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Today's Belize News: January 21, 2016 #510907
01/21/16 05:48 AM
01/21/16 05:48 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,883
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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

Island athletes continue to shine at Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup
The Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup continued this past weekend on its fourth round at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex. Twelve teams and a total of six games once again brought the excitement of football to island fanatics. Paired with good food and refreshments, fans enjoyed a fun weekend full of spectacular sporting fun. On Friday, January 15th at 7PM, the first of two games started with Catrachos defeating Belize Pro Divers 3-1. Ambergris Divers then beat San Mateo boys with a whopping 7-3 score.Mayor Minister Cup Football Tournament-6 The action continued on Saturday, with Jokers FC facing PSG. Despite pressure from PSG, the Jokers weren’t kidding as they won with a clean score of 7-4. Following the first game of the evening, San Pedro Junior College took a big defeat from the Veterans, falling with a 6-2 game. On Sunday, during a bright and clear afternoon, the last two games of the round started at 3PM sharp. Serious Warriors easily overcame Sky Energy team, walking away with the final score of 4-1. The last game for the weekend was between Peace Makers and Progresso Boys. Progresso Boys were fan favorites, playing has as they heard fans cheering. However, at the end only one could be victorious, and after a full 90 minutes of intense battle in the pitch, Progresso Boys conceded defeat to Peace Makers in a 6-3 game final.

Puroxona Cauich delights San Pedro with comedy show
Mexican comedy at its best was presented on Saturday, January 16th at the Paradise Theatre during the first ever Puroxona Cauich show. It was a full house, as many island residents came out for some laughs courtesy of Reef Radio and Reef TV. Ivan Vasquez, an iconic and charismatic comedian from Merida Yucatan, Mexico, gives life to ‘Puroxona Cauich,’ a Yucatecan woman, who faces failures in her marriages and struggles in modern society. The show depicted how Mexican Mestizo women live today, and how they have managed to keep their cultural heritage alive. The modern days have changed people to such a drastic measure that they do not know (or care to know) where they come from. Puroxona claims that their cultural roots have been severed and her act was aimed to showcase that culture before it is lost, all while having a good laugh. The show started a bit after 9PM, to a packed theater room number two.

Guatemala’s new president sworn in; Belize PM attends
On Thursday, January 14th, former TV comedian Jimmy Morales was sworn in as Guatemala’s president for a four year term (2016-2020) of office. Morales officially took the reins of the country in an elaborate ceremony held at the cultural centre Miguel Angel Asturias in Guatemala City. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in attendance, among many leaders of other countries attending the inauguration, including U.S Vice-President Joe Biden and Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I. Barrow personally received the invitation to attend the event when Morales visited Belize in November of last year.

Miss Carnival Pageant is around the corner!
Four beautiful ladies will be vying for the coveted title of Carnival Queen 2016/2017 on Saturday, January 23rd at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The contest will start at 7:30PM, and is in honor of the anticipated ‘El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro,’ which will take place from February 5th to the 10th. The four ladies vying for the Miss Carnival title are Melida Perreira, Lurbin Ruiz, Blanca Wagner and Arabella Hernandez. On the night of pageant, the aspiring ladies will participate in four different segments which include opening dance, beach wear, talent, and evening wear. The winner of the pageant will become Miss Carnival Queen 2016/2017 and will be crowned by outgoing Carnival Queen Patty Lopez.

Ambergris Today

US FBI Joins Investigation on Anne Swaney Murder
It did not take long for the US media to arrive in Belize to follow up on the murder of ABC7 television producer Anne Swaney. Her name headlining news all over the world and the story of her untimely death while vacationing in Belize has people questioning the safety of traveling to Belize. The Belize Government and its Tourism Board is scrambling to keep its good name as a safe and desirable vacation destination has mobilized its police department and is working on boosting the presence of police in the Cayo District where Anne and another resident filmmaker, Mattheiw Klinck, were recently murdered.

Meet 2016 Reina del Carnaval Pageant Contestants
The third annual Mrs. Reina del Carnaval has been set to take place on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the R. Angel Nunez Auditorium with four contestants vying for the title of Carnaval Queen of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Segments of the pageant will include an opening dance, beachwear, talent and eveningwear. Organizers expect another fun-filled pageant scheduled to commence at 7:30p.m. Here are this year’s Mrs. Reina del Carnaval pageant contestants:

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Paint Party at Crazy Canucks
We will be continuing with our reef fish series tommorrow and the events up and you can sign up. I have not posted a picture as im still working on the lay our of the four. If you want to come but missed the first one don't worry the four paintings will look good on their own but to people that do all four they will be able to connect them. This week we are continuing our Reef Fish series. Come join us this week at Crazy Canucks. Everything you need is provided step by step direction, paint, brushes, smocks, canvas and maybe even a stencilled canvas if you need it (shhhh). $25u.s for first time artists and visitors. $20u.s for our members. Bring a Rag if you can help save paper.

BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of January 10th – 16th, 2016
Permit were hungry and the fishing pressure is light at the lodge. Lots of bone fish for all of those who threw at them. Sarah and Matt, Greg, Marc and Jason, Terry and Cole, John, John 2, Jay, Tom, Ron, Todd, Stewart, Eric, Jim and Steve got some good fishing time in and were rewarded with out cooperative bonefish. Not to be left out… Shelly and Brandon, Brad, Matt and Mark, Joe, Russ, Rusty, and Ed, and Mike and Cindy rounds out the bonefishing crowd. We try not to take bonefish for granted here, but it seems everyone will catch a bonefish if they have the determination to work at it.

Public Meeting in Belmopan todayon Municipal Bond and BelizeRoad Safety Project
Fellow residents of Belmopan, I implore you to come out to this meeting. Especially since the Belmopan City Council is contemplating raising a municipal bond, which is basically borrowing money that you, the tax payers, will ultimately pay back. Come out, listen and voice your concerns. A municipal bond should NOT be accepted by the people without a local referendum. Please join us on Thursday, 21st January at the Belmopan Civic Center at 7:00 p.m to learn more about the development of our Garden City.

Jam night at the Palapa Bar
Palapa Bar is now hosting JAM Night every Thursday Night 8p-Close. Valentino de caliz gets things warmed up 5p-8, then join him and others on stage. Bring your own instruments, sing and dance. ALL are welcome at our NEW location (formerly Di V'u Dock Bar and Reef Side Dining/Wet Willy's)

Power interruption scheduled for entire Orange Walk District on Sunday
January 24 from 6:00am to 2:00pm. Necessary for BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines and conduct maintenance of transmission system.

FCD Signs Environmental Partnership
Great news for Cayo and the Chiquibul: Friends for Conservation and Development has signed an environmental partnership agreement with the Balam Association to protect the Chiquibul. "FCD and Asociacion Balam of Peten, Guatemala signed today a renewed 5 year environmental partnership agreement for the joint protection of the trans-boundary Chiquibul ecosystem at the OAS Office. Witnesses to the signing was the Ambassador of the British Embassy in Belize, Mr. Peter Hughes and Ambassador of the British Embassy in Guatemala, Mr. Thomas Carter."

Poetry Slam at Soul Project
The Pseudo Slam Jam at the Soul Project was a fantastic night of poetry and music, with a lot of amazing artisan wines too. Thanks, Hakim Bellamy, for coming to Cayo and sharing your talent!

TIDE Wins World Energy Globe Award
The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment - similar to Cayo's FCD - was one of the eight winners from over 2,000 projects from 177 countries. That's a big win for Belize! TIDE travelled all the way to Iran to receive the award. Well done! "Exciting news! TIDE has just won the World Energy Globe Award Youth Category 2015 for our Freshwater Cup environmental football tournament! TIDE freshwater ecologist Elmar Requena received the award on our behalf at the award ceremony in Tehran earlier today."

Maya Underworld: Waterfall Cave
National Geographic has published a short article about Waterfall Cave, located here in Cayo, across from Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. Definitely worth a read, and the Waterfall Cave is a must if you haven't been there yet. More great pictures here. "Once thought to be the entrance to the mythical Xibalba, Belize's Waterfall Caves is a spectacular subterranean world with a few grizzly surprises... I’m in a cave in the Belizean jungle, hundreds of feet underground, beneath a limestone mountain ridge. We’ve been following the subterranean course of a river, but have taken an unplanned vertical diversion up a scarcely defined sidetrack that disappears into the roof of the cave. I’m refusing to let myself think about the return journey."

Great Blue Heron Rescued
This Great Blue Heron was found by two boys in San Antonio Village in the Cayo district and brought to Stephanie and Roni Martinez (famous local birder) on Dec 19, 2015. Initially the bird seemed in critical condition and the pictures sent to BBR indicated an injured, possibly broken wing. BBR picked up the animal and the physical showed a weak, skinny bird with parasites, but thankfully no broken wing. In the capable hands of the BBR team, with meds, worms, plenty of live fish and lots of TLC, there was a quick recovery. BBR is happy to announce the release of the beautiful bird on January 2, 2016 at Captain Hook's Shrimp Farm in Ladyville (with kind permission of Charlie, the owner). I would like to thank Nikki for allowing me to jump into the wonderful work at BBR while I visited, and participating in the rehab and release of this magnificant creature. It was such an amazing feeling to watch him spread those incredible wings and fly off. BBR, you do great work.

What would two macaws be doing on a Quamwood branch?
Well, sometimes we have to observe beyond the obvious to understand these birds. Clues are in the rest of the photo... Hanging on a Quamwood branch munching some cohune nuts, or the pericarp rather.

Channel 7

Orange Walk Weed Mega-Bust Was Not From A Mex Cartel
Orange Walk police made a major marijuana bust right after New Year’s – and it was a huge one. Nine parcels of compressed weed, a total of 183 pounds of weed with an estimated street value of three hundred thousand dollars. That’s more than a quarter mil! And what made the case more intriguing is that the weed parcels carried a label, the letter “J”. Experts say it seemed to be the mark of a cartel – and police believe it came over from Mexico. Well today, at a press luncheon where he addressed all matters, the Mexican Ambassador Carlos Quesnel gave us his information on the mysterious “J” Jules Vasquez: "Is there intelligence sharing between Belize and México on a case like this and specifically does anyone know if that "J" represents a cartel in Mexico?" H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "Well, I can tell you I just came back last week from Mexico so, eh, eh, I just heard an opinion by an expert about hat the package you all mentioned, the marijuana. And I was told that this is not a typical package sent by a Mexican cartel because of the circumstances, the package, the different, the characteristics of the stuff."

Caledonia's Alcoser Still Missing
And, right after that weed was busted by police, 31 year old Caledonia villager Luis Alcoser went missing. His Kia Sportage was found abandoned and riddled with bullets on the road to Caledonia – and nothing has been heard from him. When we called Corozal police today they were reluctant to say anything about the matter although the man has been missing for two weeks. Police simply told us they did not wish to jeopardize anyone’s life and so directed us to the family. If you can recall from our report a couple weeks ago, after 48 hours that the man was missing police told us that they suspected the man was still alive although they could not tell us where he was. When we checked with the family today they gave us the same story they gave us last two weeks when they first learnt about their son’s disappearance.

Mexicans Annoyed Over Nanes Schnitzer
And another subject the Mexican Ambassador commented on was the disappearance of David Nanes Schnitzer. As we told you, the Mexican fugitive got Supreme Court bail on Friday, November 20th and no one has seen him since. But, the truth is that he was imprisoned on a flimsy charge, for having a fake driver’s license – which was only to hold him in jail until an extradition to Mexico could be arranged. But, the government of Belize failed to deliver him – because they said there was something missing from the extradition treaty to make it effective. Today Ambassador Quesnel told the media that as far as they are concerned the extradition treaty with Belize is intact, functional and didn’t need anything to make it operational: H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "Once the extradition treaty was entered into force, so for international law that treaty was totally in force. I also as a lawyer understand that there is a system in Belize that obligates the Belizean government to incorporate that treaty into national law. I'm not going to go into details because that's not part of our job. I just see the bilateral relationship and I would like us to mention that by international law standards that treaty was fully in force."

Coast Guard Hunting Pirates That Caused Tourist Terror
Last night, we told you about the man who police charged for the armed robbery of a group of tourists on their yacht near Middle Long Caye on last week Wednesday. He’s Bradwick Lino, and he remains behind bars tonight while police continue to look for the other 3 pirates who accompanied him. Today, we spoke with the Coast Guard’s Commandant about their response to this crime, and he told us that as soon as the they were notified, they mobilized to the area where the armed robbery had occurred.: Adm. John Borland - Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard: "The distress was relayed to the coast guard on the night of the incident via the port authority. As we were out of range of channel 16 distress communications. We did respond that night, the perpetrators of that crime were well gone from the scene and we assisted in guiding that vessel in coming into safe harbour and making the reports to us. Both coast guard and police deployed to conduct an investigation in the area and the rest you know a little bit more than I do. Since then some arrests have been made and police continue with their investigation to see if they can put those that are responsible to justice for committing that crime."

Southside Cops Opened Gun To Match With Bou-Nahra Mansion Burglary
As we told you last night, police recovered one of the six guns stolen from Sarkis Bou-Nahra's Burrell Boom mansion. Police found the Browing 9mm pistol on Ordonez Street in Belize City on January 7 th - but it took 12 more days to confirm that it was from the Bou-Nahra estate because the serial number had been filed off. But a diligent Inspector disassembled the weapon to find the serial number on the pieces inside. Today Senior Superintendent Chester Williams told the weapon recovery is due to the Southside Strike Team’s hard work: Sr. Supt. Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "What you will hear on the news is south side strike team working in conjunction with special branch remove from the street guns, ammunition and drugs. That is on a daily basis and I can say that for last week alone, we removed from the street at least 5 firearms and that effort continues and I think over the weekend, early this week, we removed one of the firearms we believe was stolen from the Bou-Nahra's residence in Burrell Boom. There was no one arrested for it, it was found property.

Chukka Says No Preference A La Dark Night
Yesterday we told you about the tremors in the tourism industry that have local tour operators upset. The allegation is that foreign tour companies regularly receive preferential treatment from the authorities governing the tourism industry. The report focused on Dark Night’s Cave Adventures owned by American businessman Bradly Paumen, but during one of the interviews Yohnny Rosado named a couple other foreign tour companies who he claimed are also getting preferential treatment including CHUKKA. In the case of Paumen, public records show a consistent pattern of preference for Dark Night, from the state acquiring land for his company’s private use, to allowing him to operate his tours without a valid license for the first 18 days of this year. But CHUKKA says that the allegation that they get this type of preferential treatment also is a blatant lie. Here’s how Valerie Woods put it: Valerie Woods - Country Manager, CHUKKA Belize: "We must comply with the same regulations that FECTAB and all other operators operating out of Nohoch Cheen reserve which is the matter at hand, we must comply with it. Our buses are checked at the village, our buses are checked at the boot. The tourism police officers go on our property that we lease and check us there too. NICH personnel have checked up there too and that is the statement of fact that is what I'm clarifying."

An Appalling Case Of Child Rape
There is an appalling rape case to report tonight: A 12 year old girl was raped by her stepfather twice in the Stann Creek district. The first incident happened last Thursday afternoon at their home. The little girl had just come home from school when her stepfather grabbed her, tied her hands, covered her eyes and mouth with a rag, placed a knife to the side of her neck and raped her. Then, he raped her again the next day at their home. Neither her mother nor her siblings were around. The stepfather has been detained and is expected to be charged later tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Stan Creek Serial Rapist Caught
While the girl’s stepfather awaits those charges, another man has been charged with 2 counts of rape in the Stann Creek district. He is Jamaican national Dwight Johnson. Johnson reportedly raped 2 women on separate occasions at the same location. The first incident happened on December 11th 2015. A pregnant woman had just come off the bus at the 6 miles junction on the Hummingbird Highway when a man with a grey t-shirt covering his face, dragged her into a nearby orange orchard, held a knife to her throat and raped her. The second incident occurred on January 9th. IN this case a 48-year-old woman got off the bus at the same 6 miles junction. She was standing alone at the junction when a man with a brown T-Shirt tied on his head and carrying a machete approached her. He dragged her into the same nearby orange orchard where she was beaten, raped and robbed of $372 and her cell phone. Dwight Johnson has been charged with 2 counts of rape for both these incidents.

2015's Last Quarter Was Strong For Tourism
As we’ve been reporting, 2016 has been a rough year for Belize’s image as a tourist destination, but 2015 was a bumper year, according to BTB’s figures. Today the Belize Tourism Board sent a release with a recap of their tourist numbers for 2015. The report focused on the number of overnight tourism which showed a strong increase in the last two quarters of the year when compared to 2014. In September there was an increase of 19.3%, in October 22.1%, in November 33% and in December 22.5 %. BTB also makes note that the November increase of 33% is the largest increase ever recorded for that month, which rarely goes above 10%. Furthermore in December BTB recorded a total of 39,977 overnight visitors to Belize- the closest number to 40 thousand tourists that a month has ever recorded in overnight arrivals. There were several things that factored in to the record breaking performance of 2015 as it relates to overnight tourism. One of them is the introduction of two new flights to Belize: South West and COPA Airlines.

Mexican Border Express Fee Is Bogus
Anyone who’s travelled to Chetumal – especially on a long weekend or a holiday knows how long and time consuming the lines can be. But for those willing to pay ten dollars a head – they also know about the so-called “express fee”. That’s 75 pesos, for which you get a stamped paper which you put in your passport, and you simply whiz past all those stuck in the immigration line – by the time they get out, you’re in Chedraui stocking up on groceries. Today at the press luncheon, one journalist asked if that fee is legal: Reporter: "Is this legal entry into Mexico because this is a big concern for people who cross regularly, would want to get across the border as quickly as possible, you're being solicited to pay an express fee. Is this considered legal entry into Mexico?" H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "What you have expressed to me, that’s certainly illegal. And we are totally against these practices. And I beg you in any case that you know something about like this, do send the information to the embassy and I guarantee that we will convey this information to the authorities of the immigration in Mexico city because we are totally against these practices."

Mex Ambassador: Cigarette Contraband Causing Concern
But one thing which passes into Mexico without even a bogus express paper are contraband cigarettes. Literally millions of cigarettes have been intercepted going into Mexico form Belize – which means that many millions more are smuggled through. Today the ambassador said Belize and Mexico need a trade agreement to cut down on contraband:.. H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "We are very concerned on this issue. This has been brought to the official discussions between both countries. I can tell you this is one of the main concerns of our people, the authorities based in Chetumal. We are doing all of our efforts to combat, to fight this smuggling of cigarettes." "Even if we are fighting very seriously this phenomenon because we don’t want these kinds o cigarettes in México and Central America, but I think the best way to combat it, to fight the smuggling of cigarettes is having a free trade agreement that allows not only cigarettes, but many other products to be traded openly and not through contraband which affects the economy of the countries of the area."

Is Trade Agreement Antidote To Contraband?
And for contraband generally, form cattle going over to Mexico, to vegetables being smuggled into Belize across the Rio Hondo, the Ambassador says a trade agreement is the solution:.. H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: “If we go one with the signature of the Partial Scope Free Trade Agreement that will bring much benefits in this particular area So that it will avoid contraband of, well you mentioned cigarettes, and many other products. Ah, you know there is also contraband, of, for example, of cattle and if we open the market in the sectors that are convenient for both countries I am sure that contraband will be automatically decreased between both countries.”

(Formal) Carrot Imports From Mexico Were Stable
And what about carrots? As we’ve reported local farmers say their carrots have been left to rot because of excess importation of Mexican carrots. Today the Ambassador said the legal importation has also been the same:… H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: “We have seen last year's statistics, and we have not seen a change of pattern in the carrots exports to Belize from Mexico, so there has been a quota, and this, this amount of carrots we exported to Belize are the same as last year. So I don't know if it really is the Mexican carrot that is affecting the local market in Belize."

Mexico Also Has Rio Hondo Security Concerns
As has been well documents carrots and other vegetables are smuggled from Mexico into villages along the Rio Hondo in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts. Now that’s contraband, but illicit drugs are also smuggled along that river. It’s a concern for the BDF which says the US is funding a base in the Consejo area. The Mexicans say they also want to help:… H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: “We are in talks with the Belizean government on how to provide an agreement of even constructing some facilities to try to help the Belizean authorities to fight all these criminal, illegal activities.”

Blue Creek 'Copter Wasn't Mexican
And the BDF will soon be doing aerial reconnaissance of the Hondo, some of it with the Bell Helicopter which was found abandoned in Blue Creek near the border with Mexico. It’s been widely rumored that the helicopter had a drug cargo or cartel figure, but today the Ambassador said the helicopter is not Mexican H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: “We have just, received some reports, unofficial reports that, ah, the registered, or this helicopter, was registered in the U, so it’s not a Mexican number and it's not registered under Mexican law.”

BDF Getting Ready For Takeoff
And speaking of helicopters, we told you how the BDF were expecting their 2 helicopters to arrive in Belize from Taiwan. Well, reliable sources tell us that they are here, and they’re currently at the Port of Big Creek in Independence Village. The choppers are currently in a disassembled state with all the parts sitting in several containers. We’re told that those containers will be moved from the Port of Big Creek very shortly, and the Taiwanese technicians get started on assembling them. That will take several weeks, and in about 3 months, the choppers will be handed over to to the BDF.

Coast Guard, 2015 Was Good, 2016 Will Be Better
Today, the High Command of the Belize National Coast Guard invited the media to a briefing where they gave an overview of their performance over the last year. It was a lengthy and extensive 2 hour presentation, but here are a few important excerpts of the Coast Guard’s operations geared at making Belize’s seas safer: Adm. John Borland - Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard: "The coast guard grew from a strength of 50 in 2005 where we started to 320 in 2015 but more significant over the last 2 years, since 2012 the coast guard grew from a strength of 120 to 320. Critical was the approval of our new recruiting policy from the national security council to grow the coast guard by 100 each year to reach the desired end strength of 700 by the year 2020." Lt. Junior Grade Alma Pinelo - Adjutant, Belize National Coast Guard: "Under the headquarters command are the seal platoons. We have here 4 seal platoons that we would like to establish between now and 2020 each with 16 personnel." Adm. John Borland - Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard: "The coast guard continued also with its enduring partnership without partner nations, we share common goals and face common threats in proving our defence and security mechanisms. Through this partnership with United States Southern Command, we saw the coast guard multi-purpose complex building commence construction and is near completion scheduled for the end of April 2016. We saw capacity building increase as we continue to receive valuable support in training for our forces both in country and overseas. This was made possible through the partnerships, not only with South Com but United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico; allowing us to train at their institutions alongside their forces."

The Hunting Caye Hangover
But, while the Coast Guard is expected to get those boats in a few months time, things aren’t so certain for the completion of their Hunting Caye Forward Operating Base. This facility has stalled for over a year after the public outcry that a Guatemalan company should not be building a military facility for Belize. The Coast Guard officers posted at that strategic location have been forced to perform their duties in less than ideal living conditions. By now, if the Guat company, BINARQ, had been allowed to continue, the base would more than likely be finished by now. So, when we asked about it today, their commandant told us that these officers can and will have to make do until construction on the base resumes, and is then completed: Adm. John Borland - Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard: "The officers that are stationed at Hunting Caye are all on active duty status, so they continue to perform their operational requirement for providing law enforcement and their military functions. They continue to operate out of the old facility, the facility being constructed it still hasn't met any traction since the project was suspended but the update on that project is that now finally we have received the new amended updated plans from the army core of engineers. Our ministry of works' engineers have since then put together a bill of quantity, an estimate for the completion of that project and we expect that contract should be put to tender; advertised and awarded perhaps by the end of this financial year."

GSU's Busts Impressive
The Gang Suppression Unit was busy today as they apprehended one person for weed, removed a machine gun and a pistol from the streets of Belize City, and recovered a stolen item that, information indicated was to be sold by members of a gang. We start first with the arrest of Jorge Caceres for the offence of “Possession of controlled Drug.” Around 5 o clock this morning based on intelligence, members of the GSU searched a house on Madam Liz Crescent, the residence of 29 year old Caceres. They were searching for firearms and ammunition. 10 persons including females and minors were present when they arrived at the residence. Police found nothing incriminating inside the house but when they searched Caceres, they discovered 4 grams of loose cannabis inside the Velcro of his Jordan slippers.

Northside Neighborhood Watch
Police officers from both the North and South side held their weekly meet and greet session today. We started off with the north side this afternoon and caught up with Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood in the Queen Street Area. As we told you, residents in that area are asking police to assist in organizing a neighbourhood watch. Residents say there is a high level of petty theft in the area. Yerwood told us they are back to start up that neighbourhood watch and to listen to the other their other concerns. Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood - Public Relations Officer: "On today's meet and greet we will target the New Road area, Hyde's Lane, Keyhole Alley, Eyrie Street, Hudson Street, Jail Lane; this is sector one A, B and C. The reason we're targeting this area, we have other areas like Lizarraga Avenue that will come up eventually. We're trying to do meet and greet almost weekly. We were lucky today that the weather held up and so we can move forward with it." "It's a house to house effort, being more in direct contact with members of your community, the people that live in your area. This effort we know it's stressed all over the city but we on the north side we have decided that on a weekly basis, we'll do this. We are forming more neighbourhood watches in the area. We are trying our best to get the community more interactive in their own personal protection and their own safety."

Southside Cops Vigilant
Residents in the southside are also calling on the police to organize those same programs in their area. This evening about 35 officers were going house to house in different zones on the southside. We spoke first with Superintendent David Chi on Krooman Road and he told us residents want a neighborhood watch and more patrols. Supt. David Chi - OC, Precinct 1: "It is very important to do the meet, it gives us an understanding of the area, the way people feel and it gives us information, opinions as how to better police the area. In that sense we understand where people need assistance, what we can do. For instance we just spoke to some people in this area and they are asking about neighbourhood watch because of past incidents where they had to be looking out for each other. So we spoke to them and we agree with them that the police will be back in this area to assist them to form a neighbourhood watch in this area, which will make the area much safer." Residents are also asking for the overgrown lawns and bushes to be cut. We also caught up with Senior Superintendent Chester Williams in the Fabers Road area on Madam Liz Street. Williams discussed some of the concerns of the residents and what will be done to keep that community safe.

Police Active With Gang Mediations
Now keeping these communities safe is just one part of their community policing strategy. Another crucial approach is ensuring that those who terrorize the south side residents with gun violence and gang rivalry are dealt with. This is done through police interventions with gang members when there is tension between gangs. Williams discussed how effective this approach is to the reduction of crime.

COLA Condemns Ashcroft Alliance Cruise Port Proposal
Last week Tuesday, we showed you our interview with the Prime Minister in which he discussed the reason Mike Feinstein’s Port project, Stakebank, might be scrapped. According to the Prime Minister, Feinstein wanted the government to give him a 25 year exclusive contract as the only cruise port in Belize City. Government’s Plan B, is to revive the old Port of Belize project idea. That’s the failed project that the then Port owner, Luke Espat, broke ground with Carnival Cruise Line, but which never materialized. The Ashcroft Alliance now wants to partner with the Government to make the project become a reality this time around, and the Grassroots Organization, COLA, has joined the chorus of opposition to the idea. The release says, “ While COLA has been on the record as supporting the need for a cruise port in Belize City – the sooner the better – we cannot support this failed project, disguised and repackaged by Ports Investment Limited and supported by the moving hand of the Alliance.”

Extortion Charge Dropped Against Cop
It made major news 2 years ago when 38 year-old Police Constable Oscar Ramirez was charged with extortion for an accusation while he was on duty in San Pedro. Well, the accused cop is accused no more; the Magistrate’s Court has thrown the extortion charge out of court. As we told you, 18 year-old Sander Palma, who was a minor at the time, told police that his friend, Mirna Berganza, was detained by police for a traffic offence. Palma told police then that he had Ramirez $600 to release her, with the promise that he would pay another $700 at a later date. Well, the case was called up before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today, and Palma told the court that he no longer wanted to proceed with court action against Ramirez. Without a complainant, Senior Magistrate Frazer was obliged to strike it out for want of prosecution. That set Constable Ramirez free of the charge.

Mexicans Gave Their Money For Marion Jones, What Next?
And finally tonight, one last bit of news from the Mexican Ambassador’s Luncheon. He announced that Mexico has made the money available for a sports facility within the Marion Jones Sports Complex. As we understand it, this would be within the what is considered the parking lot. Ambassador Quesnel explained:.. H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "What I can tell you is that México has done its part, we have donated the money and we have donated the money to the UNOPS, which is the United Nations office on projects and management, they are dealing with the Belizean government. Ah, the Mexican government is just now hoping to see that the first stone be put there and we would be very happy when the construction is finished, or when the construction starts." Jules Vasquez: "So then how much is the money?" H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "The money through the Yucatán fund is 5 million US dollars." Right now, there is no word from the Government of Belize on when that first stone will be put there – but considering that Marion Jones has been one big PUDP misadventure from bow to stern, we aren't holding our breaths

Re: Today's Belize News: January 21, 2016 [Re: Marty] #510908
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Late Christmas for B.D.F.—UH1H Helicopters Finally Here
After an announcement made in August 2014, a pair of UH1H Huey helicopters, to complement the B.D.F.’s existing fleet of aircrafts, has arrived in Belize. The generous donation is from [...]

A Twelve-year-old is Raped at Knifepoint by Her Stepfather
There’s a chilling report of rape against a minor. The names of the victim and the aggressor will not be disclosed to protect the girl’s identity.  The heinous incident reportedly [...]

Mexican Ambassador Disappointed with Belize’s Handling of Nanes Matter
Fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer slipped through the cracks immediately after he was granted a ten thousand dollar bail by the Supreme Court on November twentieth, 2015. Nanes, who was caught [...]

Despite Claims of Carrot Importation, Mexican Official Says There’s No Increase
Carrot farmers in the Orange Walk District have reported that seventy percent of their produce has been rotting in the fields because government has been issuing licenses to select persons [...]

Is a Partial Scope Free Trade Agreement Next for Belize and Mexico?
The contraband of goods into Mexico from Belize and from Belize into Mexico is a thriving trade. The Commercial Free Zone is an area of particular concern. It is known [...]

Intelligence Suggests Compressed Marijuana was not Destined for Mexico
There is also the issue of the transshipment of illicit drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana that get into Mexico from Belize. Just two weeks ago, on January third, [...]

Dept. of Civil Aviation; No Aircraft Found in or Near Louisville
On Tuesday, there were widespread reports of an aircraft landing in the Louisville area of the Corozal District.  It was not clear at first whether it was a commuter plane, [...]

Indian Church Murder Suspect Still on the Lam
Also in the north, the search continues for fifty-nine year old Juan Carlos Gutierrez. The Salvadoran national is wanted by Orange Walk Police for the cold-blooded murder of Indian Church [...]

Investigations Continue into the Murder of Executive Producer Anne Swaney
Investigations also continue in another murder. Last Friday morning, the body of Anne Swaney, an executive producer with ABC Chicago, was found floating in the river at Succotz, Cayo. She [...]

Coast Guard Presents 2015 Report Card
Ten years after its establishment, the Belize Coast Guard has grown considerably in numbers as well as in the scope of duties. Today, it presented a report card of accomplishments [...]

What’s Up with Sarstoon F.O.B.?
A historic groundbreaking ceremony was held on the bank of the Sarstoon River on December ninth to mark the beginning of construction of a forward operating base near Belize‘s southern [...]

Construction of Coast Guard F.O.B. to Resume at Hunting Caye
With the interruption of work on the building of a new forward operating base on Hunting Caye, coast guard personnel have had to endure the discomfort of utilizing the existing [...]

San Pedro Cop Acquitted of Extortion Charge
A cop from San Pedro AC walked free today from a single charge of extortion. That’s because a seventeen year old girl who made the allegation against thirty-eight year old [...]

B.T.B. Says Visitor Arrivals Were Up in 2015
Belize’s tourism industry is being tainted with the recent murder of U.S. visitor Anne Swaney, which is still under investigation. But according to the Belize Tourism Board, the industry made [...]

More Belizeans Traveling Across to Mexico
As it relates to arrivals from across the Mexican border, the numbers are not on our side. The Mexican ambassador says he wants to close the gap by encouraging Mexican [...]

Marion Jones Still Unfinished Many Years Later
Turning to the Marion Jones Stadium…there was a soft launch just before the November elections. It is a project that dates back to 2008 and seven years later it has [...]

Ambassador Carlos Quesnel Melendez on Bilateral Agreements with Belize
Back in July of 2015, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington visited Mexico in an official capacity where he signed on to nine bilateral agreements with his Mexican counterparts. While functional [...]

Coast Guard Details Involvement in Responding to Piracy Near Middle Long Caye
On Tuesday, twenty-year-old James Emmanuel Cortez and his mother, forty-five-year-old Florita Pineda were charged for possession of a number of stolen items.  Those articles were reported missing when occupants of [...]

Precinct 3 Police Meet and Greet in Belize City
And on the streets of the city, a team of police officers led by Superintendent Suzette Anderson was deployed this afternoon.  While there was no chaos or crime to report [...]


Orange Walk Police Detains Two Mexican Nationals For Drug Trafficking
Two Mexican Nationals are tonight spending their first night at the Kolbe Correctional Facility after they were detained by Orange Walk Police for drug and ammunition offences. Yesterday at about 4:30 in the afternoon authorities were on investigation at the Cuatro Leguas Area, bordering Mexico, when they came upon farm. At the center of the farm police observed a grey tent housing 50 year old Pedro Cordova Perez and Juan Manuel Pacheco, both Mexican Nationals of la Union Village in Quintana Roo Mexico. Police conducted a search on Perez and found in his possession a zip lock bag containing a piece of compressed suspected Cannabis. A further search in a bag of clothing led authorities to two live maroon 16 gauge, AGUILA brand cartridges for which both Mexicans had no license.

US Embassy Clarifies Advisory Sent Out By US State Department
Yesterday we reported that the United States Department issued a travel advisory alerting US citizens to be cautious when travelling to Belize due to the recent murder of American National Anne Swaney and the country’s high murder and crime rate. Today we can tell you that the US Embassy became aware of the advisory that was sent out, however, they have made it clear that neither they nor the United States Department issued such notice with regards to the death of Anne Swaney. The notice was in fact retrieved from a travel site that hosts press releases from shareholders within in the tourism sector, known as Travel Wires. The Embassy’s clarification has brought comfort to the tourism sector despite the tragedy that had occurred at the Nabitunich Resort where Anne Swaney lost her life.

BTB Pledges To Protect Tourist After Murder Of American National
While the death of Anne Elizabeth Swaney continues to make headlines both locally and internationally, The Belize Tourism Board expressed their sympathy to the family of Swaney and believe that both the family as well as the community deserve justice. In a release yesterday, the BTB also stated that they have committed themselves to working in partnership with the Belize Police Department in an effort to offer a helping hand so as to bring closure to this murder case. They have decided to request for the police department to increase patrols in order to guarantee the safety and security for all citizens and visitors in Belize. The BTB and industry partners are also forming an alliance with the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation to implement plans and strategies that offer protection and minimize the chances of being at risk when it comes to crime.

Wanted Man Absconds To Mexico
On Monday we reported on the gruesome murder of 55 year old Francisco Arevalo, Guatemalan Farmer of Indian Church Village whose mutilated nude body was found early on Sunday morning near an unfinished concrete house in the outskirts of Indian Church. Police suspect that the murder was as a result of a love triangle gone wrong as investigations have revealed that Arevalo was lured out of his house at around 9:00 on Saturday night by a woman he knew. Reports suggest that this woman’s common-law husband is the one that attacked and murdered Arevalo. He is no other than 58 year old Salvadoran National, Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez who police have placed on their wanted list.


Minor Says Her Stepfather Raped Her
A man has been detained pending a charge of rape. This is after his twelve year old stepdaughter accused him of raping her. According to police, the twelve year old in the company of her uncle reported to police in the Stann Creek District that on Wednesday last week after she went home from school,

Nanes’ Release Was Regrettable Says Ambassador Melendez
In November 2015, fugitive, David Nanes Shnitzer was caught in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Shnitzer was wanted in neighboring Mexico for tricking Mexican investors out of some forty two million dollars. After being detained in Belize, he was offered bail of ten thousand dollars. Justice Dennis Hanomansingh ordered that he surrender his travel documents but

Mexican Ambassador Speaks on Illicit Trade along the Borders
Notorious ‘Contrabandista’ Ernesto Alonso de Miguel or “El Espanol” was shot to death in November of last year in a Chetumal restaurant. He was known for peddling huge quantities of cigarettes and other illicit items into the Corozal Free Zone and out to other Central American countries. Today at the media luncheon, Mexican Ambassador Carlos

Marion Jones to Be Completed with Aid from Mexico
Mexican Ambassador Carlos Melendez spoke on several topics at today’s media luncheon at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. One of the topics that Ambassador Melendez spoke of is cross border partnership and cooperation in several areas. One of those areas is sports. Today, Melendez announced that the Mexican Government has donated five million dollars

US State Department Issued No Recent Advisory/Warning to Citizens
Yesterday we brought you an article that stated that an advisory to American nationals as it pertains to traveling to Belize was issued by the US State Department. As we had mentioned, it was a statement posted online by Travel Wires website, dated January 16, 2016. According to the US Embassy in Belmopan, no such

PUP Trio Agrees to Debate Prior to Convention
The People’s United Party’s national convention is set for Sunday, January 31 in Belmopan. Contesting for the post of leader, are the present leader, Francis Fonseca, Lake Independence area representative, Cordel Hyde and former party leader and Orange Walk Central area representative, John Briceno. The three candidates who will be vying for the leadership of

BCG Reviews Milestones of 2015
The Belize Coast Guard celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2015 and has shown impressive progress over the years ranging from its members, equipment, training and facilities. With an overview of the accomplishments they have made in 2015, Admiral John Borland started off a presentation this morning in the presence of several senior officers of the

Almost 10 Mil for the Belize Coast Guard
When the Belize Coast Guard started out in 2005, they were operating on a budget of just over three million dollars, a skeleton staff and limited resources. To date, the annual operational expenses are almost at ten million dollars justified by a significant increase in their team, as well as equipment, sea vessels and infrastructure.

Coast Guard Prepared to Join BDF at Sarstoon Base
Yesterday, Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers spoke of the absence of works being conducted at the Sarstoon as it relates to the Forward Operating Base. During a briefing with the Belize Coast Guard earlier today, the media asked Admiral John Borland on the progress of the construction. JOHN BORLAND “ Maheia had travelled

Coast Guard Aided Victims of Robbery Incident
The Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie has commented on a robbery at sea that occurred on a vessel that was anchored near Middle Long Caye in Belizean waters. Police investigators have recovered some of the items taken and arrests have been made while investigations are ongoing. Today, however, we heard from the head of the […]


Suspect in taximan murder positively ID’d in highway robbery
On Saturday January 15th, Lincoln Bejerano was arrested and charged for the crime of robbery. The charge came after Bejerano was positively identified in an ID parade as one of the persons involved in a highway robbery on which we reported earlier this year. As we reported at the beginning of this ...

Belmopan man charged with attempted murder
Belmopan police have arrested a Belmopan man following an incident at a bar which took place on January 15 of this year. According to Byron Deon Zuniga he was beaten while socializing at a bar on Cemetery Road on January 15th and later shot with a pellet gun. Police say they have the person respon...

BTB comments on Crime situation
The nation is still dealing with the negative publicity Belize is currently facing following a serius spike in murders, including that of American tourist Anne Swaney who was strangled to death by the river in the Cayo district last week when she went there to do her yoga. Just a couple weeks befor...

One of three pleads guilty in handling stolen goods from sea pirating case
We reported yesterday of the attack on a group of visitors to Belize who were staying aboard a vessel anchored at Middle Long Caye. The group were robbed of their valuables at gunpoint, some of which have since been recovered. Late on Monday, police arrested and charged three persons for handling st...

Burglary charges for Belize City men
One of the three persons charged on Monday with handling stolen goods in the Middle Long Caye case has been implicated along with another person in a burglary in Belize City. Raymond Garcia, 40, a bank Officer and resident of Belama Phase 3 area reported to police that between 7:00 a.m., and 5:00 p...

Guatemalan woman reported missing in Belize
A 19 year old Guatemalan store keeper residing in Melchor De Mencos, Guatemala reported to Benque Viejo police on January 18, 2016 that on January 8, 2016 at 5:00am, his mother, 39 year old Lidia Janet Garcia Giron left home from Melchor, Guatemala enroute to banana farm #16 in the Cow pen area, Sta...

17 year old girl and her baby missing
Belize City police are also looking for a missing 17 year old and her 1 year old child. 17-year-old Myleka Parchue of Belize City and her 1-year-4 month old baby Ethan Parchue were reported missing by the 17 year old’s mother. Myleka was last seen on Wednesday 13th of January, 2016 wearing...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Fisheries department works towards sustainability of the fishing sector
This Friday the Belize Fisheries Department along with its partners will be holding its “Pride Campaign for Managed Access Graduation Ceremony: Sustainable Fishing for Our Future” and will be presenting the successes of the program that has been recognized internationally for replication in other regions for […]

COLA questions Government’s change of tune on Port project
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) have consistently called for a cruise port in Belize City to help Belizeans obtain jobs. But today it is calling out the Government for seeming to change its stance from its Opposition days on the Luke Espat-planned cruise […]

Crooked Tree men charged for family feud
Two men, 41 year old Marlon Longsworth Sr. and his son, 19 year old Marlon Longsworth Jr., were charged with harm and 2 counts of damage to property when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. They pled not guilty to the charges. They […]

Cop from San Pedro walks free from a single charge of extortion
Thirty-eight year old police constable Oscar Ramirez, charged with extortion, was freed of the charge today when Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser struck it out for want of prosecution. The complainant, 18 year old Sander Palma, indicated to the court that does not want any further […]

Ex-gang leader charged for police altercation
Former Ghost Town Crips leader Roger Anthony, facing a murder charge, was charged with 7 offences when he appeared on Tuesday before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Anthony was charged with 2 counts of assaulting a police officer, using threatening words, 2 counts of using indecent words, aggravated assault, damage to […]

Two Mexicans in jail for drug possession and cultivation in Belize
Two Mexicans were found with drugs and ammunition along the Belize-Mexico border. Orange Walk Police report that they came across the men at Cuatro Leguas along the border with Mexico. 50-year-old Pedro Cordova Perez and Juan Manuel Pacheco Che both of La Union Village, Mexico […]

Man charged for raping step-daughter with knife to neck
The stepfather of a 12-year-old female in Stann Creek District has been detained and is pending three separate charges of ‘rape’, ‘aggravated assault’ and ‘threatening words’ for acts committed against the female minor. Accompanied by her uncle on Monday afternoon, the minor told police […]

US Embassy clarifies reports of travel advisory
The US Embassy, this morning, made a clarification regarding reports of a travel advisory issued by the US State Department on traveling to Belize in the wake of Anne Swaney’s murder. “The Department of State and the US Embassy Belmopan have not issued a travel […]

FBI joins murder investigation of Anne Swaney
Latest reports in the murder case of 39-year-old American national and ABC 7 Chicago news producer, Anne Swaney, are that agents from the United States’ Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) have joined in the investigation efforts to find the person responsible for her shocking death. Swaney was found floating in the Mopan River near Nabitunich Resort, Cayo District, where she was staying for the course of her vacation and had gone out to do yoga in a secluded area of the resort’s horse trail, when she was viciously attacked.

Cotton Tree man charged for drugs and ammo
On Tuesday January 19th, around 8:30 a.m., 44-year-old Roy McCarthy was stopped by Belmopan police while acting suspicious upon seeing the officers on Oriole Street where he was informed that a search on him was going to be done for any firearm and drugs. Officers discovered a black plastic bag with cartridges and green leafy substance consistent of cannabis weighing in at .3 grams.


Why Develop a Community Vision for Sustainability?
Many organizations not only lack a vision, but they are unaware of the power that a vision produces. And not so surprisingly, many individuals haven’t thought about their lifetime purpose; they don’t have a vision, either. Corporations make the common mistake of equating a mission statement with a vision, and individuals often believe that setting a goal is the same as defining a vision. We have all seen organizations whose purpose we never quite understood; we know they are out there, in our community, doing something – but we’re not quite sure what. They may have a purpose we could learn about, but we’ve never taken the time to do so; it’s always been more effort than it was worth. If we got closer to these organizations, we might be surprised to learn that even some of their own members aren’t entirely sure of the organization’s goals; they only know about a specific project they are working on at that moment. Very often, these organizations end up slipping quietly away; they lose their momentum, they lose their funding, and finally, the organization is gone, with no one really noticing much.

The Indonesian Authorities herein offer a one year non-degree scholarship to study (onsite) language, art, music or craft. The offer includes living expenses, book allowance, local transport, medical expenses and pocket money. Sixth Form and High School students are encouraged to apply. Feel free to confer with the Regional Language Center at the University of Belize to receive English speaking certification (substitute for TOEFL). Applicants will need endorsement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NEMO Building, Belmopan. The application deadline has been established at February 19, 2016 given it must arrive at the Indonesian Embassy, Mexico City a week later. For more information contact Mr. Percy Lewis at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sweet Red Pepper Jelly
Place all the peppers in a food processor and pulse until chopped finely. Transfer the chopped peppers to a large pot with the remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling and continue to boil for about 15-18 minutes, stirring constantly. Skim any foam which accumulates at the top and remove from stove element. While the jelly is still hot, ladle it into hot jars, leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Screw on lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

International Sourcesizz

Ambergris Caye: A Top Caribbean Retirement Spot
This part of Belize is welcoming, friendly and authentic... Ambergris Caye, Belize, is a small island in the Caribbean surrounded by turquoise waters and skirted along its eastern side by the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Living on Ambergris, you could wake each morning to the sound of waves lapping gently onto the white sand beaches just outside your window and the faint crash of the ocean farther out breaking against the coral reef. Belize is English-speaking, has a stable government and is part of both the British Commonwealth and Caribbean Community and Common Market. Ambergris Caye is the largest of Belize's 200 or so cayes and 35 miles long. The reef runs up to and touches the island in the northeast at a rocky point. Ambergris Caye's heart is San Pedro Town, which is home to a big and growing community of expats and foreign retirees and also an increasingly bustling tourist destination with the restaurants and nightlife that those realities suggest. In addition, the island is enjoying one of the biggest publically funded investments in infrastructure in its history, including an ambitious road building project to allow better access to the relatively untamed northern half. Also under construction is the island's first mixed-use sports and athletics facility, and Belize's prime minister has announced plans for the country's second international airport at the northern end of Ambergris.

Honduras Agrees to International Help to Fight Corruption
Honduras on Tuesday became the second Central American country to accept international help to fix a broken judicial system and fight government corruption, two problems that have ravaged Honduras and the region for decades. At an event in Washington, D.C., Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez signed an agreement with the head of the Organization of American States—a regional group mostly financed by the U.S.—establishing the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, or MACCIH for its Spanish initials. The mission will be staffed by international prosecutors, judges and legal experts who will provide advice and supervision in criminal cases to try to improve justice in a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world, and where only 4% of murders are solved, according to government data. The body—paid for by the OAS—will select and certify a group of local prosecutors and judges who will investigate and prosecute corruption networks. It will be led by Juan Jiménez, a former Peruvian prime minister and justice minister who will report directly to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. ​

Belize police pursuing other angles in murder of Chicago journalist
A Belize police spokesman says nothing was found on a person of interest to tie him to last week's killing of Chicago online executive producer Anne Swaney, reports CBS Chicago. The spokesman said at this point police are looking at other angles, reports the station. An autopsy on the body of Swaney, 39, a U.S. tourist found dead in western Belize has determined that she was strangled to death. She died from "asphyxia due to compression of the neck area, throttling and blunt force traumatic injuries to the head and neck," according to the post-mortem report prepared by Dr. Leyden Ken on Friday night. Swaney worked for ABC-channel 7 in Chicago. Her body was discovered Friday morning floating face-down in the Mopan River, which flows into Belize from Guatemala. A Guatemalan man was initially taken into custody after he was seen near the Mopan river where Swaney was found dead in the water. He told authorities he was fishing. Belize police charged him with illegal entry into the country and he's been sentenced to six months in prison.

Las Vegas jury convicts Belize family in theft of government money
A brother and sister from Belize have been convicted by a federal jury in Las Vegas of multiple felony counts for using false identities to steal nearly $300,000 in unemployment funds and other government benefits. Frederick Vernon Williams, 35, and his sister Jacqueline Louisa Gentle, 27, were convicted Friday following a 10-day trial in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge James Mahan. Two other family members from Belize — Frederick Williams' wife, Denise Allison Williams, 36, and his other sister, Carolyn Shelmadine Willis-Casey, 40 — were convicted of fraud during the trial for their lesser role in the scheme to steal unemployment money. "The defendants used false identities and lied on passport applications to steal federal benefits from multiple agencies, including the departments of Labor, Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration," Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said Wednesday.

Beyond The Beach: Foodie-Lovers' Agritourism, Spa-Like Luxury In Belize
"Agritourism" — visiting a working farm or other agribusiness to learn about or partake in day-to-day activities — is one of the fastest-growing markets in the travel industry. Wine tasting or visiting a pick-your-own berry farm are established forms of agritourism. Belcampo Belize Lodge takes the notion a step further, providing a luxurious place to stay in the middle of the farm Belcampo sits on a hilltop five miles inland from the fishing village of Punta Gorda in southern Belize, not far from the Guatemalan border. The resort -- which includes a main lodge and 16 suites set along the hillside -- is in the midst of a vast rainforest, home to a host of animals, including howler monkeys, tapirs, jaguars and more than 250 bird species, such as the keel-billed toucan, slaty-tailed trogon and brown-hooded parrot. Several hundred acres of jungle below the lodge have been cleared to make way for Belcampo's organic farm, where 50 varieties of fruit and vegetables are grown, and pigs, chickens and lambs are raised. More than 80 percent of the food that's served at Belcampo is harvested from the farm, and it's served fresh; as Chef Renee Everett put it, "99.9 percent of the veggies we serve were in the ground this morning."

Art Museum of the Americas to Present Belize Exhibition in Honor of 35th Anniversary
The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Belize to the OAS presents an exhibition celebrating the 35th anniversary of the nation's independence. For this exhibition, sculptor Santiago Cal and photojournalist Karl Villanueva commemorate the 35th anniversary of Belize's independence. Belize 35 is exemplary of AMA's mission of highlighting artwork promoting human rights, democracy, and peace as core values of the Organization of American States, in support of the autonomy of nations as well as the global cooperation under which each nation may thrive. Cal's "Untitled" is one of two installations that the artist is contributing to Belize 35. It includes as its subject matter Belize's first Prime Minister, George Cadle Price along with symbolic national elements such as the tapir, the national animal. According to the artist, the tapir's mannerisms and dignity are consistent with Belizean identity as a peaceful nation. Belizean curator Yasser Musa describes "Untitled" as "imagination at full throttle, casting a sculptural illustration specifically for an Art Museum of the Americas exhibition commemorating Belize's 35th Independence...George Price, the father of Belizean Independence, deep in prayerful contemplation, guides his bands of Tapirs travelling the meandering green line that is the international southern border between Belize and Guatemala - River Sarstoon. The river is a current flashpoint electrified political fence. Cal's metaphor is sharp and precise and speaks both to the aspirations of the Belizean people at the moment of Independence and the haphazard realities of Belize today thirty- five years on."

The underwater life: Try snorkelling in Mexico, French Polynesia & Belize
Looking for a little more excitement this vacation? Here it is served on a platter our edition today lists adventure sports that should be on your bucketlist. It is time to push your limits, here are some sports you should try: - Head to Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize due to the close proximity of San Pedro, snorkellers can see lots of marine life. In waters as shallow as 5 feet, large schools of jacks, groupers, snappers and barracuda abound. Along each side of the cut grow healthy stands of corals and seagrass in shallow water, perfect for the beginner snorkeller.

Review: On ‘Mad Dogs,’ an Amazon Series, Male Bellicosity Rules
“American men, you love to fight,” a supporting female character observes in the very male dark-comic thriller “Mad Dogs,” whose 10-episode first season debuts Friday on Amazon Prime. She’s not wrong, as judged by television’s continuing fascination with middle-aged male bellicosity. In HBO’s coming “Vinyl,” testosterone and cocaine fuel a 1970s record executive through a midlife and career crisis. Showtime’s Wall Street drama, “Billions,” treats money as expression of male potency; it’s a show so macho that its alpha-dog hedge-fund wizard, Axe, shares a name with a body spray. In “Mad Dogs,” male angst goes on holiday. Four American men travel to Belize to visit a wealthy college pal, Milo (Billy Zane), for a 40-somethings-gone-wild getaway at his lavish oceanside villa. There’s an aggressive edge to his invite, a determination to show how much better he’s done than his friends: the cautious financial planner Cobi (Steve Zahn), the irresponsible Lex (Michael Imperioli), the family man Gus (Romany Malco) and the embittered Joel (Ben Chaplin).

‘Mad Dogs’ and Americans
Puerto Rico, standing in for Belize, looks amazingly bright and sunny in Amazon’s manic, unpredictable, and compelling new series “Mad Dogs.” The long green grass has a neon quality, and in the night scenes, in the moonlight, the gently rippling water looks seductive. The cinematographer is clearly in love with the place. But this is no happy travelogue, and — given the high level of local menace and corruption portrayed on the show — the Belize tourism groups are probably going to hate it. This paradise will be lost, suddenly and brutally, and so will the vestiges of youth that the show’s middle-age characters are clinging to. In “Mad Dogs,” things go from bad to worse, and then a few more steps from worse to worst, a little like they did in “Fargo,” as the fall of one calamity knocked the next one down like a set of dominos. Actually, the show, whose first season is available on Friday, reminds me most of all of “Deliverance,” where men naively head straight into the heart of darkness. “Mad Dogs” is about the myths of masculinity, as they fall apart and men are forced to become simply human.

TV Review: ‘Mad Dogs’
“Mad Dogs” starts off as a lark — four guys head to Belize to visit a longtime friend, whose success has allowed him to buy a beachfront villa and enjoy a laid-back lifestyle. But their buddy’s life is not stress-free, as it turns out, and the group holiday quickly turns into a collective nightmare. Unfortunately, the experience of watching “Mad Dogs” contains echoes of what the characters experience. Despite a strong cast, the Amazon drama quickly devolves into a series of tiresome squabbles, mistakes and annoyances. Perhaps this version, adapted from a British program, would have been better off as a film. Ultimately, it’s difficult to picture anyone wanting to binge-watch a 10-episode show that ends up being quite predictable. Director Charles McDougall wrings the maximum potential from the show’s locations (though the story is set in Belize, “Mad Dogs” was shot in Puerto Rico).

Welcome to the Jungle: Slash gets a ‘Tree’ Guitar
Saul Hudson was eager to see his new guitar, but he wasn’t expecting manna from heaven. After all, Hudson, better known as Slash, is the celebrated former Guns N’ Roses guitarist who’s owned some of the finest instruments in his neck of the rock ’n’ roll woods, from big-name vintage acoustics—a Martin D-18, Gibson J-200, and Guild D-100—to a string of signature Les Pauls. What more could he want? “I thought, ‘OK, let’s get this over with: I’m going to open the case and be happy and surprised and then we can move on,’” Slash says with a laugh. “When I picked it up, I was completely humbled. It was a shock-and-awe moment. It changed everything I’d ever thought about acoustic guitars leading up to that point,” Slash continues, with a boyish wonder that betrays the reverence a head-banging kid might have for Slash himself. “It was the most amazing acoustic guitar I’d ever played or heard.” The figured mahogany that makes up the back and sides of Slash’s guitar was floored, too—some 50 years ago, when it tumbled to the floor of a forest in Central America. There’s an old philosophical riddle that asks, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?” In the case of the Tree, a 500-year-old hunk of wood that once towered 100 feet and had a massive base ten feet in diameter, the answer is a resounding yes—a thousand times over. Discovered a little more than ten years after it was chopped down in 1965 and left in a ravine in the Chiquibul Jungle of what is now Belize, the Tree has been making beautiful sounds for decades in the form of boutique guitars crafted at shops including Forsland’s JOI, as well as Santa Cruz, Bedell, Greenfield, Froggy Bottom, and even the Big Two acoustic makers, Taylor and Martin.


  • Is Zika in Belize?, 5.5min.

  • Belize Pack A Pound Program - Chaa Creek Sustainable Tourism, 3min. Our Pack A Pound team went out to the small village of Progresso in western Belize to deliver school supplies to the kids at Progresso Government School. We were greeted by happy kids and a willing principal.

  • KAYTHANKS BELIZE, 3min. Mumsie and I went on a cruise last year. One of our stops was the beautiful Belize. I wish I had more time to explore such an incredible place.

  • Belize It!, 5min. Fun in, around, and all over Belize.

  • Dragonfly Migration in Belize 1-10-2016, 17sec. This dragonfly migration (heading north) was witnessed from a beach in Hopkins, Belize on 10 January 2016. There were thousands of dragonflies going by for about a half hour, and some Monarch butterflies were mixed in with them. A little Internet research revealed that dragonflies have an even longer migration than Monarch butterflies, and it takes several generations of dragonflies to complete the annual loop.

  • We Pet Sharks in Belize!, 2min. We visit San Pedro, Belize, go snorkelling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and pet nurse sharks!

  • Glimpse Belize, 4min. Channel 23 Belize

  • Mexico and Belize!, 3min.

  • Matthew Klinck moments 2012, 3min. Matthew doing what he did best, make movies and inspire people to make movies, in the little time he was in Belize he inspired and train so many young people to make films, i was very lucky to have collaborated with Matthew. Here are clips of him working on his first training and film project we did in 2012,you can view full documentary on Matthews vimeo page Make Belize Films, Creative Kaos.

  • Belize Jan 2016, 5min.

  • Belize & Placencia, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 7.5min.

  • TRAVEL BELIZE, 6min.

  • Belize, voyage d'une vie ... 2013, 4min. C'est une vidéo qui me tient particulièrement à cœur, Elle a été très dure à monter et j'ai attendu 3 ans avant de revoir ces images... Ce voyage marque la fin d'une époque et le début d'une autre. Je tenais à l'immortaliser par le montage vidéo. Et il nous a beaucoup ému. J'espère que la vidéo vous plaira. Pensez à mettre la HD et le grand écran, ça vaut le détour.

  • Belize Zoo, 10min. Brief look at the famous Belize Zoo.

  • Swimming with Sharks in Belize! (day 4/4), 3.5min. Caye Caulker, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Coral Gardens, Shark & Ray Alley

  • $10 Lobsters in Caye Caulker Belize (Day 1/4), 4min. Here's our first day spent in Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • Flying Over the GREAT BLUE HOLE in BELIZE (Day 2/4), 3.5min.

  • Cave Tubing on an Underground River in Belize (day 3/4), 2.5min.

  • Belize 2011, 2.5min.

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