FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
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
CARDI Conducting Activities to Assist Belizean and Caribbean Coconut Industries
The European Union is financing a project (“Coconut Industry Development for the Caribbean”) through the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC). The project is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of small-scale coconut farmers by identifying market opportunities, creating synergies between national and regional programmes and improving access to advisory services for improved coconut production. Stakeholders have welcomed this initiative for its potential to improve income and employment opportunities, food security, and the overall development of the Caribbean coconut sector.
The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) is contracted by the ITC to implement the project activities in nine CARIFORUM member countries.
CARDI scientists are presently in Belize and have been interacting with key stakeholders in the coconut industry in the conduction of activities in mapping and characterization of local coconut plantations, strengthening producer and processing groups and, developing appropriate technological packages for intercropping vegetables and fruits and rearing cattle and small ruminants under coconut trees.
Letters to the Editor - Can Belize Keep Up with Tourism’s Harmful Footprint? Environment Weeps
In agreement with the current promotion of diabetes awareness in Belize, I take this opportunity to examine the growing illness of our society and environment from the impact of cruise tourism, a condition sickening the nation of Belize. I note the recent appointment made by the Right Honorable Prime Minister of Mr Yashin Dujon as CEO of the Ministry of Tourism. Mr Dujon holds a Masters in ‘Responsible Tourism’, a term which leaves much to be clarified.
Ecotourism was first promoted by the United Democratic Party during its term of office from 1993-98. At that time, many workshops were held to educate and encourage the development of sustainable tourism endeavors and give clear focus and guidance for the fledgling tourism product. At one such workshop I attended at the Rio Bravo Station of Programme for Belize, participants from both the public and private sector from various Caribbean islands shared their valuable experience in mass/cruise tourism and the regrets they had after seeing the rapid and severe deterioration of their natural resources and sensitive habitats. All participants including representatives from local government ministries, Programme for Belize and the private sector, were strongly admonished to take up the challenge of making Belize a leader in this new approach for the region and to heed the warning given by our Caribbean partners.
Misc Belizean Sources
The Role of Budgeting Workshop
November 26th, 2015
Time: 9am to 12pm. Learn to create an accurate operating budget that helps your company achieve its goals. Your Immediate Takeaway
Gain tools and insights to develop a realistic budget
Get hands-on practice perfecting a budget
Use budgeting to help determine strategic direction
Being responsible for the budget means you're playing a vital role in your organization's future. Your budget enables you to pinpoint critical variables that impact profit so your company can successfully pursue its goals and continue to grow.
Who Should Attend:
Managers and anyone with budget responsibilities who are interested in developing or improving their budget planning skills.
Presented By: Mr Omar Castillo,
Sr. Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE
Includes a light snack and refreshment.
Workshops are now held at out BTEC Building on ITVet compound, Belize City.
Entrepreneurship Symposium 2015
The University of Belize hosted this year's Entrepreneurship Symposium last week. Great to see that they had a full house.
Panama's 12th Birthday Party
The Belize Zoo is having a celebration for Panama's 12th birthday. The Harpy Eagle will be having a meet and greet session, where he'll gladly stare at you while take pictures of him, starting at 10:30am. There will also be fun and games for the kids, and a special visit from the Belize Raptor Center.
"Come join our education team this Wednesday as we celebrate Panama's 12th Birthday at the Belize Zoo. We will have a special meet and greet with a few of our avian ambassadors and prizes for people who know "What makes a Raptor" Raptors Rule!! Looking forward to seeing everyone!"
November 1st – November 14th, 2015 Belize Fishing Report
Many thanks to Pete for his leadership as the Orvis host for the 2 events, A mixed bag of weather didn’t help the results but overall it was very successful.
Be sure to check out this month's Belizean Traveller deals!
Ocean Academy Christmas Gala
We are very excited about our first every Christmas Gala to be held on Saturday, December 5th 2015!! Thank you to our wonderful business sponsors and to all who are supporting out fundraiser! We are very excited to start of our December with this event and with one of the best entertainment bands SUPER FURIA!! Pay $10 at the door to watch the show and dance with the band!!!
Metal Haven 2015
Metal Haven is this Saturday in Benque. What a lineup!
"Confirmed bands for Belize are IN BLOOM,ALMOST 7,VERGE OF UMBRA and ASCENTHIUM from Guatemala - THE AVERSIONIST&THE BLACK PORTRAIT and last but not least from Mexico -ICNOS"
MANA in Cancun 2015 ....Booyahhh!!!!!
Gracias Mexico lindo!!! awesome concert!!
GSU: High School Vice Principal Did Crack Deal At School
He's the vice principal of Wesley High School, but police say Melvin Hewlett is also a drug trafficker. The 35 year-old career educator was caught in a sting set up by the GSU. Our information is that GSU busted a small time drug peddler who offered to lead them to his main supplier in exchange for some leniency with charges. So, last week Friday, before Midday, a team of officers followed this informant to the Wesley College on Yarborough Road. There, they observed him making an exchange with Hewlett, who had been identified as the main supplier. They then immediately closed in on both men.
That's when Hewlett - according to GSU - spotted them coming, and he threw a piece of crumpled white paper into the Wesley College compound. The officers immediately detained him, and escorted him to where the paper had landed. When they retrieved it, and opened it up, the officers found 2 transparent plastic bags containing suspected crack cocaine. When they weighed it in his presence, they found out that the two bags contained a total of 14 grams.
Now, anything over one grams is treated as drug trafficking under the law. So, the officers had to move swiftly to charge him with drug trafficking - because we are told they experienced major push back from higher ups. This is because Hewlett's is reported to be politically well connected - and that alone slowed police down from searching his home.
16 Year Old Ivan Choc Killed By Friends
Two men were charged this weekend for the murder of 16 year old Ivan Choc. On Friday the 13th Ivan Choc and his family were having dinner in their Camalote home when two masked men stormed in. The men shot Choc who was hiding under the table pleading for his life to spare. But the gunmen executed him right in front of his parents. Well, the two men who were charged are Camalote residents Damian Velasquez and Justin Banner. But they aren't just random shooters - they were friends of Choc. Belmopan Police told our colleagues at PLUS TV today that it was a very bitter fall out between the 3.
Howell Gillett, OC - Belmopan Police
"We immediately launched an investigation and based on that investigation we were able to locate a shotgun not too far from where the incident occurred and subsequent to that we also found some ammunition in a hotel room. Two persons were arrested for those ammunition. One of the two persons have been charged this weekend, along with another person separate from the one who was charged for the ammunition. Those two persons who were charged this weekend for Ivan Choc's murder are Damian Donovan Velasquez Bodden and also Justin Geovanni Banner. It seemed based on the investigation that the crime occurred as a result of retaliation. A shooting happened in the month of September and this is a retaliation to that shooting."
Those who've been around know it's happening all over the country in various forms, but law enforcement has had a hard time nailing the traffickers. But this weekend Orange Walk Police got lucky when 27 year old Guatemalan, Dania Paredes Contreras made a report blowing the lid on an alleged human trafficker running Dominguez Bar on Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk Town. Paredes told police that this woman, 33 year old Guatemalan Rosa Anita Garcia was running the bar - and twice forced her to have sex with patrons. The compliant is compelling: she tells police that she and her 48 year old mother Ana Contreras de Paredes were tricked into coming to Belize when Garcia told them that they would be employed at a fast food restaurant. But that was just a ruse, because they ended up having to work as waitresses at the Dominguez bar, which is when Paredes says she was forced to have sex with patrons.
Man Charged For Traffic Death of Mother of 3
Tonight, 25 year-old Earl Pitts Jr., a resident of Belama Phase 2 Belize City, is out on bail after he was charged for manslaughter. Police say that he was behind the wheel of a vehicle which crashed, killing one of his passengers.
On Sunday, November 1, Pitts was the driver of a GMC Yukon SUV, and he had 33 year-old Sharmaine Humes, and 2 minors, ages 10 and 17, as his passengers. They were traveling between miles 24 and 25 on the George Price Highway when Pitts lost control of the vehicle. It careened to the shoulder of the road where it flipped 3 to 5 times, before coming to a complete stop.
All persons inside the vehicle suffered varying degrees of injures, but Sharmaine Humes, a mother of 3, was critically injured to the head and body. She was hospitalized for 12 days, but didn't make it, and passed away ten days ago.
6 Days After Cruise Tourist Death, Still No Answer From BTB
On Friday we told you about the drowning death of 61 year old cruise tourist Karl Edwin Simmons. Simmons and his wife Esther had arrived on the cruise ship Norwegian Jade and went on a tour to Shark Ray Alley in the Caye Caulker Village Marine Reserve. Simmon saw his wife Esther drifting away and went to save her - but drowned.
It happened 6 days ago, but still the Tourist Board they have no update into the investigation of what went wrong on the tour led by h2o Tierra.
It was on a guided tour - and, regulations state that both he and his wife should have been under the close watch of tour guides.
And while the BTB is mum, we have been contacted by a guest on that same tour who said that there was mass disorganization and inadequate snorkeling and safety equipment - as well as no medical equipment on board. Tour operator, Tom Wilson who is the owner of H2o Tierra told us he could not comment.
Where in the World Is David Nanes Schnitzer
Where is David Nanes Shnitzer? The international fugitive known in Belize as David Banes got Supreme Court bail on Friday - and according to sources - has not turned back up in San Pedro - where he had multi million dollar holdings. Shnitzer's Belizean passport was revoked on Wednesday November 18th when it was gazetted that, quote, "David M Banes, known as David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer…who was registered as a citizen of Belize as evidenced by certificate of registration dated 17th. November, 2012, was so registered by means of fraud, false representation and the concealment of material circumstance and by mistake."
But that so called "cessation of citizenship" was never presented in court - and when the DPP's office asked for an adjournment to gather evidence, the Judge refused and granted bail citing Banes' various assets in Belize.
Mexican authorities allege that Nanes Schnitzer headed the Mexican arm of Stanford's Ponzi scheme which allegedly defrauded investors in that country of 42 million dollars. Mexico has a 2011 arrest warrant for him for unauthorized securities transactions. Tonight, no one can say for sure where he is.
Is Southside Still Safe After A Pair Of City Shootings
There were 2 shootings in the city over the weekend. Yesterday morning at around 7:00, Liston Myers and his friend were walking in Antelope Street Extension area on Pitter Street when 2 men shot at them. Myers was hit to the abdomen while his friend escaped unharmed. Today Senior Superintendent Chester Williams told us that Myers wasn't the target.
Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Commander, Eastern Division Southside
"In relation to the matter with Mr. Myers, that incident took place yesterday morning around 7am. And it actually took place on Antelope Street Extension, not Orange Street. Mr. Myers was walking in that area in the company of another male person when they were shot at by two male persons. One of whom is already in our custody. We believe that the other person whose company he was in was the intended victim. But that's the motive we have."
"Is that person known to police as being affiliated with any gang? Why would someone want to target that person?"
Faber's Road Gunfire
The other shooting incident happened on Fabers Road yesterday morning after 6:00. 27 year old Herman Ramsey and 35 year old Clive Arnold were socializing on Fabers Road when their friend Trevor Guy walked up to them and shot at them. Senior Superintended Chester Williams told us this one was not gang related and it was fueled by a feud among the men.
Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Commander, Eastern Division Southside
"Yes that incident took place after 6am Sunday morning and Mr. Ramsey and Mr. Arnold were in the company of another male person and apparently there was a dispute between the trio and that dispute resulted in one of them, Trevor Guy actually took out a firearm and fired shots at both persons. They received varying degree of injuries and are currently admitted in the hospital in a stable condition. We are currently pursuing Mr. Guy and I will say that that incident is not gang related. These people are friends, they are family members and when things like that occur, it's not the thing that the police can do anything to prevent because could never know what is brewing between people who are friends or who are families. So the matter as I said is being investigated by the police at this time."
Cops Talking to Taylor's Alley
Police are trying to defuse internal beefing within one of the city's major gangs. It came to public attention on Saturday morning when there was a fight or some sort of misunderstanding between the well-known street figure, Kenneth "Big Tom" Flowers and a few other men. Police have confirmed that there was no shooting but say they still had to organize an emergency intervention session. Senior Superintendent Williams told us more about this effort.
Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Commander, Eastern Division Southside
"The police, we are looking into a situation and I will say that this morning myself and Mrs. Finnegan, we had a lengthy intervention session with factions from the Taylor's Alley group as well as Big Tom. As you would know that they were one gang - they were all associates. But apparently something went wrong between them and that sparked one incident over the weekend and police were on top of it I must say. The police were in the area and responded very quickly. The parties involved were apprehended by the police and both parties are not requesting any court action. So in terms of pursuing the matter to court we are unable to do so.
A 38 at 3:15
On Saturday afternoon at 3:15, police found this .38 pistol with 3 live rounds in an abandoned lot in the St Martins area. No one was around and it was labelled as found property.
Woman Alleges Police Brutality
Tonight 29 year old Albert Ramirez is in the KHMH hoping that he won't lose an eye. The Belize City resident was beaten at a bar on Orange Street named Picasso on Saturday night - and he claims it's an off duty policeman who did it. His mother, Inez told us that her son had gone into the bar to sell something:..
Inez Ramirez, Mother of Beaten Man
"He went into this bar to sell something. When the police came, they ask him what was he doing there. 'I am the police, you have to respect me.' My son said sir I am not doing anything. The police say 'don't tell me anything.' The police had a Belikin pint in his hand and he whap my son in his face with the pint. Now my son eye is damaged. My son is lying in bed at the hospital. We don't now yet if will lose his eye. But I pray to God for my son not to lose his eye. How the police would have felt if it was him. How his mother would have felt if he was laying down in a hospital bed right now. The police abuse people. Before they protect us, they abuse us. But please stop it because you hurt lots of parents out there. Please I beg."
Taste The Taco
What makes Orange Walk Tacos so darn nice? It's a tough job - but someone had to find out, and never one to pass on a story with…shall we say….food incentives(?)…Daniel Ortiz went north yesterday to the fifth Tacos Festival to find out.
He found out that tacos are more than just the common man and woman's culinary delight, they have a culture and mystique unto themselves:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
When we arrived at the Banquitas House of Culture, the 5th Annual Tacos Festival was in full swing.
Hundreds of people had come out, all sampling the creations of different vendors, who were all hard at work.
And, as you would expect, it was the mecca of tacos, vendors making them, people lining up to buy, and still others eating and enjoying all the different flavors and styles.
For the organizers, it worked out once again just as they had envisioned it.
Cops Playing Favourites?
Are police holding back on charging a man because of his political connections? We can't say his name yet, because he hasn't been charged, but the former driver of a UDP Minister of State, is under scrutiny after a father and son complained that he threatened them with a firearm. It turns out that it was only just a pellet gun, but observers say that he should be charged with aggravated assault, since he passed it off as a real handgun when he threatened them.
58 year-old Francis Lewis and his son, Demrey, reported to police that at around 6:20 yesterday morning, they were at home on Gibson Street when the man threatened them over a domestic dispute. Both father and son say that the man staggered out of the vehicle, appearing to be under the influence of alcohol. He then pulled out a black weapon, pointed it at them, and threatened them.
When father and son made the report to police, they detained the suspect, who handed over the weapon he said that he took with him to the Lewis home, which turned out to be pellet gun.
Police Try To Increase Peace
In our last segment we told you about the shooting incidents in the city that left 3 men injured. Now we have been consistently reporting on the community policing initiatives in the Southside that are geared towards turning these vulnerable communities away from crime and violence. In fact the Eastern Police Division held another community event yesterday in the Mayflower area. But are these initiatives working? Senior Superintendent Chester Williams admits that their efforts alone can't completely eradicate crime but they can at least minimize it.
Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Commander, Eastern Division Southside
"It was a fun day for kids. They partook in several sporting activities and they were awarded prizes, medals and so forth for different categories of sporting events that they partook in on that day. I must say that the event was well attended and there are a number of persons who participated in the different disciplines and sporting disciplines. So I think it was a success and we will continue to do things like this in the various hotspots. Because what we want to do is to show these young people that you know there is an outlet rather than to be caught up in gangs or criminal activities."
Counsel To Cops
In most cases, police officers are highlighted only when they are accused of brutalizing someone or abusing their power. But there is so much more to a police officer's job. The work load and the violence they are exposed to on a daily basis takes a toll on them and so today Belmopan police installed a chaplain - Ronald Hamilton of the New Beginning Church of God 7th Day International. Hamilton will serve as a counselor to police officers in Belmopan and in the Cayo District. OC Howell Gillet posted on his facebook, quote, "Too many times we see officers resort to drinking, neglect of their families, beating on people in their care and the list goes on. Well we are hopeful that with this new appointment all these and more will go away with time." End quote.
Camalote Duo Arraigned for Execution-style Murder of Teen
A pair of Camalote men have been arrested and charged for the execution-style murder of sixteen-year-old Ivan Choc who was mercilessly shot and killed inside his home on November thirteenth [...]
Where is David Nanes Schnitzer? He’s a No-show at San Pedro Precinct
Where is international fugitive, David Nanes Schnitzer tonight? He is wanted in his home country of Mexico for his role in defrauding investors of millions of dollars, as much as [...]
Another Daring Attempt on Big Tom’s Life
After a relative calm, there were three shootings over the weekend in the city. The first was a brazen daylight shooting on Saturday afternoon on Orange Street near the entrance [...]
Sugar Prices Key Agenda Item During B.S.C.F.A.’s Annual General Meeting
Three major sectors in the agriculture industry are in deep trouble. In the shrimp industry, thirty million dollars has been lost due to a bacteria that has infected upwards of [...]
Caneros Seek Increase in Cost of Locally Sold Sugar
The B.S.C.F.A. held its Annual General Meeting on Sunday where key agenda items included the passage of a resolution to seek an increase in the cost per pound of sugar [...]
Did Gapi Keep His Lavish Office at Cohune Walk Building?
Has former Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega surrendered his precious office space to his successor at G.O.B.’s Cohune Walk Building? News Five has been reliably informed that the erstwhile [...]
Wesley College Vice-Principal; is He a Pusher?
The vice principal and a teacher of Wesley College, thirty-five year old Melvin Newton Hewlett, is in plenty trouble with the law tonight. Last Friday morning, the Gang Suppression Unit [...]
Guatemalan Woman Investigated for Human Trafficking in Orange Walk
There is a report of an apparent case of human trafficking in Orange Walk Town. On Saturday, the Quick Response Team visited Dominguez Bar which is located on the Otro [...]
Herman Ramsey and Clive Arnold Injured in Weekend Shootings
Two shootings on Sunday occurred within minutes of each other in Belize City on the heels of the attempt on the life of Kenneth Flowers, aka Big Tom. Just after [...]
Gunmen Take Aim at Liston Myers
Meanwhile, police has one person in detention for the murder attempt on the life of Liston Myers. While it is not believed that he was the intended target, around seven [...]
Clive Jones Freed of Lengthy Burglary Sentence
The court set free today Belize City resident Clive Jones; Judge Adolph Lucas made that ruling in an inferior case in the Supreme Court. Jones was convicted of burglary and [...]
Theft Charges Against Former Brodies Employee Struck Out
A former employee of James Brodies, who worked as a cashier at the supermarket, is also free tonight after the company requested no further court action in a theft charge [...]
Earl Pitts Jr. Charged for Manslaughter after Fatal Road Traffic Accident
Charges have been brought against the driver of a vehicle who hit and killed a mother of three children on November first, 2015 between Miles twenty-four and twenty-five on the [...]
Leonardo Cano is New B.S.C.F.A. Chairman
Seasoned canero Leonardo Cano is the newly-elected Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. He succeeds Ezequiel Cansino as chief presiding officer of the largest group of cane farmers [...]
Cohune Walk Police Substation Reopened
Residents of Cohune Walk are tonight resting easy and are a little safer with the opening of a police substation in their neck of the woods. The housing community has [...]
Chester Williams on Community Policing Efforts
But the Eastern Division South Region of the Police Department is not fazed by the recent shootings in its jurisdiction. As a part of its continued community policing initiatives, on [...]
Football, Basketball, Cycling and Table Tennis on Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. We open tonight’s show with the showdown in Central Secondary Schools Sporting Association Male Basketball play featuring the 2 [...]