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Today's Belize News: January 27, 2016 #511100
01/27/16 05:49 AM
01/27/16 05:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,041
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Jennie Staines grills the competition at Estel’s 5th BBQ Cook-off!
On Tuesday, January 26th, Estel’s Dine by the Sea Restaurant hosted their fifth annual BBQ Ribs Cook-off! It was a great competition for the BBQ lovers on the island and tickets sold-out early. The fun-filled event saw proceeds benefiting the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation, which provides educational scholarships for island children. Competing for the title of grill-master were Charles Worthington, Rick Saager, Jim Gochenour, Jennie Staines, Amy Knox and last year’s champion, Ali Rush. Up next was the anticipated Estel’s BBQ 2016 cook-off Judges’ Choice awards. Four prizes were issued in this category, beginning with the ‘dead- ass’ last place title which went to Jim Gochenour. Amy Knox was awarded with third place followed by Charles Worthington, who once again came in second place. And the winner of this year’s BBQ Cook-off went to none other than the People’s Choice champion, Jennie Staines. Staines, who is the Executive Chef at Elvi’s Kitchen, thanked everyone who showed up for the cook-off and supported such a worthy cause. She also invited everyone to next year’s cook-off, and to continue supporting similar charitable events.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks take first win of the season
In the second week of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament, two-time defending champions, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks claimed their first win of the season. They defeated the Belmopan Bandits in a home game on Sunday, January 24th. The weekend of games begun on Friday, January 22nd in Belize City, continued on Saturday, January 23rd in Independence Village, and ended on Sunday, January 24th in San Pedro Town. The winners of the three exciting matches are now one step ahead of the league, with hopes of claiming the title of NEBL Champions. The next round of games will start on Friday, January 29th with the San Pedro Tiger Sharks travelling to San Ignacio Town to face the Cayo Western Ballaz at the Sacred Heart College auditorium at 9PM. Also facing off on Friday is Belize City No Limit, who will take on the Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex at 9PM. Games will continue Saturday, January 30th with Belmopan Bandits hosting the Dangriga Warriors at the University of Belize gymnasium in Belmopan City at 8PM. The final game of the weekend will be between Smart Belize Hurricanes and Independence Thunderbolts at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium in Belize City on Saturday at 9PM.

Melida Pereria crowned Miss Carnaval
The third annual Miss Carnaval Pageant brought much laughter and culture to the stage of the Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Saturday, January 23rd. Organized by Flora Ancona’s Comparsa group, the pageant opens the island’s annual ‘El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro’ celebrations. This year’s pageant saw the participation of five lovely ladies: Lurbin Ruiz, Arabella Hernandez, Blanca Wagner, Angie Puerto and Melida Periera. But like in any other pageant, only one of the participants could walk away with the title and crown, and that was Melida Periera, who charmed the judges to become the 2016-2017 Miss Carnaval. During the final segment, the five contestants sashayed on stage in their elegant and sparkling evening gowns. The crowd cheered loudly for the ladies, who demonstrated beauty and poise, while the judges submitted their final scores. With the scores submitted to tabulators, the ladies were left waiting for the final decision, and outgoing Miss Carnaval, Sylvia Patricia Lopez delivered her final words and took a last walk on stage. After several moments of anticipation, the winner was announced. Taking the crown and title of 2016-2017 Miss Carnaval was Melida Pereira. “I am so happy. I am truly honored to have participated in this pageant and won. This is part of our culture and I’m glad I can be part of it,” said Perreria.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize - Commercial Bank De-Risking and Karma
by Belize Progressive Party. The local commercial bankers in Belize colluded with the regulators of the financial sector...convincing themselves that the world financial crisis of 2008 would not have negative impact on Belize...they said as much publicly within Belize, even as they understood and recognized the negative implications privately and at international forums. BUT the realities were very different... Many businesses that felt the impact through lower sales, higher costs and lower profits ran into difficulties meeting their banking obligations....most of them had been meeting those obligations, while expanding, for over 10-30 years. The commercial banks and financial regulators, instead of following the example of the developed countries of the world....who did everything possible to preserve value...remember QUANTITATIVE EASING?...facilitating companies and individuals to refinance at much lower rates (at or near zero) and longer they tightened the noose on Belize-based investors....aggressively closing off their financing and dumping their hard-earned assets through mass auctions and receiverships (still ongoing)....flooding the market with properties....destroying value by selling of these assets at 50-70 cents on the dollar.

Destination Belize in Cayo
Destination Belize is coming to Cayo today to talk about the new look for the 2016 issue. They'll be at Cahal Pech starting at 6:00pm. "We're heading out West! McNab Design Ltd. and Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) are stopping in San Ignacio as we make our way across country making sales presentations for The New Destination Belize. Hope to see you there!"

Toucan Talk Vol. 8
The Belize Tourism Board has posted the latest Toucan Talk. Did you know that Belize won 2 World Travel Awards? Cayo is in there. The renovation of Columbus Park is mentioned too.

2015 Belize ourism numbers
The BTB released the 2015 Tourism numbers.

Canadian Road Show 2016 - Vancouver
Belize Tourism Board

Apply today for the VV Grow Fellowship to gain valuable business skills and assistance with growing your business. DEADLINE - January 31, 2016!!!!!! The VV GROW Fellowship is a highly competitive one-year accelerator program for women owners of small and medium businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. The program includes customized business skills training, technical assistance, leadership development, and access to networks to grow their businesses and increase their leadership impact. Through global and regional online and in-person trainings, fellows focus on strategy and long-term business value paired with action-oriented plans. They amplify their role as leaders in their businesses and their communities to create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth and produce wider social benefits.

Traffic Flow in San Pedro
The Traffic Wardens are going to be working hard to improve the traffic flow in the town. They will be more active in controlling traffic at various locations in town. We are asking everyone to please respect and support the wardens who have a very difficult and sometimes unappreciated job.

Belize YoGert and all local tenants of food & beverage establishments booted from Belize Tourist Village
Belize YoGert and all local tenants of food & beverage establishments were given 30 days notice on September 15, 2015 to pick up and leave Belize Tourist Village. A foriegn Israeli company owned by Max Vaknin and his brother Koby Vaknin (owners of Jungle Gift Shop) were brought in by their silent partner Elad Aharon (GM of Belize Tourist Village) to take over all F&B. There is no hard evidence of Elad Aharon taking a bribe, nor part of this foreign company but it is known amongst locals and friends that he is involved. It is also rumored that GM Elad Aharon is the silent partner of "Easy Tours", a new tour company in Belize Tourist Village and "Port Wifi company".

you guys ready for this week? bring your baby wipes rags and your bright smiles! Week 3 "jelly fish" just click the "sign up" button on the Paint N Splash page. 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.

Chicago Travel and Adventure Show Chicago, Illinois
The Belize Hotel Association, represented by Directors Julie Kee and Rebecca Rath, were at the 12th Annual Chicago Travel and Adventure Show this past weekend on January 23 and January 24, 2016 in Rosemont, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. The Travel and Adventure Show series is recognized as the premier Consumer Marketing platform in the travel industry. It is the ONLY travel show in the Chicago Area and it is the place where travelers flock annually to dream, plan and book their next vacation. Initial reports from BHA director, Ms. Kee, state that the show was very well attended and visitors to the BHA booth showed genuine interest in visiting Belize in the near future.

St. Francis Xavier Credit Union in Corozal terminating all Moneygram Services
Jan 26 - MONEYGRAM - Notice of Termination. St. Francis Xavier Credit Union in Corozal informs all its customers that effective February 24th, 2016 it will be terminating all Moneygram Services indefinitely. For any questions please visit our office or contact us below; St Francis Xavier Credit Union 79 5th Avenue Phone: 422-2892

Ballaz Host Tiger Sharks
The Western Ballaz are hosting the Tiger Sharks on Friday. This is their first match up of the 2 teams that have fought for the prize both years. "This is the game that CANNOT BE MISSED!!! Bring out the entire family in their WB t-shirts to enjoy the FINALS REMATCH between your Western Ballaz team and San Pedro Tiger Sharks this Friday at SHC's Auditorium. We are going to pack the audi for this game!!! Let's go Ballaz, Let's go Ballaz, Let's go Ballaz....let's go!!!"

In our Belizean Legends doccumentary series this year 2016, we will be featuring the remarkable Belizean Beauty Queens that represented Belize abroad as ambassadors, and chronicling the stories that brought them to accomplish this most popular Belizean cultural title that continues to present the best qualities and intelligence in Belizean women today, and how it has advanced them to face the challenges of the western world in which they represented Belize. Today we commence our series with Chistine M. Gibson. The 38th. Belize Queen of The Bay. The “Queen of the Bay” Pageant, the oldest and most prestigious contest in Belize, Central America, started in 1946 during the September Celebrations. Historically, the pageant was held at Edwards Park, now known as Rogers Stadium, and serves to commemorate our National Day – September 10th, the day our forefathers’ fought to preserve our heritage and delivered a victory over the Spaniards, during the Battle of St. George’s Caye in 1798.

All of the 13 yellowheads released into Payne's Creek last year are alive and well
The yellow-headed parrots that were released by TIDE's ranger team, along with Belize Bird Rescue, are doing well in their new home at Payne's Creek National Park! Threatened by deforestation and poaching, these parrots were given a second chance at life in the wild last October and have adjusted wonderfully! (Read their full story here) Earlier this month the rangers, with the help of Ridge to Reef Expeditions volunteers, set up new nesting boxes in the park to further help this population thrive.

Dangriga Screen on the Green
Belize Screen on the Green hits the road and will be in Dangriga this week!!! Please join the U.S. Embassy as we launch the extension of our Belize Screen on the Green program in Dangriga. This Thursday we will be screening the movie, "The Great Debaters" and announcing the new monthly movie schedule for Dangriga. As always, the event will be free to the public and free popcorn will be served while supplies last. Hope to see everyone there! clock Thursday, January 28 at 7 PM, Slaughter House, Dangriga Market Square, 001501 Dangriga Town, Stann Creek, Belize

Channel 7

Muzikant Faces The Music... in Jail!
Last night we told you about Martin Muzikant - the mystery European man who turned up in Belize recently after being expelled from the country in 2013. Well, today he was hauled over to Orange Walk Magistrate's Court - and charged for immigration offences. Magistrate Merlene Moody says he failed to produce travel documents, and failed to present himself to an immigration officer - meaning he came into the country through an illegal border crossing. Muzikant pleaded guilty to both charges and his lawyer Yohannseh Cave asked for a fine to be imposed and then for him to be released so that he can travel to Mexico and so that he can visit the Embassy of the Czech Republic. But the Immigration Office said he has a lot to answer to in Belize - namely how he got into the country. They asked the court to remand him until an investigation is carried out since there are suggestions that he is wanted by Interpol and by the USA. Still, his lawyer tried to spring him free and asked for a larger fine to be imposed. But the Magistrate did not agree and sentenced him to six months in prison for each charge with the sentences to run concurrently.

No Charges For Moszetta, Machete Wielding Mother
Last night, we told you about Biscayne resident Moszetta Reyes, the woman who killed her son-in-law, allegedly in self defence, last week Friday night. Well, she remains at home after being released from questioning by Ladyville police, and at this time, there is no evidence before the DPP's Office to suggest that she intentionally harmed 54 year-old Arthur Wade. This evening, we spoke with DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal she told us that no final decision has been made on what her office's directive to the investigators will be. She told us yesterday that the evidence in her office's possession thus far does is not enough for police to lay any criminal charges against Reyes. The investigators are expected to provide the DPP's Office with other pieces of evidence that they may come across which would assist in reaching the final decision.

PUP Leadership Debate Flops
The PUP Leadership Debate…won't happen. The announcement was made today that the debate had been, quote, "suspended." That's because, according to a press release, "Two of the candidates failed to respond to formally inform the committee of their intention to appear as scheduled by the close of business late yesterday." Our information is that only Francis Fonseca had indicated his readiness to participate, while the representatives Cordel Hyde and John Briceno didn't. Today we asked the lead organizer Glenn Tillett how he feels about his best laid plans falling through:... Glenn Tillett, Debate Organizer: "We could not get a formal commitment from two of the proposed participants and we were running out of time. There are some logistical and infrastructural details that matters we have to take care of and we felt with 72 hours to go and not having a firm commitment, it was best that we abandoned the idea."

A Teen Suicide In San Ignacio
There is another distressing suicide to report in the West: A 15 year old girl hung herself in San Ignacio. Yesterday morning around 7:00, the mother found her 15-year-old daughter hanging from a branch of an avocado tree in their yard. Police say they found a note at the scene in which the 15 year old girl expressed affection for a boy. Her mother told police that she suspected her daughter was having a relationship but she was not aware if there were difficulties in the relationship. She told police she had slapped and scolded her daughter on January 8th. Police are still investigating to see what exactly happened and what led her to take her own life. She was last seen at around 1:40 yesterday morning when she went to use the bathroom. She was a 3rd form student at Sacred Heart College. We will not reveal the identity of the child given the highly sensitive nature of these cases.

Fish Right, Eat Right
Last week, we told you about the Fisheries Pride Campaign at the Fisheries Department has been conducting to ensure that fisher folk are doing business in a sustainable manner. Well, Oceana Belize, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Fisheries Department, and the BTB, want to ensure that they are rewarded for their efforts in following the fisheries laws. Today, they launched a program brand called "Fish Right, Eat Right", and 7News was there to find out exactly what it is. Daniel Ortiz has that story: "Fish Right, Eat Right" - it's a new brand that Oceana Belize and its partners are hoping that with time you'll come to associate with high quality sea food which was caught through sustainable fishing practices. Julie Robinson - Fisheries Lead, The Nature Conservancy: "This is a local brand that we will be promoting over the next 6 months - over the next year and developing with everybody that we see here in the room with the private sector, with the cooperatives, with fisheries and authorities, in order to develop a locally caught sustainable sea food supply chain. It will highlight establishments and fishers that abide by the regulations - that look to source their sea food sustainably."

NICH's Secret Dark Night Agreement Faces Harsh Scrutiny Of Daylight
For two weeks now we've been reporting on Bradley Paumen - he's the major tour operator implicated in a murder plot. The alleged hit he put on his neighbor Michael Modiri is based on a property dispute at Frank's Eddy. Paumen partnered with NICH to get use of the caves for his visitors - but he needed to cut across Modiri's land to get to the caves. And that's where the Minister of Natural Resources unlawfully acquired Modiri's land to give to Paumen. The court quashed that, but the trespass continued - making NICH - who is Paumen's partner - possibly complicit in that violation. 7News has obtained the agreement between NICH and Paumen and its shows that NICH is obliged to quote, "do anything necessary for the administration of these sites." The agreement also shows that it is for three years, not 25 as some had been alleging. NICH is contracted to get ten dollars per head for every visit to the site, and the agreement says, quote, "The Institute will have personnel at the site to ensure compliance." When we went to the Dark Night last week, we saw no NICH personnel supervising.

Woman Fears For Her Safety From Threatening Ex
This evening, Belize City resident Deniesia Tillett came to our office in distress, asking us to allow her to make a public plea to the police department. She claims that her ex-boyfriend has been threatening her for the last 12 months, and he continues to breach a protection order from the courts. Now, these aren't the kinds of stories which regularly make the news, but she told us that there appears to be a disconnect between the police and the courts in the enforcement of this restraining order for which her ex ought to have been prosecuted. She told us that he sent her a death threat over the phone yesterday: Deniesia Tillett, Claims Harassment from her Ex: "I am in distress because I have my ex can't seem to leave me alone and always harassing me and threatening me, saying that he will kill me and I just want the police to find him and do their job and ask the judge when they charge those kind of persons not to just give them bail. Because that is what they do and then they come right back out doing the same thing and harass until they murder one of us."

Kings Park Consternation Over Apartment
Peace and quiet: that's what several residents from the Kings Park residential area are demanding. Over the years, there have been road upgrades and construction of businesses in the area of "A" Street and the residents say the heavy traffic, the noise and congestion has robbed them of their serenity. They say they have been advocating for years to try and restore and maintain the tranquility in their community and now things are coming to a head with the construction of a towering apartment mega complex right in their neighborhood. Today the Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley and his council members met with a few residents and they discussed solutions and recommendations. We spoke with one concerned Kings Park resident and Mayor Bradley and they told us how they are moving forward. Laura Smith, Resident of King's Park: "The zoning is the main proirity. Many of the residents have enjoyed a peaceful neighborhood for quite a long time. It was the inital intention of the government planning where there were covenents involved - that it would be primarily residential and single family. So the zoning has been toss around for a while the different administrations and so its finaly come to the point where it looks like we may finally get our zoning approved, which will just preserve the character and the integrity of the neighborhood."

Yohnny Shut Down By CITCO
And that type of municipal regulation may also be affecting Yohnny Rosado in a new business venture. If you watch the news with any regularity, you'll know Rosado as a stanch and outspoken defender of local tour operators. Well, tonight he is back in the news but this time he is wearing a different hat. Rosado has a tire shop on the Northern Highway which he owns and operates along with his son. The business just opened last year but today, personnel from the City Council swooped in and told them to close business or else. Yohnny explained: Yohny Rosado Jr - Econo Tires Shop "Basically, they came in as though we are criminals. We are not criminals. I was right there standing up by the shop, and they came and asked me who the owner is. I told them that the owner went to do a little errand. They then told me that they needed to talk to him. I told them that wasn't a problem, and I sent him a text message saying that he needed to come this side because it looked like they wanted problems. So, he ended up calling, and I told him the situation. After that, they started to tell us that we needed to close this, we don't have that, a lot of thing with them.

Canines With a Keen Nose For Cannabis
Two canines with a keen nose for cannabis helped police catch over 3 pounds of weed. The dogs named "Toonje" and "Touche" found the bag of weed in some farmland bushes in steadfast Village - which is in the Stann Creek District. The weed weighed in at 1.5 kilos or 3.3 pounds. No one was around, so it was labeled as found property.

Weed In the 'Ville
Tonight, 29 year-old Estrada Davis, Phillip Roberts, and 26 year-old Christian Smith are in the custody of Hattieville Police, after they were allegedly caught with marijuana and marijuana plants. According to police, they were picked up in a pre-dawn raid which was conducted by the Special Patrol Unit along with Hattieville Police. They visited Davis' home at 16 and a half miles on the George Price Highway. All 3 were present at the time when the police discovered 81 grams of cannabis, and 6 cannabis plants. They have been jointly charged with drug trafficking and marijuana cultivation. They will be arraigned in the Magistrate's Court at the earliest convenience.

Teenagers Stole Nike Slippers, Sent To Jail
A pair of 18 year olds were sent to jail today - after a 14 year old accused them of jacking his 80 dollar Nike slippers. But, the families of Ulide Allen, and Norton Daniel Lorenzo Tun may only be finding out their plight on the news because the teenagers say police did not allow them to make a call. They told the court that they got no phone call to their parents to tell them where they were. The robbery allegedly happened on Friday night on Partridge Street where duo by use of force stole wrestled the slippers off the boy's feet. The 14 year old said he was on a friends bike when they came on another bike and rammed into him. When he fell to the ground, he claims Allen grabbed the slippers from off his feet and they all ran off. In court they both pleaded not guilty to a single charge of robbery. The police prosecutor asked for bail to be denied because the victim is known to the accused as the police are concerned that if they are granted bail, they will try to interfere with him.

BELTRAIDE, The Road Much Travelled
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service BELTRAIDE held a one hour meeting with the press today to discuss all things BELTRAIDE. The statutory body that falls directly under the purview of Minister Erwin Contreras has been in existence since 1998 under the name TIPS. In 2000 it changed its name to BELTRAIDE. Since then it has established five different arms, Belize Invest, Belize Export, BTEC and the oldest unit of them SBDC. SBDC, acts as a small business advisor for potential business owners, new business owners and established business owners. The general manager of the Enterprise and Innovation Unit explained to us how this works. But has the involvement of BELTRAIDE through SBDC made any difference? According to the General Manager, in 2015 SBDC engaged 600 people. Their records also show that their involvement has created an average increase of sales of at least 127% more than the targeted increase of $100,000 dollars.

Making At Risk Youths Employable
One of BELTRAIDE's most recent ventures, "Working it out," is a pilot project to assist imprisoned youths to become more employable when they are finished serving time. BELTRAIDE has partnered with the Wagner's Youth Facility and has taken 42 youths into the program. But training these youths is one thing, sensitizing possible employers to accept the youths even with the stigma of being a former inmate is quite another. General Manager Lejia Gideon spoke to us about the program and the perceived challenges ahead. The program which is being carried out under Belize Training and Employment Center, an arm of BELTRAIDE, begins in the first week of February and will.

Ombudsman Signs With Cops
After being officially reappointed as the Ombudsman of Belize at the House of Representatives last week, Lionel Arzu today signed a memorandum of understand with the commissioner of Police Allen Whylie at the Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City. The purpose for the MOU is to strengthen cooperation between both offices in the areas of protection and promotion of Human Rights and on the principles of rule of law, mutual equality and reciprocity. During the signing, the commissioner of police reiterated his commitment to the process and pledged his support for the collaboration noting that this is just one of the many avenues that the police department is pursuing in pursuit of "justice for all."

Channel 5

City Council Closes Down Yhony Rosado’s Business
Tour operator Yhony Rosado was in the news on Monday, criticizing government at a press conference called by the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize. These small operators feel [...]

Yhony Rosado Says It Is Pure Political Victimization
Rosado told us this afternoon that he will stay closed until he gets his trade license, whenever that is. He’ll do it, but he’s not happy about the situation and [...]

Czech National Martin Muzikant on Lockdown
Czech national Martin Muzikant is on lock down tonight after appearing in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court on a string of immigration offences.  He was busted on Sunday afternoon in [...]

COLA Fears Another Nanes Schnitzer Debacle
COLA’s fear, according to President Geovanni Brackett, is that in the wake of the Nanes Schnitzer debacle and the recent murder of Anne Swaney, Belize will only be getting another [...]

Melonie Coye to Get $3 Million from G.O.B.
The Government of Belize has been dealt another blow, on the heels of a recent loss in the Supreme Court where Justice Courtenay Abel ruled in favor of Titan International [...]

Former AG Says Lawsuits Against G.O.B. Cost Taxpayers
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was visibly angry when we asked him about another judgment against G.O.B. recently. That one concerns Titan Securities. Government has been ordered to pay almost nine [...]

Are Big Foreign Tour Operators Getting Better Deal Over Local Tour Operators?
And our question for tonight is: Do you believe big foreign tour operators are getting the better deal over local tour operators? Send your comments and responses using your SMART [...]

28 Cubans Freed from Belize Central Prison
Twenty-eight Cubans who have been incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison are free. The order was signed today and the directive sent to Prison officials. It is expected that the [...]

Wilfred Elrington Not Surprised by Guatemalan Settlement in Belizean Territory
We also asked Elrington about a settlement which has been discovered on the Belize side of the border with Guatemala. The revelation was made by Commander of the B.D.F. Brigadier [...]

Belize & Guatemala Foreign Ministers Meet in Belize
And on the subject of Belize – Guatemala relations, Elrington updated us on a Mixed Commission meeting held last Friday. That high-level session was attended by both Foreign Ministers, Elrington [...]

2 Teenagers Remanded for Stealing Nike Slippers
Two teenagers were in court today for allegedly stealing a pair of Nike slippers from a fourteen year old boy; an allegation for which they are now behind bars.  Ulide [...]

Inmates Caught Smuggling Weed
Magistrate Mendoza also dealt with the case of two inmates who were caught attempting to smuggle weed inside the Tango Eleven area of the Hattieville prison. Twenty-five year old Sergio [...]

P.U.P. Leadership Debate Called Off
With less than seventy-two hours before what would have been the first leadership debate in the history of the People’s United Party, organizers of the event have not surprisingly suspended [...]

Organizer Claims Debate Was a Non-Partisan Effort
Even though the planning committee are members of the People’s United Party, the debate was not sanctioned by the party.  The organizers believe that it is time for Belizeans to [...]

Fire Guts Storehouse in Corozal Free Zone
A mid-afternoon fire in the Corozal Free Zone has eviscerated a three-storey concrete warehouse.  The seventy-five by seventy-five foot structure, property of Orange Walk businessman Amit Moriani, went up in [...]

Ombudsman and Commissioner of Police Sign MOU
Last week in the House, the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca complained about the inactivity and ineffectiveness of Ombudsman Lionel Arzu saying he did not enjoy the confidence of [...]

Hattieville Police Make Weed Bust
Officers of the Rural Eastern Division continue to conduct anti-narcotic and anti-firearm operations within their two thousand square mile jurisdiction. Hattieville Police, in collaboration with the Special Patrol Unit, this [...]

OCEANA Examines Blackadore Caye Project
Almost two weeks ago, on January fourteenth, a first round of consultations was held with residents and stakeholders in San Pedro over the Blackadore Caye Tourism Project. The mega eco-tourism [...]

OCEANA Launches Fish Right Eat Right Initiative
A forum was held this morning in Belize City entitled Fish Right, Eat Right to promote the sustainable harvesting and consumption of seafood. As the name suggests, the program aims [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: January 27, 2016 [Re: Marty] #511101
01/27/16 05:49 AM
01/27/16 05:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,041
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Three Storey Building Goes Up In Flames In The Corozal Free Zone
A massive fire engulfed a 3 storey concrete warehouse in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone today. According to reports, Corozal Police and fire brigade left for the scene at about 3:00p.m and upon arrival saw the 3 storey concrete structure warehouse belonging to 35 year old Orange Walk Businessman Amid Moriani swallowed by flames. While our reporter headed to the area we were not allowed inside the zone. We will have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

Jack Charles To Re-export Containers Of Rice To Guyana
Xtra-House owner, Jack Charles confirmed to our colleagues at KREM News today that he has processed all the necessary documentation to re-export three containers of Guyanese rice back to Guyana. As you may remember Charles brought in over 75 tons of rice in December of 2015 but the court found that it was improperly done since Charles did not have the required documentations to allow the rice to enter the country. After finding that the three containers of rice did not have a BAHA permit the Magistrate court ordered the rice forfeited to the Customs and Excise Department to be destroyed. Charles later obtained an injunction at the Supreme Court to stop the destruction of the rice, But that hearing was called off after an agreement was reached between Charles and GOB under Customs and Excise law and he was given until January 28th to re-export the rice.

San Ignacio Resident Charged For Drug Trafficking
While conducting a mobile patrol in the village of San Jose Succotz in the Cayo District on Sunday, Benque Viejo Police observed twenty seven year old Javier Itza, Belizean labourer of Maya Street acting in a suspicious manner. After Itza realized that authorities were in the area, he began to walk in the opposite direction; however, police had stopped Itza and informed him that a search will be conducted on him to search for any illegal drug or firearm. Itza immediately threw away a bag that was in his possession and ran.Authorities caught up with him and after the bag was retrieved, Itza was escorted to the Benque Viejo Police Station. The bag that was recovered contained a total of 81 grams of Cannabis. Itza was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

International Reports Suggests That OAS Is Facing Financial Problems
The first meeting of the Permanent council for 2016 for the Organization of American States (OAS) was held last week at the OAS headquarters in Washington DC.According to Caribbean 360, a news webpage, at the meeting the new chairman of the Council, Sir Ronald Sanders said that the institution is facing a serious existential threat with its funds almost empty.The Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador, who was chairing the meeting, expressed his concern at this major problem by saying Quote “we are deeply concerned about the financial health of the organization profoundly anxious about its capacity to continue to operate and to serve the interests of the people of our 34 member states”. End Quote

COLA Demands Case Of Muzikan To Be Investigated
And keeping with the story of Martin Muzikant, it is not yet known what identity he used to re-enter the country but what it brings to light is the apparent loopholes in the Immigration system says Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA). Yesterday the organization called on Government to crack down on the “international rogues” who use Belize for their own protection from criminal probes; and to fully investigate Muzikan.Additionally Cola called on all Belizeans to assist authorities with any information they may have on the alleged fugitive, saying that it takes the cooperation of all to stop crime and corruption in Belize.

Zika Virus Expects To Spread Rapidly Says PAHO
Caribbean authorities have begun preparations by launching campaigns in order to raise public awareness about the quick spreading of the Zika virus. Their main aim at this point in time is to educate the public about the virus itself, how it can be detected, and the necessary treatment needed if infected with the virus. During a press conference via a webcast, Joy St. John, director of the Unit of Vigilance, Prevention and Control of diseases from the Caribbean Public Health Agency, stated that there is a high probability of the zika virus’ arrival in majority of the countries located within the Caribbean region due to the rate at which it is being spread throughout the region. St. John also stated that reported cases of the virus has been confirmed in Guyana, Barbados, Suriname and Haiti, and emphasized that it is the obligation of the Caribbean to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus by informing their citizens of any reported cases and alert them to follow proper methods so as to minimize the spreading of the virus.


The Future of Belize’s Banking Sector – Part 2
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is expected back in the country on Sunday. He is in Washington to discuss the issue of correspondent banking with authorities in the US. As promised in yesterday’s newscast, here is the continuation to our feature on the banking sector in Belize. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “In part one of our […]

BELTRAIDE: Foreign Investors Concerned over Banking Industry in Belize
An online news outlet from Mexico is reporting that Belize Bank branch in the Corozal Free Zone has been closed for quite some time. asserts that the branch is close due to several reasons which have not been confirmed and we were unable to confirm today. However, investors are complaining that it situation is […]

Fire in the Free Zone
A fire at the Corozal Free Zone destroyed a warehouse this afternoon. It began at around three thirty and up to five thirty this evening fire fighters were still dousing off all flames. CEO of the Free Zone Raul Rosado, gave us some details. RAUL ROSADO “At around 3pm the Corozal Free Zone fire unit […]

Mental Health Nurse Speaks on Cases of Reyes and Dawson
Yesterday we reported on two stories involving two mentally ill individuals. In the first case, the family of Alva Reyes has her child confined in a small make shift wooden structure attached to the main house in Biscayne Village. Reyes has been mentally challenged for quite some time but when she does receive her medication, […]

No Debate for PUP Leader Candidates
The idea to have a debate among the three men vying for the leadership of the People’s United Party came about some weeks ago but had not been given much thought until early last week when the three candidates, Francis Fonseca, Cordel Hyde and John Briceno agreed to take part. Subsequent to that, a planning […]

Oceana Says Fish Right and Eat Right
Today Oceana Belize launched its “Fish right, Eat right” campaign. It is a sustainable seafood imitative seeking to reduce irresponsible fishing. The education campaign is expected to provide incentives for fishers, retailers, restaurants, and consumers to promote and support the harvest, trade and consumption of sustainably and legally caught seafood. OCEANA’s Communications Director, Alyssa Carnegie, […]

Belizean Student in Guyana Slowly Recovers from Shooting Incident
Last Friday, we told you of 30-year-old, Garfield Dennison, a Belizean man who is currently a student at the University of Guyana in Georgetown, Guyana. He was shot just after taking his girlfriend home and was in a critical condition at the Georgetown Hospital. Dennison had received a shot to the chest and one to […]

Muzikant Gives the Slip; COLA Wants Answers
A man using the name Martin Muzikant was arraigned earlier today in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. Muzikant had previously been living in Belize when he was charged for using a fake identity with a Czech Republic Passport, which had been reported lost or stolen by its proper owner in the Czech Republic. In April […]


Three Roaring Creek Men arrested for brutal chopping of teen
Three persons have been arrested and charged in connection to the brutal chopping of 18 year old Jonathon Zetina which occurred last week in the Cayo District. They are 18 year old Oswald Orson Twist, 20 year old Orlando Smith Jr. and 20 year old Joseph Cadle, all of Roaring Creek Village. All three...

15 year old boy stabs man to head
There was a stabbing incident in Blackman Eddy Village this weekend. 24 year old Michael Gordon was reportedly stabbed to the left side of his head. According to police, Gordon and a 15 year old minor were engaged in a fight over a female when the minor pulled stabbed him to the side of the head. Go...

17 year old stabs man in Teakettle Village
Then, there was a stabbing in Teakettle Village on Sunday January 24. 24 year old Theriel Brown of Teakettle village was stabbed to the right side of the abdomen. He was socializing with some friends when he was approached by a 17 year old who punched him to the face and then took out an ice pick an...

Fatal Road Traffic Accident in the Stann Creek District
One person is dead following a motorcycle accident on Sunday, 24th January, 2016. It happened on the Placencia Road about half mile from the junction of Riversdale and the road leading to the Sagitun Banana Farm, sometime around 2 o’clock that morning. 21-year-old Herlin Geovanni Rhodas of Santa ...

Belize City man shot while trying to shoot another
27 year old Kareem Smith is under Police guard in hospital after being shot on Sunday afternoon at the corner of Pitts Alley and Castle Street. But police say he is not entirely innocent, as they believe he was trying to shoot someone else in the area. According to police, Smith chased his alleged t...

Arson leaves 7 people homeless
A suspected case of Arson leaves seven people homeless. 33-year-old Denise Lodge of Scotland Half-moon Village reported that on Saturday the 23rd of January at about 6:45 p.m., she left home and went to her sister-in law’s house. When she returned home about half an hour later, she saw her wooden st...

FECTAB hits out on status of cruise industry
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), hosted a press briefing today to express their concerns about the regulatory authorities in the cruise sector failing to rein in foreign-owned competitors while over regulating local interests . Today, Yoni Rosado and fellow outspoken...


Mother kills mentally challenged daughter’s boyfriend
A man who has been described as an alcoholic was fatally chopped in an apparent act of self-defense after he attacked the mother of his mentally challenged girlfriend at their home in Biscayne, Belize District, on Friday, January 22. He died from his injuries yesterday, Sunday. The daughter, who is in her late thirties and is the mother of two children (not fathered by the deceased) is sometimes locked up in a plywood room whenever she becomes uncontrollable, and it was during one of those uncontrollable bouts, which led to the daughter being locked up by her mother, that her boyfriend became confrontational with the woman’s mother. This morning, Ladyville police briefed the media on the chopping incident that occurred in Biscayne at around 9:35 p.m. on Friday. Police said that when they arrived at the scene, they saw a brown-skinned man with a large cut wound to the back of his neck and another cut wound to the right upper arm. He was bleeding profusely on the front steps of an upstairs plywood structure, the police said.

Battered mother of 4 fears for her life
A former Belize Defensc Force soldier was released on a $1,000 bail this afternoon after he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on a charge of wounding against his ex-common-law wife. One of the conditions of his bail was that he should stay away from the complainant, but hours after being granted bail, he allegedly violated the court order by passing around the complainant’s house, allegedly making threats that he would kill her and their children. Rennick Baizar, 32, pleaded not guilty to wounding Shawna Gillett, 28, his ex-common-law wife and the mother of their four children. Baizar is scheduled to return to court on March 23. This latest incident for which Baizar was arrested and charged occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, January 23, when he ran into Gillett, who had gone out with some friends and was sitting on the seawall in the Newtown Barracks area in front of Elements nightclub.

David Gibson discusses “… to Old Sarstoon”
Dear Editor, We take note of the concerns expressed in your 23rd January 2016 weekend editorial entitled “… to Old Sarstoon…” on Guatemala’ s current and future posture with respect to its bi-lateral relations with Belize. We offer the following for consideration: The reappointment of Lic. Carlos Raul Morales as Guatemala’s Foreign Minister by newly inaugurated President Jimmy Morales is a signal for continuity in the conduct by Guatemala of its foreign policy towards Belize. This means the continuation of activity to normalize relations in conformity with recent agreements for cooperation reached between the countries within the framework of the Agreements on Confidence Building Measures under the aegis of the Organization of American States OAS. It can also be expected that the countries will endeavor to accomplish the necessary steps required to implement the 2008 Special Agreement to refer the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice ICJ. In the case of Belize, the conducting of a referendum is projected by Prime Minister Barrow to occur in 2017. After the politicization of the issue in the recent general elections, there is some doubt whether there can be a restoration of the bi-partisan approach to the issue which would achieve the necessary 60% voter turnout, much less a majority “Yes” vote.

Banking crisis sends Barrow to Washington
As February approaches, the intense nervousness over deteriorating relations between Belize banks and US banks which have been facilitating money transfers and international transactions, such as credit card payments, has forced Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow to lead another delegation to the US to try and resolve what Barrow has described as “an existential threat.” After chit-chatting recently with US vice president Joe Biden in Guatemala City about the issue, Barrow had indicated that he had secured meetings with key US officials, including regulators, in Washington, USA. The matter is said to be urgent because the smaller banks which were engaged after Bank of America opted out of doing business with Belize banks last year are also planning on severing relations next month with two banks for which they provide credit card settlement services. One bank has said that it may be forced to revert to a manual process, rather than the existing electronic process, for credit card settlements.

Another San Ignacio teen girl commits suicide
The family of a female student, 15, of San Ignacio Town, is struggling to understand why she committed suicide behind their house this morning. Reports to Amandala are that at about 7:00 this morning, her mother went into her room to wake her for school, but she was not there, and they then began to search for her. The horrified family found her behind the house, hanging by the neck from a rope that was attached to a beam. The girl was quickly cut down and rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. Police said that there were no signs of violence on the body, and foul play has been ruled out. The motive for the suicide is not known. The death of this teenager is the second suicide to have occurred in less than two weeks. On Tuesday, January 13, another teenager, 15, also of San Ignacio, took her life in her family’s house. She was found hanging by the neck in her room with a rope that was attached to a beam in her room.

The Titanic’s Leonardo DiCaprio seeks environmental clearance for Blackadore Caye resort
Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio—best known for his leading role in the 1997 movie, The Titanic—is seeking environmental clearance from Belizean authorities for a multi-million-dollar resort island development at Blackadore Caye, near San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, which is being dubbed a restorative resort. The National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) met last week and decided to go back to the developers for more answers, after concerns were raised at a recent public consultation held on the island of San Pedro by the fishing community over the effects the project could have on their access to traditional fishing grounds. It has been reported that DiCaprio—who was designated UN Ambassador for Peace with a special focus on climate change in September 2014—bought the 104-acre island 12 years ago for roughly US$2 million, and last April, the New York Times announced his intent to develop an eco-resort on the island, which includes the creation of conservation areas for hosting research conferences.

88th Baron Bliss Regatta
Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta Committee hereby confirms Sunday, March 6, 2016 for the 88th Baron Bliss Regatta. The regatta will be staged in the Belize City Harbour in front of the BTL Park, New Town Barracks, the first race commencing at 9:00 a.m. The regatta is open to all sail boat classes on the traditional triangular course. Race brief will be at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4, at the Belize Ex-Services Headquarters. Representatives of clubs and boat owners are invited to attend. At the request of the Belize Sailing Association, there will be a series of “one design” class races, commencing at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 5, on the International Optimist Trapezoid Course. The Committee for the 88th Regatta will meet every Monday in February at 5:30 p.m. at the Bliss Institute, Belize City, to finalize planning. All boat owners/enthusiasts are invited to attend. Registration to confirm a prize or trophy closes on February 12.

Uprising Stars are CYDP Peace Cup Championship
It was a real football extravaganza yesterday afternoon at the MCC Grounds, where football fans turned out in huge numbers, no doubt comforted by the heavy security provided by the Belize Police Department, and they were treated to two exciting football games to climax the CYDP Peace Cup Football Tournament 2015-2016. In the third place opener, after regulation ended tied at 3-3, Kelly Street got the winning goal from Francis “Franco” Andrews in the second overtime period, to claim the 4-3 victory over Tut Bay. Goal scorers for Kelly Street were Stephen “Breds” Baizer, Wilfred Fisher and Francis Andrews (2); while for Tut Bay, Brian Martinez, Kevin “Motto” Alvarez and Delroy Flores got 1 apiece. And in the championship final, it was scoreless in regulation, with the game winner for Uprising Stars coming from Jermaine Foster in the first overtime period for the 1-nil victory over, previously undefeated Kraal Road. Foster collected the rebound from a diving save by Kraal Road keeper Elias Hercules after a long blast by Uprising midfielder Jael Ottley. Foster’s left footed rocked, from well inside the eighteen on the left side, was unstoppable. (In the regular season, Uprising Stars was also undefeated in Group A, but had drawn one game, while Kraal Road had a perfect 7-0 record in Group B.)

San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Belize City teams undefeated in NEBL season
Smart Belize Hurricanes dampened Western Ballaz trip to the city On Friday night, Smart Belize Hurricanes (2-0) hosted Winston Pratt and Cayo Western Ballaz (1-1) at the Belize Elementary School gym in Belize City for another showdown of two of the top teams in the league. The game was extremely intense, with great fan turnout, as both sides were able to respond to their opponent’s offensive output. The home team had a three-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but they were able to extend the lead and seal the 96-87 victory down the stretch. Smart Belize Hurricanes was led by Brian White, who had a huge double-double, with 21 points and the game high 18 rebounds. Sharp-shooter Jacob Leslie finished the night with 20 pts, including 4 three-pointers, and Darwin “Puppy” Leslie tallied 18 pts with 5 assists and 3 rebs. Cayo Western Ballaz was led by Winston Pratt, who had the game high with 29 pts, 6 steals, 5 rebs and 3 assists, including 4 three-point makes. Brandon Flowers had 18 pts and 7 boards, while Elvis Usher scored 12 pts, to go with 5 assists and 4 steals, and Jamal Harris scored 10 pts and grabbed 9 rebs. Smart Hurricanes dominated the paint, outscoring Cayo Western Ballaz, 50-30, while also out-rebounding Ballaz, 51-37. The game had 18 lead changes and 11 ties, while Smart Hurricanes also led in second chance points, 21-7, and also in fast-break points, 18-4.

Too big to fail
Because of United Democratic Party (UDP) Leader Dean Barrow’s dominance in the visible politics of the UDP, a lot of attention has not been paid to the operations and ambitions of the aspirants for his position, which appear to be Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega (Orange Walk North), National Security Minister John Saldivar (Belmopan), and Education Minister Patrick Faber (Collet). This third term as Prime Minister being, by constitutional decree, Mr. Barrow’s third and last, he is expected to step down as UDP Leader in time to allow a new leader time to prepare to lead the party into the next general elections, scheduled for 2020. On the ground, DPM Vega has proven himself to be more powerful than both Saldivar and Faber in national conventions of the party. With the UDP scheduled to hold a national convention on March 20, and with Vega, the former Minister of Natural Resources, trying hard to stay clear of a very messy murder conspiracy trial involving an American tourist resort owner who was materially assisted by Hon. Vega’s Natural Resources Ministry in illegally obtaining a strategic piece of land from a landowner the American is now accused of conspiring to murder, a lot of interest will begin to surround the UDP’s national convention once the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) get through with their intense leadership convention this Sunday, January 31, in Belmopan.

From the Publisher
In my growing up in Belize, there were several public occasions on which I received awards and accolades for academic achievement. After my high school graduation speech, I was even praised on the government monopoly radio station. This was December of 1963. On my return from school abroad, I announced at an indoor public meeting that I had become “African conscious.” Within the next two years, I became unemployed, ran in the streets, and was arrested and tried in the Supreme Court on two different occasions. The human being, nevertheless, is nothing less than an emotionally resilient creature. As I write, there must be hundreds of millions of human beings who are suffering from some form of lost or unrequited love. In Belize, this is sometimes referred to as “macobi.” In America, they call it “the blues.” However described, it features a most unpleasant and undesirable combination of emotions. But, the vast, vast majority of people survive macobi blues and go on to live pretty normal lives. In fact, some people make a lot of money writing and singing about macobi blues, it being the most common subject of popular music.

Belize Coast Guard talks about 2015 and about plans for 2016
The Belize Coast Guard is shaping up to be “a force to be reckoned with” in the effort to combat “transnational organized crime and to extend its support to Central America and the Caribbean”, Admiral John Borland of the Belize Coast Guard said at a press briefing held today where he gave an overview of 2015. The Coast Guard is tasked with defending our maritime areas and in 2015 celebrated their 10th anniversary, Borland said. Borland further remarked that the Coast Guard has come a long way since its inception in 2005 from 50 strong to 320 in 2015 and that it is aiming to have 700 officers by 2020. One of the key achievements of 2015 was the amendment of the Coast Guard Act in December 2015; as a result the Coast Guard is now a military organization with law enforcement authority and with the capability to make arrests in its effort to enforce maritime laws at sea, noted Borland.

Belize may already have Zika virus – but no cases yet confirmed: DHS
Director of Health Services (DHS), Dr. Marvin Manzanero, told News 5 earlier this week that Belize may already have the Zika virus (Zik-V), although Belize is not currently listed among the countries to which the emerging disease, originating in Africa, has spread. Speaking with our newspaper today, Dr. Manzanero explained that although no cases have been confirmed in Belize, because a Zika infection may only cause mild symptoms in some persons, such as a mild fever and rash, it may go unreported and undiagnosed—particularly since there is no facility to test it in Belize. Information published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in an infographic, indicates that “1 in 4 people with Zika infection develops symptoms”—signalling that most people won’t know that they have it. According to the DHS, samples from anyone suspected of having the Zika virus would likely be sent to the US for testing, and it may take 10 to 14 days to get the results. By that time, he said, the symptoms would have already disappeared.

A snake in my clothes closet!
There are as many as 62 species of snakes in Belize; however, only eight of those are venomous, according to the Belize Zoo. One medical website states that an estimated five million people worldwide are bitten by snakes every year. Of these, as many as 125,000 bites are fatal. The Belize Zoo’s advice “is not to attempt to restrain, subdue or pick up any snake found in the wild, especially venomous ones. However, the reality is that sometimes snakes are not only in the wild; they have found their way into populated areas and can be found in your yard and even in your home.” I live on Fabers Road, and had an unfortunate encounter with one just last Friday. A snake was the last thing I expected to see when I opened my clothes closet. I was scared, and I am sure that there are other persons whose living space has been invaded by snakes.

Game changer aims to secure Belize’s multi-million-dollar fishing industry
An estimated 15,000 Belizeans depend on fishing for their livelihoods and the Belize economy earns US$10.7 million annually in revenue from seafood exports, according to information published by Fish Forever—an initiative which includes Belize among select countries for programs aimed at ensuring that our territorial waters continue to have healthy stocks of wild fish. Today, the Belize Fisheries Department and its partners held graduation ceremonies for three persons who have been leading on-the-ground work as a part of the Pride Campaign, aimed at building the support of the fishing communities across Belize for a new fisheries regime, being implemented this year—essential because the new regime changes the way fishers have been used to doing business over the years. “It is about changing how we have approached fisheries traditionally, from the beginning of time—which is from an open access standpoint, to now actually having a more structured approach to how fishers access the resource,” said Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade.

Belize legislators move to finalize extradition treaty with Mexico
In late 2015, Mexico had sought the extradition of David Nanes Schnitzer, 47, an international fugitive, wanted for his alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The warrant was handed down months before Schnitzer, who was living in Belize as David Banes, managed to get bail for a traffic offence, but it was never executed. Belizean officials had claimed that they could not hand Schnitzer over because the extradition treaty with Mexico had not yet been incorporated into domestic legislation. Parliament is now moving to rectify that with an amendment to Belize’s Extradition Act, which already covers extraditions to the US and to Guatemala. Schnitzer, who was stripped of his Belizean citizenship after his arrest, for allegedly obtaining it through fraud, disappeared after he was released on bail on November 20, 2015; and although that proverbial horse is already out of the gate, a bill was tabled in Parliament on Friday to finally formalize Belize’s extradition treaty with Mexico. This would mean that once it becomes law, the Government of Belize would have the executive authority to implement extradition warrants from Mexico.

Opposition objects to reappointment of Ombudsman
Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca objected this morning to the reappointment of Lionel Arzu as Ombudsman, citing reports of “inactivity and ineffectiveness” in recent years. Fonseca spoke after Prime Minister Dean Barrow, United Democratic Party member for Queen’s Square, introduced a motion for Arzu’s reappointment for a year, effective January 1, 2016. Arzu was first appointed back in January 2013, and Barrow said that he is eligible for reappointment and continues to possess the relevant qualifications. As a result, he asked Parliament to recommend him to the Governor-General for reappointment for a further year. However, Fonseca said that the motion is not one that the Opposition could support. “I wish to place on record that over the past few years that Lionel Arzu has served as Ombudsman, we have received and many of my colleagues have reported concerns about the level of inactivity and ineffectiveness…” Fonseca said.

Police destroy weed worth over a million dollars
Police confiscated 22 pounds of marijuana in the Toledo and Cayo Districts during anti-drug operations on Wednesday and Friday. The high-grade weed they found in Cayo reportedly has an estimated street value of $33,000; it is sold on the local market at $1,500 per pound. At the time when the drug was found no one was in the area, and so no arrests have been made in connection with the discovery. At 4:00 this morning, Punta Gorda police went to an area 3 miles off the Columbia Famers Road, west of Colombia, where they found a marijuana plantation containing 1,250 marijuana plants ranging from 6 inches to 3 feet in height. No one was found in the area and the plants were uprooted and destroyed by fire.

Another San Ignacio teen girl commits suicide
The family of a female student, 15, of San Ignacio Town, is struggling to understand why she committed suicide behind their house this morning. Reports to Amandala are that at about 7:00 this morning, her mother went into her room to wake her for school, but she was not there, and they then began to search for her. The horrified family found her behind the house, hanging by the neck from a rope that was attached to a beam. The girl was quickly cut down and rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. Police said that there were no signs of violence on the body, and foul play has been ruled out. The motive for the suicide is not known.

The Reporter

Veteran journalist prepares for life-saving surgery; needs assistance
Veteran journalist, Patrick Jones, known more recently for his breaking news postings on Facebook, and previously for his career in radio and television news, is preparing to undergo a life-saving surgery for Acute Pancreatitis, this week. Jones’ family and friends have raised $5,000 – the cost of the surgery at La Loma Luz Adventist hospital in Santa Elena, but he still needs roughly $3,000 more for after-care, which will take another couple weeks before he can return to work. Together they are planning to have a bar-b-que sale in San Ignacio town on Saturday, January 30th, in order to raise money, but are asking the public to assist by making monetary contributions. Jones told the Reporter he was diagnosed with a severely inflamed pancreas late last month, when he was rushed to La Loma Luz hospital, barely able to move. He had been going there for months before, with severe pain that he said would start in the abdomen, and extend to the lower back, sides and upper back. He said each time the doctors would run tests, but find nothing, and prescribe pain medication.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

WHO warns of Zika spreading, threat to unborn babies
There is a new worldwide health concern as the World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that the Zika virus may spread to every country in the Americas. While the virus is not necessarily life threatening to adults, there is a growing suspicion that the virus […]

Yohnny Rosado and son forced to close business
This evening Yohnny Rosado and his son Yohnny Jr. are out of work. While the elder Rosado is a well-known tour operator, about eight months ago the father and son started a tire selling business called Econo Tires on the Philip Goldson Highway. Today, however, […]

Conservation organizations to promote sustainable fishing
Seafood is a major source of income for Belizeans, from those who catch it to those who cook and sell it. But worried about the level of illegal masking of fisheries products under different guises and wishing to reward individual fishermen and businesses who do the […]

Fishery stakeholders want you to “Fish Right, Eat Right”
Earlier today, stakeholders in conservation and fisheries met to launch “Fish right, Eat right”, which is a certification program that will promote sustainable and legal trade of seafood, backed by an educational campaign. This program aims to reduce instances of illegal fishing while promoting […]

PUP debate cancelled
The debate, in which the three People’s United Party (PUP) candidates were supposed to square off flexing brain muscle, has been canceled because two of the three did not answer a request to participate. According to the organizers of the debate, Francis Fonseca was the only candidate […]

Stann Creek police find over 3 pounds of weed
An operation conducted by police’s Mobile Interdiction Team and K9 Unit in Steadfast Village, Stann Creek District yesterday afternoon, resulted in more than 3 pounds of cannabis being found and seized. The team searched a farmland in the village around 1:30 p.m., where in […]

Details of minor’s suicide emerge
Saddening reports from San Ignacio Police confirm that 15-year-old Sacred Heart College student, Meisy Amanda Polanco, was found hanging from an avocado tree yesterday morning. At 7:00 a.m., the girl’s mother, 35-year-old Andrea Claudia Polanco woke up and noticed that her teen daughter was […]

PUP, UDP selecting new leaders; securing futures
The dust has barely even settled on last November’s general elections, and already both parties are looking to install new leaders to take the reins and usher in a new era in Belize’s political landscape. For the People’s United Party (PUP), after a dramatic defeat […]

Dry Southeasterly airflow prevailing
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with little or no rain. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be moderate. High temperatures today are expected […]


A Carnaval Like No Other in Ambergris Caye
San Pedro Carnaval is like no other in Belize, close to being a 90-year-old event on the island of Ambergris Caye, the cultural celebration sets itself apart as one of the most unique in the world. There are no parades, jump-up music or elaborate feathered-costumes like most Carnival celebrations in the Caribbean, South America or Africa, but there is street dancing and people covered in paint running through the streets trying to catch the next unsuspecting islander. Men dressing up in drag and dancing through the streets of downtown San Pedro - there is nothing odd with that, once it is Carnaval time. The street dancing groups, called Comparsas, are always a highlight. They have become more than just groups of people dancing on the streets. Today they are well-choreographed performances with bigger, brighter and elaborate costumes, props and music. The men’s group, whose members dress in drag, comes out in full force and is always there to give spectators a great laugh. Other groups dance to themed presentations collecting donations along the way that go towards a charity or non-profit organization. San Pedro Carnaval is kicked off by cultural presentations, dances and exhibits at an opening ceremony that is followed by the three days of street dancing and painting. The celebrations fall yearly three days before Ash Wednesday and the commencement of Lent. Caranval kicks off the religious celebratory aspect of Easter in the Catholic community of San Pedro.

Meditation, the Most Gorgeous Dock and Then Ice Cream: Sunday Morning at Ak’Bol Retreat
A few weeks ago, a meditation invitation was put out to…everyone…by an organization called Peace Revolution. Very Gandhi…and I am on my way to India – I accepted. Plus, I have wanted to meditate for some time. The idea of being able to calm a whirring brain on command is very appealing. The organization was doing sessions in Placencia, in Belize City and on Ambergris Caye. And here on the caye, it was taking place on one of the most gorgeous docks to do just about anything…yoga…lounging about…swimming. Ak’Bol Eco-Resort, about 1 mile north. And though there was a chilly northerly breeze…WHAT A DAY! The resort is so beautiful…so fitting for the location. We grabbed mats and blankets…it was CHILLY! About 25 of us in all…and after a little talk and some questions…we settled in for 30 minutes of meditating. Usually I am antsy after about 2…but this leader was fantastic. Super calming voice…leading all the way. There is a TON of free information on the website if you are interested. Otherwise, I will cut this short for those rolling their eyes and get back to the photos.

Stew Conch
Pound conch with a mallet, cut into 1 1/2" pieces. Place conch in a bowl with vinegar. Add water, and set aside for 2 hrs then drain thoroughly. Cook onion and garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes Combine remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat. Conch is cooked when it is tender (about 45 minutes) for 45-50 minutes, stirring constantly until conch is tender.

Belizean Meat Pies
Combine flour and salt in to bowl. Rub shortening lightly into flour. Add baking powder and crumble until mixtures resemble fine bread crumbs. Mix to form a stiff dough with cold water (do not knead) Roll with the rolling pin and cut into small pieces. Line muffin tins with dough and add meat and cover with round pieces of dough. Use pastry crumpler to decorate each pie top. Put in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

International Sourcesizz

The Neurologist Who Hacked His Brain - And Almost Lost His Mind
THE BRAIN SURGERY lasted 11 and a half hours, beginning on the afternoon of June 21, 2014, and stretching into the Caribbean predawn of the next day. In the afternoon, after the anesthesia had worn off, the neurosurgeon came in, removed his wire-frame glasses, and held them up for his bandaged patient to examine. “What are these called?” he asked. Phil Kennedy stared at the glasses for a moment. Then his gaze drifted up to the ceiling and over to the television. “Uh … uh … ai … aiee,” he stammered after a while, “… aiee … aiee … aiee.” When Kennedy had arrived at the airport in Belize City a few days earlier, he had been lucid and precise, a 66-year-old with the stiff, authoritative good looks of a TV doctor. There had been nothing wrong with him, no medical need for Cervantes to open his skull. But Kennedy wanted brain surgery, and he was willing to pay $30,000 to have it done. Kennedy was himself once a famous neurologist. In the late 1990s he made global headlines for implanting several wire electrodes in the brain of a paralyzed man and then teaching the locked-in patient to control a computer cursor with his mind. Kennedy called his patient the world’s “first cyborg,” and the press hailed his feat as the first time a person had ever communicated through a brain-computer interface. From then on, Kennedy dedicated his life to the dream of building more and better cyborgs and developing a way to fully digitize a person’s thoughts.

Belize plans to free jailed Cuban immigrants
Authorities in Belize announced that the 32 Cuban immigrants detained for entering the country without documentation will soon be released, but the Cubans are unaware of the details of their liberation and are still in jail. Director of Immigration Godwin Hulse told Seven News Channel in Belize that on Friday he would sign a document releasing the Cubans from jail. But according to statements Tuesday from Yorday Leon Perdomo, who is in Hattieville’s Central Prison, authorities in Belize have yet to inform the immigrants when they will be released. “We just called the immigration office and they told us that they were working arduously to process us out but that there’s still a while more to wait,” said Leon Perdomo, adding that none of the incarcerated immigrants was given further details. He also noted that Belize authorities had not officially communicated the news of their liberation to them. “No one has come to tell us anything despite the fact that the media in Belize reported that we would be released from jail immediately,” he said.

NCL unveils $400m upgrade programme
Norwegian Cruise Line has launched a new two-year $400 million programme aimed at upgrading the fleet. The Norwegian Edge is mostly focused on an “extensive” ship refurbishment of nine of the ships in the fleet, a process which began in October 2015 with a refresh of Norwegian Epic including many of its restaurants. This was followed by Norwegian Gem and now a further seven ships are being lined up for a dry-docking with both guest-facing and technical enhancements scheduled. Norwegian’s fleet has also updated its culinary offering while specialty menus are also being introduced. The cruise line is also implementing plans to improve its privately-owned destinations including the development of a resort-style port of call Harvest Caye, Belize, and private Bahamian island Great Stirrup Cay.

Study answers question: how do boa constrictors kill their prey?
It was widely believed that when a boa kills its prey, the snake squeezes the air out of its victim’s lungs. In a recent study scientists disproved this myth. “Our results suggest that boas are subduing and killing their prey during constriction by significantly affecting the prey’s cardiovascular system,” reported the researchers. Constriction quickly leads to changes in blood chemistry, with elevated blood potassium and acidosis. “Organs such as the liver, brain and heart would be the first to succumb to rapid tissue hypoxia,” the deficiency of oxygen reaching body tissues. There was also “direct evidence that the cardiac muscle is indeed affected by such ischemia,” the decrease in blood supply — surprisingly occurring within the first 30 seconds of constriction. “As soon as the snake was applying pressure, the blood pressure just immediately started going down, and going down really rapidly; and as fast as that blood [pressure] was going down, there was a nearly immediate change in the cardiac electrical activity,” said Boback. “This stuff happened so fast.” Dr. Boback told Mongabay that the research team’s objective was “to measure internal physiological parameters of the prey in order to try to figure out what are the consequences of having a snake wrapped around you.”

Open Letter from the Garifuna Nation and affiliated Garifuna organizations
Subject: The Unjustifiable Killing of Joel Palacios Lino and Elvis Armando Garcia. Dear President of Honduras Orlando Hernandez, United Nations Human Rights Commission, OAS Commission on Human Rights, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Amnesty International other International Human Rights Agencies, OFRANEH, AAGANIC, NGC, ONEGUA and all Garinagu Organizations: The Garifuna Nation is an international Garifuna organization with Representatives from the countries of Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize and the United States of America. The main purpose of this organization is to look after the social, political, economic and cultural interest of the Garifuna people in all these countries that are outlined in this memorandum. Also, to take appropriate actions to resolve any problems that our people may face from time to time.


  • Go Pro - Belize, 5.5min.

  • Bicycling through a jungle in Belize., 10min.

  • SCUBA Diving in Belize with SeaStar Belize, 4min.

  • Belize Blue Hole, 2min.

  • Belize scuba diving, 2min.

  • highlights of our trip to Belize Dec 2015, 6min.

  • Life in Belize ~ Golf Carts, The Cars of San Pedro, 5min. Today's video of “Cars in San Pedro, Belize” was taken on Front Street (the main street in downtown) at Central Park. Life in Belize and in particular the island towns like San Pedro is demonstrated by the vehicles that we drive on a daily basis. Here a glimpse into the simplicity that is, “island life”.

  • Whale sharks near Silk Cayes, 1min. About 6-10 whale sharks and a manta ray spotted today near the silk cayes between hatchet caye resort and Moho caye. Whale sharks range between 25-40 feet. Awesome day

  • San Pedro, Belize (2016), 1.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 6.5min.

  • Hopkins, Belize, 8min.

  • Part 3 - Belize Mayan Adventure - 2016 Pageau Cruise on Carnival Magic, 5.5min. Part 3 of our Carnival Magic Cruise in Belize. This is the first time we have been on the Mainland since all our previous times we were diving and the dive boat picked us up directly from the ship. The trip was arranged by Don who negotiated with the driver. The Altun Ha Mayan Ruins were better than I expected and we all had a great time.

  • Belize's Trip 2015, 6min. Hey so here are some video clips and some pictures from the Belize's trip i went to with my mom. En joy and thanks for watching :)

  • Belize Ziplining and Crystal Cave Tubing - GoPro, 9.5min. Working on a cruise ship had it's perks... Including free shore excursion!!! Me and my girlfriend went to Belize Chukka Park where we zip-lined and took a tube ride into the Crystal Caves! The cave was great but doesn't show up well on camera. All The staff at the park were amazing. If you are in Belize and you're looking for an exciting tour this is the place!

  • Octopus hunting a crab - Belize - Hol Chan, 2min. Video taken at Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize in December 2015. Shot with GoPro HERO 2.

  • Genesis skateboarding in Belize, 2min. Skateboarding in Belize has just started. We love it!

  • Buddy Brucka Dance Competition at Pier 1 Bar and Grill Belize City, 6min. Belizean ladies showing of their talent.

  • Belize, 14min.

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