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Today's Belize News: February 25, 2016 #511909
02/25/16 06:05 AM
02/25/16 06:05 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,360
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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

Unsustainable Shark Fishing is killing the Belize Marine Ecosystem
The marine conservation community is in an outrage over the recent report of the gill net and long line fishing of sharks occurring near the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Both MarAlliance and Oceana in Belize have expressed their discontent over the unsustainable practice which in drastically damaging our marine ecosystem. But in the fishermen’s defense, the practice is legal in Belize, as there are no laws against gill net or line fishing, or even fishing for sharks. In fact, the only shark species protected in Belize are Whale Sharks and Nurse Sharks, allowing other species such as Caribbean Reef Sharks and Hammer Heads to be legally killed. Reports surfaced on Sunday, February 21st, when MarAlliance posted on their social media page images of the shark massacre. The pictures posted represented a portion of a single day’s fishing with nets and longlines, and included at least 32 sharks representing three species, including the endangered great hammerhead and pregnant Caribbean reef sharks.

Police suspect retaliation in murder of Frank Edwards Jr.
Currently San Pedro Police have two persons in custody, and believe that Edwards’ murder was in retaliation to another murder of an islander exactly one year ago. According to official reports from the police, at about 8:50PM Edwards was inside his home along with family members when there was a knock on the door. Someone from outside shouted “Police” and as a result Edwards opened the door to find out what was happening. Without warning he was shot multiple times by his perpetrators who then quickly made their escape in a skiff through the lagoon area behind his house. Family members placed Edwards’ body in his boat and drove it to the dock on Tarpon Street were police found him. Upon investigation at the scene of the shooting, Police recovered (17) seventeen .45 auto expended shells, (14) fourteen .9mm expended shells, (2) two 12 gauge expended cartridge, (1) one 12-gauge live cartridge, (3) three .45 slug, (2) two .9mm slug and (5) five pellets from the scene.

Ambergris Today

Very windy night last night.... this from 9pm last night
Power crews are working on completely restoring power to all areas of Ambergris Caye as the island experienced power failure due to faulty lines. Wind gusts exceeded 25mph and knocked down trees in some neighborhoods

Police Suspect Retaliation in Latest Murder Case
On Tuesday evening, February 23, 2016, at about 9:30p.m., San Pedro Police officers were called to Mr. Francisco Arceo’s dock located on Tarpon Street where they found the lifeless body of Frank Luis Edwards Jr. inside a 16-foot skiff. Edwards, 27-years-old Belizean fisherman, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, stomach, neck and face. His body was retrieved from the boat and taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 10:06p.m. by resident doctor Renae Sersland. Police believe that the motive for the murder is retaliation for drug/murder cases in the past in which Edwards has been linked to. Frank is no stranger to the San Pedro Police Department and has been in and out of court in several cases, including the 2009 murder case of James Swan and Edward "Bro Lee" Gutierrez in which he and three other men were acquitted of murder and set free.

Belize Dive Master Big Sexy Has Serious Bubble Ring Blowing Skills
He is known in the diving world of Belize as ‘Big Sexy’, working as a dive master at Chuck and Robbie’s Scuba Diving & Instruction, one of the leading dive shops in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Famous for these bubbles, Big Sexy is constantly asked to perform this trick almost every day. His name is Turiano Vasquez Jr., but ‘Big Sexy’ stuck to him one day and now he is a well known dive instructors on the island – Everybody Knows Big Sexy!! He is fun, adventurous, entertaining and a very friendly guy. His outgoing personality helps make his diving tours a blast. David McNab and his family from Peterborough, Canada are frequent visitors to Ambergris Caye. He shares with us this great video and images he took while on a diving trip, showcasing Big Sexy blowing bubble rings at 60 feet below the surface. It is a really cool talent, don’t you think?

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of February 14th – February 20th, 2016
A good weather week with lots of great guests that had the lodge in a great mood. Orivi had the winter Bonefish Bonanza and had 10 guides reserved for a great group, lots of couples, lots of fun, Big thanks go out to Duber, Orvis’ host for the Bonefish Bonanza event, everything was smooth and successful.

Princess Cruise Awards Chukka (Belize) Tour of the Season
Staff from Chukka (Belize) attended an on-board ceremony on the Caribbean Princess on Thursday, February 11th to accept the award of the 2014/2015 High Volume Tour of the Season. The tour that won in this category is Chukka’s Lamanai Mayan Ruins, Mangrove River Cruise & Lunch. Chukka has been providing this tour to Princess cruise ships since 2012. This is the 3rd consecutive year that Chukka has won a Tour of the Season by Princess as part of its Western Caribbean itinerary awards recognition program. Princess Cruises also made notable mentions of several of the guides who provide guiding services for the Chukka tours in Belize. On hand to receive the award were members of Chukka Belize’s management team. Cruise Operations Manager, Idorine Vernon, says “We thank Princess for this recognition which would not have been possible without the hard work and effort of the tour guides on this tour and our transportation and meal service suppliers with whom we work as a team. We look forward to continue doing our best in providing safe and fun tours”.

Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita site
History indicates that a Spanish sailor named Gonzalo Guerrero was shipwrecked in 1511, off the coast of Belize shortly after the New World Discovery. A great friendship grew between Guerrero and Nachanhan who was the Maya Ruler of Santa Rita, known as Old Chetumal. Eventually Guerrero married Nachanhan's daughter, and their children were considered the first Mestizo of Belize. Mestizo culture is defined as a mix of Spanish and Mayan ancestry, and larger populations are found in the Northern districts of Belize. On Saturday February 6, 2016, a reenactment of The Royal Wedding of Nachanhan's daughter to the Spaniard, Guerrero was presented at the Santa Rita Site in Corozal, Belize. The event was opened to the general public and was organized by the BTB, Centro Escolar Mexico, Corozal Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and the National Institute of Culture and History. The idea is to make the Santa Rita Maya Temple a spiritual wedding garden,opening to newly engaged couples, persons renewing their vows or for those celebrating a milestone in their lives. Other highlights of the night included a portrayal of the cultural celebration with the hog head, a demonstration of the traditional Mayan Ball game ( Pitz ) which was played on stone courts at the temples. The objective of the game was to keep the ultimately passing it through high hoops that were suspended above the courts.

2016 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge- February 20-23, 2016
Local and International Teams of four compete for 3 days and nights in an epic adventure. The challenge includes Mountain biking, trekking, orienteering, canoeing, rappelling and spelunking through the Maya Mountains and the Belizean Jungle, braving 220 miles of jungle trails, rapids, rivers, cave systems and waterfalls. This grueling competition showcases the very best of what Belize has to offer to nature and adventure lovers.

Ruta Maya River Challenge 2016- March 4-7, 2016
The Ruta Maya River Challenge, held annually in March, brings together 90-100 teams of professional and amateur paddlers from all over the world. It is the longest race of its kind in Central America consisting of 170 miles of paddling on the Belize River over the course of 4 days. The paddlers are challenged by currents, rapids, low areas that require them to physically carry their canoes for short distances and stronger winds as they approach the Caribbean Sea. The start of the race sees hundreds of locals and visitors trooping to the banks of the Macal River to watch the canoes pass and to cheer on their favourite teams. All teams consist of three members who must be aboard the canoe at the start of the race and no substitutes are allowed once the race has commenced.

BPP Progressive Tourism & Environment Plan
If it doesn't ban gill net fishing and implement the traditional fishermen recommendation, to protect our Fisheries from being raped by Guatemalans, then this initiative is futile. The BPP Progressive Tourism & Environment Plan is very clear: - Legislate the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Policy - Removal of the Ministerial discretion Provisions of the Fisheries Act Finalize Belize Fisheries Act Revision Project. We draw attention to: - Immediately banning gill net fishing in Belize’s waters. - To procure a fishing license, we will set up the system recommended by the southern commercial fishermen on September 5, 2013 at the Placencia Community Center and that is: - Defining a “Traditional Fisherman” as a born Belizean who has been fishing all their lives in Belize’s waters, and this tradition being passed down from at least 3 generations of born Belizean forefathers. - A Special committee of local traditional fishermen will be setup to proactively identify who all are current traditional fishermen. Anyone who does not make this list will have to go thru a vetting process by this committee, which will ultimately decide if they should get"traditional fisherman" status and thus a fishing license.

The Honorable Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development has announced the recent decision made by the government of Belize on February 9th 2016 to endorse Belize’s first National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (“the Plan”). This announcement was made during the Deputy Prime Minister’s keynote address delivered at the Official Opening Ceremony for Coastal Awareness Week 2016 being implemented by the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute under the theme, “The Coast is Ours…Let’s Climate Proof-It!” In his keynote address, Honorable Gaspar Vega stated that government’s decision to endorse the Plan is “a reaffirmation of this government’s commitment to fulfilling the national agenda for growth and sustainable development.” He further stated that government is fully committed to the implementation of the Plan, which “signals a pioneering step towards strengthening the governance of coastal resources through the strategic transition from sectoral management to a coordinated, cross-sectoral decision making regime”.

Power interruptions Saturday February 27 & Sunday, February 28: entire Orange Walk & Corozal Districts
7:00am to 7:15am & 4:45pm to 5:00pm, BEL to facilitate line maintenance by Comisión Federal De Electricidad (CFE).

Toucans now relocated to release cage
Their final stop before freedom in about 7 days. Belize Bird Rescue in action again... Bless 'em all!

Corazon Creek Technical High School gets classrooms and science lab
Through the U.S. Embassy's Military Liasion Office and the U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) we recently opened two classroom buildings with state of the art science lab and bathroom facility at the the Corazon Creek Technical High School in Belize. The construction of the classroom building serves two pruposes. It not only provides a good learning environment for students, but also serves as a shelter in times of disaster. The project also included retrofitting the building with the solar panels. The new school building was built to the highest standards of design and construction with minimal maintenance cost. The total value of these construction projects is just over BZ$1,090,000.

January 2016 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
During the month of January 2016, Belize’s total imports were valued at almost $131 million, falling by 7.5 percent or $10.7 million when compared to the $141.6 million imported in January 2015. The ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ were among the categories recording the largest declines in imports. Purchases for the Commercial Free Zones diminished by almost $11 million, from $28 million to $17 million, mainly due to an $8 million reduction in the importation of cigarettes. The total value of Belize’s domestic exports for the month of January 2016 was $22.8 million, down 29.5 percent or $9.5 million from the $32.3 million recorded in January 2015. Marine products, which recorded the best performance among the major exports in January 2015, fell steeply in January 2016 from $12 million to $2.5 million, owing to a $10 million fall in shrimp earnings. Only a little over half a million dollars worth of shrimp was exported for the month, as the industry embarks on restocking its ponds. Earnings from banana exports shrank from $7.6 million to less than $5 million, as the exported volume for this product dropped by over a third. Additionally, orange concentrate sales declined from $5 million to $3.5 million, resulting in an overall $2 million drop in citrus exports for the month.

The Belize Sea Goddess
he Belize Sea Goddess is latest Living Sculpture in the Sea project by The Marine Foundation and is their first for Belize and in the Western Hemisphere. The Eco art reef is created in collaboration with Roberts Grove Beach Resort, Placencia and local environmental group, SEA, Southern Environment Agency and will be installed during National Reef Week in Silk Caye Marine Reserve on March, Saturday 12th. Designed by esteemed artist and Foundation’s founder, Celia Gregory and inspired by the ancient feminine symbol of fertility; the Sea Goddess was created with a local team. The artificial reef sculpture will become a living artwork, evolving over time, providing habitat for fish and coral and an emblem of nurturing and protection. This Collaborative project represents a positive and creative step in the protection of Belize’s marine habitat.

esterday, the Ministry of Finance apprised the Cabinet of the continued, significant decrease in domestic crude oil production and the attendant slump in tax revenues and royalties, and made recommendations for immediate compensatory adjustments to the duties levied upon imported fuel products. Consequently, Cabinet approved the following adjustments, effective February 25, 2016, to the import duties: Increase of 40 cents per US Gallon on Premium Gasoline to $3.36 per US Gallon Increase of 30 cents per US Gallon on Regular Gasoline to $3.03 per US Gallon Increase of 80 cents per US Gallon on Diesel Oil to $2.72 per US Gallon The combined effect of this change, along with the downward change in the CIF prices of this recent fuel shipment, will result in new pump prices per US gallon (in Belize City) as follows: Premium Gasoline -$8.99 per US gallon Regular Gasoline - $7.98 per US gallon Diesel Oil - $7.52 per US gallon.

CARICOM Election Observation Mission Team
Ms. Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer, Elections and Boundaries Department, Belize, is leading the eleven member CARICOM Election Observation Mission Team, which began arriving in Jamaica on 21 February. The CARICOM Election Observation Mission mounted for Jamaica’s February 25 General Elections has hit the ground with meetings involving the country’s two major political parties – the ruling Peoples National Movement of Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party led by Andrew Holness. The Mission, in an Arrival Statement issued Tuesday, said it also plans to meet with other political parties, the Commissioner of Police, the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, the Chamber of Commerce, the media and civil society groups.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the Corozal House of Culture
Keep up the great work.

Aircraft Technical Records Clerk position open with Tropic Air
Tropic Air is an innovative, fun and energetic company and we are looking for someone to join our team. Check out our open positions and send us your resumés. Input and update daily flight hours in the computer, Input/track daily time sheets and schedules for the maintenance department, Generate work packs and work orders, Maintain aircraft technical logbooks and associated aircraft records, Input completed work packs & work order in the computer, Prepare reports using available data, Clear communication with other departments within the company, Comply with daily office duties.

District Youth Development Council Election
Corozal - The following is a list of nominees for the District Youth Development Council Election to be held February 29th, 2016. Electronic voting will be conducted via the respective Department of Youth Services. For the Corozal District, here are the nominees and their positions. Corozal District:- PRESIDENT - 1. Teotisha Hall 2. Damari Tesecum 3. Benigno Lizama VICE PRESIDENT - 1. Ginelly Novelo 2. Mikael E. Gilharry 3. Dominique Vellos

Spanish Lookout 2016 Business Expo
The Spanish Lookout Business Expo is this Friday and Saturday, at Countryside Park. More than 100 businesses will be showing their wares. There will be food and drinks, and fun too.

Global Trees Symposium
The Global Trees Symposium is this Friday at University of Belize. They have an all star lineup of speakers. "All are invited to attend!"

While the Belizean-American athlete racked up wins after wins here on the California cycling classics over the last year, will 2016 see the outstanding and incredible cycling phenom enter the most popular Central American Cycling Classic, the National Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Race. Along with him and his younger brother, Corey Williams, who has peaked to his finest condition over the last year, and also has won some big races on the California cycling circuit even beating his older brother Justin on one occasion, will the Williams brothers be there to defend the Garland again for Belize and continue the Miguel Brothers story of a dynasty of family cyclists raised up to become champions of the road. As March approaches and the sweltering heat of Belize's dry season pushes out its ugly head, the challenge of Belize's Cross Country calls as the bugel can be heard blazing in the wee hours of the dawn. Bring it on!

The Belize team from JG Black Book and the Belize Tourism Board presenting to agents in Chicago.

Channel 7

Notorious Island Figure Executed
If you follow the news, you might remember the name Frank Edwards Jr. He's a 27 year-old fisherman from the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town. He's also been in numerous run in's with the law, and he even got off a murder and a double murder. But, last night at a few minutes before 9:00, he couldn't escape a group of determined killers who hunted him down in his house for a merciless execution. Frank Edwards Sr., the father of the deceased, told 7News that he knows very little about what happened last night, but what he has been told is that Frank Jr. was inside his home with other family members when they heard a knock on the door. Someone from the outside shouted "Police!", and Edwards Jr. answered the door, thinking that he was going to meet police officers. He was greeted instead by a gunman wielding a shot gun who immediately unloaded the weapon on Edwards Jr. He fell back inside the house, and that's when other gunmen opened fire and released a hail of bullets. Some accounts are that he suffered as many as 40 gunshot injuries. After the attack, the gunmen ran out of the house and allegedly escaped on a getaway boat.

Unidentified Body In Indian Church; Signs Of Violence Discovered
About a month ago, we told you about the gruesome murder of 51 year-old Francisco Arrevalo, chairman of the remove Orange Walk Village of Indian Church. Well late this evening, Orange Walk Police had to return to that normally quiet village for yet another killing. The male victim remains unidentified at this time, and reports to 7News are that he was discovered across a lagoon in the Village, near to a resort. His body was discovered by a birdwatcher, and when the authorities went to investigate, they found that his hand was tied behind his back, a rope was around his neck, and there were what appeared to be stab wounds. Even More frightening than that is that parts of the victim's body was missing, and it is believed that it may have been eaten by wild animals, most likely crocodiles. When our colleagues at CTV3 News left the scene, police were still processing it, and we'll have more for you on this developing story tomorrow.

Coast Guard Still Looking For The Other Drowning Victim
And keeping it in the Orange Walk District, today, the Coast Guard resumed the search for the still unidentified youth who went swimming in the New River with his friend, 21 year-old Carlos Reyes, but never resurfaced. As we told you, there was a third young man who was with them, and he jumped in as well, but he noticed a crocodile lurking in the waters. He got out and tried to warn his other 2 companions, but he couldn't find them. After hours of search yesterday, the Coast Guard found the body of 21 year-old Carlos Reyes, but they had to suspend their efforts because it was getting too dark. Coast Guard divers searched for much of today as well, and they still couldn't find the body of the other unidentified young man. One of the divers discussed the difficulties they were facing: Coast Guard: "We resumed search about 8:30 this morning and we did both sides, we did surface searches in the canoe about 300 yards going down stream. We did both sides and come down the middle and then we did dives similar to how we did the surface search along both ends but so we didn't come up with anything. We break off for lunch after which we did another surface search a while ago."

ComPol Discusses Fake Cops
On Monday, we told you about the fake police officers, dressed in Khaki and Blue, who came upon two security guards and convinced them that an impromptu search was being conducted. The security guards suspected that something was amiss, but by that time, it was too late to put up any resistance, because by that time, the thugs had already pulled out a gun to threaten them with. The men then ran off with a licensed weapon, another gun belonging to a security firm. Well, while we had the opportunity today, we asked the Commissioner of Police about these incidents, and he told us that his officers are treating it with priority: Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police: "It's a major concern, I had directed and I know we had sent out a press release in terms of advising businesses what to do. It is a great concern because if we have persons posing as police officers then it impacts negatively in terms of the general police officers going to execute their duties and I hope that people if they are in doubt they would call their nearest police station who should be able to confirm whether or not police officers had been dispatched to do any searches or any premises and that sort of thing. In other countries these things occur, we are investigating, we are trying to nip it but we had a number of persons detained and I believe that we may have charged one person."

US Embassy Facilitated GOB On De-Risking Talks
Last week, we gave you extensive coverage of the CARICOM Heads Of Government meeting held on the Placencia Peninsula, which Prime Minister Dean Barrow Chaired. A major part of those high level discussions was the threat that the de-risking phenomenon poses to bank indigenous to the Caribbean. A very extensive action plan has been passed by the CARICOM Heads of Government to try to tackle this problem, which is complex and has no quick fixes, and no easy resolution. In the meantime, the US Embassy in Belize has been observing the effects it has been having in this country. They've been working closely to try to assist the Belize Government in anyway it can to reach out to the relevant authorities in the US. Today, at another event, Ambassador Carlos Moreno told us that he and his subordinates have not been sitting on their hands while this issue unfolds: Reporter: "Have you been contacted by Belize or government in terms of ways of how the US embassy can intervene?" H.E. Carlos Moreno - US Ambassador: "Yes for the last 15 months our embassy has been working with the Bankers Association and Central Bank and with the Prime Minister and other aspects of government to resolve that by bringing together the regulators in Washington with the commercial banks themselves and with the representatives from the government of Belize to address that problem. I think we're making progress, we have very limited authority to tell the correspondent banks in the US is to what to do and how to manage their accounts but we hope that together in addressing specific issues that we're able to address this very critical issue that is so important to the Belizean economy. So we are there, we are working on getting people to talk to resolve the issue."

CDB's Outlook On Caribbean Economies For 2016
Today in St. Michael, Barbados, the Caribbean Development Bank held its annual news conference to review the economic performance of the region, and to discuss the bank's various interjections. Jules Vasquez was at the CDB Headquarters along with 20 other Caribbean journalists for the two hour press conference this morning. Bank President Dr. Warren Smith said there is guarded optimism about the performance of Caribbean economies in 2016:... Dr. William Warren Smith - President, CDB: "We could say that 13 of the 19 baring member countries in CDB's membership, we would expect that to grow faster in 2016 than they did in 2015. But two of our stronger credits, that is Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname will experience negative growth in 2016. So ladies and gentlemen I want to conclude that Caribbean economies are in something of a recovery mode and in my view that's fair comment except that this recovery is occurring at a time of great uncertainty in what is emerging as somewhat topsy- turvy external environment. Ladies and gentlemen let me conclude my presentation by saying simply that I am guardedly optimistic about 2016. Economic recovery remains fragile but we expect that countries will continue on an upward growth trajectory."

CDB Satisfied With Belize's Road Safety Project
The 2016 growth for Belize is projected to be 2.7%, up from 2% in 2015. It's far from runaway growth, but - performance wise - it does put Belize in the upper echelon of Caribbean economies. And maybe that's why - of 19 members countries - Belize is among the top three largest beneficiaries of CDB loans. For the CDB, the proudest among those is the road safety project focussed on the George Price Highway. President Smith told us they hope to use it as a model throughout the Caribbean:... Dr. William Warren Smith - President, CDB: "We are very pleased with the results that have come from that project and we feel that we can use it as a demonstration for the introduction of road safety projects in other Caribbean countries. Belize is a big country; we would also like to be able to deploy that kind of a project more in other parts of Belize." And they're already taking it to other parts of Belize -namely the Phillip Golden Highway - specifically between the Haulover Bridge and the Airport. That is set for a 13 million dollar overhaul which should start in just a few weeks. Project Director Daniel Best told us more:.. Daniel Best - Director, Project Dept. - CBD: "The George Price Highway is certainly a flagship project for the CDB; it is one that we are very proud of. We expect to see similar outcome, similar benefits to rubdown to this initiative. Since the George Price Highway project, the road safety project has been implemented. We have seen a 40% reduction in fatalities on that transit chord which phenomenal and we expect similar results on the Phillip Goldson Highway in that we will be improving road safety measures in terms of side walk, in terms of street lighting, in terms of signage on the roadway."

Another Attempt At Getting Youths Into Central Government
Last week Friday, we told you about this idea by Central Government to include representation from youth population in the country to have a say in the way country will be run. It's called the National Youth Council, and idea is that youths will chosen to be members of this body through a democratic process where delegates from Youth Advocacy organizations will be able to vote for which young person they think is a good leader. This Council will then be able to lobby and influence policy decisions made by the Cabinet and the House of Representatives. It's interesting idea to give youths a say in the policy decisions which affect them, but it's been tried before and met with failure. Well, the Barrow Administration believes that the time is right for yet another attempt and so aspirants have been going around campaigning to the delegates to be elected.

Coastal Zone Awareness
Right now, the Coastal Zone Management Authority And Institute are well on their way into celebrating Coastal Awareness Week. It's time where the CZMAI wants the country to think about how to protect and preserve the coast line so that it's beauty and financial worth continues, hopefully in perpetuity. On Monday, the CZMAI and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development held an opening ceremony to note it's importance: Chantelle Samuels - CEO, CMAI: "Today is a very special day for the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute. In the first instance we had our official opening of coastal awareness week 2016 which begins today February 22nd and runs through to Saturday February 27th. The theme for this year is The Coast is ours, Let's climate proof it. This theme is very timely; it's very relevant as we grapple with the adverse impacts of climate change. The everyday citizen will attest to the fact that we have period of rain when we would normally have dry season and vice versa and there are other climate change impacts that we are already experiencing. So this week really is to help us as a people and a government to look at viable options for climate adaptation as well as to look at what we can do to ensure that our coastal environment, our eco-systems remains resilient so we can better adapt to the impact of climate change."

World Fuel Prices Down; Belize Prices Up
World fuel prices are falling to record lows - but here in Belize, the more it goes down, the more government increases taxes! The Ministry of Finance announced today that effective tomorrow, the import duty on all fuels are going up. That means an increase of 40 cents per gallon on premium, 30 cents per gallon on regular, and 80 cents per gallon on diesel. So that means that effective tomorrow, the new pump prices will be, 8 dollars and 99 cents per gallon for diesel, seven dollars and 98 cents per gallon for regular, and seven dollars and 52 cents per gallon for Diesel. So, how does that compare with the old prices? Well for premium which is currently nine dollars and 30 cents a gallon, that;s actually going down. Regular, which is currently seven dollars and 61 cents per gallon is going up by 37 cents, while diesel jumps the most: that is currently at six dollars and 52 cents per gallon and it's spiking up by one dollars to seven dollars and 52 cents - a 15% increase. But Government says "don't worry, be happy" because, quote, "the Ministry (of finance) expects that there may be a substantial downward adjustment in the coming weeks.

Federation Of Fishers Weighs On Shark Fishing
Over the past couple of days we have been reporting on the use of gillnets to catch sharks and other sea products. The issue was brought up by Mar Alliance who alleged that the pictures they uploaded on facebook depicted a recent catch of sharks in Sanbore Caye that were done with the use of gillnets by a group of fishermen, some whom they allege were not licensed. Today the Belize Fisheries Federation has added their voice to that discourse saying and we quote, “The Federation...stands against the improper use of these gears….and questions if and when the Ministry will address this growing enforcement issues that is casing a black eye on the fisherfolk in Belize.” end quote. They also made note that the gears have been traditionally used for decades and is something that many of their members’ livelihoods depend on. The press release ended by calling on the Government NGO community and other stake holders to join in identifying mechanisms to address this growing problem.

Growing Gang Resistant Youths
Stay away from gangs, drugs, and crime, and stay in school. Those seem to be easy goals for any young person, but when you factor in peer pressure and poverty, it can become a challenge for a lot of young people living in marginalized neighbourhoods. So, that's why the Police Department, realizing the scope of the problem, launched its Gang Resistance Education and Training. 95 children have passed through the program which has been running for a few years, and today, we got to meet a few of the youths who graduated out. The Commissioner of Police and the US Ambassador to Belize told us that they see the benefits, and are excited to continue the initiative Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police: "This was the third graduating class for the Belize Police Department with the 35 new officers who graduated today, we have approximately 150 officers trained in the Great Programme, we also have three international trainers and we have another constable who is about to complete his training and also be the fourth international trainer so the Great Programme is here to stay within the Belize Police Department, it is a very beneficial programme that has police officers going into the various schools and imparting their knowledge in terms of teaching young people, students how to resist peer pressure, how to handle peer pressure; how to deal with issues of gangs and drugs and a lot of the other social issues that normally affect young people."

FFB President Vicente: Sec Gen Blease Good For Football
By now, viewers may know very well that the Ruperto Vicente led Football Federation of Belize has erupted in a very public fight where his executive team, Cruz Gamez, Marlon Kuylen, and Sergio Chuc, tried to get him suspended. They think he's bad for football, and though it is being publized a few weeks before this executive's term ends, the reality is that they've been a house divided right after the 2012 elections 4 years ago. A big complaint that the 3 have against their president is that Vicente has allowed FFB Secretary General far too much authority to make decisions that only executive members ought to have. Some of those decisions, they say, haven't gone very well for the progress of football in Belize, yet the president still continues to allow him relatively free reign. We asked Vicente about that criticism last week Friday, and here's how he responded:

Jasmine Alert Needs Your Support
The Jasmine Alert Program is in its 4 year, and it's pioneer Patrick Menzies launched to activate the law enforcement might by releasing urgent bulletins to the nation for missing children. The Jasmine Alert was launched in 2012 in memory of Jasmine Lowe, who was brutally murdered in Cayo after being missing for several days. But the Jasmine Alert Program has been operating barebones. It's managers have run out of funding, and donors have been hard to come by. So, Executive Director Patrick Menzies is launching a fundraiser which he hopes you will buy into for a very important service which might be slowly withering. He talked about this fundraiser with us tomorrow: Patrick Menzies - Executive Director, Jasmine Alert: "The Jasmine Alert Programme started in July 31st 2012 and we had some help first few months from a few companies and that died off after 6 months. We have two individuals who have helped us off and on for a little while after but that's about it. This fund raiser we are doing is our first national fund raiser. We're doing a motorcycle raffle with Universal Hardware from Spanish Lookout. They have given us a very good deal to help us with the motorcycle situation..."

Cops Discuss Mental Illness
Several senior police officers from formations across the country met today with members of the Mental Health Department at the George Price Center in Belmopan. The main item on the agenda was to discuss matters that have to do with the arresting of persons with mental disabilities. Several times in the past police have failed to levy charges against an individual because of the person’s apparent mental instability. In 2014 a protocol on Mental Health was developed in the police manual to address this same concern. But as with everything, the protocol presented other problems. So today a meeting was convened to tighten up some of those loose ends on the mental health protocol of the police manual. Some of those comments and recommendations noted at today’s round table discussion will be taken up to the highest form of Government in the hopes of using it as a guide to develop a legal module for authorities in the law enforcement that find themselves in situations dealing with mentally ill persons.

Cops Meet Gungulung Community
Cops in Eastern Division South continue their routinely meet and greet sessions. Today they hit the Gungulung area of Belize City. We caught up with them at La Croix Boulevard and spoke to the South Side Commander Alden Dawson who told us that they are back in the Gungulung today because they have seen that their efforts in community policing in that area and others have been working. We note that recently the city activity has been relatively down. Since the start of the year there have only been three City murders. And only one of them was gun related. The police department continue to push their community policing agenda in other parts of the country to improve relationship with the general public.

Eastern Division North's Officer Of The Month
Today, the commanders of eastern Division North followed up on their ongoing push to recognize hardworking police by rewarding their officer of the month of January 2016. He’s Police Constable Alfredo Chavarria, and his police bosses say that he’s a model of what up-and-coming police officers should strive for.Here’s what his superiors told us: He’s a man of few words, but we take it that PC Chavarria focuses that and other energies into bettering his department.

Rural Police Building Their On Station's Addition
And From North to Rural Eastern Division, we found the police putting down their pens, handcuffs, guns, and other police equipment, and picking up a masonry’s trowel to lay blocks and mix cement. You’ve seen Top Cop Broaster, Dancing Broaster, Chef Broaster, Broaster the Trickster, and Secret Santa Broaster, but tonight you’ll meet Broaster the Contractor. He told us that he and his officers have taken it upon themselves to build an addition to the Ladyville Police Station to better serve the public. Here’s that interview:

Re: Today's Belize News: February 25, 2016 [Re: Marty] #511910
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Channel 5

Frank Edwards Jr. Gunned Down in San Pedro
Frank Edwards Junior was accused of murdering James Swan and Eduardo Gutierrez and burying them in a shallow grave in 2009. He was also accused of killing a security guard [...]

Two Detained for Murder of San Pedro Waitress
Even as they investigate this murder, San Pedro Police are trying to close another. One week ago Honduran Johana Mendez Barrios was killed inside her apartment, her throat cut. Investigators [...]

Body Found in Lamanai Lagoon
There is a second murder to report. At news time tonight Orange Walk Police are at a site on the Lamanai Lagoon in the community of Indian Church, south of [...]

Still No Sign of Missing New River Swimmer…Presumed Drowned
The body of twenty-one-year-old Carlos Reyes, a resident of Coyocville, Trial Farm Village was fished out of the New River in Orange Walk Town on Tuesday morning.  Reyes is one [...]

GOB Raises Import Duties on Fuel
The new shipment of fuel is in, and the acquisition cost, or C.I.F., is down, which means that pump prices should automatically go down. But they won’t, because GOB has [...]

Investigations Continue in Shooting Death of Belizean Woman in Inglewood
Investigations continue tonight in the shooting death of a Belizean mother of three children who lived in Inglewood, California. Kisha Michaels was shot in her car by cops early on [...]

SP Police Say Crime Down in that Municipality
The murder in San Pedro last week, followed so shortly after by another Tuesday night – both violent – may give the impression that La Isla Bonita is becoming a [...]

Four Arrested for Fake Drivers’ Licenses in San Pedro
San Pedro Police are also investigating a widespread forgery ring – specifically fake Orange Walk drivers’ licenses. From what we’ve been able to determine, these persons purchase forged licenses, with [...]

Decision in Keyren Tzib PI Reserved
Female coastguard officer, Keyren Tzib, went back to court this morning. She is accused of manslaughter in the stabbing death of her boyfriend, Thythis Blancaneaux on July eighteenth, 2015 in [...]

Velasquez Will Stand Trial for Rape of Minor
Another preliminary inquiry took place today. Thirty-five year old Jorge Velasquez who in September 2014 was accused of raping a twelve-year-old girl is back behind bars at the Belize Central [...]

Cameron Slusher alleged Fake Cop charged with Aggravated Assault
There have been at least three recent cases of fake cops on the loose.  Today, a case came up in court which seems to involve the fake cops. Security officer, [...]

CDB Holds 2016 Media Conference
The Caribbean Development Bank held its 2016 media conference today at its headquarters in Barbados. President William Warren Smith opened the conference outlining the major issues that the Caribbean region [...]

Observer Mission on Ground Preparing for Elections in Jamaica
This Thursday, Jamaicans go to the polls to decide where Prime Minister Portio Simpson known as Mama P will remains as the P.N.P. Prime Minister or whether Opposition Leader Andrew [...]

St. John Vianney Kids Get New Playground
Primary school students at St. John’s Vianney Primary School were ecstatic this morning when they were allowed onto a new playground.  The swings, seesaw and slide are a donation from [...]

Police Officers Complete GREAT Training
The GREAT program funded by the U.S. government has become an important element in the work of the police department.  It first started in the City and has now spread [...]


Orange Walk Records Its Fourth Murder, The Victim Is Tortured
Today Orange Walk recorded its fourth murder for the year 2016. This morning authorities received an anonymous call at about 10:30 informing them about a body of an unidentified male person that was found floating in the Lamanai Lagoon located in the Village of Indian Church in Orange Walk. Reports to CTV3 News indicate that the body was discovered by a tour guide who was bird watching in the area this morning. Our news team travelled to Indian Church and when we arrived at the scene the body of the victim was being transported via a skiff to the other side of the lagoon. According to Inspector of Police, Nicholas Palomo, the body had multiple visible injuries which led authorities to believe that the individual was murdered and thrown in the lagoon approximately two to three days prior to the discovery. Nicholas Palomo – Inspector of Police: “The body was already severed in two from the waist down and from the chest up it was probably done by predators, the body however had on a blue jeans pants and a blue shirt with white lines, it appears to have some bruces, his two hands were bound with a yellow rope and as we speak right now the doctors will look after a post mortem and after it is done we will know exactly where and what other injuries the body has.”

Belzie Coast Guard Continue To Comb The New River for Missing Male
Today there is still no word on the second drowning victim that plunged into the New River on Monday evening and never resurfaced. According to reports, 21 one year old Carlos Reyes along with a second unidentified male jumped into the New River on Monday evening at around 5:30 but never reappeared. Following hours of continuous efforts by the Belize Coast Guard and local divers the lifeless body of Reyes was located yesterday at about 11:00 in the morning. Today at around 8:30 in the morning members of the Belize Coast Guard resumed their search for the second man but the surface and underwater searches proved futile. Seamond Castro- Belize Coast Guard “We resume search about 8:30 this morning and we did both sides, we did surface searches on the canoe about 300 yards went that way down stream and both sides coming down the middle and then we did dives similar to how we did the surface search along both ends.” Considering that nobody knows the identity of the second victim, many Orange Walkenos are speculating that only Reyes jumped in the river. According to Seamond Castro, if a second man did drowned his body is not in the area that they have combed.

OWTC And Ministry Of Health To Hold Meeting With Residence
As part of a project to continue engaging with the citizens of our town, the Orange Walk Town Council has organized a neighborhood meeting that will serve as a medium for residents to voice their concerns. One major issue that will be addressed at the meeting that will take place tomorrow at the Philip Alvarez Park is the global epidemic, Zika Virus. Members from the Ministry of Health will be available for questions and also to offer advice to residents on how to keep yards clean and minimize the breeding grounds for mosquitos, who are the vectors for the Zika Virus. Ian Cal- Orange Walk Councilor: “Our first neighborhood meeting this year to the Phillip Alvarez Park we are inviting the residents to come out and to express their concerns and their ideas as we are going to have members of the public health department there to speak more about the Zika virus that everyone has been hearing about we want to know as well and we will be there to answer any questions as well, the meeting will start at 7pm at the Phillip Alvarez park and we invite everyone to come out be there and voice your concerns as well.” Also present at the meeting will be the Mayor of Orange Walk and the Councilors who will be there to listen to the concerns of residents in order to work on a plan on how best to address those issues.

Fuel Prices Increase Effective Midnight
If your gas tank is running close to empty, our advice to you would be to full up before midnight because at one minute past 12:00, fuel prices will see a major increase.Today the Ministry of Finance issued a release where they indicated that the import duty on Premium Gasoline will be increased by forty cents to three dollars and thirty six cents per US Gallon.As for Regular Gasoline, the import duty will be increased by thirty cents to three dollars and three cents per US Gallon and the import duty for Diesel Oil will be increased by eighty cents to per two dollars and seventy two cents per US Gallon As a result of the above mentioned adjustments to the import duties of fuel, Belizeans will see new prices at the pumps. Here in Orange Walk the price of Premium gasoline will see a decrease of thirty one cents. So it will sell for nine dollars and seven cents. Regular gasoline will see an increase of thirty seven cents and goes from seven dollars and sixty eight cents to eight dollars and five cents. Diesel is increasing by a whopping one dollar and instead of six dollars and sixty cents, Orange Walkenos will now pay seven dollars and sixty cents per gallon.

Renovation Of Streets Around Central Park Almost Completed
The rehabilitation project for the Orange Walk Central Park carried out under the Belize Municipal Development Project under the umbrella of the Social Investment Fund and the Orange Walk Town Council, is today near completion with the upgrade and paving of South Park Street, North Park St and Lovers Lane. Today we spoke to Orange Walk Councilor Ian Cal who told us more about the final stages of the project. Ian Cal – Orange Walk Councillor: “I would ay it was about 80% complete in this area but just yesterday it received it second seal of chip seal and it is going to receive another third layer I would say in about two weeks’ time the final layer around the park and after that then you will start to see the line markings around the park around the street being completed, the drainage section also needs to be covered and what is left is a pedestrian ramp as well on the opposite side and the signs so I would say it was about 80% complete and give and take give it a month to be completely finalized.” The project is expected to be fully completed by the end of March.

Windell Neal Formally Charge At Orange Walk Magistrate Court
Last night we told you about Windell Neal, a resident of Lizarraga Avenue in Belize City who targeted employees of three business establishments here in Orange Walk Town with the intention of conning them into paying for seafood that was allegedly ordered by their employers. Today we can tell you that another business owner, this time of San Pedro Town, is accusing Neal of carrying out the same crime in that municipality. Fifty eight year old Dorothea Pinedo, reported to police that back in January she had observed a shrimp order of a total of $380.00 written on her employee’s note pad with a down payment of $280.00 leaving a balance of $100.00. But when Pinedo asked the employee about the date of the arrival of the shrimp, the employee informed her that a male of creole descent by the name of Brian Neal had walked in the building speaking on the phone. The employee was made to believe that Neal was talking to Pinedo who allegedly told him to collect $280.00.


Belize’s Relations with CDB
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is a regional financial institution that was founded by way of an agreement in Kingston, Jamaica, signed on October 18, 1969. Just over three months after the signing, it came into force on January 26, 1970. Since then the Bank has been serving several countries including states and territories of the Caribbean region or non-regional states, which are members of the United Nations. Dr Warren Smith is the current President of CDB. Love News met up with him earlier this month as he was in Belize for the CARICOM event in Placencia. Dr Smith spoke to us on the role CDB has played in Belize particularly via the Development Finance Corporation. DR WARREN SMITH: “We like to think that we played a very important role in the reconstruction of the DFC. We know that the DFC had a little bit of a rocky history and we felt that it was important to have a financial intermediary in Belize that was focused on development issues. Belize is a very important client of the Caribbean Development Bank, you are also a shareholder of the Caribbean Development bank. So we provided technical assistance to the government of Belize to help them to do a study which would inform the restructuring of the DFC. In my opinion it was a good story, the bank was restructured, it is now in operation, my information is that it’s doing pretty well, it’s meeting the needs of the smaller medium enterprises here in Belize which is the dynamic sector for growth and development here and from our perspective it represents a good conduit for us so we can reach smaller medium enterprises here in Belize working through the mechanism of the DFC which has a very good appreciation of the local risks and also a very good appreciation of where you can get the best bang for your buck from a development perspective right here in this country.”

Federation of Fishers Wants Alternative to Gill Nets
The issue of gill net fishing has taken centre stage since the start of this week as photos of sharks being slain and other marine life being caught up in the use of the gill nets were brought to the forefront. Love News has heard from the Belize Game Fishing Association, OCEANA Belize and the Fisheries Department. Today, the Belize Federation of Fishers announced their position on the issue via a press release saying that while they appreciate the harm the use of the gill net brings about for the industry, they cannot support the ban of gill nets without a practical alternative in place. According to their release, in 1997 a petition to ban the use of gill nets was signed on the condition that an alternative be found. The release noted, however, that their request was marginalized particularly since there was not much by the way of organization of fishers. The release went on to note that many livelihoods depend on the fishing industry and thus the Belize Federation of Fishers sent out the call to the NGO community for collaboration in identifying ways to address the issue.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Protest in Chetumal delays border crossing for Belizeans
Around eight Belize time (9 p.m. in Mexico) protesters and authorities reached an agreement and the road was reopened in the community of Subteniente Lopez in the southern part of Quintana Roo, Mexico, located outside of Chetumal. A protest there today caused significant delays for […]

Free Zone woes hurt January imports, exports slump
Belize’s trade outlook started with a thud in January, as the Commercial Free Zone’s woes impacted imports and performances of those major export industries excepting sugar tumbled. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize’s latest figures, while imports totaled more than $130 million, this is […]

Marginal inflation recorded in January
The Statistical Institute of Belize recorded a marginal increase of 0.4 percent in the Consumer Price Index for January 2016. Decreases were seen in the transport category despite an uptick in the fuel prices as compared to last January, primarily in international airfares. Consumers are […]

Import duties up, fuel prices down for regular and premium gasoline
Effective tomorrow, Thursday, the Government has approved adjustments in the import duties for gasoline of a total of a dollar and fifty cents for premium, regular and diesel gasoline, following a similar hike in December. However, changes at the pump may be confusing, as the prices you […]

Frank Edwards Jr.’s murder suspected to be retaliation
San Pedro’s Police Department believes the murder of Frank Louis Edwards Jr. at his home last night in the San Mateo area of that municipality, was an act of retaliation for some incidents the victim may have been involved with in the past. A […]

Murder reported in San Pedro
Police are investigating the murder of 27-year-old Frank Louis Edwards Jr., fisherman of San Mateo area, on Tuesday night. Edwards was shot multiple times when he opened his door to several persons, one of whom had called “Police” and knocked on the door. The […]

Search continues for second man drowned in the New River
At 8:30 this morning members of the Belize Coast Guard resumed their search for the second man believed to have drowned in the Orange Walk New River. Senior Chief for the Belize Coast Guard, Ariel Garidos, told Breaking Belize News that since this morning they had […]

Missing men make safe return to Caye Caulker
In reference to missing persons report made yesterday, Francisco and Samir Perez returned to Caye Caulker Village alive and well yesterday evening. The men were reported missing after going to a local bar in Caye Caulker to socialize and then not returning home since […]

Security officer assaulted by “Fake Police”
A 26-year-old Belize City mechanic, Cameron Jerryson Slusher, was charged by police for the offence of “aggravated assault” yesterday, in connection to an incident that occurred last week Wednesday. It was reported by a security officer yesterday that on February 17, around 11:00 a.m. […]


Disease May Wipe Out World’s Bananas
Bananas are at the sharp end of industrial agriculture’s chemical war on pests and pathogens. But even 60 pesticide sprays a year isn’t enough to keep the diseases at bay. It’s time to seek new solutions with little or no use of chemicals, working with nature, growing diverse crops on the same land – and breaking the dominance of the banana multinationals. Herbicides that control weeds are applied up to eight times a year, while bananas may be sprayed with fungicides from a plane more than 50 times per year in order to control Black Sigatoka, an airborne fungus. Catastrophe is looming for the banana industry. A new strain has emerged of a soil-borne fungus known as “Panama disease” which can wipe out entire plantations – and it is rapidly spreading around the world. Farmers in Australia, Latin America and across Asia and Africa all fear the worst. The fungus is almost impossible to stop or eradicate. It moves through soil, so contamination can be as simple as infected dirt travelling from one farm to another on the sole of a shoe, or as complex as soil particles blowing on the wind across long distances – even across oceans, in theory. Faced with huge losses to a global industry, many have called for a new strain of disease-resistant “super-banana”. However, this would be just another temporary fix. After all, the world’s most popular banana, the Cavendish, was itself the wonder fruit of its day, being introduced in the 1950s after an earlier strain of Panama disease destroyed its predecessor. The fungi simply adapted and fought back, though, until the Cavendish also became susceptible. Panama and other diseases will continue to do so until we seriously reform how we grow and market bananas.

International Sourcesizz

Belize The Hype!
There’s a rainbow breaking through the overcast tropical clouds as dawn breaks 80km from the coast of Caye Caulker, a small island in the Caribbean Sea. I’m in Belize and I’m here for one reason: the Great Blue Hole. Lying near the center of the world famous Lighthouse Atoll, this diving icon is the largest submarine sinkhole on earth. Its measurements on paper alone are impressive enough – spanning a whopping 300m across and more than 124m deep – but laying eyes on this behemoth takes it to a whole new level. Entering through the break in the reef, just as Jacques Cousteau did all those years ago, the blue hole’s geological formation is clearly visible from the top deck of the Maera, the flagship of Belize Diving Services (BDS). Admittedly it’s not as clear as it would be from the air – as seen in all the postcards – but nonetheless, it is still uniquely identifiable. A total of 12 of us have made the two and a half hour journey from super laid-back Caye Caulker. Despite the BDS crew’s flawless navigation and stomach-lining cooked breakfast, it’s been somewhat of a bumpy ride due to unseasonable rain. However, once within the protected waters of the reef, all of us have the opportunity to contemplate the fact that we are about to tick off a dive which features near the very top of most divers’ bucket lists.

Cape man cycles 13 miles after shoulder injury during Belize race
Forty-eight athletes from nine countries convened Saturday on San Ignacio in Belize to participate in the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge. The biannual four-day endurance race takes athletes through about 320 miles of terrain, cycling across pine ridges and jungles, rappelling down large cave systems and paddling down rivers, according to the race website. Bryan Greaser, a lawyer in Cape Girardeau, was one of those athletes. “I became interested in this race because it is part of the Adventure Racing World Series,” Greaser said. “With some of the best teams in the world coming here, you knew the race course and organization would be epic.” But the race didn’t go as he, or the rest of his team, had planned. Three men and one woman began the race that morning, but before the end of the day, the first member dropped out because of “major hip flexor issues,” Greaser said. “So the three men continued on as we transitioned from a 24-mile whitewater canoe paddle to bikes,” he said. Greaser recounted what happened next on his Facebook page. On Saturday evening, with only bicycle lights to guide them, Greaser went down a hill into a thick sludge rutted by the tires of vehicles that passed previously. His bicycle hit the ruts, and he crashed violently, hitting his head against the ground so hard, he nearly passed out. He also partly dislocated his shoulder. Though his pain was extreme, he could not stop. The crash occurred hours after the team transitioned to bikes. “Due to the remoteness of this country and lack of cell service, we had to ride our bikes back to race headquarters for about 13 miles with my dislocated shoulder,” Greaser said. The next morning, Greaser went to the emergency room, where he was told he had a partially dislocated shoulder, bruising of muscles, tendons and ligaments and a small hairline fracture around the shoulder socket. He could not continue the race.

Rider students spend J-term studying abroad
While some students relaxed during their winter break, perhaps binge-watching Netflix to avoid the chilly January air, four groups from Rider embarked on adventures overseas with faculty. Twelve students from the College of Business Administration traveled to Barcelona, Spain, with Dr. Eugene Kutcher III and Dr. John Donovan, both professors in management. The group had three days of cultural site visits including masterpiece basilica, park with some of Gaudi's most imaginative objects and architecture, benedictine monastery and Camp Nou, one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world and home of FC Barcelon. Staying in the western hemisphere, Dr. Jonathan Husch (GEMS) and Dr. Cindy Newman (Department of Marketing, Advertising, and Legal in Studies) escorted 16 students from tthe College of Business Administration and the College of Liberal Arts and Science to Belize. The group traveled to the Mayan sites of Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Actun Tunichil and Muknal caves, and the coral reefs of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. "This fall, students in the Nature Business class learned about the Mayan civilization, including its history and culture," says Husch. "Visiting Xunantunich and Cahel Pech allowed them to learn more about Mayan architecture, religion, and science, and to see first hand what they read and heard about in the course. I think it drove home the point of just how advanced and complex the Mayans were." The group also visited the National Assembly of Belize, the Belize Zoo, attended a lecture from the Forestry Management Department, and zip-lined through the tropical rain forest. Approximately 700 miles away from Belize, Dr. Marge O'Reilly-Allen (Accounting) and Dr. Ira Sprotzer (Business Law and Marketing) supervised a study tour of 12 students to Cuba. There, the group visited Havana and Varadero.

Ocean acidification slowing coral reef growth, study confirms
First scientific study on a natural coral reef shows the effect of acidification caused by global warming, rather than common factors in reef decline. Coral reefs are having their growth stunted by ocean acidification caused by global warming, new research has confirmed. For the first time, scientists conducted an experiment on a natural coral reef which involved altering sea water chemistry to mimic the effect of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The results provide strong evidence that ocean acidification linked to greenhouse gas emissions is already slowing coral reef growth, the team claims. Without “deep cuts” in greenhouse gas emissions, the world’s coral reefs may not survive into the next century, scientists say. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean where it reacts with seawater to increase acidity. If the water becomes too acid it dissolves away the calcium carbonate corals that molluscs and creatures such as crabs and lobsters need to build their shells and stony skeletons. Although previous studies have demonstrated large scale declines in coral reefs in recent decades, the reason for the trend has been harder to pinpoint.

Maaike Plomp, Enriching the lives of rescued primates in Belize, Central America
Wildtracks is a registered Belizean non-profit organization and focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of three endangered species in Belize: West-Indian Manatees, Yucatan Black Howler Monkeys and Geoffroy Spider Monkeys. The rehabilitation centre has three goals: (1) Help the Belize Forest Department and partner organizations end the illegal primate pet trade in Belize; (2) To prepare confiscated and rescued primates for reintroduction to the wild; (3) To develop and support conservation initiatives focused at increasing the viability of primate populations in Belize.

Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the largest tropical forest reserve in Mexico
Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the largest tropical forest reserve in Mexico, is a treasure trove of Mayan history in the heart of the Maya Forest. The ruins in the middle of Calakmul reserve’s 1.8 million acres of forests extend over 10 square miles – the remains of a city that was the powerbase of Tikal’s rival dating back to AD 364. Calakmul in Maya means “the city of two adjacent pyramids.” And the spectacular view of the surrounding jungle from the top of one of these massive pyramids extends into Guatemala and includes several archaeologically important ruins from the Mayan era. The Maya Forest, covers almost 15 percent of Campeche state in Mexico, and extends into Guatemala and Belize. The Calakmul reserve, slightly larger than Delaware, harbors jaguars, crocodiles, Baird’s tapir, and more than 230 bird species. The Conservancy began working in a new site in 2007: the Calakmul Sian Ka’an Corridor. This vast forested area links two biosphere reserves and is important for far-ranging animals such asjaguars and migratory birds. Here as in the community owned lands in Calakmul, the Conservancy recognizes that effective conservation can only be achieved if the needs and aspirations of local people are met. In this site, we are working with a new partner organization — the Organization of Forestry Ejidos of the Maya Zone (OEPF). Our shared goal is to conserve the forest while improving the income realized from forest activities.


  • Is Zika in Belize?, 5min. By now you've all heard of Zika. Is it in Belize? What are the risks and likelihood of contracting the virus? Here's a recap of our coverage on this topic in our most recent segment of Belmopan Weekly.

  • Diver demonstrates lost art of bubble rings, 45sec. He is known in the diving world of Belize as ‘Big Sexy’, working as a dive master at Chuck and Robbie’s Scuba Diving & Instruction, one of the leading dive shops in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Famous for these bubbles, Big Sexy is constantly asked to perform this trick almost every day. His name is Turiano Vasquez Jr., but ‘Big Sexy’ stuck to him one day and now he is a well known dive instructors on the island – Everybody Knows Big Sexy!! He is fun, adventurous, entertaining and a very friendly guy. His outgoing personality helps make his diving tours a blast. David McNab and his family from Peterborough, Canada are frequent visitors to Ambergris Caye. He shares with us this great video and images he took while on a diving trip, showcasing Big Sexy blowing bubble rings at 60 feet below the surface. It is a really cool talent, don’t you think?

  • Playing With Wild Stingrays, 1min. At Shark Ray Alley, Belize, these wild stingrays don't mind snorkelers. Despite their reputation as dangerous, they are more curious than aggressive. Who could resist playing with them when they act like this?

  • Surrounded By Sharks, 2.5min. Divers set out on a wall dive in Belize, expecting to see coral, fish and sea turtles. The group was surprised at the arrival of Bull Sharks and Reef Sharks with no fear of humans. Divers got a much closer view of their teeth than they bargained for.

  • San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi Ltd, 1min.

  • Aasher & Lauren Belize Wedding Film, 4min. Destination Wedding at Belizean Shores Resort, North Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • Baron Bliss Memorial, 2.5min. In respect to the upcoming "Baron Bliss Day" Flying Eye Productions paid tribute to his burial place and took the liberty to showcase, in a quick glimpse, what Belize is about.

  • Missionary Trip to Belize, 12min.

  • Great Belize Cooking - Episode 3: Dangriga, 35min. Here is the third segment of our original show, Great Belize Cooking, with Chef Sean Kuylen. In this episode Sean goes back south to his hometown, Dangriga, one of his favourite spots where food is ethnic, enjoyable and authentic and teaches the meaning of words like "ereba", "rati" and "dani". He pairs up with Dangriga resident Cyril Sabal who will walk us through the history and making of that distinctively delicious cassava bread, a staple in the community. That’s one stop; Sean then goes on an adventure to fish fresh sea crab for a unique Garifuna dish that will also include shrimp, cassava and just the right amount of a thick coconut broth. And to add something sweet and delish, Sean makes his own version of dani, a dessert that is surely to complement our unique Great Belize Cooking with a dash of Garifuna flavour. Here is a peak look at a multi-course meal that will have any foodie salivating.

  • Belize 2005, 10min.

  • Off the grid homes in Carmelita Gardens - San Ignacio, Belize - Agrarian Urbanism, 3.5min. I recently visited the Carmelita Gardens community in San Ignacio, Belize. This development is in the early stages but the vision that Phil (owner) has is very unique and compelling. If your grandfather was going to design a town but he had a modern understanding of solar power, rain catchment, permaculture, architecture, off the grid focus... he would probably be building a community like this. The quality of the home that I visited in Carmelita Gardens was built beyond the typical Canadian or American standards. It was solid, had beautiful Belizean hardwood accents, a solar system setup so you get the benefit of no electricity bills (or Hydro as we say in Canada eh?). It also includes a rain catchment system with high level filters and a pump, so no need to pay water tax or water company deliveries. Your property taxes would be under $100 per year easily and you would not be bylaw-ed to death like our nanny states back home. Your monthly expenses would be quite minimal here if you bought your food from the local markets.

  • Team Adventure Medical Kits - Pre-Race MMAC Belize 2016, 2min. Some pre-race thoughts from the team here at the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge in Belize.

  • Team Adventure Medical Kits - Day 1 Highlights MMAC Belize 2016, 3min. Highlights from Day 1 of the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge in Belize.

  • Team Adventure Medical Kits - Day 2 Highlights MMAC Belize 2016, 3min. Day 2 highlights from the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge in Belize.

  • Belize 2015, 3min. Shot on a Hero 3+ Black Edition using an extension arm. Shot over a week last May off the coast of the Belize Cayes. By far and away the most incredible week of diving I've been lucky enough to experience. Sharks, rays, eels, turtles- you name it, I saw them. The biggest challenge was keeping the lens from fogging up, so this is the best footage I could get together. Hope you enjoy, and this gives you a reason to dive Belize.

  • Links
    Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
    Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!
    Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
    Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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    White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
    Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
    We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
    Click for Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, Welcome to a World of Adventure
    Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
    Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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