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Today's Belize News: April 5, 2016 #512865
04/05/16 05:42 AM
04/05/16 05:42 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,862
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro AIDS Commission undertakes new beautification project
An educational and sensitive message on HIV/AIDS is being portrayed on a mural at the local high school. This is another of the several beautification projects that the San Pedro Aids Commission has engaged in, with the purpose of launching an attractive educational campaign about the consequences of contracting the deadly virus. According to Felix Ayuso, President of the San Pedro Aids Commission, they have several projects on the table, but are tackling them one at a time. He added that they want to be more involved in the community, and with the mural by the San Pedro High School (SPHS), this is their first step in promoting their services on the island. After several of their past murals around town were vandalized, Ayuso takes this opportunity to ask the community to be more supportive and take the matter seriously. “There is a message of awareness, love and how to treat others with the virus in our paintings,” he said. “Every time our paintings are vandalized, we paint them over again. However, that is not the purpose; we want everyone to be more concerned and educated about HIV/AIDS.

2016 Lobster Fest is set!
It has been more than a month since lobster season closed, and a number of folks sure miss the taste of the succulent crustacean. But great news has arrived from the San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee (SPLFC). Almost two and half months prior to the launch of this years’ Lobster Fest, the official date of the festivities is being announced, which gives participants plenty of time to prepare. Voted the #1 festival in Belize by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the 10th annual San Pedro Lobster Fest will be kicking off with a pre-season opening party on Wednesday, June 15th. The SPLFC along with the San Pedro Business Association would also like to announce that they have newly constructed a website:, which provides a rundown of the festival. For the most part, the majority of dates have been confirmed for 2016.

More carts arrive on the island despite constant complaints
Despite constant complaints, letters from disgruntled visitors, and residents’ vocal opposition, overwhelming traffic remains a major problem on Ambergris Caye. On many occasions, the Mayor of San Pedro Town has stated that no golf cart rental companies would be allowed to increase their fleet. However, the arrival of containers full of carts says otherwise. The question remains: “How does the addition of so many more carts resolve our growing traffic problem?” In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Daniel Guerrero indicated that effective Friday, April 1, 2016, a moratorium on the importation of golf carts to the island will kick in, ending the situation. “The moratorium has already kicked in for the vehicles, as no more luxurious or big vehicles are allowed on the island. But starting April, the moratorium will apply to everything, especially for golf cart companies that want to bring additional golf carts, it will not happen,” said Guerrero. He did admit that in the past week a few additional golf carts made it to some of the island’s golf cart rental companies. However, he assured it is coming to an end very soon. “No more golf carts are coming for the rentals and no more new golf cart rental companies will be granted permits to open,” said Guerrero. “The only additional golf carts you might see coming to the island is because these places have permits to bring over a certain amount of carts and they have not brought in all of them. However, when a permit is issued, is only good for three months, after that it is voided. So they need to bring whatever it is within that period of time.” Guerrero also mentioned that after April 1st no more permits will be issued and to his knowledge, if there are any additional golf carts coming to the island after that date, it is a very minimal amount.

Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!
As a tourism destination, excessive garbage in public areas should be non-existent. In San Pedro alone, plastic, aluminum, Styrofoam, glass, and paper often make an unpleasant appearance on our streets, beaches, and empty lots. Not only does garbage make people’s nose cringe, it also has consequences such as extensive pollution and health problems. In an effort to maintain a healthy society, the San Pedro Town Council urges residents to eliminate unsightly waste by not littering. Improper disposal of garbage happens when people opt to drop their garbage anywhere, rather than finding a proper bin to throw it in. Mayor Daniel Guerrero is concerned about the unappealing sight of trash and it is their biggest problem. “We have to make changes. It is not like we are not fighting it, it is just the people. We have to change this culture of throwing trash everywhere,” said Guerrero. Most of our solid waste is not biodegradable, so trash can survive for thousands of years. When people throw garbage in the ocean, marine creatures are subjected to ingesting those items. “We have talked about banning foam plates and foam cups and encouraging biodegradable products. It is expensive, but that is where the government kicks in, and gives an incentive,” said Guerrero.

Ambergris Today

New Executive Board Elected for San Pedro Justice of the Peace Association
After a dormant period of two years, the San Pedro Chapter of the Justices of the Peace Association held election of officers for the period 1916-1918. Very popular figure, always active inspirational speaker and philanthropist, Clive Welsh, was first coaxed and then unanimously supported so that he easily accepted the very honorable and respectable position of President of the San Pedro Justices of the Peace Association. Other elected and even self nominated members are Angel Nuñez Vice President, Gerardo Reyes Secretary, Maria Elena Alamilla Treasurer and Ana Ico and Pedro Salazar Sr. Directors. (pictured above: Gerarfo Reyes, Maira Elena Alamialla, Clive Welsh and Angel Nuñez) The meeting held at Sun Breeze Conference Room listened to a report of outgoing President, who basically apologized for not being active as a group. "There are nine chapters of J.P. Associations in Belize," said National President Danny Madrid. “I would like to boast of San Pedro being the top in the country as it is in many other realms, but unfortunately it is not so."

Celebrity Spotting – Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Visits Blue Hole
Last week the town was buzzing with the news of celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern being in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize. Zimmern, a famous food writer, TV personality famous for his hosting Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel, last visit to the island was back in 2010 when he filmed for the Travel Channel. On his Instagram account, Zimmern says he and his family spent “eight glorious disconnected days” in Belize enjoying sun, sand, sea, and even ancient Maya exploring in the mainland. He and his family were spotted dining at island favorite Blue Water Grill among others, visited the Truck Stop and calling it his new favorite joint, eating cow foot soup, snorkeling the Great Blue Hole, visiting Xunantunich Maya Archeological Site and exploring the cave of the crystal maiden, Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave). Andrew enjoyed vacationing in Belize with his wife Rishia and son Noah.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch April 9th Cookout Fun
Come join the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch for a fun afternoon of food, drinks, music and fun! Saturday, April 9th starting at 1pm at Caribe Island Resort. Just 2-1/2 Miles South - turn toward the beach at Marin's Market towards Suya Tours or by boat - look for the pink and pull up to the dock. Your $25 BZ donation will net you a delicious plate of food, plus one drink. Additional beer, rum or sodas are available for additional donations. We will auction off great treats from Mata Rocks, Suya Tours, Black Orchid, Lone Star Cantina and MORE. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon but with music by Valentino and good neighbors and their guests - everyone is welcome! See you Saturday!

Splashers Paint Party Events
Come paint with us "Lobster Claw Flower" this Thursday at Crazy Canucks. See you there! April 7, 2016, 2:00 PM

Cayo a Top Central American Destination
Congratulations are in order. Cayo was listed on Trip Advisor's top 10 Central American destinations, based upon travelers' experiences in the region. As it should be, since we have so much to do, including Cahal Pech, seen in the picture. Cayo came in at 7th place. San Pedro, the only other Belize entry, came in 1st place. "It’s true: parts of Belize are getting touristy. But San Ignacio remains rustic, making it a great base for budget-friendly tropical adventure travel. Canoe on the Macal River, or walk to Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech (just be warned: it's uphill)."

Belizean Diaspora Voting Rights
Help support the peace pilgrimage to Sarstoon this September... There are 1,188 members of Belizean Diaspora Voting Rights Face Book Group. If you are a member of this group and you are receiving this post, please consider making a personal commitment to join in peaceful solidarity with other Belizeans at home and abroad to Stand Up for Sarstoon in September. I have created a gofundme account to help pool our resources together to support a massive peaceful solidarity movement in September. There are many dedicated folks back home who have already begun the work of defending Belize’s territorial integrity. Those of us abroad can join in and help to broaden the coalition and bring folks together.

2nd Annual Autism Awareness 5k April 17th in San Pedro
Join us to run/walk to raise awareness of autism!

Corozal Community College (CCC) Marching Band VICTORY Parade
The Corozal Community College (CCC) Marching Band will be having its VICTORY Parade and performance on Friday April 8th, 2016. They will be starting from College Road at 4:00 p.m. and will end at Andres Campos Civic Center where they will perform. All past Marching Band members are asked to join wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. This is the beginning of the official launch of our 10 years anniversary!

This is a situation becoming too common in Belize. Former friend, Jamie Engledow Cozby says Tammy Tomaini working as a realtor in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is a "CON-ARTIST" and to beware. In a facebook post to the "Belize Expat" page Jamie Engledow Cozby writes and we quote: Just putting this information on this site so that it can be seen by as many people as possible. Its time she was stopped for good!This con artist by the name of TAMI MCDOWELL, whom came to San Pedro in November, unbeknownst to us,running from YEARS of criminal history back in Tallahassee ,Florida. She comes in the form of a petite and pretty bleach blonde,with big boobs and shiny white teeth(whom she conned a Florida dentist out of for 35,000 US). She came with an elaborate story that she owned a huge estate here in San Pedro from her deceased father(that supposedly lived here for 30 years and died last year). The huge house north of Grand Caribe supposedly was bringing her in income of 3500.00 US per month, when all along this house was never hers and the owners are the ones that built the house many years ago(they have since been informed of her bogus claims)

Panama Papers Implicate Ashcroft’s BCB Holdings, Offering New Light to Belize’s Banking Crisis
Lord Michael Ashcroft has endured quite a bit of negative media coverage in Belize for his past sweetheart business deals between his companies and the Government of Belize. Today, however, the past UK House of Lords member and previous deputy chairman of the Conservative Party is under fire after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed that his offshore company represented Mossack Fonseca in Belize. Mossack Fonseca is a Panama-based law firm whose services include incorporating companies in offshore jurisdictions, and although it is based in Panama, it runs a worldwide operation. It’s the world’s fourth largest provider of offshore services. On Sunday April 3rd, 2016, the international media was in a frenzy as it covered the global network of offshore companies helping the wealthy hide their assets. It is considered the biggest leak ever, larger than WikiLeaks’ and Snowden’s- at 11.5 million documents and 2.6 terabytes of information drawn from Mossack Fonseca’s internal database. More than three hundred journalists, the ICIJ claims, reviewed the leaked documents to expose a list of clients that included those involved in bribery, arms deals, tax evasion, financial fraud, and drug trafficking. The ICIJ reports that Belize Corporate Services (BCS), a subsidiary of Ashcroft’s company BCB Holdings, began using Mossack Fonseca to provide shell corporations for its clients in 2006. Belize Corporate Services also owns Belize Bank International and Belize Bank Limited.

New Gilman Scholar currently posted in Belize
The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce that there is a new Gilman Scholar currently posted in Belize is Ms. Johania Augustin. Ms. Johania is a college student at Kennesaw State University in the United States and is currently living in San Ignacio, Belize working at the Cornerstone Foundation to promote literacy as part of her fellowship. The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. International experience is critically important in the educational and career development of American students, but it can also require a substantial financial investment. The Gilman Scholarship Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study and intern destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Channel 7

Businessman Narrates Testifying Tale Of Extortion In Chetumal
On last week Thursday's news we told you about a Belizean businessman who had to be rescued from a Chetumal Hotel by the Mexican Navy after receiving a very serious extortion threat. Tonight, we have his full first hand account - and the story he relates may turn your view of Chetumal upside down - apparently, it's not the charming and relatively crime free border town you thought it was! But, first off, he asked us to mask his identity because the threats were so direct and made use of so much detailed personal information. But he says he had to come forward, because Belizeans need to recognize that when they go to Chetumal to breeze off for a weekend, the Mexican mafia could be watching them. His story begins on Easter Monday night, March 28th, at 11:40 in his room at the Fiesta Inn, when he, his wife and daughter were awakened by a person he thought to be the receptionist:...

Selena's Second Killing In Three Months Is A Machete Murder
The tiny village of Selena near Spanish Lookout has seen its second brutal murder in three months. 63 year old Guatemalan farmer Edgar Aldana was drinking with people he thought to be friends early Saturday morning. But one of the men turned on him, and hacked him to death. Courtney Weatherburne found out more today:... Plantain, Custard apple and lime - these are just a few of the fruit trees that Edgar Aldana planted and took care of for his friend. After maintaining the yard he would cool off on his hammock beneath the shade of his labor. He lived a routine and solitary life here on this farm. He moved to Belize from Guatemala about 6 years ago and has made this place his home. Now apart from farming, he also enjoyed hanging out with his friends in the school yard near his home. Aldana along with his friend Ruben Manzon and another man were all drinking late Friday night. Everything was quite normal until 2 other men from the village showed up at his house around 3:00 Saturday morning. That is when a confrontation erupted among Aldana, Manzon and the 2 men. One of the 2 men then pulled out a machete and chopped Aldana and Manzon to their head and face.

PUP Rep Knocks Down Trial Farm Woman, She's Critical
Last week, the major story in the news was the death of Gardenia Resident Dean Dawson Sr, who was knocked down by Government Press Office Director, Dorian Pakeman. Well, tonight, Jose Mai, who is the PUP's the Orange Walk South Area Representative, is the one under pressure after he knocked down Trial Farm Resident Julia Arana. She survived, but the mother of the well-known elite cyclist Nissan Arana, is in a critical condition at the KHMH tonight. We've learned that it happened at around 8:00 on Friday night in Trial Farm Village, less than 24 hours after Hilberto Coyoc was knocked down and killed there. Her family tells us that she was crossing the road when Mai knocked her down in his Toyota Hilux. We're told that she suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a concussion. She was bleeding from the head when she was rushed to the Northern Regional, and then further transferred to the KHMH. This afternoon, Nissan Arana, spoke with us about her current medical status, and about the possible causes of the accident:

Cops Bust Human Smuggling Operation In Benque
A human smuggling operation was busted this weekend in Benque Viejo. According to reports, sometime on Saturday night about two truckloads of police raided a home on Mahogany Street, in Benque Viejo Town. 12 Salvadorans, including 1 minor and 1 female were found inside. None of them had any cash or passports. The only thing in their possession was Salvadoran identification cards. They were believed to have been smuggled across the border, and then put up in a house by a couple from Benque. The smuggling operation had been ongoing for some days - and, investigators believe, that when the group gets large enough, they would then be taken north to Corozal, for smuggling to Mexico, and from there to the US. How did they get into Belize? Well, sources suggest that they may have been taken right across the border in a vehicle that usually isn't checked. Now as we said before, these persons were smuggled and not trafficked inside Belize. But in situations like these, especially cases involving minors, the difference between the two becomes muddied and a smuggled person might become a trafficked person. CEO in the Ministry of Human Development spoke to us about when and how they get involved in instances of the illegal transshipment of human beings.

Police Waiting For Victim's Toxicology Report In Pakeman Case
Last week, Government Press Office Director Dorian Pakeman knocked down and killed Gardenia resident Dean Dawson Sr. Right now, both he and the investigators are waiting to see whether or not he will be facing criminal charges. Ladyville Police told us that for this particular case, they will consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions on what decision should be taken. The DPP's Office has not received the police file on the case yet, and the reason for that, according to the commanding officer, is because they are waiting for a toxicology report. As we told you, a sample from Dean Dawson was taken and sent out for testing, and the results are not in as yet. As soon as the police know whether or not Dawson was under the influence when he died, the file and all the documents are supposed to be handed over to the DPP.

A Multi-Million Dollar Youth Center For Southside
4.6 million dollars will go into the construction of a brand new youth facility in the Lake I Community on Chetumal Street - south. The construction of this facility is a part of a wider Youth and Community Transformation Project that is being funded in part by the Government of Belize and the Caribbean Development Bank. Today, after almost 4 years of planning the ground was finally broken at a ceremony to mark the commencement of the works. Melissa Miralda, Human Dev. Coord. - Rehab Dept.: "Welcome to the Lake independence Resource Center ground breaking ceremony. This is an occasion whose time has come after years of planning and aspirations towards the commencement of this essential facility. I can attest that this dream has been shared by our director Miss Bradley for some time now. We dreamt of a space that is protected and safe, that is owned by the communities and where the germination such as sports, arts and culture, literacy and life skills to be honed and shared."

Curfew Questions From Human Dev Dept.
The topic of Child Curfew has been all over the news since Southside Commander ACP Chester Williams announced the launch of his 9pm Southside Kids Curfew a few weeks ago. Several child advocacy groups have expressed concerns about taking blameless children into the police station for parental neglect. The South Side Commander has since been making his rounds trying to build consensus amongst social sector stakeholders. The key agency in all this is the Ministry of Human Development. Today Judith Alpuche, the CEO in that Ministry, told us about some the concerns that they have with the proposed Child Curfew Program. "We understand and share the ultimate objective of keeping children safe. We have concerns about the methodology that is being proposed and so we are in discussions; I think that has come up in the media that we are in discussions with the police and other entities to see how we can do this more holistically. To me this is a piece of the puzzle - what we are doing here with the LIRC, what we are doing with the YCT, what is going on at Gateway, because it is really about the prevention side."

BDF Soldier Was Ambushed By 7 Guatemalans
BDF Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey continues to recover from his injuries which he suffered on Holy Saturday. He was ambushed near the Western Border in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, a short distance away from the Valentin Conservation Post which adjoins the Guatemalan village of La Rejoya. The government has not released any additional details on the incident, but an internal report written by the BDF to National Security CEO George Lovell was leaked to the media late last week. That report, dated March 31, confirms that the soldiers were ambushed by 7 men believed to be Guatemalan Nationals. 3 of them were armed with weapons which resembled .22 rifles. The patrol was on its way to conduct a water re-supply mission at the only water source nearby. That water source is in Belizean territory, about 343 meters east of the border. Staff Sergeant Lambey, who was the Valentin Patrol Commander, reportedly identified 3 separate groups of armed men on both sides of the trail.

Health: Finnish Woman Didn't Get Zika in Belize
A Finnish woman had an abortion after she tested positive for Zika - and the thing is, she recently visited Belize, Guatemala and Mexico and doesn't know where she was infected. The 33 year old woman was 5 months pregnant when she had the abortion. She did it because she feared her child would be born with microcephaly. She just didn't want to take the risk because tests were already showing the damage the virus was causing to the fetus's brain. Now the alarming element to this story is that she could have gotten infected in Belize. But Health CEO Dr. Ramon Figueroa said they believe she was infected in Guatemala and the Ministry is confident in their clean up efforts and surveillance routines. They will keep on monitoring but for now Belize still remains Zika free.

Boledo Brouhaha On Sunday
If you are a boledo and lottery enthusiast, you are probably still bitter about what happened with this Sunday's Lottery draw. There was an uproar from residents out at the Magistrates Court for the drawing when one of 4 balls didn't pop up in the chamber. The residents demanded they release all the balls and start all over but, instead, one of the supervisors manually picked the ball for the 2nd digit. That infuriated the crowd even more and reports are that people went to erase the numbers on the chalkboard and someone even banged on the machine. Police had to be called out to calm the crowd. Today we spoke with Lottery Committee Secretary Lewin Samuels and he explained to us what happened on Sunday and also what the standard procedure is in cases a like these. Lewin Samuels, Secretary, Lottery Committee: "Basically it was an unfortunate situation. What was reported to me is that whilst playing the lottery game, during the process of the first prize, the second ball did not popped up as per normal during the process of the first prize. So of 4 balls, we had 3 balls that came up; ball number 1,3 and 4. 3 and 4 which forms the winning lottery numbers - that the ending prize. The 4 did not popped up. But these machines which is the smart play machine, its computerized where it automatically selects the ball based on timing and for some unknown reason like anything else, you have a machine that malfunctions. The reason why we had a public unrest is because if they wanted to see the game be replayed.

UDP's Ground Commander Plays Cagey
The race for UDP first deputy - is really the race for the next party leader, and that's why with 6 to 8 weeks to go before a convention, both candidates are knocking themselves out for the support of a little over three hundred delegates. And to get delegates, you need standard bearers and representatives and so far the two have received several endorsements from their party colleagues. A few UDP parliamentarians have been very open about their favored candidate but some have been clutching their cards close to their chests. So who is the very vocal Minister Boots Martinez siding with in this heated race? You might think his most natural favorite would be Patrick Faber because that would keep the party power concentrated in the city. But it's not that simple, apparently: Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Minister of Human Development: "No sir." Reporter: "Both candidates have put forward. Why they feel like they are the better one?"

The Panama Papers And Belize
If you've been following the international news this weekend, you'll know all about the release of the Panama Papers. It's 11.5 million financial and legal records from a Panamanian law firm known as Mossack Fonseca and Company. The investigative journalists who reviewed these documents say that it exposes a global network of tax-evasion, which, quote, "enables crime, corruption and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies." They say that the leak from Mossack-Fonseca shows how 140 politicians, public officials, and prominent business persons from 200 countries and territories around the world, have attempted to hide a total of about $2 billion in offshore banks and shadow companies. The entire financial network, according to the Panama Papers, hinged on Mossack Fonseca and Company, which was the law firm allegedly hired to hide the monies of these 140 prominent individuals, including current and former world leaders, and politically or financially well-connected persons.

Road Works In the Capital Have 5 More Months
Belmopan is getting three new roundabouts and an overall facelift for the entire ring road. Last year contracts were awarded in the amount of $1.9 million dollars for a roundabout at the Guanacaste Park Junction and $6.1 million dollars for additional works inside the city. Bur residents want to know when will it be done, and when will they get their city back? We asked the Mayor: All works are expected to be completed by September. That means that the Belmopan population and those who are visiting have to endure five more months of grueling traffic congestion in the center of the city. The Mayor explained to us how their council is coping with this issue. Works are being conducted by RJB constructions and Belize Road way Construction Limited.

Andrew Zimmern In Belize
If you watch the Travel channel then you would know all about Andrew Zimmern and his popular show "Bizarre Foods." Well the famous food writer and TV personality was in Belize recently. He posted last week in his Instagram page that he and his family spent "eight glorious disconnected days" in Belize. They hit San Pedro Ambergris Caye, and Halfmoon caye, snorkeled in the Great Blue Hole and visited Xunantunich Maya Archeological site and explored the ATM cave. Now of course this is not Zimmern's first time in Belize. The Travel Channel star visited Belize in 2009 when he filmed a part of his new show "Bizarre World." Well it seems the eat-anything host of Bizarre foods enjoyed his stay quite a lot since he came back, this time tugging his family along for a few days of a Belizean style get-a-away. His Instagram posts have already gotten a couple thousand hits.

Channel 5

B.D.F. Report Calls for O.A.S. and Guatemalan Reaction after Shooting
On Holy Saturday, B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was shot as he led a patrol to a water source near Valentin Camp in the Chiquibul. After undergoing treatment at the [...]

Altercation in Selena Results in Bloody Murder
The last time News Five travelled to the small community of Selena in the Cayo District, it was to cover the gruesome murder of Canadian producer Matthiew Klinck. Tonight, one [...]

P.U.P. Deputy Leader Served With NIP for RTA
Trial Farm resident Julia Arana remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after she was hit on Saturday night by Orange Walk South area representative Jose Abelardo Mai. Arana [...]

Nissan Arana Says Mother’s Condition Has Improved
Julia Arana is the mother of well-known cyclist Nissan Arana.  News Five spoke with him by phone this evening and he told us that he does not know much about [...]

In the Wake of the Stirm – A Dual Perspective
Debate continues to rage over remarks made by Evangelist Pastor Scott Stirm eight months ago comparing the Garifuna dugu ceremony to witchcraft. Scott has issued a light-hearted apology which has [...]

Popular Catholic Priest Supports Garifuna Spirituality
Appalling remarks made by Pastor Scott Stirm during his testimonial abroad continue to reverberate across the Garifuna community, in Belize and in the Diaspora.  While he has been candid in [...]

Are Salvadoran Immigrants a Part of Human Smuggling Operation?
Details are extremely sketchy and law enforcement authorities aren’t talking officially, but News Five has been able to confirm that at least eleven illegal immigrants were detained on Saturday night [...]

Human Development Ministry Has Concerns about Curfew
The implementation of a curfew on unaccompanied minors after nine p.m. by Eastern Division South Regional Commander Chester Williams has stirred a firestorm. ACP Williams announced several weeks ago that [...]

‘Boots’ Martinez Supports Curfew, But Says More Must Be Done
Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez, however, says that he supports the initiative. But that a curfew imposed on children won’t address the issue of minors being recruited to commit violent crimes. [...]

National Sports Council Under Fire for Parking Fees at MCC
A little over a month ago there was public concern over the construction of a parking lot at the MCC Grounds by the Princess Group. News Five investigated and found [...]

Anthony Morris Jr. Arraigned for Angelus Burglary
The Angelus Press Limited which is located just across from the Queen Street Police Station was burglarized during the Easter holidays. The police did not detect that a crime was [...]

Irvin Pitts Accused of Rape
An alleged sexual offender was arraigned this morning before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Forty-two year old Irvin Pitts was arraigned on a single charge of rape which reportedly occurred [...]

Lorenzo Garbutt on Remand for Alleged Rape of Minor
Another case of sexual assault was before the Chief Magistrate today. Twenty-six-year old Lorenzo Garbutt is accused of raping a minor four times in the period between March twenty-fifth, 2015 [...]

Largest Ever Data Leak Implicates World Leaders in Financial Shenanigans
It’s being dubbed as the biggest leak in the history of data journalism – eleven point five million leaked files, two point six terabytes of confidential documents – linking current [...]

‘Boots’ Martinez Still Undecided in Support for U.D.P. Deputy Leader
This Saturday, the United Democratic Party will hold a special national party council meeting to determine the date for a convention to elect a new first deputy leader. The post [...]

Family of Dean Dawson Still Calling for Justice after Fatal RTA
Last Wednesday, the Director of the Government Press Office hit and killed forty-five year old mechanic Dean Dawson between miles twenty-two and twenty-three on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Dawson died [...]

Sister of Dawson Alleges Special Treatment of Driver Dorian Pakeman
Diana Stevenson has carried out her own investigation at the scene of the accident in Gardenia Village on the Phillip Goldson Highway. She alleges Pakeman is getting special treatment.   [...]

G.O.B. Breaks Ground for Rehab Center in Belize City
A four point six million dollar facility will be constructed in the south side of the City with part of a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. When completed, it [...]

Capio Launches Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative
Two lucky young Belizeans with ideas on starting their own small business will get that opportunity, thanks to an initiative which was launched today. It’s the brainchild of another young [...]

Football, Basketball and Cycling Events in Weekend Sports
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday.   The 2016 PLB closing season concluded regular season play yesterday inside the MCC Grounds as the Belize Defense Force [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: April 5, 2016 [Re: Marty] #512866
04/05/16 05:42 AM
04/05/16 05:42 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,862
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Mother Of Popular Cyclist Knocked Down
On Friday night the Philip Goldson Highway was witness to yet another traffic accident. Luckily this one was not fatal but what is worrying is that it happened on the same stretch that claimed the life of 40 year old Trial Farm resident Hilberto Coyoc just a day before. Reports are that around 8:20pm, 54 year old Julia Arana was crossing the highway near the San Martin Gas Station in Trial Farm Village Orange Walk when she was knocked down by a Toyota Hilux traveling in the direction from Corozal to Orange Walk. The vehicle was driven at the time by Orange Walk South Area Representative and PUP Deputy Leader Honorable Jose Abelardo Mai. According to Orange Walk Police, while Mai tried to avoid hitting the victim he was unable to do so. Superintendent Selvin Tillett- Orange Walk Police Department:“He immediately stop to render aid an transported the female to the Northern Regional Hospital, the victim one Julia Arana, 39 years old domestic of Trial Farm Village, she was observed with injuries to the head and immediately underwent surgery and thereafter transported to the KHMH where she still remains under critical conditions, a urine sample has been obtained from Mr. Abelardo Mai and he had been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution and police continue investigating this issue.”

Failure Of Lottery Machine Causes Chaos In Belize
As viewers may recall, about six weeks ago during the Sunday lottery draw live show there was a malfunction with the machine that is utilized to conduct the drawing of the lottery numbers and as a result, the game had to be re-drawn to avoid any form of public chaos. However, tonight we can tell you that over the weekend, the machine malfunctioned for the second time and while the Lotteries Committee were attempting to resolve the problem, the Belizean citizens who were present to witness the live show at the Old Treasury Building in Belize City began to get uneasy and that is when things got out of hand. Reports are that two individuals went up to the board where the numbers were written and proceeded to wipe away the digits that had already been recorded by the supervisor. As a result of this particular action, authorities had to intervene to address the issue. Today we spoke to the Secretary of the Lotteries Committee, Lewin Samuels who told us about the incident.

Upgrading Of Street To Continue In Orange Walk Town
For the past couple weeks we have been reporting on works being carried out on several streets in town like Oleander street and most recently Orchid Drive. Today we have some more good news as the Orange Walk Town Council has been in discussion for a project that will see the rehabilitation and paving of eight major streets in Town. According to Mayor Kevin Bernard, even though these eight streets will be the main focus for the moment, the Orange Walk Town Council is working on the upgrading of several other streets.Mayor Kevin Bernard – Orange Walk Town Council:“Right now we ae in discussion with the contractor and after we have finalized the details I will then take the matter back to council so that we can get the resolution passed and then from se can see these works commence pretty soon, I think that is a very positive thing for our community and I want to say I am pretty sure there will be others that say but why these streets and not my street so while these streets we are going to work on we are still going to be looking at other areas for example I can tell you that the council has already purchased or is in the process of getting a proper roller compactor so that we can start to address more and more streets on our own so you should be seeing the council engaging in much more street works better street maintenance and better street repairs in terms of getting some of these things done.”

BSI/ASR - OWTC And OWPD Seek To Rehabilitate Independence Plaza
Also in their immediate plan to improve and upgrade infrastructure in our town, the Orange Walk town Council in partnership with the BSI/ASR and the Orange Walk Police have launched a campaign for the remodeling and restructuring of Independence Plaza, which has been in the shadows for quite some time. Today when we spoke to Mayor Bernard about the project he told us that he commends the initiative of BSI/ASR and the Orange Walk Police Department in taking a step forward in giving back to the community in a project that will bring the area back to life and create major benefit to families from the area and also residents from throughout Orange Walk Town.Mayor Kevin Bernard – Orange Walk Town Council:“I think that it is partnership like these that goes a long way because when you have a company such as BSI/ASR wanting to give back to their community in one way or the other and in this case the rehabilitation of the Independence Plaza is so benefitting because it will see a lot of improvements in that area, people uses that area a lot even though it may not be visible to many and it will bring much needed life to that area when the residence in the area and for families who travel that area wants to go and recreate in that area and I am sure that the police department will benefit a lot because now there will be now proper lighting there will be electricity in the area, we want to see our parks to become live again just like we did with Central Park and we are focusing on the Independence Plaza at this point in time and so definitely you should see some activity for our families and children.”

Belize among List Of Top Ten Destinations In Central America
TripAdvisor, an American website company that provides reviews of travel-related content internationally and is considered as the largest travel site in the world, has released their list of top ten recommended destinations to visit within Central America. Among the list of acknowledgement, San Pedro Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio Town in Belize were ranked as number one and number seven respectively.San Pedro, also known as ‘La Isla Bonita’, was categorized as number one on the list due to its gorgeous beaches and its profusion of dive shops that offer an assortment of recreational activities for tourists to enjoy. TripAdvisor also recommends travellers to visit Caye Caulker as it was classified as ‘less developed and more laid back with splendid swimming areas’.

Belize Describes As A Tax Haven As Millions Of Documents Are Leaked
Over the weekend the international media was in turmoil after a huge leak of confidential documents has revealed how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The documents show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax. In these documents it is speculated that that Belize Corporation Services (BCS), a subsidiary of Ashcroft’s BCB Holdings, which also owns the Belize Bank Ltd. and Belize Bank International Ltd., began using Mossack Fonseca to provide shell corporations for its clients in 2006. The documents went on to say that the Belize Bank International established a new company whose owners were the Panama firm’s founders, Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, along with partner Christopher Zollinger. The new firm was called M.F. & Co. (Belize) Limited and cooperated with BCS in creating companies and acting as registered agents in Belize.


Ashcroft Companies Surface in The Panama Papers
On the heels of a meeting, headed by the outgoing President of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, to discuss the financial challenges in the Caribbean due to the de-risking movements by the United States comes a report dubbed, The Panama Papers. The Panama Papers is the collection […]

Cyclist and Son of RTA Victim Speaks to Media
Elected Area Representative for Orange Walk South and the Opposition’s Deputy Party Leader for the northern region, Jose Abelardo Mai is in the hot seat tonight. Mai knocked down a woman on Friday in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk District. The incident happened just after eight o’clock in the night when Mai was heading to […]

Elected Representative Faces Traffic Charges
As we reported, forty six year old Jose Abelardo Mai has been issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution. Orange Walk’s Commanding Officer, Superintendent of Police, Selvin Tillett shared what charges Mai is facing. Selvin Tillett: “A urine sample has been obtained from Abelardo Mai and he has been served with a notice of intended prosecution […]

Murder on School Compound in Western Belize
Over the weekend, 63 year old Guatemalan national Edgar Aldana was chopped to death. It happened in the village of Selena in the Cayo District, specifically inside the compound of Iguana Creek Government School Compound. Apparently he and his friend got into a fight with two other men which resulted in his death. For more […]

Curfew Will Not Solve the Problems, Says Minister Martinez
Minister of HUman Development, Anthony “Boots” Martinez gave his view on the curfew being implemented on the southside of Belize City by Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams. Martinez said the curfew will not solve the problems of youths and there is much more for that can be done. ANTHONY MARTINEZ “A lot of the […]

CEO Alpuche – Keen on Children’s Safety; Iffy on Curfew Methodology
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche says they only agree on the goal of child safety. JUDITH ALPUCHE “We definitely have concerns. We understand and share the ultimate objective of keeping children safe. We have concerns about the methodology that is being proposed and so we are in discussions, I […]

Toledo Union Field to be Upgraded
Footballers, other athletes and fans can look forward to enjoying a refurbished Toledo Union Field and facilities later this year. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG Refurbishing of work on the Toledo Union field which began last year is done by Coleman Construction Limited with director and project manager Steven Coleman. Steven Coleman: “Work continues and […]

Woman’s Manslaughter Conviction Upheld by Appeals Court
An appeal by 44 year old Rosallia Castillo, who was charged with murder but was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years, was dismissed today by Belize Court of Appeal. Castillo’s conviction and sentence were affirmed. On December 22, 2014 in a trial that was without jury, Justice Antonette Moore found Castillo guilty of […]

Transformation Efforts via Resource Centre for Youth
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Transformation held a groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the Lake Independence Resource Centre. The center is a part of the Youth and Community Transformation (YCT) Project. The project is to reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in areas such as Collet, […]

Drama Unfolds Over Sunday Lottery Draw
Confusion and drama dominated this past Sunday’s Lottery draw at the court house in Belize City. Police had to be called out to control the unruly crowd. The machine malfunctioned and those who were out there to see the draw demanded that all the numbers be re-drawn but when the supervisors did not, the crowd […]


Man lying on road side run over by car
A fatal traffic accident claimed the life of 40-year-old Hilberto Coyoc last night in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk District. The incident happened between miles 55 and 56 on the Phillip Golodson Highway where Coyoc was allegedly lying down on the side of the road. An oncoming Mazda car driven at...

NEAB addresses statements made by Pastor Scott Stirm
On Wednesday the National Evangelical Association of Belize released a statement regarding the deliberate defamation of its Vice President, Pastor Scott Stirm, by various sectors of the Belizean society. The defamations stem from a heavily edited video posted to youtube and circulated with hundreds ...

Farming community complains about developer
Biospharm is the name of a small farming community developed by American Darin Michael Smith. The farm is just about 7 miles outside Spanish lookout in a small village called Los Tambos. It turns out that Smith’s idea was to take his property and subdivide it into small 1 acre plots which he...

Trevor McFoy is granted Supreme Court bail
22 year old Trevor McFoy, accused along with a minor of executing a broad daylight robbery at River Valley Supplies Gas Station in Scotland Halfmoon, was granted Supreme Court bail today by Judge Troadio “John” Gonzales this morning. No application has been heard yet for the 17 year old minor cha...

MLA says Rupert Myles’ hill house still occupied
As we reported yesterday, Rupert Myles has moved on from the house standing on a hill within the complex of the Uxbenka ruin in the village of Santa Cruz, Toledo. But has he, really? Not according to Program Coordinator for the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA), Pablo...

Luis Carballo recieves Paul Harris Award
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio honored Luis Carballo as the recipient of the Paul Harris Award. The Paul Harris award recognizes outstanding commitment to a community and outstanding work in one’s vocation. Carballo received the award as an educational leader who strives to make his community...

Atlantic International Bank ranked #1 as the best place to work in Central America and the Caribbean
Atlantic International Bank Ltd has been certified as a Great Place to Work and Ranked #1 as the best place to work in Central America and the Caribbean. Great Place to Work® is the global authority on building, sustaining and recognizing high-trust organizational cultures. The Great Place to Work® ...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Ministry of Human Development implementing recommendations in Youth Hostel fire report
A report commissioned by the Ministry of Human Development following an investigation into the fatal Youth Hostel fire last November continues to be delayed for public release because of ongoing legal and similar procedures masterminded by the Public Service Commission and Solicitor General’s Office. While […]

Burglar hits Angelus Press for cash
Police have arrested and charged 38 year old Anthony Morris, Jr., customer care representative of Simon Lamb Street, Belize City, in connection with a burglary at the main office of Angelus Press Limited on Queen Street – right across from Precinct 3, the Queen Street […]

Charged for unlawful sex with minor
Fisherman 26 year old Lorenzo Garbutt of Belize City is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 14 year old minor no less than 4 times in five days at the end of March. Garbutt did not enter a plea before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith this morning. […]

Man charged for oral rape
The upgraded criminal code statutes on rape now include oral penetration of the victim. 42 year old plumber of Belize City, Irvin Pitts, has been charged for intentionally and unlawfully penetrating the mouth of a woman whom he was supposed to drop off at home […]

UDP gets ready for deputy leadership race
Minister of Education Collet area representative Patrick Faber and Minister of National Security and Belmopan area representative John Saldivar are the declared candidates for the post of first deputy leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP). While no date has been set for their face-off, […]

Appeal dismissed for woman convicted of manslaughter
44 year old Rosalia Castillo continues to serve a 12 year sentence on a manslaughter charge after her appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed today. Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore found Castillo guilty of the lesser charge to murder in Belmopan in […]

Why Human Development Minister supports police “curfew”
Popular opinion continues to be divided on the necessity and effectiveness of an announced initiative by Officer Commanding Eastern Division (South), Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, to try to control the population of unaccompanied minors hanging on street corners and in some cases coerced […]

BDF shot by fellow officers?
The Belize Defence Force has written National Security CEO George Lovell providing an update on the shooting incident inside the Chiquibul Forest Reserve on March 26th. That is when Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was shot near Camp Valentin. According to the report referenced by […]

New youth center to be built in Lake Independence
A new Lake Independence Resource Center costing 4 point 6 million Belize dollars is to be built over the next eighteen months on a plot situated along the Lake Independence Boulevard/Chetumal Street Extension. It is one of several projects established under the Youth and Community […]

Lord Ashcroft, Belize implicated in ‘Panama Papers’ leak
Lord Michael Ashcroft, the billionaire Belizean investor, has denied any involvement with Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law-firm at the heart of the “Panama Papers” leak. Described as an “unprecedented” leak, the papers constitute some 11.5 million files from the fourth biggest offshore law firm in the […]

City men detained for robbery of teenagers
Two Belize City men have been detained by police and are pending charges after allegedly robbing a pair of teenage construction workers of their cellphones on Saturday night while they walked near the NAPA roundabout on the Philip Goldson Highway. The boys, 19 and […]

Crack and weed found in Hattieville and Mahogany Heights
Police operations in the Hattieville area on Friday morning resulted in the discovery of 5.72 grams of crack cocaine and a total of 216.57 grams of cannabis yielded from three separate searches. The first search was conducted at 8:20 a.m in an open lot […]

Punta Gorda resident arrested for gun bullet
A police search conducted in a Mitsubishi Gallant LS car on Friday of last week, resulted in the discovery of a single .38 live round of ammunition and the arrest of a 25-year-old Punta Gorda (PG) man. At around 10:30 that morning, PG Police […]


A Walk Around Placencia, Belize on A VERY HOT Day
The kite boarders and those of us on boats had arrived just after sunset on Friday. The trip down from Ambergris Caye to Placencia was a long bumpy ride and I was EXHAUSTED. I scrubbed off the salt and fell fast asleep at one of my go-to budget spots in Placencia, Lydia’s. A single room with a shared bathroom was all I needed. The next morning, I awoke after 8am…to find not even a whiff of breeze. I decided to grab a coffee at the lovely and super friendly Brewed Awakenings and take a walk. It had to be 90 degrees already. The weather was about to change…a cold front coming in. It was going to be a doozy. Super cute signs at Caribbean Beach Cabanas across the street. DO check this place out if you are coming to Placencia. Double latte please. I passed a gym/tattoo shop with a cool sign. Time to hit the sidewalk. $100 fine for bikes riding on it! No joke. Julia’s Guesthouse, another great budget place on the beach, has a new sign. Next the very popular bar, the Barefoot Beach Bar… And the equally colorful Tipsy Tuna.

The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation is very proud to announce theHot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct 5 people all of which have been very instrumental in the fiery foods. After months of balloting, with just shy of 500 voters, the NYC Hot Sauce Expo is now proud to announce and present the Class of 2016. This year’s group are the biggest and brightest names in the industry. One of Legend. One of inspiration. Here is your Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Marie Sharp – Marie Sharp’s & the Original Melinda’s: Owner Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Ltd. of Belize, Central America– Started making sauce in the early 80’s and actually was the creator of Melinda’s sauces. Her sauce is the quintessential Central American hot sauce awesome flavor and great heat!

Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Was in Belize Last Week
Local newspaper, is reporting that celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern was spotted in Ambergris Caye last week. Zimmern, a popular chef, writer and the TV host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel was in Belize to scuba dive the blue hole and to explore the Mayan Ruins of Xunantunich as well as the famous ATM Cave among other top attractions. The celebrity was visiting with his family and posted a series of photos of his vacation on his Instagram account. On his Instagram account, Zimmern states that he and his family spent “eight glorious disconnected days” in Belize enjoying the sun, sand, and sea. This is the second time that Andrew Zimmern visits Belize. In 2010, he visited with the Travel Channel to film the first episode of his TV Show Bizarre Worlds.

Belize’s Nim Li Punit is a little Mayan ruin with a big name that means “The Big Hat,” and it’s well worth the trip to see this bit of history for yourself. The ruin is large enough to impress at 121+ acres, and important enough to be called Belize’s stelae capitol thanks to 26 of these monuments, eight of which have been carved to pay tribute to gods and heroes. Why the name Big Hat? Because the longest stelae in the plaza depicts a figure wearing a hat, of course. Just because stelae is this ruin’s main attraction, that doesn’t mean you won’t find other wonders. In addition to the 26 monoliths, a huge sandstone structure rises around 40 feet into the air and beneath that, two other plazas and a ball court sprawl across the compound. Even the location is exotic: it sits high atop a Maya Mountain ridge in southern Belize, and was once an important ceremonial and ritual center as well as a village that was home to up to 7,000 Mayans at one time. Travel the Southern Highway north 25 miles from Punta Gorda, or start your trip in Belmopan and drive 45 miles along the Hummingbird Highway to the Southern Highway exit, then another 50 miles to reach Indian Creek Village. That stated, the very best way to visit Nim Li Punit is to book a tour with your resort hosts so all of these details are sorted by the experts.

Pool Project: Week Three
Feeling refreshed and relaxed after the three-day Easter break, work commenced bright and early last Monday. The crew quickly hit their stride in doing the block work for the pool. This was a fairly tedious effort, as each block needs to be placed, filled with cement, and steel placed between the tiers. After a couple of days, this was the result of their efforts. It really started to look like an honest to goodness pool! While all of that work was going on, a couple of the guys placed the block for the back wall of the seating area.

International Sourcesizz

Lord Ashcroft denies links to Panama Papers firm
Lord Ashcroft has denied any involvement with Mossack Fonseca, the company at the heart of the “Panama Papers”. Described as an “unprecedented” leak, the papers constitute some 11.5 million files from the fourth biggest offshore law firm in the world, which the Guardian says “show the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes”. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists alleges that Belize Corporation Services, a subsidiary of Ashcroft’s BCB Holdings, “began using Mossack Fonseca to provide shell corporations for its clients in 2006 when Ashcroft was in the U.K House of Lords”. In 2006, Belize Bank approached Mossack Fonseca about "doing some business together.” According to an email sent in November 2013, Belize Bank International established a new company whose owners were the Panama firm's founders, Jurgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca and partner Christopher Zollinger. The new firm was called M.F. & Co. (Belize) Limited and cooperated with BCS in creating companies and acting as registered agents in Belize.

Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens
Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. They show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax. The company says it has operated beyond reproach for 40 years and has never been charged with criminal wrong-doing. French President Francois Hollande hailed the "good revelations" which would "increase tax revenues from those who commit fraud". The documents show 12 current or former heads of state and at least 60 people linked to current or former world leaders in the data. They include the Icelandic Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugson, who had an undeclared interest linked to his wife's wealth. He has said he will not resign. The files also reveal a suspected billion-dollar money laundering ring involving close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Panama leaks: David Cameron's father and senior Tories named, Downing Street refuses to comment
Though he is not named in the reports himself, the British Prime Minister is linked to Panama Papers by his late father Ian Cameron, who died in 2010. SHARE According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which coordinated the research into the 11 million secret files handed over by an anonymous source, Mr Cameron used Mossack Fonseca’s services to shield his investment fund, Blairmore Holdings Inc. A 2006 prospectus for Blairmore Holdings Inc described Mr Cameron, a stockbroker and multi-millionaire, as “instrumental in [its] formation”. It said the fund “should be managed and conducted so that it does not become resident in the United Kingdom for UK taxation purposes”. The ICIJ said there was no suggestion that the individuals named in the Panama Papers had done anything illegal. Asked whether the Prime Minister’s family was still holding money in offshore arrangements on Monday, his spokesperson replied: “That is a private matter, I am focused on what the Government is doing.”

Action urgently needed as Central America asylum claims soar
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 5 April 2016, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The number of people fleeing violence in Central America has surged to levels not seen since the region was wracked by armed conflicts in the 1980s. Action is urgently needed to ensure that unaccompanied children and others receive the protection to which they are entitled. Last year alone 3,423 people, most of them from El Salvador and Honduras, sought asylum in Mexico. This was 164 per cent increase over 2013 and a 65 per cent increase since 2014. Asylum claims by Salvadorans were up almost 4 times over this period. Mexico currently hosts 3,448 refugees, the majority of them from Central America. The number of asylum claims in other parts of the region from people fleeing violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – the "Northern Triangle of Central America" – has also risen dramatically. Costa Rica, for example, registered 2,203 asylum claims in 2015 – a 176 per cent increase over 2013 and a 16 per cent increase since 2014. These were mainly people arriving from El Salvador. Costa Rica today hosts 3,616 refugees.

Fishing for the future of coral reefs
New science-based fishery regulations are needed if coral reefs are to have a future in the face of climate change. An international team, led by University of Queensland researchers, has found that tighter fishery regulations are needed to preserve corals of the Caribbean. The study shows that Caribbean coral reefs are experiencing mounting pressure from global warming, local pollution and over-fishing of herbivorous fish. Researcher Dr Yves-Marie Bozec, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said herbivorous parrotfish were needed because they eat seaweed, which can smother coral and prevent corals from recovering. “While several countries in the Caribbean have taken the bold step of banning the fishing of parrotfish (including Belize, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos Islands), parrotfish fisheries remain in much of the region,” Dr Bozec said.

Missing Boat and Crew from Isla Mujeres
Family of missing crew from Isla Mujeres is asking assistance from Belize Coast Guard, Belize Port Authority and friends to be on the lookout for a Blue Mexican registered fishing boat named the “Anastacia” which has been reported missing since March 30th, 2016. The boat may have drifted anywhere, including our Belizean waters. On board the fishing vessel are Jorge Fernando de la O. Avalos “Pipis”, Marcos Bardales “Vampiro”, Alfonso Jiménez “Chatilly”, Rusel Cemé “Curro” and Beto, all fishermen from Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Please call your nearest Police Station if located or seen.


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  • The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize - Aurelio Martinez and The Garifuna, 36min. The Beer Diaries is proud to present The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize, a series dedicated to using beer as an introduction to history, culture and the geo-political state of countries around the world. In this episode, host Mike Mann and his team explore Garifuna culture and how its people came to the Belize region. Unexpected weather pushes the team indoors where they meet famed musician, Aurelio Martinez, who joins the team on their road trip down the Hummingbird Highway. During this time, Mike and his team experience a full immersion of Aurelio’s music, stories and passionate views. By the end, an unanticipated Aurelio Martinez concert happens, coupled with witnessing the songwriting talents of Martinez, while recording a new album when his back is to the wall.

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