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Today's Belize News: January 22, 2016 #510949
01/22/16 05:51 AM
01/22/16 05:51 AM
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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

Letter to the Editor: Golf Cart is the way to go
Letter to the Editor: Congratulations to Victoria House and Ramon’s Village. Both resorts pick-up their guests from the airstrip by golf cart. Their stretched golf carts look very charming and tourists think golf cart services would be best fitting for our island. We can only wish that other resorts will jump on board and eventually golf cart taxi enterprises be started. That way a tourist friendly island flair would be coming back again. /s/ Wolfgang Wind

Five-a-side Football Tournament games dedicated to SPHS founder
Saturday, January 16th and Sunday, January 17th saw the fifth round of games for the San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSC) Five-a-side Football Tournament being played. As always football fanatics converged at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium to cheer on their favorite teams. This weekend’s game were extra special however, as all matches were played in honor of Mr. Fely, one of the founders of SPHS who recently passed away. Tournament organizer, Alex Noralez has also indicated that the remainder of the tournament will be dedicated to him. This week’s matches were quite exciting as each team seemed determined to win. Games on Saturday, January 16th commenced at 7PM. In the first match Haramouch FC defeated We Them Boys 4-2. Also in a 4-2 point match, Caye Caulker Boys defeated Boca Bombers, while Pro Divers FC managed to take victory over Victoria’s House FC in a 6-5 point game. In the last match of the night, Los Catrachos defeated E&L Boys in a 4-2 point game. There will be no games this weekend. For more information on the tournament, contact Noralez directly at 631-0711.

Belizean football player drafted in the MLS
Belize is once again in the international scene and this time it has to do with the world’s most popular sport, football. 23-year-old Belizean Michael Salazar was drafted last week by Impact Montreal in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Super draft held in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Salazar was 4th pick in the second round of the draft. This is a major accomplishment for any football player, and even more so for a Belizean player. Salazar was a member of the Belize ‘A’ Team that participated in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States, where he played as forward.

Supreme Court rules against Harvest Caye Project for breach in EIA protocol
The Harvest Caye Project is at a standstill after the Supreme Court ruled 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 in the Stann Creek District, due to a breach in EIA regulations. The decision was made on Wednesday, January 13th following a lawsuit filed by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) asking for revision of the development’s EIA. According to BTIA, the Government of Belize (GOB) approved the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) development without taking the proper steps required when considering a project of such magnitude.

Saga Night Fever brought the 70’s back to life
The San Pedro Saga Humane Society held a fun -filled fund-raiser at Casa Picasso Restaurant on Saturday, January 16th under the theme ‘Saga Night Fever.’ It was a 70’s Disco Party from 7 to 11PM, and for a fee/donation of $70, attendees enjoyed three hours of passed appetizers, cash bar, music from the 70’s, prizes for best 70’s dress-up, dance competition, instructional hustle dancing, raffles and even the ever-fabulous mirror ball on the ceiling. The event was a huge success with guests really getting into the 70’s spirit, enjoying nostalgic memories of that decade. A portion of all proceeds and 10% of the bar went to Saga. DJ Matt Hoy had the crowd dancing the night away, showing off their groovy 70’s dancing skills. At the end of the event there were even prizes issued to the best dancers and best-dressed. Joe and Sally Gillespie won the dancing contest as the ‘Pimps,’ while Mike and Ann showed the audience how you can make a cool outfit from a rug and Steve and Sue were selected as the winners for best dressed with their amazing 70’s outfits. The charity event also had a fabulous raffle with many happy winners. Congratulations to all.

Ambergris Today

New Flights Help Boost Belize’s Tourism in 2015
In 2015, the overnight tourism industry experienced many firsts and record breaking numbers which lead to an overall growth of 6.2% or 19,900 over 2014. Despite an unsteady first and second quarter, Belize had seven straight months of arrival increases; whereby, the bulk of the increases occurred in the last four months. September to December of 2015 showed record improvements with overnight arrivals increasing every month in comparison to last year’s figures. September had an increase of 19.3%, October 22.1%, November 33% and December 22.5% increase. November’s 33% increase is the largest ever recorded for this month, which rarely goes above a 10% increase. The month of December saw 39,977 overnight visitors to Belize, which is the first time in history that a month in overnight arrivals has approached 40,000.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Note the deadline is March 1st so better get started on your application ASAP!!!! Once again, Willamette MBA is offering Global Diversity Scholarships to qualified international applicants.

New Fulbright Scholar in Belize
After more than 10 years, the U.S. Embassy is proud to announce that there is a new Fulbright Scholar in Belize! Dr. Susan Catapano is working with the University of Belize to support early childhood and early primary teachers in earning teacher certification in Cayo, Corozal and Toledo Districts. In addition, Dr. Catapano will build on the work she has already started with co-authors in a book series that is currently forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield Press, "More Mirrors in the Classroom: Using Urban Children’s Literature to Increase Literacy," which is a theory-based book on the importance of using culturally relevant children’s literature to support the development of literacy skills, especially for diverse children living in urban settings. This is the first of a three-book series that will include volumes on the development and use of the classroom library to support literacy and a set of case studies of teachers using classroom libraries.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Spectre Bridge of Spies, Legend, Rock the Kasbah. Note that Spectre will start at 9:10.

Carnaval 2015, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye
CARNAVAL 2016 is on the way ... here is a look back at some pics from CARNAVAL 2015

“Bright Spot” for the Caribbean Leadership Project’s (CLP) Leadership Development Programme Workshop in Belize
The Small Business Development Centre Belize (SBDCBelize), BELTRAIDE hosted a delegation of regional officials and a member of the Caribbean Leadership Project on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, under the theme “leading through others”. The Caribbean Leadership Project is a seven year project funded by the government of Canada. One of the key components of the project is a multi-phased Leadership Development Programme (LDP) targeting the top three levels of leadership in the public sector in twelve participating countries and key regional institutions. The LDP alumni on the ground in Belize identified the Small Business Development Centre to be an outstanding example of adaptive leadership, in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment. The meeting took form of an interactive dialogue, where the challenges and successes associated with leading through others and the contributing factors which have led to the formation of effective partnerships between SBDCBelize and stakeholders was explored. After the meeting the alumni was invited to attend a small expo where clients of SBDCBelize displayed their products and services.

Live and Invest in Belize 2016
BELTRAIDE was invited to speak at the Belize edition of the Live and Invest Overseas 2016 conference held on January 20th, 2016 at the Ramada – Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City, Belize. The Live and Invest Overseas conference hosts attendees from the U.S. and Canada interested in learning more about the various benefits Belize has to offer as a retirement destination as well as a business hub in Latin America and the Caribbean. Today’s conference hosted over 120 participants that were able to learn more about the economy, investment opportunities and government incentives available to invest in Belize. Additionally, the conference hosts various presentations from a wide array of local and international speakers that provide further information on residency, taxes, bank accounts, corporations, holding structures, health insurance, real estate options and employment or entrepreneurial opportunities.

Head of the EU Delegation to Belize, Paola Amadei, Farewell Visit to Belize

Country wide tour starts in Corozal
Join McNab Design Ltd. and Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) for a Magazine Mixer as we present to you: The New Destination Belize! Corozal is the first stop on our countrywide tour. Join us Monday, January 25th Scotty's Bar and Grill - Corozal, Belize - See you there!

Mexico Entry Fee illegal
Yesterday, at a media luncheon held by the Mexican Embassy, Mexican Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Carlos Quensel Melendez was probed about the 75 pesos "express fee" being solicited and charged to Belizean travellers by Mexican Immigration to facilitate entry into Chetumal, where Belizeans flock on a daily basis for their number one shopping mall past-time. The so called express fee allows Belizean commuters and travelers who enter with their passports, to hold a stamped slip from the Mexican Immigration and procure a quick entry, saving themselves standing in the long queues. When asked if this was legal entry to Mexico because this is a big concern for Belizeans, who cross the border on a regular basis, according to H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez this practice is certainly illegal. H.E. Melendez further stated, "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." Any report can be made to the following numbers Belmopan 822-0406, 822-2480 and Belize City 223-1408, 2230193, email [email protected] or [email protected]

Cayo Television Network
If the website is any indication, Cayo has a great new provider of internet and television with the Cayo Television Network. Their main Cayo office is at 57 Joseph Andrews drive. "Cayo Television Network is a new cable(IPTV)/internet provider that Caribe Prospectors Ltd. introduced into the business market in March 2015. Cayo Television Network has taken advantage of the growing need for better, cheaper and higher quality cable/internet service within the Cayo District. The company’s goal is to establish itself as the high quality Cable/Internet Provider in Cayo District."

Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium 2016
The 14th BAAS starts on June 27th. This year's theme is Architecture in Maya Society, and if you'd like to present, and early registration starts at the end of March. It'll be held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.

Photography and the Light of Respect
Tony Rath | TEDxBelmopan. Using photography as a tool to explore the world, acclaimed nature photographer Tony Rath takes us on four journeys where photography helped him learn life lessons about respect. From bird hunting and whale kills in the Faroe Islands, to kayaking unexplored canyons and being mesmerized by a small grey rainforest bird in Belize, Tony Rath uses his spectacular imagery to shed light on the meaning of respect. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Channel 7

The Cubans Imprisoned In Belize Will Be Freed
For weeks we've been reporting on the 32 Cubans who are imprisoned at Hattieville. They're in a kind of legal limbo: they have no immigration status in Belize, and Cuba doesn't want them back. So even though they've served their time, they've been stuck in prison because government has nowhere else to put them. Well, tonight 7news has confirmed that has changed: Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse told us that as early as tomorrow, he will sign an instrument giving them their freedom. He said there is no need for the incarceration to continue and from a humanitarian point of view, they should be released. He added that once they are released, he expects that they would want to continue unto the US, which will accept over 7 thousand Cuban migrants who were stuck for months at the Costa Rica/Nicaragua border. The first 180 of them flew to El Salvador last week, where they boarded a bus bound for Mexico, and received transit visas to go to the US Border. Starting on February, there will be flights twice weekly.

A Historic First: PUP's Potential Leaders Will Debate
Cordel Hyde, Francis Fonseca and John Briceno will have a debate a week from tomorrow. It's a first for the candidates for leader of any mass party in Belize, and organizers say all three have agreed. So next Friday night at 7:30 at the Radisson, the three men are expected to answer questions form a still unknown panel, or pair, of moderators before what is called "an audience of invited guests." You at home are also invited to watch it live on Channel 7. And while the independent media will feed it into your house, other than that it's an all blue event and the coordinators are Glenn Tillett, Jose Coye, Carolyn Trench and Lloyd Jones, the latter three who are all former PUP candidates. More will be known about the first of its kind event when the organizers hold a press briefing tomorrow afternoon.

Heritage Bank Prepares For FCIB Asset Assimilation
In 6 business days, on the 29th January, First Caribbean International Bank will shutter its operations in Belize - and handover to Heritage Bank. It's a first of its kind transaction in Belize - where one bank is actually buying over the other's assets, not simply assuming its operations. That makes it exponentially more complex because First Caribbean customers - and there are thousands of them - have to wake up on Monday February first, and be able to seamlessly access all their services at the Heritage Bank. It's no small task and today the Managing Director of Heritage, Senator Steven Duncan told us how it's been going:... Jules Vasquez "How is it going here at Heritage Bank? What's the atmosphere like?" Hon. Steve Duncan, Managing Director, Heritage Bank: "Oh, it's very hectic. Everybody is running around, but I must need say that there is an atmosphere of togetherness. So on Friday 29th, First Caribbean will closed its doors at the end of the close of business and they will not reopen..."

A Titantic Blow For GOB Excesses
Today the judgement passed down on the 15th of January as it relates to compensation to Titan's security was finalized- and the judgement has left GOB with a hefty tab for recklessly following US dictates. How hefty? Well, the total in damages amounts to just under $9 million dollars! In September 2014 Titan's Securities, which operated at the Matalon building in Coney Drive, was raided by the FIU along with Government officials based on a massive US indictment for Securities fraud. Well the owners of Titan securities took the Government and the FIU to court to fight a constitutional claim. They submitted that their rights were breached in the manner in which their documents, computers, and information were seized.

Teenager Chopped/Robbed Of Vehicle By A Passenger
A teenager was almost chopped to death in Cotton Tree. Yesterday 18-year-old Jonathan Zetina was driving to Belmopan with three acquaintances when those same men held him up at gunpoint. They forced him to pull over near Cotton Tree Village, dragged him out of his car into some bushes and chopped him multiple times with a machete. Zetina received injuries to the head, neck and back and his middle and ring finger were severed. He somehow got away and his attackers drove off with his car. Zetina ran out to the highway and that's when he got help from a mechanic in the village. The mechanic then took him to the Roaring Creek police station. Police say that Zetina's mother was already at the station making a missing person's report when the mechanic brought him into the station. The teenager is now hospitalized at Medical Associates.

Accused Stepfather Rapist Criminally Charged
The man who tied up and raped his 12 year old stepdaughter twice, has been charged. The incidents happened at their Silk Grass home on January 14th and 15th. The little girl had just come home from school when he tied her hands, covered her face with a rag, held a knife at her throat and raped her. He raped her again the next day. To protect the child, we can't reveal the stepfather's name but the he has been charged with 2 counts of rape and has been remanded to the prison.

Dangriga Cops Made A Major Cocaine Bust
Southern cops found a substantial amount of crack cocaine hidden in a woman's tights. On Friday afternoon around 1:15 Dangriga police stopped a car near the 6 miles junction on the Hummingbird Highway. Officers asked the driver and 2 passengers - one of whom was a 41 year old woman, to get out of the car. They searched the vehicle and then took the woman to the police station where she was searched by a female police officer. 438 grams, or 1 pound of cocaine was found tucked under her tights. The woman, 41 year old Dangriga resident Amybelle Perez was charged with drug trafficking.

Cops Have No Suspects For Anne Swaney's Murder
Just about a week ago, American journalist Anne Swaney, was found dead n the Mopan River, and investigators, both from the Police Department and the Agents from FBI are no closer to solving her murder tonight. We've checked with the investigators from Benque and from the Police Press Office, but neither would confirm if police have shifted their focus away from Guatemalan fisherman, 24 year-old Victor Manuel Franco Menjivar as a main suspect. Viewers will remember that he was found illegally in the general area where she went missing. He's spending a 6 month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to illegal entry into Belize. But, while the police remain tight lipped, international press reports say that the investigators have started to looking in other directions for possible leads in this case. A news team from ABC 7 in Chicago, the media house where Swaney worked, has been in the country, and they've been following the story with great interest. Here is their story on the latest developments:

FOPREL: Improving Legislation Against Transnational Organized Crime
Right now, Michael Peyrefitte is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. And, by virtue of his post, that also puts him into a Central American organization made up of other House Speakers from the neighbouring Central American Governments. They work together to try to harmonize legislation in all these countries, such as in the areas of transnational organized crime. Today, Belizean Parliamentarians participated in a seminar where the organization, referred to as FOPREL, discussed proposed amendments to the money laundering and firearms trafficking laws. 7News was there for that presentation, and we spoke with the Speaker about the intended changes.: Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker, House of Representatives: "It's under the aegis of the Central American body known as FOPREL. Loosely translated in English, it means the Forum of Elected Presidents which essentially is the house speaker for each country in Central America and we get together from time to time to discuss issues. And very important to a part of the process is we come up with proposed legislation to strengthen the institutions in our different countries..."

Mexican Ambassador Discusses Bilateral Agreements
In July 2015 the Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington visited Mexico City where several agreements were signed to advance the bilateral relationship between both countries. At the media luncheon yesterday, Mexican Ambassador Carlos QUESNEL stressed the importance of working together to achieve practical outcomes from these agreements. H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "I want to express my recognition of Mr. Elrington's visit to Mexico last July. I think that represents a very important step towards the strengthening of the relationship between both countries and this step will also, I'm sure bring benefits for both countries and for both populations. What is next and what I have received instructions while I was in Mexico, I got really clear instructions that well now we have these legal frameworks that has already been updated. We are very proud of that. But now both countries, authorities from Belize and Mexico must work very hard to implement and to get actions, practical results and not only just sign for sign and we hope we get some practical results very soon."

Mexican Ambassador Excited About Tourism Talks
And while those are some of the agreements already finalized, there are several more bilateral agreements between the Governments of Mexico and Belize that aim towards advancing the tourism industry in both countries. One sector that is being explored is transportation. During his address the Mexican Ambassador expressed his enthusiasm to begin formal talks in that area: H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "And also started talks on the passenger and cargo transportation, tourism transportation. We would like to see more busses coming to Belize, but we would also like to see more busses going to Mexico. That will also help both countries in promoting especially tourism in both ways." As it is, only one Mexican bus line - ADO- travels to and from Belize. In the case of Belizean bus lines there are a few that travel across the border but they are only allowed as far as Chetumal. Now what's holding them back is the fact that Belizean buses don't meet Mexican road safety standards. The Ambassador discussed that too:..

How Is Heritage Bank Dealing With De-risking?
For months we've been reporting on the process called de-risking, where big US banks are cutting off their correspondent banking relationship with Belizean banks. For a small, local bank like Heritage - they've taken the full force of the blow - and recently, the Prime Minister said that even the banks that do their credit cards businesses might be cutting them off at the end of February. Today Managing Director of Heritage Steve Duncan told us that they will find a workaround:.. Hon. Steve Duncan, Managing Director, Heritage Bank: "It is correct that the bank who was processing for us the credit cards - the settlement bank specifically has indicated that they will no longer be able to it for us after February. I think they are doing it for the month of February and that's the last month. So between now and then we'll have to work out an alternative arrangement or revert to the manual process that VISA card and MASTER card make available to its members. So I don't think cards will come to a halt. I don't think that will happen. Even though the possibility exist, I don't think it will happen. Because well VISA and MASTER card they don't want to lose the business anyhow. Remember its business for them. So we will have a backup plan in place to help people in situations such as these."

Belizeans Convicted Of Stealing From US Government
4 Belizeans living in the US are awaiting their sentence from the US High Court after they were convicted of fraud in Las Vegas. Federal Investigators say that they all acted together to steal on $300,000 US in unemployment funds and other benefits from the US Government. US District Judge James Mahan presided over a 10-day trial in which Assistant US Attorney Gregory Damm presented evidence for the prosecution against the 4 defendants. They are 35 year-old Fredrick Williams, his sister, 27 year-old Jaqueline Louisa Gentle, his wife, 36 year-old Denise Williams, and his other sister, 40 year-old Carolyn Shemadine Willis-Casey. The prosecution's case was that the defendants used false identifies, falsified information on passport applications, and were dishonest in applications, all in an effort to steal federal benefits from multiple agencies, including the Departments of Labour, Agriculture, Education, Health, Human Services, and the Social Security Administration. The Federal jury heard evidence that their sustained dishonesty allowed them to get their hands over quarter million dollars of government funds.

New Lazy Lizard Boss Charged For Undersized Seafood
James Lynskey, an American National who now owns the Lazy Lizard restaurant and bar is making the news tonight. That's because according to the Fisheries Department, he bought undersized lobsters and conch. According to the Department, they conducted a raid at his business place and found 65 pieces of undersized lobsters and conch. They charged him with a fisheries offence, and rather than showing up to court himself, he sent his employee, Brian Perriott to appear on his behalf. Brian Perriott wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge when the case went before Magistrate Deborah Rogers today. The magistrate handed him a fine of $2,875 dollars which must be paid by March 20, 2016.

Farmer Max Says, Hon. "Gapi" Didn't Tell The Whole Truth
Last week the Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega responded to the San Carlos farmers who claimed that the imbalance in the carrot supply to the local market is as a result of the lack of cooperation on the part of a few farmers. The Minister's said some farmers have, quote, "attitude," and meaning that when the Ministry asks them about their carrot production they would respond by saying "it's none of your business." Earlier this week, our colleagues at CTV3 spoke to farmer Max Hernandez of San Carlos who said that is not so. Here is what he said. Max Hernandez - San Carlos Farmer: "How is he saying that we are not interested in giving information? That information is given every year. The area manager Frank Padron can tell you, he has supported us. We send them these reports every time we start production every year. We send these reports to Miss Loreni Balam, that I think is in charge of records." Reporter: "Is this the report in reference to the next production of Potatoes, and onions?" Max Hernandez - San Carlos Farmer: "Yes this is the report for potatoes and onions but we sent the report on carrots through Mr. Padron and Leonardo Eck a long time ago which reminded them of the upcoming crop season..."

Bze City Hurricanes Make Their Debut in NEBL
The National Elite Basketball League's Season 3 got underway last week - and tomorrow night the Belize Hurricanes will make their home court debut. The team from the country's largest population center is hoping to win it all this season and to do that their club president says they are evolving their style of play:.. The game is on Friday night at 7:30 at the Belize Elementary School Gym.

Channel 5

Relocation Has Artisans Up In Arms on La Isla Bonita
Tourism is the main industry on the island of San Pedro and among the top revenue generators for the country. Residents on the prime tourism destination depend on it for [...]

4 Belizeans Convicted of Mail Fraud in Las Vegas
Belize has been in the news for all sorts of wrong reasons lately – from murder to fraud. The Las Vegas Review Journal is today reporting the conviction of four [...]

Jonathan Zetina Viciously Attacked with Machete Near Belmopan
Of the ten murders so far reported in 2016, five have been terrible deaths from wounds inflicted by machetes or knives. Tonight one youth is lucky to escape being a [...]

Will There Be a P.U.P. Leadership Debate?
Three days before a national convention to be held in Belmopan, Francis Fonseca, John Briceño and Cordel Hyde, the three men who want to be leader of the P.U.P., will [...]

FOPREL Meets in Belize to Discuss Regional Issues
A meeting of high level policymakers is taking place in Belize to discuss ways to tighten up on money laundering, human trafficking and private security, which are perennial issues in [...]

Proposed Legislation for Human Trafficking and Money Laundering
The proliferation of guns and ammunition into the country is forcing lawmakers to take a critical look at existing measures, as well as alternative means of dealing with persons found [...]

Titans Awarded Millions in Damages or Unlawful Raid
The Government of Belize has been ordered to shell out a total of four and a half million U.S. dollars to Titan International Securities after losing a major case in [...]

COLA Says PM Barrow is Singing a New Cruise Port Sankey
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has gone on record recently to state that he is considering a proposal for a cruise ship harbor in Port Loyola, should a feasibility study indicate [...]

Is Another EIA Necessary for Cruise Port in Port Loyola?
According to President Geovanni Brackett, the initial assessment to determine the feasibility of a cruise port in the designated area was done with smaller ships in mind.  With the advent [...]

2 New Patrol Boats for National Coast Guard
The Belize National Coast Guard, along with growing its strength in numbers, is also looking to expand its fleet of naval vessels.  On Wednesday, it was announced that the maritime [...]

Fisheries Offenses: Business Owners Charged for Undersized Lobsters
A U.S. businessman who is the owner of The Split, a restaurant located on Caye Caulker, could not make it to court but sent an employee to enter a guilty [...]

What’s up with Dengue in Belize?
Later on in the newscast in our Healthy Living segment, we’ll be taking a comprehensive look at vector-borne illnesses including Zika. Every year, the vector control unit of the Ministry [...]

Project Hope Belize Gifts Prosthetic Leg to Ricky Cunil
An outstanding young man from Benque Viejo del Carmen has received an extraordinary gift through an organization called Project Hope Belize and the Community Policing Unit in San Ignacio. Ricky [...]

Orthopedic Clinic Set for this Weekend in Belize City
This weekend at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital the annual orthopedic clinic of the World Pediatric Project will take place.  Every year, some eighty patients are seen at the clinics [...]

Archeologists Uncover New Maya City in Honduras
The country of Belize is dotted with Mayan monuments, but historians are yet to conclude on the number of ancient cities that existed during the Maya civilization. Today, there is [...]

Healthy Living: Is Belize Zika-ready?
It would be hard to miss, if you follow local or international news, that much of our region is in a “Zika-panic.” The mosquito transmitted infection has prompted travel warnings [...]


Vehicle Hijack Leaves Teenager with Chop Wounds and Severed Digits
Police are investigating an incident in which an eighteen year old was chopped and his vehicle stolen. According to reports, the teenager was driving to Belmopan when he was attacked by one of his passengers and forced to pull off the road. He was taken into the nearby bushes where he was chopped to the […]

Belizean Siblings Convicted in Nevada for Multiple Felonies
Several siblings of a Belizean family that migrated to the United States are facing prison time after a federal jury in Las Vegas, Nevada found the one brother, his wife and two sisters guilty of multiple felonies. 35-year-old, Frederick Williams and his sister 27-year-old, Jacqueline Gentle were convicted in a US District courtroom on Friday, […]

Names of Officers Suspected in Facilitating Nanes Schnitzer Sent to PSC
The granting of bail to David Nanes Schnitzer made headlines both at home and abroad since he was wanted by the Mexican and the US authorities. Once released from prison, Nanes Schnitizer made good his escape and did not bother to adhere to his bail conditions. Up to date, he remains on the lam from […]

Lands Department – Fully Functional Says Hulse
For some weeks now we have been hearing from several corners that the Lands Department has not been fully operational and that new applications were not being processed. It has been just over two months since the department changed hands with Minister Godwin Hulse now at the helm of natural resources. Love News met up […]

Central America’s Legislators and Speakers Convene in Belize
Senators from Belize and members of the Forum of Presiding Officers of Parliament of Central America and the Caribbean Basin (FOPREL) which consist of the House Speakers from each country in Central America met today in Belize. The meeting was to constitute proposed legislations to strengthen institutions in the countries involved. House Speaker of Belize, […]

Ambassador Amadei on Final Tour of Duty in Belize
Head of the European Union Delegation to Belize, Paola Amadei, is in Belize on the final tour of duty in that capacity. During the visit she is expected to meet with senior representatives from the Government and Diplomatic Corps as well as call on Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young. Ambassador Amadei has initiated […]

Hunting Caye Base for BCG to Be Completed in 2016 Fiscal Year
Yesterday we told you of the near-ten million dollar budget allocated for the Belize Coast Guard in 2015. We have also told you of the progress they have made since its inception in 2005 and we have highlighted some of their accomplishments in 2015. As for the works in progress, Admiral John Borland, who heads […]

A Decade Later … BCG Gets Regulations for Internal Affairs
While the Belize Police Department and the Belize Defense Force fall under the Public Service, they are managed and disciplined by their very own regulations thus making any infraction liable for immediate repercussions. Although the Belize Coast Guard has been in existence for a little over ten years now, Admiral Borland says they are only […]

Coast Guard Admiral Aims for Much in 2016
Yesterday we brought you the accomplishments of the Belize Coast Guard for 2015. At the start of last year there were some goals that the BCG did not achieve in 2015. Despite that, however, Admiral Borland says that he anticipates that in 2016 they will achieve even more. JOHN BORLAND “There are several things. First […]

Youth Ambassador from Jamaica in Belize for Youth Leaders’ Forum
A part of the vision of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council is for institutional strengthening and capacity building of National youth councils in the region. Belize is holding their first ever National Youth Council District elections that will ultimately make up the National Youth Council of Belize. Representatives of youth groups that have been registered […]


12 year old raped by stepfather
A 12 year old girl has reported being raped by her step father. On January 18, a 12-year-old female accompanied by her uncle reported to Dangriga police that on January 14 at around 3:30 p.m. ,after coming from school, her stepfather pulled her in a bungalow house, tied both her hands to the back, c...

San Pedro cop walks free from extortion charge
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 she does not want any further court action. T...

WRH works on improvements following 2015 negative publicity
In 2015, the Western Regional Hospital received some negative publicity after a rat was found in a newborn’s incubator and a nurse was bitten by a snake on the hospital grounds. The Ministry of Health and hospital administration assured the public that though the hospital building is old and run dow...

Local emergency workers benefit from training by U.S. doctors
Going into its third year, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) has enjoyed a partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin, based in Milwaukee, and a team of emergency physicians headed by Dr. Mark Bruce of Brookfield, Wisconsin. This team regularly visits Belize to train their emergency p...

Mexican Ambassador to Belize discusses issues with Belizean media
Today, January 20, 2016, the Belizean media met for a business lunch session with the Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, His Excellency, Carlos Quesnel Melendez, and his entourage. The Ambassador has been working in Belize for a little bit over a year . Today, the media asked about several pressing st...

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 ass...

Belize City fishermen harvest shrimp near shore
While a few may balk at the cooler weather that has prevailed over the last few days, the recent cold front is welcomed by many; we even have a name for these cold fronts, “together weather”. But today, Plusnews found another group of people that are very pleased with the weather conditi...

Re: Today's Belize News: January 22, 2016 [Re: Marty] #510950
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The Guardian

PUP’s convention most expensive ever, delegates paid $3,000 for a vote
The United Democratic party has received a copy of the list of the delegates and the alternates who will be able to vote at their upcoming national convention. And while the UDP has gotten the list, our information suggests that not all the candidates have been able to get their hands on the list. That is because those who have access to the list and who are responsible to ensure that it is given to all those running, have chosen to keep it and share it with only one of the candidates. This decision has caused great animosity between the candidates who were left out and the PUP’s secretariat which is being accused of playing favorite with only one of the candidates. Even as that is taking place however, the secretariat has been blatant in their disrespect to the two candidates so much so that while they have not gotten the list, it has been made available to us at the UDP.

Agriculture Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega says Guyana does not have problem with Belize not importing rice
In an interview with the media upon arrival to Belize from Guyana, Honorable Vega elaborated, “We thought that due to present circumstances with the rice, it was just proper for us to go and 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 discussed 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.” When pressed if the Guyanese felt slighted by Belize’s refusal to import the Guyanese rice Honorable Vega said, “By no means. In fact they can recall that when we imported early 2014 we had to go through that process to ensure that the supplier was complying with food security that the food was safe enough for us to import and in this case we needed to ensure the viability of our rice industry. We discussed that in detail and we even discussed that we must look for a way forward in ensuring the food security.”

Debate of three dead horses – questions for the candidates
In a time when the nation is ordering the People’s United Party to reform and rebuild, they present us with Francis Fonseca, Johnny Briceno and Cordel Hyde as their candidates for PUP Party Leader. This field of candidates causes one to reflect on the words of the forgotten Henry Cate VII, “The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.” This is a scary field of candidates because one of these three men, on January 31, will immediately inherit no less than a 41 percent chance of becoming the next Prime Minister of Belize (based on PUP’s worst General Elections performance to date-2008). These three men have agreed to a debate, if one can believe anything Glenn Tillett says, tentatively set for January 28. Their biggest hurdle, in getting Belizeans to support their candidacy, is convincing the masses that they are an agent of change for the PUP.

Papa” Mena in touch and staying on top of things
When the Hon. Frank “Papa” Mena was looking for a place for one of his weekly visits, he chose the Agriculture and Natural Resources Institute (ANRI) in his own backyard.The former Jesuit-run Lynam Agricultural College opened its doors in 1953 to become one of the most respected international agricultural institutions in Central America. Lynam has experienced some good and bad times. It went from educating and producing some of the best leaders in Belize and the region for close to 30 years, to housing some of the criminal minds as a maximum security prison in the mid 70’s. It was reopened as an educational institution in 1994 at the determination of then Minister of Agriculture Hon. Russell “Chiste” Garcia. The school is presently home to a student body of 85 in the pristine hills of the Stann Creek Valley. Even though the campaigning for office is over; the work continues for the best is yet to come. Minister Mena has been on a whirlwind tour of several organizations and establishments in the relatively short time he has been a member of parliament.

CRC Ambassadors: The continued commitment and progression towards championing children rights
The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) was launched in 1994 as the major advisory body to the government on families and children issues. Some five years later, NCFC status was change to a statutory body, giving NCFC more power to further advocate for children rights and legal reform. Since then, NCFC is mandated with promoting, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), advocating for government to meet its obligation as a signatory to the convention, advocating for the adoption and implementation of positive policies for families and children, and coordinating and promoting activities and child centered development programs that focus on the rights and participation of all children.

Caricom’s Community Council meets to prepare for heads of government meeting in Belize
Holding chairmanship of CARICOM, Belize will be hosting the upcoming heads of government meeting in Placencia in the middle of February. As preparatory work is taking place for that meeting and in order to set an agenda for it the 37th meeting of the community council of ministers was held in Guayana on January 15th. Chairing the meeting was Hon. Wilfred Elrington who explained that the meetings being held next month is important to give the region a common voice. For his part CARICOM’s Secretary General Irvin LaRocque explained that high on the agenda for the heads of government will be the issues of climate change and correspondent banking as well as foreign policy issues. In the interview after the meeting of the community council Hon. Elrington noted that Belize is looking forward to hosting the heads of governments of CARICOM and stated that it is going to be the first time that many of the heads of state will visit Belize but that it should be something that should be more routine.

A community agenda to solve crime in Cayo
With its continued commitment for proactive policing, San Ignacio Police launched a “Meet & Greet” activity with residents from the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena last Friday. Members of the Community Oriented Policing Program COPP as well as other staff members from the San Ignacio Police Formation fanned out to different police zones in the afternoon to meet residents on a face to face basis as well as to take a standard survey on the community’s perceptions regarding police performance. Officer in Charge of San Ignacio Police who also oversees the Benque and Belmopan Formations, Andrew Ramirez, told police officers last Friday that the community policing was the Police Department’s direction in resolving the crime problem. Police Officers like Henry Lemus then took his turn along with other colleagues to visit Zone One with intention to return by 4:00 pm that evening.

What are the CCJ ordered Maya Land Rights?
The Maya Land Rights Commission is getting set to open its office in Punta Gorda and plans to hold consultations throughout the Toledo District shortly after. The Caribbean Court of Justice has affirmed that the Maya people of villages in the Toledo District have rights to property based on customary land tenure. The court handed down a consent order that for some appears to be ambiguous. The order did nothing to explain what property exactly are the Maya people entitled to or which exact group of people are entitled to such right. The order seems to have left more questions than answers and where answers are not available the interested parties have inserted their own. However, according to Indigenous Affairs expert, Queen Counsel Anthony Ross, there isn’t cause for confusion in regards to the consent order handed down by the CCJ. Ross says, “The order of the Caribbean Court of Justice is quite clear.” The Commission’s role is to explain to the Belizean people the points in the consent order issued by the Caribbean Court of Justice on Maya land rights; gather information on the desires of Maya people in Toledo villages; include feedback from other residents of the area and make recommendations to Government for the execution of the consent order. Government has until April 30 to report its progress to the Court.

The Homework Revolution
A young girl sits at her desk, reviewing her homework assignments for the evening. English: read three chapters and write a journal response. Math: complete 30 problems, showing all work. Science: do a worksheet, front and back. French: study vocabulary for tomorrow’s test. It’s going to be a long night. This describes a typical weeknight for students across the country. Now is the time to start a homework revolution. Do students receive too much homework? It is often times recommended that students should be assigned no more than 10 minutes per grade level per night. For example, a first grader should only have 10 minutes of homework, a second grader, 20 minutes, and so on. Yet this is often doubled, sometimes even tripled. There are negatives to overloading students. Have you ever heard of a child getting sick because of homework? Today it can be noticed that kids are developing more school-related stomachaches, headaches, sleep problems, and depression than ever before. The average student is glued to his or her desk for almost seven hours a day. Add two to four hours of homework each night, and they are working a 45- to 55-hour week. A student who receives excessive homework will miss out on active playtime, essential for learning social skills, proper brain development, and warding off childhood obesity.

American Journalist found dead in Cayo
Anne Swaney, a Journalist working for ABC 7 online operations in the United States was found lifeless by Benque Viejo Police at about 8:15 am on Friday morning of this past week; face down in the Mopan River in a remote location near the property of the Nabitunich Farm Resort at the outskirts of Succotz Village. (Nabitunich is located between mile 71 and 72 on the George Price Highway.) Police believe that she had also been sexually violated as she was partially nude. The body of Swaney was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where the doctor on duty pronounced it dead on arrival. A post mortem examination that was conducted on the body has confirmed that the American National from Chicago died as a result of asphyxia due to compression to the neck area. The main examiner, Doctor Leyden Ken, also reported that the 39 year old died as a result of traumatic injuries (blunt force) to the head and neck region.

18 defendants in court for Abou Nehra’s home invasion
The Belize City Magistrates Court was crowded on Thursday, January 14, but not with spectators. There were a total of 18 individuals appearing in court in connection with one incident, the home invasion of Lebanon’s Honorary Consul, Sarkis Abou Nehra. His Excellency Sarkis Bou Nehra was out of the country when his home was invaded by armed gunmen on Thursday, December 3. According to police, Tyrone Meighan, Brandon Baptist, John Grinage, Jerson Grinage, Sheldon Grinage, Randolph Coleman and others forced themselves into Bou Nehra’s residence. Police say they held the caretaker of the property at gunpoint and forced him into the main residence. The men then proceeded to steal three 9 mm pistols, one 12 gauge shotgun, one .22 rifle and one Pietrro Berreta Single Action Shotgun. They also made off with an assortment of jewelry, one black DVR player, one leopard styled Diane Von Fursteinberg purse, a collection of alcoholic beverages, additional items and $11,500 cash. During the home invasion, the wife of the caretaker was raped by one of the robbers. Adding insult to injury, her blue Alcatel cellular phone and $388 cash was also taken away.

Fatal traffic accident in San Ignacio
Residents in San Ignacio are still reeling from a fatal traffic accident in which a Corozal resident sacrificed his life to avert further disaster. On Tuesday, January 12, 2016 about 4:50 pm, acting on information received of a fatal traffic accident in San Ignacio Town, San Ignacio Police visited a scene situated on Benque Road, near St. Gabriel Medical Center, where Police observed a blue Freightliner Truck bearing license plate number CZL A-00153 with its front portion down a hill and off the right shoulder of the road. Attached to the truck was a trailer with license plate CZL A-0375. Also observed was a male person of dark complexion and Hispanic descent trapped between the rear right wheel of the truck and the hill, motionless bleeding from the neck, shoulder and face. Initial investigation has revealed that 47 year old David Dominguez, a Belizean Truck Driver of San Jose, San Pablo Village, Orange Walk District, was driving the blue Freightliner truck on Benque Road, travelling from South to North, in the direction from Benque Viejo Town towards the Hawkesworth bridge and at the time he was accompanied by 20 year old Christopher Usher.

Bradley Paumen accused of ordering a hit is out on bail
American businessman, Bradley Paumen, has been released on bail of $50,000 plus one surety of the same amount after he was arraigned in the Supreme Court for allegedly ordering a hit on four individuals. Paumen was represented by Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold when he appeared before Justice Antoinette Moore on Thursday, January 14. Paumen is facing charges of abetment to commit murder and the Director of Public Prosecutions raised strong objections to bail. Cheryl-Lynn Vidal argued passionately that Paumen should be remanded because he is a flight risk. Vidal also informed Justice Moore that Paumen is expected to be levied with additional charges in connection to the same matter. Arnold said the question as it relates to bail is whether or not the defendant will appear in court on dates set by the court. He argued that bail is a right and that a person is presumed innocent until proven otherwise and that his client is a nationalized Belizean with financial ties to the country.

Keyren Tzib back in court
Former Coast Guard officer, Keyren Tzib, was back in court on Thursday, January 14, for the attempted murder of her comrade, Kurt Hyde. Tzib walked into court on her own free will since she has been out on bail since December 23. Tzib allegedly shot her colleague in the face while on the way back from a mission. She is being represented by attorney Darell Bradley who was expecting disclosure to be provided at the court appearance. However, Bradley was informed by the court prosecutor, Inspector Egbert Castillo, that the case file was still at the DPP’s office so disclosure could not be provided in the attempted murder case. Since Tzib was already before the court, the prosecutor went ahead and provided disclosure to her for another offense. She was given disclosure for the charge of manslaughter upon her common-law-husband, Thythus Blancaneaux.

Kraal Road FC to face Uprising FC in Peace Cup finals
The Conscious Youth Development Programme Peace Cup Tournament is fast coming to an end at the MCC Grounds. On Sunday 17 January, 2016, in game one of the semi-final Round played, Uprising FC and Kelly Street FC played to a 1-1 draw at the end of the regulation time to send the game into overtime. In regulation time, the goal for Uprising FC was scored by Francis Briceno while for Kelly Street FC the goal was scored by Steven Baizar. In overtime, Uprising FC was able to eliminate Kelly Street when Harold Thompson scored the winning goal that gave his team the 2-1 victory and the first finalist spot in the championship game. In the second game of the afternoon, Kraal Road continued on its winning path when in eliminated Tut Bay FC by the score of 4-1.

What did the CCJ consent order say?
BY CONSENT IT IS ORDERED AND DECLARED THAT: 1. The judgment of the Court of Appeal of Belize is affirmed insofar as it holds that Maya customary land tenure exists in the Maya villages in the Toledo District and gives rise to collective and individual property rights within the meaning of sections 3(d) and 17 of the Belize Constitution. 2. The Court accepts the undertaking of the Government to adopt affirmative measures to identify and protect the rights of the Appellants arising from Maya customary tenure, in conformity with the constitutional protection of property and non-discrimination in sections 3, 3(d), 16 and 17 of the Belize Constitution. 3. In order to achieve the objective of paragraph 2, the Court accepts the undertaking of the Government to, in consultation with the Maya people or their representatives, develop the legislative, administrative and/or other measures necessary to create an effective mechanism to identify and protect the property and other rights arising from Maya customary land tenure, in accordance with Maya customary laws and land tenure practices.

$$$ Cordel Hyde to Determine Next PUP Leader $$$
The People’s United Party’s national convention is two days after the movie “50 Shades of Black” debuts in theatres across the world. Appropriate because it has long been established that the most charismatic candidate in the leadership race of the party is at least that many shades too black to even mount a serious challenge against the other two challengers. Both Francis Fonseca and John Briceno are already proven losers. They have both had a chance to lead the PUP and both have failed miserably. Even worse, both of them have already resigned from the job after realizing they were not up to the challenge. Despite these individual’s poor public service and leadership record, they are the only candidates with a chance to win. For Cordel Hyde, the die has been cast – not dye – and there will be no dark horse in this race. Even those close to Cordel’s camp admit that the chance of victory for him are somewhere between zero and nil. Why then is he running such a laborious campaign?

Paumen’s Dark Knight in trouble
American-Belizean businessman Bradley Paumen is out on bail for allegedly setting a hit on American-Iranian Faroud Michael Modiri and three others. While the prosecution objected to bail on the grounds that he is a flight risk, Paumen’s defense was that he has significant business ties to the country and has no plans to leave. One of those businesses is Dark Night Cave Tubing which operates at Nohoch Che’en National Park. Unfortunately for Paumen, it appears that even his business is now in trouble. That is because Dark Knight started the year without a valid tour operator’s license and despite warnings and cease and desist orders from the authorities the firm continued to operate as normal. This blatant disregard for rules and regulation may result in penalties against Dark Night. The Belize Tourism Board is under sustained pressure from small Belizean tour operators to ensure that huge foreign owned agencies are held in compliance with national regulations. Speaking on Paumen’s legal and operational troubles, Tom Greenwood, President of the local tour operators association (FECTAB), said, “The concept too often is seen on the ground, that if you are a local you get hammered and if you are a foreigner you get kissed on the cheek and forgiven or allowed to continue. That has to stop!”

Not even Emeritus?
Before Friday, January 15, 2016 most of us Belizeans and certainly us over this side of the political spectrum, would have sworn that the one thing that UNITES all People’s United Party members as one was their complete adoration and reverence for George Price. That however appears to have been thrown out the door as soon as the present leadership convention was called. As usual on January 15, every year since his death, a short wreath laying ceremony, is held at his grave site, to mark George Price’s birthday and thus pay respect to his memory. At this event, prayers are said, a few speeches are given and a few wreaths are then placed on his tomb at the conclusion of the National Anthem which is sung, pleasantries are exchanged by those present. They would then leave the cemetery usually charged up and unified. As if though they had just lifted a PUP Love Fest.

Fatal accident on old Northern Highway
The family of 19 year-old Maykon Divas, a resident from Lucky Strike Village on the Old Northern Highway, is mourning his loss after he was killed in a head-on collision between his motorcycle and a Toyota Landcruiser. It happened near mile 25 on the winding highway, on Saturday, January 16, at around 2 p.m. He was on his black Meilun motorcycle when he slammed into the vehicle being driven at the time by 47 year-old Joan Crooks. She was taking 4 passengers to Altun Ha when it happened, and the crash flung Divas to the side of the road, where he suffered massive head and body injuries. He died shortly after on the scene. Police are investigating what is the cause of the accident, and who was at fault. Try to ensure that there is no recurrence, Eastern Division Rural Police intend to place highway patrols in the area. The hope is that with a police presence to monitor the highway, motorists will be less likely to speed along a very dangerous stretch of road.

Guatemalan woman missing believed to be in Belize
A resident of Guatemala has complained that his mother has gone missing in Belize. Alexander Enrique Garcia Giron, a 19 year old Guatemalan store keeper residing at Suchitan Melchor De Mencos, Guatemala, reported to Benque Viejo police on Monday that his mother Lidia Giron, 39 year old Guatemalan, had left home enroute to a banana farm #16 in the Cow Pen Area, Stann Creek District. At that location she was to meet with a male person whose nickname he only know as “EL NICA”. She was last seen wearing a black blouse, sky blue color long jeans pants and a black sandals. She is of clear complexion, brown eyes has reddish straight hair and had a tattoo on one of her legs with the name ‘HUMBERTO.” Lidia Giron has small nose, round face, medium built, measures about 5 feet 9 inches in height and had in possession a sky-blue and yellow in color bag with a Winnie the Pooh design. The last time Alexander Giron had communicated with his mother was at 5:30 am on January 8, 2016 when she was in San Ignacio Town.

Jayear Flores remanded for armed robbery
Eighteen-year-old Jayear Flores of Currasow Street is at the Belize Central prison on remand after he was charged for robbing businessman, Kemuel Marchand, 32. In a report to police, Marchand of #3 Calle Al Mar Street in Belize City told police that sometime around 1:30p.m. on Thursday, January 14, he was inside Small Entrepreneur Business, at #69 Vernon Street, when two males entered the store. One of the men was armed with a handgun. He pointed the firearm at Carla Flowers and held her around the neck with his other hand. The gunman then walked up to him, pointed the gun at him and ordered him to lie down with his face towards the ground. The gunman then searched his right rear pocket and stole his wallet. He then went after the cash register but found nothing inside and that was when they left the store. Police were called to the scene and a quick investigation led to the arrest of Flores who was picked out by Marchand in an identification parade.

Jealousy leads to murder in Indian Creek
Orange Walk Police are on the hunt for 58 year old Salvadoran Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez, known as “Chile”, who is believed to be a flight risk. He is wanted for questioning in the murder of 51 year-old Guatemalan Francisco Arrevalo which happened in the very remote village of Indian Church in the Orange Walk District. At around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 17, police found Arrevalo’s nude body near an unfinished concrete house, which is located at the entrance of the village. Someone had chopped him in the back of the head, and to the left hand, which was partially severed. He was last seen alive the night before at around 7:30 p.m. at his house. At this time, police suspect that he may have been lured to this location by a Guatemalan woman he was having an intimate relationship with. Once there, the killer is believed to have attacked Arrevalo, killing him, after which time, the assailant fled. The motive at this time is believed to be a dispute with another man over this very same woman he was involved with.

Machete and knives weapons of choice in two murders
Forty Eight year-old Honduran Jose Alfredo Villeda continues to receive treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for extensive stab and chop wounds he suffered at his home in San Pedro. He’s under police guard and as soon as he has recovered from his injuries, he will be investigated for the killing of his friend, 35 year-old Guatemalan Sergio Uribio. Police investigations at this time are that both men were socializing at Villeda’s apartment in the San Pedrito area of the island. It is believed that they were drinking, and somehow, they ended up in an argument, which escalated to a knife and machete fight. Investigators believe that the deceased, Sergio Uribio, struck first, and he was the one who pulled a knife and stabbed Villeda. The machete was pulled shortly after, and in the aftermath of the fight, Uribio laid dead in the apartment from a stab wound to the left side of the neck, and left arm. Villeda had to be rushed via air transport to the Karl Heusner after he had suffered a cut wound to the right side of his face, another to the left knee, the right leg, and the left lower leg. His left wrist was partially chopped off, and a portion of his left pinky finger had been completely severed.

Holy Redeemer School boys’ win in primary schools basketball competition
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball competition continued on Monday 18 January, 2016, at Bird’s Isle with five games on the schedule. In the girls’ competition games played, St. Martin De Porres School won over Muslim Community School by the score of 13-6. The top scorer for St. Martin De Porres was Shantel Flowers with 11 points while the top scorer for Muslim Community School was Bonnie Udoye with 4 points. In game two, Wesley Upper School defeated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 7-0. The top scorers for Wesley Upper School were Leandra Bainton with 4 points and Jada Gillett with 3 points. And in the final game in the girls’ competition for the day, Belize Elementary School won over Bethel Primary School by the score of 13-4. The top scorers for Belize Elementary School were Kelly Liu with 5 points and Sanna Rowland and Rianna Chebat with 4 points each.

Belize to host CADICA Championship in February
The Belize Athletics Association informs the general public that the Belize Athletics Association will be hosting the 10th Central American Cross Country Championship in Athletics. The championship is being sponsored by the Central American Track and Field Organisation (CADICA). The championship is scheduled for Saturday 20th February, 2016, at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District. It is anticipated that the championship will bring together some 125 cross country athletes and officials from all seven Central American countries. The Belize Athletics Association will be holding a national competition on Saturday 30th January 2016 to select the athletes that will represent the country. The Competition will be held at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village.

Wesley College males and St. Catherine Academy leads high school football competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC Grounds with a number of games during the course of this week and last week. On Tuesday 19 January, 2016, in the male competition, Anglican Cathedral College routed Belize High School by the score of 9-0. The goals for Anglican Cathedral College were scored by Trevaun Rhaburn (2), Herman Card (2), Christian Ancona (2), Darrell Flowers (2) and Kenroy Daly. The only Red Card of the game was issued to Anglican Cathedral’s Shaquille Matute. On Monday 18 January, in the female competition, St. Catherine Academy blanked Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 1-0. The lone goal of the game was scored by Renisha Martinez.

National Elite Basketball League 2016 season opens
The 2016 Season for the National Elite Basketball League opened on Saturday 16 January, with three games across the country. At the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan, the visiting Smart Belize Hurricanes edged out the host team the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 75-71. The top scorers for the visiting Smart Belize Hurricanes were Jacob Leslie with 29 points, and 4 steals, Darwin Leslie with 12 points, 1 rebound and 4 assists, Farron Louriano also with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals and Brian White who also scored 12 points, and 8 rebounds. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Jarrel Velasquez with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist, Geovanie Lennan with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal and Kyle Pascascio also with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist. The competition will continue this coming weekend with five games on the schedule.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Temperatures will drop over the weekend in Belize as cold front passes
Belizeans are advised to get their sweaters and warm pants out this weekend as the cold temperatures return. Forecaster at the Belize Meteorological Service, Ronald Gordon, says temperatures will start to fall Friday night through to Saturday morning. The temperatures are expected to drop to […]

Major improvements for Hopkins and Punta Gorda
Earlier today, a newly upgraded market was inaugurated and opened in Punta Gorda (PG) town, with the presence of Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Belize, Ambassador Paola Amadei, who also inaugurated Hopkins’ upgraded road during her final visit as […]

Cuban migrants arrive in the United States
Fifty Cubans are in the United States after leaving Costa Rica where they were stranded for many weeks. Fox News Latino reports that the group of 50 left the Mexican Border on Saturday in a bus chartered by South Florida television station, America Teve. […]

Restauranteur caught with undersized lobster
Caye Caulker businesswoman Suyapa Saldivar, 52, has pleaded guilty to possession of undersized lobsters found at her restaurant Sobre Las Olas on Front Street in Caye Caulker. The restaurant owner was busted with ten pounds of the crustacean and on pleading guilty in court today […]

Busy weekend sports activities kick off on Saturday
Belize’s Premier Football League kicks off its season this Saturday with two games being played at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan City and at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, both starting at 7:30 p.m. In Belmopan, Police United FC will face off […]

Belizeans in Las Vegas convicted of Government fraud
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a Belizean family has been convicted of multiple felonies by a federal jury for using false identities to steal close to 300 thousand US dollars in unemployment funds and other government benefits. Frederick Vernon Williams, 35; his sister […]

Belize Defense Force Helicopters Are Here, But Not Assembled
Courtesy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Belize Defence Force (BDF) has acquired a pair of UH1H Huey helicopters to be used in building air support for the national army. But they cannot be used just yet; the aircraft are not fully assembled […]

Belize shines bright on Trip Advisor’s list of best resorts
Belize is once again gaining international recognition for its world class resorts! TripAdvisor just released its list of the 25 best hotels in all of Central America and 4 hotels from Belize have made it into the top 20, with two in the top 10! […]

Cayo cops meet with the community
Officers Commanding (O.C) the San Ignacio and Benque Viejo Police Formations, took to the streets last week Friday, January 15th, to launch their weekly meet and greet with the public in their respective municipalities, during which they got feedback and heard concerns. O.C of […]

Ladyville teen chopped up
Last night around 7:35 p.m., while 34-year-old Jordana Frusto of Ladyville village, Belize District was reporting her son, 18-year-old Jonathan Zetina missing at the police station, a pickup truck driven by John Olivera, dropped off the teenager who was seen bleeding from cut wounds. Olivera told […]

Gradual improvement expected over next 24-36 hours before another cold front
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies tonight with sunny breaks tomorrow. Showers will be generally isolated, except for a few over central areas tonight and tomorrow morning. Winds will be blowing from the Northeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures tonight are expected around […]


A Fundraiser, Lots of New Building and My First Scoupon!
As the east coast and much of the US (and I’m SURE Canada – but we only get US tv) is shivering away, the cold front has dipped as low as Belize. Which so far has meant the sweatshirts are out in the evening and the morning and the temperature is in the 70s. Boo hoo…I know. Few are shedding tears for us – probably because you know they will freeze to your cheeks. Things have been warming up since mid-week but Saturday, SATURDAY! another front arrives, and highs will be in the low 70s! Or at least that is what’s predicted. Here is what else is going on in San Pedro town. I posted about the music, a food truck and more just a few days ago. Here are some additional things that I saw while I was walking about yesterday afternoon… I stopped into RubiMoon to thank Anke for giving me the boost to enter the contest to go to Kerala, India. The tour starts February 15! And the store looked gorgeous…TOTALLY got me into the mood…especially on a grey afternoon. They’ve also decided to give a 15% discount on their website if you mention SCOOP. I am working on changing their advertisement on my site. But until then, take a look. They have beautiful things and…well…this is my very first SCOUPON. Rubimoon Boutique.

1. Vibrant Colors: Anyone who knows me even a smidgen has noticed that I absolutely adore bold, vibrant colors. In this regard, I fit right into Belize, where boldly-colored houses, hotels, bars, beach chairs and buses are the norm. Just looking at all these gorgeous colors every day makes me feel happy and alive. 2. Aquamarine Caribbean Sea: Speaking of gorgeous colors, the sea in Belize comes in the most unbelievable shades of turquoise, aquamarine, teal, pale green and blues that I’ve ever seen – and that’s in 18 years of world travels, much of it in the tropics. Swimming in these dreamy clear Caribbean waters under cobalt blue skies and puffy white clouds is a surreal experience, like floating in paradise. 3. The Belizean Barrier Reef: The Belizean Barrier Reef runs 185 miles just off the coast of Belize, paralleling the country’s entire coast north to south. It’s part of the much larger MesoAmerican Barrier Reef that runs from the tip of Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, to the north, down to Honduras. The reef also carries UNESCO World Heritage status – it’s the largest reef in the western hemisphere and second largest barrier reef in the world. The reef’s protected status, Belize’s low population and the country’s relative anonymity as an international travel destination mean this massive reef / island system is particularly pristine. Divers visit from all over the world, though not in the mass numbers found at other Caribbean dive destinations like Cancun, Cozumel and Grand Cayman Islands.

International Sourcesizz

7 Things to Eat in Belize
Belize, a small but diverse country of 350,000 inhabitants, is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. While often overshadowed by its bigger and better-known neighbors, Belize shines thanks to its pristine beaches, untouched jungles and rich culinary scene. Most inhabitants speak English, Maya, Creole and Spanish, and even Mandarin is common in certain communities. This amalgamation of ethnicities is reflected in the Belizean kitchen, with dishes from all over the world reinterpreted the local way. They may sound familiar, but they will taste very different from the original creations. Here are some delicious dishes to try the Belizean way. Ceviche, Pupusas, Tamales (Bollos), Rice and Beans, Conch Fritters, Chimole, Freshly Caught Seafood.

How much fish are we really catching?
Scientists Find That 30% of Global Fish Catch Is Unreported. In a new study, scientists led by Sea Around Us calculated the annual global fish catch to be roughly 109 million metric tons, about 32 million metric tons more than officially reported in 2010 by more than 200 countries and territories. The new estimates provide countries with better assessments of their catch levels than they have had before. Joshua Reichert, executive vice president and head of environment initiatives for The Pew Charitable Trusts, calls the research a “groundbreaking study that confirms that we have been taking far more fish from our oceans than the official data suggest and provides a nuanced portrait of the amount of fish that are being removed from the world’s oceans each year.” In the study, published Jan. 19 in the journal Nature Communications, lead author Daniel Pauly and co-author Dirk Zeller gathered information with help from hundreds of scientists around the world. This team of researchers examined fish catch data for more than 200 countries and territories from a broad range of sources, including academic literature, industrial statistics, local fisheries experts, law enforcement, human population data, and other records such as documentation of fish catch by tourists. Using a method called “catch reconstruction,” the Sea Around Us team then estimated total catch, including that missing from official data.

4 Ambergris Hotels on Trip Advisor best in Central America
TripAdvisor is judging the “Top 25 Hotels in Central America” based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected this last year from travelers all around the world. The “Top 25 Hotels in Central America” list includes hotels from Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. All 4 of the Belize hotels on the list are on Ambergris Caye, including the Coco Beach resort at #8, the Victoria House at #9, the Grand Caribe resort at #13 and the Las Terrazas resort at #19.

Violence and children rights in the Caribbean
The Caribbean Mentorship Institute has joined the public outcry about the number of violent deaths of young children in the region. The recent call to curb and eradicate violence against children should warrant immediate educational programs for Caribbean youth. The Institute believes that greater protection for young children should be promoted to realise their right to live free from violence and the fear of violence. A UNICEF report dated 2014, on Violence against Children, states that violence disproportionately affects children, either directly or indirectly. Violence by young people is extremely visible, and most of the perpetrators, as well as most of the victims, of violent crimes are male adolescents or youths.

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.

Archaeological dig begins at Honduras’ famed ‘City of the Monkey God’
After years of speculation and research, scientists have finally begun their dig at the elusive "Lost City of the Monkey God" in Honduras. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that the new dig - in partnership with Colorado State University archaeologists – has begun on the site where a God is said to have fathered half-human, half-monkey children. "This discovery has created a lot of excitement because of its significance for Honduras and the world," Hernandez said, according to the Daily Mail. The most recent search for the site began back in 2012, when a group of archaeologists and filmmakers used a form of light detection and ranging equipment known as lidar to find the remains of the lost city by airplane. In layman's terms, the scientists flew a small plane over the dense stretch of jungle, shooting lasers at the topography to map out the land below the canopy, where they purportedly discovered a network of plazas and pyramids, hidden for hundreds of years.

Expedia reports rise in Caribbean travel demand
The Expedia group, one of the world's largest online travel companies, reported on Tuesday at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) an increase in travel demand of 20 percent year over year for the Caribbean via the company’s platforms during the third quarter of 2015 with significant growth reported across the entire region. New data from Expedia indicates that the United States remains the key feeder market for the Caribbean with a reported growth of nearly 20 percent to Caribbean destinations. Other international markets reporting substantial year over year growth in the third quarter of 2015 include:

Report shows that Cuban migrants becoming more violent with Coast Guard
Cuban migrants desperate to reach U.S. shore are increasingly violent and noncompliant with Coast Guard crews who detain them at sea, authorities said Wednesday, citing reports of attempted poisoning and self-inflicted wounds as rumors swirl that the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy will soon be abandoned. U.S. immigration policies haven't changed since President Barack Obama ordered the restoration of diplomatic relations between Havana and Washington in December 2014, and for over a year the Coast Guard has warned migrants and their relatives in the U.S. that no change is imminent. But an ongoing surge in Cubans fleeing their homeland by sea is fueled by fears they soon will lose the "wet-foot, dry-foot" benefits that allow those reaching U.S. land to stay and pursue citizenship, according to the chief of response for the Coast Guard's 7th District in Miami.


  • Belize - Ambergris Caye, 6min. Diving the Belize Barrier Reef, Spotted Eagle Rays, Turtles, Sharks. Featuring guest diver Sara Brown.

  • Y de nuevo RADIO LATA oraleee!!!!!!, min. Chequen ustedes

  • Empowerment Show Jan 21th 2016, 32min.

  • Belize April 2014, 5.5min. Channel 23 Belize

  • Belize 2016 Study Abroad in Caye Caulker, 8min. Miami University Study Abroad trip 2016 in Caye Caulker, Belize. Explored the mainland of Belize before heading over to a small island called Caye Caulker to teach at the Roman Catholic elementary school!

  • Snorkeling Rendezvous Caye, Belize, 15min. We recently took a snorkeling excursion to Rendezvous Caye, Belize. Rendezvous Caye lays on top of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. We had a fabulous time. This video shows our day. We hope you enjoy it!

  • Dolphins in Belize, 1min.

  • Belize Mantee Trip, 2.5min.

  • UB Study Abroad- Belize 2016, 15min. University at Buffalo School of Nursing students volunteered in Belize this past week. This is a video about our trip.

  • Snorkeling at the Belize Barrier Reef, 5min. Sailboat outing with stops at Shark & Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

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