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Today's Belize News: May 13, 2016 #513717
05/13/16 06:05 AM
05/13/16 06:05 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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

BTB sponsors World Responsible Tourism Awards
In an effort to promote sustainable tourism, The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has opted to sponsor the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards (WRTA). Belize has been a recipient of WRTA in the past and hopes that by sponsoring the event it will stimulate the industry even further. Aiming to celebrate the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world, WRTA show cases what can be achieved by a sustainable approach to tourism. “Responsible tourism is more than just a few gestures here and there, it’s about a way of life, and it’s something that is ingrained in Belize’s mentality; our tourism development strategy goes hand in hand with sustainability; and if we believe all destinations should consider this approach. Along with protecting the wildlife and natural resources, a key element of this strategy is ensuring that tourism truly benefits the local people and keeping Belize chain-free has greatly contributed to this, encouraging local enterprise and businesses to cater for tourists,” explained BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Karen Pike.

Prime Minister briefs public on bi-partisan meetings in Washington DC concerning Sarstoon
On Thursday, May 5th, Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow held a press conference along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Honourable Wilfred Elrington to report on meetings held with Guatemala at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington DC, USA. However, the press conference left attendees with many unclear answers, as Barrow was unable to say what progress the meetings had with the Guatemalans, except that it took place and that he was optimistic. The Prime Minister opened the press conference by stating the importance of a statement made by OAS’ Secretary-General Luis Almagro, wherein he asked Belize and Guatemala to cooperate on the formulation of protocols in the Sarstoon area. “We greatly appreciate OAS Secretary-General’s statement following his meeting with Belize and Guatemala. This makes it clear that the two nations are to adopt a cooperation mechanism as soon as possible to normalize the situation in the Sarstoon,” said Barrow.

Ambergris Caye Rotary Club gives back to the community
The newly installed Rotary Club in San Pedro has been actively seeking ways to assist the island community. Their latest project focused on education, engaging in community projects such as cleaning and beautification. The Club also completed a successful book drive in which they were able to collect thousands of books. The books were donated to the San Pedro Public Library, the Caye Caulker Library, Belize City Library, Seventh Day New Horizon Adventist School, Holy Cross Anglican School, Shining Star Pre-School, Brighter Tomorrow, Ambergris Caye Elementary School special needs class, Ministry of Education Resource Room and the Literary Program on the island. The book drive was the highlight part of the project. After collecting the books, Rotary Club team members had the arduous task of carefully cataloguing each book before distributing them to the respective educational institutions. “It was a long hard week sorting out books, but all was made possible thanks to the efforts of members of the club,” said Rotarian Brittney O’Daniel.

Caye Note: Reef Week
The San Pedro Sports Committee and Hol Chan Marine Reserve is inviting the island community to participate in the 11th Annual Northern Reef Week. A series of sporting activities have been organized in an effort to promote the conservation of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The week will begin with the ‘Swim to the Reef’ race on Monday, May 18th at 6AM. The race will start at the Amigo’s dock, and will be followed by a Lionfish Tournament. Registered team will have all day to catch lionfish with weigh-ins starting at 4PM at Estel’s Dine by the Sea Restaurant. To close off the week, a kayak race around the island will be held on Sunday, May 22nd. The race will start at the Boca del Rio Park at 8AM. Registration fees are $50 per team. The final event is a triathlon, which will take place also on Sunday, May 22nd at the Boca del Rio Park at 10AM.

ACES students shine brightly at Open House
Students were in the spotlight, demonstrating their knowledge at Ambergris Caye Elementary School’s (ACES) annual ‘Open Day’ on Friday, May 6th. Parents and families, along with other members of the community had the opportunity to visit ACES and observe what the students have learned so far in the school year. This year, classrooms were divided by grade levels and core subjects like science, social studies, world geography and mathematics. “We incorporated the use of technology, and our concept was to show how we learn science, social studies, or any other subject using technology,” said Teacher Roberto Valencia. The computer-science club students displayed the parts of a computer, their function, and history if its invention. For Social Studies, Belizean ethnic groups like the Mennonites and the Maya were discussed, with students dressed in cultural costumes and speaking the native languages of the Maya. The world geography classroom had students use a series of Power Point presentations to showcase the different countries in Europe. In the math department, students presented the use of decimals, shapes, polygons, and much more. Each class fulfilled their task of creating a solid project and explaining the benefits of education using technology.

Ambergris Today

No Arrests Made for Island Footballer’s Murder
The San Pedro Police Department is yet to arrest anyone for the murder of island footballer Melvin Almendarez as his family continues to mourn his death after his funeral services held on May 10, 2016. Police are still no closer to making any arrest and while there was a Canadian national detained for questioning over Almendarez’s murder, that person has only been charged and fined for another offence, but is still only a person of interest in the case. Authorities remain optimistic as they continue to investigate the murder case. The Canadian national continues to be one of the key persons of interest; however Belize court has released him with no travel restrictions. Meanwhile, San Pedro residents want answers as Almendarez was not known as a troublesome person. He was an avid football player and advocate of sports in the community and involved with the youth and sports.

Belize Strengthens Fight Against Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing
According to the FIU, the MOU will strengthen the cooperation that currently exists and facilitate the analysis and investigation of suspected money laundering, associated predicate offences, and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. Implementation of the MOU will increase the potential sources of information available to both the FIU and the police to fight crime and remove the profit from criminal activities. It also provides the framework for joint operations where the strengths of each party may complement the other and add value to the process.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

FCD public outreach campaign
Water is an essential part of life. The Chiquibul Forest is then a reservoir of life giving services. Thanks to PACT and the British Embassy, FCD is preparing its next public outreach campaign. These posters and atlas will reach out your way soon!!

Reef Week 2016 Lionfish Tournament
Get your teams ready and sign up for the Northern Belize Reef Week 2016 Lionfish Tournament!!!!

Reef Week 2016 Coastal Cleanup
Get your garbage bags ready on Tuesday May 17th @ 8:30 am, and lets clean up our coastline...all trash bags will compiled at the municipal dock!!!

Fish Tagging Program at Hol Chan
Fish Tagging Program for bonefish, permit and tarpon has initiated as part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Research/Monitoring program. The first field tagging expedition was conducted last week with 164 bonefish and 4 permits being tagged. This program seeks to engage fishermen using beach traps on leeward Ambergris caye and guarantees that bonefish and permit caught in those traps are tagged and release back to sea. If you encounter any or our tagged fish please report size and location the the Hol Chan office.

Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program Turtle Nesting Beach Photos
We made our first trip for the nesting season to Robles. No signs of nesting as yet, but we know there will be soon so we are keeping our eyes on the beach.

Carmelita Government School Receives Grant from Government of Japan
The Government of Japan is once again partnering with the Government of Belize. The Government of Japan is granting a total of $204,368.00 BZD to the Carmelita Government School located in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk, Belize. This contribution was made for the construction of three (3) classrooms for the school. The Government of Japan has been partnering with the Ministry of Education in Belize by providing grants, to construct classrooms and further enhance an environment conducive to learning.

The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that on Wednesday, May 11th , 2016 , Ambassador Benjamin Ho handed over the first disbursement of $155,628.80 US fund from the budget of “ Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat Project” to the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega in his capacity as Minister for Agriculture. With the fund of present year it would cover expenses related to house maintenance, materials and equipment purchase, stock breeding, paddock seed/fertilizers/chemicals procurement and so on. The project seeks to improve and develop the genetic blood lines of both the sheep and goat livestock through natural breeding and the artificial insemination programs. The “Genetic Improvement for Sheep and Goat Breeding Belize-Taiwan Project” was signed on December 2, 2015 by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture Hon. Gaspar Vega and the Ambassador of the Republic of China(Taiwan) H.E. Mr. Benjamin Ho. It is a three-year project with an approved total budget of approximately 1.62 Million US Dollars of which the Government of Belize will contribute 0.35 M US$ and the Taiwanese Government will finance 1.27 M US$.

The San Pedrito Area and streets from the Airstrip area are receiving major improvements. The San Pedro Town Council is adding white mall to these streets to further improve its conditions. This is the same material being used for the road on North, Ambergris Caye after Belizean Shores. Also, the San Pedro Town Council is opening a road that leads from the San Pedrito Area to the San Pablo Area which heavy vehicles will be able to use to commute from the Marina to town. This is an effort to alleviate the traffic congestion in San Pedro Town.

Miss Costa Maya International 2014 Elisa Espinosa Gomez gets married
The wedding of Elisa Espinosa Gomez, Miss Costa Maya International 2014 to Mr. Domingo Torres.

CCCCC, UK-DFID, GOB and Ya’Axche deliver climate resilient crops within a Reserve
In plain view of the mountainous terrain of Belize’s most southern district, Toledo, farmers of Trio Village have been facing a changing environment. Ya’Axche Conservation Trust approached the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) to assist the villagers with combating threats that were exacerbated by climate related events. This involved deforestation due to lack of water, insufficient arable land and forest fires which threatened crops. The main initiative involved attaining land, donating cacao seedlings and providing technical assistance and training for climate resilient crops. The partnership of UK-DFID, CCCCC and Ya’Axche came to fruition when the Forest Department granted a unique concession to allow agro-forestry within the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve. The implementation of this community forest concession resulted in 936 acres being leased to the project. The acres have been divided into sub plots for organic cacao farming and the concession includes an annual crop section for vegetables, plantain and honey harvesting.

Our entire country comes alive July 6 - 11, when athletes from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama compete against our Belizean Children ages 6 - 12, in the Events of Football (City of Belmopan), Basketball (San Ignacio), Volleyball (Orange Walk), and Table Tennis (Belize City), in the 2016 CODICADER (Central American Athletic Championships) BELIZE GAMES. This is a FIRST for Belize, and for six days, over a thousand athletes from these countries will be calling this place 'home". Go, Team BELIZE! We are 100% behind you!

Development of Belize Women In Politics Exhibit
Today, we had the honor to host the Development of Belize Women In Politics Exhibit. The travelling exhibit is spearheaded by the Belize Women's Political Caucus(BWPC) with the aim to encourage and empower young female leaders within our community to be inspired and one day become Political leaders of Belize. We would like to thank all those that attended and contributed to the success of this event. You are kindly invited to visit the House of Culture today and tomorrow to view the exhibit.

Do You Know an Outstanding Belizean Fisher?
Nominate that person for the Belize Fisher of the Year 2016 Award! Sponsored by Punta Fuego, Belize's hottest radio drama

Results of the 2016 Birdathon!
BIRDATHON results in! First we want to congratulate all the teams on their astounding big days. Every team put their heart and soul into this count with exceptional results. We had very high counts with some rare birds observed. Thanks to all the lodges and people that participated and we hope many more join the fun next year. If you would like to donate to our cause we would be graciously appreciative. Results: Most Species Observed: Winner of the H. Lee Jones Cup Caves Branch Jungle Lodge 206 Bocawina Rainforest Lodge 202 Mystic River Resort 200 Lamanai Outpost Lodge 194 The Lodge at Chaa Creek 170 Farm Inn 120 Best Birds Top 3: 1 Black-whiskered Vireo- Farm Inn 2 Long-billed Starthroat- Mystic River Resort 3 Chestnut-collared Swift- Caves Branch Jungle Lodge Caves Branch Jungle Lodge will be awarded the H. Lee Jones Cup to be displayed at their Lodge.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
10 Cloverfield Lane, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Triple 9, How to be Single.

Channel 7

A Dozen Markers In City Shooting
There was a shooting in the city a little over one hour ago. It happened at the corner of King and Far West Streets, about two blocks from the downtown area. Reports are that a black car turned on the canal, went against the flow of traffic, and headed down King Street to the corner where Aaron Garbutt hangs out. A shooter in the car released a barrage of gunfire - we saw as many as a dozen bullet markers at the scene. He was immediately rushed to the KHMH. Fortunately Garbutt was not fatally injured. Reports say he was shot in the hand and leg. The area is adjacent to George Street and is considered to be an extension of that gang's turf.

Stand Up, But Don't Speak Up?
Tomorrow is teacher's day - but instead of taking a trip, Belize's teachers have been invited to take part in a rally - as part of the BNTU's "Stand up for Belize campaign." It's a deviation from the planned activities for the day - where each district branch of the union was supposed to arrange outings. But the teachers say they have to come together to oppose the Sarstoon S.I. Today in Orange Walk, the Minister of Education told CTV-3 that while he doesn't agree with their message, he supports them in saying it:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "I believe that the teachers have a right to make that decision. It is that we celebrate teacher's day in various different ways in different years. This year it's to be celebrated at the branch level which means that the branches of the BNTU get to select. I'm not going to get into the union's business as to how they conduct themselves. By right each branch should have come up with their own, but they have come up with this demonstration as I understand it as a joint decision and I will never stand in the way of teachers or any Belizeans for that matter demonstrating their patriotism. But of course you know that I was a part of the cabinet decision to put in place the statutory instrument that they are protesting against and of course I absolutely don't agree with the protest against that particular statutory instrument although I respect their right as patriotic Belizeans, if that is their view to go out there and to do that."

Sarstoon Island, the View From The Ground
And right now, no Belizean civilian is allowed to travel into the Sarstoon River without the express approval of the Government of Belize. If they do, they risk being fined up to $2,000, or up to a year in jail, and that is in addition to the dangers of being arrested or more serious consequences, should they come into contact with the Guatemalan military. And that kind of encounter is almost a certainty, since as we've been reporting, even the BDF soldiers are not immune to this consistent harassment from the Guatemalan Navy. The first public indication that the Guat. military had changed to a more aggressive profile at the southern border came almost exactly a year ago, in May. That's when they confronted officers of the Belize Coast Guard and demanded that they leave Sarstoon Island. As you would remember, the Coast Guard were scouting for an ideal location to put the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base. Since then, the Guatemalan military has steadily stepped up its enforcement on the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island.

Police Talking to Witnesses On Cayo Killing
Police are questioning 2 eyewitnesses in connection with Tuesday night's Cayo murder. As we told you, 59 year old businessman Jose Anibal Molina Estrada was shot and killed at a Spanish Lookout Bar. Estrada went to the bar after work to have a few drinks. But his business rival, Eddy Larios and his friends Guillermo Guerra and Duck Run Chairman Victor Perez, showed up at the bar. There was a confrontation between the men which led to a wild gun fight. Estrada pulled out his licensed 9 millimeter pistol and shot at the 3 men. Larios then pulled out his licensed "nine" and fired back at Estrada - killing him. 17 expended shells were found at the scene, and police have recovered Glock and Ruger Pistols - the clip in the Glock was empty. The family told us that Estrada and Larios were long time business rivals and that might have prompted the deadly shootout, while police say that alcohol was one factor.

20 Year old Pleads Guilty To Reckless Driving In Death of 70 Year Old Teacher
19 year old Boyd Lopez had no driver's license when he ran over well-known retired teacher, 70 year old Marie Knowles as she walked on the sidewalk on Baghdad Street in February of 2015. He was charged for manslaughter, and today he pleaded guilty to lesser charge of causing death by careless conduct. Lopez, who is now 20 asked Supreme Court Judge, Adolph Lucas to render justice with mercy after he admitted his guilt. Immediately, a mitigation plea was heard on behalf of Lopez who was represented by Legal Aid Attorney, Baja Shoman. According to Knowles, he is gainfully employed as a care giver on a farm for animals located in the Jaguar Paw area and he can pay if the court would be mindful to allow him time to pay.

The Dredging Begins
Since February, we've been reporting on the alarming buildup of siltation in front of the Bliss Center and Bodies Warehouse on Southern Foreshore in Belize City. Since then, the mass of silt has kept accumulating, and now has spread almost across to the tourism village. This week, the mayor threw the government under the bus for now showing the leadership to step up and proceed with dredging. Well, someone has stepped up because this evening, we saw a dredge in the harbor mouth going to work. We couldn't confirm who is in control of the operation and who is paying for it, but the good news is it's underway, and choking river mouth should get some relief. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

Youths Take A Turn At Entrepreneuship
12 primary schools and 8 vocational schools showcased their business ideas at a fair that took place today at the ITVET compound in Belize City. It is an event coordinated by international accounting firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers, the Ministry of Education and Peacework. But the ideas, products and services on display today were more than just for show. It was actually a competition. Students were judged in ingenuity, organization, and presentation among other things. We spoke to one of the organizers of today's business fair who told us about the importance of promoting business literacy among young students. Lia Flur, Dir., Corp. Engagement, Peace work: "So the primary ITVET school center showcases all schools across Belize District and ITVET's across the whole entire country have come here to display their innovative and creative business ideas that will be judged by a panel of 3 judges. Their setting up for everybody to come, we're inviting everybody to come look at what they've got going on. The energy here is contagious; we have a bunch of different ideas whether it's a product or service. A lot of the ITVETS have some cool things that are way above my head in engineering and development. There's a lot of cool things going on and I invite everybody to come check it out."

Innovation Nation
So while that event was being held at the front of the ITVET Compound, a heated innovators' competition went on inside the ITVET Courtyard this morning. It was held by the same organizers and featured some 17 high schools from the District of Belize. This is the third year that the event is being held. Each year participants are given innovative challenges. This year it was in the field of education. We spoke to the organizers and the champs of last year's competition and learned more about their innovative idea for this year. Lia Flur, Dir., Corp. Engagement, Peace work: "In the courtyard we have a high school innovation challenge. Seventeen teams across Belize District have come together to create innovative solutions to a case study on innovation and education." Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer: "Innovation and Education, that's the challenge that each school has been given, so they are to come up with some solutions as to what they'd like to see education be. Many times we as adults think that we have all the answers but young people might advise us and tell us how education should be. Maybe if we listen to them and take their advice, maybe we'd have more students attending classes, our results would be better. The Ministry of Education is very interested in hearing what these young people have to say to all of us at the Ministry of Education."

Adios Anwar?
On last night's news you saw Chairman of BTL's Executive Committee, Anwar Barrow going over the company's stellar performance in the last financial year. But, sources tell us that in spite of the record "year-to-year" growth in revenue, Anwar Barrow may be heading for the exits. And why? Reportedly, because he asked for a "six figure" salary increase and didn't get it. Yesterday we asked him about it, and she said, he will leave eventually, but not just yet:... Anwar Barrow - Chairman, BTL Executive Committee: "That's absolutely untrue. I took up the post two and a half years ago roughly and under the specific agreement that everybody pretty much knows and the management team and most of the staff, to achieve certain goals. So one of those things was giving the company a clear strategic direction, because at the time that was something that the board wanted to develop more. A second thing was re-energizing the marketing and that is evidence by what we presented today. A third thing was to recruit some key talents to management that we needed to move the company forward. A fourth thing has been to lead the way as far as doing a technical refresh of our network and that is evidence by many things, largest of which is this new mobile network that we are going to launch. So I have had those things as my objectives and certainly when I complete those things, then I will be transitioning back into my private business. The last of which is the launch on this new LTE network, so that's what we are focused on right now - that's what I am focused on largely."

Lesbians Unite
If you follow the news any at all, then you know all about UNIBAM and its pro-gay agenda. But tonight there is another such group, and this one is for Lesbians. The group calls themselves PETAL and it stands for Promoting Empowerment Through Awareness for Lesbian and Bisexual women. They were formed in 2012 but have not come out to light until today when they had their debut event at the Biltmore Plaza. We spoke to the Coordinator of this organization and the US Ambassador was also there to lend his support. "PETAL is promoting empowerment through awareness for lesbian and bisexual women. Empowering women, letting them learn about the laws, how it affects them and do not affect them, and where they can change legislation for women. As you know, we are seeing prevalently that women from all over the world are being oppressed; they are like second class citizens and for a country like Belize that one would consider liberal to some large extent. People will have their idiosyncrasies about anything and everything but we welcome everybody, all women, we're a women's organization with a focus on lesbian and bisexual women. We want to provide psycho-social support for anybody who comes to us. It's not to say 'oh another gay group coming up', no we are human beings and as long as that is respected then we can move forward."

Cacao And The Community In Trio
The Toledo villagers of Trio are getting major assistance from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. The 5C's has, through funding from UK-D-FID, provided for 30,00 cacao seedlings to be donated and planted by Trio farmers. 35 individuals, 10 of who are women, will be able to benefit from the program, which also comes with over 900 acres in land concession by the Government in the area of the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve. The representative from the 5Cs explained how it will work: Mark Bynoe, Head, Project Development Management of CCCCC: "It's not a case that these issues are new, but the idea was that these issues are likely going to be exacerbated with a change in climate regime. With that focus we then looked at projects we had within the center that will possibly be able to finance this particular initiative and we were able to find $250,000 U.S. under the UK DFID program. So for the last 2 years we have been funding this initiative in the Trio area. Climate change is indicating a more dryer spell or much more extreme events occurring, limited precipitation, and as a result, some of the very crops that we have been cultivating timely memorial are likely not to be as resilient as with a normal climate regime."

It's been almost 11 months now since the 13 Mayans from the Toledo Village of Santa Cruz were arrested and charged for detaining and attempting to evict Creole Belizean Rupert Myles. They continue to accuse him of squatting on - and causing damage to -their sacred Ux Benka Mayan Site. Well, when their case was called up yesterday in the Punta Gorda Magistrate's Court, the Director of Public Prosecutions asked for an adjournment. It was granted, and the Mayans are now upset that the criminal trial hasn't progressed to completion. The DPP has explained to us that the reason she requested the adjournment is because her office has only just come upon a crucial audio recording which documents the incident for which the Mayans have been charged. The DPP needs time to authenticate it, since it could swing the case in one direction or the next, to a swift conclusion.

US Ambassador on Belize Guatemala Relations
And back now to the Belize Guatemala territorial dispute. As we've reported, the US Ambassador to the OAS participated in meetings between Belize and Guatemala at the OAS last week. As the regional superpower and one of the Group of Friends, we'd guess that the US is more than just an interested observer. Today we asked the US Ambassador to Belize about his thoughts on the current Belize Guatemala Situation. Here's what he told us. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize: "Our position is and has been that the dispute after so many years since it's not been resolved, that the best and maybe the only course of action at this point is to refer the matter to the International Court of Justice. We sincerely regret the incident that happened a couple weeks ago in the Chiquibul forest. There is always two sides to any story. We fully support the OAS conducting a full investigation and if they request support from the United States in terms of a forensics expert or a scene reconstruction - something like that, I think we are also willing to offer whatever services we can if asked." Emanuel Pech: "Are you worried or are you concern that the situation might just escalate seeing that it has been for the last couple of months?" Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize: "I think I am very concerned and we monitor the situation closely every day to the extent to what we can, we have our military commander speak with both General Jones and the Guatemalan General, just try to maintain open lines of communications, since the US has provided aid to both militaries."

Stamp Taking His Show From The Road To The Stage
You may have seen them perform on City Streets but tomorrow night, for the first time you will get to see the cast of Sleepless Girls on the Bliss Stage. Writer and founder of Youth Advocacy through Art Joseph "Stamp" Romero has been showcasing this play for a couple months now and he hopes that the message will reach out to an even greater audience on the Bliss Stage. We spoke to Romero this afternoon about the resounding themes in his play. The free show starts tomorrow night at 7 at the Bliss Center.

The Crusades Cometh
The Crusade is in Belize. If that sounds scary, well it shouldn't. The Catholic Diocese in Belize is hosting what it hopes to be the largest Eucharist adoration and global living Rosary event in the country. They are calling it the Eucharistic Crusade. Father James Kelleher, the founder and director of this Eucharistic movement is in Belize organizing the event for tomorrow evening. He has only done two other large events like this in the states, and now the third one is being staged at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. Kelleher told us more about it when we spoke to him today. Kelleher says they expect in the excess of 5 thousand people at the Eucharistic Crusade tomorrow. The event begins at 5:30 with a procession from Holy Redeemer Cathedral and then Eucharistic adoration begins at 7 at the Marion Jones Stadium.

Cops Catching Cocaine By the Kilo
28 year old Justo Roches and his common-law wife, 27 year old Yaritza Delrisco are at the Belize Central Prison tonight after they were allegedly caught with over a kilo of cocaine and a loaded firearm yesterday. Members of the Gang Suppression Unit visited their home on Brown Street yesterday to conduct a raid. Delrisco was at home at the time, and when the cops searched their bed room they found 1.105 kilos of a substance they suspect to be cocaine. They also searched another room and that's when they found a black 9mm pistol which was loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition. Shortly after the items were found Justo Roches arrived home and informed the police that he also lives at this house. Both were arrested and charged with drug trafficking, keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers, and they pleaded not guilty to the charges. Due to the nature of the offence, they were remanded into custody until July 26.

Cops And FIU Sign MOU
In February, we showed you how the Financial Intelligence Unit signed a memorandum of understanding with the Customs Department. Well, yesterday in Belmopan they signed one with that other major law enforcement body: the Police. The idea is to share information on money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Here's how they explained it: The FIU is working on several MOU with various stakeholders.

Refugee Remix
On Monday, we showed you our interview Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration, Beverly Castillo about the refugee program, which had been taking place mostly without the knowledge of the general public. Well, to try and fend off persistent questions about the level of transparency in that program, the Government of Belize released a statement on Tuesday. It says that the Refugee Eligibility Committee, chaired by Director Maria Marin, and it is made of up of members from the Belize Council of Churches, the NTUCB, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the Ministry of Human Development, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a representative of the Solicitor General, and a representative of the Commissioner of Police. The Government says that the Refugee Committee was reactivated in June of 2015 after several years of dormancy. They add that since reactivation, the committee has held 5 meetings to consider applications for asylum from persons fleeing from persecution, especially gang violence in their home countries.

Channel 5

The GAF continues to bully the B.D.F.
A video released on Tuesday here on News Five shows two vessels of the Guatemalan Armed Forces provoking the B.D.F. and blocking soldiers from entering the Sarstoon. It is not [...]

The Deteriorating Situation in the Sarstoon
The government of Guatemala has responded to the disturbing video in which the Guatemalan military tells the B.D.F. to “respect the protocol,” while the B.D.F. was attempting to traverse the [...]

Will FM Wilfred Elrington Meet with Carlos Raul Morales in Taiwan?
Since the discussions in Washington last week between the Foreign Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales, there have been no further talks about the deteriorating situation in the Sarstoon where [...]

Santa Cruz 13 Back In Court; Case Adjourned Again
It has been almost one year since a team of police officers took the village of Santa Cruz by storm during a predawn raid which resulted in the arrest of [...]

Man Remains Hospitalized Following Pasadita Bar Shootout
A resident of the Duck Run Three Community remains in a critical condition at a Belize City hospital after he was shot to the chest and hip on Tuesday night [...]

Teachers Prepare for B.N.T.U. March
The Belize National Teachers Union is tonight making final preparations for a march to be held this Friday in the Old Capital. The B.N.T.U., which is the most militant of [...]

Life in Belize for Guatemalan professionals
Protests by indigenous people in Guatemala City on Wednesday paralyzed a major part of the City after main thoroughfares were blocked. The indigenous people are demanding access to basic necessities [...]

Belizeans Get Vocal about the Aggression by the GAF
Guatemalan military officers have been caught on camera bullying the Belize Defense Force in the Sarstoon which they now fully control. The B.D.F. is now told to “respect the protocol” [...]

United Nations High Commission for Refugees Speak Out on Local Program
A week ago we told you about a refugee programme operation through the Help for Progress Office in Belmopan. Our cameras showed crowds of people lined up to get their [...]

UNHCR says over 200 Persons Have Applied to the Program
Information we received suggested that a couple hundred people have applied for the process. Today, we asked Tobin what the numbers look like and what follows next. Here’s how she [...]

5Cs Donate to Farmers in Trio
Farmers in the Trio area were the recipients of funding from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center. The funding was a part of the 5Cs assistance to combat the threats [...]

Boyd Lopez, Guilty of Death by Careless Conduct
Twenty-year old Boyd Lopez was initially charged and indicted for manslaughter in the traffic fatality that took the life of seventy year old Marie Knowles on Baghdad Street on February [...]

Primary School Students Display Products in a Business Showcase
Over a hundred students gathered at the ITVET in Belize City today to show off products that they created under a programme with Peacework. In its third year, the “Business [...]

Ocean Academy Wins the 3rd Annual High School Innovation Challenge
There is a repeat winner in the annual Innovation in Education Challenge which took place today at the ITVET in Belize City. Seventeen high schools from the Belize District competed. [...]

Healthy Living: Prostate Cancer and You
May is celebrated as cancer awareness month. Every year there are increased efforts to educate Belizeans on preventing and screening for common cancers. Cervical and breast cancer are still of [...]


Alcalde Association Upset Over 7th Court Adjournment
The Toledo Alcaldes Association has issued a release after the case of the Santa Cruz Villagers was adjourned yet again. Yesterday our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reported that defendants and their attorneys appeared in court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith however the Director of Public Prosecution requested another adjournment. In its release the TAA […]

Ocean’s Academy Wins 3rd High School Innovation Challenge
The third annual High School Innovation Challenge closed off today on the ITVET compound after three days of fine tuning and presentation of project ideas to a panel of judges around the theme, technology and education. Love News has been reporting on this event for the last three years and as you may know, the […]

Taiwanese Ambassador Presents First Disbursement for Sheep and Goat Project
On Wednesday, Taiwanese Ambassador, Benjamin Ho handed over the first disbursement under the genetic improvement in sheep and goat project. The funds, one hundred and fifty five thousand, six hundred and twenty eight US dollars will be used to cover expenses related to house maintenance, materials and equipment purchase, stockbreeding, paddock seed, fertilizers, chemicals procurement […]

Trio Village Farmers, Ya’Ache and the Five C’s
Farmers in Trio Village have found a way to work with their environment to improve their lives. The Ya’Axche Conservation Trust received assistance from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center to assist the farmers. The organization helped the farmers secure land, donated cacao seedlings to them and provided them with technical advice and training support […]

Tikkun Olam Gets Funding to Advocate for Sex Workers
Tikkun Olam Belize is a non-governmental organization that advocates for sex workers, their freedom to engage in that choice of revenue earner and their human rights. Elisa Castellanos heads the organization; she spoke to Love News on how and why her movement towards sex work advocacy began and where they are today in their efforts. […]

Ombudsman Cannot Address Complaints Against BDF or BCG
Ombudsman Lionel Arzu is into his third year in office. The Office of the Ombudsman has been opened since 1999 and serves as a place where members of the public can file complaints against members of the Government service or agencies including the utility companies. According to Arzu, the majority of the complaints brought to […]

Northern Territorial Volunteers Engaged in Educational Sessions
Love News caught up with the Northern Territorial Volunteers at San Jose Government School where they were giving an educational session to the children there. Orlando de la Fuente spoke about the education efforts the NTV is undertaking. ORLANDO DE LA FUENTE “I belong to a committee that is called the education committee of the […]

Joint Ops Lead to Several Arrests for Drug Trafficking
Early this morning, police arrested and charged two females from Georgetown Village with the offence of Drug Trafficking. 53-year-old, Hortence Martinez, 23-year-old, Shalini Sebastian and a minor were all charged when personnel from Special Branch, Crimes Investigation Branch attached to Intermediate Southern Formation along with the K9 unit conducted a drug and firearm operation. The […]

Sex Work in Belize: Forms, Motivators and Rights
Sex work is a path that dozens of women around the country have been engaging in for some time now. While majority of the population is aware of the activity, it remains taboo for many and unacceptable for most. With a first glance at prostitution in Belize, we join Renee Trujillo. There are several forms […]


Shoot out at Pasadita Bar, one dead, three injured
A shoot out at a bar on Tuesday night has left one man dead and three others suffering from gunshot wounds. It happened sometime after 11 p.m. at Pasadita Bar, Iguana Creek Road in the Spanish Lookout Area. 59 year old Anibal Molina Estrada , a Belizean Businessman of Duck Run 3, was shot to the r...

Video of BDF boat turned back from Sarstoon by GAF
On Monday afternoon, the Government of Belize announced that it was easing its blanket restriction of Belizeans to access the Sarstoon River and that those with non political objectives who had genuine business on the river would be allowed to traverse the water with the permission of the BDF statio...

PUP challenges Sarstoon law in court
Today, Hon John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition, filed a claim in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of that Sarstoon Law (Statutory Instrument No 42 of 2016). This follows a decision announced on the 3 May, 2016 by the PUP’s National Executive. In the Claim, Briceño seeks relie...

GOB censors public officers from speaking publicly about Guatemala/ Belize issue
The Ministry of Education has circulated a memo to public officers, in essence censoring them from speaking publicly about the Belize Guatemala issue. The MEMO, leaked to PlusTV this evening, is titled “Public Officers & the Media –Belize/Guatemala Situation” The memo reads, “In an effort to sup...

PM says arbitration award is win for Belize, but it is not final
Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow on his return from his latest medical trip abroad today said that the final arbitration award deciding the value of BTL shares at the time of Government’s first nationalization in 2009 can be viewed as a victory for the Government and people of Belize. He a...

Case fails against accused Hellen Yu killers
Nearly six years ago, the Chinese community in Belize was stunned by the death of Edward P. Yorke High School student Hellen Yu, 14. She was shot and killed during a robbery at her father’s shop on Iguana Street in Belize City. But the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions conceded tha...

Murder accused changes plea to manslaughter
22 year old Devaughan Goodger, 17 when accused five years ago of the murder of 27 year old BDF soldier Jason Pott, has decided to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Pott was stabbed on March 5, 2011 on Cleghorn Street near its intersection with Slaughterhouse Road, not far from the a...

Dionicio Salazar is Convicted of Killing Marlon Rivera
Dionicio Salazar has been convicted of murder. Salazar was found guilty of the murder of Marlon Rivera last Friday at the Belmopan Supreme Court by Justice Antionette Moore in a trial without jury. Rivera was shot and killed on June thirteenth 2010 while his friend Dean Dougal was also shot but su...

Re: Today's Belize News: May 13, 2016 [Re: Marty] #513718
05/13/16 06:06 AM
05/13/16 06:06 AM
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The Guardian

Footballer killed in San Pedro
Family members, friends and fans of 31 year-old Melvin Almendarez, a San Pedro Football star better known as “Catracho”, were stunned to find his body in the Mosquito Coast area, South of Ambergris Caye. He was discovered with a gunshot injury to the head, injuries to the face, and abrasions to the chest. On Friday, May 6, 2016, at around 10:30 p.m., residents living on the southern outskirts of San Pedro Town heard the sound of a gunshot. They reported the incident to the police who responded shortly thereafter. They searched the area, and found Almendarez dead across from the lagoon belonging to Belize Consolidated Water Services. At this time, very little is known about the murder because it happened late that night, with no witnesses coming forward as yet.

Ryan Alvarez to stand trial for murder
Ryan Alvarez, 25, will go to the Supreme Court to face charges of murder and attempted murder upon Edward Robinson, 56, and Jamil “Lado” Betancourt, 33. A preliminary inquiry conducted on Friday, May 6, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser determined that there is a prema facie case against Alvarez for the charges. At around 7:49 a.m. on October 17, 2015, Robinson left his home to socialize with a group of people at the corner of North Creek Street. Jamil Betancourt was also in the area at the time. Shortly after Robinson joined the group, two men came upon the group and started firing at them. Betancourt and Edward Robinson were the only two persons injured from the group. By the time the gunshots ceased, Robinson was dead. Betancourt was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial where his life was saved. Betancourt is believed to have been the intended target with Robinson being collateral damage.

Police bust “Balls” with weed in his brief
Police were on mobile patrol in Southside Belize City around 12:30 on Saturday afternoon, May 7, when their attention was drawn to 51-year-old West Street resident, Raymond Gladden, also known as Balls. He was acting suspiciously; therefore, the officers decided to approach and conduct a search on him. Before the search, one of the officers asked Gladden if he had anything illegal to declare and he said no. During the search, the officer found a transparent plastic bag hidden inside the right side of his underwear. The bag contained marijuana. Gladden was arrested and taken to the police station where the marijuana was measured in his presence. It amounted to 36.2 grams.

Frank Brown to stand trial for attempted murder
A preliminary inquiry conducted on Monday, May 9, resulted in a commitment for Frank Brown, 39, to stand trial in the Supreme Court of Belize for the attempted murder of Albert Castro, 31. The charge stems from a shooting incident that occurred on Monday, June 30, 2014. Just after 3 a.m. that morning, taxi Driver Albert Castro was in his green Mazda car, in the company of a female passenger, and had just driven off the Western Highway into Fabers Road. That’s when a gunman on bicycle rode up and opened fire on the vehicle. Two of the shots hit him in the head and he was immediately rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for surgery. His female companion escaped the attack unharmed. Castro was admitted in a critical condition at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Doctor’s managed to save his life.

Belmopan Police visit Camalote to ease tensions
Belmopan Police continue to be at the ready to render assistance to the Village of Camalote in the Cayo District following the shooting death of two related individuals. Officer in Charge Howell Gillett met with residents from Camalote Village last Thursday in an attempt to “to allay their fears, reduce tensions, update the progress of the investigation and give assurances that the Belmopan police is doing all within its power to bring closure to the case.” Two men were shot and killed in Camalote Village on Sunday night May 1, 2016 about 7:23 pm. Twenty four year old Akeem Thimbriel a Belizean electrician of Camalote Village was observed suffering from gun shots to both arms and chest on that Sunday night. His cousin, Shawn Lopez, a Belizean from nearby Teakettle Village, had also received gunshot injuries to the upper body and had succumbed to his injuries on that same Sunday night. The scene was visited and processed where four 9mm expended shells were recovered from the scene.

Guinea Grass carpenter busted with crack cocaine
A Guinea Grass resident was sentenced to three years at the Belize Central Prison after he was convicted of trafficking crack cocaine on a Sarteneja Bus. This charge stems from an incident that occurred almost two years ago, May 27, 2014. Special Branch Police were following the then 51-year-old Augustine Jovito Pott on surveillance for a while when he was busted with 43.3 grams of crack cocaine inside his left shirt pocket. Sgt. Christine Avila stopped the bus heading from Sarteneja to Belize City and took Pott off. She then conducted a search on him and found a black plastic bag containing three transparent plastic bags with white puffy substance suspected to be crack cocaine.

Rueben Price walks from Steven Perez’s murder charge
Another old murder trial concluded in an acquittal after a trial by judge ended in the accused gun man walking free. Attorney for Rueben Price, 23, Simeon Sampson, made a no case submission on behalf of his client who was being accused of the June 2011 murder of Steven Perez. Police say that at around 9 p.m. on June 26, 2011, Perez was walking at the corner of Dolphin and Iguana Street when a gunman approached and shot him in the head. There was no eyewitness to the murder but according to police, Price confessed to the crime saying he borrowed a gun and shot Perez over a girl. However, during the voidaire, when Price took the stand he claimed he confessed to the murder because of police brutality. Price told Judge Traodio Gonzalez that he was beaten badly and tasered so he confessed to the murder.

Bulgarian credit card thieves caught in Belize
The Belize Bank has agreed to sit down and talk with the legal representatives for Jeorgi Petrov, 28, and Halid Yuksel Aptula, 25, the two Bulgarians accused of a massive credit card scam. Oscar Selgado, attorney for Aptula, said the Belize Bank has agreed to sit down with them and hear them out. “They have not offered anything to us; we are making an offer to them. I will not say what the offer is,” said Selgado after his client was arraigned on Tuesday, May 10, for theft. Petrov and Aptula were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court for one count of theft on Tuesday. According to the facts of the case, on Saturday, May 7, the men visited the Belize Bank ATM on Albert Street and withdrew $500 from an account at the bank that does not belong to them. An employee of the bank, who was already aware that the bank was looking for these men, alerted police and the men were detained. Police conducted a search of the men’s apartments and confiscated 1,100 fake credit cards, 250 blank plastic cards, two Nova laptops, $2,100 in Belize currency, two cellphones and a Honda Civic four door car.

Teenager charged for murder of Troy Cole
A youngster, Ryan Thompson, who turned 18 on Saturday, May 7, has been charged for the cold blooded execution of Troy Cole, 26. Troy Cole was riding his bicycle towards Curasow Street from Central American Boulevard at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, when he was attacked by a gunman. Reports are that he struggled with his attacker who carried a gun. Cole was unable to disarm his attacker and he was shot twice to the upper part of the body. Though he was in front of a health center, Integral, Cole had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial where he later succumbed to his injuries.

A ride against Cancer
Data shows that over the past 40 years there has been a warming of between 1.6 to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast and interior of Belize. Experts say this is extremely alarming, considering the fact that the globe warmed by only 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over this period of time. Meaning, Belize is warming faster than the globe. This is disturbing news because Belize, being a low lying country, is extremely vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels and other climatic shocks. It is with this in mind that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change launched the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership on Wednesday, May 11, with Belize’s strategy for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

FCD reports that gold is still being extracted from Chiquibul
The search for gold in the Chiquibul continues with unimaginable impacts. The idea that gold is found in veins further upland has made Guatemalan gold hunters [oreros] devise ways to reach to those more solid deposits. Even before FCD entered unto a co-management agreement in 2007, the Government of Belize had provided gold concessions in the Chiquibul. Those concessionaires, including Boiton Minerals, who remains the only one with an active concession, have been investigating and searching for the veins and main gold deposits. Guatemalans have also been on the search for these deposits. On the 16th April 2016, Juan Che Zuc of El Naranjon was detained and he reported that people were now taking away the stones and that these were being crushed either away from the streamside in the nearby camp or back at their villages.

New Magistrate in Belize City
A new magistrate was sworn in at Court #4 in Belize City on Friday, May 6. Emmertice Emmerita Anderson, originally from Roaring Creek Village, was sworn in by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin as the newest Magistrate of the Court. After graduating from high school, Anderson worked as a Secretary at the Police Training School in Belmopan. She later took up employment in the airline industry and eventually left to work at Tan Sahsa Airlines. Anderson studied law at the Cayman Island Law School between 2009-2012 where she obtained an LLB (Hons), accredited by the University of Liverpool in England. In 2012, after achieving her LLB, she went into business before leaving to further her studies at the Norman Manley Law School. There she obtained her CLE in 2015.

Pittsology 101 - The Dishonorable Guatemalan President edition Vol. 1
It is my opinion that Guatemala’s greatest chance of succeeding in their quest for our territory would be through an armed confrontation. For them, having a minor shot and killed by our soldiers, although justified due to the circumstances, is ‘Gold’. They may have gotten irritated since we haven’t swallowed any of their baits set in the Sarstoon area. Our elected leaders have remained responsible in speeches and interviews as it relates to the dispute. We have been perfectly diplomatic. The incident justifies their aggressiveness – locally. They have accomplished a defacto referendum of some sorts, by banking on the emotions of every Guatemalan. They have, by the way, completely excluded the fact that an adult was also shot. They have failed to explain why their citizens were on our side of the border, why minors were away from school and also well inside our territory.

Belize Athletics Association to host Time Trial
The Belize Athletics Association informs all track athletes that it will be holding an Open Time Trial on Saturday 14th May, 2016, at the Marion Jones Sports Complex beginning at 9:00 am. The events will be” 100m, 200m, 400m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Javelin, Shot Put and Discus. The association informs that all ages compete at the same level.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks force a game three in basketball championship
The National Elite Basketball League will play host to its third and final game in the 2016 championship series on Friday 13th May, 2016, at 9:00 p.m. The final game will be played at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium in Belize City. The third and final game has become necessary when the 2-time defending champions the San Pedro Tiger Sharks on Saturday 6th May, defeated the league’s top team the Smart Belize Hurricanes by the score of 101-88 in front of a packed San Pedro High School Auditorium on San Pedro. The 2-time defending champions, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, with rookie sensation Douglas Valley scoring 7 of the 8 points. The visiting Smart Belize Hurricanes was able to close the lead in the first quarter of the game, trailing 17-13, with the San Pedro Tiger Sharks maintaining its lead at the end of the first quarter at 34-28.

CONCACAF Women’s Football Day is set for Saturday 21st May
The planned event to commemorate the day will be held at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the City of Belmopan. CONCACAF Women’s Day is geared at creating a significant opportunity for girls and women to play the game, and to provide an even stronger platform to raise awareness for women’s growing participation in football. CONCACAF has created the Women’s Football Day as a unique initiative to encourage greater participation from females while showing how the sport can have a positive impact on education, health and development.

Crooked Tree Government School girls capture National Primary Schools Softball Title
The National Primary Schools Softball competition took place on Friday 6th May, 2016, at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Crooked Tree Government School representing the Belize District defeated Aguacate Roman Catholic School representing the Toledo District by the score of 7-3 to capture the National Primary Schools Softball Title. The winning pitcher was Ashanti Gillett and the losing pitcher was Neria Cal. In the third place game played between Independence Primary School representing the Stann Creek District and St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic School from Esperanza Village, representing the Cayo District by the score of 9-1. The winning pitcher was Reah Ardon and the losing pitcher was Hadie Vernon. In the first game in the semi-final round, Aguacate Roman Catholic School edged out Independence Primary School by the score of 6-5 to advance to the championship game. The winning pitcher was Neria Cal and the losing pitcher was Aaliya Coe.

Martial Arts Federation hosted No Gi Jujitsu Tournament
The Martial Arts Federation of Belize on Saturday 7th May, 2016, hosted a No Gi (uniform) Jujitsu Tournament at the St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Belize City. The event was the first of its kind in the country and was attended by twenty three athletes male and female ranging from ages ten to adulthood. The coordinator of the event was Leon Guild, who is the Chief Instructor of the Red Dragon Martial Arts Academy, and he explained that the significance of hosting ‘No Gi’ tournament is since people wears normal clothing and do not walk around with a Martial Artist’s uniform all day; participants get an opportunity to evaluate street applications of techniques learnt formally in their dojos.

Teachers day changed to a parade, is BNTU broke?
The Wednesday night TV newscasts were all dominated by the leaked cellphone footage of the Guatemalan Military stopping the BDF from patrolling the Sarstoon Island. With guns at the ready and the tensions at an unusual high, the critics of the Barrow Administration are still calling for the 30-day civilian ban on the Sarstoon River to be lifted. The National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the PUP were the first to agitate for the law to be repealed, and now the Belize National Teachers Union has joined. On Monday, May 9, National President, Luke Palacio, and Executive Secretary Keisha Young-Flowers, hosted a press conference to announce that the plan of holding the pre-planned activities for Teachers Day have changed. Friday, May 13, will now be used to hold a rally in Belize City. Its supposed to be a continuation of the Stand Up for Belize Campaign, which was launched by the BNTU on April 15 in Benque Viejo. The full plan has not been revealed as yet, but among the activities will be a parade by the teachers through the principal streets, followed by a gathering at a chosen location, and then public speaking on the topic.

24 new firefighters join the ranks
On Thursday May 5th, the fire department graduated 24 firefighters who will be joining the ranks of the service across the country. At the ceremonies, Johnny Cardinez was recognized as the valedictorian while Rudolph Mcfoy came in second. Sherwin Gallego was recognized as the fittest in the intake while David Trujillo was recognized for being the most disciplined. The firefighters underwent a 15 week rigorous training exercise where they learned all manner of fire fighting techniques both in theory and in practice. After the ceremonies the new firefighters demonstrated what they had learnt by displaying a ladder rescue as well as an accident extraction demonstration. Looking on was minister of state in the fire service, Hon. Edmund Castro. He said that with the intake and new focus on procuring equipment, “no longer will we have the stigma that they are not well equipped or well trained.”

Mothers Day in Orange Walk East
What would this world be without mothers? Indeed a mother is the epicenter of anyone’s existence and in recognition of this fact, Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. paid homage to these most beautiful creations of God. On Saturday May 7, he held a celebration to pay tribute to the mothers of Orange Walk East, where more than seven hundred mothers attended this special event which was held at the Louisiana Football field in Orange Walk East. The night featured entertainment for the mothers including serenading from a Mexican Mariachi Band and Captain Roby. It was a beautiful festivity during which the mothers were also treated to drinks and food and were eligible to win any of the thirty prizes which were raffled at the event. The celebration started at 5:00 p.m. sharp and went well into the night until the last prize was raffled around 10:00 p.m.

Elena Smith wants to internationalize an issue that has already been internationalized
“I believe that we are sometimes a little bit too reactive, we need to learn to be proactive. Guatemala has done what we should have been doing a long time ago because when you look at it now it is out there that Belize is aggressing Guatemala or that we are killing Guatemalans in our country and that is not true about our country, we are not a people who are killers, we are not mean people and so I do believe that as a government we must do as much as we can as quickly as we can to internationalize this issue because it is one that alone we cannot deal with. We need support from other countries to help address this issue so we must go that way and internationalize the matter.” - Senator Elena Smith, Interview on Love FM May 9, 2016.

BTL Acquisition Award not yet Finalized
The Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal has not yet issued its final award on the acquisition of BTL shares by the Government of Belize (GOB). The draft decision from the Court was released to the parties in confidence and GOB had been awaiting the final ruling before publicizing the details. However, since some details of the draft decision have been circulated to the media, GOB feels obliged to put out a statement. What has been issued is a draft of the Court’s findings on the valuation of the 45,199,961 BTL shares which were nationalized by the Government in August 2009. Under the draft findings, they have determined the value to be BZ$5.60 per share. This compares to the $10.23 being claimed by the former shareholders and the $1.44 which GOB had originally offered.

Refugee program reactivated in Belize - social partners represented
Contrary to reports from several media houses on Government’s reactivated refugee program, the facts have proven that there is plenty of oversight, screening and vetting involved in the process. Since Prime Minister Barrow revealed that Government has reactivated the Refugee Elegibility Committee, which has been dormant for years, certain media houses have resolved to return to their roles as 21st Century Chicken Littles. Channel 5 reported that as many as 200 refugee applications are being processed each week. Plus TV’s morning show host, Louis Wade, says the refugees are gang members from El Salvador fleeing “prosecution not persecution” because the authorities are clamping down on them. These fear mongers have pasted filth all over a great humanitarian initiative that would have earned Belize great credit in the international community. Now Belizeans have great reservations in regard to the program because of the narrative that has been presented. Government finds itself in the reactionary position once again and the first response came in the form of a press release issued on Tuesday, May 10.

PUP following Mejia to the Sarstoon
The PUP appears once again to be using the Belize \ Guatemala issue as a political football. Having not been able to harness any type of traction in almost THIRTEEN YEARS, they are now resorting to one of their old whipping horses. The Belize\Guatemala issue has always been a card that they have pulled out as a Trump card to try and slowdown the UDP's forward movement. So for them to do so at this time came as no surprise to most Belizeans. PUP just don't have an issue to fault the government on so they are trying to create one. On the Friday of the Labor day week end, the government passed an S.I. that effectively prohibits Belizeans from entering the Sarstoon River for reasons other than their lawful everyday business. Even those persons who fall under the category of person who use the river as part of their regular routine must first get prior approval from the BDF Commandant's office. And upon entering they MUST check in with our security forces stationed there so as to verify that they are there for their normal usage of the river. Some of those such persons would be those fisherfolk from places like Barranco and those persons who use the river as a transportation route to conduct their daily routine.

Special Envoy’s tribute to Dr. Jane Usher at Helpage gala
Helpage Belize honoured Dr. Jane Usher in its first Citizen Recognition Gala. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow had the pleasure of addressing the gala. Here’s an excerpt from her remarks on the amazing accomplishments of Dr. Jane Usher: “Dr. Jane Ellen Mary Usher nee Price is a Belizean grand dame. A woman who is owed much recognition and gratitude for all the nation building work that she has done and continues to do even at the very tender age of 98. Just a casual perusal of her biography or even if you were to just recall what you were taught in primary school social studies, it is patently clear that Ms. Jane is one of the matriarchs of political, economic and social life in Belize. Ms. Jane has served in two of the three branches of government. In the executive branch as a Deputy Minister; sitting as the lone female voice in a Cabinet of men. She also served in both chambers of the legislative branch as both a government and then opposition Representative in the lower house. She was the President of the Senate in the upper house.

UB discusses ICJ referendum
The University of Belize through it’s Faculty of Education History Department hosted a discussion on the ICJ Referendum with students on Wednesday May 11 at it’s Jaguar Auditorium at the central campus in Belmopan. The session included a presentation facilitated by Ambassador Stuart Leslie of the International Boundaries Unit. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion. Panelists included: Paul Morgan - Activist, Elroy Awardo - Curator, George Price Center, Melanie Smith - Lecturer of Sociology, Charlee Hutchinson - UB History Student. The discussion was organized to provide students the opportunity to learn the history and current proposals to resolving the Guatemalan Claim. Attached are some images from the event

Man charged for robbery of top cop in Benque
Benque Viejo Police have arrested and charged Bryan Geovanny Corado, a 21 year old Guatemalan tour guide of Barrio Fallabon, Melchor de Mencos for the crime of Robbery. This follows an incident on the 14th February 2016 where Police Superintendent Selvin Tillett was robbed at gunpoint of a 2014 Mazda BT-50 pro Pickup, valued at $55,000.00. The vehicle had been parked on Humble Street Benque Viejo Town, in front of Selvin Tillett’s house when the robbery occurred. Since the robbery, police have been able to recover and return the vehicle back to Belize.

Psychiatric evaluation ordered for John Dawson
John Dawson, 22, a labourer of Scotland Half Moon Village, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, May 6, for aggravated assault upon two police officers. According to reports, Dawson assaulted Charles Sosa, PC Darrell Usher and Detective Joseph Pook with a steel rod. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith read the charges to Dawson but before she could proceed she became concerned about his mental state. Noticing that Dawson was suffering from injuries to the head and body, she asked him how he sustained the injuries. Dawson told the Chief Magistrate that he saw when the demon’s finger (referring to Darrel Usher) pulled the trigger and shot him in the head. Dawson was talking nonsense and behaving oddly. Chief Magistrate Smith asked the prosecutor if he was also thinking about getting a psychiatric evaluation for Dawson. She asked Dawson another question. “Are you on medication?” to which Dawson replied, “There are 10,000 herbs in the forest and of all of them I only take one.”

Carpenter’s daughter from Cayo missing
A female teenager from the Cayo District has been reported missing. A Belizean carpenter of Progresso Village in the Cayo District, Melvin Mejia, reports that on Saturday of this past weekend his 14 year old daughter Kimberly Mejia of the said village left home and has not been seen nor heard from. The Belizean teenager left her home around 4:00 pm. She is of fair complexion, stands about 5 feet 2 inches in height and weighs about 120 pounds. Kimberly Mejia also has long black hair, uses eye glasses and has a small scar over the right side of her eyebrow. The Public is asked if they know the whereabouts of Kimberly Mejia to call the nearest Police station.

Xaibe Roman Catholic School won the National Primary Schools Boys’ Softball Competition
The 2015-2016 National Primary Schools Boys’ Softball championship was played on Friday 6th May, 2016, at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. In the championship game, Xaibe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District defeated Carmelita Government School representing the Orange Walk District by the score of 11-4 to capture the national title. The winning pitcher was Loronzo Nas and the losing pitcher was Steven Chiac. In the consolation game played, Camalote St. Jude Roman Catholic School representing the Cayo District defeated St. Luke Methodist School representing the Belize District by the score of 9-7 to take third place. The winning pitcher was Carlos Beardall and the losing pitcher was Christopher Hower. In the first game in the semi-final round, Carmelita Government School won over Camalote St. Jude Roman Catholic School by the score of 12-9 to earn the first spot in the finals. The winning pitcher was Steven Chiac and the losing pitcher was Carlos Beardall.

Issue #32 of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online here!.
Click HERE to download the PDF

Deforestation in Belize: Why Does the Agriculture Sector Need Standing Forests?
Belize has lost more than 770,000 acres of forest since 1980, which is almost equivalent to the area of the entire Belize District. According to a report published by CATHALAC (Spanish acronym for Humid Tropics Water Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Panama), between 1980 and 2010 approximately 25,000 acres (more than 7 times the area of Belize City) of forests were cleared every year in Belize. According to another study produced by Belizean expert Emil Cherrington, in 2013, 33,000 acres of forest were lost in the Jewel, and in 2014 that number rose to 36,000 acres, which shows an increase in the deforestation rate. That trend has continued during the last 2years. CATHALAC and University of…

To the Editor
Dear Editor, We felt to express our deep appreciation that Belize has not been accepting genetically modified (GMO) crops into the country. We understand that through modern biotechnology, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being created that may use animal, virus, or bacteria genes to alter DNA or genetic material in vegetables and other things. These alterations are impossible to achieve from natural pollination or crop breeding, and must be produced in sophisticated genetic laboratories. The resulting “organisms” are then patentable property of the large corporations creating them. Someone has coined a thought provoking an alternative term for GMO: “God move over”. In other words, do humans consider themselves wiser than our all-wise omnipotent Creator? Are human beings better able and…

Green Banana Recipe Competition
Green Banana Recipe Winners! In our February Belize Ag Report (issue #31), writer Harold Vernon challenged readers to enter original recipes using green bananas in a contest. Harold’s plea for Belizeans to eat this very neglected, nutritious, tasty and cheap starch source stimulated some excellent recipe entries. Below find the winning recipes. More recipes are included in our online version. The contest winners for the most original and best tasting recipes are Miss Paige Dietrich of Unitedville, Cayo District, and Mrs. Deborah Harder of Upper Barton Creek, Cayo District, Youth and Adult categories, respectively. Each receives a $50.00 prize. Thank you, Sally Thackery, Belize Ag Test Kitchen Supervisor and kudos to Harold Vernon for your instigation and prize donation. Thank…

Restoration of the San Ignacio Town Clock
Working on various community projects focused on refurbishing the San Ignacio Police Station in 2014, I became curious as to why the San Ignacio Town Clock wasn’t working. I recalled that when I emigrated to San Ignacio in 1982 that it did work. I began to ask citizens why the clock wasn’t working. Many said they didn’t know or cited its age as the probable cause. Unsatisfied and more curious than ever, I finally got some information from “Jr” Simmons, owner of the venerable Hy-Et Hotel, on the corner of West Street and Bullet Tree Road. He said that the clock and four or five others just like it were gifts from Great Britain to the soldiers of British Honduras,…

Update on the Sugar Industry Management Information System (SIMIS)
In March 2016 a total of 74,258.87 acres of sugar cane fields under production have been verified in the northern sugar belt of Belize. From data collected it has been analyzed that cane variety B79474 remains the most dominant variety accounting for 60% of total area under production. This is followed by B52298 representing 17% and Belize Barbados Varieties (9 BBZ varieties) account for 4% of total area verified. All other varieties are reported as small quantities and available in more detail on the SIMIS database and represented on pie chart. Another valuable item of information collected was the spatial distribution of sugar cane fields regarding the actual size of each parcel. Data shows that small parcels between 0.1 to…

Importance of Biological Control and its Role in Managing Huanglongbing (HLB) in Belize
Figure 1: Adult Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and nymphs (Warnert, 2013) [above] Contributors: Ing. Helen Theresa Choco, Manuel Garcia, Veronica Manzanero-Majil The presence of the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), a tiny insect about 4 mm in size (figure 1) was first detected in Belize in 2005. Later, in 2009, the presence of Huanglongbing (HLB) (formerly citrus greening) was confirmed in Belize. ACP is the most efficient vector responsible for the spread of HLB in the Americas. Considering the potential gravity of HLB based on experiences from other countries, the Citrus Research and Education Institute (CREI), the research arm of the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) in collaboration with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the…

Sweet and Sour Dreams
March 2015 ( not April Fools day) we are reading in the news that a thousand year old Anglo Saxon recipe found in the British Library that is actually ninety percent effective in the eradication of the superbug MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). Following the directions to the letter, scientists concocted a stew of onions, leaks, and garlic, stewed in vintage wine and cows’ bile in a brass vessel for nine days to an amazing success. It may appear to be improbable that, after all, this time we are finding simple ingredients have the power to cure devastating diseases, but perhaps we need to pay more attention. For centuries folk healers around the world have claimed that God created plants…

Introduction of the African Bee to South America and Belize
The African honeybee (Apis mellifera adansonii) is a native of Africa, occupying roughly ¾ of the continent, from the Sahara Desert in the north to the Kalahari Desert in the south. In 1957, 26 swarms of African bees, held for scientific breeding studies in a apiary near Rio Claro, Brazil, escaped, starting the “Africanization” of bees and establishing themselves as feral swarms occupying now the whole of South America (except what seems to be their climatic limits south of 32o S. on Northern Argentina), Central America, Mexico and the states of Texas, California, New Mexico and Florida and parts of the Caribbean. The African bee has the same number of chromosomes (16 in drones and 32 for the queen) as…

Limbe Lime
Back in 1976, citrus farmers in southern Belize were in need of agricultural lime (ag lime or white lime) in order to improve the pH levels in their soils. As result of numerous tests being done in limestone deposits in the Spanish Lookout area, Mr. Abraham L. Dueck discovered high quality lime that has come to benefit the farming industry tremendously over the years. Forty years later, the company he started is still in business, managed by his son Milton; Limbe delivers its agricultural lime to a host of farmers, including citrus, banana, corn, teak, and many others. It is also widely used in the aquaculture industry. Agricultural lime, or white lime, is essential to soil because it increases the soil’s…

Understanding Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt)
“Do you use chemicals on your vegetables?” is a question that the farmer selling directly to the customer is likely to hear. Often the farmer answers, “Only when necessary” or “No, I am organic”. For questions like this, it is hard to give an accurate answer because most farmers whether organic or not, use some form of chemicals on their farms. Some farmers that are strictly organic must avoid certain chemicals but are still likely using some “natural” forms that are considered non-toxic. The scientific definition of a chemical is any basic substance that is used in or produced by a reaction involving changes to atoms or molecules.It is evident then, that chemicals include many things which may be harmful…

Considering Potassium and Manganese in Soil Fertility for Potatoes
Many growers feel that producing good yields of potatoes must involve the application of large amounts of fertilizer right under the seed row. The perception is that potato roots do not spread out much, and that they tend to grow straight down below where the seed is placed. This does show to be the case in many fields where potatoes are grown, but such limited root growth is actually abnormal compared to what should and does happen on potato fields with adequate levels of fertility. In fact, when soil fertility reaches the level it should be for growing potatoes, the plants send out roots that even spread across the middles, growing right on past roots coming from the next adjacent…

Remembering Mr. Anil Sinha
Mr. Anil Kumar Sinha’s name is synonymous with CARDI, the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute he served for 34 years as an agricultural scientist, first in Guyana for a year and then the agriculture sector of Belize from 1983 until his sudden death on 20 February 2016. He was appointed the country representative for CARDI in 1989 and served as the CARDI representative on many technical and advisory boards, including the Pesticide Control Board as chairman. What a legacy he has left! His stewardship and accomplishments advanced Belizean agriculture far more than his breeding and development of cereals and grain legumes adaptable to the tropics. His efforts at partnering with other organizations, countries and Belizean farming communities for the…

Soils of Belize – The Toledo District
My last article left us at the northern boundary of the Toledo District. The soils of the Toledo District have all been formed under conditions of higher temperatures and higher rainfall. The dominant landform is the Maya Mountains and associated foothills that create the largest number of drainage courses of the 7 watersheds. This district has the largest number of rivers that are relatively fast moving and are broken up into many sub-units or tributaries. The mountains form a barrier that collects moisture from the coast and create conditions of condensation as rain and serious flooding. The floodplains of the Monkey River, Deep River and Golden Steam constitute the Northern Coastal Plain while the Rio Grande, Moho, Temash and Sarstoon…

How Sweet It Is Making Ice Cream at Western Dairies
Standing in line is not always a bad thing, especially if you are in line to buy ice cream at Western Dairies (WD) in Spanish Lookout and have not decided among 24 flavors which one(s) to buy. Behind the scenes are 6 busy people packaging the ice cream into 3 gallon, 1 gallon, ½ gallon, quart, pint, and 5 oz.cup size. The 3 gallon size is the best seller; it is the size that restaurants, resorts, and WD ice cream shops buy to serve their customers. Vanilla, chocolate and cheese cake seem to be the favorites sold in that size. However, vanilla counts for 35% of all sales. The newest product is an ice cream bar, vanilla ice cream coated…

Fire – Useful or Harmful Vegetation Management Tool for Belizeans
Fire, in the case of burning vegetation, consists of many processes and characteristics operating at various temporal and spatial scales that can result in even more diverse outcomes in terms of impacts on the biosphere. Relatively few terrestrial ecosystems have not been directly affected by fire, at one time or another, with both positive and negative outcomes. Today, due to the global scale of intentional and unintentional burning of native vegetation and agricultural crop residues, the overall biosphere is being affected more adversely than positively. Of course, as everyone knows, fires can be either started by humans purposely or accidently, while conversely natural wildfire in native plant communities can occur annually or with frequencies of greater than centuries. However, for…

Climate Change Impact on Agriculture
Adaptation measures to climate change and variability were the focus of a forum in February when the stakeholders of the agriculture sector and livestock producers met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD); Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); and National Climate Change Office (NCCO). The participants developed specific recommended adaptation measures for both direct effects (changes in rainfall and temperature) and indirect effects (changes in pests, diseases and soil fertility) on agriculture crops and livestock. The measures recommended for excessive rainfall and flooding unclude: Drainage infrastructure, systems and mechanisms Well-designed and drained road infrastructure Available rainfall forecasts Relocation of animals and annual crops The measures recommended for drought include: Irrigation,…

Birding in Belize – A Visitor’s Perspective
Slaty-tailed Trogon observed near duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge [above] In February, my wife and I traveled to Belize for the primary purpose of bird watching, but our vacation also included snorkeling the barrier reef and visiting ancient Mayan ruins. Shortly after arriving in Belize City, we took a short flight on Maya Air over to Caye Caulker Island where we spent the next three days bird watching, relaxing, and walking, as our primary means of transportation on the island were our feet! Spending time on Caye Caulker was thoroughly enjoyable and stress free; the pace on the island was slow and pleasant. Being an avid birder, I particularly enjoyed the variety of Caribbean specialty bird species we observed on Caye Caulker…

Wildlife Impacts from Changing Landscapes
With Belize’s growing population, spreading urbanization and expanding agricultural footprint, inevitably there are impacts on wildlife as portions of their habitat are cleared for new houses, roads, milpas and large-scale agriculture. Whilst large tracts of wildlife habitat are protected in central and southern Belize by the protected areas that provide critical environmental services such as water supply, flood control and protection from landslides, the wildlife of coastal and northern Belize are more limited in the provision of safe havens from land-use change. The gradual loss of wildlife across the landscape is going unnoticed. One species that makes an interesting case study is Belize’s charismatic Yucatan black howler monkey, better known as the baboon or saraguato, one of Belize’s two species…

Belize Livestock Producers Association Holds 38th Annual General Meeting
On March 19th, 2016, the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) convened for their 38thannual general meeting (AGM) at their headquarters at Mile 47 ½ George Price Highway. Ranchers gathered from all over Belize, and those renewing their membership found a special price of $25.00 annual dues in effect for the day. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Environment and Sustainable Development Mr. Jose Alpuche, always a welcomed attendee, made a short presentation noting that a reduction of the entry tariff [of cattle] into Mexico and the Government of Belize’s (GOB) cooperation “will provide a foundation for you ranchers to build upon”. He also noted that we need to attach “a proper value on the cattle…

Climate Change, Land Use, and the Future of Water in Belize
The reality of climate change has many of us questioning how the change in weather patterns will affect the agriculture industry. Not only have we seen a marked difference in the length of wet and dry seasons and when they occur during the year, but we’re noticing more extreme weather behavior in terms of flooding and drought. These abnormalities lead us to wonder what the long-term effects of increasing average temperatures will be. The answer is not easy to pin down as it depends on many factors, such as how much average temperatures rise and how much more forest cover is converted to other land uses. Because so many people are interested in knowing how climate change will affect different…

Pro-Organic Belize Visits Pesticides Control Board – Understanding Pesticide Labels
On March 11th, 2016 a delegation from Pro Organic Belize (POB) met with Pesticides Control Board (PCB) staff at the PCB headquarters at Central Farm, Cayo District. Present from PCB were Pesticides Registrar Ms. Miriam Serrut, and PCB team members, Ms. Jenelle Canto, Mr. Selvyn Molina, Mr. Nonanto Canto and Mr. Ginnel Ozaeta. Nearly all of Cayo’sPOB members joined their “delegation”, such was the interest level in learning more about how pesticides become registered and how to understand their labels. Belize recognizes 5 grades of pesticides, which are graded by hazard classification, shown in color, using the World Health Organization (WHO) Acute Oral Toxicity Tables for chemicals. Of the 2 reds and 1 each of yellow, blue and green classes,…

Homemade Health – Parasites
Headaches, pain, joint inflammation, nausea, weight loss, vision problem, cancer, even death. What do these symptoms have in common? All can be caused by parasites. Parasites are organisms that cannot live independently of their host. They are much more common than you may think. In a documentary made by National Geographic called “The Body Snatchers,” they reported, “in fact, parasites have killed more humans than all the wars in history.” . Dr. Hulda Clark writes that all cancers are caused by parasites. I don’t know if that’s true, but the subject is serious enough to warrant investigation. While this is an unpleasant subject, even repulsive to some, it is a problem that can affect everyone. Parasites can enter the body…

Spanish Lookout Commercial and Industrial Expo 2016
The Commercial and Industrial Expo held at Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout every other year continues to draw large crowds. The fourth annual expo, held on February 26 and 27, had 15, 500 attendees, 1,000 more than Expo 2014, who came from every district in Belize. For the 1,000 students who came by the busload on Friday and the crowd on Saturday it was a fun time of horseback riding, ATVs, boating, buggy and “train” rides, jumping on the trampoline, and enjoying a great variety of delicious food. The number of booths also increased from 130 to 140 with 15 new exhibitors. Although there was an increase in livestock showing, probably the largest category of exhibitors was car dealerships with…

Breadfruit Basics
Beautiful tropical breadfruit trees are very well-adapted to Belize’s growing conditions including the rainy season; however, they can get water-stressed, resulting in partial defoliation in the dry season months but the tree continues to grow and bear fruit. The breadfruit tree has an exotic, lush tropical appearance due to its very large, lovely, lobed leaves. Breadfruit, (Artocarpusaltilis) is in the plant family Moraceae. There are both seeded and seedless breadfruit varieties. Other cultivated Artocarpus species include Artocarpuscamansi, known as breadnut; A. heterophyllus, jackfruit, and A.integer, champedak. Another relative of the breadfruit called dugdug is A. mariannensis, and the popular marang is A. odoratissimus. The seeds in all Artocarpus species may be boiled or roasted; they are both starchy and delicious.…

Belize Ag Youth Reporter Visits Miss Chrissie’s Whiz Bang Chicken Plucker
This is not a fiction article, although from the title it might be about a farm beside “Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory”. Belize Ag Youth Reporter Nick Roberson*, is fascinated and curious about all aspects of chickens and other domesticated fowl – guineas, turkeys, ducks, geese, he loves them all. Nick is always ready to accompany Belize Ag writers out on any chicken story. So when Ms. Chrissie Tupper announced to a few friends that she acquired a brand new Whiz Bang Chicken Plucker, imported from the USA and ready for assembly at her farm behind the Tuppers’ restaurant, Cheers With a Tropical Twist, at Mile 31 on the George Price Highway, Belize Ag planned to check it out. March 23rd…

Antibiotics Off The Menu
The Belize Bureau of Standards commemorated “World Consumer Rights Day 2016” in Belize on March 14th at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel by hosting a seminar with the theme Antibiotics off the Menu. The World Health Organization has identified the over-use of antibiotics in animal feed as a world crisis. The event focused on the risks of antibiotic use in the poultry, pig and cattle industry. “The widespread use of antibiotics is used to control, suppress or to kill micro-organisms,” stated Armando Cowo, manager of the Belize Poultry Association. Mr. Cowo urged the use of antibiotics to be limited and used only “when it is absolutely necessary.” He recommended that farmers use best practices by keeping barns and animal lots…

POB Speaker Abram Harder
“The biggest mistake people make when planting a tree seedling is to plant it too deep,” said Abram Harder, speaker at the Pro-organic Belize (POB) April meeting. That statement riveted the attention of the 23 people who came to hear him and exchange information with other attendees about growing trees and plants with “low input”. Abram went on with specific instructions: find the tap root and plant the tree so that the soil is only 1 inch above it, never deeper, then clean it around the stem and mulch the tree well. He said that manure from either chickens or cows can be used as fertilizer but the important thing to remember is to keep it away from the trunk.…

Wild Squash or Wild Pumpkin (Sikil)
Belize has a number of indigenous foods that are increasingly being neglected. One such fruit (vegetable) is the “sikil” C. lundelliana; origin: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize. Sikils, about the size of a husked coconut, are white with green striations. All the people I have sampled recently cannot remember the last time they had eaten this highly nutritious food. It is usually grown without pesticides. All persons reported that they cooked it (to death) with meats. None reported eating it raw. All squashes can and should be eaten raw to obtain maximum benefit. This squash makes the best coleslaw I have eaten when julienned and/or complimented with fresh tomatoes and fresh cheese for a simple salad. Please tell us how you prepare and…

Ag Briefs
The 2016 Wine and Chocolate will be held on Friday, May 20th at The Lodge at Big Falls in Big Falls Village. The Saturday, May 21st event will be held on Front Street in Punta Gorda town and Sunday, May 22nd will be at Julian Cho Technical High School at Dump Area, San Antonio Road. Contact [email protected] or call 722-2531. The University of Belize College of Agriculture at Central Farm (UBCF) will host prominent soil fertility expert Neal Kinsey for the 3rd time in Belize, on February 27th –March 1st 2017 (the 2016 course was held earlier in Feb 2016). The upcoming course will be a new course to Belize; the 3 day Intro 2 course begins with a day…

Yam – A Gentle Giant of Tropical Roots
In January my husband told me we have several yams waiting to be dug, and we should start using them before the potato crops come in, here in Barton Creek. I asked why he didn’t tell me sooner. Soon afterwards a large, brown, muddy, knobby specimen appeared on our back porch; it must have weighed 10 pounds. But my husband said it was only half of the smallest one and these grew up as volunteers and uncared for! Yam, not to be confused with the smaller and unrelated sweet potato and also not to be confused with the wild yam, a herbal source of estrogen, is surely one of Belize’s under-appreciated foods. A vine that would thrive climbing up a…

Agriculture Prices At A Glance

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Trio Village cacao growers get $250,000
An agro-forestry pilot project to organically grow cacao is helping 200 villagers from Trio Village in the Toledo district adapt to Climate Change, with US $250,000 in funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) program. They are farming 960 acres within […]

Tropic Air rated safe
The self-styled “Airline of Belize”, Tropic Air says it has been rated safe following a successful completion of the International Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The ISSA evaluates safety practices and management in flight and ground operations, maintenance, […]

Belize District Chinese businessmen charged over conch
Chinese businessmen from Caye Caulker and Ladyville respectively were in court today accused of being found in possession of undersized market-cleaned conch. 38 year old Dong Sheng Zheng, proprietor and businessman of the Caribbean Chinese Restaurant located in Caye Caulker on January 7, 2016, is […]

“Boyfriend” accused of sex charge
25 year old Anderson Portillo, a Salvadoran national, was sent to jail on remand, accused of entering an unlawful sexual relationship with a 15 year old girl who claims he is her boyfriend. Portillo was read two indictable offenses of unlawful sexual intercourse with […]

Boyd Lopez pleads guilty in City accident
Last February 18, 70 year old Marie Knowles was knocked down and eventually died when teenager Boyd Lopez drove a vehicle without holding a license. Today Lopez, 20, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless conduct as opposed to manslaughter by negligence before Justice […]

Belize District schools take part in financial literacy fair
For several years now the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has partnered with Pricewaterhousecoopers and Peacework to promote and teach financial literacy to Belize’s students. In the Belize District, summer classes have been held and now financial literacy and entrepreneurship form part of […]

BTL reports uptick in revenue
Belize Telemedia Limited’s chair of the executive committee Anwar Barrow and other executives of the state-owned company yesterday afternoon briefed the media on its preliminary earnings for this year. Those have reached 1 hundred 57 million dollars, up 13.8 million from last year. Barrow […]

Progresso man being investigated for $11,000 scam
Police are investigating an incident reported by a 71-year-old female resident of San Estevan Village in Orange Walk District, who told officers that a man she knows as Cecilio Mesh, obtained money from her and then disappeared. Mesh, a Progresso Village, Corozal District resident, […]

Two pounds of weed found on bus
During an early morning police check point at mile 40 on the Philip Goldson Highway yesterday, officers found two pounds (888 grams) of cannabis inside a pink and black school bag. The bag was on a bus heading to Belize City from Orange Walk […]

Generally fair weather affecting most of the country
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with a few cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight. Most parts of the country will experience little to no rainfall, except for the extreme South where a few showers along with possible […]


San Ignacio Benefits, Additional Tours and a Happy Anniversary
Tropic Air has again successfully completed the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA), which is an internationally recognized evaluation of the safety practices and management of the airline. The assessment focuses on key areas within an airline such as flight and ground operations, maintenance, cargo, security and aeronautical safety. It promotes high industry benchmarks, and allows for expanded partnership opportunities with other airlines. Tropic Air joined IATA’s ISSA Registry in 2015, and was the second airline to be registered. It is also the first airline to complete the renewal assessment, which will now be valid for two years (until 7 May 2018). “We are very pleased to receive the ISSA registration, and it is a very proud moment for us to have demonstrated that our airline operates according to the most stringent standards in our industry segment. Successfully completing the assessment is a testament to the rigorous work put in every day keeping customers and each other safe”, said Steve Schulte, CEO of Tropic Air.

The Next Truck Stop Farmers’ Market & Farm House Deli Readies For the Crowd
After closing for a week of much needed time off, the Truck Stop is again open and today, announced the monthly return of the HUGELY popular Farmers’ Market. And by hugely popular, I mean a grab-fest reminiscent of Black Friday at an Arkansas Walmart except that no one was hurt (in fact everyone was quite orderly and good natured) and the products were not flat screen tvs or Tickle Me Elmo’s but DEEEEE-licious goodies.

Re: Today's Belize News: May 13, 2016 [Re: Marty] #513719
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Under the theme, “Make a Difference; Protect our Environment”, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize Fisheries Department, the San Pedro Town Council along with the San Pedro Tour Guide association have organized the 11th annual Northern Belize REEF WEEK. Mark your calendars – May 16th through the 22nd. ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: Monday May 16th - Swim to the Reef – 6:00AM –All participants will meet up at Amigos del Mar dock for swim off time at 6AM. This is NOT a competition, so even if you’re not registered, you can still just show up and do the swim. Snorkeling gear is welcomed for this event. On Tuesday May 17th – is the annual Ambergris Caye Coastal Clean Up. This activity starts at 8:30am. All residents and businesses, especially those located on the beach side are invited to participate in this activity. All garbage along the beach side and water ways are going to be collected and taken to the municipal dock, from which location, the Town Council will be picking it up and ferrying it to the Official garbage dump site. Grand Caribe Belize staff will be in full force – assuring that our beaches are spotless.

What to Expect at the 10th Annual Chocolate Festival of Belize
Designed to raise awareness of the Toledo District as a responsible tourism destination, the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize has become one of the most anticipated events in the country. Today, the festival promotes the growing cacao industry in Belize, while exposing the public to advancements in chocolate making. This 3 day event which will be held from May 20th to 22nd this year, attracts hundreds of visitors from both home and abroad to the charming seaport town of Punta Gorda. Travelers visit by land, sea and air, to indulge in delicious chocolate infused beverages such as wine and beer, listen to lively cultural music, examine the magnificent Belizean and Mayan artwork and satisfy their taste buds with delicious Belizean cuisine. Day 1: Wine and Chocolate evening on May 20th at 7pm at The Lodge at Big Falls The Wine and Chocolate evening is the signature event of the Chocolate Festival of Belize, offering visitors live music this year by the Garifuna Collective, fine wine, Belizean chocolate, and Belikin's specially brewed Chocolate Stout. Indulge yourself with the latest creations from Belizean boutique chocolate makers – Xoco, Che'il, MOHO, Cotton Tree Chocolate, and Ix Cacao - and feast on delectable hors d'ouevres.

International Sourcesizz

Caribbean indigenous peoples call for 'a seat at the table'
The Caribbean’s indigenous people have urged that they be given a seat at the political table so as to safeguard their rights to their ancestral lands and resources, as they wrapped up an historic University of the West Indies conference of indigenous peoples in Belize over the Labour Day weekend. The call for political representation for the minority first peoples of the region is one of a slew of recommendations on health, education, gender, sustainable livelihoods, land rights and access to justice, drafted after three days of deliberations by the leaders and representatives of indigenous peoples from six Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations. Host country Belize is home to more than 50,000 Maya and Garifuna peoples, roughly one-tenth of the population. The conference, organised by UWI IMPACT Justice, a Canadian-funded project to improve access to justice in the Caribbean, has been hailed as a rare, unique and historic gathering of the region’s indigenous peoples and a recognition of the need to redress centuries of degradation and discrimination.

Mayan Exhibit Arrives at Witte
Your chance to step back in time, and look at Mayan culture and history–without ever having to leave the Alamo City. It starts Saturday with the opening of a new exhibit at the Witte Museum. “You can learn what it was like–and is like–to be a Mayan” said the Museum’s Marise McDrmott, who told KTSA News the exhibit includes many interactive features. “You can have a name in Mayan, you can learn how to work with the glyphs… the Mayan language was just recently decoded. You can learn Mayan math” McDermott said, adding “Everything is written upon. Even a bowl, a vase, or a wall… everything has something on it that’s a glyph–that says something.” Of course, you can also see all kinds of different Mayan artifacts too.

Mexican experts doubt Canadian teen’s discovery of lost Mayan city
The news that a Canadian teen had discovered an ancient Mayan city hidden in the Yucatan jungle without ever leaving home spread rapidly in Mexico’s media, but experts here responded with caution Wednesday May 11 and said that they cannot back the claim. Initial reporting was that 15-year-old William Gadoury noticed what appeared to be the outlines of man-made structures covered with jungle foliage in satellite images he was viewing on his home computer. Nevertheless, an official with Mexico’s National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, told EFE that they cannot “endorse the existence of this city or the information presented by this boy.” The INAH also said that it is not even “considering” the alleged find, since “there is no scientific basis for it.”

Canadian Space Agency defends teen’s lost Mayan city research
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has come to the defense of William Gadoury, the Canadian teen who found a possible lost Mayan city in the jungles of Mexico using star maps. The announcement was immediately attacked by Mayan researchers and academics and deemed a fraud. The academics claimed the satellite photo included with the original news story revealed a corn field not a lost city. Armand LaRocque, the geologist who worked with Gadoury, soon hit back when he revealed that the satellite photo that had the academics in an uproar was not the correct image of the actual site in Mexico but of some unknown location in Belize. Apparently the news media had inadvertently published the wrong satellite photo in error and thus the academics had worked themselves into a frenzy over nothing. Oops. One of the harshest critics, Dr. David Stuart of the University of Texas, who used his Facebook page to prematurely call Gadoury’s research “junk science,” soon deleted that post.


  • The Guatemala/Belize Student Exchange Examined, 6min.

  • Our Belize, 5min.

  • Guatemala and Belize HD, 7min.

  • Diving in Belize, 5.5min. Here are some highlights of my first diving experience in Belize.

  • Morning Matters with Curtis Gillett, 58min.

  • Morning Matters at Banana Beach, 58min.

  • Belize, 6min.

  • Belize Trip, 18min.

  • Scuba Diving The Great Blue Hole in Belize, 9min. Video from my dive into "The Great Blue Hole", one of the top diving spots in the world. This is on Lighthouse Reef, off the coast of Belize. This was shot May 5, 2016. I was diving with Frenchie's Diving, a great outfit on Caye Caulker island. There were about 7-8 Caribbean Reef Sharks swimming around us, that were about 6-8 feet long. REALLY COOL!!! Video was shot with a SJCAM 5000. You can see about halfway through the video Stalactites in a side cave, about 100-120 feet below the surface, proving that this was actually above water at one time. The Great Blue Hole is a vertical "Cave" that is about 1000 feet wide, and over 250 feet deep, with caves extending out the sides in a couple places.

  • Belize City, Belize, 2.5min. The roads of Belize city in Belize.

  • Maya Deer Dance, Belize, 28min. Maya deer dance, a documentary about the history of this sacred Maya tradition, in Santa Cruz village, Toledo Belize, Central America.

  • Close Encounters in Belize, 3min. Underwater in Belize with a few of our friends.

  • Links
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    White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
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    Click for the Thrifty Dollar Golf Club Rental website!
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    Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
    Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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