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Today's Belize News: July 15, 2015 #505884
07/15/15 05:44 AM
07/15/15 05:44 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,065
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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

A Drive off the Beaten Path- North Ambergris Caye
While San Pedro’s town core is loaded with restaurants, stores, boutiques and more! There is certainly much more to explore if you dare to venture off the beaten path. A drive north beyond the resorts and paved roads took us on a ride filled with scenery that made me understand just why so many fall in love with Ambergris Caye. Isn’t this a spectacular view, absolutely no filter needed!

Costa Maya Festival® Presents: Miss Belize and Miss Guatemala
The list is complete! With the announcements of Miss Guatemala and Miss Belize, we have a full roster of ladies vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2015. Miss Guatemala, Lisa Hayet Francis, is a 20-year-old visual merchandiser who enjoys drawing, swimming and playing basketball. Miss Belize is the lovely Samalia Vernon. The 22-year-old is from Belmopan and currently attending St. John’s Junior College in Belize City, majoring in Business and Marketing. Vernon enjoys yoga, reading, traveling, painting, cooking, meditating, fashion and modeling, dancing and tennis. Upon arrival on July 29th to La Isla Bonita, the eight ladies will be facing a full itinerary of fun activities. Fido’s Courtyard will be hosting the beauties on the first night of their arrival, and the public is invited to come on down and mingle with the lovely girls before they begin their rounds of preparations for the pageant.

Coral Reef Ed Ventures campers graduate
On Wednesday, July 8th, Coral Reef Ed-Venture Summer Program held its annual end of camp open house at the Lion’s Den for its participants. The summer program was divided into two parts: the youth camp which is for kids ages 9 through 12 and the advanced camp for students 12 through 17. Hosted in collaboration with Smith College from Massachusetts, USA and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Coral Ed-Ventures is a children’s education program held annually in San Pedro. The main focus of the program is to teach children about reef ecology, conservation and preservation of marine habitats. This year’s camp saw more than 60 students participating. The open house event began at 7PM and included a variety of presentations that represented all the knowledge the children gained during the summer camp. Family and friends gathered at the Lion’s Den to witness what the children had learned in the two week camp program. Each student received an “Expert” name card as a form of diploma, which stated that they are Coral Reef Experts for the completion of the course. Two time program volunteer, Elena Ayala explained the success of the camp. “We found 2015 to be very successful. Children come back every year, and their knowledge about the coral reef continues to increase. This year we had speakers from different organizations, such as ACES, Mar Alliance and Oceana, among others, come in and made presentations to the children at the camp. We are very happy to be able to come to San Pedro every year and work with the children. The team work that coexists here in San Pedro between the local community and permanent organizations on the island is just phenomenal and encourages that team work spirit,” stated Ayala.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

7th Annual International Silver Dorado 2015 Sport Fishing Tournament
The much anticipated 7th Annual International Silver Dorado 2015 Sport Fishing Tournament is here this weekend in Mahahual, Mexico. Just a short drive from Corozal and a short boat ride from San Pedro. Get a chance to win the grand prize of the “Silver Dorado 2015” with the catch of the largest Dorado fish. Several Cash Prizes from $25,000 pesos to $100,000 pesos. Six different tournaments. It is going to be exciting and entertaining. It is all happening this weekend July 17, 18 and 19. Mahahual will be waiting for you Corozal and San Pedro.

Workshop Date: July 16th, 2015 9am to 12pm. A good proposal doesn't just outline what product or service you would like to create or deliver, It should also leave the reader believing it is the only logical choice. This workshop will take participants through each step of the proposal writing process from understanding why they are writing a proposal, to gathering information, to writing and proofreading, to creating the final, professional product. By the end of this training course, participants will: Learn to define the strategy & best approach for each proposal, Determine the correct proposal style Master the best method for effective proposal writing Perform a need analysis & write a goal statement , Acquire a variety of techniques for improving writing skills Learn to use appropriate resources to build a strong case. COST: $40.00 LOCATION: BELTRAIDE OFFICE, Orchid Garden Street, Belmopan Includes a light snack and refreshment.

Belizean Delegation in Toronto for 2015 Pan Am Games!
Our news reporter, Hipolito Novelo, is in Toronto, Canada, for the 2015 Pan/Am and Parapan games. The official ceremony will take place tonight and Hipolito caught up with the Belizean team. Belize’s athletes are ready to represent in Athletics and Triathlon. The delegation is headed by Chief of Mission, Allan Sharp. The contingent consists of triathlete Amed Figueroa, athletics delegate Deon Sutherland, and athletes Kaina Martinez and Mark Anderson who will both be doing the 100m. The Vice President of the Belize Olympic Committee is accompanying the team.

"Mariachi Tierra Maya"
The Institute of Mexico in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico in Belize invites you to join the "Mariachi Tierra Maya" for a night of wonderful music and entertainment. FREE ENTRANCE!

Benque Clean Up Campaign 2015
The Benque Clean Up Campaign was very successful, with scores of people coming out to make Benque much cleaner. They did the sign too. Thanks to everyone that pooled together for the great community event. "Belize and Guatemala joined hands to work on a project headed by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Matanza Project committee. On Friday, July 10, 2015 various community organizations and individuals came out to clean the riverside and main streets of Benque Viejo Town. A group was also working on cleaning the signage at the entrance of Benque. It is this kind of events that brings together a community and strengthens the relationship between two countries. We feel proud of all participants and hope that this event takes place more often."

Mysterious Maya Citadel Begins to Reveal its Secrets
They've started examining the Citadel at El Pilar more closely. There's extensive looting damage, but it allowed them to get a better picture of the structure of the ramparts. If you haven't visited the Citadel, it's really worth seeing. "El Pilar is considered the largest site in the Belize River region, boasting over 25 known plazas and hundreds of other structures, covering an area of about 120 acres. Monumental construction at El Pilar began in the Middle Preclassic period, around 800 BCE, and at its height centuries later it supported more than 20,000 people. Ford, who is the Director of the BRASS/El Pilar Program at the MesoAmerican Research Center of the University of California, Santa Barbara, has taken a 'hands-off,' highly selective conservation approach to investigating the site. With the exception of a fully exposed Maya house structure, most of the structures at El Pilar have remained completely conserved by design, still covered in their tropical shroud. The Citadel excavations have opened a new chapter in the research at El Pilar."

Mr. Greedy's Relocating
Mr. Greedy's is finishing up the refurbishment of their new location...the old Torres Bakery building. The building is massive, and they'll use the front part of it for their new location. Their grand re-opening is this Saturday, July 18th. Many of the pictures are of the historical and antiquated equipment left over from the bakery. Mr. Greedy's is bringing in their equipment for their pizzas. Pictures on fb here.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, July 14, 2015: 95. FANTASY 5: 16 34 26 24 13 W

Power interruption 8:00am to 10:00am, Thursday, July 16, Cayo District
Portion from junction of George Price & Hummingbird Highways to Camalote, including Valley of Peace, Roaring Creek, Young Bank Road and portion from junction of George Price & Hummingbird Highways to Armenia, including Las Flores. BEL to replace recloser on power distribution system in area.

Western Ballaz Summer Basketball Camp
The Western Ballaz Summer Basketball Camp starts next Monday, June 20th, at Falcon Field. It's sponsored by the SSBA, SISE Town Council, and the Ministry of Sports. It's open to kids ages 5 to 18, and will run 2 weeks. "San Ignacio Santa Elena Basketball Association and The Government of Belize presents Ballaz for Life 2015 Summer Camp!!!!"

When Rudy Miguel, Anthony Hutchinson, Noel Gordon and Alfred Parks ruled Belize's cycling in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's, there were no foreign rider, not even the Mexicans and the Americans, that can attest of coming anyway near to capture the Garland then. These were perfectly designed and Belizean-made cyclists who won the grueling 144 Mile Classic, the Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Race in record time, considering the rugged roads that would have obliterate many a foreign riders with their polished performances.

The long awaited and exclusive feature on the legendary Belizean softball pitcher, Linda Lewis, whose pitching ace led the Belize national softball selection to win the first ever Gold Medal for Belize in the 1974 Central American & Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico, will be aired here on Belizean Legends.

The colorful and intricate Belizean design is a collaborative effort between two talented Belizean artists, Bella Carib (Dr. Glenda Arnold-Heon), and MarvJate Fashions (Marva Morris) who collaborated in designing one of the most unique attempts in carnival designing for last Sundays, July 12, 2015 Carnival Parade in Long Beach, California, where Belize was represented in grand style, and in living color. The piece seen here worn by a Belizean-American young lady who was sponsored by the Belizean dance phenom and performer herself, Bella Carib, attracted many a viewers and turned many heads at the carnival. It was designed by Bella Carib and crafted by MarvJate. Surely there are good things that come from out of the Los Angeles Belizean community, and this collaborative effort has made the Belizean Legends masterpiece of the month.

Channel 7

PUP's National Campaign Manager Rolls Out, What Next For Opposition
When the PUP lost the Dangriga bye-election last week, PUP Leader Francis Fonseca became the first mass party leader in memory to lose three major elections in six months. And because of the successive losses, everyone knew something had to give - someone had to take a fall for the party's consistently poor turnout at the polls. And it seems National Campaign Manager Godfrey Smith is the man. The news broke just before 11:00 this morning and Smith told us via text message, quote: "party leader and I reached mutual agreement that I would no longer be campaign manager." He would not comment further than that. Though not completely unexpected, it's surprising because it is Fonseca who brought in Smith - as campaign manager in April of 2014. In fact, just last week - in his post defeat press conference, Fonseca endorsed Smith - even in the face of a third successive defeat. Jules Vasquez In the PUP, the national campaign manager is the one who "roosts" out funds but by multiple indications just girl talk on the ground, we understand that the national campaign manager has failed to do that. In any substantial ways certainly not in a ralphian proportions. Should the PUP re-examined the post of national campaign manager and should Mr. Smith remain as national campaign manager?"

Political Commentator Okeke Says Cordel Should Lead
One political observer who has been keenly tracking the developments in the PUP is Steven Okeke. He's written two books on politics in Belize - and two weeks ago - he put up an interesting Facebook post in which he offered 10 options for the PUP Leadership in a time of crisis. He wrote it before the Dangriga election and today he discussed the options that are still there after another loss:.. Steven Okeke, Political Commentator/Author "Its unconventional situation for them right now and I don't think they have been in this kind of disorganization, not just that the party is losing, but the leadership doesn't seem to know what to do and their public face, their public presentation - what they present to the public discourages even their own people from coming out to vote. So, what they have to do is to so what they have never done before. Do something drastic. Do something that makes the people see you want to win, you want to show them you are interested in running the country - you are interested the country - you are interested in being a vibrant opposition, not necessarily who is in charge or who is at the helm or who make up the leadership. But you want to win. You want to do something drastic and that is where you have to choose somebody among you who have some charisma, who have some flare, you have some youthfulness and some level of experience."

KHMH Staffers Cry Out For Raise; Will GOB Balk At 2 Mil Request?
As we've reported, public officers and teachers received an eight percent salary increase this month - and that follows up on 6% they got last year. It has increased government's wage bill by over 70 million dollars - but GOB may have to dig a little deeper. That's because nobody remembered the folks at the KHMH. Now, they aren't public officers; they work for the KHMH Authority which is an autonomous statutory body. But, it's not fully independent, because in reality, the KHMH's operations are funded substantially by government - to the tune of more than ten million dollars annually. So, the almost 579 KHMH workers say they want a slice of the pie too. Of course, coming up with that kind of money for 600 hospital workers would another at least another two million annually to the wage bill - which is no small feat for government. Today, our reports say senior representatives of KHMH Management appeared before Cabinet to make their case directly. Still, no definitive answer is forthcoming - and Cabinet is now deliberating on the costly request. But, while they deliberate we have heard that the staff is reserving its options and has met with the Public Service union to discuss possibilities.

Chief Magistrate Throws Out Case Because Of Bad-Acting Police
28 year old Sherwin Baezar went to court yesterday to stand trial for assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, insulting words to a police officer and riding a bicycle contrary to the flow of traffic. But, all the charges were thrown out after Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith learned what police had done with him. The mile 8 resident was arrested for riding "up-stop" in October of 2014. At the time, he told us what police did with him:.. FILE: October 28, 2014 Sherwin Baizer - Allege Police Brutality "On Friday the 24th, I went to the market to buy vegetables on my bike and like the men (police) were coming on the lane the same time I am going to a stall to buy. They came out and search me and they didn't find anything, so the sergeant said "go through" but this next police officer named "AldalBerto Baton," he said no, he will take me in better and he grab me on my shirt and started to drag me and so I told him that I didn't like his son to drag about this place.

Ladyville Cops Make Bust Out Of Sandhill
33 year old Anthony Zelaya, a resident of Gardenia Village, is spending his first night of a 12 year sentence after he was arraigned today for prohibited firearms and illegal drugs. Early this morning, around 4:45 a.m. Ladyville police raided Anthony Zelaya's residence in Gardenia village. Zelaya was present at the time along with were Nelson Zelaya, Arlene Zelaya and Nicole Moody. During that operation, they found a sawed-off 16 gauge shot gun, four 16-gauge cartridges and 105 grams - or 3.7 ounces - of marijuana. All 4 persons were charged with keeping a prohibited firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and drug trafficking. The officers quickly prepared their criminal charges and marched them to court today, where they were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.

Belize Bank On What CFATF Green Light Means
2 weeks ago, we showed you the press conference hosted by the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize. At that event, they announced that the country's banking practices are more resistant to money laundering and terrorist financing than ever before. As the lead agencies in the financial and banking sector, they were trying to get all the bankers compliant with the regulations set out by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. After months of hard work it was finally accomplished, but with this new level of accountability and transparency, it does affect the off-shore banking sector, which used to offer banking without full disclosure. That confidentiality could have been used by criminal organizations to make illicit transactions. So, Belize like all the other territories in the Caribbean took steps to insulate against that type of illegal behavior, and now, we've been given the nod as one of the countries that is compliant. Because of the pressures coming down from the finance regulating organizations from abroad, the Belize Bank was one of the local banks which was negatively affected when it lost its corresponding banking relationship with Bank of America. So, today when we got the opportunity, we asked the Executive Chairman of Belize Bank, who also the CEO of BCB Holdings, about how the compliance has allowed the bank to move past this setback. Here's what he said:

Using Art To Make Statement About Murder
Right now, Belize City artist Katie Usher is closing off her latest exhibit at the Image Factory Art Foundation. It is called "Wall" and on it, Usher has placed the names of those who have been murdered in 2015. After examining a collection newspapers, and news articles from the different media houses, Usher's tally is that 78 persons have been murdered since the beginning of the year, up to yesterday. Her wall of names is meant to put into perspective just how many lives have been cut short in the last 6 and a half months. She explained to us this afternoon that the idea for this exhibit was forged when she found out that Amandala journalist Kareem Clarke had been killed 8 days ago. She said that his tragic end was the catalyst to the "Wall": Katie Usher - Artist "We lost, what I think in my mind was a very good Belizean, not just a very good journalist. Because when he wrote his stories he actually cared about the person. He gave these people personalities and families, not just a statistic.

Violence Against Violence Highlited
And included in those saddening statistics are two women who were killed in the past two weeks by their husbands. They are Juana Cowo-Cardinez in Punta Gorda and Keisha Buller in Benque Viejo Del Carmen. Today, the Women's Issues Network of Belize sent out a statement pointing this out as Gender based violence which they say is a serious violation of basic human rights. The statement says gender Based Violence is still underreported in Belize: and complaints are not properly handled by authorities, which , quote, "sustains this vicious cycle." They call on citizens to condemn it, and report it, and call on the Prime Minister's Wife, Women Parliamentarians, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, Senators...and other leaders to quote, "be united in saying an absolute NO to violence against women."

Indian Found Dead In OW - Police Suspect Sudden Death
Police can't say for certain what caused the death of an Indian man who was found dead at his apartment in Orange Walk this morning. 35 year old Vicky Gyanchandani was found dead inside his room on Guadalupe Street. Foul play has not been ruled out because of a ligature mark around his neck, but police have reason to believe it could be a sudden death:.. Inspector Selvin Tillet, Deputy Commander - Orange Walk Police Formation "The body was found lying on the flour with the head facing the door of the room. There was no sign of struggle. However, there's was an apparent mark on his neck down. Investigations revealed that the decease has been in the country for quite a while now. According to the regional hospital personnel, the deceased has a stray of chronic alcoholism. He has been visiting the said hospital and was also suffering from stomach ulcer. The body is currently awaiting a post mortem."

Landing Man Accused Of Molestation
40 year-old Orlando Dawson, a construction worker of Bermudian Landing, is spending his second night on remand after being taken to court for having sexual relations with an underage girl. The girl, who is only 14 year-old, went to the police station and reported that Dawson took advantage of her with her on 3 separate occasions: December 7, 2014, December 20, 2014, and December 31, 2014. Police investigated her complaint, and they eventually charged Dawson with 3 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. He was arraigned yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, and due to the nature of the offences, Dawson was remanded into custody until October 30.

Buena Vista Water Woes Worsen
2 weeks ago, we told you about the situation at the Buena Vista Water Board where cheques surfaced at with the Chairman's name, Julio Castillo, on them. We stress that the Ministry of Rural Development has not determined that anything illegal has happened, but the residents strongly suspect that something funny happened with the money. Well, because this situation has not been resolved, the villagers don't want to pay any more money, and so, a number of them are without water tonight because they were disconnected today for non-payment of arrears. As we've told you, cheques for as much as $19,000 have surfaced due to the persistence of Eddy De La Rosa, the Chairman of the Buena Vista Village. He and others continue to suspect that Castillo acted improperly as the Chairman of the Water Board. Castillo has declared his innocence to us saying that he cashed the money in his name so that he could get access to the funds quicker, which made it easier to do the job of the Cayo Village's Water Board. He and his secretary have shown us written records which they assert should prove their innocence.

Belize Bank Gives Scholarships
The Belize Bank today announced the 12 deserving students countrywide whose education they plan to fund for the next school year. It's the 4th year that the bank is offering this type of opportunity to students who make the grade. This time around, they are giving away 8 high school scholarships, and 4 to junior college scholars. Today, 7News got a chance to meet the scholarship recipients: The scholarships will last up to the graduation of each students, provided that they maintain a 3.0 grade point average, which is a B average. The bank started this initiative in 2012, and they now have 56 students being funded by this program.

Doing It Right
And while those hard working students got rewarded with a scholarships, others who made the right moral choices got bigged up by police today. 39 high school students from 14 schools around the country were acknowledged at the "Do The Right Thing" award ceremony. It was held at Old Belize and we met the winners who all received scholarships to continue their studies. This is the 10th year for the Police Department's "Do The Right Thing" Program.

From Belmopan to Michigan
3 weeks ago, we told you about how the youth advocacy organization, 4H Development Center, sent a delegation of youths to Michigan, as part of a cultural exchange program. Well, they returned this afternoon, and they were eager to share with us how it went. They told us what they were doing for the last 21 days: As mentioned in the interview, the 4H Youth Development Center advocates for youths under the Department of Youth Services.

Mike Menjivar Takes GSU To Court
Viewers may know the story of Miguel Menjivar very well, he's the business owner from Belmopan whose family put through a terrifying pre-dawn raid by the Gang Suppression Unit. That happened in May of 2011, and after that incident, where over 100 bullets fired by the GSU officers, Menjivar had to stand trial, and get an acquittal for 9 counts of attempted murder because he opened fire on the officers. He told us that he will sue the Government and the Police Department for this incident, and his case finally started yesterday after nearly 2 years. They reported to the Supreme Court with their attorney, Phillip Palacio for the first case management conference. Menjivar and the Police Department have been given case management orders by the court for documents that they must deliver. A date has been set for pre-trial. It will then follow that Menjivar should be given his full day before the Supreme Court where his attorney will try to convince the judge that the GSU acted excessively in that bullet-filled raid, and that he deserves an award of damages. We'll keep following the case.

Getting High With Weed On Roof
Yesterday we told you about the GSU's weekend of gun and weed seizures in the city - but they were also working out on san Pedro. On Friday morning, the unit searched the residence of Angela PITTS on Glitter Street in San Pedro Town. On the roof, they found a plastic bag containing a total of 100.4 grammes or 3.5 ounces of weed. It's a small amount, but it resulted in a big arrest where everyone in the home was taken in, including: 53 year old Angela PITTS, 40 year old Kerdel MEIGHAN, 31 year old Indira RIVERO, 34 year old Resendo RUBIO, Silvia TEUL and 19 year old Josie CASTELLANOS. They were all charged for of "Possession of Controlled Drugs with intent to supply".

Channel 5

Breaking News: Man Shot In Gonzalo Quinto Warehouse Compound
In breaking news tonight, there has been a shooting in the compound of the Gonzalo Quinto warehouse near the Napa roundabout in Belize City. From what we have just learnt, [...]

Another Resignation in The P.U.P.; Campaign Mgr. Godfrey Smith Steps Down
Tonight, there is major news coming out of the People’s United Party camp in the wake of last Wednesday’s Dangriga bye-election. News Five was able to confirm today that Godfrey [...]

Man Found Dead In Orange Walk; Was It Murder?
Police have a number of murders to solve, but there is a new case that is baffling authorities in the north. The body of thirty-five year old Vicky Hareshlal Gyanchandani [...]

Man Critical After Chopping In Orange Walk
On Monday, the bloody footage of a man who had been viciously chopped to the face and body made its short-lived rounds on the social media. It was taken off [...]

Hilberto Sotz Killers Before The Courts; His Family Seeks UNCHR Assistance
The island of Caye Caulker has resumed a sense of normalcy in the wake of last month’s public uproar caused by the murder of eighteen-year-old Hilberto Sotz while in police [...]

Did Police Use Excessive Force in Shooting Death of Leopold Myvette?
And our question for tonight: Do you think the police used excessive force in the recent shooting death of Hope Creek resident, Leopold Myvette? Send your comments and responses using [...]

Fire in Biscayne Leaves Twelve Homeless
Two Biscayne families are without their house after it was burnt to the ground shortly after two on Saturday morning. Emmerson Michael, his common-law-wife and their seven children lived upstairs, [...]

Gun Recovered, But Smith’s Killer Still on the Loose
Tonight, another cold-blooded killer remains on the loose despite the recovery of this nine millimeter Glock pistol, believed to have been used in the murder of eighteen-year-old Anthony Smith.  The [...]

Gardenia Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Gun, Ammunition & Drugs
A man from Gardenia is spending the first night of twelve years behind bars after he took the rap for a prohibited weapon, ammunition and drugs found in his home. [...]

Apprentice Remanded For Alleged Robbery
Tonight, a member of the Apprenticeship Program who is scheduled to graduate on July twenty-second has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison.  Allan Allen Phillips was arraigned on Monday [...]

Chester Williams on Ghost Town Intervention
On Monday, we reported that an intervention had been staged over the weekend by the Belize Police Department, involving feuding members of the Ghost Town Gang.  The mediation saw the [...]

Belize Bank Awards 12 Scholarships
Twelve students will start the new academic year with scholarships through the Belize Bank Scholarship Programme. Among the guests at the Biltmore Plaza this morning were family members of the [...]

Police Recognize Youths Doing The Rait Ting
The tenth annual national “Du Di Rait Ting” Award Ceremony of the Police Department was held today at the Old Belize Pavilion in Belize City. It’s an initiative that started [...]

Artist Share Murder Count
The official murder stats for the first half of the year is yet to be released by the Police Department, but we can surely say that 2015 is one of [...]


Palmar Resident Detained For Altercation In Palmar Village
Yesterday we told you about an almost fatal chopping incident in Palmar Village in Orange Walk involving two men. As we reported, 27 year old Irvin Cantun was seen with chop wounds on the head, left elbow, mouth and side. Investigators say that Cantun was socializing with some friends and about 1:00am he saw Alberto Canche. It is alleged that Cantun provoked Canche and that is when an argument ensued between both men landing Cantun at the KHMH where he remains in critical condition. Selvin Tillette – Inspector: “We have arrested and charged a young man by the name of Canche of San Jose Palmar and has been charged for dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm as well has been detained and he will be taken to court sometime tomorrow.” Reporter: “Have you been able to come up with any motive?”

Allegation Of Personal Benefits Launched Against Hugo Patt
Petro Caribe those are two words that apparently won’t be forgotten anytime soon as it is the talk of the entire country. Be it positive or negative there is no doubt that when it comes to the rampant spending of the Petro Caribe funds spending it is a subject that has been widely discussed. And tonight it is making news again, but not because the monies were used to finance another fun day in Corozal with tacos and music. This time the complaint is coming from the P.U.P Standard Bearer for Corozal North David Castillo. In the Village of Patchakan located in the Corozal North Constituency represented by Minister of State Hugo Patt, about quarter mile of road has been paved with Petro Caribe funding. Surprisingly though, the paving leads from the main street directly into Patt’s premises. And that is what is raising eyebrows and building up questions, questions that are not about to be answered.

Orange Walk Has A New Sheriff In Town
Orange Walk’s hard-core criminals and lethargic cops better watch out as the town’s new police chief is determined to prove that he means business. Inspector Selvin Tillett wants to rid the Northern municipality of target killers, extortionists, robbers, and other criminals. He has also told police officers to get their act together and put criminals behind bars no matter who they are. “First of all we need to go along with the Commissioner Standing Orders, first of all community policing is the way to go now, zero tolerance on corruption and police brutality the reports on police brutality we are investigating it at this moment and if they are found guilty make them face the music.” In a correction to Tillett’s statement, what he meant to say was “following the commissioner’s policing plan and not commissioner’s standing orders. Tillett replaces Superintendent Dennis Arnold who was transferred to the Corozal Police Formation.

BSCFA Membership Dissatisfied For The Fact That Cane Remained In The Fields
At the top of the newscast you heard the chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management Ezekiel Cansino talk about the nine non-compliances the association currently faces. And while the Association has their fair share of corrective measures to put in place to reverse the action of non-compliances, how did the splintered BSCFA do in the delivery of cane over the 2014-2015 Sugar Cane Crop Season? Cansino says overall the Association did well but individually there are farmers unsatisfied since there is a large volume of cane still left in the fields. “We are not happy because we did not finish our cane we still have cane on the fields but everything was good because we have a good TC/TS and that is the most important thing that we did the hard work and we end up with a good quality cane.”

Nourishing Minds With The Game Of Chess
Do you know that according to research, test scores improved by 17.3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children participating in other forms of enriched activities? Interesting right? Well bearing that in mind the Sandy Hunter Library is currently offering summer chess programs for kids giving them an opportunity to learn and play or to improve their game. Currently 15 children are engaged in the program. Far from the preserve of the academically gifted, chess also helps troubled kids to find a better focus for their energies, and allows shy or non-athletic kids an opportunity to exercise their competitive spirit. The program is being facilitated by Chess Tutor, Jose Zavala who also represents Belize in tournaments.

BSCFA Expands On Nine None Compliances
Last Friday the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, BSCFA announced that were found with nine non-compliances after being audited by FLOCERT, the global certification body for Fairtrade. Non compliances usually spell trouble for organizations under the umbrella of Fairtrade. But according to the Chair of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Ezekiel Cansino, this time around, the non-compliances filed against the BSCFA are not major and will not affect the association’s certification with Fairtrade. EZEKIEL CANSINO – Chair, BSCFA: “We receive the result and we were informed that we have 9 non-compliance but none of them were major and we are very happy for that because it will not affect the certificate of fair Trade and the Organization but we will be working on that as soon as we get the corrective measures we will be sending them today.” Maria Novelo – Reporter: “Corrective measures, like what and then do you have a time frame?” EZEKIEL CANSINO – Chair, BSCFA: “On how we will be working on and reduce that noncompliance, we have to sit and plan and then send it to them on how we will be working on that issues.”


What International Assessments Are Saying About Belize
With the world wide web so accessible to everyone and traveling becoming so easy for many, Belize has indeed become a well know destination, albeit, its size and status as a third world country. So much so, that in various aspects, this small Central American nation has and continues to be graded by organizations around […]

An Appeal to Help Family Rebuild Following House Fire in Rural Belize
On Saturday, July 11, we told you of a 13-member family that lost their home to a house fire in the wee hours of that morning. The two-storey wooden structure located in Biscayne Village, Belize District, occurred between two thirty and three o’clock that morning, leaving four adults and nine children homeless. 37-year-old, Emmerson Michael […]

Police Says Chopping Incident Is Not Gang Related
27-year-old Irvin Cantun is recuperating at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital from chop wounds he received in the early hours of Monday morning while on his way home in San Jose Palmar Village hospitalized. According to reports from villagers, Cantun was heading home when he was suddenly attacked with a machete by a fellow villager. […]

Foreign National Found Dead Inside His Apartment
The body of 36-year-old, Vicky Hareshlal Gyachandani was found inside a room he was renting on Guadalupe Street in Orange Walk Town. So far police is treating the matter as a case of sudden death but investigation continues as there is reason to believe that a mark found on his neck could be as a result of […]

Mena’s Role as Minister of State Explained
Last week when the political campaign died down and the red and blue waves subsided, the Prime Minister had announced that the recently elected Area Representative for Dangriga, Frank Pawpa Mena would be given a portfolio in Cabinet. The media was then notified on the following day that Mena had been given the title of […]

Belize Bank Makes Life Easier for Some Struggling Parents
The Belize Bank Limited today handed out scholarships to twelve students to continue their education. General Manager of Marketing at the Belize Bank, Shakira Tsai said the bank is proud to have a part in shaping the academic future of young Belizeans. SHAKIRA TSAI “We found families dealing with tragedies, some with unfortunate circumstances and […]

Sugar Season Closes with Record Numbers
The 2015 Sugar Cane Crop Season has come to an end with record figures. When the BSI gates closed at 6 pm on Sunday July 12, cane farmers had delivered a total of one million one hundred and eighty six thousand one hundred and fifty three point nine tons of cane. Because this year cane […]

PUP’s National Campaign Manager Resigns
When you compare the outpour of support that came out of the People’s United Party in the Cayo North bi-election in January 2015 to the Dangriga bi-election held just last week, the blue and white camp showed far more energy and unity in the southern municipality on July 8. According to the Opposition Leader, Francis […]

Re: Today's Belize News: July 15, 2015 [Re: Marty] #505885
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What the PACT Bill Should have Addressed
The National Protected Areas System Bill 2015 , the first Protected Areas bill introduced in the house on Friday June 26was to bring the laws governing the protected areas system in accordance with international law. The Second was an amendment bill to the National Protected Areas Conservation Trus...

Belize’s last man on death row has sentence quashed
He killed a man in 2000, and was sentenced to death a few months later along with two others. But 44 year old Glenford Baptist has a new lease on life after being told this morning that his sentence of death by hanging will be commuted. He was Belize’s last man on death row – others bef...

National Team receives Petro Caribe monies
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Finance officially handed over $125,000 Belize dollar grant to the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) today, July 13. The grant was approved by Cabinet from the Petrocaribe Fund to help them meet the national team’s training and travel costs leading ...

While police hunt down his killer and the area where he was killed moves toward healing, Kareem Jabbor Clarke is no longer on this earth. He was laid to rest this past Saturday following funeral services at St. Joseph R.C. Church. As expected, the church was packed to capacity with many of those who...

Police and counselors forge truce in Mayflower
Regional Commander for Eastern Division (South), Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, toward the end of last week began working along with the mothers and relatives of several known gang members of the Ghost town Crips based on Mayflower Street, who out of fear of further reprisals, have approach...

Promised Consultation on PACT bill
On Friday the 26th of June the Government of Belize introduced two bills concerning Protected Areas without the full support of APAMO, the umbrella body for Protected Area organizations. The First was the National Protected Areas system bill, 2015 and the second was an amendment to the protected Are...

Man is Knocked Down, Doesn’t Survive
The road side of the George Price Highway in the Village of Camalote was flanked by crowd of on lookers who gathered to see who was the victim of this latest Road Traffic Accident over the weekend. According to reports, sometime around 5:30 pm on Sunday evening, a man was riding his bicycle on the ...


Mother’s only son murdered on CA Blvd
A Customs officer was stabbed to death in her home in Benque Viejo del Carmen, allegedly by her abusive common-law husband, who is unemployed, and who, today, was charged with murder in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. Keisha Buller, 25, a Customs officer at the Belize Western Border, was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital suffering from stab wounds to the neck, upper body and abdomen, but was declared dead on arrival. Police quickly arrested her boyfriend, Ervin Wade, 29, of Benque Viejo, at a roadblock near Galen University in Central Farm as he was trying to escape from Benque Viejo after Buller died. Wade was taken to the Benque Viejo Police Station, where he was charged with murder. Ervin Wade was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court this morning, Monday, and arraigned on the charge of murder, use of deadly means of harm and grievous dangerous harm. No plea was taken from him and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until September 17.

Orton Clarke, career public officer, passes at 84
Orton Clarke, an exemplary, well-known career public officer, passed away quietly at his home, located at the corner of Amara Avenue and Cemetery Road, on Saturday, July 11. Clarke, who retired from the public service on April 20, 1986, had taken ill a little more than a year ago, his family confirmed to Amandala today. Although he had retired from the public service, Clarke, who was also a Commissioner of the Supreme Court, was a regular presence at the traditional opening of the court’s legal year each January for a number of years. Clarke began his public service career at a very early age, his wife of 44 years, Elaine Clarke, told Amandala. He served as hospital administrator for the old Belize City hospital between 1965 and 1970.

Accused double murderer walks
The trial of Jaime Smith, 28, who has been accused of the double murder of Eric Arana, 19, and Dwayne Tillett, 21, which occurred on May 20, 2011, ended in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas this morning when the judge, who heard the case without a jury, ruled that Smith was not guilty of the double murder. The prosecution, Justice Lucas said, had not sufficiently identified the accused as the man who pulled the trigger, killing Arana and Tillett and injuring three others, one of whom was the key prosecution witness but was later declared a hostile witness after he had failed to show up to give his testimony on the second day of the trial. On the night of May 20, a group of friends were socializing on Antelope Street when a lone gunman rode up on a bicycle and unleashed a barrage of gunfire at the group. Five persons sustained gunshot injuries from the shooting. One man, Eric Lip Arana, died on the spot. The other man, Dwayne Tillett, died about half an hour later while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Mother’s only son murdered on CA Blvd
At about 8:30 last Friday night, Anthony Ashton Smith, 18, of Coney Drive, was shot in the chest, head, abdomen, upper body and leg as he was riding his bicycle on Central American Boulevard towards Fabers Road, from Caesar Ridge Road. When Smith arrived at the junction of Freedom Street and the Boulevard, the gunman fired several shots at him. He died almost immediately on the scene. Police who were on foot patrol in the area were coming up from Jane Usher Boulevard toward Fabers Road when the shooting occurred and were about 200 feet away at the time of the incident, according to police. The officers chased the shooter, who, police say, fired at them. Police took cover and fired back, and the shooter threw the gun in a yard and escaped.

Bittersweet sugar season for cañeros
The recent announcement by Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega that sugar production had already hit a record high—with production reportedly up by 32%—even before the season drew to a close may have suggested that cañeros would be “smiling all the way to the bank;” but representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), the main organization representing thousands of cañeros in the north, told our newspaper today that whereas it is true that sugar production has hit a record high this year, roughly 80% of cañeros still have hundreds of tons of un-harvested cane, valued at tens of thousands of dollars, in their fields. Alfredo Ortega, BSCFA’s Orange Walk branch chairman, told us that the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC) is expected to conduct a survey to determine the extent of the un-harvested cane. Jose Novelo, SCPC chairman, confirmed that they will embark upon that verification exercise sometime next week. He said that they will look at the amount of cane burnt and not harvested, the new acreage planted, as well as the “ratoon,” a word used in the industry for regrowth of harvested cane. The SCPC had projected that cane production this year would reach 1.45 million tons, and Novelo said that when deliveries were halted on Sunday, cane received by the factory at Belize Sugar Industries totaled about 1.186 million tons.

A service of thanksgiving for the life of Kareem Jabbor Clarke
Six days after he was senselessly murdered near the junction of Vernon and Lakeview Streets, the family, friends and media colleagues of Kareem Jabbor Clarke, an Amandala reporter who also performed various functions for KREM Radio and KREM TV, began to arrive around 1:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Church, where the body was laid in an open casket, before the service of thanksgiving. The service got underway shortly after 2:00 p.m., when the casket was closed and Father Noel Leslie began his sermon, in which he lamented the tragic end of Clarke, who has been well known to the St. Joseph Church family, since his childhood days when he attended St. Joseph Primary School. The eulogy was delivered by KREM TV’s Evan Mose Hyde, who narrated how Clarke had written twice to the chairman of Kremandala, Evan X Hyde, in his determined quest to pursue a career as a journalist at Amandala about two years ago. Hyde explained how Clarke’s boundless energy and willingness to perform had led him to juggle his various tasks, which he carried out for the various branches of Kremandala – the Amandala newspaper, KREM Radio, and KREM TV.

The Mighty Avengers honor 20 Lifetime Members
Henry’s Eden Resort on the Benque Viejo Road was the venue once again this past Sunday, July 5, for the second award ceremony – Lifetime Membership – to honor past players and, supporters of the legendary Mighty Avengers Football Club (1968-1979). Belize’s football history is a work in progress, but whenever there is consideration about the most memorable, outstanding and awe-inspiring team to grace the football field in the Jewel, there are a few names that always stand out, names that have become legendary and almost mythical among surviving lovers of football from yesteryear. Today’s youngsters cannot be blamed for their ignorance; they have not sufficiently been informed and enlightened about the great teams of the past, names like Queens Park Rangers, Dunlop and the Mighty Avengers. The Mighty Avengers is extra special, because it represents a period of consistent excellence that can hardly be matched in Belizean football lore. This is because the Avengers dynasty did not start small, like most clubs do; nor was it the product of a wealthy owner who could easily attract the best talent in the country; neither did it burst with exceeding brilliance upon the football scene, only to mysteriously crumble and disappear as suddenly as it had arrived. In fact, the team that was to one day become Avengers, was being formed, and molded and pounded into enduring quality and form by its stellar congratulation to the organizers of the event and the Mighty Avengers Football Club.

BDBA Firms basketball update
The Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) Firms Basketball Tournament 2015 continued over the weekend with 2 games on Friday and 3 on Saturday at Birds Isle. In the opener on Friday night, Central Health won, 54-50, over Infotel, behind Steven Wade 19 pts 4 rebs 3 assts, Neil Nicholson 11 pts 3 rebs, and Tevin Vernon 10 pts 4 rebs; while for Infotel, Stafford Young had 11 pts 6 rebs, and Russel Humes 15 pts 6 rebs. And in the nightcap, it was Atlantic Bank with the 55-44 victory over Generals. Leading Atlantic Bank were Justin Wade 16 pts, Herman Ramos 11 pts 9 rebs, Jaheed Smith 10 pts 5 rebs 3 assts, Shawn Stephens 10 pts, and Jermaine Tillett 8 pts 11 rebs. For the losing Generals, Cassian Flowers had 14 pts 8 rebs, Ron Nicholson 14 pts 3 rebs, and Darnell Lopez 7 pts 7 rebs.

G.O.B. gives Petrocaribe money to FFB for National Team
The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Finance, officially handed over a BZ$125,000.00 grant to the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) today, July 13. The grant was approved by Cabinet from the Petrocaribe Fund to help them meet the national team’s training and travel costs leading up to Round 3 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The grant was presented to the FFB by the Financial Secretary Mr. Joseph Waight, who on behalf of the Government extended well wishes to the National Team and assured future support from the Government as the team progresses in the games. Present at the ceremony were a few of the team players, Minister of National Security and National Team Coordinator Hon. John Saldivar, and the General Secretary of the FFB Mr. Michael Blease, who received the grant on behalf of the federation. Both Minister Saldivar and Mr. Blease expressed their gratitude to the Government and said that they look forward to the continued support. (Ed. Note: How sweet it is!! We trust that the FFB accounts are in order?)

Editorial: On Mayflower, forty years later …
The UBAD organization and the Amandala newspaper came back here to Partridge Street in late 1972. We had been given notice by our landlords at #46 Euphrates Avenue, and the decision was made to go to swamp land on Partridge Street we had leased from the Government of Belize in 1969, thanks to the foresight of the late Ismail Shabazz. Our conditions were primitive on Partridge, until we managed to complete the original UBAD building, a 30’ by 20’ ferroconcrete structure (now demolished), in the latter part of 1973. Partridge is where we have been ever since. If you go direct east from Partridge, you will meet Santa Barbara Street, Zericote Street, and then Central American Boulevard. Further east, you meet Pine Street, and then Mayflower. On Mayflower Street lived the man Lester “Bailar” Smith, also known as “Sundance,” “Experience,” “Kid,” and other affectionate names. For decades it had seemed that Belize City stopped at Pound Yard, and one of the reasons the city could not expand northwest was because of a large body of water known as Prisoner Creek, which would have been between where Lakeview Street, Banak Street and Vernon Street converge today.

From the Publisher
When I began my Belizean journey on the road of public controversy many, many years ago, one of the realizations that was very daunting to me was how powerful the Church was, in something as everyday and mundane as public opinion. The way it works on the ground, if you become an opponent of the Church in any way, what this means is that any setback you or your family members experience from thence forward, that setback will be ascribed to divine retribution, or the judgment of God against you because of your sin or aberration. I’m not trying to open old wounds here, trust me. A lot of things have changed with this new Pope, Francis from South America. At the top of this column, I quoted from an article reproduced from Reuters/The Guardian (UK) on page 55 of last weekend’s Amandala, and if you have not read that article I want you to find it and read it. Some of the statements being made by Pope Francis would have been condemned as “communist” in 1969. What you must understand is that when Pope Francis says something, it is not the same as some obscure, insignificant columnist in some small Third World country writing that something. Pope Francis is a man of awesome international power. He represents maybe a billion people, perhaps a seventh of planet earth’s population.

Hey GOB! Whatever happened to our ten grams?
Dear Editor, Most civilized countries are waking up to the fact that the prohibition of cannabis has been a great big failed mistake, not only a mistake, but in my own humble opinion, prohibition itself, is a crime. Even though no one ever had the right to prohibit cannabis, the law has created much harm in our country and time for a change is at hand. If you could give peace of mind to tens of thousands of your fellow Belizeans, and their families, would you? That is about how many cannabis users in Belize would be affected in a positive way by decriminalization. Any person within the GOB that can help, should do it. To be given such a great honor as to be able to alleviate some of the suffering of tens of thousands of your fellow Belizeans is in fact a constitutional mandate, a blessing in disguise and a great good karma move. Do this for Belize and you and Belize will be blessed, in ways that you can only dream of, guaranteed.

Frank “Papa” Mena sworn in as Minister of State, National Security
The newly elected Dangriga area representative, Frank “Papa” Mena, of the ruling United Democratic Party, was sworn in on Friday as Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security. Mena was officially sworn in by Governor General, H.E. Sir Colville Young, at the Belize House in Belmopan. Hon. Mena took his Oath of Office in the presence of his relatives, friends and supporters.

Clock ticking for US Capital’s oil exploration work in Toledo
In April, we told you that US Capital Energy, the company which has a petroleum concession to drill for oil in Toledo, had decided to abandon its first well inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park after dangerous levels of potentially hazardous hydrogen sulfide were encountered. US Capital Energy’s country representative, Alistair King, had told us that the company may proceed to drill a second well; however, they would have to first meet with Government officials before investors decide the way forward. We learned from King today that a decision has still not been made, since the company is currently doing technical assessments on its exploratory work to date, after which a final decision will be taken. However, King said that the production sharing agreement, granted in 2008, gives them until January 22, 2016, less than 6 months more, to explore for oil, although their permit to enter the national park won’t expire at least until next April. If they fail to declare a commercial find before next January, that could be the end of the road for them, but if they do, they would have 25 years to develop the oil field. King said that a second well is ready to go, if US Capital so decides, and there is an oil rig available in- country to jumpstart the process.

Death of a journalist
I represent the extended Samuels family who could not attend the funeral; unfortunately, they are out of the country. I represent every grieving family whose heart weeps over the senseless murder of a loved one. I represent every Belizean whose desperate cry of frustration seems to ricochet against the wall of a helpless, injured or resigned society condemned to be held hostage by those who indiscriminately aim a gun! However, it is within our power to turn every tragedy into a learning moment and thereby to confound evil by producing that unpredicted and positive outcome. (What the enemy meant for bad, the Lord has turned into good.) What is the positive lesson in all this? Is there a positive, learning moment? Well, God has deposited the seed of a gift in every living soul. What is a gift? – It is that thing that you can do better than anyone else; we say it comes naturally, which is just another way of saying, “It has nothing to do with me; I am merely the vessel that bears that seed.” You will know your gift – you will enjoy doing it; others will note that special difference, that “je ne c’est qua”, and it will bring tremendous blessing to others – that is your gift. Some people live their entire lives without stumbling upon their gift. Kareem was blessed, for he discovered his gift of writing. He was passionate about it, did it with seeming ease and it blessed the lives of others. So, let his discovery challenge you to seek your own gift, use your gift and stand and watch the difference it will make to your world.

Belize gets highest rating from Expats
A 2015 study titled, Expats: Expectation & Reality – A research Study of Expats Living in Belize, Nicaragua and Panama, reports that the country in which the highest percentage of expatriate respondents indicated that they enjoy their life “much more” was Belize, with 73.1%. The report said that the study, released on July 6, 2015, was compiled by Best Places in the World to Retire, funded and run by an experienced group of entrepreneurs and investors based primarily in Southern Arizona, and that it garnered responses from over 400 expats, who provided more than 14,700 answers and thousands of comments. “The achievement of getting a fresh start was cited by 38.2% of our respondents who moved to Belize, but only by 28.4% of those who moved to Panama and 24.7% of those who moved to Nicaragua. Be warned, however: in our interviews with expats living in Belize, many have cautioned against coming to Belize in order to disappear or hide. You can begin a brand new life in the land of jaguars and black orchids, but in doing so you can’t escape from the long arm of the law,” the report said.

Former Benque mayor, Edgar “Whitey” Contreras, detained on gun charge in Melchor
A well-known Belizean businessman of Benque Viejo del Carmen, Edgar “Whitey” Contreras, who served as mayor in Benque in the 1990s, and who operates as a money changer in both Belize and Guatemala and is owner of the UNO service station in Benque, was detained on Saturday, July 11, when Guatemala police reportedly caught him with a gun registered for use in Belize but not in that jurisdiction. Contreras, who we are told is the cousin of Cayo West area representative Hon. Erwin R. Contreras, Minister of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, has been a money changer for about two decades. Ambassador Said Guerra, in charge of consular matters in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lives in Benque, and was able to immediately travel to Melchor to check into the Contreras matter. Guerra told Amandala that on Saturday, he spoke personally with Contreras, who claimed that he forgot that he had his firearm on him when he went to Melchor.

Glenn Murillo, 21, shot on Vernon Street
On Saturday night, July 11, Glenn Murillo, 21, was shot in the right upper arm as he was talking to two friends on Vernon Street in front of a Chinese store. The shooter simply came up and fired three shots at him. Murillo’s two friends escaped unhurt and the shooter fled the area, but GSU who were on patrol in the area quickly intercepted the gunman and captured him. He is now in custody, along with the gun he allegedly used for the shooting. Superintendent Hilberto Romero announced today at the police press brief that the shooter, who is a minor, is strongly believed to be the person who shot and killed Amandala reporter Kareem Clarke, 27, who was shot multiple times while riding home on Vernon Street on his bicycle at about 12:30 Monday morning, July 5.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Shooting in Belize City
There was a shooting reported in Belize City tonight. The incident is reported to have taken place in the vicinity of the NAPA-Gonzalo Quinto warehouse on Coney Drive. The injured person has been rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. This is a developing story and we will have more information […]

Godfrey Smith leaves campaign manager post
Attorney Godfrey Smith has confirmed that he and PUP leader Francis Fonseca reached “a mutual agreement” for him to leave the post of national campaign manager with immediate effect. While it is not a resignation, it does bring to an end a year and two months of Smith’s […]

Police awards Do The Right Thing
The Police Department is celebrating ten years of its Do The Right Thing program. Annually it identifies and publicly honors young individuals in school who have overcome adversity to succeed. Today the top 38 awardees nationwide from each of the police zones gathered at Old Belize on the […]

Brothers charged for keeping bar open past closing hours
It may be bad news for those accustomed to carousing, but under the law bars in Belize do have closing hours, usually midnight. However, two brothers from Ladyville, Belize District, 38 year old Jose and 34 year old Oscar Mejia, naturalized Belizeans originally from Honduras, are accused of […]

U.S. Capital Energy has six months to find Toledo oil
The Amandala newspaper reports that U.S. Capital Energy, which holds a concession to drill for petroleum within the Sarstoon Temash National Park, has yet to make a decision on whether to drill a second well not from the first, now abandoned, well inside the park. Country representative Alistair King told […]

Leopold Myvette family upset over death
Dangriga police say he threatened them with a gun, but family members of 28 year old Leopold Myvette of Hope Creek Village, Stann Creek, believe he was wrongfully and unnecessarily targeted. According to police, they responded to reports made by multiple persons of someone in the village threatening people with a firearm. […]

Palmar resident charged for chopping fellow villager
25 year old Alberto Canche of San Jose Palmar has been charged by police for dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm after becoming involved in a chopping incident on Monday night, July 13, that sent a fellow villager to hospital. Canche and 27 year old Irvin Cantun […]

Veteran senior public officer Orton Clarke dies
Clarke was a former Permanent Secretary (modern-day Chief Executive Officer) and administrator of a hospital and the Superintendent of Prisons during a lengthy career which ended in 1986. He also served as Cabinet Secretary for 8 years under administrations led by both the People’s United Party and United Democratic Party. […]

Police question sudden death of Indian businessman in Orange Walk
Police in Orange Walk Town await the results of a post-mortem examination on the body of Indian businessman 36 year old Vicky Hareshal Gyachandani, to determine when and how he died. While at first police considered the case as natural death, they have not completely ruled out the […]

Former Mayor of Benque Viejo Town Arrested in Guatemala
Former Mayor of Benque Viejo Town, Edgar Contreras is expected to be charged today after he was found with a firearm in Melchor, Guatemala. According to reports, Contreras holds a valid gun license in Belize but he allegedly forgot that he had his firearm with him when he crossed the […]

Financial Secretary says more money may be missing from Treasury
Some half a million dollars was cleverly siphoned from the Treasury last year. While four persons have already been charged, the extent of the scheme may be greater than previously reported. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight told reporters on Monday that another transaction had been uncovered of about twenty five thousand […]

Belize Bank Limited Awards 12 Scholarships To Deserving Students
At its fourth annual ceremony at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City, this morning twelve students from four districts were handed scholarships to continue their education at secondary and tertiary level. The Belize Bank Limited’s scholarship program pays for tuition and books for all […]

Police find dead body in Orange Walk Town
Belize Media Group just received a report that police in Orange Walk Town have found a dead body on Guadalupe street. Victor Castillo, our Orange Walk correspondent has been dispatched to the scene to get more info. We will be updating this […]

Minor detained for Kareem Clarke Murder and Vernon Street Shooting
Police in Belize City believe they have the individual alleged to have shot Amandala reporter Kareem Clarke, 27, last Monday, in custody. The 16 year old minor, according to Supt. Hilberto Romero, the officer in charge of Crimes Investigation Branch for Eastern Division, is also suspected to have shot 21 […]


A Concise History Of Mesoamerica And The Ancient Maya Part 3
Towards the end of the colonial period, Charles lll became king of Spain. His interest was getting to know more about native cultures in Central America and Mexico. Certainly the Spanish were bringing back to his motherland great wealth in the natural resources they were taking from the indigenous of America. He commissioned one Ordonez to fins out some more of the cultures. Ordonez visited Palenque. He was in such disbelief of the wonders of its architecture that he made certain he told the king that it was the Romans who had to have built that city! King Charles was amazed at that news. To reconfirm that, he sent another person, Antonio Del Rio to Palenque but unfortunately for Del Rio, he was hijacked by the British and his commentary never reached King Charles lll. The next thing we know is that Jean Frederick Waldeck publishes this Del Rio report in England. How interesting isn’t it?

Top 5 Ways To Experience Belize’s Toledo District
Southern Belize is home to the Toledo district, where lush jungle spills down to the Caribbean and you find a mix of indigenous, Creole, and even Mennonite folks. Here are five fun things to do here… Explore the Rainforest: Even a short hike on maintained trails lets you experience the diverse eco-systems of Belize’s rainforest… Lodges like Hickatee and the Lodge at Big Falls maintain on-site trails. To explore the rainforest in depth, hire a local guide. That way you won’t get lost in the jungle—and you’ll have an expert to point out unusual birds, wildlife, trees, and medicinal plants used by the Maya. Experience the Caribbean Sea: Take a short trip to the Port Honduras Marine Reserve to snorkel or fish. Or spend a few days in the sapodilla Cayes, near the barrier reef. If you time it right, you may encounter a majestic whale shark. ReefCI runs a marine research outpost at Tom Owen’s Caye. You can spend five days there, scuba diving and taking part in marine research, for less than $1,000.

Spicy Coconut Chicken or Shrimp with Spicy Mango Basil Salsa
(serves 4) Salsa: 1 mango, peeled and finely diced 3 scallions, sliced 5 basil leaves, julienned 1 lime, juiced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Shrimp or Chicken: 2 fresh jalapenos, sliced 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1/2–inch piece ginger, peeled and grated 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 lime, zested 1/4 cup coconut milk Small handful basil leaves, torn 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 15 grinds pepper 1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp or 2 chicken breast, cut in strips For the salsa: Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Make up to a day in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator.

International Sourcesizz

Prominent scientists sign declaration that animals have conscious awareness, just like us
An international group of prominent scientists has signed The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in which they are proclaiming their support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are — a list of animals that includes all mammals, birds, and even the octopus. But will this make us stop treating these animals in totally inhumane ways? While it might not sound like much for scientists to declare that many nonhuman animals possess conscious states, it's the open acknowledgement that's the big news here. The body of scientific evidence is increasingly showing that most animals are conscious in the same way that we are, and it's no longer something we can ignore. What's also very interesting about the declaration is the group's acknowledgement that consciousness can emerge in those animals that are very much unlike humans, including those that evolved along different evolutionary tracks, namely birds and some cephalopods. "The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states," they write, "Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors."

Belize governor-general visits Port City
Queen Elizabeth II’s representative to Belize is visiting Wilmington this week. Belize Governor-General Colville Norbert Young is scheduled to arrive in Wilmington late Tuesday, according to a news release. Young will be a guest of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation and the Consulate of Belize, according to the release. He will be in town until the weekend. Edward Paul, a Wilmington optometrist, also serves as an honorary consul to Belize. San Pedro, Belize, has been one of Wilmington’s sister cities since 2007.

Believing in Belize: Forest Lake LLC makes mission trips smoother
When a 21-year-old Jason Pfingsten visited the Central American country of Belize, he was struck by the people's friendliness, the beauty of the landscape and the needs of local Christian churches. Fast forward more than two decades later: the 45-year-old father of three has founded a Forest Lake-based LLC called Thirst Missions that has helped some 5,000 people travel to the Third World country. The LLC's function? To handle logistics, oversee safety and arrange for behind-the-scenes local experiences so attendees can focus on ministry itself. This year the interdenominational organization will sponsor 50 trips involving about 1,000 people, while 75 trips involving 1,500 are planned for next year. Staff now includes six employees in Minnesota and 15 in Belize.

11 Places We'd Love To Go Treasure Hunting With 'The Goonies 2' Cast
We had a minor freak-out this week. Rumors have been flying that The Goonies – easily one of the most unforgettable, adventurous, dynamite movies of all time (It’s not a candle, it’s dynamite!) – will come back for a sequel, and potentially with the entire cast. Granted, this promised sequel has been a massive mythological tease ever since the original film debuted, but still. Hope is a powerful thing and it got the best of us, yet again. To be fair, according to Snopes, as of July 13, 2015, there is still no new information to indicate the sequel is moving forward. But for some reason this video from last year, of director Richard Donner confirming he was working on a sequel, went viral again and people got all excited. Regardless, we couldn't help but fantasize about where the good old Goonies gang might go treasure hunting next. And we can’t let hope die that they will. (Don’t say that. Don’t ever say that. Goonies never say die!) Actun Tunichil Muknal This cave in Belize is full of human decomposition. More specifically, it is home to the famous Crystal Maiden – a calcified skelton. Is the Crystal Maiden the new One-Eyed Willy? Only time (and a sequel confirmation) will tell.

Bahamas hosting Caribbean's top talent search this week
Top international fashion and talent scouts, casting directors, record labels, music producers and industry executives will journey to The Bahamas July 13-19, 2015 for the first annual Music, Model & Talent Showcase of the Islands (Island MMTS) which will be held at the Melia Nassau Beach Hotel on the new Bahamian Riviera at BahaMar. Island MMTS is a one-of-a-kind event for the islands, and is the only entertainment, modeling and acting showcase in the world specifically targeting the Caribbean market. Talent from 37 islands and 23 countries, ages 5 to 65 will be represented and showcasing to influencers from U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe whose business is to identify and develop future stars. Island MMTS is poised to bring approximately 1,500 stopover visitors to the Bahamas July 13 to July 19, 2015. Island MMTS is the brainchild of Pia T. Glover-Rolle at the helm of top Bahamian firm PTG Marketing and Modeling Agency, which has a proven track record of success in modeling, talent development and placement in the industry, both locally and internationally.

Case For Caribbean Debt Relief Being Made At International Financing Conference
The United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) will be making a case for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to give debt relief to countries in the region when an international financing conference begins in Ethiopia today. Following up on her suggestion in Barbados on July 2, ahead of the CARICOM Heads of Government Conference, ECLAC executive secretary Alicia Bárcena will present the debt relief proposal and call for the creation of a regional resilience fund, at the July 13-16 Third International Conference on Financing for Development. In 2013, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Kitts and Nevis were among the 20 most indebted countries in the world, according to the ratio of their public debt to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That year, the total debt burden, both internal and external, of 15 Caribbean countries amounted to US$46 billion, or 71 per cent of sub regional GDP.

UNM researchers study global warming causes
Researchers study global warming causes in Belizean Cave Systems. Pretty Interesting.... For decades, it has been getting drier in some parts of Central America that have traditionally enjoyed plentiful tropical rains. Some University of New Mexico researchers say that is because of air pollution during the industrial age causing uneven warming of the northern and southern hemispheres. They and their colleagues on an international science team say the uneven heating of the northern and southern hemispheres is nudging the inter-tropical convergence zone, where tropical rains form, to the south. “What we’ve noticed basically over the last 500 years, especially since the advent of the industrial age, is that the region has been getting drier and drier, relatively,” said Professor Yemane Asmerom of UNM’s Earth and Planetary Sciences. The historical evidence has been found during years of research in a remote cave in the Central American country of Belize, located right at the edge of the inter-tropical convergence zone. The UNM team says the stalagmites of Yok Balum Cave have an especially accurate record of rainfall for the past 500 years.


  • Belize, Missions of Peace, 6min. Franciscan University of Steubenville students organize and fund a mission trio to Belize, Central America. Video shot and edited by Gerard McNicholas.

  • Belize 2015, 4min. We stayed at Casa Buena Vista on Ambergris Caye Belize in April 2015.

  • Belize Maymester 2015, 9.5min. Studying Abroad in Belize 2015.

  • Belize 2015, 6min. Jonny, Andrea, Joey and Kirstyn visit the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in Belize.

  • "Bunny-eared" blue ciliate from Belize, 1min. Ciliate from the family Folliculinidae, from a surface colonization experiment deployed at the margin of mangrove forest at Twin Cayes, Belize. The "bunny ears" are known as peristomal wings, and they carry part of the oral ciliature involved in feeding.

  • Belize Agro Forestry, 6min. A look at the link between modern farming and ancient Maya farming practices in the jungles of southern Belize. Includes interviews with Maya farmer Eladio Pop and his Agouti Farm and Chris Nesbitt at the Maya Mountain Research Farm.

  • BELIZE-ENG, 8min.

  • Mayan Ruins ~ Caracol, Cayo, Belize, 3min. Located in the Cayo District of Belize, the Mayan site given the name Caracol is very impressive. The ancient name is Ux Witz Ajaw, or “Three Hills Lord”. Though the ruins aren't as well known as other Mayan sites, LIDAR imaging done in the last decade has revealed a large Mayan city covered by the jungle. Link below.

  • Belize 9, 4min. Placencia

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