cayo District, on May 15 after being chopped and shot twice in the […]

When will general elections be called?
After the events of this week, the speculation begins on when general elections, constitutionally due by 2017, will be called. They are expected to be earlier, but how much? Speaking in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday’s by-election in Dangriga, UDP area representative for Port Loyola Anthony “Boots” Martinez suggested […]

Save Belize With Two Things
By: Charles Leslie Jr. People keep saying young men will become extinct because of all the crime in Belize City. That is not what will happen. 60% of the Belizean population lives outside of Belize City. This is what may happen if real proportional representation and proportional budgetary allocation is not […]

Mainly fair weather conditions expected
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies with the chance of a brief thunderstorm developing inland this afternoon. Partly cloudy skies with isolated showers are expected tonight. Winds will be blowing from the East at 10 to 20 knots. The sea state will be choppy to […]

18 year old youth shot and killed in Belize City
Reports reaching our newsroom are that Anthony Smith, an 18 year old youth from Belize City was shot and killed last night. According to reports, Smith was shot numerous times to the head, chest and abdomen.


Your First Time Visit – Ambergris Caye Check-list: 10 Must-Do’s When You Visit Belize
.Ambergris Caye has SO much to offer and can keep you busy from morning until night. The food, the festivals, the people, the shopping, the aqua blue waters, the gorgeous barrier reef and wildlife – most people are quickly hooked. But it’s your first visit…and with only a few days or a week, where to start? Here is a check list – a mix of fun, adventure and…chocolate – that will make the most of your time on the island. And give you a real feel for what living on Belize’s largest island is like.

Using maps to conserve Natural Belize
Adapting to the growth rates, infrastructure, and conservation of natural resources in developing countries can be exceptionally difficult. Belize is no exception to that. The country is the second smallest in Central America, and is commonly known for its diverse culture and natural wonders. Protecting many of these resources has become somewhat of a concern in the scientific community both within and outside of the country. With many coastal developments, high deforestation rates, and difficulty allocating funds for environmental protection, natural resources are taking a bit of a beating. New technologies are helping to begin tackling the problem. The implementation of geographic mapping software (GIS) into conservation talks can improve efficiency, reduce expenditures, and help protect some of the country’s most beautiful locations. GIS is a powerful mapping software that can help land managers and scientists alike view data collected within the country spatially and help them visualize which areas are in need of the most attention. Multiple ‘layers’ of data can be added to any given map so users can overlay different data sets and view them all at once. In this manner, map users can view country roads and protected areas at the same time and then create a buffer zone of unsuitable habitat as a result. Viewing layers of human populations in proximity to jaguar habitat or prime conservation areas can also be beneficial.

International Sourcesizz

Doane president, student writing field guide to Belize marine life
Doane College President Jacque Carter and student Brittany Boyd missed the best time to be a marine biologist in Nebraska by about 100 million years. Late in the Cretaceous Period, when the region lay at the bottom of a massive inland sea that covered about one-third of what is now the United States, massive dinosaurs and fish swam in the sea, their bones becoming fossilized in the muddy sea floor when the sea dried up. A few eons later and a thousand miles from the nearest sea, Carter and Boyd are in the process of writing an interactive field guide to 525 species of coral reef fish of Belize. For two Nebraska scientists to be authoring a book for Caribbean tourists snorkeling off the coast of Central America, or a reference book for marine park managers and ichthyologists (fish scientists), the world under the sea holds a strong affinity. “The whole time I’ve been in administration, I’ve managed to continue my scientific interest, maybe not at the same level or intensity, but with students who are interested,” said Carter, who has been leading the liberal arts college in Crete since 2011.

Laguna Blanca School Scouts Out Maya, El Pilar for Experiental Learning Trip
Arriving in Belize after a long series of overnight flights from Santa Barbara, adventurous Laguna Blanca School teachers Blake Dorfman and Arturo Flores met Anabel Ford Ph.D. of UC Santa Barbara’s MesoAmerican Research Center for an introduction to the tropical world of El Pilar in western Belize and the Peten of Guatemala. This is a familiarization journey designed to establish links for a future journey for Laguna Blanca’s upper school students as part of the Hope Ranch school’s commitment to experiential learning. Ford rediscovered the ancient Maya city of El Pilar some 30 years ago, and is researching the site with extreme care, making fascinating discoveries while keeping conservation of the area in mind. Through this proposed program, Laguna Blanca students will have the opportunity to learn about the Maya use of forest gardens, a method of sustainable farming that brings promises for conservation in the future.

Mayan Leaders Arrested for Protecting Sacred Site
Mayan leaders of Santa Cruz in Belize say they were arrested for removing and then arresting a man who had illegally started to build on a sacred site in their community and then threatened them in a public meeting; these events transpired only two months after a high court ordered the Belize government to protect indigenous land rights. On Friday, July 3, Mayan leaders filed a petition at the Caribbean Court asserting that the government had failed to honor the lands rights ruling when previously, on June 24, armed police officers arrested 12 Mayan villagers and leaders, including the principal leader or alcalde, on charges of illegally imprisoning Rupert Myles. The Mayan leaders of Santa Cruz assert that Myles had illegally started to build on top of a sacred site, and that after being asked to stop he appeared at Mayan Council meeting and threatened the officials with a gun. Myles was then arrested on the orders of the Santa Cruz Alcalde who according to legal sources had the right to do so.

Sustainable Tourism: An Opportunity for Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals
This week, I had the opportunity to attend the United Nations High Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) as a guest of the UNWTO. The HLPF on sustainable development is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development. It provides political leadership, guidance and recommendations. It follows up and reviews the implementation of sustainable development commitments. It addresses new and emerging challenges; promotes the science-policy interface and enhances the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The HLPF meets every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly and every year under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. Tourism relies on safe cities to both attract and bring back visitors. Tourism has also realized that the more sustainable and resilient destinations are, the more likely they are to succeed in the tourism business. Xanadu Resort in Belize for example built the resort using monolithic dome construction which enabled it to weather Hurricane Keith, keeping all its guests and employees safe while the surrounding areas was devastated.


  • Fireburn July 2015, 1/2min. Baird's Tapir at Fireburn Fireburn, as part of the North East forest, is one of the three richest wildlife areas in Belize, and lies within Belize's North East forest corridor. This Wildtracks Video Short provides us with an opportunity to share the wildlife with you through photography, camera trap outputs and sound clips.

  • Tropic Air flight from Belize city to San Pedro, 14min.

  • Snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef, 16min. This is some raw footage of our first snorkeling trip to the Barrier Reef of Belize.

  • Sea Turtle Belize, 2min. Hawk-Billed Turtle at Turneffe Reef.

  • Belize Aggressor june 2015, 9min.

  • My first Open water dive in Belize, Glovers Reef, 4min.

  • July 4, 2015 Dive at Esmeralda, Belize GoPro, 36min. Full dive including shark eating gopro, curious turtle, remora aggression, and plenty more sharks.