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Today's Belize News: May 7, 2016 #513578
05/07/16 05:45 AM
05/07/16 05:45 AM
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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Rotary Club sponsors book drive
Do you have books that are collecting dust? Why not help out the San Pedro Public Library (SPPL) by donating your unwanted or unused books? As the Rotary Club’s mission is to improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world, the recently formed Ambergris Caye (RCAC) chapter has launched a book drive and will continue until the end of May. The club encourages the community to donate new and/or gently used books, and magazines to support the San Pedro Public Library. Drop boxes are currently placed at the following businesses around San Pedro: Casa Pan Dulce North, Sandbar, Coconut Carts, A&R, Crazy Canucks, Social Security Board, Stella’s Smile, Banyan Bay, and Victoria House.

SPTC says Bowen and Bowen not abiding by delivery regulations
In an effort to alleviate the traffic congestion on the island, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) launched an experimental project that would regulate delivery trucks’ hours of operation. The pilot project applied to all large- delivery vehicles within San Pedro downtown and the regulation mandated all deliveries be done between the hours of 2AM and 7AM. Despite some opposition, the project officially began on Monday, April 11th, and one of the sole supporters was the multi-national Bowen and Bowen distributor. However, a few days after, the company abruptly defied the regulation, and is back to its normal delivery schedule.

Five-a-side football tournament keeps kicking!
Only two more rounds of football action remain in the Five-a-Side Football Tournament, then it’s on to second round. The San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSC) continue delighting fans with heated games as the first round finale draws near. The different matches played on Sunday, May 1st saw players once again competing in four exciting categories. The football action continues this weekend with games set for Sunday, May 8th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium starting at 11AM.

GOB’s restriction on Sarstoon River met with disapproval
In an effort to prevent further confrontations between Belize and Guatemala armed forces and civilians, the Government of Belize (GOB) has implemented a temporary restriction on movement in Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River. The restriction was announced on Friday, April 29th and is to last for one month. While GOB claims the restriction is being done to safeguard the Belizean populace, many are not happy about it. Among those protesting the restriction are the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) who were stopped from conducting an expedition to Sarstoon Island this past weekend. According to GOB, after consulting with the Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow, His Excellency the Governor General of Belize made the regulation under Section 2 of the Public Safety Act, Chapter 142 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, RE 2011. “The regulations prohibit persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River.

8-Ball Pool Tournament goes to semi-finals!
After last weekend’s tight games played at One Barrel Bar, the semi-finals for the Pre-Season 8-Ball Pool Tournament are finally happening this weekend. Four teams will be competing for the chance to advance to the finals and walk away with the top prize. They are Team Amigos, AJ Snipers, Hitman Recruits and Solid. Pool fans are encouraged to come out and support their favorite teams during these very important matches.18 Pool tournament According to the scores from the games this past weekend, these are the scores for each team and again Team Amigos continues in the lead with 136 points. The semi-finals will take place on the beach at Cholo’s Bar. Games start on Sunday at 2PM.

Ambergris Today

Belize Headline Sponsor 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards
Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has cemented its commitment to responsible tourism with its sponsorship of the World Responsible Tourism Awards. In a statement announcing the partnership, the BTB highlighted the importance of a joined up approach to sustainability to ensure that the local economy is stimulated and benefits from tourism, and natural resources are protected. The comment comes as part of the announcement that Belize will be the headline sponsor of the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London, and is an extension of Belize’s national Sustainable Tourism Masterplan, which stipulates how to grow tourism in a sustainable manner. The winners of the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards will all be organizations which have been recognized for their leadership and for the replicability worldwide of their projects and initiatives.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Assist the people of Belize who are up against Guatemala's aggressive military border encroachment and intimidation.
We need more signatures especially by USA citizens on this petition please pretty please! The Belizean–Guatemalan territorial dispute is an unresolved binational territorial dispute between the states of Belize and Guatemala, neighbours in Central America. The territory of Belize has been claimed in whole or in part by Guatemala since 1940. Recently Guatemala has taken a very aggressive military approach to the claim and has repeatedly encroached into Belize Waters in the Sarstoon River; arresting and confining civilians in Belize waters and threatening Belize Military Forces in the Sarstoon area. Recently they responded to CARICOM (Caribbean Community) that they have taken control of part of Belize's territory. We are asking that the Obama Administration be vigilant of the growing tensions and condemn Guatemala's actions.

The CEO Caucus of the Government of Belize takes this opportunity to inform the general public of “The Big Deal” CEO Caucus Challenge 2016: Cancer Awareness Ride” which takes place on Saturday 7th May 2016. The Ride will start at Mile 24 on the George Price Highway and concludes at the Showgrounds in the City of Belmopan. Those who have not registered as yet but would like to participate can do so on the morning of the Ride. Registration begins at 5:30 a.m. sharp at Mile 24 and the ride commences at 6:30 a.m. If you have not received your T-Shirt before the ride, it can be picked up at the showgrounds after the ride. Participants from Belize City are advised that a bus will be at the Western Avenue Bus Stop from 4:45 a.m. to load its passengers and will depart sharply at 5:00 a.m. enroute to the starting point for the ride.

Statement by the Honorable Dean Barrow on meetings at OAS Headquarters in Washington and the planned trip to the Sarstoon by the PUP
We greatly appreciate the OAS Secretary-General's statement last night, following his meeting with Belize and Guatemala, which makes clear that both nations are to "adopt a cooperation mechanism as soon as possible to normalize the situation in the Sarstoon River". In other words, the two countries are to agree an operational protocol regarding the Sarstoon, and the statement commends their willingness to do this. As the SG put it, he "welcomed the readiness of both parties to advance in the negotiations of the cooperation mechanism" for the Sarstoon. GOB regards the results of the Washington meeting as something of a breakthrough. Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done in order to achieve a satisfactory outcome to the Sarstoon negotiations that have now been mandated between Belize and Guatemala. And we cannot rest content until those negotiations have been finally concluded and there is a formal agreement in writing.

U.S. Embassy Belize PHOTO CONTEST!!!
World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future.This year the U.S. Embassy is accepting submissions for a photo contest in honor of World Oceans Day 2016 and The State Department's Our Ocean Conference next September. Please send us digital photos of groups or individuals standing/jumping/swimming with a sign(s) saying “Our Ocean, One Future” or writing it on the sand at the beach in Belize. First place winner's photo will be featured on the Embassy's website and our Facebook page and the winner will receive an inflatable sea kayak for two as a prize. Second place winner's photo will also be featured on the Embassy's Facebook page and the winner will receive a deluxe reclining beach chair.

U.S. Embassy Belize - Diversity Visa Lottery
Use your confirmation number now to check if you were selected to interview for the Diversity Visa Lottery! Remember, we will NOT send you an email. If you get an email saying that you won, it is a fraud!!!

NICH Music Week 2016!
This year Music Week 2016 will include music industry development seminars, peer-to-peer sessions, and performances. May 16-21. Save the date!

11th Annual Northern Belize Reef Week 2016
May 16-22 in San Pedro

The Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment visits with BNE!
The Cabinet Subcommittee on Investments (CSCI) visited Belize Natural Energy (BNE) along with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) in exploring energy investment opportunities on May 6th, 2016. In attendance included the Chair of the Subcommittee, Hon. Tracy Taegar Panton, Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce along with Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Hon. Vanessa Retreage, Attorney General at the Attorney General’s Ministry. The BNE team provided the delegation with a very insightful tour of the facilities including the components on oil and gas.

FCD meets with Asociacion Balam
FCD met with Asociacion Balam team of Peten, Guatemala today at the FCD office to forge forward added steps of collaboration across borders. The joint effort continues.

Channel 7

GSU Accused of Southside Beatdowns, But No Arrests
All this week we've been reporting on the spike in southside crime - where we saw three murders in one week. Southside Commander Chester Williams is quick to point out that the murder figure for the southside is still 8 fewer than it was at this time last year, but he also acknowledges that police have to curb the gang activity that's spurring the violence. And so last night just as news was starting, it seems some kind of operation was launched. We know this because our phones here at 7News started ringing off the hook from the Yabra and East Canal areas where residents say the GSU descended on those neighborhoods with great fury. Daniel Ortiz has the story:... Chaos was unleashed when the GSU descended on the Yabra Area last night. While a few officers stood guard, others mercilessly beat down as many as 6 men. But what's strange is no one was arrested, no one detained: the police truck rolled off and left its victims on the ground.

GSU Also Punished Yabra Residents
And while those men were from the Waxhouse area on East Canal - before the GSU got there, they descended on the Barracks at the Corner of Ceasar Ridge and Faber's Roads in the Yabra area. The M.O. was the same in that neighborhood: 6 officers swooped in, they beat up a handful of men, and leave them there to tend to their wounds. We spoke to an area resident by phone - and have footage from that area last night: Voice of: Eye Witness: "They came in 3 trucks and just started to swing. My brother was one of the young men. He does not give any trouble; he is a business man. My brother was knocked out/passed out on the ground. These things are not right because they have ways in dealing with things. They have to realize that there are children out here. They have families and all they do is frustrate men and bring out more anger in them. We as women, we are hardworking, we abide by the rules but the way how they come and treat people, this isn't right. They don't say why, when we try to come in they push my mom and I away. They just came and started to swing and kick; those things are not right. They are in pain; they can't even move when they were done. Those things aren't right, I think those guys have families, how will you be beating up a man like that? Taking men and throwing them in mud and water like that, those things are not right."

Gold Out Of Stone: Guatemalan Gold Rush Is Denuding Chiquibul
Last night we told you about the travel advisory against Belize that the Guatemalan Congress approved. It warns Guatemalan citizens not to travel to Belize because their human rights are likely to be violated by the BDF. Well, minus the BDF nonsense, the Friends For Conservation and Development who co-manage the Chiquibul National Park probably wish that information would get to those communities adjoining the Chiquibul, Guatemalan villages like La Rejoya and Monte Los Olivos. That's because residents of those villages keep pushing over into Belize to illegally extract resources from the Chiquibul Forest. And according to the FCD, right now it's worse than ever with the gold panning. Guatemalan gold panners have dug these trenches to get to the gold. In the past, they would pan gold from the streams, but now they dig trenches, take out the stones, and then crush those stones to get out the gold which may be embedded within the stones. They can get 250 Quetzales or 74 Belize dollars for a gram of gold - which might not seem like much but for Guatemalan peasants, it's a windfall.

PUP Met With Foreign Minister
Yesterday at his press conference, the Prime Minister implored the PUP not to go down to the Sarstoon, and asked them to re-engage for a bi-partisan effort on the Belize-Guatemala issue. He said as much to the leader of the opposition John Briceno in a phone call earlier in the day. And the PUP agreed only to listen. That process started this morning when PUP Leader John Briceno and the party's Belize Guatemala Representative Eamon Courtenay went to Coney Drive to meet with Foreign Minsetr Wilfred Elrington and Belize's Ambassador to Guatemala Alexis Rosado. That meeting lasted about an hour and a half and Briceno would not comment when he came down. Tomorrow, Briceno and Courtenay will report on that meeting to the PUP National Party Council. From there the Party Council will decide if they will re-engage on a bi partisan effort. They will take some convincing, since many in the PUP are bent out of shape about the Sarstoon S.I. and hell-bent on having it rescinded.

Getting The Story Straight: FM and PM
As we told you in our last segment, the PUP will meet tomorrow to decide on whether to re-engage in a bi-lateral effort on the Belize - Guatemala issue. But, the truth is that the PUP National Party Council won't have much to work with. And that's because the "cautious optimism" that government speaks about seems to have more to do with the spirit surrounding the talks - than the actual substance of those talks. We're told the Guatemalan Foreign Minister doesn't have much authority to negotiate. And that absence of real substance at this point, did create an unusual discontinuity in the positions that Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington took when they answered questions from the press. The message appeared somewhat like double speak, with the Prime Minister saying that he doesn't have enough information to get into the details of the Washington Bilateral meetings, and Elrington saying that he did. Here's what moment from the Press conference yesterday:

Room Dis-Service Hotel UCUM
About a month ago, we told you about a businessman and his family who became the victims of a terrifying extortion attempt in Chetumal. Well tonight, another Belizean is coming forward with her own bad experience. She claims that over the Labour Day weekend she went to Chetumal, and she stayed at the popular Hotel Ucum. She says that she and her daughter went to enjoy themselves, after properly securing their room. When they came back, they found that the hotel staff hadn't only cleaned the room, they cleaned them out completely! That's right, they stole all their personal belongings. She immediately reported it to the Mexican Police who investigated and came to the conclusion that it was not forced entry into their hotel room. Someone with a key, most likely a hotel staffer, went in, and stole their belongings.

Leadercast Belize
An event called Leader Cast is one of the largest one-day leadership events in the world. And if you follow the blurbs on the brochure, it's held every year to "unite citizen leaders around the world and inspire them to make a change in areas of business and family." This year's seminar was held in Atlanta Georgia today but it was broadcast live in several other locations including Belize. Dionne Chamberlain Miranda, Director and manager of Chamberlain Consulting led the initiative in Belize. She tells us why she brought LAEADERCAST to Belize. "Belize really is having a leadership vacuum at this point. However, there are a lot of people who believe that being a leader means to hold a certain position. Leadership is about people, leadership is about influence and leadership is about making a change and all of us have to make a change the world and making things matter to leave a legacy behind for ourselves and our children. so this session invites a whole group of Belizeans to come in and lets listen, learn and see what we can do for Belize following the session today."

Fire Training For Southern Farmers
In urban areas such as Belize City, fire is AWLAYS a bad thing, but in rural farming communities, fire is a major part of the harvesting cycle. But, you know what they say about playing with fire, and in the past three years, many of those agricultural fires have escaped and accidentally burned 6,300 acres of forests and also led to the destruction of crops and private property. So the Ya'axché Conservation Trust is teaching farmers how to use fire more effectively. It's called controlling agricultural burns, and on Thursday, Ya'axché partnered with its sister organization, Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), to hold a one-day fire management training in Golden Stream village. 12 farmers participated and here's what they learned:

GSU, Again?
At the top of the news, we told you about how the GSU went to Wax House on East Canal and the Yabra area where they allegedly handed a group of men from both turfs a beatdown. Well, one George Street resident called us today to complain that on Tuesday, the GSU came to her brother's house. He's Eustace Lewis, known as "Duck", and she says that he has been living with constant police harassment. She says that the GSU took it up a notch when they destroyed his home after a raid on Tuesday. Here's how she explained it to us this evening: Voice of Family Member: "I got out of my bed, changed my clothes and came around. When I came out of my yard I saw 2 jeeps with GSU coming up the street so I just continued walking because I didn't want them to come harass my house. When I continued walking and arrived on Plues Street, a next 3-4 trucks with K9 units are out there, so I continued to walk on George Street to go check on my sister-in-law. When I arrived, I saw the gate broken down, door stomped in, back door broken up and the house well dug up. I told her 'this is a lot of craziness; the babies are sleeping'. They act like my brother is the number one criminal on their criminal list. My brother gives trouble yes, but you don't have to be acting like that. If you had any PR, you would have approached better than that. Then the next thing is they still have the tendency to beat my brother, stomp him in his side, got him on the ground, walking up on his back like he's an animal. Those things aren't right. You can't be acting like that, if you want the people and the so-called gang members respect, you have to respect them the same way as well. Not because you classify them as gang members you have to treat them like that."

How To Win a New RAV 4
Plenty of shoppers have been saving up their GST receipts recently, and that's because a receipt for $50 dollars or more gets you a ticket to win a brand new 2016 Toyota RAV 4. Drawing date is July 1st. So if you haven't been collecting those GST receipts well you better start now, because the vehicle is here and it is a beauty. Today we stopped by the GST office and spoke to Supervisor Cecelia Thompson. "The Department of General Sales Tax will be completing 10 years so we are celebrating its anniversary. We thought that it's a good idea, because other countries have done it, to try and get compliance from registered tax payers in the matter of issuing tax receipts. That has been a challenge for the Department, in that a lot of calls come in where consumers are saying that they go to the store and they don't want to give them their receipt. A receipt is very important if you are a consumer, you will find that something you will have to return some goods. Sometimes you reach home and you find that this item is not on your receipt, you'll have to go back to the store and your only proof is the receipt.

7 Samples Later, ZIKA Still Not Confirmed In Belize
6 samples have returned negative for Zika. The Ministry of Health had sent 7 samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency last month, so only one sample remains, but health officials are hopeful that the final sample will be negative as well. In yesterday's health release it reiterates, quote, "The Ministry of Health is still not able to confirm the presence of Zika in Belize but we remain vigilant as we continue to thoroughly investigate any potential case." The samples also tested negative for Dengue and Chikungunya.

A Life For A Life, For "Life"
Dionicio "Life" Salazaar, in 2010, he was charged for the murder of Marlon Rivera and the attempted murder of Dean Dougal. Well, tonight we can report that the man called "Life" will serve life in prison. Salazaar was reportedly convicted in a trial without jury before Justice Antionette Moore. His attorney waived the time for mitigation, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

Teenager For Troy Cole Shooting
A 17 year old minor has been charged for the murder of Troy Cole, known as "Biggs". We can't show his picture, but we can tell you that he will turn 18 tomorrow. Still, he had to appear before the family court, because he is still a minor. But, he will be turned over to the Belize Central Prison by Monday since he will be 18 within the next few hours. In fact, he was taken over to Magistrate's court this afternoon, but as he entered the court, he said he was a minor and he was whisked off back into the police mobile and taken to the Belize Family Court. At 3:30, he appeared before a magistrate there and was read a single charge of murder of Troy Cole. Cole was killed on Wednesday, on Curassow Street.

Guatemalan Cop Car Jacker Got Caught, Convicted
5 weeks ago, we told you about how Cayo Police got back the truck stolen from Assistant Superintendent Selvin Tillett. As you will remember, that's the 2014 Mazda pickup, which ended up in Guatemala after armed thieves held up the senior officer at gunpoint and stole the vehicle. Well, Benque Police are reporting tonight that they've charged 21 year-old Guatemalan Gryan Geovanny Corado. He's a tour guide from Barrio Fallabon, Melchor, and he has been arraigned in Belmopan Magistrate's Court for the crime of robbery. He's now on remand after pleading guilty.

Creole and Cajun, Just Like Belize
Tonight we have the last installment from the New Orleans Feature Series. We have taken you to all the big stages, and shown you the cultural displays beneath the Belize Pavilion Tent, but we have one more element which is the foundation of the entire New Orleans experience: and that's exploring the unique heritage and cultures in New Orleans. Here is that final story. Valerie Gulliet, Cultural Exchange Pavilion Coordinator: "This is the largest event in New Orleans after Mardi Gras, after carnival, so it really presents the culture of New Orleans and Louisiana to the world." Courtney Weatherburne reporting: A large part of that culture is Louisiana Cajun music. All that south western Louisiana flavor was found on the Fai Do DO stage. Now it might just sound like a regular country western song but that is just one example of the musical diversity in New Orleans. Valerie Gulliet, Cultural Exchange Pavilion Coordinator: "Something very unique to New Orleans is the Brass bands that come from the streets, very strong rhythm, definitely influenced by Africa and the Mardi Gras Indians, those are unique to New Orleans."

SUPA G Played Jazzfest and Back Home With New Album
We didn't get to see him perform on the festival's second weekend, but "Supa" hasn't missed a beat since returning - and he's gone from Jazz Fesitval to album launch. He stopped by our studio today to talk about his brand new album called "Undeniable." You can find the album at outlets in Cayo and in online sources like Itunes for $20.

Kache With Griga Roots Makes The NFL
If you know anything about Belizean Sports in the last 20 years, then you'll know who Milton Palacio is. The Belizean son of Dangriga-born parents Clifford and Rita Palacio played in the NBA and European Leagues, and most importantly won gold for Belize in the 1998 CARICOM Games. Well, now, there's a new Palacio who's making his name as a pro athlete, and it's Milton's nephew, Kache Palacio. Kache, who was born in Los Angeles and went to Washington State University where he was a standout linebacker. And though he went undrafted, the news tonight is that he;s been signed by the LA Rams as an undrafted free agent. His father Emile, who went to LA when he was 10 is also his son's personal trainer and he told us that Kache has a promising future in the NFL:..

Man For Step-Son's Murder
43 year-old Security Guard Patrick Castillo, who is accused of viciously chopping his step-son, 21 year-old Jose Maderos to death, will have to stand trial in the Supreme Court. A preliminary Inquiry hearing was held today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where the prosecution submitted 21 statements from witnesses they intend to call to testify against him. Also a part of the Prosecution's case is the machete which they believe that he committed the crime with, as well articles of clothing picked up at the scene of the murder. Viewers will remember that bloody scene where the stepfather and stepson got into an altercation before the other younger children. A few of the siblings tried to stop the fight, and they got injured in the chopping.

Indian Creek Hybrid Water System
The villages of Indian Church and San Carlos in Orange Walk are the receiptns of a Hybrid Solar Water System. It's one of the first in the region. Here's more. About 500 residents will benefit. The hybrid project was funded by the Government of Belize at a cost of $867,000 dolalrs through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank.

Softball Stars
12 teams, 6 male and 6 female, went head to head in an all-day softball event at the Marion Jones Stadium. It was the national primary school softball competitions. Every year, each district brings out their best to compete at this national level and boy was the competition intense. We stopped by the Marion jones complex this morning as the games go under way. At the end of the tournament these were the top three winners in the female category. In first place it was the Crooked Tree Government School who defended their title. Second place was won by Aguacate RC of Toledo District, and third place was won by Independence of Stann Creek District.

Channel 5

Immigrants Line Up for G.O.B.’s New Refugee Program
Tonight, there are many questions surrounding a very vibrant and current refugee program in Belize, and somehow answers seem very scarce. Every week, hundreds of undocumented immigrants flock to the [...]

Belize Will Possibly Shelter Refugees Heading to the U.S.
So why the sudden urgency for a massive refugee program, or amnesty program of sorts? Is it the result of pressure from the U.S.? It’s possible because it is joined [...]

SATIIM Did Ask for Permission to Go Into the Sarstoon
On Thursday, we told you about a SATIIM trip cut unexpectedly short after rangers were denied entry to the Sarstoon by the Belize Defense Force. The boat carrying rangers was [...]

Party Council Meets to Discuss the Sarstoon and Related Issues
At a press conference on Thursday, the Prime Minister appealed to the People’s United Party to stand down from a visit to the Sarstoon. He asked them to return to [...]

Teenager Charged for Murder of Troy Cole
Late this afternoon, a teenager of Antelope Street Extension was arraigned in the Belize City Family Court for Wednesday’s broad daylight murder of Troy Cole. Cole was riding his bicycle [...]

N.T.U.C.B. Criticizes Sarstoon Law
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has also come out swinging against the recently enacted Sarstoon Law.  This afternoon, the N.T.U.C.B. issued a release decrying the piece of legislation, [...]

Union Has Issues With What Law Represents & How It Was Enacted
The N.T.U.C.B. has taken a singular position chiding government for its outwardly impulsive decision to effect the Sarstoon Law.  Its executives, however, were not all sold on the idea that [...]

Still No Charges in Camalote Double Murder
Akeem Thimbriel and Shawn Lopez were laid to rest today in Camalote, after they were gunned down last Sunday as they walked together in the village. The young men were [...]

Ryan Alvarez to Stand Trial for Murder
Almost a month ago, Devon Sankey was freed of the murder of Edward Albert Robinson and the attempted murder of notorious street figure Jamil Betancourt which occurred in October 2015 [...]

The People Speak on the Sarstoon
Earlier you heard the N.T.U.C.B. President come out against the amended regulations under Section Two of the Public Safety Act, which prohibits Belizeans from traveling to the Sarstoon River without [...]

Belize & Guatemalan Ombudsmen Discuss Chiquibul Incident
There are still few details on a meeting in Washington between the Foreign Ministers of Belize, Guatemala and the O.A.S. Secretary General. All we know is that there was a [...]

Arzu Says Chiquibul Incident Should Be Handled in Isolation
Now, Guatemala has been on an aggressive campaign, passing itself off as a victim and Belize as an aggressor. It has been telling the world that ten Guatemalans have been [...]

Ombudsmen Will Continue Discussions on Critical Issues
Ombudsman Arzu says that it is necessary to keep tabs on what his Guatemalan counterparts are up to and to keep the lines of communication open.   Lionel Arzu, Ombudsman [...]

Cleyon Needs a Bone Marrow Transplant
Twelve-year old Cleyon Marage continues to struggle to stay alive. So far he has undergone several surgeries in Merida to fight cancer and it appeared that his health condition was [...]

Family Raising Funds for Expensive Procedure
Now, the bone marrow transplant to save Cleyon’s life costs one hundred thousand dollars – money that the family does not have. So next week Saturday, May fourteenth, the Matura [...]

Kareem Clarke Food Drive Set for Saturday
The Kareem Clarke Memorial Fund will be holding its second scheduled food drive on Saturday in Belize City. The group was formed to celebrate the life of slain journalist Kareem [...]

Belize Zoo Celebrates National Tapir Day
National Tapir Day is the biggest event of the Belize Zoo’s calendar year; it is recognized every year on April twenty-seventh. But the day was commemorated this past Thursday with [...]

Where is 13 Year Old Shinique Perez?
Thirteen-year-old Shinique Perez has been reported missing by her mother for the past nine days.  The teenager has reportedly run away from home and was last seen in the Saint [...]


Belize Simulcasts Leadercast 2016
Representatives from a number of organizations participated in the annual simulcast of Leadercast 2016. The event was hosted by Chamberlain Consulting from Belize City. The simulcast brought live from Atlanta in the United States. The theme for this year is “Architects of tomorrow.” Teresita Perez Martinez, Chief Implementation Consultant of Chamberlain Consulting spoke to Love […]

Vox Pop: Residents Weigh in on Belize/Guatemala Issue
The Belize Guatemala issue has been in the headlines for the last few weeks. The latest we heard from officials was yesterday when Prime Minister Dean Barrow updated the nation on the recent talks held in Washington. Today Love News took to the streets to hear what people think about the issue. At yesterday’s press […]

Vox Pop – Do You Feel Safe in City Streets?
The last week has seen a spike in crime in the Belize and Cayo Districts. Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told the media yesterday that the Police is making every effort to make residents feel safe within Belize City. Today Love News took to the streets of busy Belize City to ask residents if […]

Fuel Prices Goes Up at Midnight
April 19 marks the last report we brought to you surrounding the fuel prices. Tonight at midnight, however, you can expect some changes at the pumps. Regular is going up to nine dollars and twelve cents; that is an increase of twenty five cents per gallon. For premium, that increase is for twenty five cents […]

CRFM Hosts Meeting to Establish New Study on Fisheries
Belize is taking part in a series of meetings that began yesterday in Bridgetown, Barbados hosted by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The meeting seeks to chart the course for a new study that will look at the impacts of rising cost factors of fishing operations. Those factors include labor, fuel, fishing gear, repair […]

Health Sector Prepares to Celebrate Nurses’ Week 2016
Next week will be celebrated as Nurses week, set aside to recognize the contributions that nurses make to the community. This morning on the Morning Show, Michelle Hoare, Director of Nursing Services at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital spoke about some of the activities that have been planned. Today, Love News visited the KHMH […]

Food Drive for Kareem Clarke Fund
Kareem Clarke is a news reporter who was gunned down on July 6, 2015 in Belize City. His brutal murder left the media circles incomplete. With a longing to never forget Kareem, the various media houses met and came up with the Kareem Clarke Fund. It is an initiative that seeks to provide for feeding […]

Four Found Guilty of Burglarizing Philip Garbutt’s Home
Four persons charged with a burglary in which over thirty seven thousand dollars worth of items and money were stolen, were found guilty of the charge today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. They are Lloyd Parchue, Malik Ovado, Cilo Cherrington and Kareem Yorke. Parchue and Yorke were each sentenced to five years imprisonment while Cherrington […]

Fined for Selfie at Chetumal Border
Ordinarily, an incident like this would not make the local news but considering how close to home the Subteniente Lopez border is to Belize, we thought we would report on it for both the occasional and frequent traveler. According to a newspaper out of Quintana Roo , Mexico a family was returning from the Corozal […]

Three Rural Schools Top Softball Championship
The national Primary School Softball Championships began today in Belize City. Over a hundred students gathered at the Marion Jones Stadium from across the country to compete. Attending the event was Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Elodio Aragon. He spoke to Love news on the event. Aragon spoke on […]


No Zika, Says Ministry of Health
There is no ZIKA in Belize says that the Ministry of Health. Today, the Ministry of Health received results from Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on an initial case that was of significant interest in the ongoing investigation to determine the existence of indigenous transmission of the Zika ...

Belmopan Squatters told to leave
The Belmopan City Council has been fighting the increase in squatting in the City, particularly in the San Martin, Maya Mopan, and Las Flores areas. Some six months ago, another set of squatters were identified in the SalvaPan area and told to get off the land within a six month period. During that...

PM says cautiously optimistic about meeting with OAS and Guatemala FM
A press conference was called once again today to update the nation on meetings between Belize and Guatemala. Prime Minister Barrow began by reading a prepared statement. He called the meeting with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, and Guatemala’s Foreign Mi...

Belize Health Care Partners says Assistant Compol statement endangers them
The Belize Health Care partners issued a press release today saying that it denies allegations made by Assistant Comissioner of Polcie to the press that the Belize Integral Health Center denied treatment to Troy Cole who was shot and killed on May 4, 2016. The Belize Health Care partners relsease sa...

Update on Refugee influx
Last Friday, Plus News, visited the Belmopan offices of Help For Progress, an NGO which claims to be dedicated to rural community development but also doubles as a refugee clearing house for UNHCR; United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Last week, our journalists observed lines of Hispanic men...

24 firefighters join national service
Today was graduation day for 24 trainees who are now firefighters for the National Fire Service.This is the first course graduation ceremony for 2016. The training the all-male group received included understanding the origin and development of fire and the specific techniques used to contain it. Ho...

Improved access to potable water in Indian Church/San Carlos
Approximately 500 residents of Indian Church/San Carlos villages in the Orange Walk district will now have easier access to potable water . That’s because of the installation of a hybrid solar water project which was funded by the Government of Belize at a cost of $867,333.29 through a loan from t...

Re: Today's Belize News: May 7, 2016 [Re: Marty] #513579
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The Reporter

href="">LGBTI community to hold human rights workshop
The Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV (C-NET+), is hosting a workshop for members of the LGBTI community this month, geared towards promoting a sense of unity among community members. The workshop, a follow-up to an initial event held in late April, will be held on May 28. At the event, participants will be expected to present their results and feedback on the community engagement when replicating the information from the initial two-day workshop. The workshop forms a part of a larger project, dating back to December 2015 where C-NET+, received approval for funding from the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) Community Mini-Grants in order to engage in a project known as Empowering Individuals, Building a Community. The overall project was geared towards three (3) major interventions: Stigma and Discrimination Campaigns, Human Rights Education and Awareness campaigns and peer education.

Leadercast 2016 comes to Belize
More than 160 people from various organizations gathered at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Friday for the international seminar Leadercast 2016. The event, a live stream of a seminar happening in Atlanta Georgia, gathers over 100,000 participants worldwide to hear speeches reflecting the year’s theme. The 2016 theme is “Architects of Tomorrow.” The conference had four segments, two presenters per segment, followed by discussion sessions with local moderators at the end of each segment. There was also a “Mastermind” session at the end for anyone who wants to remain and discuss what actions would be taken post seminar. Participants listened to presentations from world renowned speakers such as: Steve Wozniak, Co­Founder of Apple; James Brown, Network Broadcaster for CBS Sports & News; and Kat Cole, Group President of Focus Brands. The local special moderators included Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Daniel Gutierrez.

The Belize Times

Tek Back Sarstoon!
PUP National Executive during meeting on Tuesday May 3, 2016[/caption] Belize City, May 05, 2016 People’s United Party Leader Hon. John Briceño announced on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 that the Party of George Price and Independence will be rolling up its sleeves and taking direction action to assert and defend Belize’s national integrity and sovereignty against the threats inside and out. Briceño revealed that the Party’s National Executive made a decision to go to the Sarstoon area in an effort to defy the Government of Belize’s attempt to restrain the right of every Belizean to move freely throughout Belize with the recent imposition of a law which prohibits travelling to the Sarstoon. The decision was also taken in light of the Barrow Administration’s consistently shameful failure to adequately assert Belize’s territorial waters in the Sarstoon, as demarcated by international law and boundary treaties. "As a national executive and members from parliament, we decided that it's important for us to show to the government and to the country that we do not agree with the law and we are going to challenge it, not only by talking but going on the ground, going to the Sarstoon River," declared the PUP Leader.

Two Women Murdered; Shooter Attempts Suicide
Security guard Andy Bustillos, 31, is currently under Police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital under heavy police guard. When he recovers from the self-inflicted wound to the head, Bustillos will be charged for the murders of his common-law wife, Miriam Mai, 39, and her employee Daisy Miralda, 29, as well as for attempts to kill two others. The bizarre incident happened at around 5:30pm at Betty’s Salon, owned by Mai. Eyewitnesses claim that Bustillos walked into the establishment with a bag that allegedly contained a phone. He attempted to give the bag to Mai, but she refused. That’s when the security guard, employed with Anchor Security, pulled out a licensed 9mm pistol and shot Daisy Miralda in the forehead. He then allegedly pointed his weapon in the face of a female customer and pulled the trigger, but the gun snapped.

8 MURDERS IN 5 DAYS – Another Gang Figure Gunned Down
On April 16, 2016 George Street boss Gerald “Shiny” Tillett was executed down as he gambled at the Wadani Shed in Dangriga. And over the weekend another gang figure, Supal Street affiliate Keon “Gambis” Williams, 38, was killed in broad daylight as he rode his motorcycle on Central American Boulevard on Saturday at around 5:30pm. According to Police, Williams was at the corner of Antelope Street and Central American Boulevard when a “whitish” four door Lincoln drove past and somebody opened fire from the open passenger side window. Williams was shot to the back, neck and shoulder and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Karl Heusner memorial Hospital. On Saturday Police Scenes of Crimes markers dotted the scene, and eyewitnesses claimed that as many as 12 shots were fired out of the vehicle.

Hiding behind the skirt of the Governor General, the government rushed through a law on Friday 29 April, 2016. The purpose of the law was to prevent Wil Maheia and members of his territorial volunteers from visiting the Sarstoon River on Saturday 30 April, 2016. The law is unconstitutional as well as immoral. It is an act of cowards in government. In preventing the volunteers from going on the Sarstoon River, the Police couldn’t even invoke the stupid law. Instead they used the very same pretext used by Guatemala last March 2015, when a boat load of volunteers were towed by Guatemala navy over to Livingston in Guatemala. The excuse for this illegal action was that it was for the safety of the Belizeans who were overloading the boat. Police, BDF Soldiers and Coastguards stood on the pier in Barranco to prevent Wil Maheia and members of the Territorial Volunteers from getting on boats to go on the Sarstoon River. Even if the Volunteers had pushed the Police and soldiers off the pier, there were no boats. The Police and Coastguards had arrested/detained the boats and the captains “for their own safety” and had taken them to Punta Gorda Town.

A Day For Mothers
There are two days out of the year, when almost every man will put aside machismo and indulge in the noble art of chivalry. On these two days, the most macho of men might be seen ambling down the street; a tattoo on one arm and a bunch of flowers in the other. The first of these two days of endearment falls on the fourteenth of February and on the second Sunday in May. This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day and as we have done traditionally and collectively since way back in the days of old, mankind takes a bow to the mothers. The tradition of setting a day aside to honour mothers began early in the days of civilization. The Ancient Greeks and Romans had a day in honour of Rhea, the mothers of their gods. After Paganism gave way to Monotheism, the celebration turned to the extolment of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus. The first semblance to our now Mother’s Day celebration, can be traced back to Renaissance England when young men and women who were off serving as apprentices or servants would return home for a day, bringing their mothers token gifts of appreciation. The boys would bring trinkets and the girls would bake what was called a mothering cake. The day was generally referred to as Mothering Sunday.

Barrow’s Cowardly Act
Last week, while senior security officials were in tense negotiations with the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) in an attempt to dissuade them from carrying out a patriotic trip to the Sarstoon area on Saturday April 30th, the Governor General on the advice of Prime Minister Dean Barrow signed into law an unprecedented legislation that placed an effective ban on travelling to the entire Sarstoon area. For the first time in Belize’s history and the history of Guatemala’s baseless claim including its recent belligerent actions against our country, the Belize Government is on the same side as the Guatemalan Government, forcefully prohibiting Belizeans from accessing Belizean territory. This was the principal effect of Statutory Instrument 42 of 2016…to “prohibit persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River”.

SMART Hurricanes spanks S.P. Tigersharks in finals Gm 1
The SMART Hurricanes battered the two-time defending champions, the San Pedro Tigersharks, in game one of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) championship finals held at the Belize Elementary School auditorium in Belize City on Friday night. The Hurricanes blew away the Tiger Sharks 93-84. Team captain Darwin “Puppy” Leslie led the attack on his former teammates with 25pts, while MVP Farron Louriano added 24pts and Leroy Louriano scored 17pts. Tiger Sharks’ Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz scored 20pts, while Douglas Valley hit 17pts and team captain Tyrone “Mission” Edwards added 13pts.

Central Zone wins most medals at athletics championship
athletes participated in the athletics championships hosted by Independence High School last Saturday April 23rd. The Central Zone won 22 gold, 22 silver and 14 bronze medals, while the Southern Zone was 2nd with 45 medals: 17 golds, 13 silver and 15 bronze. The Northern Zone was 3rd with 5 golds, 9 silver and 10 bronze medals. The Western zone was 4th with 5 golds, 8 silver and 10 bronze medals.

Belmopan Bandits are 2016 Premier League Champs
The Belmopan Bandits are the 2016 Premier League of Belize (PLB) football champions, after a 2-0 win against the Placencia Assassins in Game 2 of the championship finals at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan last Saturday night. Bandits’ Honduran import Kervin Johnson scored the first goal in the 33rd minute, picking up the rebound after Placencia goalie Anthony Williams deflected a shot from Brazilian import Amilton Filho. Randy Padilla came off Bandits’ bench to score the 2nd goal in the 85th minute and that was all she wrote for the Assassins.

Marlon Kuylen is FFB’s Interim President
The Football Federation of Belize held elections this past Saturday in Belize City, and in an extraordinary turn of events, after voting was deadlocked for 22 rounds, Senior Vice President Marlon Kuylen was selected by default to lead the federation for the next year. The decision was made by FIFA after the international body was contacted for advice by UNCAF and CONCACAF representatives overseeing the elections. The race for control of the organization has been a hostile one for months, with slates put up by incumbent President Ruperto Vicente and Senior Vice President Sergio Chuc – both going for President in Saturday’s elections. After two rounds of voting, Kuylen was elected Senior Vice President, along with Shane Orio and Darlene Vernon elected as Executive Members. But the twenty voting delegates were deadlocked on the selection of a Second Vice President and President, for 20 more rounds.

Duo charged for stealing St. Martin’s De Porres Church motorcycle
Two Belize City body works technicians were released on bail after they were arraigned on charges of theft and handling stolen goods this afternoon, when they appeared at the Magistrate’s Court. Randolph Belisle, 20, a resident of Iguana Street Extension and his alleged partner in crime, Hector Pratt, 20, a resident of Vernon Street both pleaded not guilty to one count of theft. Belisle was additionally charged with one count of handling stolen goods. The allegation against the two men is that they stole a red Lifan motorcycle which is the property of St. Martin’s De Porres Church. In court, the prosecutor Inspector Hector Rodriguez objected to granting bail to the two men. Rodriguez told the court that the evidence that the prosecution has against the two men is very strong, because their theft was captured on a video surveillance camera.

True Belizeans Heroes
If not for the pressure brought to bear by the Belize Territorial Volunteers and the Northern Territorial Volunteers, there would be no Forward Operating Base at the mouth of the Sarstoon River right now. If not for the BTV and the NTV, Sedi and company would still have been sipping cocktails and singing songs by the Guatemalan campfire while we lost the Sarstoon. Yet the government continues to blame the Territorial Volunteers for the mess they are in. I remember when our men, women and children from Orange Walk made the trek to the Southern Border to show their love and patriotism. They were taken out of safe Belizean waters by the Guatemalan military and forced to travel across rough, open seas to Livingston in Guatemala. Their lives were put at risk. Do you know what our government did and said? Nothing. They did nothing. Instead Sedi Elrington said that the Guatemalans rescued Belizeans and took them to Livingston for their safety – an absolute LIE. Sometimes Sedi behaves like he is more Guatemalan than Belizean.

Remarks by Leader of the People’s United Party Hon. John Briceño on the Occasion of the Unveiling Ceremony of the Monument of the Rt. Hon. George Price
A few blocks from here in an ordinary grave, rests a humble man. In fact every day thousands of Belizeans drive or ride by and may not even remember that it is there except on those days when people from my Party go to lay a wreath. This man never really wanted any special titles, he did not have a lot of fancy degrees, nor was he ever considered a materially wealthy man. All his life he considered himself to be a hard worker. We knew him as a humble man, who dedicated his life to our nation. Today we come to honour this worker who became the Father of our Nation. I am so happy that His Worship Mayor Bradley invited me to be a part of this unveiling ceremony, for it is a historic occasion. I believe that because of this monument, many who just ride by that humble grave every day may now have this structure as a reminder of the life and work of the Right Honourable George Cadle Price.

Fisherman remanded on aggravated assault with a firearm charge
A Belize City fisherman was remanded to the Belize Central Prison, after he was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm and wounding on Tuesday, May 3rd. Shane Young, 23, a resident of Pinks Alley pleaded not guilty, when Magistrate Deborah Rogers arraigned him on the two charges. Because Young was accused of committing the aggravated assault with a firearm, he was unable to obtain bail and the Magistrate’s Court, but must wait 90 days in prison before he becomes eligible for bail at the Magistrate’s Court or hire an attorney to apply for Supreme Court bail.

Did the Police try to sabotage case against Denny Grijalva?
Denny Grijalva, the UDP politician from Orange Walk Central, and his company DeMars have been fined $24,000 for the reckless destruction of Noh Mul, the 2,300 old Mayan site in the outskirts of the Orange Walk District. Apparently while Belizeans saw a cultural monument in Noh Mul, Grijalva’s construction company saw nothing but road material. The sentence on this case is a slap on wrist for such an irreversible and irreparable act of cultural genocide but under this animal farm-style government which the UDP has us living in, where some are more equal than others, the fact that a UDP politician was caught red-handed in criminal wrong-doing and was prosecuted to the end is a big deal. After all, the odds were against lady justice on this one. Not only is Grijalva a UDP Standard Bearer, but he’s also one who serves under Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who wields tremendous influence over the Police in Orange Walk Town.

Camalote Cousins Murdered Senselessly
Belmopan Police have three persons detained, one of them a female, following the brutal killing of two Camalote youth on Sunday night. Akeem Thimbriel and Shawn Lopez, who are cousins, were walking toward Lopez’s home in the village when they were both riddled with bullets fired from a vehicle which drove up beside them. An eyewitness has said that even as the youth fell to the ground bleeding, the men, dressed in camouflage, exited the vehicle as if to make sure they were dead. But as residents started emerging from the homes the men drove off in what has been tentatively identified as a late model grey two-door Ford pickup. Thimbriel and Lopez were rushed to the Western Regional Hospital. Lopez was pronounced dead on arrival, while Thimbriel survived almost an hour and a half before passing away.

Paumen to stand trial for Abetment to Murder
On Monday April 25th 2016 in Belmopan, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith ruled that there is enough evidence for millionaire Dark Knight Cave Tubing owner Bradley Paumen to stand trial in the Supreme Court on 4 counts of Abetment to Murder. Paumen was accused in January 2016 of orchestrating and paying for a hit on businessman Michael Modiri, his local attorney, his bodyguard and an employee. The sensational case of murder for hire allegedly centered on a piece of land which Paumen must use to access Dark Knight’s caves located in Frank’s Eddy in the Cayo District. That piece of land belongs to Michael Modiri, who recently won a judgment against Paumen in the Supreme Court in which Paumen was found guilty of trespassing.

GOB Sabotages BTV’s Trip to Sarstoon
On Saturday heavily armed members of the Special Patrol Unit and uniformed police officers, along with Coast Guard personnel, refused to allow members of the Belize Territorial Volunteers to get on the wooden pier in Barranco. That dock was to have been the disembarkation point from which the BTV would head to the Sarstoon, located just fifteen minutes South from Toledo’s southernmost community and home of the legendary Andy Palacio. The dock was off-limits on that day, though, and even if it weren’t, there were no boats to ferry the BTV to the Sarstoon. Those boats had been turned back by joint Police/Coast Guard operations earlier that morning. According to BCG Commander Elton Bennett, the boats were deemed unsafe because of several infractions including a lack of life-vests and fire-extinguishers, so the Coast Guard could not allow members of the expedition to risk their lives in them.

PM beefs up security at residence
Security at the Prime Minister’s residence on Seashore Drive in Belize City increased over the weekend. On Saturday, April 30 through to Sunday May 1st, Police Officers set up a check point in front of his residence, while the coast guard personnel remained on vessels moored some 300 yards from the sea coast in front of the Prime Minister’s house. Reliable sources indicate that the security measures were taken after the Police “received credible information” that a group of Belizeans may have been planning to carry out a small protest outside the Prime Minister’s residence following the Government’s disruption of the Belize Territorial Volunteer’s trip to the Sarstoon area on Saturday. The BTV members were irate that the Prime Minister had introduced a law specially designed to sabotage their efforts.

Interesting times we live in…
All over the world fuel prices have gone down as oil prices maintain an unprecedented low of around $35 – $40 per barrel. But for some strange reason, pump prices in Belize keep going up. Right now Premium and Regular fuel cost exactly the same – about $9.06. Imagine that. Imagine something else. In a few weeks the government will probably have to pay Lord Ashcroft close to $200M. Maybe more. All because the Prime Minister thought he knew everything. He thought he was so smart that he could play in the same ring as the big boys and win. He lost. Well, actually we lost because WE will have to pay that money, not the Prime Minister and not the UDP. Can you say RECESSION? And can you say trouble in paradise? The UDP is shaking on its lightweight foundation right before our eyes. Gaspar Vega has bid farewell to politics. You don’t believe that crap about it being because of family. You see, Margarito Gaspar Vega is a businessman. He knows how to make money, and all these years he has made HUGE money and gotten wealthier like you wouldn’t believe.

Hard Knocks
When the Prime Minister announced on Tuesday that Sedi Elrington was meeting with the Guatemalans in Washington, there was no immediate sense of relief or confidence that Belize’s interests would be promoted. For a long time now Sedi has been a little confused where Belize’s interests are concerned. He can’t seem to see that clear line between our interests and their interests. When Sedi says all is well, it is time to time to worry, maybe even time to panic. The last round of discussions our FM had with Guatemala, he told us how great they were – really nice people, respectful and mature and oh how they love Belize and want to be our friends. And we lost the Sarstoon easy as that. This time, God forbid, Sedi might come back smiling and then we find out down the line we lost Barranco.

Morales lashes out at Barrow
In a strongly-worded press release issued on Wednesday afternoon, the Government of Guatemala lashed out at Prime Minister Dean Barrow for statements made at a press conference he held in Belmopan yesterday. The release accuses Barrow of deflecting attention and “attempting to justify” the shooting death of the Guatemalan national, 13 year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano at the hands of Belizean soldiers. In the release, the Guatemalan Government informs that it has lobbied for the Organisation of American States to appoint “an ad-hoc Commission of Inquiry” to investigate the shooting. Guatemalan officials have launched severe criticism and attacks on Belize’s security forces. This campaign continued in their most recent statement.

UB Student writes on Belize/Guatemala Dispute
Dear Editor, I am a 20yr old Belizean student at the University of Belize in Belmopan, doing my 2nd year of studies for a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. I write in respect to the issue of the unfounded Guatemalan claim on Belize. I gather that the different media outlets as well as the other public forums have been inundated with public opinions and sentiments on this issue, whether the positions brought forward are ‘informed’ and supported by evidence or are just mere frustrated rants. Growing up in Belize, I always knew from primary school that there is an existing and sustained claim on Belize by neighboring Guatemala, but also understood that Belize appreciated the diplomacy with which the matter was treated, as there had not been any military advancement or any other advancement to effect or influence a volatile situation which would result in war.

Chamber holds AGM, elects new Executive Council
The 96th Annual General Meeting of the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry was held on Thursday, April 28th, at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. As this is an election year, the room was bursting at the seams with attendees to support the potential councilor of their choice. The evening commenced with our anthem, prayer and welcome address by our VP of Commerce, Mr. Marcello Blake. The Year in Review video presentation displayed highlights and accomplishments of 2015 which included the successes of our members, our CRM award from the ILO valued at €20,000, participation in continued public/private dialogue, and our staple Expos. Guest Speaker, Hon. Tracy Taegar Panton delivered a comprehensive address on the ways in which the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce is working to enhance the process of doing business locally and globally. Her personal challenge was to increase and sustain the national GDP rate to at least 3% and to work with the private sector in achieving deliverables that will be favourable for a prosperous business environment.

Sedi holds secret talks with Guatemala – No Opposition representative at meetings
Belize’s worst Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington is holding secret talks with Guatemalan officials in Washington, U.S., this week. Elrington has been tasked by the Prime Minister to work out another compromise with Guatemala who recently ratcheted up their aggression against Belize following the fatal shooting of a 13 year old Guatemalan deep inside Belize’s western territory on April 21st, 2016. In response, Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales instructed an amassing of troops along our borders with Guatemala, and that the military take full control of the entire Sarstoon River.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Social Security Board avoids shutdown by employees
Today employees of the Social Security Board across the country had planned a shutdown of the organization’s operations at 3 in the afternoon. In October of 2015, SSB employees had tried to get Government to attend to issues of their collective bargaining agreement, weeks […]

17-year-old spends birthday in jail on murder charge
A boy will become a man in the Wagner’s Youth Facility this weekend, then join the adult population at the Central Prison by Monday. And while we cannot tell you his name, we can say tonight that he was arraigned this morning for the […]

Still no Zika in Belize
There is still no trace of Zika in Belize but the Ministry of Health is remaining vigilant, the government informed today. GOB said the Ministry of Health has received results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) of a sample which tested negative. Another […]

Cloudy skies and few showers today
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy or partly cloudy skies with a few light showers over the sea and in the South this morning, becoming isolated later today and tonight. Winds will be blowing from the North to Northeast at 5-15 knots and […]

Guatemalan Congress tells citizens not to come to Belize: are they serious?
It appears the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala has taken a stand on its citizens coming to Belize. Following a vote, a resolution was passed warning Guatemalan citizens of the dangers of traveling to Belize because of the likelihood of human rights violations […]

NTUCB marks Labour Day, speaks out about concerns
On Monday, Belize observed Labour Day, the celebration of workers generally and their contributions to the nation. On May 1, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) hosted a parade and rally in Belize City. President Marvin Mora tells us it was not well-attended, and […]

City Council labours for Belize
The annual Labour for Belize initiative of the Belize City Council took place this past weekend. For the last five years, the clean-up campaign has mainly taken place on streets and highways in the Old Capital; however, the city council decided to change locations this […]

Police enforcing liquor license regulations
Many store owners in Belize City say they are losing business because of the 9p.m. lockdown of businesses imposed by Officer Commanding Eastern Division South, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams in the wake of the killing of Gerald “Shiny” Tillett. On Wednesday during the weekly Meet and Greet […]


5 Cheap Fares to Belize in June – Sink Your Claws into Tickets for Lobster Season!
Airfare to Belize has never been cheaper. At least not in my 10 years of visiting. It is almost shocking to run your numbers for a trip…I love to use and now (remember that they are not on the consolidator sites)…to find prices under $500…under $400…to and from the UNITED STATES! So, Coconut Leo, island celebrity looks into your future and he sees…BELIZE! Take advantage of some flights! These might not match your city or schedule exactly but you are picking up what I am laying down, right?

Belize as a whole is not trending
If you look online, there are countless articles that detail how great the travel industry in Belize is doing. And unfortunately, a lot of people believe it. For example, see Travel Pulse’s post: Tourism in Belize is booming and has the numbers to prove it or the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Tourism Arrivals on the Rise in Belize. Honestly, what rubbish. I do not know if I was skeptical about those headlines because my cynicism increased due to grad school or because the Belize government keeps underinvesting in tourism development. So I set forth to see how well tourism is actually doing in all of Belize and in short, the results show that there are winners, losers, and huge losers. An analysis of the visitor percentage change from 2006 to 2014 shows that the leading tourism destination within Belize is Ambergris Caye with 43%. That basically suggests that Ambergris Caye is by far the greatest winner when it comes to an increase of tourism visitors, and in layman terms, that means that Ambergris Caye is making all the money. Basically, the above suggests that for the past decade, places such as Ambergris Caye and the coastal regions of Southern Belize have received a lot more tourist dollars than Western and Northern Belize. The implications of this may not seem like a huge issue, however, a lot more Belizeans are currently reliant on the tourism industry than 10 years ago. What irritates me the most is that with the growth of the tourism industry, and countless new hotels and tours operators adding to the tax coffers of the government, the Belize Tourism Board continues to do a lousy job at promoting the entire country. Someone needs to tell them that Belize is more than island and beach activities.

Mango Yogurt Chicken
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add onion and bell pepper; saute for 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic and mango, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until mango is tender. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, milk, and flour together; add yogurt mixture to sauteed mango and peppers. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until mixture begins to boil and thicken.

Visiting Sarteneja in Northern Belize
Located in the far north of the country in Belize’s Corozal District, Sarteneja is officially the country’s largest village with approximately 4,500 inhabitants. From a Mayan name meaning “water between the rocks,” the village has several freshwater wells. First settled by the Maya more than 2,600 years ago, today the village is home to a mixture of Mexican migrants from the nearby Yucatan peninsula, expats from North America, and descendants of the ancient Maya. Due to Sarteneja’s position on the Bay of Corozal, it is the only place in Belize where you can watch the sun set over water. Still the home of fisherman and lobstermen, the village is also renowned for its artisan boatbuilders. Another important local industry is pineapple farming. Sarteneja is located in the northeastern tip of Corozal District in northern Belize approximately 40 miles north of Orange Walk Town.

International Sourcesizz

US Embassy Guatemala's Ambassador Todd Robinson
Along with members of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs addressed issues on transparency and justice with the Guatemalan Attorney-General and head of Ministerio Público de Guatemala, Thelma Alda and the commissioner of the CICIG – Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala, Ivan Velasquez.

A Top Conservation Funder Shifts to Give New Attention to Fisheries and Plastic Trash
The Oak Foundation is moving away from its regional approach on marine conservation funding, recently setting up an endowment as it leaves Belize. It’s part of a shift toward a broader global conservation strategy. Oak is a big international player in environmental philanthropy, with split focuses on climate and marine conservation. It’s embarking on some major environment program strategic changes starting this year, most recently marked by the announcement of a $10 million endowment the funder is setting up as it transitions away from its work in Belize and the surrounding region. The foundation’s refocus is indicative of the huge interest right now in reforming fisheries among the world’s major marine funders, and the rising concern over accumulated plastic pollution, but also Oak’s aspirations for broader presence. As part of the change, the funder is beginning to wind down its 20-year commitment to marine conservation in Belize, which has previously racked up $46 million in grants to 78 groups. They’ve made a lot of progress in marine protected areas, species protection, and monitoring and management plans, and the foundation is shuttering its Belize offices this summer.

Cost of fishing in the Caribbean to be assessed under CRFM and FAO study
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is convening a meeting of fisheries experts to chart the course for a new study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors of fishing operations, such as labor, fuel, fishing gear, repair and maintenance, and capital. The expert working group, which met in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Thursday and Friday, included fisheries experts from CRFM member states, the CRFM Secretariat, the private sector and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the partner agency for the initiative. The consultant for the project, Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, an economist, joined the experts in Barbados, to agree on the best methodology to carry out the study. They also selected beneficiary countries that will be targeted for fieldwork and remote surveys, which will entail surveys of small-scale and industrial fishers, suppliers, traders and exporters. After the study is completed, a policy brief will be prepared for action by Caribbean leaders. The brief will highlight the major findings and recommendations, including policy options and strategies to increase efficiency, productivity and sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, while reducing economic risks.


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