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Today's Belize News: January 16, 2016 #510731
01/16/16 05:54 AM
01/16/16 05:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,041
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Attends Inauguration Ceremony of President Jimmy Morales in Guatemala
The Prime Minister, Honorable Dean Barrow will return to Belize on Sunday after attending the inauguration ceremony of the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, in Guatemala City. The Prime Minister joined several other Heads of State and Government from within and outside the region to witness the peaceful transition of government in the neighboring country. He was happy to reciprocate the visit of President Morales who had come to personally deliver the invitation to attend the inauguration.

Concerns raised over EIA plans for DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye, Belize
At first glance the EIA seems to portray a proper balance between conservation and development, but concerns arose as the island sits within the newly expanded Hol Chan Marine Reserve. However, when speaking with the Manager at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Miguel Alamilla, he stated otherwise. “Blackadore Caye is a privately owned island, so it is automatically excluded from the marine reserve. Even if it was a protected area, it’s not that they can do what they want to do, but they need to go through the environmental impact assessment which would reveal if the project should be carried on or not,” said Alamilla who believes that the development could be environmentally feasible. “The project could be sustainable as long as main components are met, and we are talking about ecological balance and social equilibrium. And, as the project is proposed to be using green energy and other environmental aspects we can say is sustainable,” explained Alamilla.

San Pedro Animal Hospital introduces new Vet
The San Pedro Animal Hospital (SPAH) is proud to introduce their new Veterinarian Dr. Alicia Bruck. After weeks of efforts on the part of SPAH, the Veterinarians Surgeons Board of Belize has granted her a work permit to provide veterinary services at the San Pedro Animal Hospital. Dr. Bruck becomes the only licensed veterinarian on the island, with her temporary permit valid until January 11, 2017. Dr. Alicia Bruck obtained an undergraduate degree from Cornell University in New York City, New York USA and her veterinarian degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Then for almost three years, she worked in the UK before returning to the United States where she engaged in the veterinary field up until she moved to Belize. This is the first time she has been to Belize, and is already enjoying it. Dr. Bruck is excited to be on the island and finally able to start contributing to the community. She is thrilled with how nice the people on the island have been to her, and she looks forward to a time well spent on Ambergris Caye. Bruck also stated that her authentic love of animals is the main reason for working at the Animal Hospital, where she intends to benefit all customers with her nine years of experience in the veterinary field.

Reset Retreat offers FREE flights to Belize
Imagine yourself walking along the golden sands of the Hopkins beach, a warm breeze drifting in from the Caribbean to caress you. Laughter and bright smiles greet you from the villagers that welcome you to their beautiful community. The clock stops…because it’s okay to forget the time in Hopkins. Your alarm clock is the sunrise salutes to the morning sun; your noontime beckoning call, the sound of Garifuna drums. Evening is defined by adventure, as you explore the magnificent Maya Mountains. There’s no doubt about it, Belize vacations are the stuff dreams are made of. And the Reset Retreat Wellness Retreat is offering you the chance to make YOU a priority, with the offer of a free flight to this Belize getaway. In 2015, a group of women enjoyed a successful inaugural venture at the award winning travel destination of Ambergris Caye, the selected retreat destination. While there, the ladies indulged in a week-long roster of healing and maritime- adventures which included everything from therapeutic massage and daily life coaching to connecting with nature,exploring the island- town, partaking in local charitable events and visiting award winning marine parks. The beauty and warmth of Belize combined with the expertise of the professionals at Reset Retreat surely has the healing capacity needed to renew your sense of self.

Teaching Across Cultures returns to San Pedro
A group 22 volunteers from Christopher Newport University (CNU) in Newport News, Virginia, USA, were in San Pedro providing service to the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) and San Pedro High School (SPHS). Geared at allowing future teachers from the USA and teachers from Belize to share ideas and strategies, the Teaching Across Cultures projects has been taking place for the past 10 years. This year, the project begun on from Monday, January 4th, and saw the teachers practicing in San Pedro until Friday, January 15th. Consisting of 20 graduate students and two professors, the group included both secondary and primary education students. “The Masters of Arts in Teaching Program at CNU is a rigorous program that serves to educate future teachers. One of the courses that the University offers is a trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize, to engage in a multicultural teaching experience for two weeks. At these schools, they are to observe how class was conducted, as well as bring techniques and incorporate them into lessons,” explained Dr. Judy Pantelides, one of the coordinators for Teaching Across Cultures.

Security Guard charged with Sexual Assault on tourist
On Wednesday, January 6th, a 25-year-old American student visiting Ambergris Caye visited the San Pedro Police Station to report an incident of Sexual Assault. The student, who was staying at a resort 3.5 miles north of San Pedro Town, stated that in the morning of that same day, while she and two other female friends were socializing at the poolside of the resort, a male security guard told her she was beautiful. The student went on to indicate that she smiled and thanked him for the compliment and then returned to her room to get some bug spray. The student then reported that the security guard grabbed her and kissed her on her mouth and that as she tried to get away, he grabbed her from behind and rubbed her stomach, trying to touch her breasts. She struggled with the security guard until she managed to get away and went back to her friends. The student indicated that even after that, the security guard still followed her and hung around the pool side area until she and her friends decided to go back to their room, locking the door behind them.

San Pedro Artisan Vendors commence relocation

Ambergris Today

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye Does Not Sit Well with Fishermen in Belize
No, Leonardo DiCaprio never made it to the meeting, but he did not need to attend the public consultation held in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, regarding the environmental impact assessment studies made on his private island Blackadore Caye, set to become a prime luxury eco resort in the country. Dicaprio’s architects, engineers, biologists and field men were on hand at the public consultation held by Belize’s Department of Environment to listen to the environmental impact studies that have been conducted on the island prior to the commencement of development. Large developers in the country must conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in which they must prove that their development is not breaking any environmental laws of Belize and constructing within the guidelines set to protect the natural environment and wildlife of the country. The public consultation in the community where the development is taking place is a mandatory part of the EIA procedure in which it gives residents an opportunity to hear all of the studies taken and measures to protect the environment. This meeting was held on Thursday, January 14, 2015, at the local Lions Den.

Norwegian Cruise Line Delays Belize Port Opening, BTIA's Court Victory Won't Stop Project
Earlier this week Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Harvest Caye, the cruise line's new resort-style port of call in southern Belize will now open in November 2016, originally scheduled to open February 16, 2016. Plans for the new development were announced back in August 2013, when Norwegian Cruise Line purchased approximately 75 acres in Southern Belize for the planned development of an eco-friendly cruise destination. The land, called Harvest Caye, is made up of two adjoining islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts that had previously been approved for a resort development with an air strip. In a statement released today by Norwegian, Vivian Ewart, vice president, passenger services, said that the grand opening will now take place in November 2016. Guests sailing on Western Caribbean cruises now through mid-November will instead call in Belize in Belize City. But the announcement of the development has not come without public objection and controversy over the proper undertaking of an environmental impact assessment. On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, the Belize Supreme Court ruled on the (BTIA) Belize Tourism Industry Association’s lawsuit against the Department of the Environment (DOE) and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) following the DOE's decision to approve the construction by Belize Island Holdings (BIHL) of a cruise port at Harvest Caye, just three miles south of Placencia Village.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Attends Inauguration Ceremony of President Jimmy Morales in Guatemala
The Prime Minister, Honorable Dean Barrow will return to Belize on Sunday after attending the inauguration ceremony of the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, in Guatemala City. The Prime Minister joined several other Heads of State and Government from within and outside the region to witness the peaceful transition of government in the neighbouring country. He was happy to reciprocate the visit of President Morales who had come to personally deliver the invitation to attend the inauguration. The Prime Minister was satisfied by his attendance which he considers important for maintaining good neighbourly relations with Guatemala. Apart from having received assurances in private of a commitment to friendship and cooperation between the two countries, the Prime Minister very much welcomed the remarks of President Morales made publicly in his inauguration speech when he said, “We want to advance in the resolution of the territorial, maritime and insular dispute with Belize, our brothers and neighbour with whom we wish to develop a bilateral agenda of neighbourliness and cooperation.” During his visit the Prime Minister had the opportunity to meet with several other dignitaries, including Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. He raised the subject of the correspondent banking issues facing Belize. Prime Minister Barrow recalled that this matter had been raised before with President Obama who undertook to look into it, but to date the problem persists.

Ministry of Health and Midwifery Program at University of Belize
The Ministry of Health is sponsoring an 18 month Midwifery Program for 15 candidates. Candidates for the program are registered nurses selected from the entire country who have gained experience, skills and competencies in general nursing. The program has an estimated cost of over half a million dollars and is slated to start on January 18th, 2016 at the University of Belize. The Ministry of Health has made serious efforts over the past decades to have effective interventions and training opportunities in order to improve pregnancy and childbirth outcomes in country. The provision of skilled care at every birth is an essential component of interventions to reduce maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Without the availability of health providers with specific midwifery skills and competencies, particularly lifesaving skills, international goals for maternal and newborn health cannot be reached. Belize joins the world in increasing women’s access to quality midwifery.

Rebecca Stirm Website
Rebecca Stirm, who ruled the Mission Catwalk show, has launched her website. It's simple, classy, and highlights her collection well. Looks great, Rebecca! Kudos to TAS Belize for the design. "Rebecca continued on to design and show a second collection before re-locating to Vancouver in June 2011 to study fashion design and marketing at the Art Institute of Vancouver. Shortly after her first semester at the Art Institutes, she applied and was accepted to compete in Mission Catwalk (Caribbean designer reality TV show) against 19 other Caribbean designers – for a chance to “Rule the Catwalk.” At only 18 years old, she won the most challenges (4 out of 12) and came out the end of the season as second runner up. Rebecca continues to design collections & custom bridal gowns for clients from her home studio in Cayo District, Belize."

Interview Waiver Program
Consular Tip: Have you heard about the Consular Section’s new Interview Waiver Program? If you have a Belizean passport and your last visa was issued in 2007 or later, you might be eligible to skip your visa interview entirely! Check the requirements on this page to know for sure! The interview process means that you have already been vetted at some point between 2007 and now.

San Pedro Carnaval 2016
Inviting all Comparsas to Sign up at the San Pedro Town Council office with Ms. Lorna Vasquez. *Please note that if you do not sign up, your Comparsa will not be considered for judging and will not be eligible for claiming of prizes.

San Pedro Carnaval 2016
Here are the Traffic Rules for Carnaval 2016. Please take note.

La Ruta Maya 2016
Everyone is getting ready for this year's La Ruta Maya. It starts on Thurday, March 3rd, under the Hawkesworth Bridge. Note that National Heroes and Benefactors Day doesn't coincide with the race this year, but falls on March 9th.

Channel 7

Bail For Paumen, Alleged Murder Plot Comes Into Focus
He's one of the biggest tour operators in Belize, but tonight American Bradley Paumen is out on bail after 7 days on remand. Police say he hired a hitman to kill four people. The 58 year old was released on bail when he appeared before Chief Justice Antonette Moore at the Supreme Court this morning. Director of Public Prosecutions Chery-Lynn Vidal objected strongly to the granting of bail, stressing that Paumen is a flight risk and there is a danger of interfering with witnesses. But his attorney Ellis Arnold argued that remand should be a last resort and stressed that there was sufficient provision under the criminal code to grant bail to a person charged for Abetment of Murder with appropriate conditions. Justice Moore agreed and she released Paumen on $50 thousand dollars bail - which is quite small for a man with assets valued in the millions. He has to surrender all his travel documents, and specifically surrender his US passport to the court, the US Embassy has to be notified, and he must report to the Belmopan police station every Wednesday and Friday while the matter is pending. And one last thing: he is not to interfere with witnesses nor be in the presence of witnesses.

Female Tourist Killed On The Mopan
Tonight, Benque Viejo police are questioning one man after a 39 year old American Tourist, Anne Swaney was brutally murdered. Swaney was visiting Belize from Chicago and was last seen yesterday on the riverside near the Nabitunich Resort where she had been staying. That's a few miles outside of Benque Viejo Town, and this morning her body was found in the Mopan River. Daniel Ortiz just returned from the west, and he has the full story:.. Nabitunich Resort, it's a few miles outside out of Benque Viejo Town, and like most of the top get-away type destinations in the Cayo District, it's remote, and perfect for the outdoor experience. This resort is said to be excellent for horse-back riding, and the dream location for hiking with the beautiful Macal River to trail along. But, the dream became a nightmare for the owners of the resort this morning when one of its guests was found dead in that river. She's 39 year-old American Ann Elizabeth Swaney, an executive producer from ABC 7 in Chicago, Illinois.

Gapi Goes To Guyana, Returns With Rice Truce
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and his CEO Jose Alpuche returned to the country today after a quick visit to Guyana. They didn't bring rice, and they didn't sign any bi-lateral agreement; in fact, it seems they were there to, sort of, "make nice" after Belize refused to accept three containers of Guyanese rice. Today the media met Vega at the airport and he told us that they felt a visit was in order to sort of iron things out:... Hon. Gaspar Vega - Dep. Prime Minister/Min of Agriculture: "We thought that due to present circumstances with the rice, it was just proper for us to go an visit with my colleague Minister of Agriculture Hon. Holder. We also had a meeting with Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Grinage. We also met the CEO and chairman of the Guyana rice development board with whom we discuss the present situation of the rice. They already knew of the breach or the breaking of the law by the importer. They knew about it." Jules Vasquez: "Were the Guyanese having any feeling that Belize has had put up an illegal barrier to trade by using the sanitary and phytosanitary standards as a technical barrier to trade when really the rights should have been allowed onto the market. Were they offended by that?"

A Titanic And Costly Error By GOB
Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach, are the two Bahamians and business partners who were tossed into the public eye when the Financial Intelligence Unit and police raided their business headquarters, Titan Securities in the Matalon Building in Coney Drive. The raid happened in September of 2014, and since then they have been in court challenging the nine hour raid, which cleaned out their office and forced the shutdown of their business. It all started with an indictment from the US Treasury Department - where the owners of this offshore operation are accused of a security fraud. But the Bahamian business partners are saying that Belizean authorities had no right to confiscate their assets. They sued the Government of Belize and today the judgement was handed down in court. It was a closed hearing so we weren't allowed in. But when it was done, Titan's Attorney Senior Council Godfrey Smith, said his clients were vindicated:

The Carrots Concern
Market vendors say the cancelled permits for imported vegetables is costing them. As you heard last night the vendors are now dealing with the scarce supply and high price of local vegetables and it looks like it's getting worse. Today one of the market vendors Maria Cowo told us it seems that permits will be cancelled for imported potatoes, broccoli and lettuce. It's a major blow for their business especially today which is market day. Cowo further explained how this veggie situation is affecting them. Maria Cowo - Market Vendor: "Today the situation is, well we got some carrots if I told you the price for the carrots we got today, it was 60 dollars for the sack, and local carrots more expensive than the Mexican one because the Mexican one is 45.50 dollars and that is the best carrots. the cabbage if you look, there is no cabbage in the market because the local one, yesterday they come at 135 dollars for the sack and it doesn't bring 100 pounds and if you look it has worms and its black so it's not so good. The lettuce, we got a little too. I don't understand why, if they cut the license, why the minister doesn't said someone to check the market and see what the problem is. If we have enough or if they cut some of the licenses. It doesn't have to be everything and right now some people are saying that there are people who don't have licenses to come in Monday. It looks like they are cutting the licenses for the broccoli, cauliflower and potato now. Now it's not an issue for the carrots, lettuce, celery and cabbage. Now it's potato, broccoli and cauliflower which is the issue now."

Agric Min Says Farmers Have "Attitude"
And today the Minister of Agriculture told us that the inconsistent supply is because the farmers don't tell the Ministry how much they are producing - so they can't plan properly on how to balance the permits for imports against the local produce:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega - Dep. Prime Minister/Min of Agriculture: "As much as the consumers would want only quality, we have encourage producers, but the same time we have to insist on producers that we have to do better. However, I would like to mention to everyone especially the farmers, that they have to be more cooperative. We are here to assure market not only to the big guys, to the small guys and to everyone but we have to have this line of communication. You cannot have an attitude because they are some farmers who have an attitude when you ask them how much have you planted? They say that's not your business. These are things that affect us in the ministry because rightly you would be the same one asking us, why don't we have enough carrots in our market? So it's a balancing act like you rightly said, but it's challenging and I want to say that it's not the first time. Almost every year at the beginning of production we have this situation and towards the end also because we don't know when the local production will be finished or when it will start - exact figures. It's difficult."

Dark Days Ahead For Dark Night?
So while the fate of 58 year old Bradley Paumen has yet to be decided in the courts, what will happen to the 140-odd workers employed by Dark Knight? We asked this because Daylight and Dark Night Cave Adventure Ltd is not in compliance with a valid license under the act of the Belize Tourism Board. However BTB says this has nothing to do with the owner and CEO of the company being charged for "Abetment to Murder." BTB says the voiding of their license is a result of them failing to renew their license for 2016. As of January 1st BTB says they sent a letter to the management of Dark Night telling them to cease and desist from their tour operations. BTB says that today they sent out another letter to them saying that effective Monday January 18th any tours that are going will be stopped. At this time, BTB says, the matter is before a committee which will review the status and discuss any possible disciplinary action. BTB however could not tell us if the charge currently facing the owner and CEO of the company will be something the committee will discuss and take into account when deciding the company's fate. Dark Night has contract with Carnival Cruise Line And Royal Caribbean. Bradley Paumen also owns Parrots Cave located in Hopkins. That business continues its operations. We note that in the Supreme Court case over the improperly acquired land, it was revealed that Paumen - not Modiri - has a contract with NICH.

Francis On Why He Came Back
It's 16 days to go before the PUP National Convention in Belmopan - and today we got to speak with Francis Fonseca, the current leader, who is now trying to win his first contested leader's convention. He lost to John Briceno in 2008, but this time Fonseca feels that he has a better chance. But, if all this talk about Fonseca as leader makes you wonder how the man who stepped down right after the election is now stepping back up to be leader again - we did too, and he addressed that today when we met him at the George Price wreath laying.:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader: "When your 4 deputy leaders come to you and ask you to reconsider your decision; When some 17 standard bearers come to you and ask you to reconsider your position; When 8 members of parliament come to you and ask you to reconsider your position. You as a leader have a duty and an obligation to listen to them, to hear them out and that is what I did out of respect for these people. I obviously had to consult with my own family. I had to consult with my Freetown family. And it was on the basis of those discussions that I made the decision to enter. I think I certainly owe that explanation to the Belizean people."

Fonseca Says His Support At The Constituency Level Will Make The Difference
And so, now that that is out of the way - how is the campaign going so far? Fonseca is contending against John Briceno and Cordel Hyde - but he says he is the only one who has a national team:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader: "I am the only candidate that has been able to put together a national team from north to south, east to west. So we believe we have a good strong team. But at the end of the day the delegates of the party will decide on January 31st. We have almost 3,000 delegates. They will make the right decision and all of us in the party will respect that decision. But I certainly feel good about where our campaign is. We have 16 days to go and so we have a lot of work remaining. But we feel very good and confident about where we are now." Jules Vasquez: "Sir, I remember in the last convention, if I recalled, you had the endorsement of what would have been called the old guard. In terms of you had the majority of the standard bearers, area representatives supporting you, but eventually Mr. Briceno managed to snipe enough support from the delegates to win." Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader: "Indeed." Jules Vasquez: "This time it is even easier because there are so many and it's impossible to control 2,800 people. Is it a concern for you that while you - say these parliamentarians, the deputy leaders, the standard bearers - all these people came to you? In fact at the delegate level you could lose it."

The Strong Hand Of Fonseca?
And while he expects to be a consensus leader, Fonseca suggested today that he will do so with a strong hand. He said there will be zero tolerance for disunity:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader: "That we will emerge out of that convention a more united party, a stronger party, a more focused party. I think whoever emerges as the leader of the party will have a mandate for unity, a clear demand from our party supporters and members for zero tolerance of any disunity in the party - not in any strong arm way, but a clear mandate from the delegates of the party, members of the party to say to anyone who is not prepared to join the conversation, to sit around the table and work with the party leader - not to agree on everything, but to work with the leadership of the party that we will no longer have tolerance for that kind of approach and attitude."

Fonseca Frowns On Facebook Fighting
But, disunity is precisely what has been on public display in the facebook wars between the supporters of the three candidates. In all this, Fonseca has faced the fewest insults - so we asked him about that:..

PM Barrow Brushed Shoulders With Biden, Joked With Jimmy
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returns to the country on Sunday after he attended the inauguration ceremony of President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales. Today the government sent a release in which the PM is quoted as saying his attendance was important for maintaining good neighborly relations with Guatemala. He was assured in private during the Morales's visit to Belize of a commitment to friendship and cooperation, and further welcomed the remarks made by President Morales in his speech during his public inauguration. Morales said in reference to Belize that and we quote, "We want to advance in the resolution of the territorial, maritime and insular dispute with Belize, our brothers and neighbor with whom we wish to develop a bilateral agenda of neighborliness and cooperation." The inauguration was attended by several heads of state and Government from within and outside the region and among them were vice president of the United States Joe Biden. During his visit to Guatemala the Prime Minister took the opportunity to speak with Biden about the correspondent banking issues facing Belize. The Prime Minister recalled that the matter had been raised with President Obama who assured that he would look into it, but the problem still persists. And that's why the Government of Belize is preparing for a high level visit to Washington DC later this month with a delegation headed by the Prime Minister. In what we can only take to be a generic response, Vice President Biden expressed his interest in doing what he can to assist and support the efforts at getting the situation resolved.

A Meeting Of The Magistrates
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith and Justice Shona Griffith - all names we usually only hear about in court stories. But today, they didn't hear or try any case -that's because they were all at their annual Magistrates Retreat. Today all the Magistrates Courts countrywide were closed for this gathering. Now while "retreat" implies that it's all about relaxing and taking a break from their stressful and rigid work routine - that wasn't all that the court officials did. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith told us about some of the very important technical discussions they had on court procedures and on challenges affecting the court system. In terms of the setbacks in the court system, Smith also explained that they are moving toward a technological approach to dealing with these cases - one of those approaches is to record statements instead of having written notes which can be misplaced or aren't always decipherable. Smith explained how this method can speed up court proceedings and improve efficiency.

The Commission For Mayan Reparations
On Tuesday, we told you that the Government of Belize finally appointed the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission. This Commission will implement the Consent Order for Maya customary land tenure, which was handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice. But, that's after several months of anxious waiting from the Maya. They want their land rights on the law books to ensure that there will be no more fighting with the Government over the lands that the communities occupy. Well today, the Commission members introduced themselves publicly with their first press conference, and they told the press that as of right now, they will go to the Maya Communities with no expectation, and with a completely open ear. The Commissioner, Lisel Alamilla said that the commission has been active for 3 days now: Lisel Alamilla - Head, Toledo Maya Land Rights: "Since Tuesday we were appointed by the attorney general and we have been meeting since Tuesday up to yesterday evening. So far the government of Belize has been doing kind of behind the scenes work in getting organized. The government has so far allocated the 300 thousand it was ordered to set aside as really seed money to implement consent order. That has already been assigned to the attorney general's ministry and the budget has been prepared. We have already started procuring all the equipment that we needed to open a functional office."

Hon. Aragon Has The MCC Solution
When we last spoke with Minister of State responsible for Youth and Sports, Elodio Aragon, he had just become aware of a situation at the MCC grounds in Belize City. As we reported, someone dug a trench around the pitch in order to replace the piping. Whoever did so clearly did not have a proper plan because almost three months have passed and the ditch is still there. Today Aragon visited our newsroom to say he is confident that he can get it fixed within the next couple of weeks.: Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Youth and Sports "At this point in time we are working to ensure that we get the grounds fixed as soon as possible. So that football players across Belize City could use the facility. At this point in time we have gotten assistance to come out in terms of the man power and we have already source the funding in terms of finding the necessary piping for that, so I expect that within the next week, work should commence on the ground and hopefully by the end of the week we should have that field operational for the people of Belize."

Francis And The Old Guard
Before the break, you heard our interview with PUP Leader Francis Fonseca - who spoke about his campaign for leader - and his hope that the party can emerge form it united. But, history tells us that if Fonseca loses, that unity is in serious jeopardy. That's because when he lost in 2008 - so did the hopes of the old guard. That caused a fracture in the party which eventually forced John Briceno to walk away from the leadership in 2011. And, with Briceno again challenging Fonseca - who is still supported by the old guard - could the outcome be the same? We asked Fonseca about that:... Jules Vasquez: "In 2008 we saw this situation where you stayed back, you congratulated Mr. Briceno at the convention, you shook hands with him, you gave a concession speech, but then we saw Mr. Musa walked out. He was one of your key supporters and I don't think he ever made peace with Mr. Briceno's leadership and in fact there was a newspaper one recalls in which hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent to undermine we believe the leadership of Mr. Briceno. Might we see a replay of that where you have acted in a certain way - in a consolatory appeasing way, but then other functionaries of the old guard have this animosity against the man who is not their candidate."

Remembering A Hero On His Birthday
And while all that political disputation took the foreground in the news - today it was in the background as the PUP marked Goerge Price's birth date with a wreath laying. Price was born on January 15, 1919, almost one hundred years ago - but the leaders of the party he founded say his message still resonates:.. And for the man they call father, the PUP is proposing a national holiday:…

Re: Today's Belize News: January 16, 2016 [Re: Marty] #510732
01/16/16 05:54 AM
01/16/16 05:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,041
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Channel 5

American Producer from ABC Murdered Near Benque Resort
Two weeks ago a Canadian filmmaker, Matthiew Klinck was murdered at his house in Selena in the Cayo District. Tonight, there is another murder to report which gives Belize a [...]

A Vacation Gone Terribly Wrong
Swaney was the executive producer of online operations at ABC 7 in Chicago, Illinois.  The news of her demise spread quickly at ABC where her colleagues are still in shock. [...]

Bradley Paumen Out on Bail
But a U.S. businessman is facing some serious charges in Belize for allegedly ordering a hit on four persons.  Last week, Bradley Paumen, the owner of Dark Night tours, was [...]

Police to Levy Additional Charges on Paumen
Bradley Paumen’s legal troubles are bad enough, but he may soon be facing additional charges. Remember Michael Modiri, the man police believe was the target of a hit man hired [...]

M.O.A. Officials Return to Belize after Rice Discussions in Guyana
Government is proposing a bilateral arrangement with Guyana which it hopes will settle the controversy surrounding the importation of rice. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega, along [...]

G.O.B. Takes Jack Charles’ Place as Potential Rice Importers
According to Minister Vega, the effect of the meeting and the resultant agreement simply means that the sustainability of the local rice industry is of utmost priority, a roundabout way [...]

What Do Discussions Mean for Local Rice Producers?
Attorney Eamon Courtenay, who represents the Mennonite communities of Shipyard, Blue Creek and Spanish Lookout, has been following the situation closely.  He explains the effects the proposed agreement would have [...]

Gaspar Vega Denies Political Interference in Carrot Importation
From rice to carrots, the Ministry of Agriculture has had his hands full over the past few weeks.  Last Friday, we reported on farmers in San Carlos, Orange Walk who [...]

PM Barrow Holds Discussions with Guatemalan Foreign Minister
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Guatemala City where he attended the inauguration of President Jimmy Morales on Thursday and returns to the country on Sunday.  In his thirty-four minute [...]

Territorial Claim Remains a Matter of Priority
The territorial claim to Belize is a matter of priority on the national agenda of successive governments. Last year a number of incidents occurred at the Sarstoon River in the [...]

PM Speaks on Sarstoon Forward Operating Base
On Wednesday, we heard from Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales in respect of the Forward Operating Base that is being constructed on the banks of the Sarstoon River and not [...]

G.O.B. Takes Multi-million Dollar Hit in Supreme Court
The Government of Belize was dealt a massive blow in the Supreme Court this morning, where Justice Courtney Abel ruled that the raid on the offices of Titan International Securities [...]

Attorneys for Titan Says G.O.B. Needs To Return Documents
Is government mandated to return the files taken from Titan International Securities?  That’s what we asked Courtenay today.  He says that government is yet to return a number of documents [...]

Francis Fonseca Explains Why He Came Back
Who will be the leader of the People’s United Party on February first? That’s the million dollar political question. The candidates are Francis Fonseca, John Briceño and Cordel Hyde, and [...]

Fonseca Says P.U.P. Will Emerge Stronger from Convention
Many political observers believe that this is the worst of times for the battered grand ole Party which hasn’t won an election since 2003. It’s been said that no matter [...]

Fonseca Says Things have Changed Since 2008
Fonseca says he has managed to mount the only national slate and is confident that he will be returned as Party Leader. Still, he is cognizant that the road ahead [...]

Fonseca Says His Team is Running a Clean Campaign
And to wrap up Fonseca’s extended interview today, he spoke about the increasingly nasty, personal attacks on social media. It’s been pointed out repeatedly that the attacks are coming from [...]

Blackadore Caye Proposal Launches to Mixed Reviews
Blackadore Caye is an unpopulated one hundred and four-acre untouched island west of San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Located twenty minutes away by boat, the caye is in proximity to the [...]

Anthony Ross Joins Land Rights Commission
The Toledo Land Rights Commission was formally introduced earlier today during a press conference at the Radisson.  The working group which is responsible for carrying out the consent order of [...]

P.U.P. Faithful Celebrate Birthday of Rt. Hon George Price
The Father of the Nation, Honourable George Price, would have been ninety-seven today. The political icon died in September, 2011, and each year the P.U.P.’s leaders and many of the [...]

Magistrates and Support Staff on Two Day Retreat
The lower courts across the country suspended session today to give way to magistrates and their support staff to meet in a two day retreat at the Best Western Belize [...]

….Discussions Center on Enhanced Provision of Justice
Then there is the move to install a drug treatment court which deals with issues of addiction. Several CARICOM countries already have theirs in place. Though lagging behind, Belize is [...]


Minister and CEO Discuss Rice and Bilateral Relations with Guyana
Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega and his Chief Executive Officer, Jose Alpuche were in Georgetown, Guyana meeting with their counterparts and discussing the prospect of having Guyana be the go-to producer should Belize ever experience a short-fall in rice production. The duo returned today and we met up with them at the Philip Goldson International […]

Agriculture Ministry Wants Better Cooperation from Carrot Farmers
Another issue in the agricultural sector is the surplus of carrots in the country which has led farmers in San Carlos Village, Orange Walk District to lose revenue. An initial release from the Ministry of Agriculture had indicated that it is caused by the contraband of the vegetable into the country. According to Agriculture Minister, […]

American Journalist of ABC 7 News Murdered in Western Belize
An American journalist has turned up dead in Western Belize. Thirty nine year old Anne Elizabeth McComb Swaney who was an executive producer of online operations at ABC7 was reported missing yesterday by Santiago Juan of Nabitunich Farm Resort and Owner of Hanna’s Stable. Swaney was a lover of horses and was staying in a […]

Duo Charged in Double Murder in Southern Belize
Two persons have been charged with two recent murders in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “Police in Punta Gorda carried out investigations since the two murders were reported and have now placed murder charges as explained by officer in command of the Toledo Police Formation Simeon Alvarez.” Simeon Alvarez, Toledo PD: “A […]

Dangerous Liaisons in Dark Knight
Fifty-eight year old American businessman Bradley Paumen, who has an investments of about eight million dollars in Belize, among them being Dark Knight, was released today on a bail of fifty thousand dollars after he was remanded into custody on charges of abetment to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The Prosecution, represented by […]

Prime Minister Meets with US VP in Guatemala
On Thursday, Jimmy Morales was sworn in as the President of Guatemala. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was among heads of government from the region and beyond who witnessed the peaceful transition of government. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has expressed his satisfaction with his attendance which he considers important for maintaining good neighbourly relations with Guatemala. […]

Goals of the Commission for Maya Land Rights
On Tuesday, the Government of Belize announced the appointment of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission. The Commission is being Chaired by former Minister Lisel Alamilla and its members include Noreen Fairweather, an independent consultant with knowledge of strategic and land management, policy development, tenure clarification, land title and registration systems. Attorney Randall Sheppard is […]

A National Hero Remembered on 97th Birthday
Today, January 15 marks the 97th birthday of the Right Honorable George Cadle Price; Belize’s first Premier and the country’s first Prime Minister. The national hero can and will be remembered for many achievements of the nation and this morning during a wreath laying ceremony at the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City where he […]

Fonseca Says No Under-minding of Briceno Took Place
In our recent coverage of the upcoming Special National Convention we have been able to meet up with Cordel Hyde and John Briceno for interviews on the leadership race as Francis Fonscea had not been open to the media. Today, however as he attended the wreath laying ceremony for George Price, he entertained some questions […]

Police Needs Help in Identifying Man’s Body
Police are asking for your help in identifying a body that was found yesterday downtown Belize City at the Commercial Center. The body of a male was found near a bar situated in the back of the building. Police are trying to identify if he was a regular at the bar, but so far no […]

The Reporter

Alleged murder mastermind out on bail
Bradley Paumen, 41, is out on bail, having been charged with plotting the murder of four persons. Justice Antoinette Moore granted Paumen bail on Friday, against the expressed objection of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lyn Vidal. Vidal objected to bail because Paumen, who owns […]

American news producer murdered in Cayo
Police are investigating the apparent murder of an American news producer in the Cayo district on Friday. San Ignacio police recovered the partially nude body of 39 year-old Anne Swaney from the Mopan River around 8:00 on Friday morning, with what appeared to be blunt […]

Magistrates hold annual retreat
Magistrates and support staff of the Magistrates’ Court gathered at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Friday for an annual retreat. The all-day event was focused on professional development for court staff, and also presented an opportunity for staff from all over the […]

Honouring the Father of the Nation
The People’s United Party (PUP), along with Belizeans in country and abroad took some time on Friday to honour the Father of the Nation, the Rt. Honourable George Cadle Price (deceased), in commemoration of his birthday. Members of the PUP gathered at Price’s graveside at […]

MoH refutes daughter’s claim in case of missing mother
The Ministry of Health (MoH) issued a press release this week, refuting a young woman’s claim that health officials were irresponsible in notifying her of her mother’s disappearance. The Ministry says it conducted an investigation to find out how Maritza Castillo, a patient at the […]

Police engage communities in face of escalating violence
With violent crime trending up in Belize, the Belize Police Department this week continued their “Meet and Greet” community policing initiatives on Belize city’s south side. Officers from police Precincts I and II, went out on Wednesday to meet with residents from the St. Jude, […]

Loneliness is hazardous to health, study say
  A group of Scientists from the University of North Carolina (UNC) have found out that people who lack a circle of friends are at higher risks of heart disease, stroke and cancer.  Loneliness, the study says, “is as dangerous to health as a lack of […]

Family of 9 receives home from Oasis Ministry
A family, on the verge of being evicted, received a new home from Oasis Ministry, providing stability to the seven children in the family. Oasis Ministry built a house for the Flowers family after the oldest girl in the family, Chelsea, wrote a letter to […]

Monitoring of rice quality and pricing not adequate, says BPP
Several irregularities with the quality and pricing of locally produced rice has prompted the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) to call on the government for more regular and stringent monitoring of the product. The issue of Jack Charles’ failed attempt to import rice into Belize caused […]

Prime Minister witnesses swearing-in of Guatemalan president; Saldivar holds over as PM
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left Belize on Wednesday for Guatemala, where he joined other world leaders in witnessing the swearing-in of his Guatemalan counterpart, Jimmy Morales, as president on Thursday. The government’s press office informed that Chief Executive Officer in the Office of the […]

Second woman raped at mile six junction near Dangriga
The mile six junction where the Southern highway meets the Stann Creek Valley road, was the scene of a second rape in less than a month. The two incidents were eerily similar, pointing to a serial rapist. A 48-year-old resident of San Ignacio town told […]

Pregnant girl and her Mom shot by unknown gunmen
Two women, a pregnant girl and her mother, were shot on Monday night awhengunmen unleashed a barrage of bullets, intended for another person, at their Dolphin Street house. The shooting happened at around 8:45 that night. According to Shenelle Rowland, 18, who is six months […]

Belmopan police look for clues in murders of two taxi drivers
Two taxi drivers who were good friends, from the same neighbourhood, and who earned their living working from the same taxi stand, were murdered within one day of each other, while on the night shift, in Belmopan. The homicides have left investigators wondering if […]

First January hurricane since 1938 storms the Atlantic
A hurricane formed in the Atlantic Ocean this week has made history as only the fourth storm to do so in 160 years. Hurricane Alex, the first named storm of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Wednesday, originating from a non-tropical low pressure system. […]

Can the PUP survive…the PUP?
On January 31st, 2793 delegates from 31 constituencies, plus special delegates appointed from each of the Party’s arms and committees, will assemble at the Belmopan Comprehensive School to select a new leader of the People’s United Party (PUP). One of three men – Francis Fonseca, John Briceno or Cordel Hyde […]

US agency says manatees no longer endangered; Belize disagrees
Authorities in the United States are proposing that the “endangered” status of the West Indian Manatee, be downgraded to “threatened”; however, Belizean conservationists strongly disagree. The United States’ Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed the downgrade last week, due to rebounding manatee populations in Florida […]

Freak traffic accident leaves 15 year-old dead
An accident on the Benque Road, this week, claimed the life of a 15-year-old boy while the operator of the vehicle he was traveling in has been served with a ‘Notice of Intended Prosecution’. At around 4:50 p.m. on Tuesday, San Ignacio police responded to […]

Father and daughter face the court on different charges
A father and his teenage daughter are out on bail after they both pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary and aggravated assault. Jerome Bowden, 44, and his teenaged daughter, 18-year-old Ashanti Bowden, appeared in court before Magistrate Deborah Rogers, where they were read […]

New FIU director, same priorities for the department
Joy Grant, former Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, confirmed to the Reporter this week, that she has been appointed the new Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) director. Grant assumes command of a Unit which has seen three directors in the last three years, but said she […]

Supreme Court fines DoE $50,000
The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, handed down a ruling in the Belize Tourism Industry Association’s (BTIA) case regarding the Harvest Caye cruise port, ordering the government to pay $50,000 for breach of procedure. At the ruling, Justice Courtney Abel read a two-hour judgment, in which he sided with the claimants, […]

Guyanese rice has to go!
Jack Charles, the businessman who imported 75 tons (150,000 pounds) of Guyanese Grade A white rice to retail for 69 cents per pound, must get the rice out of Belizean territory before January 26th, or lose his investment. That is at least until he can […]

An official release from the Government Press Office this week states that the Government of Belize remains open to the idea of developing the Port of Belize as a cruiseship terminal, but sources close to the Feinstein Group say the Prime Minister has already given the green light to Ports […]

GOB seeks urgent solution to bank crisis
The possibility that Belize may be cut off from doing business with the outside world is a very real problem government officials have, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre have both expressed concern over the ‘de-risking’ dilemma. The loss of corresponding banking relationships poses a […]

Suspected plot to murder four people uncovered Dark Night owner is on remand
American investor and owner of Dark Night cave-tubing, Bradley Paumen, 41, has been arrested and charged for allegedly plotting to murder four people, including an Iranian-American, who he’s had a legal land dispute with in the past. Paumen was arrested along with another person, who has since been let go, […]

UDP to select new Party leader
The United Democratic Party (UDP) has set the date for its National Party Convention for Sunday, March 20th. At the convention, to be held at the Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College auditorium in Dangriga, candidates will contest for various party positions including: Party Leader, First […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Concerns arise over Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye project
There is controversy in San Pedro over the proposed development on Blackadore Caye by Leonardo DiCaprio, who plans to construct a luxury eco-resort on his privately owned island, but has been met with an overwhelming amount of concerns and questions from local fishermen, as […]

Prime Minister Barrow expected to return on Sunday after Morales inauguration
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to return home on Sunday after attending the inauguration ceremony of new Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales, where he witnessed the peaceful transition of government in that country, to which his invitation was personally delivered by Morales during a […]

Belizean drafted to Major League Soccer pros
San Ignacio native Michael Salazar is headed to Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact club after becoming the first Belizean drafted in the North American league’s Superdraft in Baltimore, Maryland, today. Salazar made four appearances for the Belize National Team, the first against Guatemala in […]

American tourist found dead, confirmed as murdered
Breaking reports from the Cayo District confirm that 39-year-old American National, Anne Elizabeth McComb, was murdered sometime between the hours of 8:00 yesterday morning and 8:00 this morning when her body was found floating in the Mopan River near a deck where her belongings […]

San Pedro police recover stolen camera and accessories
A black Cannon Digital Camera valued at $1,300, along with three Cannon lenses, valued at a total of $3,160, was recovered10. The camera and its accessories was stolen in a burglary on January 8th. © 2016, […]

Police seek public assistance to identify ‘John Doe’
The Belize City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance to identify this deceased male person who is currently a ‘John Doe’ at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) morgue. © 2016, This article is the copyrighted property of Belize Media Group. […]

Police investigate Belama burglary
A burglary at a home in Belama phase three in Belize City on Monday morning, cost 46-year-old Raymond Garcia more than $2,000 in losses after his house was swept clean of valuables by the culprit(s). Police responded to reports of a burglary in that […]

Police recover stolen boat, engine missing
A tour business owner of Caye Caulker, Artemio Marin, reported on January 4th that his boat, “Baby Dax”, with outboard engine and other items had been stolen from the beachfront of that village, all to a total value of $49,930. Belize City Police on […]

Police investigate suspected murder of American tourist
Preliminary reports from Cayo police indicate that an American tourist from Rockwell, Chicago in the state of Illinois, was murdered sometime between yesterday and this morning. Santiago Juan, a 40-year-old resident of Nabitunich Farm on the George Price Highway, reported yesterday that American National, […]

Jimmy Morales takes office as Guatemala’s new president
After winning at the polls in a runoff on October 25th last year Jimmy Morales and his Vice President were yesterday evening sworn into office, after which he swore in a new Cabinet. A new Congress was also sworn in yesterday morning. Belize Prime […]

Magistracy holds staff retreat on critical issues
All Magistrate’s Courts across Belize are closed today, Friday, by permit of the Chief Justice. The reason is the start of a two-day retreat for Belize’s 17 Magistrates and their staff at the Biltmore Plaza hotel in Belize City. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith told […]


Big Rock Waterfalls | Mountain Pine Ridge
The best way to get to Big Rock is to book a tour with a guide who’s familiar with this area and let them get you into the forest in a proper 4WD vehicle to tackle the terrain. It’s a trek to reach the waterfall located within this deep and dense 300 square mile pine forest populated with Jurassic Age limestone and granite boulders, hills and valleys. If you love a challenge, feel free to drive from San Ignacio. A ranger station will greet you when you enter the park. Beyond the gate, signage can guide you the four miles to your destination. You’ll hear the falls before you see them, and when you do, you’ll be rewarded big time. Try the bracing water of the pool, which is lots deeper than it looks. Spend time gazing up at this unspoiled landmark, and don’t be surprised if your pulse is slower by the time you leave this heavenly spot.

Adamant Concerns Voiced at Last Nights’ EIA Consultation Over Blackadore Caye Development
Last night. 6:30pm sharp. The Lions’ Den in San Pedro. The legally necessary EIA Consultation over the development of Blackadore Caye (or “Leonardo DiCaprio’s Island”) took place with the public. Free food, beers (risky!) and sodas were served and then by about 7pm, the room was packed. The 430 plus page EIA document – required by Belize law to assess and outline all environmental, social and economic impacts (both negative and positive) – was being summarized for the public and then open to questioning. The press was there, many from the development team were there – including a biologist and a marine biologist, real estate agents and plenty of representation from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Green Reef, Ambergris Citizens for Sustainable Development, the San Pedro Tour Guide Association, our town Mayor, Assistant Mayor and the Honorable Manuel Heredia, members of the town council, the national BTIA and the citizens of San Pedro. Last night, Jason McLennan explained what the “healing of an island” means – and I was impressed. Call me a rube, but building back the island with 20,000 mangroves to start, bringing back the littoral forest (zone closest to the sea – coconuts, seagrapes, etc), having biologists on hand to count and monitor the biodiversity and helping the caye to protect itself from erosion, is a fantastic FANTASTIC idea.

International Sourcesizz

During 2015, the effects of the 2008 financial crisis continued to impact negatively on the economic and social welfare of the CARICOM Member States and their citizens. Unfortunately, another difficult year is ahead of us with many economic challenges anticipated both within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and extra-regionally. The global economy is projected to show modest growth when compared to 2015. However, at the regional level the situation remains uncertain with potential downside risks including falling global oil and commodity prices and bouts of financial volatility, which could result in lower than expected economic growth for Member States. The CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) is acutely aware that as economic improvement is slow in coming, and as domestic demand within the Member States remains weak, anti-competitive conduct such as collusive agreements and abuse of dominance are likely to abound in 2016. Additionally, unfair trade practices of large companies against small and medium-sized businesses may also harm the economies in the CSME, and ultimately reduce consumer welfare. The CCC is also mindful that in difficult economic times, Governments sometimes believe that they are protecting consumers by restricting competition in key sectors such as utilities, health, public procurement and energy. This is done by preventing the entry of new players into markets through licensing and regulatory restrictions; regulating prices through price or margin controls; and limiting certain contracts only to local firms e.g. office furniture, and stationery and office supplies, drugs, and road works.

One of our ABC7 Chicago colleagues was found murdered Friday while traveling in Belize, according to police in the Central American nation and the U.S. State Department. Anne Swaney was executive producer of online operations at She was 39. Autopsy results determined that she was strangled. Anne was an avid world traveler and on a vacation in the Cayo District of western Belize, a popular destination for American adventure travelers and horse enthusiasts. She was staying at the Nabitunich Farm near a tiny town called San Jose Succotz. Hotel owner Santiago Juan tells the I-Team she was killed on "public land" near the hotel. Juan reported her missing Thursday afternoon. On Thursday morning, Anne was supposed to go on a group horseback trip through the woods, but there were more riders than horses, so she stayed back. She came down to a wooden deck on the river to do yoga and never returned. "A horse riding tour returned in the afternoon and found her personal effects on the deck. This looked suspicious so they went to her cabin and she wasn't there. They told the owner who called the police. The police came with their canine unit and the scent led them along the river but due to the darkness the search was called off for the night before finding her," Supt. Arzu told the I-Team.

Belize investigates killing of American tourist
Belizean authorities are investigating the suspicious death of an American tourist who was vacationing in the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen on the Belize-Guatemala border. Police say 39-year-old Anne Swaney was a guest at the Nabitunich resort in the Cayo district when she was reported missing Thursday. CBS affiliate WBBM reported Swaney worked as the executive producer of online operations for ABC 7 in Chicago. Police Superintendent Daniel Arzu says that members of a tour group that Swaney should have been part of returned to the resort and couldn't find her. Swaney's belongings were found on a deck by the riverside where she had gone to do yoga exercises. Her body was located Friday morning, though Arzu did not say where. Injuries to her head and bruises around the neck have authorities treating the death as a homicide. Police found Swaney's half-naked body face-down in the river, Arzu told WBBM. She had bruises on her neck, and lacerations on both sides of her head, indicating she might have been strangled.


  • Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Chairman of the Community Council of Ministers, 6.5min. Remarks by Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Chairman of the Community Council of Ministers of CARICOM, and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque made today at the start of the 37th Meeting of the Council, in Georgetown Guyana. A key part of the meeting involved shaping the agenda for the upcoming 27th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government to take place next month in Belize.

  • Belize | Cancun Venture, 4min.

  • CELA Large Animal class Winter 15 16 Belize, 3min. These are photos from the Large Animal Veterinary Practices course we offer over the winter break and in the summer, May and June. The class activities can very from class to class so certain activities are not guaranteed. SHOW MORE

  • Southwest airline from houston hobby to Belize pgia, 13min. Beautiful flight from Houston (Hobby) to Pgia (Belize)

  • Shark and Sting Ray Alley Belize, 3min.

  • Eagle Ray, 1min. The largest species of stingray measure 6.5 feet in length and can weigh up to 790 pounds. Swimming alongside in Belize is a way of life for those who love the sea waters!

  • Western Caribbean Dive Trip, Belize, Cozumel,, 11min.

  • Belize Tarpon, 1.5min. Tourist tarpon hand fed at Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • U30X Belize 2016, 7min. Under30Experiences Explore Belize ~ January 3-7, 2016.

  • Belize, Shark Ray Alley 1-8-2016 GoPro 1080p, 4min. Snorkeling Shark Ray Alley, and some Diving Hol Chan Marine Reserve with Belize Diving Adventures.

  • Reach for the Stars - Belize Coca-Cola Promotional Video, 1/2min.

  • BELIZEAN RESISTANCE & GUATEMALA'S CLAIM!, 10min. Bob Marley wrote in his song, War, "we don't need no more troubles." So is the hope for many Belizeans at home and abroad as they observe the 'babylonian' style inauguration ceremonies of Guatemalan elect president, Jimmy Morales, in Guatemala City, Guatemala on Thursday, January 14, 2016, by radio and television, and high hopes that this new Guatemalan president will once and for all act to relinquish Guatemala's unfounded and illegal claim to the country of Belize. Many Belizeans are cautiously optimistic, but not naive, because Belizeans have come this way before, and nothing changed. Belizeans don't need no more troubles!

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