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Today's Belize News: February 12, 2016 #511572
02/12/16 05:59 AM
02/12/16 05:59 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

A stunning rainbow!
What can we say? Some evenings you just happen to be up on a roof and catch a spectacular rainbow as its hues deepen and darken, low clouds threatening rain over the reef, maybe the pot gold landing somewhere in the deep!

Bailando a Todo Color: Carnaval 2016, a festival of colors
The island came alive from Sunday, February 7th through Wednesday, February 10th during the 2016 El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro. The traditional celebration is held to usher in the 40-day Lenten Season, and this year’s carnaval was held under the theme “Bailando a Todo Color”. From painting to the comparsas’ presentations, festivities were bigger and more colorful than ever. Originally, festivities were scheduled to commence on Saturday, February 6th with the annual block party at Central Park, but due to inclement weather, the party was postponed. Nevertheless, the spirit of carnaval was not dampened, and on Sunday, February 7th, the fun started in earnest. During this time, traffic access on Barrier Reef Drive and a portion of Pescador Drive was closed. Those not wanting to participate in the painting were encouraged to avoid these areas.2016 Carnaval Celebrations Lent Comparsas Painting-5The three days of painting and comparsas presentations started with a Color Powder and Foam Party at Central Park at 3PM hosted by DJ Debbie and DJ Karma. Of course, the comparsas were also out delighting the crowds with their humorous dance presentations. Three out of the four registered groups took part in Sunday’s festivities: San Pedro AIDS Commission as the Hawaiians, Flora Ancona’s Comparsas Group as the Tourists and the Black and White Charikanari Dancers.

Thousands of teachers to be unemployed following MOE new teaching standards
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is tightening its standards on teachers across Belize, requiring them to have the necessary education and pedagogical skills in order to keep their job in the coming school year. The implementation of these new standards is expected to affect over a thousand primary and secondary school teachers who do not have the necessary qualifications to teach in Belize. This was announced during a press conference on Wednesday, February 3rd in Belize City. The Ministry of Education hopes that with this step, the education system will be strengthened and teachers will become better qualified. Heading the implementation of the new regulations is Minister of Education, Honorable Patrick Faber, who indicated that only about 40% of primary school teachers and 31% of secondary school teacher are actually qualified to be educators. “We invested in teacher’s education and professional development. We provided financial incentives for teachers to acquire professional qualifications. We are continuing to drive the train and certify all principals and vice principals in school leadership; constantly reviewing teacher education programs to meet and exceed new national standards,” explained Faber.

Belize to host Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads
Since May 1, 1974, Belize has fostered an outstanding relationship with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Belize is now scheduled to host the Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads, to be held on February 16th and 17th at the Placencia Peninsula. The meeting will see the participation of 15 member states including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Belize hosting the meeting is incredibly historic, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow currently holds the Chairmanship of the Conference of Heads of Government of the CARICOM. Belize has a longstanding relationship with CARICOM, including the distinction of a Belizean being the first female Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of CARICOM. Dr. Carla Barnet served CARICOM in that capacity from 1997 to 2002. While acknowledging the milestone that she achieved, she deflected attention to the skill set that she brought to the position. “It was an honor for me to be selected. Being the first female Deputy Secretary-General, while it was a historical milestone, I’d like to think that I came there not because I was a woman, but because I brought a particular set of skills that the Secretariat needed at that time,” said Barnett.

Minister of Local Government, Honorable Hugo Patt visits San Pedro
The Honorable Hugo Patt, Minister of Local Government, Labour and Rural Development, along with an entourage of eleven members of his ministry made an official visit to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye on Thursday, February 4th. The visit was part of a national tour that Minister Patt is doing around the country in order to build and further foster a strong working relationship between all municipalities and ministries countrywide. Mayor Daniel Guerrero, along with Deputy Mayor Gary Greif and Councilors of The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) welcomed Patt and his team to the SPTC office. During the meeting, Guerrero officially welcomed the Minister and his staff to Ambergris Caye. He mentioned that government officials need to make such visits/activities more often to the municipalities so that issues pertaining Central Government can be better addressed. He added that visits should also be done to the educational institutions and other governmental branches in each municipality. Guerrero also touched on the topic concerning the communication between the Local and Central Government, which according to him, needs improvement. Guerrero hopes communication advances with such official visits.

Third EIA held for North Ambergris Caye Water System and Sewage Collection and Treatment
The EIA also looked closely at the effects the project would have on the local environment both in the short and long term. “Taking into consideration the surrounding fragile ecosystem of the island, the project had to be carefully planned and designed. An environmental monitoring plan is vital for any development project. The monitoring plan made for this project will help in assessing the effectiveness of proposed mitigation measures and in providing a focus for the scripting of an Environmental Compliance Plan by the DOE. Even though there will be some changes to the surrounding environment, it is noteworthy to consider the impacts that the surrounding ecosystem would endure of the project is not implemented,” said Garcia. He went on to explain that the lack of a sewage collection facilities is currently causing pollution and damaging the pristine waters of the area. The project is expected to greatly benefit the tourism product as the area is seeing significant business development. The accessibility of water distribution and sewage collection will improve the quality of service offered by resorts in the area, as well as residents who live in the area. Once the project’s EIA is approved, work on North Ambergris Caye Water System and Sewage Collection and Treatment plant is expected to start immediately.

Tiger Sharks experience first home loss
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks fell to the Smart Belize Hurricanes in their third game of the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Season. This loss has left the Tiger Sharks in fourth place, trailing behind the Smart Belize Hurricanes, Dangriga Warriors and Cayo Western Ballaz. Nevertheless, the season is still in its infancy and Tiger Sharks are determined to not experience another loss and claim the NEBL Champion for the third year in a row. The next round of games will take place from Thursday, February 11th to Saturday, February 13th. Independence Thunderbolts will take on the Belmopan Bandits on Thursday, February 11th at the University of Belize Auditorium at 9PM. On Friday, February 12th, the Smart Belize Hurricanes will take on the Belize City No Limit at the Bird’s Isle Basketball Court at 9PM, while the Dangriga Warriors will host the San Pedro Tiger Sharks at Ecummenical High School Auditorium also at 9PM. Saturday, February 13th will see three matches all at 9PM: Cayo Western Ballaz against Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multi-purpose Complex, Independence Thunderbolts against the San Pedro Tiger Sharks at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium and the Dangriga Warriors against Smart Belize Hurricanes at Bird’s Isle. All games can be followed live at, with real time box scores while the game is being played.

Ambergris Today

Government Debunks Claims of Local Rice Having Cancer Causing Agents
Alleged claim of aflatoxin in locally produced rice - The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) in consultation with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority and the Ministry of Health, hereby submits a response on the alleged claim of aflatoxins in local rice as issued in a press release dated February 10, 2016, by rice importer Mr. Jack Charles of Extra House. In a press release, Jack Charles cited tests conducted by an American laboratory indicating that sampled local brands of rice in Belize (Circle R and Tropic) are not safe to consume because they contain low levels of aflatoxins that are cancer causing agents known to kill large numbers of people when consumed in excess causing damage to the liver, lungs, kidneys, brain and heart. Charles had forwarded his results to the Bureau of Standards, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and Ministry of Agriculture on February 1, 2016.

Wait What? OH NO! Lobster Season to Close! When is Lobster Fest?
Unfortunately there comes a time that we, in Belize, have to deal with the issue of not having lobster as an option on the dinner table. Fortunately, the closed season for lobster fishing is there to protect the species for us to have an abundance of it later in the year. We can all look forward to celebrating during three large Lobster Festivals that take place in Belize. This is your last chance to treat yourself to a delicious Belizean lobster meal as the Fisheries Department informs fishers and the general public that the lobster fishing season will close on February 15th and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2016. The department's press release states that any person found in possession of lobster during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance to Fisheries Regulation 3 (1) (b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize (2003).

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

SBDC Workshop: Establishing a Business in Belize
The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to start a business in Belize. The specific objectives of the training are to enable participants to: Better understand the skills of an entrepreneur To understand the importance of a business plan Acquire information on how to adequately formalize your business in Belize Expected outcome: Competent individuals with the skills and knowledge to start a formal business in Belize. WORKSHOP COST : FREE. Location: La Inmaculada Credit Union, Orange Walk. Workshop Date: Feb. 18th, 2016, Time: 9am to 12p

United Kingdom Buying Shrimp in Belize!
A strong will to increase its export market base and achieve the coveted international Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification led to the formation of the Belize Shrimp cluster and it is now reaping the benefits of accomplishing both goals. Challenged by an unforeseen viral disease which severely impacted the Belize shrimp industry, the cluster still managed to successfully supply UK based multinational retailer Marks and Spencer as well as the second largest supermarket chain in the UK, Sainbury’s, with 1.1 million pounds of shrimp in 2015. Under the Sainsbury agreement, the shrimp is repackaged under its premium brand and sold exclusively by the chain as it has agreed not to source shrimp from any other supplier under its brand. This has resulted in a higher than projected price premium for exports to these markets.

JOB OPPORTUNITY - Attorney General's Ministry Post Title: Librarian
The primary role of the Librarian is the management of the Library Registry which is separate from the Records Management Unit and to providing library and research services for the Ministry of the Attorney General and maintenance of the library and its collections. SCOPE OF WORK: 1. Keeping control of books in the library; 2. Developing and managing convenient accessible library and information services; 3. Developing and maintaining indexing of cataloging systems and files for collections; 4. Ensuring an accurate inventory of resources; ...Applications to be submitted to: The Solicitor General, Attorney General’s Ministry Second Floor, East Block, Independence Plaza Belmopan, Belize Tel: +501-822-0519 Fax: +501-822-3390 Email: [email protected] Deadline for Submission: 29th February 2016

Belize Audubon Society Bird Fair
We are at Red Bank today at the Belize Audubon Society Bird Fair. Come see us if you are closeby. Learn about our conservation efforts and volunteer opportunities.

The Belize - COPA Airlines Presentation in Costa Rica
A presentation on ALL things Belize to COPA Airline wholesalers.

CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador visits Leo Bradley Library
This evening CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque visited the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City, where he observed visually-impaired students using a specially-equipped desktop to assist with their learning. The desktop was provided by CARICOM.

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, San Pedro celebrated its last day of Comparsas & Painting with a bang! Entertainers were lined up for the closure of Carnaval at Central Park - DJ Debbie, Dj Dalla, DJ Kream and New Sensation Band. The comparsas were very vibrant this year! The San Pedro AIDS Commission paraded the streets as colorful flowers in full bloom, Mrs. Flora's Group were dancing yellow fiery habaneros, the Barbie's wore their most elegant dresses and neon hair do's to the occasion, and lastly the Black N White Charikanari Dancers brought out the bulls to the dance as they all danced throughout the streets of town. This year, we saw the participation of four comparsas that definitely put out their best and once again lived and show cased the true meaning of Carnaval. Que Viva el Carnaval de San Pedro!

Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita
New date for the Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita Site is Saturday February 20th, 2016. Tickets are still available at Hotel Maya or Tony's Hotel. Don't forget that there will be two additional performances. Bring out everyone and let's all enjoy our mayan history and culture. Time: 7:00 P.M. Presenters: Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College "El baile del Cochino - Hog head Dance" Ek Balam - Potapok Mayan Ball Game Admission: Reserve $20, Adults $10, Children 14 years and under $2

Power interruption from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday February 13th, 2016 on portions of Corozal Town
Power interruption from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday February 13th, 2016 on portions of Corozal Town: (1st Avenue & 2nd Street North) (1st to 8th Street South) and (1st, 5th & 6th Avenue South) - Two 30 minute power interruptions. 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. will also affect (G & A Street) (8th & 9th Avenue) (E,F,C & B Street South) (9th & 10th Street South). B.E.L to re-route high voltage lines in Corozal Town.

Line Supervisor opening at BEL
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Line Supervisor in the Transmission and Distribution Operations Department.

Mission 3:16 Concert
The SISE HoC is bringing Mission 3:16 to the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday, February 20th. The concert starts at 7:00pm.

Retired Ambassador Moreno had the opportunity to meet with alumni from Yale University at Chan Chich Lodge
OUT AND ABOUT - Recently Ambassador Moreno had the opportunity to meet with alumni from Yale University at Chan Chich Lodge to discuss the many wonders of Belize. Where would you advise visitors as the best place to visit in Belize? Why?

Applying for a U.S. passport?
Here’s what you’ll need to bring: - One 2”x2” passport photograph. - Proof of citizenship (e.g. your most recent U.S. passport; or other evidence such as a U.S. birth or naturalization certificate and a reliable form of photo identification) - Photocopies of all of your documents, including your passport. - The right application form: - The appropriate fee: Please visit this page for more details:

Channel 7

Fruta Bomba To Close: 251 Nortenos Will Be Left Jobless
251 Employees of Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers were told today that the foreign owned papaya company would be closed down in 6 months. If you don't know about Fruta Bomba, it's Belize's biggest Papaya Producer - located near San Joaquin village in the Corozal District - and it's been operating in Belize for 22 years. The Company is owned by Brooks Tropicals - a fruit company based in the US State of Florida. Brooks Tropicals sent out a release today saying that it is closing its growing and packing operations in Belize by mid-August. And why now? Well, they just aren't making money - or at least that's according to a press release. The release says, quote, "economic conditions, particularly after hurricane Dean in 2007 have hindered the company's substantial efforts to rebuild a profitable operation."

Jose Mai Says Government Bureaucracy Boxed Out Bomba
One man that sounded the alarm on Fruta Bomba months ago was PUP Representative Jose Mai. He warned the House of Representatives that the investor was unhappy because of delays in the Department of the Environment approving the digging of wells. At the time Mai noted that the company had gone down from packing almost 80 thousand boxes of fruit, to packing just 15 thousand. And now he says the company closing will give rise to all the social issues that accompany unemployment:.. Hon. Jose Mai, Area Rep. OW South: "Today I think they've had enough and they decide to move. You see other countries have a lower cost of production and they are moving there. Why would they stay in a country that has high cost of production, high labor cost, unfit or unfriendly farm policies? When you can go to other countries and get labor for half the price in Belize. You have less disease incidents, you have friendly government who understands agriculture - who understands exportation and trade. Why would you stay in Belize? Why would you stay in a country where they tell you you can't dig a well until I approve it and it takes 30 days to approve a well?"

She Trafficked A 15 Year Old Into Sex Slavery
Back in February 2014, it made big news when 64 year-old Estela Gonzalez was accused of human trafficking after she brought in a 15 year-old girl into Belize and forced her to have sex with men. Well tonight, Gonzalez is in jail - after being convicted of human trafficking by a jury of 9. The jury heard testimony from the victim who testified that Gonzalez brought her to Belize from her home in Honduras on August 18, 2013. She said that she was having serious family issues, and that's when she was introduced to Gonzalez who offered her a home in Belize City. The victim told the court that Gonzalez told her that she was going to be working in a beauty salon, but, instead, she took her to Temptation Bar, at Mile 10 on the George Price Highway. She said that whilst there, Gonzalez coerced her into having sexual intercourse with a man who paid Gonzalez $150 for the encounter. The complainant went into further details that Gonzalez paid the bar owner $50, she kept $75 dollars for herself, and paid her $25 for the night. She then went on to recount 2 other occasions where Gonzalez pressured her into having sex with 2 other men for the same price.

Set a Statue Of The Virgin Mary On Fire
A statue of the Virgin Mary was set on fire yesterday evening at the La Inmaculada Church in Orange Walk. A woman went into the church compound around 5 yesterday evening and lit the statue on fire. Now in the Catholic church, everyone knows how sacred these statues are, so who would want to do such a thing? Is it some kind of attack against the Catholic Church? When Father Oliver Smalls of the La Immaculada Parish spoke to our colleagues at CTV3 he told them it has nothing to do with the church, it was just a senseless act by someone who needs help. Father Oliver Smalls, Priest: "I think the person who did that was depressed and upset and needed some sort of metal health. I don't think it was anything against the Catholic Church or the community or the Virgin Mary. I just think the person has problems and somehow the problems were just overwhelming. So we here hold no malice or hurt feelings against her at all. The only action is prayer. We will keep her in prayer. It's unfortunately, but no, we won't seek legal actions at all and the person who donated the shrine is willing to take care of all the damages and fix things up. So God is good to us and we have to share that blessing with others."

The Wind Fed Fire
It was the wind alright: that's what the Spanish Lookout Fire Department confirmed today. As we told you there was a fire at Country Foods in Spanish Lookout around 3 yesterday afternoon. An employee had set a pile of garbage on fire in the yard but the wind blew the fire towards the main storage room of the building. That's when another pile of expired goods that was set out in front of the storage room caught on fire - it damaged about 3 quarters of the building. The fire team got to the scene quickly and extinguished the blaze in a couple of minutes. The manager told us the fire caused over $5,000 worth of damages.

Robbers Playing Cops?
Tonight there are two reports of robbers pretending to be cops! The first comes from CBC Cable on C Street in Belize City. Last night, just before midnight, the security guard heard banging at the door, and someone shouting "Police, Police come out." He went out and was met by two Hispanic men dressed in what looked like police uniforms who said they were there to search for a concealed weapon. One of the pretend-police carried a shotgun - and the other wore a sweater and wielded a flashlight. The security guard dutifully let them in, and they found nothing. They then asked to see the security guard's loaded .38 revolver and told him he will be taken in for questioning. After that, they tied his hands, took the gun, and just left him there. Almost the same thing happened at the Harpy Security Firm at 12:10 am yesterday. Just after midnight, the dispatcher was the company's Antelope Street Extension headquarters, heard someone at the front door and when she opened it, she saw a man dressed in something close enough to a police uniform, who introduced himself as a "Police Officer".

Mek Mi Rich Trial Winding Up
The Battle over the Mek Mi Rich Game Show went back to the Supreme Court today. As we've been reporting, businessman Curtis Swasey has sued BTL and the owners of Mek Mi Rich. He claims that BTL breeched a non-disclosure agreement, gave away his gameshow idea of lottery texting, and that allowed the owners of MMR Belize to profit off his stolen idea. For about 6 hours today, Justice Courtney Abel heard closing arguments from Swasey's attorney, Kareem Musa, and BTL's attorney, Magali Perdomo as to whether or not Mek Mi Rich is a stolen idea. Musa spent much of his submissions trying to convince the judge that though there is no clear proof that BTL gave away the idea, there is enough circumstantial evidence to prove that they did pass on Swasey's ideas to the owners of MMR Belize, Sunjay Hotchandani and Andre Vega, the son of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. The judge was very meticulous picking apart Musa's arguments, and in the afternoon, it was Magali Perdomo's turn to try to convince the judge. She focused a large part of her submissions answering the pointed questions in her case.

Alpuche Alleges Against Jack Charles
Is your rice safe to eat? Importer Jack Charles has questioned that. He says that according to the law, it should be completely free of Aflatoxins. And he commissioned a test form a US lab which shows less than two micrograms of aflatoxins per kilogram in three brands of locally produced rice. Yesterday the Bureau of Standards came out emphatically to say, quote, "none of the rice samples analysed contain detectable levels of aflatoxins and as a result does not pose any threat to human health." Today the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture told us that Jack Charles is playing games with an important industry:.. Jose Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Agriculture: "I believe what he is doing by raising these false alarm is a disservice to the rice industry, a disservice to the consumers and a disservice to Belize. And man, we have to be much more serious than that. We are dealing with people's livelihood when we speak of any productive sector here in Belize and I really would hope that people would be a little bit more responsible than put out these false reports."

Hon. Mai Says Charles Is a Businessman First And Foremost
And today, the PUP's Jose Mai actually supported the government's stance against Jack Charles. He's from Orange Walk south where the greatest number of rice producers are concentrated and he's also a trained agronomist. He says that BAHA is the only one who should be handling samples, not Jack Charles:... Hon. Jose Mai, Area Rep. OW South "The question arises is where do this sample come from? Nobody knows where Mr. Jack Charles got this sample from." Jules Vasquez: "He says he bought it off the shelf." Hon. Jose Mai, Area Rep. OW South: "That's what he says. We have no way to prove that is accurate. What procedure did he use to extract the sample? So what methodology, what protocol did he use to get this sample?" Jules Vasquez: "You are making the thing too complex Mr. Mai. He went to the store and he buys it the same way me or you would go buy these brands of rice and he took that same thing and he sent it. The same thing in the pack and you and I go buy. You don't have to be so high tech. That is what we are going to eat."

PUP Swears Against Santander
And keeping it on agriculture, today the PUP issued a press release, quote "expressing serious concerns and reservation regarding the proposal by the Social Security Board to lend the foreign owned Company (Santander) $12m Bz." The PUP calls on SSB to make public whether its loan will be "a first-ranking charge on the assets of the Company." Today Jose Mai expanded on the party's position:.. Hon. Jose Mai, Area Rep. OW South: "When you hear of a company coming in, the first thing the Prime Minister say oh its foreign investment. It means that they are bringing their money into this country to invest. All of a sudden now they are not foreign investors anymore. They are using our money - Social Security hard-earned laborers money. The question that has been asked is how safe is Santander's investment in sugar industry? Where are we with the sugar industry right now? It's in crisis. Where is their market?" The PUP says the loan is too risky and should not be made by SSB.

Checking The CARICOM Climate
Following the Cop21 meeting that took place in Paris last year December, CARICOM Ministers responsible for climate change along with their technical advisors convened at the Buitlmore Plaza hotel today for the first session of a two day workshop. Coming out of the Cop21 meeting was the Paris Agreement- a new international climate change agreement in which all countries agreed to limit global warming. Today, during the first session of the meetings the technical REPRESENTATIVES of 8 different Caribbean countries discussed the benefits and shortfalls of this agreement in an effort to formulate a regional response in time for the follow up meeting set for April this year. 8 CARICOM countries are represented at this two day workshop.

Mayen For Attempted Murder
21 year-old Darrell Mayen was found guilty of attempted murder today in a trial without jury before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The judge heard the prosecution's case that the incident happened on August 1, 2010 on the corner of Woodpecker Street and Jimmy Dyer Street. The victim, 32 year old Rafael Caceres, was walking on Woodpecker Street, heading for home when Mayen rode up behind him on a bicycle and fired several shots. Caceres was shot in his back just as he jumped over a drain while trying to get away. That injury has left him crippled in one leg. Caceres positively identified Mayen as the person who shot him. In his defence, Mayen testified and said that he was at his mother's house watching television when the shooting occurred. He called his mother as a witness but she could not say whether he had left the house.

"Indian" Gets 3 Years For Touching Child
39 year-old Francisco Gomez, better known as "Indian", is spending his second night of a 3 year sentence after he was convicted of sexual assault in the court room of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. The victim, an 11 year-old child, testified that she was at her grandmother's house on April 19, 2015, in Burrell boom. She was watching television and when she got up to get some water Gomez slapped her rear end. She said Gomez, who smelled of liquor, also slapped her face and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Gomez then put his hand around her waist and tried to kiss her. She said that when she told her grandmother what had happened, she drove Gomez from the house. In his defence, Gomez gave a statement from the dock in which he denied he committed the offences. He said he was at the house watching a movie when the child told him he was watching a simple movie and took out his DVD and put in one of her own. He said when he removed her DVD, she started to cry. Gomez said she then went into the bedroom and her aunt came and asked him why he slapped the child. He said he then threw the remote control on the table and left the house.

Monkey Business In The Streets
The Chinese community celebrates its New Year in every corner of the globe that the Chinese have populated, and Belize is no exception. Although the official Chinese New Year's started on Monday, bad weather conditions forced the Chinese association to postpone the celebrations until today. But nonetheless the street show put on today did not disappoint. Emanuel Pech reports. Fire crackers, percussion instruments, and this- the dance of the lion- are the elements characteristic of the Chinese New year. Today the Chinese association came out with its usual New Year fanfare. President of the Belize-Chinese Association of Belize, Edmond Quan explained that it is more than just a show: Edmond Quan - President of the Chinese Association: "We are celebrating the Chinese New Year. We are doing the Lion Dance parade from shop to shop - different shops that request the Lion Dance. So we are going citywide."

Mayor Meets The King's Park Crew
A few weeks ago on this newscast, you hear residents of King's Park complaining about a high rise apartment building going up in their residential neighborhood. Well, they got a town meeting with the mayor this evening at the Lopez Mateos Park to discuss proper zoning in the area. Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley told us why a public meeting. Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "We are dealing with the issue of zoning and one of the important things with zoning is that you have to make sure that you get consensus in relation to that being a community-led initiative. We've had consultations previously. I met with several groups of residents in the area who were really advocating for the zoning regulations. But its necessary and we did a lot of advertisement for this evening. It's necessary to give everyone their voice to say. Tonight what are going to be doing is we are going to leading a public forum, a discussion. We've circulated copies of the regulations. It's also on our website. We will have Miss Margaret Mckenzie who is the legal counsel for the Belize City Council do a presentation section by section. So that we go through all the sections of the regulations and we will allow for people to give their feedback and response which is proper government."

Earthquake in Taiwan Shook Up Belizeans
A devastating earthquake in Taiwan over the weekend caused a large 17 story residential building to collapse. So far the death toll is 59 persons including children. At the same time there were about 7 other buildings that fell as a result of the powerful quake that registered at 6.4 magnitude. It's news in Belize because there are scores of students there in Taiwan Universities through the ICDF scholarship programme. The Embassy of Taiwan tells us that the last head count of Belizean students in Taiwan was over 280. Fortunately no Belizean were injured, however, the building that collapsed in Tainan, Tawian, was very close to the dorm of one of the universities that houses some 20-0dd Belizean students. We spoke to one of them, a first year student from Toledo, who recounted the traumatic experience. Parham told us that the collapsed building was approximately half a mile from their dorm. Several Belizean students come home during vacations however several others remain in Taiwan.

Channel 5

Fruta Bomba Bids Farewell to Belize
One of the biggest industries up north is the papaya industry. It provides employment for hundreds, but the future of the industry is bleak tonight because Fruta Bomba and its [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says Papaya Company’s Departure Was Foretold
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, they only got word of Fruta Bomba’s departure two days ago, but P.U.P. leader John Briceño, who hails from the north of the country, [...]

Honduran Bar Manager Awaits Sentencing on Human Trafficking Conviction
Convictions for human trafficking are rare, but tonight a grandmother is behind bars for the offence. Honduran national Estella Gonzalez was convicted this morning in the Supreme Court by Justice [...]

Belmopan Police Seek Killer of Zhijuang Zhang
Belmopan Police are still on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer in that jurisdiction, for the brutal murder of Chinese bar owner Zhijuang Zhang on Saturday morning. Zhang was stabbed [...]

Building in Spanish Lookout Almost Completely Destroyed by Fire
On Wednesday, we showed you the images of Country Foods in Spanish Lookout engulfed in flames. At about three p.m., a fire spread to the warehouse from a nearby pit [...]

N.T.U.C.B. Says No to Santander Loan
The S.S.B. loan to the Santander Group is a done deal – at least as far as approval is concerned. The application was made way back in October 2015, and [...]

The P.U.P. Says S.S.B. Should Have Sought Special Protection
The People’s United Party today issued a press release on the S.S.B. twelve million dollar loan to the Santander Group. In the release, the Party states that one pressing question [...]

N.T.U.C.B. President Marvin Mora Says Loan is Too High Risk
The N.T.U.C.B. agrees that the approved, if not disbursed loan to the Santander Group is too risky. President Marvin Mora says that while the S.S.B. is looking at money, as [...]

Regional Technical Climate Change Professionals Meet in Belize
A high-level technical delegation from the region is currently in Belize. The group is finalizing a climate change framework in the wake of the Paris Agreement coming out of the [...]

Belmopan Police Bust Men With 30 Pounds of Marijuana
Two men were busted with a sizeable amount of marijuana while Belmopan Police were conducting vehicle checks on Wednesday in Camalote on the George Price Highway. Travis Sutherland of Georgeville [...]

Alert: Businesses Hit by Fake Cops in Belize City
Police are on the lookout for two robbers who are operating in the city and impersonating cops. Within the past twenty-four hours, they struck twice. In the first incident, the [...]

P.U.P. Says Ministry of Agriculture Has No Vision
The departure of Fruta Bomba is only the most recent of a series of bad news for Belize where industries are concerned. Since last year the country has been taking [...]

Agriculture C.E.O. Responds to Allegations of Industries in Crisis
While Briceño says that the agriculture sector is taking a hit, the Ministry of Agriculture does not agree. Notwithstanding, late last year, Meridian Enterprises in the banana industry closed its [...]

K.H.M.H. Increases Clinic Fees
Representatives from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital have been making the media rounds this week talking about the good things happening at the national referral hospital and there are many, [...]

Finance Director Says G.O.B. Subsidy Does Not Cover K.H.M.H. Costs
The hospital’s large debt accumulated over the years, in part because patients often do not pay their bills. The K.H.M.H. has thus embarked on a campaign to tighten up on [...]

New K.H.M.H. Chair Says Institution is Crippled by Debt
Chair of the Board of Governors at the K.H.M.H., is Marilyn Williams; who is an attorney and has health care experience as a nurse.  Williams says that one of the [...]

Healthy Living Looks at the HPV Vaccine
World Cancer Day was celebrated one week ago on February fourth.  The Belize Cancer Society as a part of the day’s commemoration debuted a documentary entitled “Taking Control, Taking action, [...]


Orange Walk Police Receives Equipment To Fight Contraband
The Orange Walk Police Department today received a very generous and much needed donation from the US embassy. The Orange Walk Police department has always enjoyed a good relationship with the embassy and in the past they have received several donations including vehicles, computers and other equipment that has greatly assisted the department in combating crime in our town. But today’s donation of three contraband kits is particularly important for the department because they will benefit greatly from the equipment in combating the very serious and ongoing issue of contraband. Nicholas Palomo- Inspector of Police: “We received a donation worth it of a $20,000.00 worth of equipment that will assist us in the fight against drugs and firearms; received were a contraband detecting kit, comprises of several devices that will detect contraband carried in sealed compartments in vehicles like tires, door panels, engines and the bumper for the vehicle...”

PSU President Speaks On Challenges Meet By Public Servants
The President of the Public Service Union, Eldrid Neal has been meeting with public officers both in Orange Walk and Belize City with the aim of addressing issues that the officers are very much concerned with at this point in time. The meetings have revealed that there are a number of challenges that public officers are facing. One of them is that only a portion of public officers are given the opportunity to excel and obtain privileges within their respective jobs. This morning Neal was on the Despierta Belice morning show and spoke on the issue. “We’ve seen too often individuals being boosted by favor to move into certain capacities and positions and that kind of creates a burden on the system because the religious would have been working themselves into achieving a certain position...”

Youth Arm Of The PUP Speaks On Santander Issue
Today the Belize Youth Movement, the youth are of the PUP also challenged the Social Security Board’s Investment Committee to use the people's money on youth development instead of using the Belizean worker’s money to quote “bail out a rich, foreign company.” The BYM says the decision by the Investment Committee of the Social Security Board to use twelve million dollars to shoulder the financial burdens of a rich, foreign conglomerate, Santander, is a slap on the faces of Belizean workers whose sweat and tears provides SSB with its funds.

PUP Calls On SSB To Release More Info On The $20 Million Dollars Loan
And continuing with the issue of Santander, just some days ago in an interview with new leader of the People’s United Party, Hon John Briceno, he made mention that while he welcomes foreign investment and the benefits that it brings to our country he questioned GOB’s agenda in their decision to allow SSB to lend a large amount of money to a Guatemalan company. Today the PUP further weighed in on the matter of the Santander loan by sending out a release, stating quote “Our primary concern is why the people’s money is being used instead of borrowing from the commercial banks. The Santander Group is either strong enough to borrow an additional twelve million from commercial banks or it’s not. If it is not, then SSB should not be making this loan.” End quote

After 22 Years Brooks Tropical Leaves Belize
With an economy already in shambles the north of Belize is about to feel an even greater impact. This morning word spread that Brooks Tropicals would close its doors in Belize after 22 years of operation. That rumour was confirmed by midday via a press release issued by Brooks and Tropicals, the parent company of Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers both located in the Corozal District. The release states that the company's subsidiaries, Belize Fruit Packers and Fruta Bomba, will operate up to an additional six months and then completely close its doors. So why is the company shutting down after more than a decade of operating here in Belize? Well, according to the release, “economic conditions, particularly after Hurricane Dean in 2007, have hindered the company's substantial efforts to rebuild to a profitable operation. Efforts included the building of a 16,000 sq. ft. operations building and considerable improvements to growing, packing and nursery facilities and processes.

Minister Saldivar Visits Forward Operating In Road To Construction
The Minister of National Security, Hon John Saldivar along with Hon. Frank Mena, senior members of the Belize Defence Force, Belize Police Department and the Ministry of National Security Officials took the opportunity to visit the site in Toledo where the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base is currently being constructed. In a press release issued yesterday, it stated that the Forward Operating Base is being built by the Government of Belize with the aim of protecting Belize’s national sovereignty. It also stated that the FOB will assist in combating unlawful actions such as drug, contraband, human trafficking and weapons trading all of which are known to pose many threats to our country in terms of security.

Mai Says Local Rice Is Good For Human Consumption
Yesterday importer Jack Charles dropped a bomb on the nation when he issued a release alleging that the local rice consumed by Belizeans is contaminated with Aflatoxin which causes cancer and is also linked to liver disease and other illnesses. Charles alleges that test results of samples of the local rice sent to Eurofins Laboratory in New Orleans for testing show the product being contaminated with less than 2 micro grams per kilogram of Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2. The Belize Bureau of Standards has rebutted Charles’ allegation by stating that the test results shows that none of the rice samples analyzed contain detectable levels of Aflatoxins and as a result does not pose any threat to human health. And Orange Walk South Area Representative Jose Abelardo Mai agrees with the bureau. Today he told us that when it comes to the samples sent for testing, there are a number of things to consider.


Fees for Physiotherapy Go Up at KHMH – A Look Inside the Unit
With the cost of physiotherapy services going up in March, Love News paid a visit to the unit to get first-hand look at how the patients feel about the price change and the kind of service they get at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Renee Trujillo and cameraman Brian Castillo report.

PUP Says No to Loan For Santander
As the comments and feedback keep coming regarding the twelve million dollar loan to Santander from the Social Security Board continue, an official release from the People’s United Party was sent out today expressing opposition to the decision by the SSB’s Investment Committee to invest in the sugar factory in western Belize. The release says […]

Belize Progressive Party Wants More Details on Santander Loan
Belize Progressive Party (BPP) also weighed in on the issue. According to the BPP, even though they have no objections to investments in Belize with greater returns, they are asking the Social Security for transparency in the loan. Public Relations Deputy, Charles Leslie Jr. of the BBP told us about their concerns. CHARLES LESLIE JR […]

Belize Youth Movement Says No to SSB Loan for Santander
The Belize Youth Movement is the youth arm of the People’s United Party with a mandate to advocate on matters that affect the youth population, not only for the present but for the long term as well. BYM has joined the voices advocating against the proposed twelve million dollar loan from the Social Security Board […]

Social Media, SSB and Santander
One of the channels of media that has become an everyday part of life for millions around the world is the social media. From day to day, you can get the opinions and perceptions of individuals on various issues ranging from politics to entertainment. While the issue of the Social Security Board’s decision of lending […]

Dozens Lose Work in Papaya Industry as Company Shuts Down
A company that has been operating in Belize for more than two decades has announced that it will be shutting down business for good. On Tuesday we reported that 38 employees had been laid off last week Friday from both Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers. On Tuesday, CEO of Brooks Tropicals, the parent company […]

Church Statue Set Afire in Northern Belize
Last night as some residents of Orange Walk Town were preparing for the traditional Ash Wednesday mass at La Inmaculada Church, news began spreading of a fire at the Church’s compound. According to reports a woman was outside the compound in front of a grotto that housed a statute of the Virgin Mary. What she […]

Cop Fires in Yard, Almost Hitting Mother and Infant
Sometime around ten o’clock this morning, Love News was called to the home of Kimara Carrillo on New Road in Belize City. Carrillo told us about the terrifying experience she had when the police came running through her home firing a shot which passed inches away from her and her one month old baby girl. […]

Discussing the Outcomes of COP21
Next week the heads of CARICOM States will be in Placencia where they will be engaged in discussions of several issues affecting the region. One of those issues is climate change and today the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre convened a meeting whereby stakeholders discussed the recently signed global agreement that was signed at the […]

UWI Forms ZIKA Virus Task Force
While health officials in Belize have assured the public that they are taking precautions and engaging in public awareness campaigns as they relate to the ZIKA virus, one institution that has taken on their own initiative as a response to the growing threat of the virus in the Caribbean region. The University of the West […]


Fire at Country Foods in Spanish Lookout
There was fire in Spanish Lookout this evening; no one was injured. It happened at the Country Foods warehouse where Spanish Lookout fire officials and BNE officials worked at containing the blaze. By the time the fire was extinguished, the warehouse and its contents were completely destroyed but th...

Missing woman found dead
Last month we reported on the missing persons report made for Lydia Janet Garcia Giron and yesterday, February 9, the missing woman’s body was found in an orchard in Dangriga. On the 19th of January, a missing persons report was filed for the 39 year old woman by her son who told Belizean police t...

Jack Charles says local rice tested is harmful
Jack Charles was not able to get his imported Guyanese rice into the Belizean market for a cheaper price than the local rice producers. After making a public announcement of his intention to do so, the wheels were set in motion to stop him as concerns were raised over the negative effect the importe...

Belize Bureau of Standards responds to Jack Charle’s claims
Late this evening, The Belize Bureau of Standards in consultation with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority and the Ministry of Health issued a response to Jack Charles claims. It starts out by saying that Mr. Charles is not recognized as a competent authority to conduct testing of any basic fo...

Pregnant woman injured in traffic accident
Hattieville resident 37 year old Raquel Burke is in hospital tonight recovering from injuries sustained in a traffic accident this afternoon. This afternoon around 3:15 she was driving a Nissan Xterra from Ladyville to Belize City when, approaching the Northern approach of the Haulover Bridge, she l...

Belmopan resident knocked off motorcycle and robbed
A resident of Belmopan was stopped on his motorbike and robbed. On Tuesday the 9th of February, 22-year-old Gadiel Maldonado was travelling from Buena Vista Village to Valley of Peace Village on his motorcycle through the Farmer’s Road when he felt something hit his helmet. Maldonado stopped to see ...

Edison Johnson free on time served after manslaughter plea
53 year old Edison Johnson was accused of killing two men who he caught in the act burglarizing his home. Johnson pleaded guilty to manslaughter, the lesser charge to murder, but is tonight a free man. Johnson was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment but with deductions for his guilty plea, assisting t...

Re: Today's Belize News: February 12, 2016 [Re: Marty] #511573
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02/12/16 05:59 AM
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The Guardian

Sarstoon forward operating base under construction
Belize’s forward operating base is well under construction and on Wednesday February 10, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office, Hon. Frank ‘Papa’ Mena went on a field visit. At the site the ministers who had a contingent of Belize Defence Force soldiers and police found a structure that is well underway. The area for the base has been cleared and the frame for the building is already up. Ground was broken at the site on December 9 and two months in the work has progressed considerably despite adverse terrain conditions and transportation challenges. According the Chief Executive Office in the Ministry of National Security,(Ret.) Colonel George Lovel, the base will be inaugurated on April 11. It is costing the country 100 thousand dollars to construct the base. At its completion the Joint Forces Forward Operating Base will be used as a monitoring and operations point for Belizean law enforcement personnel as the Sarstoon River is suspected of being a transit point for human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and other transnational criminal activities.

SSB to decide on 12 Million dollar loan to Santander
Over the past few days much concern has been brought up by some regarding a proposed 12 million dollar loan that Santander has approached the Social Security Board to finance. Santander is the company which is in the process of establishing a sugar producing factory in western Belize. The company has already established a state of the art factory complete with 18 thousand acres of sugar cane ready for harvesting. The company has said that the process of harvesting will commence by the end of this month. While the company prepares itself for full production, it is at this point in time securing financing to complete a U.S. 142 million dollar investment in phase one of their project which includes the factory and cane fields. Already the company has put up U.S. 47 million dollars and borrowed 95 million in a syndicated loan from banks in Belize, Guatemala, Washington DC, Panama and Honduras. Of that syndication Belizean banks hold U.S. 59 million dollars of which the proposed 12 million dollars will be a part of.

Zika: less dangerous than Dengue and Chick-V
There seems to be a new disease or strain of a disease in this region every other year and at the onset these new epidemics cause mass panic amongst the population when most of the time there is really not much to be concerned about. At one point it was Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) then it was Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu). Two years ago it was Chikengunya then recently it was the scary Ebola. Before all these we were worried about Dengue and Cholera. It seems the world is petrified at the thought of a modern day black plague or yellow fever outbreak and every unfamiliar disease that reaches this corner of the world spells D-O-O-M. The Zika Virus is the latest fear generating organism to surface in the West and just like diseases that came in the last two decades, the bark is greater than the bite. Close to 40 health officials from across the country met in Belize City on Tuesday, February 09, to finalize the country’s preparedness plan of action for the Zika virus at a sensitization meeting. This meeting was attended by Dr. Ramon Figueroa, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, and led by Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services. At the end of the meeting, Dr. Manzanero addressed the media on the state of affairs in Belize. He was joined by Kim Bautista, Head of the Vector Control Unit, and epidemiology experts Dr. Russell Manzanero and Dr. Natalia Largaespada.

Licenseless Plus TV responds to Broadcasting Authority
The resource stressed Plus Television is having more difficulty staying on air after its owner, Louis Wade, applied for the wrong broadcasting license, according to the Belize Broadcasting Authority. Wade applied to the BBA for an On Air Broadcasting License but the regulatory body says this was an error on his part. On air broadcasts are those that can be accessed without cable, like Channel 5 and 7. These media houses have a wider audience due to the ease of access; therefore, they can charge more for advertisement. Passing itself off as an on air broadcasting station is a deceitful act by a cash-strapped media house trying to increase advertising revenue. The Belize Broadcasting Authority rejected Wade’s application and returned his money sent for the license. In a letter dated February 4, the BBA scolded Wade, “you have applied to have your on-air broadcasting license renewed for the year 2016, despite the fact that Plus Television is not broadcasting over the air. Therefore, the Board cannot approve the renewal of your on-air licenses.” The Board of Directors of the BBA recommended that Wade apply for a Cablecasting License, which is more suitable for the type of service he currently provides. Wade told the Guardian Newspaper that he believes the BBA made a “genuine mistake in its decision”. Plus TV wrote to the BBA explaining that they have been providing open air service to residents in the Belmopan area for years on Channel 21. Furthermore, he says it is a license they have had for years and he hopes that the situation is rectified quickly.

Taiwan assists with renal failure prevention program
With the help of Taiwan, Belize now has a program in place to help avoid Renal or kidney failures, a chronic and sometimes irreversible condition where the kidney fails to adequately filter waste products from the blood. H.E. Ambassador Benjamin Ho and Minister of Health Pablo Marin signed the Public Health and Medical Skills Cooperation Agreement and the Renal Failure Prevention Project between Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Wednesday at the Western Regional Health Vaccine Room in Belmopan. The Agreement and Project will now be taken into force for 5 years and 3 years respectively. According to statistic figures released from the Ministry of Health, Belize, the prevalence rate of obesity in Belize is over 60%, and the rate of hypertension and Diabetes among adults is over 30% respectively, which contribute directly to the development of chronic renal failure. Thus adequate treatment of patients at the early stage to prevent the exacerbation can effectively reduce the socio-economic cost on the whole society. Also, statistical figures from 2014 reveal that diseases of the heart (13%) and diabetes (9.5%) rank within the top three (3) causes of mortality in Belize. One of the risk factors for these NCDs is obesity, therefore it is important to address this factor through the promotion of healthy lifestyle practices.

Accident victim busted with 14 pound of weed
Roland Raheem Rivers, 34, is lucky to be alive after he crashed a Ford Escape into a tree near mile 16 on the Phillip Goldson Highway just after noon on Friday, February 5. The vehicle was extensively damaged and Rivers suffered from minor injuries. He has since been treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial but that was only the start of trouble for Rivers. Police report that officers of the Road Traffic Accident Team responded to the scene of the accident and saw the driver sitting in the vehicle. He was asked to exit and when he did the officers noticed a number of Brahman beers in the back seat of the vehicle, at least 40. A number of them were empty and Rivers struggled to walk. Further checks in the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag near the front passenger side. Police opened the bag in front of Rivers and it contained a green leaf like substance suspected to be cannabis. Rivers was arrested and taken to the police station where the drugs were weighed. The amount was 6,350.29 grams or just about 14 pounds.

8 years later!
Sunday, 7 February, 2016 marked the eight anniversary of the UDP and the people of Belize sending the PUP scampering into opposition. We at this Newspaper remember that day as it were yesterday. It was a Thursday and that election was held on a Thursday because it was to be held on the day before being Ash Wednesday, but when the then Prime Minister Musa announced to Church Leaders who had assembled at a breakfast meeting he was hosting for them along with his Cabinet of Ministers, the Church Leaders protested to elections being held on a day with such significance to us in what is considered as a Christian Country. He had to push it back a day. Little did the PUP know that had they set that election for at night between the hours of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., where the voting would take place at the various cemeteries across the country on any day they wished , Belizeans would have shown up to vote them out . See Belizeans were set on delivering a beat down to the PUP because of all the atrocities that the PUP had committed against this nation from August of 1998 up to the date of the 2008 election. Belizeans had already given them a sample of what was to come when the PUP took a whipping at the 2006 Municipal Elections. No day or situation could keep the PUP from reaping the fruits of those seeds they had planted back in 1998. It was now harvest time in 2008. The trees had produced bitter fruits that had to be served to the PUP.

Key CARICOM Institutions Headquartered in Belize
Through its role as a Centre of Excellence, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) supports the people of the Caribbean as they address the impact of climate variability and change on all aspects of economic development through the provision of timely forecasts and analyses of potentially hazardous impacts of both natural and man-induced climatic changes on the environment, and the development of special programmes which create opportunities for sustainable development. The Five C’s, as the Centre is called, coordinates the Caribbean region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre, based in Belize, is the key node for information on climate change issues and on the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change in the Caribbean. It is the official repository and clearing house for regional climate change data, providing climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. It has also been recognized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) as a Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. This reputation is a major honour for the Centre, and it should be a great source of prude for the people of the Caribbean as well.

Key CARICOM Institutions Headquartered in Belize Pt. 2
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is a CARICOM institution that was established by the CARICOM Member States by the 2002 Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, which entered into force on 4 February 2002. Its role is to strengthen and promote Regional cooperation in the development, conservation and management of the fisheries and marine resources of the Caribbean Region, in accordance with relevant principles of international law. The CRFM has been coordinating research, data collection, assessment studies, the formulation of policy and management advice and capacity-building initiatives in the Region. The CRFM has emerged as an internationally recognised regional fisheries body whose input and contribution are regularly sought at the international level in respect of fisheries and marine resource management issues. There are currently 17 Member States of the CRFM. The membership consists of 14 independent Small Island Developing States (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago), and three British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands). In addition the CRFM has a formal relationship with the Dominican Republic through a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate cooperation on matters related to fisheries conservation, management and development. In addition, Bermuda and Curacao and a number of regional and international organisations including FAO, OECS, CNFO, UWI, have been accorded observer status with the CRFM.

Pay your bill says KHMH
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has gone on an all out campaign to encourage its clients to pay their bill. According to the Chief Executive Officer Dr. Adrian Coye the hospital operates on a budget of 37 million dollars of which only 18 percent is actually by way of bills to clients. Of that 18 percent less than half (40%) of the bills are paid. This says Coye is not enough to run the hospital efficiently and puts a great dependency on government’s subvention to the hospital. In an attempt to change this situation, Coye explains that the hospital will encourage its users to pay their bill and also it is increasing the fees it charges for clinic consultations. Previously the fee was 10 dollars per consultation, now it will be 25 dollars. Also being increased is the cost for accessing the KHMH’s physiotherapy department. The costs according to Coye, while there is an increase, are even cheaper for the same services if sought at private medical providers.

Lobster season closes
The Fisheries Department takes this opportunity to inform fishers and the general public that the lobster fishing season will close on February 15th and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2016. Any person found in possession of lobster during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance to Fisheries Regulation 3 (1) (b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize (2003).

Milpa encroachment continues in Chiquibul
On February 9th 2016, FCD conducted an aerial reconnaissance along the western flank of the Chiquibul National Park with the intent of monitoring and documenting any expansion of the agricultural frontier. On this occasion FCD recorded 17 new clearings and several dwellings. From the small Cessna airplane, large clearings of primary forest were observed. These clearings appear to be fresh indicating that the milpa activity is starting and may progress rapidly as the dry season sets in. Major areas of impact are noticeable on the northern section of the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and on the southern region of the Chiquibul known as Cebada. This first flight is just one of several that will be conducted as the dry season progresses. Based on the early impacts, FCD recommends the activation of patrols and operations to suppress the advance. This monitoring flight will help FCD develop the necessary coordination and plans to put into effect the ground effort. Meanwhile in Guatemala the communities located nearby Belize’s border are being informed through radio stations of the penalties imposed in Belize if they are caught making milpas inside the Chiquibul Forest.

Alleged claim of aflatoxin in locally produced rice
The Belize Bureau of Standards in consultation with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority and the Ministry of Health, hereby submits a response on the alleged claim of aflatoxins in local rice as issued in a Press Release dated February 10th, 2016, by Mr. Jack Charles of Extra House: In the first instance, the Bureau would like to categorically state that Mr. Charles is not recognized as a competent authority to conduct testing of any basic food item in Belize. Notwithstanding this claim, the Bureau in collaboration with the competent authorities aforementioned concluded that the test results provided on February 1st, 2016, by Mr. Jack Charles shows that none of the rice samples analysed contain detectable levels of aflatoxinsand as a result does not pose any threat to human health.

SICA to Provide support to Belize for Hosting CODICADER
The Honourable Elodio Aragon, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youths Sports and Culture received the visit of Her Excelllency, Ana Hazel Escrich, Secretary General of the Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA). During the visit, Minister Aragon and H.E. Escrich discussed mutual areas of the SISCA Regional Agenda such as Regional Youth Development Programs and the proactive participation of Belize in CODICADER (Consejo del Istmo Centroamericano de Deportes y Recreación). In July 2016 Belize is slated to host the CODICADER Games in fives sports disciplines: Chess, Atlethics, Tennis, Football and Basketall at the Secondary level. SISCA has expressed its support to the Ministry in the area of sports equipment and technical expertise for the success of hosting the games.

Edison Johnson Killed Two Men Protecting His Property
Edison Johnson, a 50-year-old businessman and farmer from Guinea Grass Village, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter on Monday, February 8, for killing 23 year-old Saul Eliseo Garcia, a labourer of Rhaburn Ridge Village, and 24 year-old Luke Cox of Carmelita Village. However, Johnson is right now a free man after he was released on time served. Johnson was charged after he shot and fatally wounded two men who he says were trespassing on his farm on Friday, April 11, 2014. Johnson’s farm is located between miles 46 and 47 on the Northern Highway, and it is in a remote area about one and a half miles in rough terrain, where there are no other houses nearby. His family hadn’t been to the farm for almost a week and during that time thieves burnt their farm down, tore off parts of the roofing for their two houses and stole all the valuable items they had inside the houses. That was how Johnson found his property when he returned to the farm, a property in which he had invested his family’s savings as a sort of retirement plan. When he saw a red pickup truck reversed into his yard and Garcia and Cox jumping out of this vehicle, he thought that they had come back to continue burglarizing his house. That’s when he grabbed his shotgun and shouted at both men who tried to flee. He fired a single shot at both of them. Both Garcia and Cox were struck by pellets of the shotgun blast in their abdomen area.

Byron James murder trial concludes
The trial of Byron James who stands accused of the murder of Frank Vasquez concluded before Justice Traodio Gonzalez on Thursday, February 4, and the fate of the accused is now left to be decided by the court. James is accused of killing Vasquez sometime around 10:30 p.m. on May 5, 2012 on Neal’s Pen Road in Belize City. Vasquez was shot multiple times to the head, shoulder, back and mid-section. He died 4 days later, on May 9, 2012, from his injuries. Prosecutor in the case, Kileru Awich, called 5 witnesses to the stand; including, two relatives of the deceased, his mother Olivia Brown and his sister Sherlyn Fitzgibbon. The main witness was Fitzgibbon who testified she was looking over a five foot zinc fence the night her brother was shot and she saw James riding away. She also told the court that she had seen James over 50 times prior to the murder so she knows him well.

Charged for drug trafficking then detained pending murder charges
The brother of slain George Street gangster Kareem Lopez, Mark Lopez, 27, is a key suspect in a recent double homicide being investigated by police. Lopez appeared in court on Friday, February 5, to face a charge of drug trafficking after he was allegedly busted along with Biscayne Village resident, Aaron Reynolds, 21, with 94 grams of cannabis. Police searched Reynolds’ house in Biscayne Village on Thursday, February 4, and found the drug inside a drawer. Lopez and Reynolds were at the house at the time of the search so both were charged for the discovery. In court on Friday, Lopez pleaded guilty to one count of drug trafficking and Reynolds pleaded noy guilty. The prosecutor, Cpl, Kennard Clark, requested a recess to check with superiors if he can accept Lopez’s plea since Reynolds was pleading not guilty. When the case resumed ten minutes later Lopez changed his plea. Therefore, both men pleaded not guilty to the charge. Both were offered bail of $6,000 plus one surety of the same amount each. Lopez was able to meet bail before 12 noon. However, his freedom was short lived.

Cop free of extortion charge
Police Constable Elvin Nah was assigned to the San Pedro Police Station when he was accused of extortion in July of 2014. A boat builder on the island, Calvin Flowers, 32, reported to police that he and a friend were busted with 4.0 grams of weed by Nah and was going to be charged with possession of a controlled drug. However, before the charge was filed, Nah offered to release them in exchange for money. Flowers said that he then handed over $400 to the officer and they were released without any charge. The disgraced officer appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, February 9, to face an extortion charge. The virtual complainant, Calvin Flowers, did not show up in court. Prosecutor, Inspector Pablo Pikney, called his name three times. Since the main witness was a no show, Pikney had no choice but to withdraw the charge.

One man caught in Tropical Education Center robbery
Twenty one year-old Adolphus Palacio, a resident of Mahogany Heights, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. He went straight from the KHMH, where he was being treated for a chop wound he allegedly received after shooting a man for his vehicle which he used to flee from the scene of a robbery. The incident happened at the Tropical Education Center, a guest house that the Belize Zoo opened in 1994 to host conservation-minded tourists who are excited to experience Belize’s wildlife in western Belize. The Center, located between miles 28 and 29 on the George Price Highway, was hosting 2 Canadians, 75 year-old Stephen Temple and 65 year-old Cynthia Fredrick, who were enjoying their stay in Belize. They reported to the staff at the Tropical Education Center that at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 7, two thieves, one of them armed, held them up at gunpoint, locked them in the bathroom of their room, searched their belongings and stole 2 cameras, and 2 iPhones.

Charged for discharging firearm in public
Belize City teenager, Deshay Dasheeque Williams, 19, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly discharging a firearm in public and assaulting 18-year-old Randy O’Neil Franklin. Williams appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, January 5, and pleaded not guilty to the two charges. According to police, at about 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday, February 2, two men on a motorcycle drove past a crowd standing in front of “Wax House” and fired several shots in their direction. Fortunately, no one was struck by the bullets. Further investigation led police to discover that at about 6:20 p.m. that same day, Randy O’Neil Franklin was on a motor cycle when he was held at gun point at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Banka Street by Deshay Williams who threatened to shoot him if he did not take him to the George Street area. Fearing for his life, Franklin complied with his attacker and took Williams to East Canal where he fired several shots at a crowd and ordered Franklin to drive towards a dead end on Regent Street West. Williams then jumped off the cycle and jumped into the Belize River to escape.

Children need physical education more than ever
Nine times out of ten, students complain to their Physical Education teachers about being out in the hot sun, running around for no reason. Perhaps in lower level education, children see it as a means of escaping the classroom, but as we grow older, it’s simply looked upon as a huge waste of time and energy. However, if we look at our education system, Physical Education is allotted an entire period of the day, maybe because it is essential to students, or at least, it should be. Most people tend to believe that physical activity is only necessary when large amounts of fat build up in the body over a period of time. Engaging in acts of physical activity from a young age is very important for both the mental and physical health of a child; the habits learnt in youth tend to continue onto adulthood, thus having an effect on the prevalence of obesity and related illnesses in society. Teachers play a major role in ensuring that children, who will later grow into youths then adults, participate in physical activity from the very beginning of receiving an education.

Carl Ramos Stadium on schedule for completion
If you have lived in Dangriga or visited for the past 25 years, you would know by now that Dangriga has created some of the most formidable and well respected football franchises throughout the country; but have never had a reasonably adequate facility for these franchises to call home. Quite often and for the most part, ‘Griga based teams travelled further south to Independence for home games when the facility was unavailable to host home games. That trend will end in the not so distant future with the upgrade of what will be one of the best football stadia across Belize, the Carl Ramos Stadium. A team of engineers and advisers from the Belize National Sports Council along with Team Frank Papa Mena campaign chairman Clifford “Boss P” Peters and Mrs. Sharon Williams, visited the work in progress at the stadium on Tuesday October 6th and were quite pleased. Project Director Ms. Christy Mastry toured the facility and told us,“We are very pleased with the work, matter of fact we are pleased with the work and the speed at which this project is being completed. The workmanship is excellent and for that we are thankful. It will be a conversation piece when completed.”

Good or Bad loan?
Whenever we hear a PUP insider speak about SSB investments, we have to refer to that most INFAMOUS period when last the People's United Party was in government. That same period that prompted a Special Senate Select Committee Investigation. The report from that investigation is so long that it took the Amandala some Three months to do it's report on a Bi-weekly basis. We found 19 of those segments they gave us in weekly installments so as not to take up the entire newspaper. Just Google REPORT OF THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING THE SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD and read the entire thing. For the purpose of this essay we will only touch on one loan, and that is a loan to INTELCO. The following is what the report from the Senate Special Select Committee stated and we quote direct from the Amandala Edition # 2286 dated 18, November 2008. The Senate Committee reviewed the original mortgage documents, the Assignment of Mortgage document, the Mortgage Purchase Agreement and the Mortgage Loan File obtained from the DFC in connection with the ITL Mortgage and noted the following information contained therein. The Senate Committee also notes that the loan amounts are stated in the original mortgage documents as having been disbursed in US dollars. However, the assignment to the SSB was made in Belize dollars.

Mechanized sugar cane harvesting coming
It’s no secret that the Local Sugar Industry is facing some of its toughest days ahead. Right now, European Prices are at an all time low which makes the local industry struggle to remain viable since the cost of production is higher than the returns. You, our readers, have had to absorb the blow of the low world prices for sugar by paying 50% more for a pound of white sugar, but in 2017, things will get a bit tougher for the industry because the European regulators will remove restrictions currently holding Beet Sugar farmers from competing equally with Sugar Cane Farmers. So, since the price will be driven down further due to high supply and low demand, the local industry needs to do everything it can to remain competitive. Cost cutting measures need to seriously be considered, and one area that the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) is asking farmers to look at is the harvesting of sugar. Currently the cane farming community harvest their crop using cane cutters. Their fields have to be burnt, and then, right after that, these workers go in and use machetes to cut down every stalk of sugar cane. It’s a very inefficient way of doing business, and the SIRDI along with the millers, Belize Sugar Industries Limited, are hoping that farmers will consider mechanized harvesting as a suitable replacement.

Workshop to ensure Human Rights in Belize
A validation workshop on Belize’s Draft Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR, was recently held at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. Present to participate in the draft inputs were representatives from the Human Rights Commission of Belize, UNIBAM and sub-groups, Government Ministries, Traffic Department, Elections and Boundaries, Belmopan City Council and others. The ICCPR is one of the core human rights Treaties and is regarded as one of the three pillars of the International Bill of Human Rights along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The ICCPR was adopted in 1966 and entered into force in 1976.

Yarborough to get a facelift
The Community of Yarborough in Belize City was once a major part of the City’s landscape in it’s history, but in the present day, it has become somewhat forgotten and neglected. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, and this serving City Council local government wants to revitalize it, and make it relevant once again. They’ve turned to the experts at the American Planning Association, a non-profit organization which works to develop communities in the United States. The delegation of American technicians arrived in Belize on Tuesday, February 9, and immediately as they landed, they held a press briefing to introduce themselves to the Belizean public, and more importantly, the resident of Yarborough. Mayor Bradley and the consultants have a general idea to revive this community by preserving and highlighting it’s cultural and historical aspects. The Yarborough Cemetery has always been a part of the landmark, and so, the proposed development to feature it prominently, will have to factor in that specific landmark. The lead consultant on this trip is Justin Moore, a member of the New York Department of City Planning. The hope is that he and the consultants will be able to bring some elements of success to the drawing board at this time, elements which has made a world-renown city like New York to become the powerful municipality it is today.

Convicted of sexually assaulting 11-year-old girl
Boston Village resident Francisco Gomez, 39, also known as Indiana, is at the Belize Central Prison after he was convicted of sexual assault of an indecent nature, common assault and using threatening words upon an eleven-year-old girl. Gomez squeezed the little girl on her butt, told her that she had a fat butt for someone who is only 11 then he tried to kiss her. When the child objected to his actions, he slapped her and threatened to kill her if she told anyone what he had done. The incident reportedly took place on April 19, 2015, at the girl’s grandmother’s home.

Chinese man murdered in Teakettle
A Chinese bar operator was murdered in the early hours of this past Saturday in Teakettle Village, in the Cayo District. Zhijiang Zhang was found motionless in his 69 Bar located on the George Price Highway, with some seven chop wounds on his body. Police now believe that the 52 year old was a victim of robbery. A waitress working at the bar, Jacqueline Aquino, was also injured, shot on the leg whilst coming to the aid of Zhang. By daylight on Saturday CIB personnel were at the murder scene amidst blood splatters in a mini bedroom directly behind the bar. The remains were testimony to the painful ordeals on a private property. A masked robber, armed with a gun, had entered the establishment, just before closing, demanding that he wanted money. But the weapon was deactivated when the clip fell out after a struggle with Zhijuang Zhang. However; the criminal then took out a small machete and inflicted wounds to the back and anterior of the head and neck areas of Zhang. The lone gunman then fled the scene in an awaiting vehicle.

Fined for slapping step-daughter
Security Guard, Phillip Nicholas, 47, has to pay $705 for slapping his 20-year-old step-daughter, Latesha Hughes, who tried to intervene as he was about to hit her sister. The incident occurred at their family home located at #13 Barracat Street in Belize City on Wednesday, February 3. Hughes visited the Domestic Violence Unit around 9 p.m. on Wednesday and reported that shortly after she got home from school she heard a commotion and when she checked to see what was happening she saw her step-father standing over her sister with his right hand up in the air about to hit her. Hughes quickly intervened to protect her sister and that was when Nicholas slapped her to the left side of the face. She went to see a doctor and was issued a medico legal form where Dr. K. Riviera classified her injuries as harm.

Woman facing 7 years prison term for Domestic Violence
Susan Castellanos, 32, of Magazine Road in Belize City, is out on bail and facing a possible jail term of seven years for harm and wounding upon her ex-common-law-husband, Martin Bahadur. Allegations are that Bahadur visited Castellanos’ residence on Sunday, February 7, to see his daughter. He reported to police that as soon as he opened the door she released pepper spray into his face. He then went to the back of the house to see his daughter and that was when Castellanos attacked him with a knife. She cut his finger in the exchange. This caused Bahadur to report the matter to police requesting court action. Castellanos appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, February 8, and pleaded not guilty to one count of harm and one count of wounding upon Martin Bahadur. Trying to get some understanding of the matter, Magistrate Rogers asked Castellanos if she is allowing Bahadur to see his child. Castellanos said yes and added that she intends to go straighten out some things at the Belize Family Court immediately. She pleaded not guilty to both charges.

18 year old charged for assaulting police officer
Police Constable George Savery claims that 18-year-old Adrian Swasey of Croton Lane resisted arrest and assaulted him on Thursday, February 4, on Mahogany Street. According to police reports, Swasey and three other males were together on Mahogany Street when PC Savery approached them. As the officer approached, Swasey walked away despite being told to stay where he was. According to PC Savery, when he ordered Swasey to stop he turned around and struck him in the face with a fist. Other officers had to intervene and they managed to apprehend Swasey after a tossle. The teenager was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, February 8. He was read four charges: one count of aggravated assault, one count of assaulting a police officer, one count of obstructing justice and one count of resisting arrest. Swasey pleaded not guilty to all four charges and told Magistrate Rogers that it was the officer who struck him first. He then presented a medico legal form to the court in which a doctor certified that the muscle in his left hand was sprained. Swasey claims that his injury was caused by the police officers. Magistrate Rogers had a copy of the medico legal form made for the court. She then granted bail to Swasey in the amount of $600 plus one surety of the same amount.

Troy Hyde to stand trial for Robbery’s murder
A Preliminary Inquiry in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, February 9, determined that Troy Hyde, 27, will stand trial for the murder of notorious George Street associate Kareem Lopez, also known as Robbery. Lopez was gunned down and killed on Central American Boulevard on Saturday night, January 3, 2015. Lopez went to buy at a fast food shop at the corner of Central American and Jane Usher Boulevard at about 10:15 p.m. on Saturday but before he could leave the area he was ambushed by multiple men. One of them pulled out a handgun and emptied the clip into his head and body from close range, making sure he was dead. Police responded to the scene shortly after but Lopez had already expired. A postmortem examination concluded that he died of “severe brain injury due to Traumatic fracture of skull due to multiple gunshots to the head”. Lopez was 28-years-old. He was well known to police and was charged for numerous violent crimes; including, gun possession, causing public terror with a firearm, gang affiliation and murder. There were numerous threats on his life but he managed to escape with some very close calls until that Saturday night on Central American Boulevard.

Honduran man busted with 16.5 pounds of weed
Honduras national, Orbin Lenin Reyes, 28, says that he was set up and betrayed after he was busted with over 15 pounds of weed on Saturday, February 6, while travelling on bus towards Belize City. Allegations are that police intercepted a Tillett Bus Line run at about 11:42 a.m. between Miles 8 and 9 in the Ladyville area. Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster says they had been monitoring Reyes “for a while” and an operation was set to apprehend the suspected drug peddler. Police boarded the bus and proceeded to search Reyes and his belongings. A search of his knapsack resulted in the discovery of 7,595.672 grams of cannabis, just over 16.5 pounds. Reyes was arrested and charged with one count of drug trafficking.

Belize Smart Hurricanes remain undefeated in basketball competition
The National Elite Basketball League 2016 Campaign continued over the last weekend with a number of games played across the country. On Sunday 7 Stann Creek Ecumenical High School Auditorium in Dangriga Town, the Dangriga Warriors defeated the February, at the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 60-41. The top scorers for the Dangriga Warriors were Edgar Mitchell with 16 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals; Macario Augustine with 9 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals and Quinton Bowen with 8 points and 7 rebounds. For the Orange Walk Running Rebels, the top scorers were Roger Reneau with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 8 steals; Tyron Baptist with 13 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. On Saturday 6 February, at the San Pedro High School Auditorium in San Pedro Town, the visiting Belize Smart Hurricanes increased its record to (4-0) when it edged out the two-time defending national basketball champions the San Pedro Tigersharks by the score of 89-88. This was the first defeat for the San Pedro Tigersharks at home dating back to the inception of the NEBL some two years ago.

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.

Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour
The Cycling Federation of Belize in partnership with Digicell will be sponsoring the Annual Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour which will commence on Thursday 11th February to Sunday 14th February, 2016, for Elite, U-23 and Masters. Meanwhile, the female and Jr. /Youth riders will compete only in the Valentine’s Road Race Classic that will be held on Sunday 14th February. The Valentine’s Cycling Tour will commence on Thursday 11th February with stage 1, which is a 40 miles Road Race that will commence at 6:00 am from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 21 and then back to Leslie’s Imports. On Friday 12th February, Stage 2 which is also a 50 miles Road Race will start at 6:00 am from Leslie’s Imports through the Boom Road to Data Pro and then back to Leslie’s Imports. The Individual Time Trial will form Stage 3 of the Tour and this will be held on Saturday 13th February. The Individual Time Trial will cover a distance of 12 miles and is scheduled to commence at 6:30 am from CD’s – 6 miles up the Boom Road and back to CD’s.

Police United stays on winning track
The Premier League of Belize Closing Tournament continued over the last week with a number of games across the country. On Sunday 7 February, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the defending national football champions Police United continued on its winning ways when it edged out Verdes FC by the score of 3-2. The host team Verdes FC was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Nahjib Guerra scored his team 1st goal of the game in the 4th minute of play to give Verdes an early lead. It was just beyond the mid-point of the first half of the game that the Police United made it onto the scoreboard when Amin August Jr. scored his team 1st goal of the game in the 29th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. The first half of the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

with Barry Fraser. There is one thing we all experience in life, and that is death! We all know what it feels like to lose a family member or a friend. Whenever that happens there is sadness and mourning. In his sermon on the mountain side, Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4, New International Version.) It really helps in times of bereavement to be surrounded by caring friends. In fact, when we go to a funeral it is to be with and to comfort the family of the deceased. However in this teaching Jesus meant more than just the death of a loved one. That's in the physical sense. But Jesus had a spiritual application also. We can mourn for the condition of this world. Our enemy, Satan, has turned this world into one of chaos and confusion. God created a perfect world, but now it's a world in rebellion, as we see wars in so many different countries, resulting in displacement, lack of basic necessities, and suffering.

Fire at Country Foods in Spanish Lookout
Late this evening, Wednesday, fire fighters responded to a building in Spanish Lookout, which was engulfed in flames. The building is the property of Country Foods. At this time it is not known what caused the fire and police are investigating.

St. Catherine Academy and Wesley College in finals of high school football competition
The 2015-2016 Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition entered the finals of the high schools’ football competition on Monday 8 February, 2016, with games in the female and male competition. In the first game of the championship series in the female competition, St. Catherine Academy the number one seed into the championship blanked Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 3-0. The goals for St. Catherine Academy were scored by Renisha Martinez, Jada Myvett and Jodi Pott. In the male championship game, Wesley College, the number one seed into the championship round continued on its winning path when it defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 2-1. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Deandre Pitter and Kenyon Lewis. Meanwhile, the goal for Anglican Cathedral College was scored by Trevon Rhaburn. St. Catherine Academy advanced into the championship round on Thursday 4 February, 2016, when it eliminated Wesley College by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Zulema Ayala.

Martin Flowers captures Cross Country 10Km run
The Belize Athletics Association held its Cross Country Trial on Saturday 30 January, 2016, at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District as its selection process for the Cross Country athletes to represent Belize at the CADICA championship scheduled for 20 February here in Belize. In the female U-14 Trial for the 2Km event, Aaliyah Carr took 1st place in a time of 10:10:09. Meanwhile, in the female U-18 4Km event, Ashonti Carr took 1st place in a time of 18:22:20. In the male open 10Km event, 1st place went to Martin Flowers in a time of 43:47. The second runner to cross the finish line was Alexander Alvarado in a time of 44:53, the third runner to cross the finish line was Ervin Hamilton in a time of 46:19 and he was followed by Juan Santos in a time of 48:49 and then by Shaun Bennett in a time of 57:41.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

The Transfer Station – where to take the poop?

New Year – New Standards?
As a new year starts in ernest, it is time to wonder what it may bring this little island of ours. The Village Council with have elections in a couple of months and perhaps now is a good time to start thinking about what we did wrong, what we need and how we need to go about getting it right. One thing that has become obvious to everyone is the huge amount of construction going on, and this reporter wants to know how they got permission to build some of it. The most obvious one is the new, often referred to ’Enjoy’ building of Mr Ming. Whilst it looks like it complies with setbacks, we wonder how they got permission to go 4 floors and then another small building on top of that and then of of course that big sided, often referred to as ‘Mickey Mouse ears’ or ‘love heart’ at the top with another apparently blank 8 ft wall too. Most will remember heated CCVC meetings two years ago about Chinatowns’ building. Take a walk around the island and you will see countless other infractions, but the questions is of course is that if the rules are so easily flouted how can we know, as residents, that more dangerous rules are also not being flouted? Can we trust that they have a full sized septic system that isn’t going to run effluent down our main streets for example. That the wiring is installed correctly and will not cause a massive fire?

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize’s national animal knocked down near Burrel Boom
Disturbing information reaching Breaking Belize News is that a fully grown mountain cow was knocked down in the vicinity of Burrell Boom in the Belize District a short while ago. According to the eyewitnesses, this portion of the highway is a well-known tapir crossing. Drivers are […]

Woman sets fire to Virgin Mary statue in Orange Walk
Shortly before seven on Wednesday night sisters at the convent adjacent the La Inmaculada Church in Orange Walk Town responded to a fire at the grotto located in the church compound. BMG has not received an official police report but understands that a woman […]

“Real” Police issue warning about “fake” police following two robberies
This evening the Police Department issued an advisory warning of vigilance to the general public, business owners and security firms. This is because two robberies occurred during the past 24 hours – one in Eastern Division (North) and one in Eastern Division (South) – involving […]

Belize Progressive Party weighs in on Santander loan contemplation
A press release from the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) on the matter of Social Security Board’s (SSB) $12 million loan to Santander Farms, which is currently in its publication stage, states that the party recognizes the importance of investing wisely for maximum returns and is in […]

Orange Walk man busted with almost 5 pounds of weed
An Orange Walk Town resident has been charged30 p.m., officers on mobile patrol in that municipality, stopped and searched 33 year old Cortis Wade […]

“Substantial losses” force Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers to shut down
Today, following complaints by people who were laid off over the past week, Martin Aguilar, Manager of the Packing House at Belize Fruit Packers confirmed that the subsidiary companies of Brooks Tropicals, Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers are closing its doors. CEO of Brooks […]

Two charged for more than 30 pounds of weed
While conducting a vehicle checkpoint before dawn yesterday morning, Belmopan police made one of the biggest drug busts in recent memory, seizing just over 30 pounds of weed that was inside a storage container and luggage bag thrown from a fleeing vehicle. Around 4:30 […]

Ministry of Agriculture applies new technology for better corn and bean production
The Ministry of Agriculture today hosted a Field Day on the seed production of corn and beans at the Central Farm Crop Unit Production Plot. According to a government press release, the purpose of the field day was to showcase the technological package in quality […]

Jury finds grandmother guilty of human trafficking
A Jury of 5 women and 4 men deliberated for about 90 minutes yesterday in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas before it found 64 year old Honduran national Estela Gonzalez guilty of human trafficking. Justice Lucas deferred sentencing until Thursday, February 18, to give Gonzalez […]

Belmopan police investigate burglary of over $18,000
30-year-old Audrey Ramclam reported to Belmopan police that sometime on February 10, between 7:15 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. her bungalow house located on # 25 Rose Garden Street was burglarized. She reported to police that an assortment of jewelry valued at $9,000 was missing along with $9,800 […]

Weather remains cool and dry
Cool and relatively dry conditions will continue today, then some moisture will return over our area. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mainly fair and cool weather with little or no rainfall today, then some cloudy spells with a few showers or […]


Photo blog: Adventure Horseback Riding in Cayo Belize!
It’s safe to say that I’m a city boy, an urban dweller, I have lived in the urban sprawl for most (if not all of) my life. This doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t rough it with the country folk (though there was a learning curve). Living out in the jungle of Cayo, Belize takes some adjusting but I’m certainly not one to pass up an experience, so when I was offered to join a small group going horseback riding I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Now that I think about it, my uncle had horses but I haven’t actually been on a horse for about roughly 8, maybe even 9 years! We came out to a trail which bordered some pastures and I wondered immediately how many spiders may have been crawling in that thick grass (I have a love/fear of spiders). All this time Emil our lead guide was explaining to us the different trees and their potential uses, history, and characteristics while pointing out small animals or sounds as we passed by. I found myself thinking that he was some manner of wizard, he was pointing out insects (tiny ones), identifying bird calls, pointing out trees, and leaves, he was very good at this, I still don’t know how he did it all (my bet is still on magic). We cleared the pasture and arrived to a fork in the road, the guides then announced that we were in for a treat, they created a new trail and we would be the first to go on (I was overwhelmingly eager as you could imagine). We continued down the main trail and I saw a small break in the foliage, I knew immediately that this was the new trail. We turned into the tiny path which took us straight into the jungle. Upon entering, my Zorro fantasy went straight out the window, Luckily Indiana Jones walked through the door promptly to replace him, and I felt like a real jungle explorer. This new trail was awesome, Emil quickly pointed out an Agouti (which is a large jungle rodent, oddly adorable), and soon after we heard some weird deep moans, I knew exactly that was the Howler monkey. The horses knew too but weren’t at all bothered, the monkeys were high up in the canopy and moved quickly making their signature howls which can be deafeningly loud if heard from too close. They were eating the leaves of the Trumpet Tree, which turns out was also popular with the Mayas who used to smoke the leaves of the tree for the reportedly incredible high. The Mayan priests would smoke the leaves of the tree kind of like tobacco especially in religious ceremonies, the howlers seemed to be big fans as well.

Why I Stand By Our “Crazy” Decision To Move to Belize
When my husband Dave and I first visited Belize we were blown away by the island lifestyle and culture. We loved seeing swaying palm trees and white-sand beaches everywhere we looked. We loved seeing people actually enjoying their day, walking to get their groceries, the lack of materialism, and the fact that we could be outside 12 months a year. Although it’s difficult to pick my favorite things about living in Belize, here are some of the reasons I find it so special: 1. The diversity of this small country: From our home in Placencia we have beaches and the jungle just a short drive away. We can spend the morning on the beaches near our house and while away the afternoon deep in the tropical forests at the Jaguar Reserve. We can be looking at tropical birds and waterfalls, and sweeping mountains, winding rivers, and tiny rustic Mayan villages…and be back home in time for dinner and a drink at any one of the many bars and restaurants right on the Caribbean Sea. It really is the best of both worlds. 2. Everyday life is easy. The official language in Belize is English. Although the locals speak Kriol most of the time, they all speak English and you will never be at a loss for someone to help with directions or finding the best place to buy fresh local produce.

Spot Lights to be installed at the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex
Thank you to Mr. Francisco Alvarado (not pictured) from Grand Belizean Island Company on the donation of two (2) large Spot Lights which will be installed at the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex.

5 Prime Belize Resorts for a destination wedding
Truly a tropical paradise, the nation of Belize is one of the premiere wedding destinations in the world. Beautiful ceremonies held on a gorgeous beach or in a pristine rainforest setting make weddings in Belize truly special. Streamlined rules make it easy for foreigners to get married in Belize and stunning resorts allow newlyweds and their friends and family to make the most of a vacation to this Central American country. Couples wishing to marry in Belize must be in the country for three days before they can apply for a license. Permission is usually granted within 24 hours, and most couples take advantage of the many exciting jungle and sea adventures available in Belize before tying the knot. Located just a few hours’ flying time from destinations in the United States, it is easy and affordable for friends and family to join newlyweds for a dream wedding in Belize. Below are five of the best resorts in Belize to hold a destination wedding: Portofino Beach Resort, Victoria House, Yok Ha Island Resort, Chabil Mar, SunBreeze Hotel.

Diving the Great Blue Hole of Belize
We opted for Caye Caulker because the bigger island, Caye Ambergris, sounded too crowded, touristy and expensive for our taste. And if you compare the costs of the dive trips there is actually no big difference from whichever island you go, both Caye Ambergris and Caulker offer day-trips to the ‘Blue Hole’ for similar deals. Caye Caulker is a bit more laid back than it’s bigger sister Ambergris. There are no cars on the island, people sell their arts and handicrafts on the street, you hear music but you can also enjoy peaceful tranquility if you stay away from the small town centre. When you walk the streets on Caye Caulker, you get the impression that there are a LOT of dive companies on the island. But actually there are only three dive shops that take you onto a Day-trip to the ‘Blue Hole’: Belize Diving Services, Frenchie’s Diving Services and Big Fish Dive Centre. All the other small shops that try to sell you their spots, refer you later on to one of these three companies. So, if you don’t want pay a commission on top of the regular price and see directly who you are going with, go straight to one of the above.

International Sourcesizz

DSU students to participate in Belize service-learning trip
Kayla Sveen of Janesville, will be participating in the Belize service-learning trip with other Dakota State University students during spring break. The DSU College of Education students and faculty will spend two weeks at Victorious Nazarene Primary School in San Jose Succotz, Belize. They will focus their efforts on the Pre-K through 8th grade students at the elementary school. This year, one of their goals is to implement a small library in each classroom and expand a larger elementary library with donated, gently-used books. Service-learning is not only in relation to the gain of knowledge in the classroom, it also pertains to giving back to their global community while gaining leadership skills in the process.

Re: Today's Belize News: February 12, 2016 [Re: Marty] #511574
02/12/16 06:00 AM
02/12/16 06:00 AM
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

8 private islands you can rent on Airbnb that are cheaper than you think
Private island getaways are no longer just for the rich and famous. If you’ve always envied Richard Branson and his getaway, Necker Island, jetting off to your own private island might not be as out of reach as you’d think. In fact, thanks to Airbnb, you can now play at being Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp. Here are eight islands available to rent: 1. Bird Island, Belize It might not have a pool, but this small island – which can sleep four people – is inside a coral reef! You can swim in the clear shallow water, snorkel, fish, kayak, laze around in a hammock and potter around the colourful blue and orange wooden huts that will be your temporary home. Luckily, the island is only 20 minutes from the village of Placencia, Belize, so you’re not cut off from civilisation, even if it feels that way.


  • Belize Dive Trip, 11min. Diving in Belize from aboard the Aggressor III, Jan 30th thru Feb 6th.

  • Cool lil video of a Macaw dancing at the Bird Fair., 2min. A must see...

  • Kamal: Week One, 2min. Wildtracks is rehabilitating a cute little spider monkey. "Kamal: Week One. Rescued by his namesake, Kamal, of the Belize Forest Department, this little scrap of neglected spider monkey arrived with good doses of scabies, fungal infections, lice, intestinal worms and an unhealthy level of malnutrition. Kamal is a Geoffroy's spider monkey. This species is globally endangered, and in Belize, its range is rapidly shrinking as forests are cleared. They are also targeted for the illegal wildlife trade, with the mothers being shot and killed to obtain the infants."

  • Belize Winter 2016, 5min. 10 of the best days of our lives!

  • Great Belize Cooking - Episode 2: Barbeque Deer Meat, 40min. Sean Kuylen travels to Burrel Boom to experience the painstaking process of making charcoal, and pays a visit to the proprietor of Marvilleous Sauces, Maria Villanueva.

  • An Old-fashioned Mennonite Sale Day at Carribean Tire (Belize), 2min. As seen on Greatest Places on Earth

  • Dolphins on the way back from Diving the Blue Hole of Belize, 1min. What a spectacular and joyful surprise on our way back from the Lighthouse Reef Atoll to Caye Caulker...the pod of dolphins would jump for ages next to our boat and made a perfect end to a perfect day.

  • Belize Video, 16min. Our Belizean adventure in January/February 2016! Music and chapters below: 0:13 Washed Out - Feel It All Around [Scuba Diving] 2:34 Hot Chip - Flutes [Crystal Cave] 3:50 The Knife - Silent Shout [Crystal Cave] 5:22 Calexico - Bullets and Rocks [Rio Frio Cave, Caracol & Rio on the Pools] 7:50 Quantic - Time is the Enemy [driving time lapse] 9:05 Washed Out - Don't Give Up [Cave Kayaking] 11:35 French Horn Rebellion - The Fire [Ziplining] 13:08 Retro Remix Revue - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Gerudo Valley [Cahal Pech & Photos]

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