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Today's Belize News: March 12, 2016 #512337
03/12/16 05:50 AM
03/12/16 05:50 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,133
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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

‘Sail and Sea’ at Gales Point
Gales Point. An area sparsely populated – much like the country of Belize, and 56 nautical miles south of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. It was along its shores upon which a daring kite surfer, Martin John Leslie, crash-landed on January 26th of this year. He was chasing a solo long-distance world record, but instead, found himself experiencing something unforgettable. Calling it the ‘forgotten coast between Belize City and Dangriga’, Leslie speaks of how he fell in love with its ‘pristine, untouched beauty and vast expanse of nature’. Gales Point sure sounds like a keeper! Tropical forest towers above the narrow sandy stretches of beach, as wind blows and waves crash energetically along the shorelines. Leslie is organizing and funding a week-long free Sail and Sea summer camp for the children of and around Gales Point in July. Hosted by his new friends Ken, Taunya and Nigel at Leaning Palm Resort, Leslie will be using sailboats supplied by the Belize Sailing center in San Pedro. “Passion for the sea, wind and waves” will carry the camp through, with the ultimate goal of teaching children to sail, navigate, learning the sea and an appreciation for the environment. If you want to contribute to this fantastic event, you can email Martin John Leslie at [email protected]

Deputy Party Leader Honorable Gaspar Vega resigns
First Deputy Party Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Honorable Gaspar Vega has officially submitted his resignation. This was confirmed early on Thursday, March 10th, via a press release from the UDP Secretariat. In a letter dated Wednesday, March 8th, 2016, Vega, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and holds the portfolio of Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, informed the party of his decision not to stand again for his Orange Walk North seat in the next General Elections. According to the UDP, Vega informed them that in view of this early notification of his retirement from electoral politics, he feels it is right that he not continue as First Deputy Party Leader. Furthermore, he mentioned that he is no longer prepared to accept the four year endorsement as First Deputy of the party.

Dwight Cadle receives two-star AIBA coach certification
For years, Belize has lacked accredited coaches to accompany boxers who represent the country at national arenas. But that is no longer the case, as a Belizean boxing coach has just received a two star certification from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) allowing him to represent the country at any AIBA sanctioned tournament, including the Olympics. From Sunday, February 14th to Saturday, February 20th, Dwight Cadle from Belize City took part in a certification training held in Panama City, Panama. Cadle explained to The San Pedro Sun that before this training, if Belize wanted to send anyone to a AIBA sanctioned tournament, “we would have to ask certified coaches from other countries to go into the ring with our boxers because Belize lacked a certified coach.” This affected the chances of Belize to participate in events leading up to the Olympics, reducing the opportunity of Belizean boxers to fight professionally. The AIBA training workshop in Panama allowed Cadle to hone the necessary skills to not only properly train boxers but provided him with the knowledge needed when representing a country internationally. “It was an intense training but worth it. Countries must use certified coaches’ at all sanctioned events,” said Cadle.

SP Billiards Association continues pre-season 8-Ball pool tournament
Ambergris Caye’s talented semi-professional pool players have been taking their game seriously, getting actively involved in the pre-season 8-Ball pool tournament on the island. The event is being held at different venues every weekend in an attempt to boost local businesses while promoting the sport. Last weekend, the tournament was held at Average Joe’s Bar, where a total of 10 teams participated. Games began at 7PM sharp from Friday, March 4th to Sunday, March 6th , and saw pool enthusiasts coming out to support their favourite teams. With games taking place at 1 Barrel Bar, on the lagoon side in San Juan, the action continues this weekend. See you all there!

Successful Fashion show held by Sunshine Scholarship Foundation
On Saturday, March 6th, the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation hosted its first fundraiser for 2016. Under the theme “Fashion Glam Slam”, the fashion show fundraiser aimed to raise much-needed monies to provide primary school scholarships for island students. The show was a complete success, with over $2,500BZ raised through admission fees, raffles and charitable donations. The event started shortly after 7PM at Corona del Mar Hotel. Attendees enjoyed an array of food and drinks as they waited for the young fashionistas to hit the stage. At the start of the show, models of all ages from toddlers to teens strutted the runway, displaying the latest in children’s fashion trends. But the event would not be complete without fun raffles and auctions, and throughout the night, attendees had the chance to win fabulous prizes. One of the most unique items up for auction was the chance to dine with newlywed couple Rob and Elizabeth Moon and Time Out Beach Bar owner Ishmael Lisbey. The top bidder for this fun idea was the editor and owner of the My Beautiful Belize Travel Guide, Tamara Sniffin.

Rotary Club of San Pedro receives wheelchair donation
A brand new and energetic club has been formed on Ambergris Caye, with the purpose of contributing to the community and helping those in great need. As such, the island now counts with a Rotary Club that formed three weeks ago, and it has already brought international assistance to San Pedro Town. After weeks of meeting and recruiting new Rotarians the now established, “The Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye,” was a proud recipient of a Rotary International gift. On Friday, March 4th, they received five wheel chairs which were transported to the island via Tropic Air. This first achievement of local Rotary Club brought the hope of mobility for five San Pedro residents who received the chairs at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II.

San Pedro’s Kevin Velasquez wins Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta
The San Pedro Racers (SPR) have started out their 2016 sailing season on the right foot, as one of their own claimed first place during the first regatta of the year. SPR’s Kevin Velasquez overcame sailors from across the country to win first place at the 88th Annual Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta held on Saturday, March 5th and Sunday, March 6th. Not even inclement weather could have kept the young sailors from SPR, Belize Sea Scouts (BSS), Placencia Sailing Club (PSC), Crozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC), Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC) and even three new sailors from Gales Point, away from the action. Scores were awarded for each of the five races, with the highest score being eliminated at the end. Sailors were ranked according to the score, with those having the lowest cumulative scores taking top honors. Kevin Velasquez ended up with only four points, earning him the highest honors at the Regatta and the first place trophy. BSS’ Trent Hardwick took second place with nine points, while third place went to PSC’s Abner Lopez with 15 points. The other sailors were ranked accordingly: CBSC’s Jasmin Campos in 4th with 18 points, SPR’s Caroline Sersland in 5th with 18 points, BCSC’s Nashira Ricardez in 6th with 19 points, PSC’s Peter Joo in 7th with 19 points, CBSC’s Adyaneiri Teck in 8th with 34 points, Gales Point’s Leror Samuel in 9th with 37 points, BSS’ Javian Young in 10th with 43 points, Gales Point’s Karl Tillet in 11th with 44 pints and Gales Point’s Kaydia Andrewin in 12th with 48 points.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council Designates Island Parking Lot
It might not be a solution to the traffic congestion on the island, but there is a lot more space available for parking in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, as the San Pedro Town Council and Traffic Department have opened a designated parking lot that is free of charge. It is one step forward in addressing the traffic situation on the island. Public parking space has been made available across from the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex, adjacent to the Artisan Market in an area that can accommodate 80 golf carts, only; the space is not designated for larger vehicles. The San Pedro Town Council is encouraging everyone to use the free parking lot, especially those in the labor force who are used to parking their vehicle for the entire time they are at work. These prolonged parking hours limit space for others who just need to park in town for a few minutes or a couple hours to run errands in town.

Saddened About Plastic & Styrofoam Trash in San Pedro
We visited, coming from an area in the US where each plastic bag used to cost 50 cents US. Such high price makes even a seemingly worthless plastic bag a costly item which nobody would carelessly throw away: "Who would throw $1Bz away"? Last year plastic bags were even completely outlawed. You will need to have your own shopping bag, a re-usable shopping bag; not a big deal, or ? On our vacation here we also brought our re-usable shopping bag with us. Our environmental consciousness was forced on us by a responsible and proactive local government. To outlaw plastic bags was good and one of many necessary steps to protect our city, the environment and the planet. The result: It will be hard for anyone to find carelessly thrown away plastic within our city limits. This cleanliness is also good for our city's tourism, it looks pretty clean everywhere. On your vacation island the lack of education and unawareness about environmental issues seems to still be high, unfortunately. Dozens of times we've seen carelessly thrown away bottles, plastic bags and Styrofoam, in nature and on road sides.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

World Consumer Rights Day
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture hereby informs the general public that World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) will be internationally observed on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 under the theme “ANTIBIOTICS OFF THE MENU”. The theme highlights the global commitment to stop the sale of meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics important to human medicine. Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. The World Health Organization has warned that, without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which important medicines stop working and common infections and minor injuries can once again kill. Growing antibiotic resistance is driven by over use of antibiotics. Around half of the antibiotics produced globally are used in agriculture, with much of this being used to promote faster growth and to prevent, rather than treat, disease. Consumers therefore have an important role to play in persuading food companies to make the changes that are needed to stop this global public health threat and protect our medicines for the future.

Ministry of Health Receive Three Vehicles from IDB
The Salud Mesoamerica 2015 Initiative which is an innovative public/private partnership funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Carlos Slim Institute for Health and the Government of Spain handed over three new 2016 Ford Ranger Pick-Up trucks to the Ministry of Health’s Maternal and Child Health program. The three vehicles have a total estimated value of $120,000 and will be used to aid with outreach activities for preventive interventions at the community level geared at improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. The vehicles will be distributed to the Western and Northern Health Regions for immediate use. The SM 2015 Initiative seeks to reduce health inequity gaps in the Mesoamerican region faced primarily by those living in extreme poverty. The current project is being implemented in the Northern and Western Health Regions with a focus on Maternal and Child Health Services and it is in its second operational phase which started in July 2015 and which will end in June of 2017.

A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
For the post of Supervisor, Customer Relations in the Customer Care Department.

Belize Fishing Report, Feb. 21- Mar. 5, 2016
A small percentage of anglers are successful when they first come face to face with a permit. Congratulations to Keith for his first permit ever and it was done with great humility by giving the credit to his guide. Father and son team Patrick and Patrick Jr. teamed up for a total of 4 permit for the week making it look easy. 4 permit is a lifetime achievement for many veteran anglers… not a week! A quiet week at the lodge with some good weather.

Four Reasons Why You Should Experience the Beauty of Belize
Since summer is just around the corner, everyone’s busy planning for an out of town trip, hitting the beach, camping in a field and so much more. If your plans include hitting the beach and enjoying the scorching rays of the sun, visiting the Ambergris Caye is a good option. In the past few years, Ambergris Caye, an island that is located in the country of Belize is getting the spotlight not just for tourist but also for real estate investors. The largest island in the country of Belize is filled with natural wonders such as the mangrove swamps, barrier reefs, and lagoons. Even though Ambergris Caye is a haven for natural wonders, there are areas of the island that are being developed for residential areas making it a favorite spot for real estate agents. Aside from Leonardo DiCaprio, there are other celebrities that are drawn with the beauty of Ambergris Caye. These celebrities are Charles Michael Davis (American model and actor), Travis Van (Transformers’ star), Ben Flajnik (The Bachelor actor), and Oscar Generale (King of Product Placement). So, if you want to meet your favorite Hollywood celebrities, visiting Ambergris Caye will give you a good chance of making your dreams come to life.

Belize unveils climate-resilient tourism program
The ministry of tourism and civil aviation in Belize, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), officially launched the Sustainable Tourism Program II in a kick-off workshop on March 8-10, 2016, in Burrell Boom Village. In October 2015, the IDB’s board of executive directors approved a US$15 million loan facility and, in January 2016, a loan agreement was executed between the IDB and the government of Belize for this new program. Tourism continues to be one of Belize’s most important economic sectors, contributing 15 percent of total direct GDP and generating US$747 million in foreign exchange earnings in 2014. It also represents 35 percent of total exports of goods and service and contributes one out of every six jobs for the nation. The first Sustainable Tourism Program (STP I) focused on consolidation of the destinations of Ambergris Caye, Placencia, Belize City and San Ignacio and generated the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan 2030 (NTSMP).

Embassy of Japan and Belize High School of Agriculture Sign Grant Contract
March 11th, 2016, Mr. Hideki Shinozaki, Second Secretary of Embassy of Japan to Belize, signed a Grassroots Human Security Grant Contract of US$90,804.00 with the Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk. The grant will be used for the construction of a new building (two classrooms and a library) to address the issue of overcapacity of students in the classrooms. The contract signing ceremony took place at the Belize High School of Agriculture. Present at the ceremony were Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, and Mr. Monty Sadarangani, Honorary Consul General of Japan. The Belize High School of Agriculture was established in 1984. It currently has 233 students and 15 teachers. The new building is expected to provide an appropriate educational environment for young Belizeans.

Channel 7

Lands Minister Hulse Says He Played No Part In Vega’s Sudden Departure
News of Gaspar Vega's resignation as the UDP's Deputy Party Leader broke two days ago, but tonight it's still making headlines - and the aftershocks are just setting in. First, Vega says he's not going to run again in Orange Walk North - which opens the door for his PUP opponent, Monchie Cervantez. Only problem is Cervantez is not an ally of the ascendant PUP Leader John Briceno. So how will all that work out? - You'll hear from Briceno tonight. And, second, Vega's resignation as Deputy Party Leader now opens the way for that very important post. It's more important than ever right now - because it's the number two seat, and whoever gets it, is in the best position to slide over to the number one seat when party leader Dean Barrow steps down in the next four years. Tonight, you'll hear from Patrick Faber who wants to be the UDP'S Deputy Leader. But first off - you'll hear from Godwin Hulse, the mighty minister of Natural Resources. Political insiders say that when the Prime Minister assigned him that portfolio after the November fourth General election - that's when Gaspar Vega's political demise began. Today at the senate meeting we asked Hulse if he played any role in Vega's departure:...

Investigating Vega?
And there are some who say that Hulse may have pushed the "detonate" button on Vega by investigating his conduct in the Ministry of Natural Resources. Today, the press asked him about that:... Reporter: "Now since the resignation of Mr. Vega, there have been of course speculations naturally and one of those coming out is that there may have been some unwelcoming revelations out of the Lands Department where Mr. Vega's signature. In other words, perhaps some under the table deals that he may have done. Is there any kind of investigation ongoing or anything of that sort?" Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Natural Resources: "No, the department is not undertaking any investigation at all. On a day to day I am interviewing a lot of people who comes to see me and are putting forward their requests for things that have been done or have not been done. I think it is public knowledge that people now within the department, there's been lots of transfers that have been duplicated. There's been title document, leases - all sorts of things and those are some of the things we are trying to straighten up. There is no investigation ongoing and so far there is nothing to point to anything that the minister himself has done."

Faber Wants To Be Deputy
Patrick Faber is one of the UDP politicians eager to seize on the vacancy that Vega's resignation has created. He confirmed to us yesterday that he is "definitely interested" in the post of First Deputy Leader of the UDP. Today in Orange Walk, he told our colleagues at CTV-3 as much:... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "Given the circumstances I think that our current deputy leader or Mr. Vega has indicated that he no longer wishes to pursue that position. Then obviously that opens the door and of course I see that as a kind of normal progression for the leadership of the party and so I would most definitely then offer myself to the people of my party to be the new deputy leader and if the Prime Minister then so desires as the person who calls the shot to be the new deputy prime minister of the country." Of course, that post of Deputy Prime Minister is the prerogative of the Prime Minister - and while it is politically axiomatic that the Deputy Party Leader takes that post, it is a custom, not a constitutional mandate. Fro the time being, and until the PM says otherwise, Vega remains Deputy Prime Minister. But as for the race for the vacant post of Deputy Party Leader, Faber has jumped out the blocks with his candidacy. But we know that John Saldivar is also interested, and reports from the west say that second Deputy Erwin Contreras may also have an interest. That means the next few months will be very politically charged, but the UDP can't forget that it's now very vulnerable in the north, where Vega delivered five of eight seats for the party. Faber conceded as much:...

PUP Looking for A Rise Out Of Vega’s Resignation
And while that is the story on the UDP's side, what about the PUP? Today we asked pup leader John Briceno for his reaction. "We were surprised that he has decided that he will not run again. I know that he was very upset and he has felt being disrespected. But that is an internal matter of the UDP which I can't get in or should not comment. But I just will tell you that with him out of the picture, certainly going to make it easier for us. But as it is we felt that the PUP has picked up some momentum and maybe he has decided that he has seen the writing on the wall that quite likely he will lose the next election. So he figured better that he announced from now that he is going to step down."

Will John Support Monchi?
But just who will lead that PUP movement in Orange Walk North? The most logical candidate is Monchi Cervantez who, in the last general elections, managed to close the gap in Vega's vote margin. But Cervantez, although hailing from the same Town as Briceno, was a Francis Fonseca supporter during the national party convention which took place last month. So is there bad blood between these two? And could that mean Cervantez's ultimate ouster as the PUP standard bearer for Orange Walk North? Here is what Briceño had to say about it. "Mr. Cervantes, for whatever reasons decided that he wanted to support Mr. Fonseca and that is his right and I respect that. But now that is finished, I am the leader and as the leader I need to reach out to everybody and I want to work with also Mr. Cervantes, as long as he wants to work with me. One of the things that I've said when I was campaigning is that our constitution mandates that there must be conventions to elect our standard bearers. Even in Orange Walk Central we need to have a convention and that goes to say that in Orange Walk North we are going to have a convention. Now, we know that Mr. Cervantes did a lot of work there and obviously he would be the front runner. Is there anybody else that is interested in running in Orange Walk North? I don't know. Nobody has come to me to say that they have any interest. But we will have a convention."

Women Strong
The 20 thousand strong women's rally took place today in Belize City. It's a huge effort, bringing in buses flying orange flags from all over the country. And it's all to advance the women's agenda, in a way that is both powerful and symbolic. Emanuel Pech has the story. Crowds of people, mostly women donned in Orange T's, began to assemble at the Memorial park in Belize City from as earlier as 8:00 this morning People came in busses from all corners of the country. Difficult to quantify, but orange blanketed the park. The atmosphere at memorial park was amicable, it almost seemed like a reunion of old friends. At around 9:30 the march kicked off for the second national Women's Rally dubbed "20 Thousand Strong." Teachers, students, public officers, and even members of the armed forces joined the trail as the convoy of orange t's made its way towards the Marion Jones Parade.

Court Quandary Over Missing Records
Right now, the judges in the Court of Appeal are in a quandary about how to dispose of 5 criminal appeal cases currently before them. The problem is that while the Court and certainly the 5 defendants, are anxious to get them over with, the records for these criminal trials are missing, and the staff of the judiciary haven't been able to locate them so far. Today, these defendants, Juan Duenas, convicted of carnal knowledge; Harim Perez, convicted of rape; Solomon Marin, convicted of kidnapping and robbery; Lionel Daly, convicted of robbery and attempted murder; and Gilbert Henry, convicted of dangerous harm, all showed up to court with their attorneys. The panel of judges, however, could not hear their appeals because of these missing records. The Court of Appeal usually reviews the record to examine the evidence in the trial, and the trial judge's directions to the jury. It's basically the play by play of each case, and in these 5 criminal convictions, portions of the records are missing.

PUP’s New Senators Take The Oath
Today two new PUP Senators were sworn in. Paul Thompson and Valerie Woods took the oath of office - while Eamon Courtney is out of the country. They were welcomed by the leader of government business, Senator Godwin Hulse:..

Hon. Thompson Tentative About Link Road
And in that spirit of informed debate, Senator Thompson asked why wasn't there more information about the link road which will connect mile eight on the Western Highway to the Phillip Goldson International Airport:... "Why is there such urgency to get this motion through in one sitting? Who benefits from this project besides the contractor and the land owners whose land will be acquired? I can bet there's some preferred persons in the mix. How many miles will they save when driving to reach the airport as oppose to the Boom/Hattieville road? Why is this priority when there are other pressing matters affecting the lives of many of our citizens? Why is this more priority than say the paving of the coastal road? or building some low income housing? In my view, this is irresponsible, how can you be executing these massive projects and not reveal to the public the reason for such projects? And finally, how this impact the close to 175,000 people and you will may be asking who those people are, well I'll tell you now. These people are the people other the public align."

Senator Woods Calls For “Internationalization” Of Belize Border Issues
And, speaking on the adjournment, Senator Valerie Woods called on government to internationalize the various border flare-ups with Guatemala, from Chiquibul to the Sarstoon:... Hon. Valerie Woods, PUP Senator "There should be no doubt that Belize has sovereignty over the Starstoon Island. And while the actions of the Belize territorial volunteers may not be supported by the government or by the many. Their efforts to vigorously raise public awareness to what is an alarming situation on the ground, should be recognized. It is not an easy situation, indeed its complex, it is sensitive but it is very serious. Perhaps it is indeed time for a rising chorus to build an effort for an internationalization of this issue." Hon. Godwin Hulse, UDP Senator "There's a path which has been outlined both on the opposition side and the government side some time ago, to look at a final mechanism to settle this and I think we have to advance towards that in a sober, clear, dedicated, unequivocal manner."

Minister of State Legislation Is Nothing Out of The Ordinary Hulse Says
One piece of legislation that hasn't been debated yet is the one to give the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration power to sign certain documents. In the bad old days of Elvin Penner, it was standard practice to let the Minister of State sign nationality documents. Hulse explained today what the new law hopes ot achieve and why:... Hon. Godwin Hulse, UDP Senator: "All that we're doing is, we're saying to the Minister of State is "you can sign nationality certificates, you can sign CSME certificates, you can sign certificates for refugees" and that's basically all that its doing. Also release from jail, in terms of those persons committed for immigration offences. Now you have to look at the structure, that power is not removed from me. That power is delegated to her and can be removed from her at any time. That is all the legislation is doing.

UDP Politicians Say They Can’t Win With Godwin
Going back now to Hulse's other portfolio of Natural Resources. You already heard him say he played no role in Vega's departure. But, what about Hulse's hold on that ministry. We've heard a whole lot of grumbling from UDP political operatives about his tight fisted approach to public management. Today we asked him squarely about the complaints against him:... Jules Vasquez: "Most notably, you don't want to give discounts on land that the government is transacting with the public. Now that is a complaint I've heard repeatedly from elected officials because discounts is how politics works, the minister giving land discounts. It's a major means of both raising campaign financing and also gaining political favor with the constituency. Why are you refusing to do this?" Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Natural Resources: "Well, you're hearing differently from me Jules, because to start with, let's take lots per say. The price has been set long ago and that's the price we continue on. Those prices are really a social rate. I mean, $1,500 dollars in towns, $1,000 dollars in harmony, and $2,000 dollars in cities is really a concessionary rate for a lot. You have 3 years to pay it."

Man Loses An Eye To Robbing Teenager
18 year-old Irwin Palma, a 4th Form student, is on bail tonight after he was accused of stabbing a man in the eye and then robbing him. The victim, John Popper, has lost vision in that eye. According to police, his attacker stabbed in the eye, and stole $105 dollars from him. Police charged Palma with maim and theft. He was arraigned before Magistrate Deborah Rogers, and he pleaded not guilty. The Magistrate released him on bail of $1,500.

“Gone Da Back” For Weed And Gun
25 year-old's Byron Montoya and Godfrey Ramsey are at the Belize Central Prison tonight after they were allegedly caught with a small quantity of weed and a handgun. On April 11, police conducted a raid on a house where both men were present at the time. Inside, they discovered a .38 revolver, which was loaded with 5 live rounds of ammunition, and 4 grams of marijuana. It took almost a month, but police arrested and charged both men with keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and possession of controlled drugs.

Mother Of Five Needs Urgent Help
A mother of 5 is battling stage 3 cervical cancer and kidney failure and she needs your help to stay alive. 33 year old Karen Thompson was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year, then a couple months later she ran some more tests and found out she had kidney failure. It came as a shock to Thompson's family because she goes to her doctor regularly. Now the family has to come to terms with this grim reality and do all they can to save her. But they need your help. They want to take her to Guatemala for treatment but they need to raise about $30,000. Thompson's mother came to our studio yesterday to tell us how difficult this journey has been. If you want to help Karen Thompson, you can drop by 7541 Fabers Road tomorrow morning after 11 and buy a BBQ or Turkey dinner. You can also reach Williams at 626 4232.

Woman Says Cop’s Guilty of Gratuitous Strip Search
A woman claims that police raided her house and stripped searched her and her family for no reason. Astry Galvez came to our studio yesterday and she told us that she, her family and some friends were hanging out at her house on Monday night when the police arrived. They told Galvez that they needed to turn down the music because it was disturbing the neighbors. But Galvez says that wasn't the only reason they came knocking at her door. She told us what happened after she let the officers inside. Galvez said the 2 female officers took all the females in one of the bedroom and the male officers searched the men in the living room. A 15 year old girl was at the house at the time and the female officers did a cavity search on her as well. The minor's mother also came by to express her outrage. Galvez says she will try again today to make an official police complaint about this incident.

PUP Leader Calls UDP Out UDP On Youth Council
It appeared like a miniature version of PUP vs UDP elections when Micah Goodin and Stafin Duncan faced off for the president of the Youth sub council in Belize City. PUP Leader John Briceño today told us that the UDP showed their hand too heavily during the youth elections. Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I think it is sad what has happened that the UDP has decided to make this political, because then it starts to divide the young people at a very early stage in their lives. The very same thing happened in Orange Walk, where, I understand, one of the ministers of the UDP, this time around, went and registered a lot of the defunct youth organizations. Organizations that were not operating, not functioning and not working. But he registered them so that they could vote for his candidate and obviously his candidate won because they made it political. Here in Belize city, it was so obvious that the UDP had their hands on it, it is sad and I think we should speak out against it in the most strongest of ways because we should let the young people to decide on what it is they should want to do. Let's not put party politics at so young in this stage, because what is going to happen now? That a lot of young people who believe that the president, Mr. Duncan was elected simply because of his of the UDP, may not want to participate and where does that put us? So I am very disappointed of what happened yesterday." Emanuel Pech: "So you think there was political manipulation on the part of UDP to get this person elected?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "Well only the ones that are blind can't see it. I mean, you saw all the UDP operatives out there yesterday campaigning for Mr. Duncan. And it's reprehensible and it's unfortunate that they decided to do that."

On The Verge…
If you've followed the musical career of Belizean artist Jenko Veli, you may remember his days as part of the seminal group, Hench Mob. Since then, he's continued to practice his craft, honing his skills as rapper with conscious lyrics. But, Jenko has decided to once again collaborate with other artists, and he's now a part of the group, Verge of Umbra. Now, it's a bit unusual because this band fuses rock and heavy metal with hip hop and reggae. They're finished with their latest project, their debut album called "V.O.U." Members of the Band stopped by our office to discuss why they think you'll enjoy their music:

Channel 5

Women Empowered at the 20000 Strong Rally
Thousands of women, men and children from every corner of Belize marched and rallied today. It’s a movement called Twenty Thousand Strong, and it’s all about empowering and uplifting women [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says Vega’s Departure is a Good Thing
Why did very powerful Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega decide to give up politics? That’s the million dollar question right now. The last time we interviewed Vega he told us [...]

Vega’s Announcement Changes Complexion of U.D.P. Convention
In an exclusive interview conducted with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in mid-January, he told News Five that the upcoming U.D.P. convention scheduled for March twentieth would be an exemption from [...]

F.F.B. Says FIFA and CONCACAF Have Green-lighted Electoral Process
Earlier in the week, we reported on a delegation from FIFA and CONCACAF that was in Belize recently to meet with embattled F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente and General Secretary Michael [...]

Future of Citrus Growers’ Payroll Still Uncertain
Today, Citrus Products of Belize Limited was expected to have released last week’s fruit payment to growers since there is an existing delay with Heritage Bank awaiting approval from the [...]

World Pediatrics Project Partners With K.H.M.H.
This Sunday, the World Pediatrics Project is partnering with the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for yet another round of clinics. The multispecialty clinic starts at eight a.m. and persons twenty-one [...]

Vivas Fined for Undersized Conch
Twenty-nine-year-old Jaime Vivas, a fisherman of Sarteneja Village, pleaded guilty to possession of undersized conch in the courtroom of Magistrate Carlon Mendoza earlier today.  In mid-January Vivas was caught with [...]

3 Men Get Supreme Court Bail Today
A trio of men charged individually for crimes committed, appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas this morning in the Supreme Court.  Twenty-one-year-old Adolphus Palacio Junior, Eustace Lewis and thirty-year-old Shawn Hemmans [...]

Director of the Family Court Called to the Bar
Acting Director of the Belize Family Court, fifty-year-old Dale Cayetano, was called to the bar this morning before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.  The former magistrate took the oath in the [...]

Marlyn Vansen Debuts ‘Animal’
Animal – it’s a track by the young Belizean artist Marlyn Vansen that has been blasting on airwaves across the country, but tonight the twenty-year-old singer is debuting the video [...]

Christopher Martin is in Belize
Jamaican singer and songwriter Christopher Martin is in the Jewel for a mega concert this weekend in Belize City. The twenty-nine-year-old reggae artist is the internationally featured performer for Flavaz [...]

Festival of Arts Showcases Young Stars
The preschool district festival of arts commenced on Tuesday across the country and since then, hundreds of young talented students have graced the stage of the Bliss Center for the [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: March 12, 2016 [Re: Marty] #512338
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Godwin Puts Some Speculations to Rest on Vega’s Reasons to Resign
Gaspar Vega, Belize’s Deputy Prime Minister has been a longstanding First Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party under the leadership of Party Leader, Dean Barrow. On Wednesday, March 9, however, Vega sent a letter to Barrow and the UDP Secretariat, saying that he is resigning from the post of Deputy Party Leader and that […]

PUP Opposition Senators Sworn In
The swearing in of new Senators topped today’s agenda as the Senate met in a regular sitting in the National Assembly building just after ten o’clock this morning. President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang presided over the swearing in of the Opposition Senators, Valerie Woods and Paul Thompson as well as that of Marcelo […]

OPEC Fund to Finance Construction of Link Road Project; Senate Approves
As it relates to the Loan Motion brought before the Senate, it is a loan for eleven million seven hundred and eighty thousand US dollars from the OPEC Fund for International Development. The proceeds from this loan will be used to construct a road from mile eight on the George Price Highway to the Philip […]

Belize Continues Efforts in Being Compliant with Money Laundering Treaties
One of the three Bills brought from the House of Representatives was the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Bill. It is a Bill that seeks to put provisions in place that will make Belize compliant to international money laundering treaties. Business Community Senator Marcelo Blake spoke on the numerous amendments made to the money […]

Senate Approves Increase of Cash Declaration Threshold at Borders
Some weeks ago we told you of the agreement signed between the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Customs Department as it relates to the declaration of funds when coming into or leaving Belize. That agreement sought to give the Customs Department more authority in that area rather than having business persons seek a permit from […]

Belize Can Now Extradite Persons to Mexico
You may recall the Nanes situation some months ago that gave Belize a black eye as the Immigration Minister revoked his nationality making him illegal in Belize. On that same note, however, David Nanes was granted bail by the courts of Belize. It was a scandalous time for Belize, particularly because Nanes was wanted by […]

Senator Woods Calls for Internationalization of the Incursions by Guatemalans
As the Senate concluded their agenda for today, newly elected Opposition Senator, Valerie Woods took the opportunity to bring forth an issue of national concern. Senator Woods addressed her colleagues appealing for the internationalization of the incursions taking place by the Guatemlans in the Chiquibul area and the Sarstoon. Today’s Sitting of the Senate […]

Hulse Says Policies Will be Adhered to at Lands Department
At the top of our news, we told you that rumors are that Vega’s resignation is as a result of Minister Godwin Hulse taking over the Lands Department. While Hulse disagrees, we did ask him to respond to some comments that he is clamping down in the Ministry of Natural Resources as it relates to […]

Immigration Minister Speaks on Powers Given to His Minister of State
In the last Sitting of the House, we heard wehre the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Beverly Castillo is being given the authority to sign off on nationality documents among other items. Today, Immigration Minister clarified that point for us, saying that it is a form of delegating and it can be […]

20 000 Strong – A Movement for Continued Uplifment
This morning, women, men and children from across Belize, joined in on the twenty thousand Strong Women Empowerment rally which is one of the activities in celebration of Women’s Month. The rally was put together by the office of the Special Envoy for women and children and the National Women’s Commission. The objective is to […]


Deputy Prime Minister tenders registration letter
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega has tendered his resignation letter stepping down from his role as Deputy Prime Minister of Belize. According to a statement from the United Democratic Party , Vega, in a letter dated March 8, 2016, the same date as the Budget Speech presentation in the house, als...

Man robbed and shot while waiting for bus in Unitedville
A man was robbed and shot as he stood waiting for a bus in Unitedville. The victim is 24 year old Henry Michael Gordon of Blackman Eddy Village Cayo District. On Monday 7th March 2016 about 7:30pm, Gordon was at the road side on the George Price Highway in Unitedville Village waiting to catch a bus...

Chinese business owner in critical condition following robbery
A Chinese man is in critical condition after his business place was robbed in Orange Walk. According to reports, Gian Ping Wang, the owner of A and A Store at the corner of Arthur and Progress Street in orange Walk Town received 4 deep cut wounds to the top of his head. Orange Walk Police told us mo...

Two Guatemalans arrested in relation to gun fight with BDF
Two Guatemalan Nationals, 56-year-old Luis Diaz Alballeros and 51-year-old Francisco Torres Sucup, have been charged by Belizean authorities for the offenses of “kept firearm without a gun license”, “kept ammunition without a gun license” and “aggravated assault”. The charges are in connection to an...

Healthy Reefs Initiative gives good marks to Belize and neighbours
Today is Meso-American Reef Day and the Healthy Reefs Initiative has released its biennial assessment of management targets for a healthy reef system shared among Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. According to the 2016 “Eco-Audit,” regional management of the Meso-American Reef System has impro...

CPBL waiting for approval of 5 million
The Citrus Products of Belize Limited is still waiting on word from the Heritage Bank as to whether the Central bank will approve a 5 million dollar facility in order for CPBL to make payments to farmers. In a press release issued today by the Citrus Growers Association, the group that represents a...

Government Ministry reacts to Altun Ha robbery
On Wednesday we reported on the robbery that took place at the Altun Ha Archaelogical Site in the Belize District. As we reported, tour guide from Hattieville, Clifford Hoare, and several tourists lost cash and other valuables to two armed and masked men. While crime is always a matter of national c...

The Reporter

Kidney Association of Belize holds Health Fair
To bring awareness to the public on kidney health issues, the Kidney Association of Belize (KAB) held a Health Fair at the Lion’s Club compound in Belize City on Saturday. KAB invited the public to test their sugar level, blood level and pressure at during […]

Increase in fuel import duty Only one tax increase, Barrow promises is the higher tax on fuel imports
The two adjustments in fuel import duties since December 2015 are the only tax increase that the Government will impose for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, sPrime Minister Dean Barrow announced at Tuesday’s budget presentation. The last adjustment in February brought the price of diesel to […]

Opposition Leader Johnny Briceño wants tougher stance on Guatemala
Leader of the Opposition, Johnny Briceno has done something which other opposition leaders have shied away from doing. He called on Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his Coney Drive office in Belize City on Wednesday. for a one-on-one over Guatemalan intransigence. The two men discussed […]

Human trafficking and gender-based issues More awareness needed in the media
More than a dozen media representatives, from as far south as Punta Gorda, were on hand for a media training workshop focusing on proper reporting of human trafficking as well as gender-based issues last weekend. The workshop was held on Saturday at the Institute of […]

FFB’s Vicente survives because Committee made a tactical error
Three members of the Football Federation of Belize’s (FFB) executive were within their right to suspend their President, Ruperto Vicente, but because they erred in not giving him enough time to call a meeting to discuss his suspension, their disciplinary action will not stand. That […]

Protest in Belmopan! over Guatemalan action
Chanting “No to the ICJ” under an unforgiving sun, Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) founder Wil Maheia, led a group of protesters, including members of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP), in front of the National Assembly building as Prime Minister Dean Barrow made his budget budget […]

Reject the Compromis Agreement! BPP urges, and start all over again.
The Belize Progressive Party this week said that taking the Belize territorial dispute with Guatemala to the International Court Guatemala is nt the only option available to Belize. All Belize has to do is to reject the 2008 Compromis agreement and so oblige Guatemala to […]

Ease of access to the U.S? CSDS ranks Belize 11th.
How difficult is it for citizens from Caribbean countries to go and visit the United States? Caribbean Data and Statistics Services, an agency of the World Bank, has ranked Belize 11 out of 16. The list, released in late February, showed that the US refused […]

Million dollar project to bring drinking water to Maskall
The Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF), this week broke ground at the site for its latest project : to upgrade a rudimentary water system for Maskall Village, at a cost of nearly a million Belize dollars. The government of Belize is financing the project through […]

Prime Minister Dean Barrow appointed to Privy Council
Her Majesty the Queen has appointed Prime Minister Dean Barrow of Belize to be a member of her Privy Council. The honor has been given to two Prime Ministers of Belize, the Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel and the Rt. Hon.Said Musa. Prime Minister Barrow is the third person from Belize […]

Teenage boy missing Since January 4th.
Kirk Dennison, a 15-year-old boy from Ladyville Village , has been reported missing since January 4 by his mother, Sharon Conner. Dennison is of brown complexion, weighs about 120 pounds and is five feet in height. He has the word “murder” tattooed on his left hand and chest. Sharon Conner, […]

O.Walk smuggler gets 3 years for 5 lbs. of Otoxha weed
A man who tried to smuggle five pounds of high grade marijuana from Mexico into Orange Walk has been caught after a high-speed motorcycle chase through the town. Thirty-one year old Genero Leonardo Pott, who was driving the motorcycle, pleaded guilty to a single charge […]

Discarded fetus points to need for legislative change says BFLA
The discovery of a discarded fetus in February, and the surrounding unconfirmed reports that it has been traced to an under-age girl highlights the need for policy and legislative changes, the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) said this week. Joan Burke, BFLA executive director, acknowledged that […]

This week the Belize Progressive Party shook up the political establishment by advocating that Belize should renounce the Compris Agreement signed in Washigton on December 8, 2008 . The agreement was signed between Belize and Guatemala under the patronage of the Orgaizationof America States. Its whole purpose is to help […]

Gaspar Vega bows out! Will not run again.
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega announced on Thursday that he has resigned as the First Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP). He will serve out his term in the House but will not compete in general elections again. He said that in view […]

Shrinking revenues and mounting costs make for record deficit of $180 million
Figures for fiscal year 2015/2016 reveal that Belize’s deficit is leaning more menacing than in recent years. The approved budget set total revenues and grants at $980 million and total spending at $1.068 billion – a deficit of $88 million. But the the gap was […]

PUC proposes a 4% hike in BEL electricity rates
The cost of electricity will be going up, starting July1. The Public Utilities Commission called a press conference to explain that it has approved an increase in the mean electricity rate of a little more than 4 percent. PUC Chairman, John Avery, said it was a lower […]

San Pedro bartender beaten to death, three policemen in San Pedro charged
Popular San Pedro bartender, Edwin Ixpatac, 30, was brutally beaten while in police custody last Thursday and died three days later of his injuries. The three arresting officers now face murder charges for his death. Ixpatac was detained on Thursday night after San Pedro police […]

Our Independence
The 1859 Boundary Treaty of April 30th signed by the United Kingdom and the Republic of Guatemala, described the boundary between the British settlement and possessions in the Bay of Honduras and the Republic of Guatemala. The chart describing the southern line (Sarstoon River) and the western […]

20,000 women strong march held
A march in commemoration of Women’s Month, organized by the Special Envoy for Women and Children was held on Friday morning, in Belize City. The march, which the Women’s Department helped to organize, amassed women from all corners of Belize. The Women’s Department provided transportation […]

The Belize Times

Opposition slams budget – “Worse” than expected, says Hon. John Briceno
Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceno has described the “highlights” presentation of the 2016/2017 draft Budget presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow as “worse” than expected. Hon. Briceno noted that the flurry with which the Prime Minister normally makes during budget announcements has apparently fizzled. There was no “Prometheus unbound” on Tuesday, March 8th, as Barrow introduced his budget. The estimates propose to spend $1.211 billion, but $142.9 million in revenue has not been identified. This widening deficit has become a prominent feature in budgets presented by the Barrow Administration, along with miniscule Gross Domestic Product growth. In the past two years, this deficit has been plugged by Venezuela’s Petrocaribe loan funds but with that programme not reaping benefits the Barrow Administration says it will have to squeeze the needed funds out of taxpayers. Several weeks ago, the Government increased its taxes on fuel, collecting almost double than previous. "The Prime Minister, because of the crunch that he finds himself in, decided to increase the taxes on fuel. And so now we are starting to get that hit. When you look at the overall budget, there is no excitement in that budget.

Who robbed the Corozal Town Council?? – $15,000 stolen!
Authorities are extremely tight-lipped about the criminal investigation surrounding monies going missing at the Corozal Town Council. Last week Wednesday, March 2, 2016 the Council’s messenger was on his way to deposit funds at a bank when he was reportedly assaulted and robbed. The messenger claims he was approached by an armed robber who demanded the money. He gave up the bag of cash as he feared for his life. Inside the bag was believed to be some $15,000, which was revenue collected by the Council from tax payers. The messenger was not injured and has returned to work. The Mayor, as has become normal, was out of the country during the incident and the reports are that he is not so worried since he returned.

BTL Launches 4G AGAIN
On February 9th, 2012 the state-owned BTL announced a $20m contract signed with Ericsson for the provision of a 4G Network. Back then BTL’s Chief Operations Officer Karen Bevans trumpeted the signing of the contract by saying that with the millions spent on this network “The Company commits to making the user experience of DigiCell customers ‘faster than ever’ and to introducing the latest in mobile broadband services and devices. This will ensure that we keep Belizean Customers on par with those in the region, while allowing BTL to remain the number one telecommunications provider in Belize”. Last week for the second time BTL announced the launch of ANOTHER 4G Network. The Chairman of the Executive Management Committee, Anwar Barrow, announced that a contract was signed with the Chinese company Huawei. This time the investment announced by a high profile launch would come with a price of $40m BZ dollars.

The ground beneath the United Democratic Party shook today with the reports that Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega is preparing to give up his official title in the Barrow Administration and the United Democratic Party. The specific reasons for the announcement are unknown but for weeks the BELIZE TIMES has been receiving and report on the internal divisions in the UDP as the prepared to hold a convention later this month which would have endorsed Barrow as leader for the next four years. We note that Gaspar Vega has had his eyes on the leadership of the UDP for several years. With Barrow preparing to step down any time now, he has been moving to secure his rise.

Barrow Needs Reality Check
The budget speech which Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented as Minister of Finance in the House of Representatives on Tuesday is loaded with twisted lies, ironies and mistruths. He certainly did not present a balanced budget. The deficit is the largest it has ever been. The national debt in relation to GDP is far too high by any acceptable economic standards. By his own and unavoidable admission economic growth has “flatlined” except for minor gains in the fragile tourism industry. The most dismal is in farming and Argo-related industries. A lack of an agricultural policy is a clear indication of a red litmus test. This is a clear indication that any farm programmes are misguided without measuring the long term impact. The massive land clearing by a Guatemalan company to plant thousands of acres of sugar cane could have a short-term positive impact for a government desperate to move the economic needle for growth. But in the absence of a development policy, and even worse, an agricultural policy, such development does not take into consideration, the considerable positive impact the ecology and environmental protection has on our Gross Domestic Product.

Fundraising For Jane Usher Basketball Court
The youths of the Jane Usher Boulevard Area in Port Loyola and I are planning a bar-b-q sale on April 30th 2016 to raise funds to assist in the much needed rehabilitation of their basketball court. The event will be held near 88 Shopping Center cor. Central American Blvd and Pen Road. Due to the continued neglect of the division by Area Representative Anthony “Boots” Martinez the ball court is in its most disgraceful state. The backboards are so rotten that they are falling apart. Grass has overtaken the court including the two bleachers and there is no light for night games. The situation pains my heart when I see youths playing basketball on a court that is in that state. Some also play basketball on a makeshift court on Jane Usher Blvd. The top of a drum perched on a lamppost is the rim while the bare ground is used as the court. It is directly opposite the home of Minister Martinez’s driver. They all see the struggles the youths are experiencing to survive. They just don’t care about them.

PUP Appoints New Senators
After consultations by Party Leader Hon. John Briceno, the People’s United Party is pleased and proud to announce the appointment of Eamon Courtenay, S.C., Valerie Woods and Paul Thompson as its new Senators to represent the Opposition and the country and people of Belize. We are confident that they will discharge their duties honourably and will serve with respect and integrity. The Party takes this opportunity to recognize and extend our sincere gratitude for the sterling work of former Senators Lisa Shoman, Patrick Andrews and Anthony Sylvestre Jr. They have been the strident, passionate and effective voice of the people’s Opposition in the Senate, and they have served well. The new Senators of the People’s United Party will be officially sworn in at the first occasion of a meeting of the Senate in the very near future.

Questions to Ministers!
Can the Minister of Sports Minister of State Elodio Aragon say when former Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth will complete the $2 million fence around the Marion Jones Sporting Complex? Can the Minister of Sports Elodio Aragon commit that the contract to turn the MCC Grounds into a parking lot with Princess Ramada is not a sellout? Can the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance confirm whether his son Anwar Barrow collected $175,000 in Christmas bonus as the Executive Chairman of Belize Telemedia Limited? When will the Minister of Human Services provide a full and comprehensive report on the tragic deaths of 14 year old Elizabeth McKoy, 16 year old Ana Carlos, and 16 year old Shadisha Arnold which occurred at the Youth Hostel at Mile 21 ½ on the George Price Highway?

A Road to Nowhere!
The Barrow Administration on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 approved the borrowing of over $11 million for the construction of a road that will connect the Phillip Goldson highway and the George Price highway from the Mile 8 area (Western) and the Mile 11 (Northern) sections. Questions were raised by the Opposition as to the urgency of the borrowing since the bill to authorise the loan was rushed through all three readings at the House sitting. The questions are legitimate. Why rush through a loan for a road that is not an imperative at a time when the country would use the resources for priority areas? The only ones to benefit are the special contractors who will be awarded the multi-million dollar contract. Will it be Gaspar Vega’s nephew? Or perhaps BIL’s favourites: the Arguelles crew?

New Executive leads Bar Association of Belize
The Bar Association of Belize informs the public that at its Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday, 8 March 2016 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, the following persons were elected to serve on the Executive Committee for a one-year term: Ms. Priscilla J. Banner, President; Mr. Fred Lumor SC, Vice President; Mr. Wayne Piper, Secretary; Mr. Jose Alpuche, Treasurer; Mrs. Cheryl-Lynn Vidal SC, Bar Committee Member; Mrs. Ashanti Arthurs Martin, Bar Committee Member; and Mr. Mikhail Arguelles, Bar Committee Member.

Deceitful PM!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow gets an A for rhetoric. For propaganda and twisted language he gets an A+. On Tuesday March 8th, the physically-worn out, ailing and beleaguered Prime Minister was at his best. After eight years of presiding over a sluggish economy barely standing on wobbly stilts, he rose before the House of Representatives to present his ninth budget of nothingness and despair. In those eight years, the Prime Minister has survived on mere political smartness, the same kind that saw him trying to convince Belizeans that somehow the pittance of a salary raise for teachers and public officers was grander that a salary increase for public officers in the United Kingdom.

HEAD-YOU cation!!!! The Special Permit to DIE.
Dear Editor, The Ministry of Education recently made a big announcement that ALL TEACHERS better get their paper work in order, specifically their LICENCE. So they quickly put in place one more bureaucracy, a high-powered committee, to vet thousands of files, applications, and other various assortments of paper. I sympathize with the members of the new committee. Wow! While our system melts under a 19th century philosophy of compliance, regulation and authority, our most creative act to deal with the nation builders (teachers) is to put one more boot on top of their necks and press down. In the video game mortal combat when the end is near, the voice declares, “finish him!” Here I am reminded of two “ancient” reports (a) Dr. Herbert Gayle’s comprehensive research on youth, 2010 and (b) the IDB report on challenges and opportunities in the Belize Education sector, 2013. Both reports make many recommendations, but my takeaway is that we need to put LOVE at the centre of our approach to learning and teaching, and to do this we must build from the ground up a dynamic system where CREATIVITY can flourish AND TECHNOLOGY utilized.

Woman charged for husband’s murder in San Pedro
San Pedro resident Alida Lily Borrayo Barrientos de Catzim has been arrested for the stabbing murder of her husband, Rommel Benedicto Catzim, which occurred on Sunday, March 6th. Deputy of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, reported that around 10:30PM Police responded to the reports of domestic dispute in the San Pedrito Area. Upon arriving at the scene, police found the body of a male individual lying face down in a pool of blood on a veranda on the second floor of an apartment building. The victim had two stab wounds to the chest and back. Inside the home was Barrientos de Catzim, who was in a frantic state. The couple had been out socializing earlier that night. They got into an altercation and the wife went home. When the husband arrived home, the argument continued and intensified. Sometime during the altercation, the wife stabbed her husband.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Missing soldier found safe
To update a missing person article posted this morning for 30-year-old Isha Martinez who didn’t report to work or had any communication with family members since Friday of last week, she was heard from this afternoon and is safe. Her sister that initially reported […]

Female Belize Defense Force soldier missing
A relative of 30-year-old Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier, Isha Martinez, contacted Breaking Belize News earlier today to report that her sister has been missing since Friday of last week when she was last seen or heard from and has not shown up to […]

Three vehicles donated to Ministry of Health
Three Ford Ranger pickup trucks, valued at around $120,000, were handed over to the Ministry of Health’s maternal and child health program from an initiative called ‘Salud Mesoamerica’, which is funded by several partners including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of […]

“20,000 Strong” rally draws largest crowd
Thousands of women – and not a few men – rallied at the Marion Jones Stadium this morning for greater progress toward gender equality. From across the country they came – marching from the Memorial Park to the stadium. In her opening, Special Envoy […]


Foodie Friday – A scrumptious Relleno Negro/Chimole recipe!
To say Belize is a “melting pot of cultures” would be misleading, as this small country is a medley of different people and ethnicities who wonderfully co-exist. One of the larger groups of people in Belize are the mestizo people, a mixture of European Spanish and native Mayan. Like the population, the cuisine of Belize is very much a giant blend, with immigrants from all over bringing with them their unique styles of cooking – making eating distinct and flavourful. Belizean food is rich with spices, and colours, most foods are now considered pan-Belizean as they are consumed by most members of the population and are no longer specific to any ethnic group. Some of the most popular foods in Belize are mestizo foods, they form a sort of food backbone here in Belize as they are abundant. The Mestizo foods differ depending on the part of the nation you find yourself in. In the northern districts, the Mestizo population is mostly descended from the refugees of the Caste War of Yucatan (1847-1901), they settled in the north and brought with them their rich cuisine and culture. One of their most famed dishes is the Chimole/Relleno, also known as “black dinna”, this savoury black soup of the Gods is a very popular Belizean dish and can be easily found at many culinary establishments. The most striking feature of the soup is its distinctive black colour which is given to it by the use of Black Recado, a paste made from a concoction of spices and roasted until black with ancho chili peppers.

Chocolate Festival of Belize
Now in its ninth year, the Chocolate Festival has blossomed into a three-day event featuring local foods, wines, trips to cacao farms and a musical competition celebrating the area’s indigenous heritage. Cacao (the key ingredient in chocolate) is indigenous to the Americas, and Belize’s Toledo District is world-renowned for having some of the finest quality cacao anywhere. Beside traditional chocolate desserts, the festival features everything from chocolate beer to chocolate soap. The festival also coincides with a large street fair with plenty of music, cultural displays, and exhibitions to entertain the whole family. The festival is held in the town of Punta Gorda located in Belize’s southernmost District of Toledo. In 2016, the Chocolate Festival will be held between Friday, May 20, and Sunday, May 22 in the town of Punta Gorda in Toledo District. Be sure to arrive hungry as there are dozens of different chocolate-themed dishes and other delicacies on offer during the festival. The festival also showcases key elements of the local culture, including the Maya and Garifuna cultures, mixing music and food for a truly special experience. Along with all of the chocolate, be sure to save room for fine wine and a special Chocolate Stout beer. Besides all the food and chocolate-related items, the festival is also a great chance to take a tour of nearby cacao plantations as well as kayak or canoe down local rivers to experience the pristine natural beauty of the Toledo District. The second day of the festival features a street fair in Punta Gorda with art displays, music, and a wide variety of local foods. The last day of the festival features a Grand Finale featuring different musical groups competing to be crowned the grand prize winner. For the kids, there are face-painting, puppet shows, and jewelry-making activities.

International Sourcesizz

The Megaflyover is focusing on the five largest forest blocks still standing in Mexico and Central America. According to NASA's Earth Observatory, the single biggest direct cause of tropical deforestation is conversion to cropland and pasture, "mostly for subsistence, which is growing crops or raising livestock to meet daily needs." The flyover researchers are sharing the findings with national protected areas agencies in the region as they go, and overtime, they will analyze how human influence has expanded over this region over the past 15 years. If you were to fly over Central America on a small plane, from north to south, starting in Guatemala and ending in Panama, you’d be able to see isolated yet extensive pockets of green canopy covering the territory. This is exactly what the aptly named “Central American Megaflyover” has been able to document during its 3,100-mile flight that took off on February 26th and is set to end by the middle of March. An additional 1,900 miles will be traveled overland.

Megaproyecto para salvar la naturaleza de centroamérica
El Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de Estados Unidos dedica esta semana a resaltar los tesoros naturales de América Central, así como los esfuerzos que se invierten para preservarlos, favoreciendo, a la vez, a las economías locales.

NMSU students travel to Belize to study arthropods
Students in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will travel to Belize for 10 days in March to study arthropods. The 10 students are enrolled in the tropical insect ecology course with Scott Bundy, who is an entomology professor in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science. “The students will compare the diversity of arthropods in a different habitat,” Bundy said. “I will also be teaching them how to sample insects in various habitats.” Bundy, who is also the director of the NMSU Arthropod Museum, is preparing the students by providing them with lectures regarding Belize’s people, history and habitat. “There is so much history in Belize,” Bundy said. “The students will appreciate the country so much more if they know about it before they make the trip.”

The Maya Forest: From the Underworld to the Sky
We are here to fly. Today we begin our 5,000-mile “megaflyover” through Central America to document the state of the region’s great forests, starting in the vast Maya Forest of Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. However, the day starts underground. “This is a small cave” says Rafael Manzanero of the Belizean organization Friends for Conservation and Development. This is small? The gurgle of a stream echoes off the cave ceiling 60 feet above, and the walls spread far enough apart from each other to play a game of tennis. I feel very tiny in this “small” cave. Chiquibul National Park, in the heart of Belize’s Maya Mountains, hosts the largest caverns in the western hemisphere. The caves hold the mystique of history, harboring offerings that the ancient Maya left 1,200 years ago, as well as mammal bones from the early Holocene 12,000 years ago.

Entre menores países, Belize tem incríveis ruínas maias além do famoso buraco azul
Com apenas 270 mil habitantes, Belize é um dos menores países das Américas. A língua oficial é uma mistura de inglês, creole e 25 dialetos indígenas. As opções de turismo são muitas: praias, ruínas maias, o buraco azul, resorts, tudo com muitos turistas americanos. Decidi conhecer o mar do Caribe e mergulhar na segunda maior barreira de corais do planeta. A praia de Ambergris Caye, localizada na cutícula com a fronteira mexicana, foi a escolhida. Tudo parece construído e fabricado no mês passado. Muitas praias são diques e portos artificiais. Após alguns dias de relax, seguimos para o destino que instigava nosso espírito de explorador: as ruínas arqueológicas do complexo astronômico maia de Caracol, para tentar compreender os enigmas dos calendários maias e seus prognósticos. A localização de Caracol é considerada pelas autoridades e guias de viagem uma região extremamente perigosa. Muitos ex-guerrilheiros desempregados e bandoleiros circulam pela zona para assaltar turistas e causas pânico. Decidimos ficar na agradável cidade de San Ignácio, distante duas horas do sítio arqueológico.


  • UK and CDB launch the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure (UKCIF) Programme, 17min. Eight Caribbean countries and one British Overseas Territory are closer to accessing funding to build new roads, bridges, ports and other vital infrastructure as the United Kingdom’s Caribbean Infrastructure (UKCIF) Programme becomes operational. The UKCIF was ratified on March 9th by the Board of the Caribbean Development Bank, paving the way for implementation of the game changing programme. The Department for International Development will provide up to £300m in grant financing from January 2016 to March 2020 to Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines and Montserrat.

  • Map Evolution Punta Gorda, 2min. Over the summer, a friend asked me to put together a map of Punta Gorda, a small coastal town in the country of Belize. Throughout the production process I captured screen shots showing the evolution of the map. When it was finished I sequenced them together to form a simple movie, as I did for the evolution of a map of downtown Madison, WI. Each screen represents about 10-15 minutes of real production work. This movie shows how I got there. As you'll see, it generally involved the transformation of a satellite image into a map by way of a healthy dose of cartographic abstraction and symbolization.

  • Belize 2016 Entering Punta Gorda Belize, 2.5min. Entering Punta Gorda (PG) via Southern Highway, late February 2016. Very rustic town, and key point for bus routes in the region. Departing Placencia about 2 hours south with some breathtaking countryside.

  • Newborn Howler monkey at BFREE in Belize, 1.5min.Recently we observed a relatively rare event in which a newborn Howler monkey had fallen from a tree adjacent to the bunkhouse. We were able to capture the newborn on video.

  • Lamanai - Belize, 3min.

  • Caye Caulker Belize, 2min.

  • Chimney and Tres Cocos, 4.5min. A nice dive on the Mesto American Reef off of Ambergris Caye Belize. Some very pretty Cowfish.

  • Belize 2014 South Tulsa Student Ministry, 8min.

  • Diving Belize, 15min.

  • Belize 2016, 2min. A canoe adventure on the Sittee River in Belize, South of Hopkins. 7:00 am and the various birds are in full effect.

  • Re: Today's Belize News: March 12, 2016 [Re: Marty] #512343
    03/12/16 08:51 AM
    03/12/16 08:51 AM
    Joined: Mar 2001
    Posts: 11,049
    Rockport, Maine
    klcman Offline
    klcman  Offline
    Video: Authentic marketplace of San Pedro Belize, 3.5min. San Pedro is famous for sun, beaches and sea, but its authentic marketplace is also worth a visit!

    I think not.........someone needs to proofread copy

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
    But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

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