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Today's Belize News: March 16, 2016 #512430
03/16/16 05:40 AM
03/16/16 05:40 AM
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Specials and Events

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

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week - Celebrating Women's Month in Belize
Karen Brodie did an excellent job at choosing a cross section of women who make up part of this island community. Our country has strong, independent, beautiful women who are not only the essence of the Belizean household, but are now also influential and productive elements in our society. This month the San Pedro House of Culture is running a photographic exhibit that features over 60 San Pedro women in celebration of Women's Month. Featured in this 'Picture of the Week' is one of Karen Brodie's portaits that stood out for us at Ambergris Today. Meet Ms. Helen Haylock - She spent her childhood days playing on the beach area of Holiday Hotel where her dad had his shipyard. As a teenager she danced the hallways of San Pedro. Helen struggled to raise a large family as a single mother and today this dynamic woman enjoys a peaceful happy life overseeing the harmony of her children that comprises of Nolan Haylock, Claudia Haylock, Janine Haylock, Marcia Haylock, Tyrel Hsylock, Denton Haylock, Martha Haylock, Anna Haylock, and Adriana Haylock.

Caye Caulker is Happy with its New Beach Frontage
Tourists are sunbathing, playing, walking and flocking to the new beach in Caye Caulker and the island residents could not be happier. The new beach area at La Isla Carinosa was officially inaugurated last week Saturday, March 12, 2016, with the Minister of Tourism and Caye Caulker Village Chairman, inviting everyone to enjoy and take care of it. “It is a pleasure for me to stand here to be a witness of this accomplishment that has been done through funds of the Belize Tourism Board,” stated Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. The project was half a million dollar investment that reclaimed over 2,000 linear feet of beach with widths varying from 40 to 118 feet in different areas; additional funding is being lobbied for to extend more beach area up to the Caye Caulker Split and further south of the island.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Caribbean Spice Belize
Check out Libby Vidrine's Caribbean Spice Belize! Yum Yum! Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free! We are in Belize City at San Pedro Belize Express. There we also carry all natural bath and body products from all around Belize. We have over 30 free tasting available every day. In San Pedro, Green House carries everything we make, and Lara at 12 Belize carries some products as well.

Paint Party Events
Come paint with us "Dragon Fly" this Thursday at 10:30 AM at Crazy Canucks due to the leprechaun infestation. Don't miss it and see you there!March 17, 2016.

Caye Caulker's Laughter Flash Mob
Sunday, March 20 at 4 PM at the football field. You are invited to Join us on our Mission to Create World Peace. When a Community is Laughing Together, Then the Community is Working Together for a Happy, Healthy & Safe Enviroment. Please Join Us for the Wealth of Your Community...Heheheheee

Child Stimulation Month
March is Child Stimulation Month. We got our first group of pre-schoolers (Little Angel Pre-school) visiting us at the San Pedro House of Culture to learn about the National Symbols and The History of the Island.

The feature highlights the present crisis unfolding between Belize and Guatemala since 2008 in the signing of a special agreement called the Comrpomis between the government of Belize and Guatemala. The diaspora based Belizean organization, the Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance (BREDAA) chairman, Nuri Akbar Estrada, addressed the Compromis signed by the Belizean government and the Guatemalan government on December 8, 2008, to take the long lasting territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Today, the Guatemalan military oligarchy continues to expand its claim to Belize over the last 15 years with a series of military aggression against the Belizean people, and the Belizean military, the Belize Defense Force (BDF) on the Southern bordering area between Belize and Guatemalan called the Sarstoon River. The recent series of aggression culminated on February 27, 2016 against the Belize resistance movement, Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), and recently the March 11, 2016 aggression against the Belize Defense Force (BDF) has increased to a high level, tensions between Belize and Guatemala.

Smart Belize Selects FTS' Convergent Billing Platform
Belize-based mobile operator Smart Telecom today announced that it has selected FTS’ convergent billing solution to offer more innovative and affordable services to its customers. The implementation of FTS’ billing software will provide Smart with greater opportunities for revenue growth as it evolves to 4G LTE technology. FTS is a global provider of billing, charging, policy control and payment solutions. The new billing platform is a positive step for Smart as the company continues its commitment to being Belize’s leading telecoms innovator. FTS’ billing solution is scheduled to become operational during 2016. FTS' Leap™ Billing provides Smart with convergent charging, billing, invoicing, customer management and partner management. FTS also acts as a systems integrator for the project, providing Smart with a turnkey solution, including network elements, SCP, voicemail and IVR from multiple vendors.

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) participated in two business events last week as part of its outreach programme to keep Belizeans informed about its main role in trade and investment promotion and facilitation. The first event was the Business Career and Opportunities Fair held on Thursday, 10th March at the University of Belize Business Campus in Belize City. The event was the first of its kind and was organized by the UB Student Government to allow students in their last year of studies to make inquiries about career opportunities at the participating businesses. Beltraide also participated in the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Open Day held on Friday, 11th March at the Sacred Heart College auditorium in San Ignacio. Over 800 students from high schools in San Ignacio and Santa Elena attended the event, which aimed to create greater awareness on BCCI’s role and functions.

Over 1,500 Students Will Soon Be Enrolled in New Pre-Schools & Primary Schools in Belmopan, Stann Creek & Toledo
Ground-breaking Ceremonies in this regard, will be held this week to officially commence the construction of the respective schools thanks to the Government of Belize. Funding for the construction of the six government schools is made available through grant-funds from the Caribbean Development Bank under the bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 7) programme. This means that students in the respective communities will have easier access to a better learning environment; enable schools to address the increasing demand of enrollment, alleviate over-crowding and thus enable the country’s future leaders to further boost their learning skills. To this end, ground-breaking ceremonies will be held for Kuxlin-Ha Pre-School and Primary School at 1:30 pm on Tuesday March 15, 2016, Belmopan; and will also be held for Santa Cruz New Government Pre-School and New Government Primary School and Trio Pre-School and Primary School on Friday 18 March, 2016.

3rd Annual Disney and Superhero Show
It's almost that time again for a wonderful night with the entire family. Come out and support Step By Step Tutoring Center with their 3rd Annual Disney and Superhero Show. Lots of prizes and goodies will be on sale. The Arms of Love, Caye Caulkers Cancer group, will be having food on sale. Working hand in hand we can make a difference. So join us on March 20th at 7pm sharp on the basketball court. See you there.

Belmopan Clean Up Campaign
Now that's teamwork! Belmopan had a clean up campaign, and around 140 people came out to help. Well done! "Several organizations were contacted and today we had presence from, the Police Cadets, Rotaract, Scouts Bmp.YWAM, Las Flores Community, Girls Scouts, Road Warrior's Motorcycle Club and several citizens who chose to be a part of this annual event. (add other organizations I didn't mention) There was tremendous support from the periphery communities, which was the emphasis of this event. Residents of these areas in many cases took out their own water receptacles where aegis eagypti mosquito could lay their eggs and others welcomed our assistance in getting these receptacles out."

Ascenthium St. Patrick's Day Bash
St. Patrick's Day is Thursday, and Ascenthium will be playing at Bamboo Bar to celebrate the ocassion. "Surprise! Ascenthium will be doing another show in Bamboo this week. Just for you! Come help us celebrate St. Patricks Day at Bamboo bar!"

Ballaz Defeat Warriors
The Western Ballaz defeated the Dangriga Warriors 64 - 61. They are in 2nd place in the NEBL, and have 4 players heading to the All Star Game is Saturday. Go Ballaz! "Congrats to four of our Western Ballaz players who were selected to play on the NEBL All Star team for this year. These players are James Milton, Winston Pratt, Brandon Flowers and Ivan Flowers. Elvis Usher was also selected but will be unable to play due to injury. Congrats also goes out to our Coach, Douglas Smith, who will be coaching the South All Star team. Emerson King will be partaking in the 3-point shoot out challenge and Elvert PG Ariola will be taking on the skills challenge. James Milton will be competing in the Slam Dunk Contest."

I Am Belize Scholarship Program
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust has teamed up with Restore Belize to fund the 'I Am Belize' Scholarship Progamme. They have a great video describing the scholarship. They are inviting any other businesses to help out also. Education is the key. Thanks, BNECT and Restore Belize! "BNECT is proud and delighted in sharing one of our programs and invites private and public sectors to be part and join this unique and life changing program. The 'I Am Belize' Scholarship Programme. UNLOCKING

International Day of Forest
Come Join Us on March 21st 2016 as we celebrate International Day of Forest.. San Ignacio Welcome Center 9am-noon

Channel 7

Guatemala Vigorously Rejected Belize’s Protest Note
Since the weekend, the local news has been dominated by the report from the Government that the Guatemalan Armed Forces aggressed the BDF soldiers stationed at the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base currently in construction. Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since a diplomatic note of protest, and Guatemala is vigorously denying that their military did anything wrong. We've come across this website in which a statement was released yesterday by the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry. It's in Spanish, but we've translated it verbatim, and for proper context, we've not paraphrased it in any way. Translated, the statement says, on Friday March 11, a boat belonging to the Belize Defense Force, without following the security protocol that is customarily used (status quo) on the Sarstoon River, entered the internal waters of Guatemala in the Sartsoon River and sailed to shores of the river.

BDF’s Record Of Aggression By The GAF
And that assertion of territorial sovereignty over the Sarstoon seems to fit right in with the history of aggression that the BDF reports it has been under from the Guatemalan Military/Navy. Yesterday, we received this leaked communication of a threat assessment by the BDF of the Sarstoon River. Penned on October 22, 2015, the document is a report from Major Beltran, on behalf of his BDF Commander, and it is addressed to George Lovell, the CEO in the Ministry of National Security. This letter says, quote, "Records show that the aggressive behavior of the Guatemalan Navy/Military started in 2006. The aggression to the BDF personnel are done whilst the BDF are conducting changeover at Cadenas, and have to go through the Sarstoon River." End quote. The BDF notes that the encounters are usually heightened during the years that Guatemala has its general elections.

Sarstoon FOB Construction Will Still Continue
Today we spoke to the Minister of National Security, who most certainly has seen this report if it is authentic. He commands the hundreds of men and women at the frontlines, which appear under pressure - if only unofficially - by Guatemala. And although that is nothing new, even the Prime Minister conceded yesterday that he has never in his life time seen tensions ratchet up quite like this before. So how is the Minister of National Security handling? We asked him that today. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "As we've always said it is the role of the Ministry of National Security and its constitution such as the BDF and the Coast Guard to safeguard the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of our country. It is a job that we take very seriously and we wish that civilians would leave us to do our job, which we've been doing over the years. The heightened security concerns in the area really do worry us, but we are at this point exploring the diplomatic avenues to try to get it resolved. We are hopeful. There was a meeting earlier this morning in Washington which we believe we will get some good results out of that and we are hopeful that we can always solve our problems in a diplomatic way. A military solution is not good for any of us." So while the Government continues its peace keeping diplomacy, the other matter is the construction of the Forward Operating Base at the mouth of the Sarstoon. So what's the latest on that? And and is the small wooden structure defensible should there be an escalated incident? Here's how John Saldivar answered those questions:

Osmar: “Christie Stabbed Herself While Trying To Hurt Me”
6 days ago, we told you about the start of the murder trial without jury of 30 year-old Osmar Sabido, who was accused by police of stabbing her common-law wife, 21 year-old Christie Carrasco to Death. Well, the prosecution closed it's case today against him, and this afternoon in Orange Walk before Justice Herbert Lord, he gave his version of how the deadly incident played out at their home at the San Lorenzo Housing Area of the town on February 28, 2011. He said that he arrived home at around 6 p.m., and he met Christie Carrasco at the house who approached him and accused him of being with another woman. They started to argue, and she demand to know why he was late. The argument continued in their kitchen, where tried to ignore, and she eventually left in the car.

18 Year-old Found Murdered in Jane Usher Area
A teenager was found dead in the Jane Usher Area this morning. 18 year old Mario Trotman went missing yesterday morning at around 8 and his family went out looking for him. But the search ended when police along with the K-9 Unit and Coast Guard officers found his body this morning around 10:30. Today police told us that Troman might have been killed by a friend. Sup. Hilberto Romero - O C, CIB, Eastern Division: "On Tuesday 15th day of March 2016, based on investigation police were carrying out, we found the lifeless body of one Mario Trotman, 18 years old age of a Louise Bevans Street address with apparent gunshots wounds to the head. He was found in the water in a canal that leads to the Dike area of Faber's Road. The area where he was found is about half mile behind the Jane Usher Boulevard area in the canal. Mario Trotman had reported missing since yesterday evening around 8pm and police commence searches and investigation which lead to the discovery of his body. The investigation is showing that he was lured to that area by person he knew at which point he was then shot to the head."

Father And Son Shot In Their Home
A father and his 13 year old son were shot, while in their house on Ebony Street last night. At around 10:30 47 year old Dean Parks and his son were asleep when someone opened fire on their house. Parks was shot to the mouth and shoulder while his son was shot to the shoulder. Police told us today that they have detained a minor in connection with this shooting. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "Sometime around 10:30 last night, police were called to Ebony Street and upon arrival they were briefed of a shooting that took place in a residence in that area where one Dean Parks and his son were both shot. Mr. Parks was shot in the mouth and in the shoulder and his son was shot in the shoulder. Since that shooting, both persons were taken to the KHMH where they are currently admitted in a stable condition. Neither injuries is life threatening and the police investigation in that matter continues."

Police Still Investigation Tanika’s Murder
Police are still investigating Tanika Lemott's murder. Lemott was shot and killed on her way home early Sunday morning. This is after she and her friends had left the Christopher Martin concert at the ITVET. They all caught a taxi around 4 Sunday morning but as they passed the St. John's Vianney School on Fabers Road a vehicle came up behind them and opened fire - hitting Lemott in the chest and back and her friend Doris Gilharry in the chest. The taxi driver Jaime Villanueva was shot to the back. Gilharry, Villanueva and another friend Hanifa Flowers survived but Lemott didn't make it. Today police told us they have detained several other persons in connection with this murder. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "We have been following up on that murder investigation and the CIB personnel headed by Inspector Cowo has been out there canvassing the area and as well as other parts of Belize City to see what we can gather of evidential value to be able to move forward with the investigation.

Meighans Vs Police; The Saga Continues
There is speculation that the well-known Meighan brothers had been investigated for Lemott's murder but police have not confirmed that. Well, whether it is confirmed or not it seems police carried out some sort of unexplained raid this morning. Now, you've heard quite often in this newscast about the Meighan brothers coming in conflict with the police, but today's incident, was somewhat different. Today one of the Meighan sisters told us off camera that the GSU barged into their house at 3 this morning and brutally attacked her and her brothers. Here is her account. "Sometime after 3:30 minutes to 4pm I would say, I heard banging on all the windows, all the doors. So I told them to identify themselves. They were saying police. So I ask to please identify yourselves so that I know it's the police and not someone outside pretending to be the police. Within 3 minutes I opened the door. About 6 police were on the verandah and they had some in the yard, all around the yard. I even gave them the key to open the door from outside, because they were trying to break it down with a stick. As the first police open the door with the key, he pulled me. I had my 3 months nephew in my hands and he pulled me by my hair outside for no reason. I wasn't being bad."

OC ED South Says Crime Under Control For Now
So Southside Belize City has seen 2 murders and 1 shooting in just a couple of days. What's happening on the Southside? Has the positive impact of those community policing initiatives worn off ? Today Williams told us that there is nothing to be concerned about - there is just some incidents the police have no control over but, he explained, the police continue to work in these areas. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "There is no cause for alarm. We already know that the first incident that took place on Sunday morning, was something that just develop at the concert and it was not something that was per say gang related and the second murder that we are looking at, from all indications thus far, this person may have been murdered by his own associates. So when you have in-house rivalries, it is difficult for the police to be able to curb those sort of incidents. Those are what we referred to as "None preventable." As it relates to what the police can prevent, we continue to do what we can on the streets of Southside Belize City to do our utmost best to calm the crime situation down."

Hon. Saldivar Wants To Be 1st Deputy
Despite being pushed on the backburner, due to the other more important national issues, the talks on Minister Gaspar Vega's sudden resignation continues. Yesterday the Prime Minister refused to take our questions, but this afternoon we were able to speak with Hon. John Saldivar, a hopeful politician who has expressed his interest to move of the ranks of the UDP. With Vega now gone, it leaves and opened a vacancy for those hopefuls to get in as Deputy party leader- Minister Saldivar included. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "We certainly were surprised. We certainly respect his decision. It's a big loss. There is no doubt that it is a big loss to our party. Mr. Vega had contributed greatly to our success since 2006 when I believe he became the deputy leader - helped us tremendously in the north in terms of building up the support to where it currently is, where we have 5 seats out of 8 and so he will be missed. But it is his personal decision and we have to respect that." Reporter: "Where does that placed you as someone who has been said repeatedly that you may have an interest in moving up in the ranks, so to speak?"

President Slusher Talks UB Business
Back in April of 2014, the University of Belize was making the evening news due to the private disputes between the then President, Dr. Cary Frazer, and Minister of Education Patrick Faber. But, in just a few short weeks after that, it was announced that Dr. Frazer had decided to step down. The Board of Trustees moved quickly to seek a replacement, and Alan Slusher was chosen as the man to succeed him It's been almost 2 years in that post, and it's our first encounter, and things appear more or less to have calmed down drastically. Yesterday was our first press encounter with the new president, and we took the opportunity to talk UB's education business with him. Here's how that conversation went: Alan Slusher, UB President: "The relationship between UB and the Ministry of Education, relationship are excellent and it is absolutely necessary that we maintained those excellent relationship. In fact the university reports to the Ministry of Education. The university is part of the entire complex of instruments available to the government to boost the level of education in Belize and we pride ourselves as being an important part of the arsenal that the government has to develop the knowledge and capacity of our people. Because if we do that, we will then develop the country. People development is an essential part of country development and we are very happy to be as full supportive as we possibly can in this initiative and the part of the Ministry of Education. And as I say our relationships are absolutely excellent and it is my intention to make sure that they remained that way."

GSU Made A Fisheries Bust
Thirty-two year old Raymond Myers, a fish vendor of Conch Shell Bay, found himself in front of the Magistrate's Court after his home was raided by the Gang Suppression Unit. No, it's nothing like the what the GSU are accused of by the Meighan family once again. They managed to make a successful fisheries bust, and the Department's Acting Inspector told us more about it this evening: Calman Hall, Acting Incp,. Fisheries Department: "It was a GSU seizure which was made at 34A West Collet Canal early this morning about 7:30 thereabout and while they do their search, they found a icebox with undersized suspected conch and then brought it over here to the Fisheries Department where they passed over their findings to Elvis Williams to check and verify that the products were in deed undersized and the gentleman was then charged for possession of undersized product. After Mr. Williams had done his due diligence found that the gentleman had 444 individual conch and he was taken to court this morning and a fine of $200 were levied on him and a penalty of $8,880 was levied on him for the 444 individual conch."

International Social Work Day
"Promoting and Respecting the Dignity and Worth of People, Builds Belize" That is the theme of today's International Social Work Day Exhibit. Now social workers deal with a number of issues affecting families and the community. But they don't just help people with problems at home or school. The Chair of the Social Work Department at UB, Fermin Olivera told us that today's event is about highlighting the role of social workers in the lives of the marginalized. One of those marginalized groups is mental health patients. Olivera told us that he is aware of how urgent it is to address the mental health crisis but that it starts with a shift in approach. Other vulnerable groups include the LGBT and the Transgender community. They have been targeted and in some cases ostracized. The coordinator of the event told us that with a bit of education and more understanding, they can be accepted in society. The exhibition ended at 3 this afternoon.

Isidoro Beaton: Belize’s 2nd World Class Stadium
From the 800 lux lights, to the top of the line VIP headquarters, and to the FIFA 2 star synthetic turf, the striking new features of the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan certainly make it a site to behold. In 2014, the facility was closed down so that works can be done in giving it a 3.5 million dollar facelift. Now after all the long wait, the Isidoro Beaton stadium was finally opened at an officially inauguration ceremony that was held earlier today. Key note speakers included, the Mayor of Belmopan, the Minister of State with responsibility to sports and the General Manager of the Belize infrastructure Limited, who headed the projects. Khalid Belisle, Mayor, City of Belmopan: "It would have to have been a couple of years ago now that the seeds of the idea of using some portion of the proceeds of the Petrocaribe program to spark a rejuvenation of sports in Belize would have taken root. Now as they say, success have many fathers, while failure is an orphan and so I'm sure there are many who would stake claim to at least some of the credit for what we see before us this afternoon. I speak for the city when I say that whomever it may be that deserves the kudos. The City of Belmopan is now and will continue to be immeasurably grateful of the display of vision and the determination to have seen us to this momentous occasion."

Making Reading More Fun
Read, read and read some more... That is what parents and teachers constantly advise students to do. But there are different techniques that can make reading more exciting for kids. One of those techniques is guided reading and for the rest of the week, a few volunteers from Oklahoma State University will be training teachers from St. John's Primary School. We stopped by to find out more. The volunteers have been working with these teachers for 3 years. The training ends on Friday.

Channel 5

Guatemala Says Belize’s Account of Sarstoon Incident is a Lie!
Tonight, an impasse between Belize and Guatemala remains in place following an incident involving members of the Belize Defense Force and the Guatemalan Navy near the mouth of the Sarstoon [...]

Minister of National Security Optimistic about Outcome of Meeting at O.A.S.
Now in Washington today, a meeting between Belizean and Guatemalan foreign ministers Wilfred Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales was held at the seat of the Organization of American States. That [...]

What’s the Progress of the F.O.B. at Sarstoon River?
In the aftermath of the standoff in the Sarstoon between the B.D.F. and the Guatemalan Armed Forces, much has been said about the tense relationship between both militaries.  The National [...]

B.D.F. Threat Assessment Speaks to Several Areas of Concern in Sarstoon Area
It is not the first time that hostility has been displayed towards the Belizean military by the Guatemala navy. In fact, alarm bells were sounded since last year that the [...]

Vision Inspired by the People Denounces Military Aggression Toward Belizeans
On Monday, the P.U.P. condemned the aggression of the Guatemalan navy. Today, another political party added its condemnation. Vision Inspired by the People denounced Guatemala’s military aggression toward Belizean soldiers [...]

Murder Trial of Osmar Sabido Resumes in Orange Walk Supreme Court
Today, the murder trial of Osmar Sabido, accused of stabbing his common-law-wife Christie Carrasco to death, continued in the Supreme Court in Orange Walk before Justice Herbert Lord. Sabido has [...]

A Look Back at the Tragic Murder of Christie Carrasco
Attorney Oscar Salgado, representing Osmar Sabido, stated in an interview at the start of the trial that his client would make a case for self-defence. That is consistent with Sabido’s [...]

Has G.O.B. Been Handling Recent Aggression by Guatemala Appropriately?
And our question for tonight is: Do believe the government has been handling the recent aggression by Guatemala appropriately? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

Mario Trotman Murdered Near Dyke
Over the weekend, a thirty-four year old woman was shot and killed in a taxi. Her murder remains unresolved. Today, Belize City police have another murder on their hands to [...]

What’s the Update in Weekend Murder Investigation?
While police have two friends of Trotman detained in connection with his murder, this morning, several others were rounded up and taken into custody for the murder of thirty-four year [...]

Mayflower Residents Claim Police Harassment Following GSU Sweep
Since then, several families from within the area of Mayflower and Sibun Streets have been complaining of excessive use of force by GSU and Police officers. Juanita Gongora, a resident [...]

Chester Williams Says Take it to Professional Standards Branch
But ACP Williams says he is not moved by the allegations against the officers. And those complaints should simply be made to the Professional Standards Branch of the Police Department. [...]

Dean Parks and 13-year-old Son Shot Inside Their Home
The Eastern Division South unit is also investigating a shooting on Monday night in Belize City. Around ten-thirty p.m., a gunman came up to the barracks at the corner of [...]

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-Jeou on Farewell Visit to Belize
Details were released this afternoon of the two-day visit of President Ma Ying-Jeou of the Republic of China which begins this Wednesday. The visit comes at the end of Ma’s [...]

Isidoro Beaton Stadium Reborn
Belmopan now boasts of another FIFA-certified stadium. The Isidoro Beaton Stadium was launched this afternoon and tonight a first international friendly match will be held to whet the field. Worth [...]

International Friendly Sees Belmopan Bandits Facing El Progresso
The Belmopan Bandits are set to play El Progreso of Honduras in an international friendly tonight at the newly reopened Isidoro Beaton Stadium.  Hundreds of football fans are already gathering [...]

Another Fisheries Bust in Belize City
A fisherman, who claims he was provided with four hundred and forty-four undersized conchs for free, will end up paying thousands of dollars. Thirty-two year old, Raymond Myers was busted [...]

An Attempted Kidnapping of Well-known Orange Walk Businessman
A very well known businessman from the Orange Walk District believes that tonight he is lucky to be alive after what seems very much like a kidnapping attempt, or maybe [...]

Migration: The Belize/Mexico Matrix
Migration, identity, cultural influence, as well as the economic impact of movement from one place to another are issues that are being discussed in an academic forum.  The two-day discussion [...]


Number Of Students Who Sit The PSE Reduces
Yesterday a total of 7,257 students from 287 primary schools across the country sat the first half of the Primary School Examinations. In the Corozal District alone 811 students from 41 different schools took the Science paper one and English one examination. This year there was a slight decrease in the number of students that took the exams country wide. Statistics also show the participation of more male than female students this year. The good news is though, that the PSE this year saw an increase in the number of Special Needs students taking the exam. Jah More Lopez – Corozal District Education Officer: “We are looking at a 1.2% decrease over last year, we are looking at a total of 287 primary schools country wide and we have slightly higher percentage of males than females we are looking at a 51% male, 3689 as oppose as to the 49% females, 3568 what is encouraging though is that we have an increase of a whopping 53% in comparison to last year 139 candidates more who have special needs and so we are looking at providing support for student with special needs and we’ve gone up 53% and so it shows that all of our students are given that opportunity to well.”

Corozal Pre-Schoolers Participates In Annual Festival Of Arts
Today preschool students in the Corozal District showcased their talent as they took part in the annual Festival of Arts which forms part of Child Stimulation Month. The festival saw the participation of 36 out of 37 preschools in the Corozal District. The pre-schoolers were judged on three different categories….dance, music and drama; and out of the 36 schools that participated a few were selected to feature their presentations in the National Festival of Arts scheduled to take place in Belize City in the month of May. Maria Correa - Early Childhood Education Officer: “Today we had our annual Pre-school Festival of Arts 2016 whereby all the Pre-school, I can say not everybody showed up, they showcase the children talents and this year; out of the 37 we had 36 schools participating today only San Victor did not make it. Today we did manage to get participants going to Belize in three categories; we had in dance, music and drama and we did selected some very good ones so they will be going to Belize to participate with other pre-schools and I believe it will be during the month of May.”

Banquitas House Of culture Upholds Saw Dust Carpet Tradition
It may not be a common scene in Belize for Holy week but the art of sawdust carpets is slowly making its presence in the country. It first started in Benque Veijo Del Carmen in the Cayo District and this year will make it three years on Good Friday that the tradition was adopted in Orange Walk Town.This morning students from Orange Walk Technical High School gathered at the Banquitas House of Culture to assist in the preparation of materials that will be used to create the saw dust carpets which will be exhibited at the La Inmaculada Roman Catholic Church on Good Friday as part of a procession. Cindy Rivero –Organizer, Banquitas: “We are preparing the colored saw dust for an activity that we have been doing for the past two years so this will be our third year where we will do saw dust carpet in front of the church so what we are doing here is to paint the color so that we can make our designs for good Friday, we have here the Orange Walk Technical High School who are doing community work since they are celebrating Humor week so they have come here to assist us in preparing the different colors that we would want to make our elaborate carpets on Good Friday.”

Dr. Estradaban Describes Wounds Obtained By Carrasco
As mentioned, also called to the stand as an expert witness was Dr. Mario Estradaban who was tasked to describe each of Carrasco’s injuries. Most compelling was one stab wound to the middle of her chest which penetrated through her heart and into her left lung; the second was to the upper left side of her chest which punctured her skin and muscle but did not penetrated deeper; and the third, to her left thumb and a fourth to her left knee which were described as being non-life-threatening. Dr. Estradaban confirmed that he had ruled cause of death for Christie Alexandria Carrasco as exsanguination due to internal and external bleeding due to stab wounds to the body.When asked by the prosecution, Estradaban described all stab wounds as having been inflicted with a “heavy force”. But of particular interest in Dr. Estradaban’s testimony was his description of the third wound to the left thumb. He classified the wound as being a defensive wound meaning that the injury was caused as Carrasco attempted to protect herself from her attacker.

Guatemala MOF Gives Account Of Sarstoon Incident
As mentioned last night the Government of Belize sent a strongly worded protest note to Guatemala condemning the hostile action by its military in the Sarstoon. The Guatemalans responded to the protest note denying the BDF’s account of what occurred late Saturday evening near the Forward Operating Base. The Guatemalans deny behaving in an extremely hostile and threatening manner. While the P.M related to the media the Guatemalans side of the story, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Guatemala, via a press release issued late yesterday evening, told the tale of the Guatemalan Military. Basically they reiterate what the P.M said when it comes to their version of what took place on Saturday evening, that they did not act in a hostile manner and that at no time was there any provocation by the Guatemalan authorities towards the BDF and that all the Guatemalan Army was looking for was for the crew of the Belizean vessel to follow the security protocol usually followed in the Sarstoon River.

VIP Urges GOB To Adopt Pro-Active Approach With Guatemala
There is no doubt that the recent confrontation on the Sarstoon River between Guatemalan Armed Forces and the Belize Defense Force will the main topic of discussion among various groups, political parties and households across the jewel for days. As tension escalates Belize seeks assistance from International parties such as the US and the United Kingdom at the same time relying on the Organization of American States as intermediary in hope of setting protocols in place that will calm the waters at the Sarstoon. Yesterday we heard what the Opposition and the Belize Progressive Party had to say about the incident as they condemned the hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards Belize’s security forces. Today the Vision Inspired by the People political party fired off a release where they are also expressing discontent about the way the Guatemalan Armed Forces reacted to the BDF’s presence at the Sarstoon. VIP states and we quote “It is abundantly clear that the Guatemalan Government is pursuing a path of military aggression and intimidation against Belize. Guatemala’s military aggression toward Belize is a clear violation of Guatemala’s obligations as a member of the United Nations.” end quote.

Carrasco Alledged Killer Claims Self-Defense As He Takes The Stand
The murder trial for Osmar Sabido, accused of killing his then girlfriend, 21 year old Christie Carrasco which commenced on Tuesday of last week continued today at the Orange Walk Supreme Court. First to take the stand today at around 10:00 in the morning was Dr. Mario Estradaban, police Coroner, who was called as an expert witness to describe the wounds suffered by Carrasco. We will tell you what he testified in a few but first, we go with Sabido who claimed self-defense as he took the stand today at around 1:30 in the afternoon. In a much unexpected turn of events Sabido gave another version of the story saying that the entire incident transpired inside the house and not outside, how the prosecution had presented it to have been.

Re: Today's Belize News: March 16, 2016 [Re: Marty] #512432
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BDF Document Leaked on Encounters with Guatemala
The Belize Territorial Volunteers, led by Wil Maheia made their first expedition to the Sarstoon River on August 16, 2015. Just four days before that expedition last year, whilst doing their reconnaissance of the area, they were confronted by Guatemalan Armed Forces. That, however, did not deter their plans and they along with about one […]

Leader of the Opposition Briefed by BDF Commander
Today the Leader of the Opposition took a proactive approach regarding the Belize/Guatemala issue and attended a meeting which he had requested with the BDF Commander David Jones with the objective to be briefed on the current situation and past occurrences involving the Guatemalan Armed Forces. The meeting which also had the presence of former […]

Taiwan’s President Makes Last Visit to Belize
Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-Jeou will be in Belize tomorrow on what will be his last visit to our country in that capacity. May 20, 2016 marks the last day of his presidency and the first day of a female President for Taiwan. Love News spoke with Ambassador Benjamin Ho who spoke on tomorrow’s visit. BENJAMIN […]

Body of Teenager Found in Canal with Gunshot Wounds
The body of 18 year old Mario Trotman was found this morning. He had been reported missing since yesterday and after searching near his home on Louise Bevan’s Street, his body was found with gunshot wounds to the head. Superintendent Commanding CIB for the eastern Division, Hilberto Romero, told the media that the 18 year […]

Father and Son Shot Inside Their Home in Belize City
A father and his thirteen year old son were shot last night in Belize City. At around ten thirty last night, forty seven year old Dean Parks and his son were inside their home on Ebony Street when someone blasted several shots at their house. Parks was shot to the jaw and right shoulder while […]

Chester Sends Strong Message to Criminal Elements
This morning we received a complaint from the notorious Meighan Brothers of Banak Street. They say that GSU officers barged into their home early this morning. They allege that several GSU officers beat them and one of their sisters badly. The Meighan brothers are known to be gang affiliates and today when Assistant Commissioner of […]

Police Ops Target Suspects In the Lemott Murder Case
Thirty four year old Tanika Lemott and her friends came under gun fire early Sunday morning while in a taxi after attending a concert. They were on Fabers Road when they came under attack. Lemott died on the spot while the taxi driver, Jaime Villanueva was shot to the upper back and 33-year-old Dorris Gilharry […]

Fish Vendor Fined 9K for Undersized Conch
The GSU made a bust this morning but not the regular illegal firearm of drug bust. They busted thirty-two year old Raymond Myers of West Collet Canal with what they believed to be undersized conch. GSU Officers confiscated the conch and took it to the Fisheries Department. From there the Fisheries Department took over and […]


Guat Army Aggress BDF in Sarstoon
The Guatemalan Armed Force accosted the Belize Defense Force Personnel at the Sarstoon in the area of Belize’s Forward Operating Base on Saturday March 12, 2016. The Government of Belize issued a statement on the incident saying that GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempt...

PUP condemns illegal Guatemalan activity
And while the opposition leader has been briefed, according to a press release from the People’s United deplore the hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards Belizean security forces in the vicinity of the Forward Operating Base on the shores of the Sarstoon River in Belize “. T...

BPP criticizes Government’s response to Guatemalan acts of aggression
The Belize Progress Party has also weighed in on the matter issuing a lengthy statement in which it criticizes GOB’s response to Guatemala’s latest aggression. The release says that this most recent act of aggression by the Guatemalans in Belizean territory is “fundamentally a manifestation of the f...

National Security Council convenes over latest Guatemalan aggression
On Monday afternoon, March 14, a special meeting of the National Security Council convened in Belmopan to further deal with the latest aggression by the Guatemalan Armed Force. Right Honorable PM Barrow in an interview this afternoon following the meeting with the Security council, stated that th...

Taxi with female passengers shot up, one woman dies
A woman was murdered on Sunday while two others are recovering from bullet wounds and another from injuries to her eyes. On Sunday March 13, three women were passengers in a taxi cab being driven at the time by 31 year old Jaime Villanueva. The group had just left a concert which was held at the ITV...

Caucasian male sandwiched between two vehicles,; dies
There was a fatal traffic accident on the Southern Highway early Monday morning March 14, 2016. It happened near San Antonio between miles 4 and 5 on the Sothern Highway when a Caucasian male riding a bicycle was slammed between a parked police pickup truck and a travelling Ford excursion, killing h...

Attempted Kidnapping in Orange Walk
There are reports of an attempted kidnapping happening in the Orange Walk district. The incident happened on Monday Marc 14th sometime around 12:30 a.m in the San Pablo Vilage area. Police say they received reports of the Orange Walk resident being kidnapped when the alleged victim called his famil...


BDF “stands firm” against Guatemalan aggression
The Government of Belize, through a press release issued yesterday, Sunday, has confirmed that there was a confrontation in the Sarstoon River between the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) and the Belize Defence Force on Saturday in the area where Belize is presently constructing a Forward Operating Base (FOB) to combat illicit border activities. As a result of Saturday’s standoff between the two countries’ military forces, tension in the Sarstoon River is now at an all-time high, because recently, Guatemala has been insisting that the entire Sarstoon River belongs to them, notwithstanding the 1859 Treaty between Britain and Guatemala, which recognized Belize’s sovereignty of the Sarstoon River up to the mid-channel, which includes Sarstoon Island. Guatemala has now been using her military might to enforce her insistence that the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island belong to them. A government release yesterday said, “The Government of Belize confirms that a confrontation between Belize Security Forces and Guatemalan Armed Forces occurred late Saturday evening at the Sarstoon in the area of Belize’s Forward Operating Base. The GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon.

OAS to discuss Belize- Guatemala Sarstoon military tension
Belize Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, is leading a delegation to the Organization of American States (OAS), in Washington, DC, USA, where the parties hope to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, at 11:00 a.m. (9:00 Belize time) to discuss proposals for a new set of confidence-building measures for the Sarstoon River, Belize’s southern natural boundary with Guatemala, where tensions flared between security forces from both sides of the border this weekend. A key figure at tomorrow’s meeting will be H.E. Assad Shoman, who will join the Belize delegation as the representative of the Opposition People’s United Party. As senior ambassador with ministerial rank, Shoman signed the 2000 “confidence building measures,” which established the “adjacency zone” along Belize’s western border with Guatemala. He also signed the 2003 agreement. As Belize’s Foreign Minister in 2005, he signed the 2005 confidence building measures, also setting up protocols for relations along the western border.

Guatemala claims Sarstoon!!
Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement today in which it made the bold-faced assertion that it “…reaffirms once again that the Sarstún River is Guatemalan…” The statement was in answer to the Government of Belize’s Sunday press release in which it confirmed yet another incident between Belize and Guatemalan armed forces. The official Guatemala release added that if the differendum between the two countries is not resolved definitively by the International Court of Justice, Guatemala would continue to “exercise and defend their sovereignty [at the Sarstoon], as it is now doing.” On Sunday, the Government of Belize said, via a press release on Facebook, that “a confrontation between Belize Security Forces [the Belize Defence Force] and Guatemalan Armed Forces [GAF] occurred late Saturday evening at the Sarstoon in the area of Belize’s Forward Operating Base [FOB].” It added that, “The GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon.

Taxi ride turns deadly
One woman has been killed and two other women and a man were seriously injured after a cold-blooded killer fired into the taxicab in which they were travelling at about 4:10 Sunday morning on Fabers Road. Tanika Lemoth, 34, of Tibruce Street, was shot in the lower back and in her upper chest, and was declared dead on the scene. Police, at a press brief held this afternoon at the Racoon Street Police Station, said that at 4:10 yesterday morning Jaime Villanueva, 31, a cab driver, was driving his Toyota Camry on Fabers Road, heading towards Central American Boulevard and had three female passengers with him. Suddenly, a vehicle approached Villanueva from behind, in front of St. John Vianney Church on Fabers Road, and the occupant(s) fired several shots into the cab from the rear, hitting him and his passengers. When police arrived at the scene about 10 minutes later, they saw Villanueva lying in the middle of the street, suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper back.

5 persons missing
Five persons have been reported missing. They are Alexis Cardinez , 15, of Victoria Street, Belize City; Kirk Dennison, 15, of Ladyville; Jonathan Dominguez 18, of Biscayne; Miguel Rejon of Orange Walk Town; and Carlos Sanchez, 24. Kirk Dennison was reported missing on January 4. His mother told police that at about 7:30 that morning, Kirk was sleeping in his bed, and she went out, but when she came back home at about 6:30 that evening, he was not at home, and she does not know where he is. He is described as being of brown complexion and weighs about 120 lbs. He is about 5 feet tall and has a tattoo of the word “MURDER” on his left arm and chest. Another young man who has been reported missing is Jonathan Dominguez, 18, of Biscayne, who left his mother’s home on Airport Road, Ladyville, on his way to a family friend’s residence in Ladyville, and was last seen on Thursday, February 25, at about 8:00 that night. At the time he was last seen, Dennison was wearing a white T-shirt with a silver design on the front, a pair of cream-coloured 3/4 pants, and a pair of tennis shoes.

Taiwan president visits Belize on outgoing tour
President of the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, is scheduled to arrive in Belize at around 11:00 on Wednesday morning, for his final call on Belize before he demits office in May, when Taiwan’s first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, is due to take office. On Sunday, March 13, Ma made a stop-over in Houston, USA, where the city was observing “Taiwanese Friendship Day.” Ma arrived today in Guatemala, where he met with government officials there. He plans to address the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN, Spanish acronym), based in Guatemala, while in that country. He is scheduled to leave Guatemala at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday on a charter flight to Belize. According to a source in the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ma was invited by the Government of Belize to discuss Taiwan’s bilateral relationship with Belize and celebrate the long-standing relations which the countries have enjoyed.

NEBL teams making final push for playoffs
On Thursday night, Belize City No Limit traveled to the new capital to take on Belmopan Bandits, who is riding a four-game winning streak. Belmopan Bandtis (5-4) jumped out to an early 21-15 lead at the end of first quarter, which they extended to 45-28 going into intermission. However, the visiting team, Belize City No Limit (2-5) was able to cut the lead to 8 points at the end of the third quarter, 64-56, which they further reduced to 5 points in the fourth quarter. Belmopan Bandits then went on a 7-0 run to seal the 81-70 win down the stretch. Jarrel “Bird” Velasquez was the top scorer for Belmopan Bandits with 17 points to go with 7 dishes and 3 rebounds, while Nick Brown also finished with 17 pts and 5 rebs. Stephen “Muerte” Williams sank 16 pts, which included 4 shots from behind the arc, while grabbing 5 rebs and 2 steals; and Kyle Pascasio finished the night with 10 pts and 8 rebs. Gregory “Chippy” Rudon had his best offensive output for the season with 19 points and 6 assists, to go with 5 steals and 4 boards. Keith “Superman” Acosta finished the game with a double-double, recording 13 pts and 11 rebs; while Michael Babbles and Marcel Orosco netted 13 and 10 pts, respectively, for Belize City No Limit.

Kaya Cattouse is Women Cross Country Classic Champ 2016
Six females started, and all six finished the estimated 73 mile journey (within the official time limit of 30 minutes after the winner) from San Ignacio to Belize City’s BTL Park on Princess Margaret Drive yesterday in the 27th running of the Women Cross Country Classic. It is now a team sport, and defending Women Cross Country champion Alicia Thompson gave it her all, riding alone for her Belize Bank Swoosh sponsor, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 3-member C-Ray Team game plan; and when they succeeded in bringing Kaya Cattouse to the last leg of the race on Princess Margaret Drive, their job was done, and Kaya, Belize’s premier female sprinter, knew she could do the rest. Brimming with confidence after the race, Kaya admitted that Alicia was an extremely formidable opponent, and acknowledged the important contribution of her teammates, to allow her to conserve her energy for the final sprint, which she won handily by a couple bicycle lengths. It was a beautiful sun-shiny day for cycling and for Reef Week, which culminated the same day at BTL Park in conjunction with the Women Cross Country Classic, for which it was a part sponsor.

PLB Week 8 – 4 teams poised to make playoffs
Only two weeks of regular season games, along with a couple back matches remain before the start of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2015-2016 playoffs. And, with cellar dwellers Wagiya and Verdes FC both losing over the weekend, the playoff picture is almost set, with the other 4 teams expected to pair off in the semifinals. At the FFB Stadium on Saturday night, March 12, Belmopan Bandits maintained their lead in the standings, as they dropped Wagiya, 3-0, with goals from Eugene Martinez (34’), Jordy Polanco (61’) and Rai West (69’). Also on Saturday night, the surging Belize Defence Force FC travelled to the Michael Ashcroft Stadium and did what no other team has done this season, beat the Placencia Assassins on their home turf. Fresh off their 1-0 shocker over Belmopan Bandits the week before, BDF came out of Independence celebrating a 3-1 victory over the Assassins, courtesy of goals from Harrison Tasher (32’), Osmar Duran (40’) and Paul Nunez (81’). The sole tally for Placencia was by Mario Villanueva (61’). On Sunday, the playoff hopes were further dimmed for Verdes FC, as visiting Police United left Norman Broaster Stadium with a 2-nil victory and a secure spot in the playoffs. Shaking the net for Police United were captain Andres Makin, Jr. (4’) and Carlton “Fubu” Thomas (18’).

Editorial: Defiance and disrespect
One of the first things that occurred to us, on being informed Sunday evening about the aforementioned incident at the Sarstoon, was that the Government of Belize’s position, for more than a year, has been that Belizean civilians have been endangering Belize’s military by taking trips to the Sarstoon River and border areas in the Toledo District. Belize’s political leaders, as organized in the Cabinet, have instructed the Belize Security Forces not to provide escort and protection to these excursions of Belizean civilians, excursions within the territory of Belize as defined by the 1859 Treaty between Great Britain and Guatemala, and as recognized by the United Nations on the occasion of Belize’s becoming independent on September 21, 1981, because these excursions would offend or provoke the Guatemalan Armed Forces. “Late evening of Saturday,” March 12, 2016, elements of the Guatemalan Armed Forces, presumably the same elements which entered the Belize side of the Sarstoon River on Saturday morning, February 27, 2016, used their boats to blockade the entrance to the Sarstoon, and prevented the civilian Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) from travelling upstream to the Gracias a Dios border marker, extended their field of operations to the southern mainland of Belize on the bank of the said Sarstoon River. In so doing, the Guatemalan military defied the 1859 Treaty, violated Belize’s sovereignty, and disrespected the Belizean military. In refusing to stand by the entry of the BTV into the Belize side of the Sarstoon on February 27, the Government of Belize exposed their own military forces to disrespect on March 13, just two weeks later.

From the Publisher
Expatriate Director of Public Prosecutions Isa Peera this morning screamed at Belizean publisher of AMANDALA, Evan X Hyde: “If that is your attitude, you can go to hell.” Hyde then walked out of the press and radio conference being held upstairs of the Treasury building. During the course of the conference AMANDALA was singled out by Peera for criticism and threats. The foreigner said that several times previously he had been on the point of indicting and ordering the arrest of the publisher of AMANDALA, but he had been informed that nobody believed anything that AMANDALA said anyway. Peera went on to warn Hyde that if he published anything about troop movements or anything in connection with the Guatemala business, he would be doing so at his own risk. Hyde countered that he had been publishing at his own risk for seven years and that he had been to the Supreme Court more than once before. At this point Peera began screaming and Hyde departed. After the incident, the publisher of AMANDALA is CREAM has stated: “Their problem is that nobody believes anything from the BELIZE TIMES or RADIO BELIZE because of their habit of covering up and distorting the news. The people believe more in AMANDALA. Somebody has been misinforming Peera. But this looks like the beginning of the end for AMANDALA, because it has no political party or organized body to support it. First restrictions in publishing, and then arrest, and finally seizure and closing down of the press. There is little we can do. Both the PUP and UDP are against AMANDALA. They are too strong for us.”

CXC keeping up with technology
Very soon, students will be able to take their Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams online. It is CXC’s way of keeping up with an increasingly automated world. Juan Vargas, registrar of CXC in Belize, told Amandala that on March 3 and 4, he attended a meeting in Barbados with other registrars from the different CXC territories, and there, the council shared information on the implementation of the online exams. Prior to Vargas going to Barbados for the meeting, Dr. Carol Granston, Pro-Registrar, Second in Command of the CXC organization, visited Belize to meet with Ministry of Education personnel, principals of secondary schools and the CXC national committee. The purpose of the visit was to get additional information on how the online CXC exam process will be implemented, Vargas said.

Well-liked lab technician dies in traffic accident
A couple – Irma Ester Avella, 55, and her husband, Pastor Ricky Avella, 55, were driving to Flores, Peten (which they often visited for recreation and to attend church revivals) in rainy conditions when they got in a terrible accident. Ricky Avella survived the accident, but his wife Irma did not make it. Adan Sosa, Interim Administrator of La Loma Luz Hospital, told Amandala that Irma Avella worked at La Loma Luz Hospital for twelve years as supervisor of the medical lab. Sosa said that Ricky Avella was first taken to Hospital National de San Benito, then to Shalom Hospital on Saturday night. Thereafter, family members brought him to La Loma Luz Hospital on Sunday night and on Wednesday, he was released and sent home, where he is recuperating, Sosa said.

Powers of Immigration boss to be delegated to Hon. Bev Castillo
Prime Minister Dean Barrow tabled a raft of amendments to legislation tailored to provide a carve-out for Minister of State Beverly Castillo, United Democratic Party area representative for Belize Rural Central, to function in the substantive role of Immigration boss, Senator Godwin Hulse. Hulse, the current Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration, was reassigned the Immigration portfolio last November when a new Cabinet was sworn in following the November 4 general elections. However, Castillo, who had snagged her first victory at the polls over the incumbent member at that time, the Opposition People’s United Party member, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, was named Minister of State in that ministry, with emphasis on Immigration. At the sitting of the House of Representatives this Tuesday, Barrow proposed amendments to Belize’s Nationality Act, Immigration Act, Passports Act, Refugee Act and Caribbean Community Free Movement of Skilled Persons Act, to allow Hulse to issue a revocable instrument to delegate powers he now has as substantive minister to Castillo.

Spike in cattle diseases reported
Agricultural authorities are reporting an upsurge in two fatal cattle diseases – blackleg disease, which kills those infected with it within two days, and rabies, which causes death within 10 days. Dr. Miguel Depaz, director of the Animal Health Department at the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), told Amandala that 16 of the 25 cattle deaths have been reported from Toledo and the deaths in that district have all been due to blackleg disease, which was determined through clinical diagnosis of dead animals. He said that infected cattle, which have been showing up in every district except the Belize and the Stann Creek districts, were disposed of. Laboratory tests have confirmed bovine rabies in four cases in Orange Walk and Cayo. The diseases are observed every year, usually at the start of the year, but this year, they are more pronounced, Depaz told us.

5 persons missing
Five persons have been reported missing. They are Alexis Cardinez , 15, of Victoria Street, Belize City; Kirk Dennison, 15, of Ladyville; Jonathan Dominguez 18, of Biscayne; Miguel Rejon of Orange Walk Town; and Carlos Sanchez, 24. Kirk Dennison was reported missing on January 4. His mother told police that at about 7:30 that morning, Kirk was sleeping in his bed, and she went out, but when she came back home at about 6:30 that evening, he was not at home, and she does not know where he is. He is described as being of brown complexion and weighs about 120 lbs. He is about 5 feet tall and has a tattoo of the word “MURDER” on his left arm and chest. Another young man who has been reported missing is Jonathan Dominguez, 18, of Biscayne, who left his mother’s home on Airport Road, Ladyville, on his way to a family friend’s residence in Ladyville, and was last seen on Thursday, February 25, at about 8:00 that night.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Major Caye Alert! “They” don’t want DJ Khaled to come to Belize
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) made international headlines today when it Tweeted an offer to Snapchat king DJ Khaled, to come to Belize for a one week vacation on the board. In the video posted by the BTB, there were a series of references […]

Osmer Sabido takes the stand in murder trial of Christie Carrasco
Osmer Sabido, accused of the stabbing death of his girlfriend, Christie Carrasco on February 28th 2011 took the stand this afternoon for well over two hours. Sabido gave his account of what transpired on the night of February 28th, saying he first arrived at the […]

Athlete of the week: Jerry Rhaburn
Jerry Bruce Rhaburn was born in the small village of Flowers Bank in the Belize River Valley and raised in Burrell Boom where he attended Methodist Primary School. Rhaburn use to work at DNA construction before he started to paddle Canoe. When he took it […]

Rugby comes to Belize
A press release from the Belize Rugby Board (BRB), issued earlier today, announced the first ever event for that sport, which was held in Orange Walk Town over the weekend and organized with the assistance of Belize City’s Community Policing Unit, as well as […]

Nine child friendly municipalities to be awarded
The Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative is a collaboration between the Ministry of Labour, Local Government & Rural Development; the Mayors Association; UNICEF and UNDP that was signed by mayors of nine municipalities in 2014. Those municipalities, the cities of Belize and Belmopan […]

Woodrow West vs Shane Orio in the goal, Bandits face Honduran Progresso FC
Tonight there will be massive football action at the newly built Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium in Belmopan City. Our very own Belmopan Bandits FC will face off against the Progresso FC from Honduras. It’s going to be a goal keeper show down between former Bandits keeper […]

Father and son shot in Belize city
Forty-seven-year-old Dean Parks and his 13-year-old son are today recuperating at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after they were targeted by a lone gunman this morning. Belize City police responded to reports of a shooting at the corner of 4158 Jasmine and Marigold Lane […]

Dr. Mario Estradaban takes the stand on Osmer Sabido trial
The murder trial for Osmer Sabido, accused of killing his then-girlfriend, 21 year old Christie Carrasco continued today at the Orange Walk Supreme Court. A little after 10:00 this morning, Dr. Mario Estradaban, police pathologist, was cross examined by the prosecution and defense. Dr. Estradaban described each […]

GOB breaks ground for new schools in the West
Ground-breaking ceremonies are being held this afternoon in Belmopan City, as well as Santa Cruz Village in the Toledo District this afternoon for pre and primary schools that have been constructed by the Government of Belize through funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). These […]

VIP calls on GOB to take pro-active stance with Guatemala
A press release issued today by political party, Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), denounced Guatemala’s military aggression toward Belizean soldiers and citizens, who have recently been denied access into and around the Sarstoon River. The release states that Guatemala’s government is pursuing a […]


What a Glorious Day on Ambergris Caye to, Again, Be Bowled Over By Change!
I was gone for just about a month on my India mega-adventure and now I’m back. I am a full time resident of San Pedro. I live here all year- usually leaving once or twice for a family visit in the states for a week or two. But I haven’t been off the island for this long in years – and it gives me a small taste of the shock people must experience when they return to the island after a year or two. Things are changing quickly on our small caye – much of it stemming from the “new” road north. And briefly…just my 10 cents. It is my blog and all :) It is SO time to start putting some regulations and covenants in place to make sure building is done in a way that makes sense (both aesthetically AND for the infrastructure of our small caye.) This is an island dependent on tourism…and the current “jam as much stuff as you can on it as quickly as possible” situation is going to lead to one hot mess – one that turns off visitors to the island. Laws really need to be put in place NOW. Okay. Changes. Blue Dolphin House (beachfront) has filled in and built a heli-pad!!!! on the lagoon side. A heli-pad! I wonder if it has been used yet…and how much DUST will be kicked up by a landing.

“Something in the Air” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
For such a relatively small place such as Ambergris Caye is there always seems to be something new happening, and much of this revolves around construction. Buildings are knocked down and new buildings go up. Just around a year ago Sam’s Hardware store in Pescador Drive (middle street) was razed to the ground and a fence erected. And now? The foundations are in and the walls are going up. A little further down the road there’s been activity on the lot that has been empty for years. A bodega built and painted, fences erected and electricity connected. And then air conditioning was installed! What next ? This was not going to be a food stall.Obviously there was something in the air! And then yesterday it all became clear. Golf cart rental. It should have been obvious! But the build that I’ve been watching with a fair amount of interest is the hotel just south of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge that I first became aware of in November 2014. Why so interested? Well it’s the first hotel built on Ambergris Caye by Belizeans , including a well known and long standing San Pedrana family, for many, many years. Perhaps as much as 30/35 years. Rose and I had the pleasure a couple of weeks ago of trying the new hotel’s bar, the Rio Bar & Grill.

Beach or Jungle? Belize Gives You Both…And More
“From the moment I set foot on Belize, I fell completely in love,” says Mitch Quigly. “Belize is the perfect country. Pristine beaches on one side and beautiful, lush jungles on the other. It is a hidden paradise for anyone wanting a taste of life on the Caribbean or to live in the remote areas of the Maya.” Mitch has now lived in Belize for more than two years. Originally from Idaho, he had been working in the seafood industry in Port Angeles, Washington but knew that wasn’t how he wanted to live the rest of his life. Living in Belize has given him the opportunity to live life on his own terms without getting caught up in the typically stressful lives so many live in the States. “The feeling of independence that comes from starting something new in a foreign place is something beyond compare,” he says. Mitch didn’t just find his dream country—he found friends and a social life, and married a Belizean woman, Priscilla. Together they are creating a fantastic life in their Caribbean paradise. Priscilla owns a salon in Belize City and Mitch has set up a little wine shop to cater to that clientele. When they aren’t running their businesses, they take in all that Belize has to offer…the rainforests and farmlands of Cayo, the Placencia Peninsula surrounded by turquoise waters, or one of the many island getaways.

Tropical Island, Fresh Food, Small Business…Bliss!
The island of Ambergris Caye in Belize has been home for my husband, Marcos, and me for the past three years and during that time, I have learned to appreciate and love the more subtle changes of the seasons. I look forward to the time of the butterflies, or when the Roseate Spoonbills will return. My mornings start with coffee and bird songs on the veranda where I match the bird in my book to the sound my computer generates to name the bird. I check the message board and the weather and my calendar to plan my day. Shopping is done entirely differently, and on a daily basis, which I enjoy. Here, I do not find a recipe and make an ingredient list. Instead I find the foods first, then figure out what I will prepare. Fresh vegetables arrive on Tuesday and Saturday from mainland Belize, and there is a season for many things. When we first arrived, I could not imagine why vegetables and fruits tasted so much better than I could ever remember until I figured out that it is because everything is so fresh, literally just picked on the mainland and brought over on boats the same day. Finding a fresh Mango or an avocado is a treat, and has me planning ahead for cooking with the particular ingredients I know will be available. My shopping day is planned around what we can easily carry in our only vehicle—a gas golf cart.

International Sourcesizz

Obama Administration To Further Ease Restrictions On Cuba
The United States on Tuesday eased some of its Cuba restrictions before President Barack Obama's to the former Cold War enemy next week, allowing Cuba and its people greater access to U.S. financial institutions and relaxing travel limits. The trade and travel changes will allow Cubans to open U.S. bank accounts and authorize those living in the Unites States to earn a salary or compensation, the U.S. government said. Amendments to U.S. regulations will also allow individuals to visit Communist-ruled country for "people-to-people educational travel," the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments said in a statement. The easement comes as Obama prepares to travel to Cuba March 21-22 amid moves toward normal relations with the island nation just 90 miles (145 km) from Florida's coast.

Belice y Guatemala dialogarán sobre disputa fronteriza
Varios representantes del gobierno de Belice y de Guatemala mantendrán una reunión el martes en Washington , para tratar de reducir la tensión entre ambos países a causa de la disputa fronteriza que enfrentan por la soberanía de un islote del río Sarstún. En un comunicado difundido hoy, el Gobierno de Belice detalló que la negociación tendrá lugar días después de que ocurriera una "nueva escalada" en la controversia. Según detalló, el sábado en la noche un grupo de las Fuerzas Armadas de Guatemala protagonizó un altercado verbal con tropas de Belice en la frontera del río Sarstún, reclamando soberanía sobre sus aguas. El incidente, que no tuvo serias repercusiones, llevó a que el primer ministro de Belice, Dean Barrow, enviara una carta de protesta al presidente de Guatemala, Jimmy Morales.

Does shark skin really reduce drag? Not so fast, study says
Many experts have long touted the benefits of covering surfaces in shark skin-like ridges called "riblets" because the technology has been purported to significantly reduce drag. But a new study in the journal Physics of Fluids finds that the denticles covering shark skin might actually increase drag in some situations – indicating that the premise of this technology might be fundamentally wrong. You might expect sharks, deadly fast as they are, to have smooth skin allowing them to slip through the water with ease and speed. But a shark's skin is actually covered in tooth-like features called denticles. “It was a very rough texture — it’s unlike anything I have touched,” said study co-author Fotis Sotiropoulos, a fluid dynamicist at Stony Brook University, who felt one during a snorkeling trip on the coast of Belize. Researchers have long thought that these denticles must manipulate the flow around sharks' bodies in ways that allowed them to reduce drag. In fact, the tiny features have inspired "riblets," patterns of ridges used to manipulate the flow at the surface. These structures, found in a variety of patterns, have been incorporated into wind turbines (to increase efficiency) and swimsuits (to raise swimming speed) and have even been developed for medical devices (to reduce hospital-acquired infections).

This Wing-Like Device Allows You To Fly Underwater In Epic Fashion
In search of cool ideas to jot down on this year’s summer bucket list? Well, you might want to add “underwater flying” to the very top of that list! In a recent video uploaded to YouTube by Devin Super Tramp, the YouTube-famous videographer ventures underwater in Belize with a team of experienced divers. Only, these divers weren’t really doing any diving — or swimming, for that matter. Instead, they were hanging onto a wing-like device called the Subwing, which basically allows you to “fly” underwater. The results? Absolutely exhilarating. The best part? You, too, can fly underwater and it’ll only run you a cool $300.

Ambergris Caye: A Top Caribbean Retirement Spot
This part of Belize is welcoming, friendly and authentic. Ambergris Caye, Belize, is a small island in the Caribbean surrounded by turquoise waters and skirted along its eastern side by the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Living on Ambergris, you could wake each morning to the sound of waves lapping gently onto the white sand beaches just outside your window and the faint crash of the ocean farther out breaking against the coral reef. Belize is English-speaking, has a stable government and is part of both the British Commonwealth and Caribbean Community and Common Market. Ambergris Caye is the largest of Belize's 200 or so cayes and 35 miles long. The reef runs up to and touches the island in the northeast at a rocky point. Ambergris Caye's heart is San Pedro Town, which is home to a big and growing community of expats and foreign retirees and also an increasingly bustling tourist destination with the restaurants and nightlife that those realities suggest. In addition, the island is enjoying one of the biggest publically funded investments in infrastructure in its history, including an ambitious road building project to allow better access to the relatively untamed northern half. Also under construction is the island's first mixed-use sports and athletics facility, and Belize's prime minister has announced plans for the country's second international airport at the northern end of Ambergris.

Latin America and the Caribbean called on to strengthen efforts on cybersecurity
Leaders of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS) on Monday called on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to step up their efforts on cybersecurity after releasing a new study, carried out by the two institutions with the support of Oxford University, that shows the region is highly vulnerable to potentially devastating cyber-attacks. The 2016 Cybersecurity Report, Are we ready in Latin America and the Caribbean?, shows that four out of every five countries in the region do not have a cybersecurity strategy or plans for protecting critical infrastructure. Two out of three countries do not have a command and control center for cybersecurity. And a large majority of prosecutors lack the capacity to punish cybercrimes and face other problems as well. The report analyzes the state of preparedness of 32 countries based on 49 indicators. It is the first significant examination of the level of preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean against the growing threat of cybercrime.


  • Examining Recent Aggression in Sarstoon Region, 28min.

  • Arturo Vasquez and Sharry Sampson of the BCCI on E Government, 25min.

  • Kim Vasquez and Gayla Lopez on the Women In Art Exhibit, 32min.

  • Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, Belize, 3.5min.

  • Watching a pelican fish in Belize, 1/2min. I could watch these amazing fishers all day long.

  • Belize Coast Guard Wonder Woman Challenge, 20min.

  • Trip "Les Ameriques" part 1 - San Francisco - Mexico - Belize, 3min. First Part of our trip "Les Ameriques": San Francisco - California Yucatan Peninsula - Mexico and Caye Caulker - Belize.

  • Drone over Belize River at the Ruta Maya, min.

  • SMU RUF Belize 2016, 12min.

  • Travel : Belize, 17min. Belize city, Caye caulker, San Pedro ambergris caye, ezboy tours, family, friends.

  • Belize La Ruta Maya 2016, 4min. The La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is a grueling multi-day canoe race traveling a perilous river route across the country of Belize. The route runs West to East along the Macal and Belize Rivers, once the only link between beautiful San Ignacio, in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, and the bustling port of Belize City. This is a race for everyone (not just professional racers)!

  • Mountain Biking Black Rock, Belize, 6min. A sample of the trails at Black Rock Lodge and the route to CheChemHa.


  • My Sweet Belize by Roots And Thunder, 5min. Roots And Thunder new hit.

  • belize eagle rays and fishes, 5min.

  • Links
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    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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