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Today's Belize News: December 10, 2015 #509829
12/10/15 06:05 AM
12/10/15 06:05 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,111
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Marty Offline OP

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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

Orange Walk Taco Festival, you can’t go wrong!
When I heard that there was going to be a Taco Festival in Orange Walk Town, I was ready to get off the island in any possible way: via plane, boat or even kayak! I was prepared to jump on a bus or ride a bicycle up north to Orange Walk if I had to! The north district is known for this culinary specialty; and finally, after only hearing about this festival, I actually could attend! I smiled the entire boat ride from Ambergris Caye to Belize City, and then on the bus to Orange Walk, excited to eat my body weight in tacos! This year was the fifth anniversary of the festival and it was held in fun style on Sunday, November 22nd at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town. The Banquitas House of Culture is nestled in a pleasant riverside park complete with amphitheater, underneath which the taco booths were spread out. To add to the perfection of the event, my hotel was mere feet away and perfect for when I needed to roll my stuffed self easily to my room!

Kent “Bob” Gabourel and Eric Donis take part in End of the World Marathon
The fourth annual End of the World Marathon saw hundreds of national and international athletes competing in what is now the largest race in Belize. The race was held at Placencia Village on Sunday, December 6th and certainly tested participants’ endurance and stamina. As always, San Pedro was well represented at the marathon, with the participation of Kent “Bob” Gabourel and Eric Donis, and even though neither made it to the winning podium, they still made the island proud. The race started early Sunday morning at 5:30AM at the Placencia Football Field. Created in homage to the Maya Calendar which ended in 2012, the End of the World Marathon is a grueling 26.2 mile race. Of course, novice athletes can opt to participate in the less intense End of the World Half Marathon of 13.1 miles. Over $10,000 worth of awards and prizes were given to the top three males and females overall in the full marathon and the half marathon. Awards were also given out to the top three males and females in five age categories: under 29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over. In addition all runners who finish the race, not matter their placement received a commemorative finishers’ medal for taking on and completing the End of the World Marathon. A total of 160 runners participated in this year’s marathon.

San Pedro holds Christmas tree lighting ceremony
The holiday season was officially opened on Saturday, December 5th, as the Town Christmas Tree was lit in Central Park. Island families and visitors gathered to witness the official ceremony shortly after 7PM. As usual, Santa, the guest of honor made his special appearance at the event, spreading cheer and bringing in the Christmas spirit. Mayor Daniel Guerrero opened the night’s event, welcoming everyone to the anticipated annual celebration. “This Christmas tree lighting ceremony signals to us the happiness of the season; families bring us together as a community and remind us of the significance of our Creator’s birth to humanity. During the next couple of days leading to the Christmas and New Year’s festivities we hope that our residents take time to reflect how far we have come in yet another year as a community, family and individuals. There is much to be thankful for, and we must reflect on those reasons. One more year alive, with our families, with our jobs and one more year with happiness. On behalf of the entire San Pedro Town Council I take the opportunity to wish each and every one a blessed and Merry Christmas and may the year 2016 be a prosperous for all of us,” said Guerrero. Immediately after, Mayor Guerrero flipped the switch and lit the Christmas tree with thousands of colorful sparkling lights.

Letter to the Editor: Food and Toy Drive for San Pedro Town
Dear Editor: I am hereby writing for your humble assistance adhering with our community policing efforts. The San Pedro Community Policing Unit has decided to conduct a food and toy drive in coordination with the Youth Cadet program. The food and toys collected from the drive will be handed over in a small hamper to persons in the poorer parts of San Pedro who are less fortunate. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, San Pedrito, San Juan and San Mateo areas. This effort is in conjunction with the San Pedro Youth Cadets to show gestures of caring and sharing as we approach the Christmas Holiday season. This event commenced on November 20th and runs to December 20, 2015. While donations are usually open and welcome, we would suggest small toys and non-perishable goods in your donation. The Community Policing officers and staff had been conducting surveys in different areas to narrow down and identify the best recipients for the well-deserved food hampers and toys. Your kind and generous contribution will go a long way in these hard times.

Costa Rica petitions Belize to allow passage to Cuban refugees heading to USA
The Government of Belize and Costa Rica have started diplomatic discussion on facilitating border entry to close to 4,000 Cuban immigrants who are en route to the United States of America. The discussions come about after Nicaragua and Guatemala closed its border to the Cuban immigrants who have taken refuge in Costa Rica since mid-November. Cubans have been making their way to the USA through Central America for several years now, but the phenomenon had gone unnoticed until the Costa Rican government adopted measures in early November of 2015 to fight the trafficking of persons through its country. The mass number of refugees has been housed in public shelters, and is now straining Costa Rican resources. While there is no official statement as to whether Belize will assist Costa Rica, Barrow has indicated that he is willing to consider their terms.

Adopt a Bear at Sandbar or Crazy Canucks and bring Christmas cheer to an island child
The Christmas holidays are quickly approaching, and while this season is known for giving, not every family can afford to share gifts amongst themselves. With that in mind, and with the Christmas spirt radiating throughout the island, a group of individuals have created a project to ensure the islands less fortunate children receive a gift from Santa this festive season. The Adopt a Bear project offers up the rewarding opportunity to any individual to give a Christmas present to one child who would have otherwise not received a gift. The more island residents and visitors who adopt a bear, the more children will be gifted on Friday, December 25th.

Ambergris Today

Letters to the Editor: Disgruntled Tourist Says Traffic is Killing our Island Charm
We had just been on vacation on your island, a 3rd time and again for 2 weeks. Your traffic situation has meanwhile become unhealthy and unsafe for tourists. Our rental cart, so we were told, would have a top speed of 18 miles, just barely above the speed limit of 15mph. During just one drive from Banyan Bay to town we have had the following vehicles passing us with excessive speed: Three taxis, one really unsafe looking pick-up truck, one extremely noisy Polaris, another too fast golf cart and even one empty sand truck. (we did not count the many speeding motorcycles) All had left us behind in a dust clouds produced by their excessive speed; a speed far above island limits. This is not what tourists need and tourists want for their vacation. In addition, the traffic and parking situation inside San Pedro has become disgusting. San Pedro town must now be seen unworthy as a competitive shopping and restaurant/dining destination for tourists. There seems to be no visible will that conditions on your island will improve but rather the opposite. It will get worse. Tourists want an environmentally friendly destination to vacation. Tourists are all in need for calmness during their vacation. San Pedro and large parts of Ambergris Caye do not offer this anymore. We are probably one of many who cannot recommend the island as a vacation destination to others any more. We ourselves can't see us coming back until mayor changes have been implemented.

Copa Airlines Inaugural Flight to Belize Connects To South American Market
On December 8, 2015, Copa Airlines made its long awaited inaugural flight to Belize; its 7th destination in Central America. Flight 281 arrived yesterday at 12:49 P.M via Hub de la Americas Panama City, Panama carrying a total of 92 passengers. The flight kicked off in Panama with a team of news media from different countries in South America to cover the historic event. The flight was greeted by a water salute, and passengers were welcomed with entertainment from Laru Beya Boys and Travellers Rum cocktails. Said Pedro Heilbron, Executive President for Copa Airlines stated: “For COPA Airlines this is a very proud moment for us to begin operations in this new destination with which we consolidate our leadership in the region, flying to all the countries in Central America and in this fortifying the connection that Hub de Las Americas in Panama City offers.” “With our flight to Belize we expect to amplify the opportunities of development in the business and tourism sectors in this city, while improving in an important manner the connectivity of the country to Latin America.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Copa Airlines Inaugural Flight Arrives in Belize
On Tuesday December 8, 2015 Copa Airlines (Compania Panamena de Aviacion) made its maiden voyage from Panama to Belize signalling the commencement of direct airlift services between those two countries. 2015 Copa Airlines today made its long awaited inaugural flight to Belize; its 7th destination in Central America. Flight 281 arrived today at 12:49 P.M via Hub de la Americas Panama City, Panama carrying a total of 92 passengers. The flight kicked off in Panama with a team of news media from different countries in South America to cover the historic event. The flight was greeted by a water salute, and passengers were welcomed with entertainment from Laru Beya Boys and Travellers Rum cocktails. Said Pedro Heilbron, Executive President for Copa Airlines stated: “For COPA Airlines this is a very proud moment for us to begin operations in this new destination with which we consolidate our leadership in the region, flying to all the countries in Central America and in this fortifying the connection that Hub de Las Americas in Panama City offers.” “With our flight to Belize we expect to amplify the opportunities of development in the business and tourism sectors in this city, while improving in an important manner the connectivity of the country to Latin America.”

Headed to Sarstoon Island
Our team is headed to Sarstoon Island along with Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security, Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports & Culture, Hon. Frank Mena, Minister of State in the Ministry of Public Service, Energy & Public Utilities, Rt'd. Colonel George Lovell, CEO in the Ministry of National Security and other representatives from the Ministry of National Security for the groundbreaking of the Forward Operating Base.

Belize can now use police lawyers to become district attorney in each district
By Wellington C. Ramos. Many years ago when I was a police officer in the Belize Police Force, they had a part of the division called Prosecution Branch. This division was headed by a senior ranking officer who had some sergeants working with him as prosecutors in Belize City. When police officers made arrest they would prepare their case files and send them to the prosecution branch for legal review. If they needed any legal guidance, they in turn would forward those case files to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) office. In the districts, the head of the Prosecution Branch was either a sergeant or a corporal. They reviewed the case files and also had to go to court to prosecute the cases. Over time, Belize now has many lawyers who go to court on behalf of the defendants and use legal technicalities to win cases. I think that now is the time to change this system by appointing these police officer lawyers as district attorneys. In each police station throughout the cities and the towns, one of these police lawyers could be assigned to be the head of the Prosecution Branch. His or her responsibility will be to review all the case files with the assistance of the DPP’s office, before they go to court and prosecute a case. He or she will also be the chief prosecutor for all cases. They can also decide if they would allow a corporal or a sergeant to go and prosecute a case on their behalf.

Dog Training with Behavioralist Oksana in San Pedro
Join international trainer and behavioralist Oksana on Saturday December 12th from 3 to 4PM at Saga Humane Society Fort Dog. Work your own dog for $5 or train with a Saga dog for FREE. Learn the good canine citizen basics, sit, stay, do tricks and walk on a leash. Get expert advise and answers to all those tough behavioral questions. To reserve your spot or to sign up to work a Saga dog please email [email protected]

Caribbean Examinations Council meets in Belize
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) held its 47th meeting in Belize City on Friday 4 December and the meeting of the School Committee (SEC) on Thursday 3 December 2015 under the chairmanship of Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies. The opening ceremony for Council and presentation of awards for outstanding performances in the May/June 2015 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations took place on Thursday 3 December. Patrick Faber, minister of education delivered the feature address at the ceremony. Faber described CXC as “a fine example of regionalism.” The minister said CXC is a true partner with Belize and is currently working with CXC on several projects.

Friday Open Jam!
Friday Night Open Jam! We have a full band that plays every Friday & we welcome anyone to join! Whether you sing, play the maracas, drum, guitar…. come have a…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill, Front StreetStart Date: December 11, 2015End Date: December 11, 2015Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

November 22nd – December 5th, 2015 Belize Fishing Report
Old friends fished with us this week, and it is always a pleasure to host our extended El Pescador family. Weather still not 100% but the fishing was still solid.

Belize Screen on the Green Tinight!
Even though it is a beautiful night tonight... becuase of an electrical issue on GG Field, Belize Screen on the Green will be held at George Price Center tonight. We still promise we will have a great time though!!! The movie ("Philadelphia" starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington) will start at 6:00 PM!!! Hope to see everyone there.

Channel 7

Moving Forward With The Base
“Build the Base Now!” – we’ve all heard the battle cry from critics of the Barrow Administration – who accused the government of going soft in the Sarstoon. Well, they will build the base. True to the campaign promise, Government representatives went to the banks of the Sarstoon for a ground breaking ceremony today. Our news team hit the road to PG at 3:30 am, and we found the Guatemalans ever vigilant of any vessels entering the River. Daniel Ortiz and Codie Norales raced back from PG and they have that story: This morning, The Punta Gorda Town Pier was the launch site for 5 boats belonging to the Ministry of National Security: 3 for the BDF and 2 for the Belize National Coast Guard. Just before 8 o’clock, senior government officials started to assemble for the journey. The line-up Included the Minister of National Security, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Minister of Education, the CEO in the National Security Ministry, the CEO in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, 2 representatives from the Organization of American States, high ranking officers from BDF, and senior personnel from the Coast Guard and the Police Department.

Forward Base On Hunting Caye Held Up For a While
It’s also been over a year since construction screeched to a sudden halt at the other Coast Guard Forward Operating Base on Hunting Caye. That’s after the firestorm of controversy that erupted the when the public found out that a Guatemalan company, BINARQ, had been building the base. The US Government made it clear to the Barrow Administration that if the Belize Government didn’t want the Guatemalan company building the base, then they would have to do it themselves. Since then, that project, which is 75% complete, has stalled. Construction has not lulled for months, and so while we had the opportunity today, we asked the CEO in the Ministry of National Security when it will start up again. He told us that the tender to a Belizean construction company has to go out first:

Port of Belize And Stevedores Still At Standoff, Cargo Ships Delayed
The dispute between the Port of Belize and the stevedores continues tonight and it seems it’s only getting worse. As we reported last night, Port CEO Arturo Vasquez has turned to the Labor commissioner to try and solve this issue but it doesn’t seem it will be that easy. This afternoon the CWU president Audrey Matura Shepherd and the Stevedores met outside the Port and by the looks of things – the stevedores are really getting fed up of the back and forth. Shepherd told us today that they are willing to go back to work and to negotiate BUT, they made it clear – they will not settle for anything less than what they say was agreed on. Audrey Matura Shepherd - President, CWU "We began negotiating what we call the retirement/pension benefit and we thought that went well. It took us about 5 or 6 hours that day but we ironed out, we asked the questions and we worked it out. The reason we had to do that is because the guys would not go back to work unless that was agreed on. We thought we had something concrete, we didn't write down all the details but we had an one page agreement in principle as to the amounts. Now throughout that negotiation it was clear cut that what we were dealing with is something that is retroactive to 2004; because there has never been an agreement."

Murdered John Doe Buried In Buena Vista
The body of an unidentified Hispanic male was found in the area of Spanish Lookout last night. The decomposed body was not far from the Iguana Creek Bridge – and the man – who only had on underwear – appears to have been chopped to death. Police say the victim – who is being classed as a John Doe – had been chopped to the head; three gashes were seen at the left side of his head by his ear. An onside post mortem placed the time of death sometime earlier this week. But, because of the decomposition, he had to be buried immediately – and that was done in the Buena Vista cemetery this afternoon. Police have no clues about his identity, no ID cards and no missing persons reports. They are saying that one possibility is that the body may have come from down the river and washed up. The investigation continues…

The First Senate Showdown Is Over A Supplementary
The new Senate had its first full working session today in Belmopan. The meeting started at 10:00 in the morning and went until just a few minutes before 6:00 – so it was a very full day. A good portion of it was spent debating the supplementary appropriation bill – basically an accounting of how the government spent 44 million dollars in Petrocaribe Funds in the last three months of 2015. It generated fiery debate in the House on Friday – and did much the same today – here’s the back and forth:… Hon. Mark Lizarraga - Business Senator "So not only are we concerned about the correctness of the numbers and how the numbers change from one set that has been presented a few months ago to the set that is being presented now; but we don't know what it is that any of this was spent on. Today we are being asked to approve 44.7 million dollars. How can we know what was spent and on what projects Mr. President? None of here perhaps knows. How can we know if we have received value for money?" "If one receives numbers and the numbers are not consistent, if you can't rely on the numbers; granted we don't have none of the details but the very numbers themselves that they present to us continue to change. One begins to question not only competency but perhaps other things. Where is the transparency? You can't take this to a banker to get this approved, an economist, an attorney, an engineer."

BPP Wants UN Convention
So while things went more or less predictably in the Senate Chamber, outside, the Belize Progressive Party was trying to shake things up. They’ve had absolutely no luck at the polls, but the third party is trying to tap into public sentiment by its enthusiastic embrace of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Today was international anti-corruption day and the BPP used the opportunity to key in on the fact that the government of Belize has not signed the convention. They started with a very small protest outside the national assembly where Bobby Lopez explained why it is meaningful:… Bobby Lopez - BPP "We don't like to be blacklisted, we don't like to look bad in the world community and corruption continues to escalate so it is important that we let them know that we, the BPP on this day would have been signing that document because that was our pledge." Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News "Is it a source of disappointment to you that you all keep coming out but the numbers don't seem to come out? It's like people don't take serious what's happening."

OCEANA Eyes Opened On Offshore Drilling
As we have reported, the government has announced that off shore oil drilling is banned in all 7 World Heritage Sites in and along the Belize Barrier Reef System. OCEANA, COLA and other agencies have welcomed and applauded this decision. But they say, there is still more to research, more to be done on this issue. And that’s why OCEANA held a conference today at the Radisson to continue the discussion of off shore oil drilling in Belize. Trinidadian Expert Marc De Verteuil was invited to present on Trinidad and Tobago’s challenges as the oldest and most experienced oil producing country in the world. He says that Belize can learn a thing or two about the catastrophic risks involved in off shore oil exploration. Marc De Verteuil - Director and Founder, Papa Bois Conservation Group "Trinidad is littered with ancient oil and gas infrastructure, old pipes, platforms, well heads. Some of these well heads have never been properly capped. There's one well head in particular I can think about 5 years ago I stumbled across it and it was Trinidad's first commercial oil well. It was drilled in 1867; the oil well was leaking about 4 or 5 gallons every day into this big sump which occasionally would be emptied by the oil company. If it started to rain the sump would fill up with water, the oil drifts on top of the water, it would flow into the neighbourhood. Create a huge environmental hazard, go straight into wetlands. In dry season the whole area would dry out and you get bush fires and the oil and the well would actually get caught on fire every year; fire services would have to come and put it out."

Alleged Robber Remanded
Last night we told you all about the robbery on west canal in Belize City – when a thief snatched a knapsack with over ten thousand dollars in it. Police were quick to respond and recovered most of the items – along with a gun in a house on Wagner’s Lane within a few minutes. Five men were detained and today two of them were charged. 19 year old Malieck Michael Humes and 22 year old Macory Alexander Neal were taken to court today and charged for kept prohibited firearm, kept unlicensed firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license along with handling stolen goods. They appeared in Court #5 before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where they were read four charges, one count for an extended nin millimeter magazine, one count for a Baretta 9 millimeter pistol, one count for 42 nin mm live rounds and one count of handling stolen goods for possession of a small black plastic bag containing $9,639.00 in Belize currency, and a tablet valued at $2,000 dollars property of Zane Allen Robinson.

Shady Dentist Out On Bail
Dentist Robert John Hall appeared in San Pedro Magistrates Court today where he was read a charge for a single count of making false representation. He was granted bail – after he turned over all his travel documents. That was completed this evening and tonight he is out on bail. He reappears in court on the 12th of February. As we reported last night, Hall was convicted in the US, and sent to jail for injecting semen into at least seven of his patient’s mouths. But he seems to have effortlessly manipulated the Medical Council of Belize and gotten a license to work as a dentist, using just a nickname, Robert Bob Hall.

Two Women And A House
2 Belize City women will be having a very special Christmas this year after they both received a brand new house today. 39 year old Beatrice Pratt and 55 year old Delphina Terry were living in what could hardly be considered a house – their living conditions were deplorable. But today all that changed when they were both given the keys to their new 3 bedroom houses. We found out just how ecstatic these families were The 3rd home will be handed over to another recipient next year.

The Placide Way
Trinidadian-American war veteran and world renowned vocalist Gerard Placide is in Belize spreading a message of hope. He came to our studios yesterday to tell his quite remarkable life story, where he went from the most abject circumstances to becoming an accomplished vocalist and a world renowned motivational speaker. And now he is here to tell Belize that no matter what you are going through , never give up hope. Placide has traveled across the country and has made several appearances at churches and schools. He leaves on Monday and will return in January.

Salvation X-Mas
And so Placide spread that same message of hope to the kids at the Salvation Army’s Christmas party today –and he did it through song. We stopped by the party to find out just how fun and special this year’s party was Over 650 kids attended.

Hon. Hulse Scolds Espat
And the last two items on the news tonight are from today’s senate meeting. The day opened with a statement from Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse. He was responding to the PUP’s Toledo East Area Representative Mike Espat. Espat spoke at Friday’s House Meeting about an immigration hustle where a dozen persons from Trio and Bella Vista villages in his division were tricked into paying a thousand dollars for bogus nationality documents. To hear Espat’s version of the story, the same involved high level corruption with the Department and he used his parliamentary privilege to list the names of some very senior staffers – and allege that they were involved in the scam. Well today the Minister of Immigration set the record straight and said Espat needed to give an apology:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "Mr. President the fact of the case is as follows. On Thursday October the 29th 2015 I was informed as the minister responsible for immigration by the chairman of Bella Vista village that some 12 person had paid for and received nationality certificates from an operative who claimed to be an immigration official. On Friday October the 30th 2015, the chairman brought a copy of one of the certificates to the offices of the department of immigration. I convened a meeting with the director and the CEO, who both like myself, immediately recognized this document to be a fake. Everything was wrong; the paper, the printing, no seal, a signature that bare no close resemblance to any immigration minister, present or past. No oath on the certificate."

Senator Set-To-Right
And if you watched our coverage of the senate meeting today you saw a few new Senators. They were learning the ropes during their first working session in the upper house. And veteran senator Lisa Shoman had a scolding for UDP newcomer Macario Coy – who was responding to the PUP’s Jason Patrick Andrews:.. Hon. Patrick Andrews - PUP Senator "This loan of 12 million that we are talking about in 20 years’ time, I plan to still be around and some of my young colleagues on the other side, we will be around having to figure out how will we paying these 20 million." Hon. Macario Coy - UDP Senator "I want to, of course let him know that the people of Belize had spoken on the 4th of November.

Channel 5

Ground Broken for Joint FOB at Sarstoon River
A groundbreaking for the Forward Operating Base finally took place this morning at the Sarstoon River in southern Belize. The base will be used to support tactical operations by the [...]

Guatemalan Diplomatic Note: Kindly Leave Illegal Fishermen Alone
While the Guatemalans seem to have had a change of heart in respect of the erection of an F.O.B. on the Belizean side of the Sarstoon River, its government, via [...]

What was a Guatemalan Drone Doing Overhead in Belizean Airspace?
As we reported earlier, the official tour of the Sarstoon River, including the proposed site of the Forward Operating Base and the Cadenas outpost, went without incident.  While the Guatemalan [...]

PBL versus CWU; the Deadlock Continues
At news time, striking stevedores are still camping out at the Port of Belize where they have been since one o’clock this afternoon. But all is quiet despite reports that [...]

CWU Still Unable to Meet with Labor Commissioner Amid Impasse
The CWU has been having emergency meetings with the executive and the stevedores but the situation remains fluid.   Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, CWU “Decisions aren’t mine alone, so I keep [...]

Chamber of Commerce on Impact of Ongoing Gridlock at Port
More than one hundred containers are waiting to upload and unload. The situation has dire consequences on many fronts. Exports represent thirty-seven million dollars while the imports so far for [...]

Immigration Minister Gives Update on Security Measures to Prevent Corruption
The Ministry of Immigration seems to be ever under scrutiny for a series of irregularities concerning documentation obtained through fraudulent means. At the House meeting last Friday Prime Minister Dean [...]

An Unidentified Man Found Murdered in Spanish Lookout
The lifeless body of an unidentified man was discovered by San Ignacio police on Tuesday night in an area of the Spanish Lookout Community known as Mennonite Beach.  Sometime before [...]

Petrocaribe Appropriations Bill Tackled in the Senate
On the table for discussion, debate and passage before the Senate this morning were two loan motions for road rehabilitation and tourism, thirteen agreements for ratification and the usually inflammable [...]

Opposition Says There’s Lack of Accountability in Petrocaribe Expenditure
And then the rest of the field from both sides of the Senate weighed in. From the Opposition side there is a clear problem because while they are being asked [...]

Senate Discusses State of National Highways
The government of Belize conducted a successful campaign leading up to general elections based in large part on an infrastructural surge across the country. And it has continued, as today [...]

Robert Young Jr. Freed of Theft Charges
A Belize City taxi driver,  accused of theft of two vehicles and over five thousand dollars in cash from an international company, was freed of the charge by Chief Magistrate, [...]

Brandon Tillett Hit with Additional Charges in Attempted Murder Case
In court today, BT, the infamous Brandon Mason Tillett, associate of the George Street Gang, was before the lower court for an attempted murder case for which he is awaiting [...]

Belize Progressive Party Calls on G.O.B. to Sign Anti-corruption Convention
Today is international anti-corruption day and around the world one hundred and seventy-seven countries are observing it. Belize isn’t one of those countries, but about seven persons representing the Belize [...]

Quality Poultry Takes Lick Due to Stevedores Strike
As we have reported, the strike has implications with goods coming into and going out of Belize for the Christmas season. Caught in all this, is the importation of turkey [...]

Quality Poultry General Manager Says Impact is Tremendous
According to Barkman the impact is tremendous and the losses so far are about half a million dollars during one of the busiest times of the year. For now, the [...]

OCEANA Holds Annual Conference on Belize’s Water Systems
Today at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City, OCEANA Belize held a conference to further discuss the issue of offshore oil exploration in Belize and the state of Belize’s [...]

Salvation Army’s Christmas Party Draws Hundreds of Children
It is the season for giving and our friends at the Salvation Army are doing just that. Earlier today, as they do every year, the organization hosted children from numerous [...]


Hulse Demands Apology From Mike Espat
During the House of Representatives on Friday Area Representative for Toledo East, Mike Espat brought up another Immigration Scandal for the Barrow Administration. While the David Nanes Schnitzer case dominated the conversation in the House, Espat, with documents in hand, called on the Government to conduct an intense investigation at the Immigration Department because there was rampant corruption. As he outlined the details of the case Espat even called out names of persons who assisted individuals living in Bella Vista to receive nationality and residency for approximately one thousand dollars days before the November fourth elections. This morning, during the Senate meeting in Belmopan, Honorable Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration, Senator Godwin Hulse, indicated that there has been no evidence presented of any involvement of members of the Department, and much less of those mentioned by the Area Representative.

Ground Breaking Takes Place For Construction Of Forward Operating Base
The requested for a Forward Operating Base to be constructed on the Sarstoon Island in southern Belize has been one of the highlights of this year. If one can recall the issue was widely debated on the media and even on social media. It even brought about the rather infamous showdown on the Sarstoon River between the Belize Territorial Volunteers, and the Guatemalan Navy. The incident not only sparked outrage but also developed a fierce discussion country wide as to who the Sarstoon Island belongs to. But as they say, after the storm comes the calm and while the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute will not wash away anytime soon, today we can say that the first step was made to construct the Forward Operating Base. Early this morning a team of officials comprised of Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of State in the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities, Hon. Frank Mena, Retired Colonel George Lovell, and the CEO in the Ministry of National Security along with other representatives headed to the Sarstoon Island for the ground breaking of the new Forward Operating Base.

Belize Named In Another Money Laundering Scandal
Belize has once again been named in a fraudulent pyramid scheme, where millions of dollars was laundered. A report coming from The Canadian Press, states that police in Toronto have arrested two men in connection with a US$ 93 million pyramid scheme. Police say the scheme was operated under the name Banners Broker and was operating out of a Toronto address between October 2010 and March 2013. Banner Brokers promised users the chance to double their investment in an advertising company that was linked to a globally renowned network. Of the $93-million allegedly raised from investors by Banners Broker, Toronto police say $45-million was paid out to early investors, who then attracted others to the scheme.

Victor Recinos Becomes New Comptroller Of Customs
The Belize Customs and Excise Department has a new Comptroller. He is no other than 54 year old Victor Recinos who is scheduled to officially take over the department on Monday December 14th. Recinos will take over the seat from former controller Emil Grinage who has reached the retirement age and will be in charge of over 200 employees. The 54 year old takes over the department at a time when Belize is reeked by contraband activity. As it pertains to that subject Recinos told the Amandala Newspaper that one of the functions of the department is to carry out regular patrols at the border and to set up checkpoints in order to ensure that individuals don’t try to avoid paying duty, and that they are using acceptable ports of entry and not illegal ones, which would be in direct violation of immigrations and customs laws.


Investigators Seek to Identify Body Found in Western Belize
Police are looking to positively identify a body that was found in Spanish Lookout on Tuesday. Police say they went to an area known as the Mennonite Beach area which is about a mile from Ant Trial road that leads to the Belize Old River where they saw the body of a Hispanic male person […]

Ground Breaks for Sarstoon Operating Base
Today ground was broken for the construction of a forward operating base at the mouth of the Sarstoon River in southern Belize. Sarstoon Island and the river have been the latest point of contention between Belize and Guatemalan in regards to Guatemala’s unfounded claim over Belize. A few months ago, the Belize Territorial Volunteers led […]

Saldivar Shares Diplomatic Note from Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry
According to Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, representatives of ‘friendly nations’ would have been present at today’s ground breaking ceremony if it was not for a late invitation. An invitation was also sent to Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry through its embassy here in the country. However, no one from Guatemala showed up today. However, the […]

Belizean Waters or Guatemalan Waters?
As was mentioned in the story, several Guatemalan gun boats were seen patrolling near the mouth of the Sarstoon Island. It is presumed that they are in Guatemalan waters. That presumption is based on the equidistance principle. In maritime boundary claims, the equidistance principle is a legal concept that a nation’s maritime boundaries should conform […]

Did Guatemala Invade Belize’s Airspace?
While the Guatemala gun boats stayed off Belizean waters, a drone equipped with a camera was sent to hover above the group that participated in the ground breaking ceremony. It was clearly seen that the small drone, came from the Guatemala side of the border while the five boats slowly made its way to the […]

Operating Base at Hunting Caye Near Completion
While the Forward Operating Base at Sarstoon will take about three months to be completed, the base at Hunting Caye is near completion. The last we reported on it was when the US Embassy pulled its funding after the Government objected to the base being built by BINARQ, a Guatemalan construction company. Today, CEO in […]

Senator Hulse Demands Apology from Toledo East Representative
In last week’s sitting of the House of Representatives, Toledo East Representative, Mike Espat rose to bring about what he had described as further corruption in the immigration department. Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse is not an elected minister and thus he was not on hand to respond to those allegations. However, in today’s sitting […]

Handful of Protesters Gather at National Assembly
When we spoke with Robert Leslie of the Belize Progressive Party this morning, he and a handful of Belizeans were protesting in front of the National Assembly with posters and placards on national issues of concerns. According to Leslie, the corruption in the Government needs to be unmasked as it affects the leaders to provide […]

BPP Continues Lobbying for Belize to Sign Onto the UNCAC
Today is dubbed the International Anti-Corruption Day with the objective of raising awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing corruption. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Convention against corruption on October 31, 2003. The Assembly further went to designation December 9 as International Anti –corruption […]

Senate First Meet for Term 2015 – 2020
The first official sitting of the Senate under this new term of Government was held today within the chambers of the National Assembly. Six new senators were making their debut in this sitting, namely, Pastor Ashley Rocke, Macario Coy, Dr Carla Barnett, Aldo Salazar, Francine Burns and Stephen Duncan with the notable absence of a […]

Re: Today's Belize News: December 10, 2015 [Re: Marty] #509830
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Dentist convicted for unethical acts in US stopped from opening office in Belize
Thanks to a tip, police have been able to close down a dentist office in San Pedro before it opened for its first day of business. The reason is because the American dentist who would be operating that clinic, has criminal records in North Carolina, United States for injecting semen into his client...

Belmopan man charged for chopping man in forehead
Belmopan police have made an arrest for the attempted murder of a 23 year old Belmopan man. On Saturday December 5, Adonai Harrison and some friends arrived in Belmopan after attending a youth award ceremony in Belize City. Heading home, they passed the Mae Gordon Park in Belmopan where he was conf...

Cabinet decides no entry for stranded Cubans
The Cabinet of the Government of Belize met today to discuss the proposal presented by the Government of Costa Rica for Belize to facilitate the mobility of Cuban immigrants currently stranded at the Costa Rica – Nicaragua Border. Almost four thousand Cubans are now stranded at the Costa Rica Nicara...

Man charged in connection to fatal traffic accident
Yesterday we told you about the traffic accident that claimed the life of 50-year-old Jorge Reynoso Juarez in the Stann Creek District. That accident happened on Saturday the 5th of December at around 7:45p.m, at the Santa Cruz Junction and Placencia Road in Stann Creek. Police say they have since a...

Belmopan resident to receive Queen’s Young Leaders Award
60 young people from across the Commonwealth will be receiving the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. A Belizean youth has been named among this year’s winners, and she hails from Belmopan. She is 27 year old Deidra Smith. The Award will be presented in London by Her Majesty The Queen in 2016 as a p...

Murder accused face appeal
Tyrone Meighan and Brandon Baptist were charged just yesterday in the home invasion and rape at the residence of Sarkis Abou-Nehra in Burrell Boom last week, among a group of nine. But we have received confirmed reports that they may face another set of charges which they thought they had beaten a l...

Boy dies from traffic accident injuries
A 9 year old boy died as a result of a traffic accident that happened on Thursday of last week. By all appearances, and according to xrays and ultrasounds, 9 year old Geraldo Lopez was not in any critical condition after he was knocked down by a motorcycle while crossing the Orange Walk Main street ...

The December 9, 2015 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

The Guardian

Sarstoon will have its Forward Operating Base
John Saldivar, the Minister of National Security, and the Barrow Government have proven that they can keep their promises to the Belizean People. On Wednesday, December 9, they traveled down to the mouth of the Sarstoon river to hold a ground breaking ceremony to signal to everyone, including the Guatemalan neighbors, that a Joint Forces Forward Operating Base will be built at the entrance of the Sarstoon River. Saldivar was accompanied by a number of dignitaries to the ground breaking site. Those officials included Frank “Papa” Mena, the Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister; Patrick Faber, the Minister of Education; 2 observers of the Organization of American States; Admiral John Borland, the Commandant of the Belize National Coast Guard; Brigadier General David Jones, the Commander of the Belize Defence Force; Superintendent Simeon Alvarez, the Officer Commanding the Punta Gorda Police Station; and a number of high ranking soldiers, police officers, and coast guard personnel.

Cuban migration ‘a regional problem’ says Belize’s Cabinet
The Cabinet of Belize met on Tuesday as it always does and this week top on the agenda were discussions on a request made by the Costa Rican government for Belize to allow over 3 thousand Cubans to leave Costa Rica via airplanes and land in Belize and from here further their movement into Mexico and on to the United States of America. After Tuesday’s meeting, the Cabinet issued the following release: “The Cabinet of the Government of Belize met today to discuss the proposal presented by the Government of Costa Rica for Belize to facilitate the mobility of Cuban immigrants currently stranded at the Costa Rica – Nicaragua Border. After careful consideration the Cabinet is of the view that this is a regional problem. As such the Government of Belize is prepared to participate in a regional discussion to identify the necessary mechanisms to address the Cuban immigrants transiting through the region. At this juncture, the Government of Belize is unable to make any commitments outside of a regional arrangement.”

Christmas stalled, another ship sent back
Stevedores at the Port of Belize, on Wednesday December 9 are once again refusing to unload a ship that has made a port call. The stevedores have taken on this position after negotiations with the management have apparently failed. However it is a matter of who you listen to. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Port, Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez, the decision was taken in an arbitrary manner while negotiations were ongoing. The Christian Workers Union has taken the position that the workers are fighting to have pensions paid to them. The Guardian has received a document which indeed proves that there have been negotiations going and in fact these have been signed into an agreement. The document clearly spells out the terms of a pension fund for the stevedores and says it becomes effective when a Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed. What the document does not say is when that will take place that is, there is no definitive start date to the pension. We are informed that stevedores will begin to make their contribution to the pension program as early as January of next year. But even though that is not spelt out that apparently is the start date. What is missing however is the retroactivity of the pension. That is now the point of contention between management and the stevedores since the agreement does not state if the pension will be retroactive. For his part Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez is now holding on to the position that they port cannot pay for a retroactive pension which the stevedores want to roll back to 2004 when the port was privatized.

Lisa who?
Today we will look at another personality in this Leadership conundrum. A few weeks ago Lisa Shoman threw her hat in the ring as a candidate for the contest to fill the void as PUP Leader that was created by the stepping down of Francis Fonseca some 12 or so hours after the party’s fourth election defeat in just about 10 months. Some would even go as far as saying the PUP has been Leaderless since George Price was stabbed in the back in 1996. He was the only true Leader the party had that commanded any respect and was the glue that held the party together. PUP needs another George Price to lead it, and in effect Lisa is saying she is that person. Back in last month on 24th November, 2015 she declared that she will run to fill that vacant position as Party Leader. This is what channel 7 reported “Lisa Shoman who wants to be the next Leader of her party, is one of 5 potential candidates including ....... but she is the first woman to express an interest in leading a mass party”. Lisa who does not hold a seat in the house of representatives nor does she control a constituency within her party, and according to all checks we at this newspaper have made she has never won any sort of contest before , not even a POPULARITY CONTEST in KINDERGARDEN.

PUP has no sympathy for Belize City flood victims
Two loan motions were passed in the House of Representatives on Friday, December 4, but what most people will remember from the 12th National Assembly’s first day of actual business is the debate of a supplemental revenue appropriation bill. The House of Representatives passed Petro-Caribe Loan (Amendment) Act on Friday, June 26, to specify what types of projects can be implemented under the program and make requirements for quarterly reports of acquisition and spending of Petro-Caribe funds. The supplemental revenue appropriation bill introduced on December 4 is to honour government’s requirement for quarterly reports. Therefore, government asked permission for the retrospective acquisition and spending of $44.7 million for the months of September, October and November. The details of the spending were attached to reports presented to members of the House. Representatives of the People’s United Party, still in their General Election post-mortem stage, pointed at the three month expenditure as the reason for the United Democratic Party’s November 4th victory. In remarks directed at Hon. Patrick Faber, the member from Orange Walk Central, Hon. Johnny Briceno, said, “of course if we had 44 million to spend, Honorable member from Collet, we would be sitting over that side”. Rt. Hon Said Musa, Representative for Fort George, said, “The government is boasting that it bought the election.”

5 Ambassadors present credentials to the Governor General of Belize
Five ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on December 7, 2015 at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. H.E. Rabah Hadid, Ambassador of Algeria; H.E. Petros Panayotopolous, Ambassador of Greece; H.E. Alfonso Manuel Portables Vazquez, Ambassador of Spain; H.E. Vehbi Esgel Etensel, Ambassador of Turkey; and H.E. Valdrack Jaentschke, Ambassador of Nicaragua all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their countries in Belize and extended warm greetings to Belize from their governments. Each ambassador conveyed to the Governor General that their country’s purpose is to continue to develop and maintain strong relations between their countries and Belize. The Governor General graciously received the credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to Belize.

Better road, more accidents in Orange Walk Town
Two years ago there was hue and cry about the condition of the portion of the Phillip Goldson Highway which runs through Orange Walk Town. It had been in a terrible state of disrepair partly due to incessant bad weather but mostly due to the neglect of the Orange Walk Town Council. The United Democratic Party Government then stepped in and through the use of Petro Caribe Funds the three miles which pass through the town were repaired and paved making it a joy to drive on. Well the old adage which says that “progress brings problems” appositely applies to this recent improvement of the road. The problem that this has created is that now motorists have taken to speeding on this stretch of level road. Often people can be seen speeding when entering Orange Walk Town from both sides and even through the center of the town. Maybe because it is such a smooth ride they don’t realize that they are indeed travelling at speeds which are dangerous to other road users and even to themselves.

Legal battle over ‘MEK MI RICH’ continues
Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel has closed the evidence taking phase of a lawsuit to determine if the new hit lottery game, Mek Mi Rich, is a stolen idea. This is the allegation that Corozal businessman Curtis Swasey has accused the directors of Mek Mi Rich of doing, stealing his idea and reaping the commercial benefits of it. Swasey has given sworn testimony that in 2012, he approached Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) with the idea of using their short messaging service (SMS) platform to allow Belizeans to buy lottery tickets for a lottery game he had developed. His idea, referred to as lottery texting, would provide him with BTL’s entire customer base as possible clients who could buy tickets using their SMS. It would also give the customers the security of an identification, and proof of ownership since the Government has mandated that every single phone number be registered to an owner. He claims that when he approached BTL on the concept, they signed an information exchange agreement, which is basically a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement, where neither side is allowed to reveal the sensitive information being discussed among both parties.

Local Sugar Price Increase Benefits Entire Industry’s Viability
Today, BSI issued a revised cane price estimate to cane farmer associations for the 2015/16 crop. As a result of last week’s decision by the Government to raise the price of plantation white sugar, cane farmers were informed that the first cane payment will increase to $36.65 based on a revised first cane price estimate, which increased from $41.56 to 45.25. This increase fully reflects the increase provided under the new Statutory Instrument giving it effect. Though it was less than expected by farmers as a result of the government decision not to extend the increase to brown sugar, and also because the benefit is spread over more tons of cane as a result of an increased expected crop this year than that envisaged in 2014 when the proposal was made by industry stakeholders to Government. Nevertheless, the increase will be of great benefit to the industry, and signals the first time in almost 15 years (the last increase was January 2001) that the industry has seen an upward adjustment in prices despite significant market changes over the years. The proposal was rooted in the context of anticipated adverse developments in the EU Sugar market, which has historically been Belize’s traditional and most beneficial export market. The EU reforms will reduce the preferential value of that market considerably in the lead up to the lifting of current restrictions on EU beet production in 2017. The proposed increase in local sugar price was justified on the basis that the increased price will:

PUP celebrating the possible loss of Petro Caribe
It seems that those Dean Barrow haters and DOOM forecasters in the PUP, could not wait for the ink to dry on the paper to declare that the Venezuelan opposition the Democratic Unity Roundtable had taken over control of their Parliament from the President Nicolas Maduro’s led socialist party PSUV by what is being described as a trouncing. They are now jumping for joy that it may be the end of the Petro Caribe. We say this because even though Maduro is still the President of Venezuela for the next 3 years his hands would be tied, because for some time now the opposition has been attacking Maduro and the PSUV with the accusation that the terms of the Petro Caribe program was making the Venezuelan people starve. So one would only conclude that they will use their powerful majority in parliament to either cut back on the amount of rounds they make available to countries like ours or they will stop it completely. One may ask how will this be possible if Maduro still holds the Presidency. Well Venezuela has a system like the USA. They can have a president from one party and a parliament from another party. We don’t have to think too far back to imagine how parliament could hamstring a president. Just think back to two years ago when President Obama could not get his budget passed by their parliament. It caused the Federal Government to shut down, there was not much money to spend.

Said Musa must have “The Talk” with Kareem
Every father with male offsprings at some point in life should have “the talk” with their son. The main subjects of such a discussion are the do’s and do not’s of life. Now that we have our first National Assembly father and son combo in the country’s history, it is about time that we have the first parliamentary father-son talk. If not, the son will continue to bring shame to the father. On Friday, December 4, Kareem Musa opted to bring up the topic of international fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer. On the motion to adjourn, Musa said his concern of national importance is about passport fraud. According to the member from Caribbean Shores, “The David Schnitzer case demonstrated to the world that there is not only collusion [in the immigration department] but there is multi-layered corruption from top to bottom.” Prime Minister Barrow is equally upset about the David Nanes Schnitzer blackeye and he outlined the authority’s efforts and legal limitations in regards to the reprimand and extradition of the fugitive. However, he pointed out to Kareem Musa that he does not need to ask questions in the House of Assembly to familiarize himself with the intricacies of immigration corruption. Prime Minister Barrow encouraged him to “start with your father”.

Increase in the control price for plantation white sugar
The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, hereby informs the general public that effective January 1, 2016, Plantation White Sugar will retail at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound countrywide. A Statutory Instrument has been signed by the Minister responsible for Supplies Control dated December 4th, 2015 to give effect to this increase. While the GOB has maintained the controlled prices for sugar for more than a decade, this increase of 25 cents per pound is to allow the industry to earn a fair price in comparison to other producers in the region. The Ministry reiterates that this price change becomes effective on January 1, 2016 and merchants are hereby warned to desist from adjusting retail prices before the above mentioned date. Furthermore, Sections 15 and 16 of the Supplies Control Regulations requires every retailer of any priced controlled goods to display for public viewing a list of approved maximum retail prices as well as clearly mark the retail price on the packaging of such price controlled goods offered for sale. The public is also advised that there is sufficient sugar in stock and all parties along the distribution chain are warned not to hoard sugar in an attempt to earn a price windfall from consumers.

Sugar price gouging
On Friday December 4, the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, and the Ministry of Agriculture announced that the price of plantation white sugar would be increasing by 25 cents. The release notes that it has been over a decade since the price of sugar has been increased and the increase is, “to allow the industry to earn a fair price in comparison to other producers in the region.” It goes on to state that, “the Ministry reiterates that this price change becomes effective on January 1, 2016 and merchants are hereby warned to desist from adjusting retail prices before the above mentioned date. Failure to comply with the Supplies Control Price Regulations will result in imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months, a fine of one thousand dollars ($1000.00), or to both such term of imprisonment and such fine.

Verdes FC a foot closer in advancing to the finals again
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament Playoff Round commenced on Saturday 5 December, 2015. On Sunday 6 December 2015, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the home team and defending National Football Champions, the Verdes FC white-wash the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 2-0 to take a 1-0 lead in the home and away series between the two. The Verdes FC got on the scoreboard when Jarret Davis scored the first of his two goals in the 25th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was extended when Davis scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 27th minute of play to give his team a 2-0 lead. The Verdes defence was able to hold the lead and at the sound of the long whistle it was a 2-0 victory for the home team. Meanwhile, on Saturday 5 December, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the host team the Placencia Assassins edged out the visiting Police United FC by the score of 2-1.

St. Catherine Academy and Gwen Lizarraga won the Central Region Secondary Schools basketball competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball Competition came to an end on Saturday 5 December, 2015, with the continuation of the male championship game that had to be postponed in the third quarter on Friday 4 December with the score in favour of Gwen Lizarraga High School because of the inclement weather. In the end, Gwen Lizarraga High School edged out Sadie Vernon Technical High School by the score of 74-73. The top scorers for Gwen Lizarraga High School were Keyvon Evans with 25 points and Aaron Young with 23 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Sadie Vernon Technical High School were Glency Lopez with 32 points and Darnel Galvez with 19 points. In the second and final game in the female championship, St. Catherine Academy defeated Maud Williams High School by the score of 22-20. The top scorer for St. Catherine Academy was Tricia Jefferies with 8 points and for Maud Williams High School, the top scorers were Ashley Bailey and Arika Sheppard with 7 points each.

Rotary hands over houses to two needy families
“Service Above Self” is the Rotary motto and on Wednesday, December 9, the Rotary Club of Belize continued to live up to that mantra by handing over the keys for brand new houses to two needy families in Belize City. Delphina Terry is the grandmother of three young children. The children’s parents are not in a position to take care of them; therefore, granny is the primary caregiver. Life has been difficult for the family because their place(s) of shelter was not adequate for human life. Rainy days were the worst. The children who had already been dealt a bad hand at birth faced many extremely uncomfortable nights. While most people think about whether it would be cold or warm in the nights, families like these wonder if they will be dry or wet. Fortunately, this will not be the case for Terry’s family in the near future and hopefully it will never be the case again.

Outstanding contributions by young people honored in Youth Awards
The Department of Youth Services held its 2015 Belize Youth Awards on Friday December 4, 2015 at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. The event which marked the culmination of National Youth Week, celebrated under the theme “Youth, Let’s Make the Dream Work with Team Work”, is held annually to recognize and reward young people from all over Belize for their contribution to Belize’s development. The special guest speaker for the occasion was Mr. Mike Duggan, Executive Director of Domus Kids, a U.S. based NGO which provides a home and after-school programs for with at-risk boys. Mr. Duggan is also involved in the “No Youth Left Behind Initiative” which provides guidance and mentorship for young people. In addressing the awardees and guests at Friday’s event, Mr. Duggan said, “See young people as resources and not as recipients of services that you give. Actively get their input, have the trust and confidence in them that they know what they are talking about, that they know what they need, and they know what their communities need and they have the solutions.”

Ghost Town crew charged for home invasion
Six men and three women affiliated with the Ghost Town Gang are on remand at the Belize Central Prison for their alleged involvement in the home invasion of Lebanon’s Honorary Consul’s residence in Burrell Boom Village. His Excellency Sarkis Bou Nehra was out of the country when his home was invaded by armed gunmen on Thursday, December 3. According to police, Tyrone Meighan, Brandon Baptist, John Grinage, Jerson Grinage, Sheldon Grinage, Randolph Coleman and others forced themselves into Bou Nehra’s residence. Police say they held the caretaker of the property at gunpooint and forced him into the main residence. The men then proceeded to steal three 9 mm pistols, one 12 gauge shotgun, one .22 rifle and one Pietrro Berreta Single Action Shotgun. They also made off with an assortment of jewelry, one black DVR player, one leopard styled Diane Von Fursteinberg purse, a collection of alcoholic beverages, additional items and $11,500 cash. During the home invasion, the wife of the caretaker was raped by one of the robbers. Adding insult to injury, her blue Alcatel cellular phone and $388 cash was also taken away.

COPA inaugurates flights to Belize
Belize’s tourism footprint is set to expand drastically into Central and South America. That’s because the Panamanian air carrier, Compaía Panameña de Aviación (COPA) will be making direct flights here. On Tuesday, December 8, the first flight from Hub de La Americas, Panama City, Flight #281, arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport a few minutes short of 1 p.m. That flight brought 92 passengers from that country. It was very routine, and almost mundane, in the landing in Belizean territory, for COPA Airlines, this only their 7th destination in Central America that they fly direct to.

Friends for Conservation and Development holds AGM in Cayo
The Friends for Conservation and Development FCD, the Non Governmental Organization that protects the Western Maya Mountain Massif, held its 16th Annual General meeting at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel on Saturday of this past weekend. As part of the activities for the day, new members were elected to serve within the Board of Directors at FCD, which included a retired Belize Defense Force soldier Oscar Mira as well as Jorge De Leon. In his report to the audience, Board President Dr. Filiberto Penados said that the AGM was a space to review the year, ponder the challenges, review commitment as well as to elect friends to take on the mantle. He said that the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, co-managed by the FCD is the watershed for half of Belize and parts of Guatemala. Dr. Penados also said that there are now 18 rangers on the ground to protect that asset. Executive Director Rafael Manzanero also reviewed the roles of those rangers, who are currently doing smart patrols and deployed at conservation posts. According to him, the work that the FCD does with the help of rangers has been facilitated by the Police, the Belize Defense Force as well as the Immigration Department.

Belizean lawmen endure major discomfort at Hunting Caye
In early October of last year there was a great hue and cry from a small quarter of noise makers who had taken up issue with the fact that a Coast Guard forward operating base under construction at the time on that island was being so done by a Guatemalan company. As a result of all the noise, the work came to a screeching halt and since then there has been no resumtion of the work. The funders, the US government, had been very clear to the Belizean government, if the Guatemalan company was not allowed to continue the work then GOB would have to find its own source of financing. After all the noise the government decided to cancel the work and since then the work has been at a standstill. That has been over a year now and the Chief Executive Officer in the ministry of National Security has explained that the work will only resume after the project is put to tender and a new Belizean company is identified to do the work. There have also been delays as the ministry was awaiting the plans of the building which were held by US authorities.

Sixth International Festival of Culture held in Benque
The Sixth International Festival of Culture fulfilled a great love of the arts by local residents on Friday night of last week at the Centennial Park in Benque Viejo del Carmen. The event was held to celebrate the 111th anniversary of Benque Viejo, under the theme “Celebrating our Legacy as we unearth Potential” and featured a number of National and International artists performing over the entire weekend. Addressing the audience during the opening ceremonies on Friday was Virginia Vasquez President of the Community of Artists for Cultural and Historical Endeavour CACHE. Vasquez noted that she was happy to see the various age groups being represented. She also emphasized that culture brings people and families together and also gives identity to the community. At the request of Virginia Vasquez, a moment of silence was observed for Shadisha Arnold, Elizabeth McKoy and Ana Carlos, who recently perished in a fire in the Belize District. First to start the series of events was David Snow, a master violinist, who now lectures at the John Paul Two Junior College in Benque. Starting to play violin from the age of 8 years, Snow was well suited to play for the audience his versions of classical sounds.

KHMH has new union and new executive
It went as quietly as the raise which they received at the end of October of this year and now the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital workers have a union complete with an executive to represent them. On Thursday December 3 the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital held an election to select an executive to represent them. Nominations were open from November 6 to the 26 with the criteria being that anyone who was interested in filling a position in the executive needed only to be a full time employee of the KHMH. After the nominations the election was held on Thursday December 3rd after which Lidia Alpuche Blake was selected as the president. Vice President is Andrew Baird, Secretary is Romelio Castañeda, Assistant Secretary is Ricardo Hermoso, Treasurer is Shevan Fairweather, Assistant Treasurer is Beverly Coleman with councillors being Sharette White, Nelsia Flowers Dyer, Marisol Melhado and Adrian Cardinez.

Sugar season on its way
The 2015-2016 Sugar Season has begun right on time after 2 consecutive late starts, which had cost the industry millions of dollars in earnings due to in-fighting among the principals. But, this time around, the cane farmers and the factory owners need to work very hard to try to make every day count for this season because the price of export sugar sold to Europe is at an all time low. This is threatening the local season since the farmers and the factory owners made investments based on expected returns on this year’s crop. So, because the season will be a challenging one, on Monday, December 7, the Belize Sugar Industries Limited started accepting cane from farmers who are members of the Progressive Cane Farmers Association from San Estevan. Apart from this year’s quota of cane, there was a great deal of stand over plant cane, which is cane which couldn’t be delivered in time in the duration of the season. To facilitate this year’s efficiency of the mill’s offloading process, there is an additional dumping table, a new hydraulic lift which will make cane deliveries happen faster. That’s over a million dollars in investment from BSI. It is estimated that there is about 1.7 million tonnes of cane in the fields right now, but the mill can only grind about 1.3 million. The idea is that the millers want to expand the capacity to ensure that they can deal with the workload, but they need a commitment from the farmers in the form of the Strategic Development Plan, which will allow all parties to increase their respective capacities.

Five years for sub-machine gun
Richard Mervin Bennett Jr., 18, is in jail serving the first nights of a five year jail term for a prohibited weapon. According to police, a joint operation was conducted by officers of the South Strike Team #1, Special Branch Unit and K-9 Unit on Thursday, December 3. This operation included searching the home of Richard Bennett, 58, at #26 Magazine Road, Belize City twice. The first search was executed at 4:30 a.m. and a second search was conducted at 1:30 p.m. later that day. During the search, the canine cop stopped at an area in the yard and sat down. Police searched that specific area and behind the trunk of a car found a Tec-9 sub-machine gun with a magazine containing 15 live 9mm Aquila brand rounds. Everyone living at the house was arrested and charged with keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition.

Body found in Cayo
A body has been found about one mile from the Ant Trial Road, on a feeder road that leads to the Belize Old River in the Spanish Lookout Area. San Ignacio Police discovered the body of a Hispanic male at about 8:45 pm on Tuesday of this week in an advanced state of decomposition in the water, in the area also known as Mennonite Beach, completely nude and with an open wound to the temporal area of his head. The male person appears to be in his early 40’s and had no identification. The body is being guarded until a post mortem is conducted.

Five face charges for weed and pipe found in C-D player
Five people are out on bail of $6,000 each after police raided a house on 6th Street in the Kings Park area of Belize City and found 142 grams of marijuana and 14 pieces of weed fudge. In a joint operation, officers of the Northern Strike Team, K-9 Unit and the Tourism Police Unit executed a search at the home of Arthur Higgs, located on 7th Street, on Wednesday, December 2, around 10:30 a.m. Police say during the search they found four black plastic bags containing 16 smaller bags of cannabis. These were found along with a ceramic pipe stuffed inside a Technic Compact Disc Player. In the living room police found 14 pieces of weed fudge. The marijuana in the bags amounted to 142 grams. The marijuana in the fudge amounted to 222 grams. Everyone at the house during the time of the search was arrested and charged for drug trafficking. Those are Claudette Hyde, 59, her son Arthur Higgs, 32, along with Adrian Gotoy, 25, Eric Humes, 25, and Keenan Brown, 22.

Marijuana bust in Benque
On Tuesday December 8 at about 5:15 pm, on the strength of a search warrant for drugs, the Police K-9 Unit and Benque Viejo Town Police visited the residence of 19 year old Jamil Cano, Belizean Student of George Street BVO Town, which resulted in the discovery of a small black plastic bag and a blue small plastic bag each containing a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. The leafy materials were found underneath a small mattress that was on a wooden bed inside the room. At the time Cano was at home where he was informed of the offence committed, cautioned, placed under arrest and was escorted to the Benque Viejo Town Police Station along with the suspected cannabis. The drugs were weighed in his presence separately amounting to 91.0 grams in the black bag and 136.0 grams in the blue bag, all to a total of 227.0 grams. Jamil Cano was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

Holy Angels Roman Catholic School girls from the Stann Creek District repeats as National Volleyball Champions
The 2015-2016 National Primary Schools Volleyball Championship came to an end on Friday 4 December, 2015, at the Star’s Volleyball Gym in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Holy Angels Roman Catholic School from the Stann Creek Valley Pomona Village defeated Toledo Christian Academy in two sets by the score of 25-20 and 25-22 to repeat as the National Primary Schools Volleyball Champions. In the third place game, Belize Elementary School defeated Chan Pine Ridge Government School representing the Orange Walk District in two sets by the score of 25-18 and 25-9 to take the third place trophy. In the semi-final round and in game one, Toledo Christian Academy defeated Belize Elementary School in three sets by the score of 25-11, 19-25 and 15-3 to advance to the championship round. In game two, Holy Angels defeated Chan Pine Ridge Government School in two sets by the score of 25-15 and 25-9 to earn the next spot in the finalist spot.

Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico to host national high schools basketball championships
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association in partnership with co-sponsors Bowen and Bowen (Crystal Brand) and SOL Belize will be hosting its annual National Secondary Schools Sports Association Basketball Championships from Friday December 11 to Saturday December 12, 2015, at the Andres Campos Civic Centre in Corozal Town. This year’s championships are being hosted by Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico. The schools that have earned the rights to represent their region are: from the Northern Region in female San Pedro High School (SPH) and in male Muffles College (MC). From the Central Region in female St. Catherine Academy (SCA) and in male Gwen Lizarraga High School (GLHS); from the Western Region in both the female and male Sacred Heart College (SHC) and from the Southern Region in female Delille Academy (DA) and in male Julian Cho Technical High School (JCTHS).

Gregory Lovell captures Khalid Belisle Cycling Classic
The Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with the Mayor of the City of Belmopan His Worship Khalid Belisle held the first Khalid Belisle Cycling Classic on Sunday, 6 December, 2015. In the Elite Race that was held, Gregory Lovell of Digicell 4G captured first place. Lovell won the race in a bunch sprint. The second rider to cross the finish line was Nissan Arana of Predators Belize while the third place finisher was Jesmar Guerra of Alliance United Cycling Team. In the Junior race, Ernest Bradley of Smart Zoom took first place. He was followed by Gian Kino of Cabral/Marin Cycling Club with third place going to Kaydine Pinelo of Smart Zoom.

Football Federation of Belize to promote female football
The Football Federation of Belize will be hosting a Press Conference on Saturday 12 December, 2015, at the Football Federation of Belize Conference Room at 9:00 am to launch a new female football programme. A Female Football Festival themed “Live Your Dreams” will also take place on Saturday 12 December, 2015, at the FFB field from 10:00 am to 12:00 midday. The Federation is extending an invitation to all female ages 10 to 12 to participate in the Football Festival. The festival will be coordinated by FFB’s Technical Director, Renan Couoh.

Verdes FC a foot closer in advancing to the finals again
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament Playoff Round commenced on Saturday 5 December, 2015. On Sunday 6 December 2015, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the home team and defending National Football Champions, the Verdes FC white-wash the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 2-0 to take a 1-0 lead in the home and away series between the two. The Verdes FC got on the scoreboard when Jarret Davis scored the first of his two goals in the 25th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was extended when Davis scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 27th minute of play to give his team a 2-0 lead. The Verdes defence was able to hold the lead and at the sound of the long whistle it was a 2-0 victory for the home team. Meanwhile, on Saturday 5 December, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the host team the Placencia Assassins edged out the visiting Police United FC by the score of 2-1.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

International Fund for Agricultural Development celebrates gender awards
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) hosted its third annual Gender Awards on November 25th in honor of the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,” where five top performing programs supported by the fund and making a difference in women’s […]

Fatal traffic accident in Spanish Lookout
San Ignacio Police is currently at the scene of a fatal traffic accident in the community of Spanish Lookout in the Cayo District. Information reaching our newsroom indicates that there was a collision between a cyclist and an unidentified vehicle. This is a […]

Belize Bank new debit card promotion offers plenty rewards
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Belize Bank has rolled out its new “Swipe More and Win” promotion where debit card holders can win CASH and PRIZES simply for swiping their Belize Bank Debit card while making a purchase. The promotion was […]

Taximan beats theft charge
A Belize City taxi man accused of theft of two vehicles and over $5,000 in cash from an international company who lived in the Cayo area was today set free of the charge of theft when the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith dismissed the […]

Two charged for robbing salesman
19 year old Malieck Michael Humes and 22 year old Macory Alexander Neal, both of Wagner’s Lane, Belize City were charged with firearm related offenses and one count of handling stolen goods for items believed to have been stolen from a salesman outside Public Supermarket in downtown Belize […]

Infamous Brandon Tillett faces more charges
Brandon Mason Tillett, associate of the George Street Gang, is accused of the attempted murder of Lords’ Bank resident Jorge Carlos Lozano earlier this year. While in court for an adjournment in the case, he was served by police with additional charges replacing at […]

Belize named for laundering in another fraud scheme
Belize has once again been named among jurisdictions where millions of dollars, obtained through a fraudulent pyramid scheme, was laundered. Police in Toronto, Canada have arrested two men in connection with a US$ 93 million pyramid scheme. Detective Sergeant Ian Nichol, of Canada’s Financial Crimes […]

Senate debates loan motions and agreements with Guatemala
A busy first session of the upper chamber of the National Assembly is taking place in Belmopan today. The Senate has debated and approved two loan motions, the OPEC Fund for International Development Hummingbird Highway Reconstruction loan for US$12 million; and the US$15 million […]

Minister demands apology from House member on immigration scam allegations
The Hon. Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration, Senator Godwin Hulse, this morning demanded a public apology from area representative for Toledo East, Mike Espat, concerning comments made last Friday during the House meeting on a reported scam of nationality certificates. According to the […]

Relatively cool and mostly fair conditions prevail
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight. Showers will be isolated. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northwest at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures today are expected […]

Orange Walk police find 74 grams of weed
Orange Walk Police conducted a search at an abandoned lot on Santa Familia Street yesterday afternoon which resulted in the discovery of 74.6 grams of cannabis. At around 3:45 p.m. officers searched the lot and in a black plastic bag, found the drug which was labelled as […]

Two suspects nabbed in robbery of over $14,000
In respect to the Tuesday morning theft of a knapsack containing cash and other items in Belize City, 19-year-old Malieck Michael Humes and 22-year-old Macory Alexander Neal have been detained pending investigation, after a search of their 28 Wagner’s Lane residence resulted in the discovery of the […]

Decomposed body found in Spanish Lookout
A partially decomposed, nude body of a male person was found in an area of Spanish Lookout known as Mennonite Beach last night45 p.m., officers responded to information received and upon reaching about one mile from Ant Trial road, they saw the […]

Government of Belize breaks ground on new FOB at Sarstoon island
A statement from the Government of Belize’s Press Office, released earlier this morning, noted that a team of officials would be heading to the Sarstoon Island for ground breaking of the new Forward Operating Base. That team included Minister of National Security John Saldivar, Minister […]

Belize GOB will not accept over 4,000 Cubans; Costa Rica disappointed
The government of Belize has decided not to accept the over 4,000 Cubans stranded at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. Cabinet said GOB would offer what assistance it could by way of a regional arrangement but has opted to not allow the Cubans to pass through […]


The Best Use of Principles of Persuasion
Social scientists estimate that each of us is exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of persuasive messages per day. Media messages play a large part, but aren’t the whole story. The messages of daily interaction are equally important. Every day we encounter small-scale, usually low-stakes persuasive messages, designed to influence our attitudes and behaviors, even though we don’t always label them as such. Some of those messages we deflect or ignore. Others get through and are successful, sometimes despite our own best intentions. Your success as a communicator, a sustainable community development (SCD) practitioner, leader, or as a community builder, is directly related to the appropriateness and the effectiveness of the persuasive messages you send out. If all this is true, if persuasion is a natural and inevitable part of the communication process, we might choose to learn how to get better at it. Exactly how does a practitioner apply principles of persuasion in an SCD project? Try visualizing a bridge on which your target person or audience stands. The left side of the bridge represents no knowledge of or interest in your issue; the right side represents the desired action – that is, your goal. Some intermediate markers along the bridge are attention, understanding, and intent. Your target person may be anywhere on the bridge. Your task as persuader is to move that person along the bridge toward your goal – gradually if needed, but no slower than necessary. You may want to move them from no knowledge to attention or from attention to understanding or from understanding to intent, or from intent to action; whatever the case may be. Using principles of persuasion effectively and with integrity can accomplish your goals to create and maintain healthy sustainable communities.

2015: Holiday Shopping in San Pedro, Belize For About $100bzd or Less
Christmas is hurtling towards us…a blink or two and it will be here. I did a bit of shopping around town to find some nice gifts that you can purchase – for yourself or a loved one – for $100bzd or less. I think I found a few good things. Let me show you. AND how cute San Pedro is looking… It’s nice to see Orange Gift Store open again in town. They are located just north of Fido’s on the Front Street and I found some really cute gifts there. And while some of their stuff is very high end and pricey…these items are quite reasonable I think.

Slow back a little in Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker, a five-mile-long island off Belize’s Caribbean coast, has a laid-back vibe which attracts expats to the area I’m paddling idly in the cool waters off the Split, wondering if I should drag myself to the bar of the Lazy Lizard for a beer. I’ve spent the morning snorkeling off the Barrier Reef, viewing coral formations and brightly-colored fish. Now, with evening coming on, I’m taking a last swim in Caye Caulker’s best-known swimming spot before showering and dressing for dinner. Though here, “dressing” is pretty casual… it means I’ll probably put on flip-flops rather than going barefoot. Probably. These days Caye Caulker, a five-mile-long island off Belize’s Caribbean coast, has the laid-back, beach-bum vibe that brought expats to nearby Ambergris Caye 20 years ago. The streets on Caye Caulker are still packed sand. Most people get around by bicycle. And for those who come here, life is all about the water. Small-town, island beach life isn’t for everyone. But if it’s for you, it doesn’t get much better than Caye Caulker. And real estate here is still surprisingly affordable. Lots, depending on where they are, can run well under $50,000. Simple vacation cottages start at less than $100,000. And on an island this small, no place is far from the beach.

Santa Rita Maya Sight in Corozal, Belize
Santa Rita Corozal is a Maya ruin and an archaeological reserve on the outskirts of Corozal, Belize. Historical evidence suggests that it was probably the ancient and important Maya city known as Chetumal (or Chactemal), Santa Rita is believed to be a vestige of this larger metropolis. Santa Rita most likely controlled trade routes to and from Chetumal and other Yucatan cities within present-day Mexico and Guatamala. Mayans inhabited Santa Rita from 2000 B.C. to approximately the 16th century A.D, when residents forced conquistador Alfonso Davila to leave. The city's population slowly dwindled thereafter and finally abandoned the area late in the century. tourists and local tourists are charge a fee o 5$Bze for locals and 10$Bze for tourist. Evidence excavated at Santa Rita exhibits a long history of inhabitance.The discovery of a burial site containing very early pottery has dated the formation of the city between 2000 and 1200 BCE.Its importance peaked during the Postclassic era, and continued to be occupied even after the arrived of the Spanish. Because of its location, the city at Santa Rita once controlled nearby trade routes between the coast and the mouths of two major rivers, the Río Hondo and Río Nuevo. These rivers served as major arteries of trade to centres in the interior such as Lamanai and those in El Petén.Because of this, it became the dominant settlement in the Chetumal region during the early Classic period.

What are you waiting for?
Time is running out and there are still plenty of families that need a some assistance. A little bird sent me the following press release yesterday and asked if I would spread the word. Christmas is a time of joy, happiness, celebration and gifts for so many people here in San Pedro. For some families it’s a struggle and for some children, it seems that Santa just passes them by. None of us likes to think of children going without on Christmas day and so, inspired to spread the true spirit of sharing, a local business in cooperation with an international charity, have come up with a great way for anyone who wants to put a smile on the face of a child this Christmas morning by adopting a bear.

Our World is Changing Are You?
Saturday December 5 was the celebration of International Volunteer’s day, started in 1985 by the United Nations. Every year, many Non Governmental organizations including Belize Red Cross, take the opportunity to recognize their volunteers and highlight the work being done. Currently 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies exist in almost every country in the world with approximately 97 million volunteers. It is a powerful global volunteer movement active at local, national and international levels. Each Society works in its home country, guided by the principles of the international humanitarian law and principles of the international movement. Depending on their capacity and circumstances, National Societies take on additional humanitarian tasks that are undefined by international humanitarian laws.

Saucy Mexican Chicken
COOK chicken in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 4 min. on each side or until browned on both sides. ADD salsa and beans. Bring to boil; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 5 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). TOP with cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

International Sourcesizz

World's First Dengue Vaccine Approved After 20 Years of Research
The first vaccine against dengue fever won clearance in Mexico, an initial step toward preventing a mosquito-borne infection that puts half of the world’s population at risk. Sanofi expects more approvals in “upcoming weeks” for the product, called Dengvaxia, in Latin America and Asia, Olivier Charmeil, who heads the Paris-based company’s vaccines unit, said in a telephone interview. The injection can thwart all four types of the virus, which has appeared in Portugal, France, Florida and Japan recently and increased the risk of “explosive outbreaks,” according to the World Health Organization Dengvaxia, developed over the past 20 years at a cost of 1.5 billion euros ($1.65 billion), including manufacturing investments, awaits approval in at least 19 other countries. Mexico’s regulator endorsed it for people between the ages of 9 and 45 living in areas where the disease is endemic.

5 Best multi-gen family friendly islands of Belize
Blessed with 300 kilometers of the worlds' most stunning natural reef, the country of Belize is one of the most popular snow bird escape-the-cold destinations in the world. It's the ideal getaway for adventure seeking multi-gen families particularly those who enjoy underwater sports. There are 200 islands, or Caye's - as the locals call them, that dot the Belizean coastline all offering easy access to the sea life below. Here are 5 of the best Caye’s for multi-gen families who enjoy traveling together. Buzzing with golf carts the liveliest Belizean Caye, and one of the few with an active nightlife, is Ambergris Caye. Active families have lots of outdoor activities to experience including cave tubing, zip lining, scuba diving, snorkeling and an unforgettable helicopter flight over the famous Blue Hole. Aside from the many restaurants and trinket shops to visit in the main city of San Pedro, the most interesting on-land activity is visiting the ancient Mayan ruins of Lamanai (which means submerged crocodile).

Dengue used to be a disease of the tropics. But with climate change, it’s become endemic in parts of the global north, too. The vaccine shows big promise, “The world’s first dengue vaccine won regulatory approval in Mexico on Wednesday, raising hopes that it could prevent more than 100 deaths there a year and eventually perhaps millions around the world. Globally, dengue is the fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease, with as many as 400 million people infected every year, according to the World Health Organization. The Dengvaxia vaccine is being manufactured by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi. The company has requested regulatory approval in 20 countries across Asia and Latin America, but Mexico was the first to give it the green light.

Caribbean acts perform at UN climate talks
Adrian Martinez of Belize and Jamaica’s Aaron Silk — both of them singers/songwriters — delivered on a riveting performance on Monday, as week two of the global climate talks got going. The duo was there to, among other things, help to project the message: ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ while urging collective action from world leaders, in the interest of planet earth. They also provided attendees to the negotiators — many of whom turned out or otherwise stopped to witness their performance, delivered at the Caribbean Pavilion — with a taste of one of the many things the Caribbean offers to the world: its music. “I have always been a fan of the earth, a lover of the earth; and anything to do with nature, I wanted to be a part of it. Seeing what is happening now with this climate change and this rising of temperatures that has been happening, I had to get involved,” said Silk, a self-styled advocate for reggae music and the use of reggae to spread climate messages.


  • Youth Week Opening 2015 (Corozal & Orange Walk), 4min. Deparment of Youth Offices had an Ecumenical Service, Opening Parade and a Fun Day. Enjoy the video shared by DYS.

  • Product of BELIZE !!, 4min. UNIVISION spotlight on Baby Photography with Belizean Dudley Marshall

  • Noah+Mike Hagan in Belize 2015, 5min. Scuba diving

  • Scuba Diving 220 Feet On Nitrox Ambergris Caye Belize 2013, 6min. Diving with Nitrox in Ambergris Caye Belize. I was diving down a canyon starting at 60 feet and within 4 minutes I was at a depth of 220 feet. I knew the risk but for some reason I pushed forward. I should have experienced oxygen toxicity passing out and dying underwater. It is by the grace of God I am alive today. Enjoy this video I should have died while filming.

  • Panama's Flagship Airline Makes Inaugural Flight to Belize, min.

  • BAHIA Fest 2015 San Pedro Belize, 2.5min. BAHIA fest recently took place at Caribbean Villas Hotel. The Cosmopolitan Fashion show was organized by Magazine Mujer Total Chetumal; with assistance from Zuzana Marosova and Barbara Brown.

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