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Today's Belize News: April 26, 2016 #513337
04/26/16 05:24 AM
04/26/16 05:24 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,840
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

Taste of Belize is back!
If you just can’t get enough of Belize’s amazing cuisine, then best make plans to attend Taste of Belize. After a four-year hiatus, Belize Tourism Board’s culinary festival is back and it promises an exceptional showing of local beverages and food. Seeking to develop and recognize the best in the culinary arts of Belize, the day will include food and beverage competitions in categories such as of the Pro Chef, Bartending and Cake Decorating. Just think of all the tasty treats available to those in attendance! As a diverse country, Belize offers a wealth of foodie-appeal, from delectable ancient Maya flavours to the cultural spices of the Garifuna and Mestizos! Indulge in succulent Belizean cuisines at the “2016 Taste of Belize” on May 14th 2016, on the grounds of the Orange Walk District’s Muffles College Auditorium! Taste of Belize is an event you don’t want to miss!

Rockin’ the Caye with the Abracadabra Band
ormer and current members of the Steve Miller Band ¬ Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy inductees ¬will perform a live concert on June 4, 2016 at Mahogany Bay Village Green. The concert will run from 4 to 7PM. Proceeds will support the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch in providing security and wellbeing to their neighborhood. Tickets going on sale online May 1, 2016 at and other locations to be announced. Special thanks to sponsors, Mahogany Bay, Pelican Reef / Athens Gate Resorts, Lone Star Grill & Cantina and Palapa Bar.

Statement by the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize on Recent Increase in Tensions between Belize and Guatemala
We have just concluded a meeting of the National Security Council of Belize, and this is a follow-on from the meeting held on Friday when I was in New York, and in which I participated by phone. I am wholly satisfied, based on the NSC’s review of all the facts and its discussion of the pathway forward, that the immediate crisis provoked by Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’s extraordinary address to his nation after the exchange of fire between Guatemalan civilians-who fired first-and the BDF leading to the death of a Guatemalan minor, is over. I am convinced that diplomacy, Belize’s invocation of the Confidence Building Agreement, and its call for peace and the de-escalation of the threat and tension created by the Guatemalan response and the measures that had been announced by President Morales, has worked. Our position has been noted and supported by the international community, and ultimately accepted by Guatemala. There has therefore been success in defusing the situation to a point where the return to normalcy has begun, and the two countries can start again to work on the reiteration and expansion of the protocols governing the complex relations between us.

Experts seek solutions to address beach erosion on Ambergris Caye
The beaches of Ambergris Caye have been eroding significantly, and shorelines are fading at a rapid pace. In an effort to address the alarming issue, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has reached out to a team of experts to assess the erosion affecting the island. On Wednesday, April 13th Deputy Mayor Gary Greif, along with Keith Nichols from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, and Carianne Johnson from the Pan American Development Fund conducted a visual assessment to determine the level of erosion on the island’s coast line. According to Johnson, seawalls are the major culprits for the erosion currently taking place. She commented that most of the seawalls along the shoreline are not properly built, and instead of protecting the beaches they are actually speeding the erosion process. Adding to the problem are the many docks lining the shore, which add to the effect of the wave action and shifting currents. Nichols mentioned global warming as a major factor in increasing erosion in many countries. He also pointed out that vehicles trafficking the beach are causing enormous damage.

New HIV cases on the rise in 2105
Testing positive for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) no longer means a death sentence, since infected persons can now live long productive lives with the latest anti-retroviral medication. Despite community health programs aimed at preventing the spread of the disease, the infection rate is on the rise, with 239 new HIV cases reported in 2015, as compared to 226 new infections in 2014. The Ministry tested more people than ever before: 31,346 in 2015, compared to 26,589 in 2012, 29,477 in 2013, and 28,626 in 2014. Yet the infection rate has remained 0.8% for the past three years; in 2012, it was 0.9. This represents just the tip of the iceberg. Estimates are that many more people are infected, but remain to be tested. Health workers estimate for every 1,000 positive tests, there are perhaps another 7,000 who are infected. Those living in denial often resist testing until they are already seriously sick with other infections and complications arising from HIV, and it is then too late for treatment. Of the 110 people who died last year of complications related to the virus, 74 were men and 36 were women, the highest death rate was in the Belize district.

SPHS observes Drug Awareness Week
San Pedro High School (SPHS) has observed an entire week dedicated to drug awareness from Monday, April 18th to Friday, April 22nd. The theme for 2016 was held under, “The Best Me is Drug Free,” and Guidance Counselor, Ms. Alexis Guerrero, organized a series of events to help influence students to make positive choices and refrain from substance abuse. The opening ceremony was held on Monday, April 18th at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. Principal, Mr. Emil Vasquez, gave remarks as SPHS participates in another year of raising awareness on drug and alcohol prevention. “Drugs are not only a problem at SPHS, but country-wide, and I will be revising the school’s policies. I want all of my students to consider their future and their education,” said Vasquez. Kristina Romero of the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), addressed the misuse of drugs and its effect on students. According to the studies from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “almost 70% of students will have tried alcohol, half will have taken an illegal drug, nearly 40 percent will have smoked a cigarette, and more than 20 percent will have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week - Belize Flag Proudly Waved at Coachella Music Festival
He might not have been the only Belizean at the festival, but San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, resident dentist Julio Lara was the only one we knew of attending the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (an annual music and arts festival) that was held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California this year. Last week, Dr. Lara donned his Belize T-shirts and waved his Belizean flag proudly at the festival grounds for everybody to see. Needless to say, Julio says he had a blast sharing his Belizean culture and experiencing the international festival; he even got to meet artist 'Common' at LAX.

Belize Crisis with Guatemala Over: PM Barrow
“There has been success in defusing the situation to a point where the return to normalcy has begun,” said Barrow. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in a press conference today, April 25, 2016, in Belize City, that the immediate danger between the current Belize and Guatemala tension has passed and that the country can now rest easily. This announcement comes even as Minister of Defence in Guatemala, Williams Masilla states that the country maintains their military presence at the adjacency zone with Belize and at the Sarstoon River. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said he and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales agreed "it was absolutely necessary to dial down the tension between our two countries," but friction remains.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Beltraide hosts Certificate Ceremony at the Central Prison
The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in conjunction with the Belize Central Prison, Kolbe Foundation and Restore Belize today held a certificate ceremony for a programme entitled “Equipped for Work/Makin’ It Work Job Preparedness Training” to provide persons leaving correctional facilities with the necessary tools and skills to become productive members of society. The eleven week programme which included participants from the Wagner’s Youth Facility, Tango 2 Division, and the female unit of the Belize Central Prison, lasted from February 9th to April 22nd, 2016 and covered Personal Development and Healthy Self Image; Work Habits and Conduct; Bridging the Gap/Makin It Work; Customer Service; Resume Writing and Interview Skills and provided a platform for participants to improve their communication skills and develop short and long term goals for self-betterment.

Posting for Inspector Dehanne Augustine
The Youth Cadets of Caye Caulker will be joined by the Youth Cadets of San Pedro for a community service/sports day on Friday, April 29th here on the island. Their community service will be cleaning the Children's Park and will then move on to the Palapa for their sports day event. They are asking for any rakes, gloves and any other equipment (no sharp or pointed equipment) that they can use to clean the area. Garbage bags and music is being donated by the Manager of Anchorage Resort. Anyone else who would like to give towards this can let me know OR can take it to the Children's Park on Friday morning.

Poets Corner: Death Trap
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez The Starstoon Base Is nothing but a disgrace? This structure was built in haste Just to save face Perhaps we'll wait until our soldier disappear without a trace Given the aggression at the border it’s unsafe? If I was a soldier I would never go to that place People trying to impress the populace to vote for them You all seem to have forgotten Danny Conorquie Murdered in similar hostility Is this base temporary? What about the security Of our men in our military Perhaps the Coast Guard has some guarantee Since they are being funded by Washington DC

REMINDER - The Belize Alumni Association is holding Board Elections THIS WEEK !!!
When? Wednesday, April 27, 2016 from 11:00 am—1:30 pm Where? U.S. Embassy in Belmopan OR logon online. LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED!!! If you cannot attend in person you can also attend the meeting virtually via google hangout!!! Interested in running for a position on the board? Please let us know what position you are interested in when you RSVP and be prepared to do short presentation to the members on why the members should vote for you . Please RSVP by COB Monday, April 25, 2016 and forward your Gmail account to be part of the meeting online at [email protected]

Last week was smoking on Soto Cano Air Base, with visitors from all across Central America for the CENTAM SMOKE exercise. Check out our cover story and read about how this training develops long lasting partnerships!

Channel 7

PM Barrow: "Rest Easy... Immediate Danger Has Passed"
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned to the country from New York yesterday. He wasn't here when reports went out that Guatemalan troops were amassing at the border, but he was in the right place to meet Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. Both were there to sign the UN Climate Agreement and the two leaders had a sit down on Friday. That's one day after Morales recorded an inflammatory statement in response to the BDF's killing of a 13 year old Guatemalan boy. Morales also deployed the Guatemalan army to the western and southern border - an unprecedented move which sent shivers up the collective national spine. But, as we reported on Friday, PM Barrow talked him down, and this weekend we saw the Guatemalan Minister of Defence say that there never really was any mobilization of three thousand soldiers. So, with that the Prime Minister chaired a National Security Council meeting this morning, and then segued directly into a press conference, with the entire security council at the head table.

Misunderstanding: Guat Army Says It Never "Mobilised" 3k Troops
And there was reason to relax just a little yesterday when we saw a press conference hosted by the Guatemalan Minister of Defence, William Mancilla who said that the whole thing about three thousand troops being mobilized was an exaggeration. He explained that there are three thousand total troops in the Peten, and a few hundred of them were simply being moved, not mobilized, to the border areas. Here are portions of his press conference with captions in English:... William Mancilla, Minister of Defence - Guatemalan: (Translated)"In this regard, of those three thousand men, what was done was reinforce the adjacency zone. So if we had five hundred, right now we have about one thousand men. So then, as soon as that act of mobilization of three thousand men from here, the capital, to the city is a lie- that is false. What is being done is that the mechanism in place at Peten reinforced the detachments at the adjacency zone, and I repeat again, to guarantee the life of the persons living in those, approximately 35 communities, in the entire adjacency zone and of course the naval base of the Sarstoon River was also reinforced with 40 persons."

BDF Reinforces Self Defence Narrative
So now that the military threat seems to have receded - we can look a little closer at the trigger event - which is Wednesday night's fatal shooting of 13 year old Julio Alvarado in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul Forest. As we have reported, around 7:00 at night, the BDF reports that they came under fire, and returned fire in the dark. This was two hours after they had taken a Guatemalan into custody. Well, we learned today that the BDF was in the area because of aerial reconnaissance flight which saw cultivation within Belizean territory. The BDF had gone there to clear it out:... Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander - BDF: "The patrol deployed in the area because of a reconnaissance that was conducted by our defender aircraft. Whenever we do such reconnaissance operation, we do subsequently send foot patrols on the ground to confirm what we've seen from the air. We saw the encroachments, so BDF and FCD decided to go and do the investigation to see how they can arrest the situation. Unfortunately the incident occurred on Wednesday night where the patrol, at approximately 5 o'clock in the evening, detained the first gentleman who was about 33 years of age."

Guatemalan Family Says They Came Under Attack
But, on the other side of the border, the version they are getting is very different. The victim's father and mother gave emotional interviews to Guatemala's Chapin TV. The father painted a very different version of events where, he says he and his two sons came under attack from nowhere. Here's that interview with captions:... Carlos Alvarado - Father: "I was coming on the road from work, and on the road coming in front, like I told you, I was in front meanwhile everyone was at the back, when they appeared in front of me and immediately started shooting, without telling me anything." "There is no line that divides us, we cannot recognize where Belize or Guatemala is. We are poor, we don't have land here in Guatemala and we need. That is why we work in that area that they are claiming." "I couldn't speak to them, not even to tell them "run!" because they immediately attacked me. They didn't speak to me. I could react to try and defend myself and they tried to defend themselves however they could."

BDF Had Encountered Julio Before
As we noted, his account differs completely from Belize's official position, and to settle it definitively, the OAS will conduct an independent investigation. The Government of Belize has also invited in the Americans, the Mexicans and whoever else wants to assist in the investigation. And they say one telling detail is that Julio Alvarado was found by the BDF in the Chiquibul before:.. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "One thing we didn't say is that that minor had already been encountered by the BDF in a previous incident in Belize, but he was not armed and all the BDF did was escort him back to Guatemala. We don't engaged children in any hostile manner. That is a core operating principle of the BDF. In the circumstances of that particular incident, the BDF didn't know who the hell they were engaging. It was just a matter of firing back and taking cover. It turned out that the end of it all, that that very minor, who they had met and treated so absolutely properly - out of fundamental concern for his welfare and had taken back to Guatemala when the first occurrence took place, that he had taken fire and died."

PM Strongly Cautions Territorial Volunteers To Stay Away From Sarstoon
And so while all parties wait on the outcome of that investigation - there's another event that could cause another flashpoint in Belize Guatemala relations. The Belize Territorial Volunteers are going back down into the Sarstoon this weekend. They say it is a special April 30th expedition to mark 150 years since Belize's borders were established. Wil Maheia told us this evening, he is dead set on it, but today the Prime Minister very strongly cautioned against it:.. "In the current circumstances where we just went through an absolutely harrowing weekend, the entire country - all of us sitting at this table where we have come through unscathed and where our diplomacy and face to face meetings with Guatemala have produced this resolve to de-escalate tensions and to find a way rooted in peace and mutual respect forward. In those circumstances, for these people to maintain that they will still go to the sarstoon on Saturday would in my view be absolutely and utterly unacceptable. We now have a forward operating base at the mouth of the river. If they go and the Guatemalans (as the Guatemalans will) seek to intercept them, our people who are there will have to react, hopefully in a way that would not cause the situation to get out of control. But that could potentially provoke just that occurrence. I am appealing to the Territorial Volunteers, give peace a chance."

Have The Guats Annexed The Sarstoon?
And one of the reasons he is so determined is because he says since the forward base opened, Guatemalan encroachments on the Belize side of the Sarstoon continue unabated. He says he's been to the base every single day since it opened, and every day he sees Guatemalan Fisherfolk, freely operating in Belizean waters. Take that fact, and the other fact that Guatemalan gunboats very deliberately pulled over to the Belize side of the river when the forward base was opened, and you get the clear picture that Guatemala is taking over the river. It's called "How can there be an annexation, or how can there be as others have suggested any risk that we run that ultimately a court of justice might say that we have slip on our rights or that we have made a - what in fact would be a territorial concession to Guatemala with respect to the Sarstoon. We continue to act in accordance with that position, including of course the constructing of the forward operating base that sees our vessels moored at the mouth of the Sarstoon. We continue to go up river. That does not stop the Guatemalans from insisting that the entire river is theirs, but it certainly makes clear to the world that that is a position we do not and cannot accept. There cannot be any possible question of Belize having for legal purposes conceding any of its rights with respect to its portion of the Sarstoon."

Cane Farmer Killed In Corozal
A Corozal cane farmer was gunned down in his farm this morning, all because of a stolen bicycle. The victim's name is Gilberto Najarro, a 43 year old farmer of Paraiso Village. According to police Najarro and another man were at the farm yesterday when they were threatened by a father and a son, who accused them of stealing their bicycles. The following morning, the son allegedly returned with a hand gun and shot Gilberto dead. Superintendent Dennis Arnold, Officer Commanding Corozal Police Formation told our colleagues at CTV-3 more. "Upon arrival, they saw a male person laying faced down with what appeared to be gunshot wounds; 2 to the back and one to the back of the head. His name was learnt to be Gilberto Najarro, 43 years old of Paraiso Village. The initial police investigation revealed that yesterday while Najarro and the complainant, the person who was his assistant at the cane field, we have a father and a son, came to that cane field and accusing them of stealing their bicycles. The father and son made threats that they would have caused serious bodily harm to those persons. Apparently the son came back this morning and made good on of his threat."

Relative of Guat Victims Pleaded Guilty
Back now to Belize - Guatemala relations. A footnote in the entire incident is Jose Maria Antonio Reyes. He was detained in Cebada about 2 hours before the shooting last Wednesday. The Government's official release, says that he was detained in Belizean territory conducting illegal activities. We later learned that he had entered Belizean territory illegally, and he told the BDF soldiers that he had been farming in that location for years. Quietly on Friday, Jose Antonio Reyes was arraigned, and he pleaded guilty to illegal entry. He was fined $1,500, which he paid, and he was handed over to the Immigration Department for an Expulsion Order, meaning that he had to leave the country immediately. A Guatemalan Newspaper suggests that he might be related to the 13 year-old Guatemalan, Julio Alvarado who the BDF fatally shot.

Guat Fishers At Play In Sarstoon
Since our news team started making frequent trips to the Sarstoon last year, we've been encountering illegal fishing in Belizean territorial waters. Those living in PG and Barranco say that it has been happening for years, and over time, it has only gotten more widespread. When the Government officials broke ground for the Joint Forces Forward Operating in December of last year, we asked National Security Minister John Saldivar about it. He said that there would be enforcement against that sort of thing as soon as the Base was opened. Well, we went back to the Sarstoon twice last week and on Friday, we saw illegal fishers doing their thing as though nothing had changed. Today, Daniel Ortiz took a closer look at Friday's encounter, and here's his story:

Overall PM Pleased With OAS
The Prime Minister today said that he and President Morales have agreed to work on, quote, "an operational modality…to eliminate the possibility of conflict...especially on the Sarstoon." That's the kind of OAS confidence building talk which makes many uncomfortable - because after its statement last week, the public confidence in the OAS on this side of the border is not very high. Their statement said the OAS quote, "repudiates the death of a minor." Now "repudiate" is a strong word, and it makes it seem like they are taking sides against Belize. Today the PM told us he too didn't like that word - but he's just fine with the OAS:

PUP Sacked Dr. Assad, But He May Make A Comeback As GOB Negotiator
And, we'd say, Dr. Assad Shoman is just fine with the OAS too - it's the Guatemalans he has said he doesn't trust. But now that he is a free agent - after being sacked by the PUP for not being a PUP - will the Government snap him up to be part of the official negotiating team? The Prime Minister today said that they are talking:.... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "We do think that Assad has a great deal of knowledge, a great deal of expertise with respect to this issue and we will look to see if there is not some professional capacity in which the government of Belize might employ his services. I see in one interview he said that he has always made it plain to me that he is available and I haven't use him. Well Assad, we certainly will talk. I am saying that I am perfectly prepared to try to work something out with him that will see him lend his remunerated services to the issue."

Worker Crushed At Santander
There was a terrible accident at the Santander Farm near Valley of Peace this morning. 21 year old Guatemalan Francisco Andres Sebastian a resident of Cotton Tree Village was mowed by a harvester. It happened at around 11:58 this morning, and police suspect that Sebastian was resting in the field when the harvester, driven by another employee ran over him, causing severe damage to his body and killing him almost instantaneously. Right now police are still gathering statements but so far it seems to be a genuine accident. However they say that if there is any fault suspected, they will arrest the driver and proceed with the matter as a criminal investigation. In the meantime Beverly Burke, the Public Relations officer for Santander told what occurred.

Pol Say He Killed Suar
A man has been charged for the January killing of taxi man Isidro Suar in Belmopan. As you all may remember, Suar was found dead in the Picini area near Chon Saan Restaurant on Friday January 8th. He had been shot 4 times. After the culprits killed Suar, they escaped in his taxi but police caught up with them shortly after in Ontario. Both Lincoln Bejerano and a 17 year old girl were found in the taxi with weapons. They were both charged with Kept ammunition without a gun license, kept firearm without a gun license as well as robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Well today, 3 months after Suar's killing, Bejerano's charge was upgraded to 1 count of murder. Just to note, Bejerano was also charged for vehicle theft 6 days after Suar's murder. That is in relation to the scary carjacking on the Humming bird highway. 38 year-old Melonie Popper Coc, pulled over on the side of the Hummingbird Highway in Armenia village to make a phone call - and that is when 2 men forced her and her family out of her vehicle by gunpoint and drove off - leaving her along with her mother and four kids stranded on the roadside.

Kim Killed Husband, After 24 Years Of Abuse
She chopped her common law husband Anthony Herrera to death in 2008, but Kimberly Brannon was a victim of abuse, so today she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Justice John Gonzalez sentenced her to 8 years, but she's been in jail since it happened in 2011, so, based on time served, she will only spend 6 months and 17 days before she is free. In a mitigation plea she told the court that she lived with Herrera form she was 14 years old and for 24 years he abused her physically, sexually and emotionally. According to Brannon, whenever she found the courage to leave Herrera she always went back because of feat he would kill her or hurt a family member.

Belize At New Orleans Jazzfest
Right now Belize's Sweet Pain Band among several other artists are in New Orleans for the Jazz and Heritage Festival. As we've been reporting , It is one of the biggest music festivals in the US and for the first time ever, Belizean artists are the main feature. Our 7news team Courtney Weatherburne and Codie Noralez was there in New Orleans this weekend to capture this historic moment. They got back this morning and for now, we bring you just a snippet of Belize's presentation. Ivan Duran, Producer, Stone Tree Records: "After months and months of planning you get here and see all the hard work come to fruition and as you can see we are very excited. The musicians are belated to be here and playing their music to I would say a very receptive crowd, you never know what will happen until you get on stage and you see it. From what we've been seeing since yesterday and today is that the reception has been incredible. Obviously beautiful weather works here at a festival so everybody's in a good mood to have fun and to discover the music that we're bringing."

A Whale Of A Story, But This One Has A Sad Ending
Oceana Belize is reporting tonight that a 30-foot Humpback Whale, died off the coast of Barranco Village. Scientists suspect that the whale may have been lost or sick, but it's troubles in Belize were compounded by the fact that it was caught in gill nets believed to have been set by Guatemalan fishermen. The whale was seen in the waters of Southern Belize, and Oceana says that it struggled to stay alive in Belize for an entire month before it died today. Oceana says that the whale moved around freely until it was caught in a gill net belonging to Guatemalan fishermen, most likely one of those we told you about in our last segment. It was trapped in that gillnet. While our news team was on the way to Sarstoon on Friday to see if there had been reinforcements of Guatemalan troops at that Border, we encountered the whale struggling. Border Activist Wil Maheia, who was once a part of the Conservation community, told us what he observed when he jumped into the sea to try to render aid:

Calling All Youths
Tonight we've told you all about Belize Guatemala relations, but while we've labored to give you all official angles on that story from both sides of the border, one other angle is the Belizean youth population. Many young people don't get too involved in national affairs if they don't appear on their facebook page, but one Belizean youth advocate visited our studios last week, calling on his fellow youths to wake up and stand up.

Counterfeit Cops Caught
Last week, Belize City police caught 2 men who they believe have been going around pretending to be police, terrorizing citizens, and then robbing them. Those men are 21 year-old Tyrone Smith of St. Matthews Village, Cayo, and 21 year-old Dorian Blair of Gibnut Street. The Police say that on Thursday morning, just before 6, they were conducting mobile patrols on Ebony Street when these 2 men caught their attention. They were wearing trousers which make up a part of the Police uniform, which is illegal, and one of the men even wore a police khaki shirt, to completely look the part of a legitimate officer. The police detained both men immediately, questioned them, and found out that they were not police officers. Both men were searched and Tyrone Smith was caught with a .38 special revolver which contained 6 live rounds of .38 ammunition. They were then arrested and charged jointly with the false pretense of an officer. Smith was additionally charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Re: Today's Belize News: April 26, 2016 [Re: Marty] #513338
04/26/16 05:24 AM
04/26/16 05:24 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,840
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Channel 5

A Crisis is Averted as Tensions De-escalate Between Belize and Guatemala
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned to Belize from New York on Sunday after holding discussions with the United Nations, the Organization of American States and others on the aggressive stand [...]

PM Barrow Maintains that B.D.F. Acted in Self-defense in Killing of Minor
The de-escalation of the tension, according to the PM, came despite the positions taking by both leaders – Morales seeking justice for the death of thirteen year old Julio Rene [...]

B.D.F. Commander Reveals Details of Chiquibul Ambush
While reports from Guatemala have spread like wildfire, along with condemnation of the B.D.F. at the highest levels of government, the incident is still under investigation by the O.A.S.  Guatemala’s [...]

Guatemalan Minister of Defense Tones Down Anti-Belizean Rhetoric
If you wanted more assurance that the rhetoric has been dialed way down, you’d only have to listen to an interview from Guatemala’s Minister of Defense Williams Mansilla over the [...]

What Becomes of the Sarstoon River Debacle?
So the crisis has been averted, and all attempts will be made to de-escalate tensions in the wake of the incident on Wednesday in the Chiquibul. But the truth is [...]

PM Barrow Tells BTV Don’t Go There!
Earlier in our newscast we mentioned the BTV trip scheduled for Saturday. The government has advised that it not happen, while BTV head Wil Maheia insists that he will lead [...]

Is Strong O.A.S. Release a Drafting Blunder?
Late last week, the Organization of American States issued a rare statement. We say rare because the O.A.S. has stoically maintained silence in times of tension, like when Special Police [...]

Guatemala Counter-proposals Weren’t All Flatly Rejected
The last we heard, Guatemala had rejected eleven proposals presented by Belize to government rules of engagement in the Sarstoon. At the same time, we heard that Belize had roundly [...]

Minister of National Security Addresses B.D.F. Readiness
Minister of National Security John Saldivar attended a pair of emergency meetings on Friday, including a session with the upper echelon of Belize’s security forces.  Later that afternoon, he convened [...]

Guatemalan President Issues Statement Following Meeting in New York
The Government of Guatemala has also issued a statement following the meeting between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President Jimmy Morales in New York.  That statement makes no reference on [...]

Guatemala Requests Involvement of O.A.S. in Investigation of Minor’s Death
The Guatemalan Government has also gone on the offensive. President Jimmy Morales also met with the Secretary General of the O.A.S., Luis Almagro, and with the Secretary of the Commission [...]

A Guatemalan Canero is Mangled by a Harvester on Santander Farm
There is tragic news in the west at Santander, whose offices are headquartered in Guatemala. A twenty-four year old Guatemalan national was mangled around midday today by a harvester at [...]

Father and Son are Prime Suspects in San Jomal Murder
A father and his son are tonight being actively pursued by Corozal police, following a mid-morning murder in the San Jomal community earlier today.  Sometime around ten o’clock a male [...]

Is Gang Rivalry Motive Behind Weekend Shooting?
Is the weekend shooting of a pair of Belize City men a gang related incident?  Nineteen-year-old Abraham Craig and twenty-two-year-old Tyrone Guy were attacked on Saturday evening by a lone [...]

Julio Alvarado is Laid to Rest in La Rejoya
The body of thirteen year old Julio Alvarado Ruano, who was killed inside the Chiquibul last Tuesday, was laid to rest over the weekend in his home village of La [...]

Will Assad Shoman be Hired by Barrow Administration?
And to close off our coverage of Belize/Guatemala relations tonight, we turn to the status of Ambassador Assad Shoman. P.U.P. leader John Briceño last week made the announcement that Senator [...]

Kim Brannon is Sentenced for Manslaughter of Common Law Husband
A case of domestic dispute ended today before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. After pleading guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, Kim Royaline Brannon, who is now forty-five years, learnt her [...]

An Update on Patrick Faber’s Campaign for U.D.P. Leadership
Turning to politics….While Minister of Education Patrick Faber applauds the B.N.T.U.’s campaign to educate its membership on the Belize/Guatemala dispute; he has been busy heading a campaign of his own.  [...]

John Saldivar Launches Music Video for his Campaign
On Friday night in Belmopan, area representative John Saldivar bused in delegates to attend the launch of a music video and jingle as part of his ongoing campaign.  Saldivar is [...]

Football and Basketball Stats and More with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We take you out to the Michael Ashcroft Stadium at Independence where game one of the PLB Closing Season [...]


Brigadier General Speaks On Issue At The Chiquibul
Since the unfortunate incident that occurred on Wednesday evening between members of the Belize Defense Force and a group of Guatemalan civilians which resulted in the death of a 13 year old Guatemalan minor, tensions between Belize and Guatemala have been on an all-time high. Although we have heard from Prime Minister Dean Barrow as it relates to the incident, the Belize Defense Force until today had not given an official statement about the occurrence. Today a press conference was held in Belize City to discuss the incident and present were Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, Brigadier General David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defense Force and Belize Coast Guard Commander, Rear Admiral John Borland.During the press conference, Brigadier General David Jones, spoke for the first time about the incident, maintaining that his soldiers fired, in the dark, in defense of their lives.

Sensationalism On Death Of 13 Year Old Guatemalan Expected Says Dean Barrow
As we have showed you in our previous story, the incident that resulted in the death of 13 year old Guatemalan minor, Julio Alvarado was embellished due to the nature behind it. Today at the press conference held with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, he told the media that although the fact remains that the Belize Defense Force was acting in self-defense, the headline will always remain that a 13 year old minor was killed by the BDF and according to him, it is something that he cannot change. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: “We have a responsibility in circumstance such as occurred to put out and put out early our side of the story sensationalism, emotion will always going to be on the side of the Guatemalans that is inevitably going to be the media take away from that incident, Belizean Soldiers Kill a Minor, whether they say unarmed whether they say that it was in circumstances, they are not going to say in the normal course that our soldiers were fired upon, they are not going to say that they knew not from where the shots, they are not going to say that they retaliated as a matter of self-defense and in circumstances where it all they could do is fire in the direction of which the shots originated without seeing or knowing who the hell was shooting at them you know the take away is a minor was killed by Belizean Soldiers.”

Prime Minister Cautions BTV On Upcoming Trip To Sarstoon
Saturday April 30th is the day set out by the Belize Territorial Volunteers to journey to the border at the mouth of the Sarstoon River in commemoration of the 157th anniversary of the signing of the 1859 Treaty between the governments of the UK and recognized the border between Belize and Guatemala. Today during the press conference to discuss the incident that occurred on Wednesday in the Chiquibul where a Guatemalan minor lost his life, Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow ardently pleaded with the Belize Territorial Volunteers not to return to the Sarstoon Island until the government has developed with their Guatemalan counterparts, a Peace protocol for that area. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: “In the current circumstances where we just went through an absolutely harrowing weekend the entire country all of us sitting at this table where we have come through on skid and where our diplomacy and the face to face meetings with Guatemala have produced this resolved to de-escalations tensions and to find a way rooted in peace and mutual respect forward, in those circumstances for these people to maintain that they will still go to the Sarstoon on Saturday would in my view be absolutely and utterly unacceptable.”

Prime Minister Considering Hiring Assad Shoman
During the Press briefing that was held today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the announcement that Former Minister, Assad Shoman, who was the PUP representative in the Belize Guatemala relations, but was replaced by Eamon Courtney, may be in a position to assist the current Government with the Guatemala dispute. Prime Minister stated today that Dr. Shoman’s quarrel with the PUP is for them alone to settle and that the Government of Belize may be able to offer the trained attorney a place to work based on his vast knowledge of the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute which may be of invaluable help to Belize. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: “In terms of Dr. Shoman, the question of his removal by the PUP is for him and the PUP we do think that Assad has a great deal of knowledge, has a great deal of expertise with respect to this issue and we will look to see if there is not some professional capacity in which the government of Belize might employ his services, I’ve seen one interview he gave he said that he always made it plain to me that he is available ...”

O/W Police Recovers Drugs And Firearm Over The Weekend
Yesterday at around 10:50 p.m., Orange Walk police officers conducted a search in an abandoned lot on Asuncion St, Orange walk Town which led to the discovery of a black bag containing 8,525 grams of Cannabis. Since no one was found in the area, the drug was labeled as found property. And so was a black 9 mm pistol with serial number 30346262 which police found yesterday at around 1:25 am while conducting a search in an abandoned upstairs house on Smith Sonia Street, Orange Walk Town. No one was found in the area.

Guatemalan President Seeks OAS Assistance To Investigate Shooting Incident
Many are of the opinion that the drastic measures taken by President Jimmy Moralez after learning about the death of the 13 year old Guatemalan minor at the Chiquibul was nothing but a tactic to defuse tensions in his own country facing huge problems in the areas of Health, education and food security. Moralez, who recently completed his first 100 days as President of Guatemala, accepted during a press conference this morning that the efforts to better off the country have not been enough and just like the populace he too is dissatisfied. Currently Moralez’s government faces a multitude of dissatisfied Guatemalans fighting for the protection of water resources. The March for water, Mother Earth, Territory, and Life brought together Indigenous groups from across Guatemala, unified around demands for a guarantee to the right to water and dignified livelihoods in the face of industrial agriculture and exploitive mining projects that threaten to contaminate and siphon off water resources from remote and vulnerable communities. On Friday, some 15 thousand protested the displacement of their communities by unwanted hydroelectric dams and called for justice for pollution caused by corporate farming and extractive projects in their territories. International reports indicate that leaders of the national water march, were to address Congress today and demand legislation that would punish the unnatural diversion of rivers and waterways.

Cane Farmer Shot To Death In Corozal Over Bicycle
Tonight the family of a 43 year old cane farmer from Corozal Town is mourning his death after he became the districts third murder victim for 2016. What we know so far is that Gilberto Najarro Sarsenio and another individual were ambushed at around 10:00 this morning while working at their cane field in an area known as San Jomal located about 5 1/2 miles northeast of Corozal Town. When authorities visited the scene they found Sarsenio with multiple gunshot wounds. Superintendent Dennis Arnold - Police Corozal Police Formation: “Today Monday 25th of April 2016 at about 10am a male person came to the police station requesting police assistance in the San Jomal area as they were fired at, immediately police went to the area which is situated five and a half miles north east of Corozal Town or Paraiso Village upon arrival they saw a person lying face down with appears to be gunshot wounds two to the back and one to the back of the head and his name was learned to be Gilberto Arsenio 43 years of age from Paraiso Village.”

Belize Ranks As Most Dangerous In The Caribbean
Viewers may recall that back in the month of January two tourists were murdered here in Belize, and while both executions took place in the Cayo District, the first occurred on January 4th, 2016 when the lifeless body of well-known Canadian film producer, Matthiew Klinck was found approximately fifteen feet away from his residence in the village of Selena with a total of fourteen stab wounds to his upper body. Only a few weeks later, the body of thirty nine year old Anne Elizabeth Swaney, American journalist of ABC 7 in Chicago, was discovered floating along the Mopan River after she had stayed behind to do some early morning yoga. Swaney was strangled to death. Both murders caused Belize to gain a black eye as the reports made it on international news for a number of weeks. Today we can tell you that in a report issued by the ‘News Americas’, it stated that the Caribbean has been identified as one of the most dangerous regions throughout the world when it comes to homicide due to its continuous escalation in recent years.


BPP Plans to Collaborate with Territorial Volunteers
The Belize Progressive Party has issued a release expressing solidarity with Belizeans. In that release, the BPP has not only condemned what they have dubbed as military provocation by Guatemala but has also called on the general public to remain calm yet vigilant. The release goes on to speak of a collaboration effort with the […]

Santander Employee Gets Caught in Harvesting Machine
An employee of Santander Sugar Mills was killed today in an accident. Love News understands that just before midday, 22- year-old Guatemalan national, Andres Antonio Sebastian was working in the fields when somehow he was picked up by a cane harvesting machine and chopped to death. Sebastian’s body was transported to the Western Regional Hospital.

Abused Woman of 24 Years Gets Convicted for Manslaughter after Killing Spouse
45- year-old, Kim Brannon was in a situation that mirrors that of Laverne Longworth aka “Anti-Christ” and Veola Pook. Today, after Brannon pled guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, she was sentenced to 8 years by Judge Troadio Gonzalez. Since she has been on remand for some time now, Brannon will be free in […]

BELIZE: More Dangerous Than the United States?
Belize has been labeled as the number one country in the Caribbean region that is “more dangerous than the US” in a published article of The article reportedly compared murder rates from the United Nations Office on drugs and crime for every one hundred persons in top Caribbean nations. Belize was labeled number one […]

Shooting in the Old Capital Injures Two
Reports of several shootings over the weekend in the old capital began surfacing from Saturday evening at around six o’clock. Authorities, upon visiting the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, they came across 19-year-old, Abraham Craig of a Racecourse Street address who had a gunshot wound to the right leg. Craig was reportedly on Queen Charlotte Street […]

Villager Drowns in Teakettle Village
A villager from western Belize lost his life in a drowning incident on Saturday, April 23. Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ “

Pat Andrews: From Banker to Ambassador
Last week we spoke with Ambassador Pat Andrews on the importance of the relations between Belize and Guatemala. Ambassador Andrews, as we have reported previously, also serves in two more diplomatic capacities, which he spoke of to Love News. PAT ANDREWS “The role of a permanent representative to the OAS is one and I have […]

Humpback Whale Dies in Belize’s Waters
The death of a humpback whale in Belizean waters has caught the attention of Non-Governmental Organizations such as Oceana. The first humpback whale spotted in Belize was in February of this year and tonight that whale has been confirmed dead by fishermen in Barranco Village. There are only 80,000 of these magnificent creatures swimming in […]

Eastern Division Awards Cops for Nabbing Imposters
The Conference Room at the Raccoon Street Police Station was the venue for a brief meeting and a brief award ceremony led by the Officer Commanding the Eastern Division South, ACP Chester Williams. With the recent promotions that took place in the department, ACP Williams found it fitting to meet with his two dozen newly […]

Belize Featured at New Orleans Jazz Festival 2016
The annual Heritage and Jazz Festival got underway on Friday in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA with a line-up of Belizean artists scheduled to perform over the next few days. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival also known as the Jazz Fest celebrates music and culture and this year, they are highlighting the richness and […]


Tensions remain high between Guatemala and Belize
Tensions remain at an all time high between Guatemala and Belize as during the course of yesterday, The Guatemalan Armed Force made their way to the Sarstoon to “exercise Sovereignty” and to border areas of the adjacency zone to stop any further “abuse” by BDF against Guatemalan people.. Those are s...

GUATS Say BDF killed 10 Guatemalan peasants in the last 17 years
The Guatemalans hastily responded to the Belizean PM’s statement with another press release which says, “The Government of the Republic of Guatemala deplores and rejects categorically the content of the press release issued by the Government of Belize on the afternoon of April 2st 2016, which refute...

OAS Press Release
The OAS has issued a statement on the matter as well in which it says that OAS General Secretariat “…repudiates the death of a Guatemalan minor at the hands of a Belizean patrol, and urges both sides to redouble efforts to establish a lasting peace in the adjacency zone between the two countries.” ...

National Security Council briefed on Belize’s military readiness
The Minister of National Security held a meeting with Security Forces High Command this morning at the Price Barracks in Ladyville. Minister of National Security Hon. John spoke with Commander of the Belize Defence Force Brigadier General David Jones; Rear Admiral John Borland, Commander of the Nat...

PUP calls for recall of Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala
The Opposition Party, People’s United Party, issued a statement this evening from the desk of its Party Leader, Hon. John Briceno. The opposition leader says that “The statement by the President of Guatemala yesterday, constitutes a direct challenge to the independence of Belize, to our territorial...

Guatemala sends 300 minors into Belize for school
It’s hard to believe that only 2 days ago, the Secretary General of the OAS was here in the Red Zone between Belize and Guatemala;. complete with pomp and circumstance and Belizean and Guatemalan children holding hands and singing while adult dignitaries of both countries spoke about peace. Today, o...

8 year old drowns in Biscayne Village
An 8 year old drowned in Biscayne Village on Thursday afternoon. According to the child’s grandmother, 8 year old Kimera Dominguez was at her home at miles 24 1/4 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, Biscayne Village, The child was inside the grandmother’s house when the school bus arrived at 3:45 p.m. a...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Humpback whale dies in Southern Belize
A humpback whale was reported apparently sick or injured off the coast of the Toledo District by OCEANA in Belize, which dispatched a team to conduct investigations on Friday. Tonight we can tell you that the whale has unfortunately died. According to the organization, the whale was […]

Kim Brannon takes manslaughter plea; claims murder victim abused her
She allegedly chopped her common law husband to death but blamed others for it when charged with murder. She was found guilty, and a re-trial was ordered. Today, Kimberly Brannon accepted a plea of manslaughter, claiming for the first time that Anthony “Antics” Herrera held […]

Man shot dead in Corozal, apparently over a stolen bike
Another shooting incident in the Corozal District has left one man dead and police looking for another. Reports are that around 10:00 this morning a male person went to the police station to request assistance after he and another person were shot at in the San Jomal […]

Police find weed and gun during weekend operations
Police operations in Belize City and Orange Walk Town over the weekend yielded a total of 19.1 pounds of cannabis and a 9 millimeter pistol but no arrests were made. On Friday morning in Belize City, between the hours of 5:30 and 8:00, officers […]

Man charged for drug trafficking
A search conducted at the Belize City residence of 35-year-old Marvin Ottley on Friday night around 8:30, resulted in the discovery of cannabis. Working on information received, officers visited the house located on Vasquez Avenue and inside, they found a plastic bag containing 119.2 […]

GOB may find place for Assad
Former Minister, Senator and Ambassador Assad Shoman may be in a position to assist the current Government with the Guatemala dispute, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced today. Shoman publicly declared at the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) rally in Benque Viejo that he is not […]

Killed Guatemalan boy had been to Belize before; BDF maintains incident was self-defence
While responding to a media question about why Belize seemed slow off the block to get its version of events last Wednesday in the Chiquibul, Prime Minister Dean Barrow revealed that the dead teenager, 13 year old Juan Jose Alvarado Ruano, had been to Belize […]

City men shot over the weekend
On Saturday evening around 5:50, Belize City Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after responding to a shooting incident on Caesar Ridge Road. Upon arrival, officers saw Abraham Craig, 19, suffering from a gunshot wound to his right leg and Tyrone Guy, […]

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival spotlights Belize
Belize’s music is being featured in the ongoing New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Featured on opening day Saturday at the Belize Pavilion of the Fair Grounds Race Course was The Garifuna Collective, with other Belizean acts scheduled to perform. Visitors speaking to the Associated Press from […]

Guatemala will not remove troops from borders
Minister of Defence in Guatemala, Williams Masilla told the Guatemalan press that they will maintain their military presence at the adjacency zone with Belize and at the Sarstoon River, in a press conference on Saturday. Mansilla is quoted as saying that they will keep […]

PM maintains Belize, Guatemala on way “to normalcy”
Prime Minister, Right Honorable Dean Barrow, is presently addressing a press briefing in Belize City on efforts to de-escalate tensions along the western and southern border. The Prime Minister said he could not shake Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’ firm belief that Belize Defence Force […]


Sunday Fishing & Snorkeling Trip with Belize Parasail: It’s Hard Not to Be SHOCKED By the Beauty of North Ambergris Caye
An invite for a snorkeling, a beach BBQ and boating with one of the most handsome dogs on the island? Who is going to say no? Yesterday, at 9am, I set out with Belize Parasail on a charter north. Laid back and easy, just a handful of Texans, me and the crew setting off on the Miss Demeanor… Carlos and Esban were our tour guides…and we left from Fido’s dock in downtown San Pedro. Heading north before we stopped at our first fishing (spear or rod) stop. We needed to hunt and gather lunch. And it would be a while before we were standing on a perfect beach sipping coconut water and eating delicious fresh fish. After collecting quite a few fish…enough for lunch…we headed to our last snorkel stop just south of Tranquility Bay Resort.

Why You Have to Visit San Ignacio Belize on Your Vacation
Originally a small village of logging camps and chicle farmers, San Ignacio and its twin town of Santa Elena have grown to become a thriving metropolitan area in the western part of the country. Close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal just over the border in Guatemala as well as several of Belize’s most prominent Mayan ruins, San Ignacio is a popular tourist destination. San Ignacio is the de facto capital of the western Cayo District. Along with its twin town Santa Elena, San Ignacio is built on the banks of the Macal River and form the second-largest municipal district in the country after Belize City. There’s plenty to do and see in San Ignacio but the town is most popularly used as a base for exploring all of the local attractions including the Mayan ruins of Caracol, Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, the ATM Cave, Barton Creek Cave, the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, zip lining, and Tikal just over the border in neighboring Guatemala.

On July 15th 2015, we published a blog entitled “Love Takes to the Air: A Surprise Engagement Over Ambergris Caye, Belize”. This was about the super romantic proposal made by one of our long term residents Larry Harmon – to his then girlfriend Margo Snyder. For a flash back of that amazing proposal, visit our blog. The day finally came for Larry and Margo to take, what many would consider, the biggest step in their lives, and we are super excited that they chose Grand Caribe Belize as their destination wedding location. On site to capture the moments once again, was one of our favorite photographer, Olivera Rusu. Leading up to the wedding, the guys had some fun with their photo shoot.

Pool Project: Week Six
The crew spent most of last week rendering the remaining columns, exterior walls, and the hallway. They also poured the floor for the pump house and added more block. It's well on its way to completion. We also received an unexpected perk when the guys poured a new slab for our butane tank and water heater. In the meantime, we placed Amazon orders for patio furniture. We will have a daybed to curl up on (the canopy is removable), plus two matching recliners. These should be arriving later next month. In the meantime, we will just use some of the chairs we currently have on the porch. But the real excitement happened on Friday and Saturday. First, they poured the pool deck and applied a tinted, non-skid surface.

International Sourcesizz

Guatemalan Government statement on the meeting that took place between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President Jimmy Morales
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that this afternoon in New York City, in the margins of the signing of the agreement on Climate Change, the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow who was also at the conference, requested a bilateral meeting with the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales. President Morales agreed to the meeting with Prime Minister Barrow to whom he expressed his total rejection over the cowardly act committed by the Belize Defence Force who killed a thirteen year old in the Adjacency Zone. The President of Guatemala also rejected the Belizean version that the soldier acted in self defence. The President of Guatemala also told the Prime Minister that it was recalling its Ambassador to Belize for consultations and he demanded that the Government of Belize, place before the relevant authorities those responsible for the death of the minor. The Prime Minister of Belize, offered to the President of Guatemala an impartial investigation and additionally proposed that through the OAS, the investigation could be carried out with participation from a US agency.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales meeting with Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro
On Saturday, April 23rd, the Government of Guatemala tweeted several photos of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales meeting with Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro. The picture was captioned: "It is difficult to argue self-defense, the child has multiple impacts of high caliber" - Jimmy Morales

Knowing the other side of Eljai
WHEN Belizean singer Eljai started recording songs for a new project in late 2015, the initial idea was to release an EP. Midway the sessions, he had a change of plan. “Things were going so well we thought it would be better to put out an album. I think we made the right decision,” he told the Jamaica Observer. That album, The Other Side Of Eljai, will be his third. The lead song, Everything I Do, is produced by his Jah Mix Entertainment company; it was released April 1 by Tuff Gong International. Everything I Do is a cover of Canadian singer Bryan Adams’ 1991 mega hit, (Everything I Do) I Do It for You. At the time that song ruled international charts, Eljai was part of Belize, a Rhythm And Blues trio who were signed briefly to Warner Brothers.

3 Course Interview: Norma Palacios
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival's Cultural Exchange Pavilion features Belize in 2016. It includes the culture of the Garifuna, who are descendants of Africans and Native Americans who settled along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Two local women with Garifuna heritage, Norma Palacios and Isa Velazquez, present a cooking demonstration at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the festival's Cajun Cabin. They will prepare hudutu, a traditional seafood and coconut soup. Palacios spoke with Gambit about Garifuna culture and cuisine. What is traditional Garifuna cuisine? Palacios: For me, there are so many different dishes that represent Garifuna food. The traditional soup we serve is called hudutu. It's a coconut and seafood soup served with mashed plantains. It's made with coconut milk, shrimp, fish, cilantro, plantains, peppers, garlic, onions and basil. We'll be serving this at the festival and demonstrating how to make the soup. On the day of the demonstration, we'll be doing all the shopping and preparing beforehand at my home, because the soup takes quite a long time to make.

Panama proposes to set up its state-owned bank as correspondent in New York
Faced with the closing of an increasing number of correspondent relationships with New York financial institutions, Panamanian banks are desperate to acquire new correspondent accounts in the United States, lest they be totally denied access to the American financial structure. It has been proposed that a state-owned bank, the National Bank of Panama (Banco Nacional de Panamá) aka Banconal, itself open a branch in New York and thereafter serve as the correspondent for all the country's commercial banks, eliminating the fear that further relationships with American banks will be terminated.


  • Trip Mexique/Guatemala/Belize, 6min.

  • DJI Phantom flying around fire in Spanish Lookout, Belize, 1.5min. Richard flew his drone through and around the neighbor's smoke cloud as they burned pasture grass. I edited the footage and speeding it up for some parts and reversing it in others - creating a fun video

  • JazzFest 2016 - Belize Tent, 1.5min. Magic moment.

  • Belize Half Moon Caye in 90 Seconds, 1.5min. Half Moon Caye near Belize bird sanctuary.

  • Frigate birds and Pelicans, Caye Caulker, Belize, 1min.

  • Lion Fish as dinner in Belize, 1.5min. Since this fish is so abundant in Belize's waters, it's become one of the country's local dishes. Learn how to clean and cook a lion fish.

  • Carnival Dream Cruise Vlog Day 5! Sergeant's Cay Belize!!, 14min. Welcome to Day 5 of our carnival dream cruise adventure!! Today we went on a snorkeling adventure in Sergeant's Cay in Belize!

  • The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize - Island Time, 15min. In this episode, host Mike Mann and his team acquire the first-ever interview with Island Time Brewing, who are on the cusp of becoming the first new beer producer in 30 years within Belize. Michelle and Jeff Becker, founders/owners, reveal their journey to putting the country of Belize on the map for craft brew. Furthermore, Garrick Rodemeyer, Head Brewer, breaks down the brew process of Island Time’s pilot system and takes us through their beer line-up.

  • Hand Feeding Tarpon Belize, 1min. Hand feeding tarpon sardines off a dock in Belize.

  • Belize Landing, 4min. Flying over a gorgeous, crystal clear Caribbean Sea, landing in Belize, C.A..

  • Tarpon Caye Belize, 13min. Flyfishing at Tarpon Caye Lodge Belize.

  • KHS Belize Trip 2k16, 5min.

  • Revive Belize April 2016, 5min.

  • Belize, 9.5min.

  • Zip Lining and Tubing in The caves of Belize! 4/6/2016, 21min. Welcome to the everyday exciting life of The Novak's! Watch us learn to parent with our rambunctious son Owen, and our beautiful baby girl Savannah!

  • Belize Trip 2016- Ready, Set, Rum!, 4min.

  • Devastation of nature in full speed, 1/2min. "Progress" just north of Spanish Lookout.

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