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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

UB gets over half a million grant to study acid seas effect on Belize Barrier Reef
The University of Belize (UB) is the recipient of a grant of $560,435.93 from the International Atomic Agency’s Technical Cooperation Program (IAEA-TCP), which will be used to study how the acid in the sea is impacting the marine ecosystem of Belize’s Meso-American Barrier Reef. The official announcement of the grant was made on Friday, April 22nd. The funds will assist in the purchasing of laboratory instruments and the training of personnel to measure and monitor marine pollution. The studies will focus particularly in the high acidity levels produced by acid rain running off into the sea. Even though the tests will first be conducted in different areas of the southern part of the Barrier Reef, the impact of these studies are expected to have a positive result on the entire reef system. According to the experts, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is in need of total preservation and has been neglected for some time. The upcoming planned tests are aimed to continue its preservation. According to a local environmental organization on the island, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, such studies will eventually have a positive result, enhancing the health of the reef, especially on the portion in front of Ambergris Caye. Hol Chan looks forward to joining UB wherever necessary in an effort to increase the quality of these tests that are being done on the local marine ecosystems.

Letter to the Editor: B&B responds to The San Pedro Sun
Last week, the San Pedro Sun ran an article criticizing Bowen & Bowen for failing to abide by the rules of a pilot project, initiated by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), restricting downtown delivery trucks to the hours of 2am to 7am. Since the article did not include any comments from B&B representatives but just conjecture about our motivations, we would like to set the record straight about a few things. As noted in the Sun article, B&B was one of few companies who supported this project, and we made the necessary changes to restructure our delivery routes to obey the new rules; changes which increased workload, took extra time, required additional people, and cost more money. We know that traffic congestion is an increasing problem in San Pedro. It is a problem that impacts our customers, both the stores that stock our products and the consumers who purchase them. So, although the rules created a new burden both for our drivers and the businesses we deliver to, we obliged.

Arcadia University to provide a variety of volunteer services in San Pedro
In some corners of the campus of Arcadia University in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, the conversation is all about Belize. That’s because a group of academic students have “adopted” San Pedro and are currently using their substantial resources to design ways they hope to improve life on the island. Lara Goldman, island resident and owner of Romantic Travel Belize, 12 Belize and an alumni of Arcadia, reached out to her Alma Mater in hopes of drawing attention to Belize. Arcadia has never had a ‘host-a-country’ approach, and Goldman thinks Ambergris Caye is the perfect place to start. “Arcadia is the number one school for international studies, and they bring to the table a tremendous amount of experience. They are ready to come in with cultural sensitivity and understanding. Now we are looking to set up long-term, sustainable and impactful educational opportunities for San Pedranos and people living in San Pedro,” said Goldman.

Solani Graniel to represent Belize in International Pageant
The beautiful Solani Graniel has been selected to represent Belize in the “Miss Caribbean International Roots Pageant”. Graniel was contacted and given the opportunity to participate in the international pageant taking place from June 21 to the 26 in Colombia, South America. Graniel is definitely not a stranger when it comes pageants, but this is her first international pageant. She currently holds the title of “San Pedro Lions Queen 2016-2017”, and previously, she was Miss San Pedro 2013-14. Beyond the glitz and the glam, she is routinely preparing to perfect her physique, poise, speech, and runway walk. Her main focus at the moment is a diet and exercise regimen to be in top shape, physically and mentally, for the big day. The pageant was initially only for Colombia, but they have now invited other contestants from other Caribbean countries, which adds a cultural aspect to the event. Graniel feels honored to be representing San Pedro, and is thrilled to travel. “I look forward to visiting Colombia for the first time, and meeting new people. I’m excited to see what is going to happen in the end,” said Graniel.

Imagine San Pedro without Tourism
As tourism continues to grow into a major income producing industry in Belize, San Pedro Town also retains the title of Belize’s leading destination. In the past, La Isla Bonita has been recognized as a top island destination, as awarded by TripAdvisor, but recent issues involving traffic congestion, poor hospitality, soliciting, and trash has led to ongoing complaints from tourists. The San Pedro Sun met with Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who also expressed his concern about effectively preserving tourism. Guerrero indicated that the general population should be more mindful of their actions, and how their negative behavior can affect tourism. Tourism contributes greatly to our economy, and in return, the further development of our community. According to the statistics shared by the Belize Tourism Board’s Central American Quality and Sustainability Integrated System (SICCS) consultation, Belize sees 360,000 overnight visitors a year. World-wide tourism generates 10% of the Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and is responsible for one out of eleven jobs globally. The reality is that tourism plays a vital role when it comes to employment on Ambergris Caye. A good portion of San Pedro is comprised of people who migrated from other parts of Belize or Central America to seek better opportunities. The tourism industry affects the economy-from the hoteliers to the person cutting the lawns.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Oral History Workshop
Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project is seeking volunteers who have a strong interest in Belizean History to participate in an Oral History Workshop to be held on four consecutive Saturdays during the months June and July, 2016. The purpose of the workshop is to equip participants with essential knowledge and skills of oral history. It shall focus on building the capacity of the participants to produce short 10-minute Oral History Video Documentaries based on people who have knowledge about Downtown Belize City’s historic past. The completed video documentaries shall contribute to the training resource for tour guides, republications of local books, shared on Television, Radio and the Project’s Website and Facebook pages. If you believe you have a strong interest in Belizean History and want to contribute to building on our historic information, our Oral History Workshop might be just for you. History teachers, Junior College and Tertiary level students are encouraged to express their interest to participate by sending an email to [email protected] or call 615-9557 for further information.

The Belize Zoo will once again be accepting young Belizeans join our Education team as we explore Belize's natural wonders through our week long conservation camp. This will be the 23rd year of "Zoo Camp." Special guest presentations, field trips, scientific studies and role play are just a few of the many activities planned this year. The goal of Camp, as always, is to foster conservation-minded attitudes in the next generation of stewards of our natural heritage. June 27th to July 1st are the dates this year, so, parents, start applying! Campers must be 12-17 years of age, and come prepared for 4 nights and 5 days of activities. More info and registration forms can be requested from [email protected], or [email protected], or call the Zoo at 822-8000.

ACES Team at Lamanai Landings Marina
Miguel Melendez of ACES gives additional training to the team at Lamanai Landings Marina to microchip freshwater Morelet's in the New River near the city of Orange Walk.

Belize Chef Leads the Charge for Sustainable Seafood
Chef Jennie Staines has pioneered the use of sustainable seafood in Belize’s dining scene. She’s the head chef at Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, the country’s largest island and a major tourist destination. In addition to carrying on a family business that started in her childhood home, Staines has been a tireless advocate for reforming fishing-related laws and education in Belize. We recently spoke with the chef about her sustainable crab claw project, the best way to cook invasive lionfish and why she cares about buying and serving responsible seafood. My earliest memory of cooking is working with my mom, Elvi, making tamales. She used to make tamales and bake bread. She would sell her food to about 30 houses and a few other little places. San Pedro started as a small fishing village. We had the first hotel in the 70s, and from there the island has been growing bigger ever since. But I think San Pedro has grown in a good way — it has grown gracefully. It has become a place where people come to find job opportunities and to start families. In other parts of Belize, it’s a struggle.

Three Guatemalans Detained for Illegal Activities in the Chiquibul
A joint patrol comprised of officers from the Belize Defence Force, the Police Department, and Friends for Conservation and Development encountered a group of 10 - 15 individuals engaged in what appeared to be illicit gold mining operations in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. This encounter took place around 7:45 pm yesterday, 13th May, 2016 approximately 7.9 kilometers east of the border. The Belizean patrol detained three Guatemalan nationals: 23-year-old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez, 17-year-old Edin Alexander Escobar Garcia, and 21-year-old Solomon Martinez Pasqual. The patrol reported that Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez advanced towards a member of the patrol in an aggressive manner with a machete and the officer fired a warning shot in the air but Hernandez continued to advance. The officer then fired a second shot in self-defense and wounded Hernandez in his left upper arm.

Caye Caulker Police Business Community Meeting
May 19th, Community Center

Hurricanes win Basketball championship

Wildfire Assemblage Art Exhibit
Wildfire is launching their next art exhibit on Sunday, May 15th, at 5:00pm. It's entitled Assemblage, and will feature 5 artists. Wine, chocolate, and music make a great opening. "AT LAST ... A NEW ART EXHIBIT! Hope to see you there..."


BNTU marches against “Sarstoon Law!”
Tomorrow, the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) will be boldly marching through the streets of Belize City to protest against a recently passed Statutory Instrument that prohibits Belizeans from venturing to Belize’s Sarstoon River border, popularly dubbed the “Sarstoon Law.” According to Elena Smith, Senator for Unions and Civil Society, who spoke with us tonight, they are anticipating a turnout of 2,000 teachers who will convene at 9:00 a.m. at Constitution Park on Cemetery Road and then march over to the BTL Park. The Opposition People’s United Party has made public its indication to march shoulder to shoulder with the BNTU tomorrow. Smith told Amandala that while they appreciate the support of the Opposition, “We don’t want them to come out wearing any political T-shirts saying PUP or UDP or anything of that sort. We want them to be out there as Belizeans.”

A young mother’s worst nightmare
The heartbroken and grieving family of Vanessa Sanchez, 19, who delivered her firstborn child at the Punta Gorda Hospital on Sunday morning, May 8, 2016, is calling for an independent investigation into the tragic death of her newborn. Santos Sanchez, Vanessa’s father, believes that the story of how the baby died does not add up, and he suggests there is a cover-up. For his part, Sanchez thinks that the baby’s death was “unnecessary” and he wants to know if anyone will be held accountable. As we go to press tonight, Vanessa, who was released from the hospital yesterday, hours before her baby was laid to rest by relatives in Boom Creek, Toledo, is now at the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga. Her brother, Israel, told us that the family had to take her back to the hospital today, because she was discharged from the Punta Gorda hospital Wednesday morning with a fever that still did not subside. Her relatives are still trying to cope with the tragedy. Santos Sanchez told Amandala that his daughter went to all her medical appointments, especially when the time drew near to have her baby, who was in good health prior to his birth.

Con man ripped off 71-year-old woman of $11,000
A 71-year-old woman of San Estevan was swindled out of $11,000 by a con – man posing as a lands agent who claimed that he could get her two land titles for parcels, which she held leases in the village of Progresso. After collecting a total of $11,000 from the senior citizen, the fake lands agent disappeared, and to date, the woman has not seen or heard from the con – man, nor has she received the titles for the parcels of land. The woman told police that between November 2015 and January 2016, she made 8 payments to the fake land agent, totaling $11,000. The last payment was made to him on January 18. Police are looking for the imposter.

The GAF: bullies of the Sarstoon
The latest military-to-military incident on the southern border between Belize and Guatemala occurred on the Sarstoon River on Tuesday, May 3, when Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) intercepted and blocked a Belize Defence Force (BDF) boat that was on its way to Cadenas. This week, video footage of the incident went viral on social media and resulted in limited official comment. On that same day when the GAF intercepted the BDF boat, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference, but failed to update the country on the disturbing encounter on the river, over which Guatemala has been asserting its sovereignty while the Belize Government has been steadfast in its diplomatic quest for a “protocol” for the use of the river – “protocol” being the word the Guatemalans use, which is a thin veneer for their demand that Belizeans, military and civilians alike, respect the fact that they “own” the Sarstoon River and Island, and so we must ask them for permission to traverse the area, which is, in fact, Belizean territory. By Thursday, the Prime Minister was briefing the country on the progress of the bilateral talks in Washington, but again, the PM failed to give any disclosure of the incident between the BDF and the GAF.

US Capital gets contract extension—did Toledo Maya acquiesce?
There are questions being raised in concerned quarters tonight over the legality of three petroleum contract extensions granted by the Government of Belize between October 2015 and March 2016—one of them being given only two months ago to US Capital Energy, which had gotten its original contract in 2001 (15 years ago) to explore for oil over lands occupied by the Toledo Maya. The US Capital contract was originally issued four years before Belize declared its first commercial oil find. Indications are that had government negotiated new contracts with the oil companies, which they are free to do, better terms could have been acquired. Of note is that under the law, a company gets only 8 years to explore for oil, and if it finds nothing, it should pack up and go home. US Capital has, however, been given the green-light to continue exploration in an area where the Government has said that great oil potential exists. It has been adamant in the face of opposition from the Toledo Maya. However, last year, the Toledo Maya won a groundbreaking land rights case at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), after challenging the Government’s decision to issue those concessions without their free, prior and informed consent.

PUP wants the Supreme Court to declare Sarstoon Prohibition SI unconstitutional
On Friday, April 29, the day before the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) were scheduled to go to the Sarstoon River in celebration of the anniversary of the signing of the 1859 Anglo-Guatemalan border treaty, the government announced that Prime Minister Barrow had consulted with the Governor General and passed into law Statutory Instrument (SI) 42 of 2016, restricting Belizeans from visiting the Sarstoon River. The government’s “Sarstoon Prohibition,” as it was later described, was met with widespread criticism, and several prominent attorneys have expressed the view that the law is definitely unconstitutional, because it conflicts with the provision of the Belize Constitution, which guarantees freedom of movement. The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) as a result held a National Party Council meeting on Saturday and approved a resolution from the PUP National Executive to mount a legal challenge to the Sarstoon River SI. The Opposition took matters a step further today when its leader, Hon. John Briceño, filed court papers challenging the constitutionality of the SI.

Cricket Corner – Teams getting hot!
Hello to all cricket fans and lovers of sports! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association and the kind sponsors of this year’s competition, Belikin and Smart, the Harrison Parks 2016 Cricket Competition continued over the weekend. As the regular season is nearing its end, players are making sure their teams reach the playoff spot. There are teams already out of such position, but are still going on for the love of the game. Over the weekend, there was much fun some winning teams had with their opponents. For example, Berlan, who is at 2nd place in Zone Two, played against Brave Union; Berlan took to bat first, and at the fall of the last wicket, they scored 301 runs. Kenton Young top scored with 121 runs, while Shane Young, playing for Brave Union, took 4 Berlan stumps. Brave Union went to bat with the strong hope of beating that score. (All things are possible, but not this time.) Well, although Dennis Tillett tried his best to take down Brave Union as low as possible by taking 4 stumps, with the strong batting of Jason Revers, who scored 52 runs, Brave Union went down, but placed on the scoreboard 184 solid runs. That was a good fight, boys. You all had the heart of an iguana. The saying goes like this: After a man has done his best, not even the angels can do better.

Tennis News – Strong & Weak Doubles Tournament in Belmopan
The newly refurbished Belmopan Tennis Courts were buzzing this past Saturday with lots of tennis, as the Belize Tennis Association, in collaboration with the Belmopan Tennis Club, held a Tennis Mixer (strong and weak) doubles tournament. Some twenty eight (28) players (fourteen doubles teams) played round-robin style. The top four teams who made the finals after the round robin were Robert Lee & Charlene Lee, Roilan Fuller & Anselma Gullap, Mike Sosa & Vanessa Gonzalez Hernandez, and Samira Musa Pott & Dalix Hernandez. Sosa and Hernandez edged Pott and Hernandez to advance to the finals; while Fuller and Gullap overcame the Lee couple to become the other finalists. In the finals, it was neat to see the skills and court coverage by the stronger opponents of Mike Sosa and Roilan Fuller, and the tenacity of their respective partners, Hernandez and Gullap; but in the end, the Sosa & Hernandez team proved too good, taking the victory over Fuller and Gullap, 6-3. Trophies were presented to the champions and runners-up.

BDFA 1st Division football returns to MCC
The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) 1st Division Tournament 2016 kicked off with Week 1 games on Sunday, May 8, at the MCC Grounds. In the opener, FC Elite got the 2-1 win over Eiley FC. Shawn Roches (20’) and Marlon Gutierrez (90+’) shook the net for FC Elite, while Kevin Rowland (53’) got the sole tally for Eiley FC. And in the nightcap, Lake I Strikers and Stars Academy played to a 1-1 draw. Steven Baizer (36’) gave Stars Academy the first half lead, but Whitfield Fisher (67’) equalized for Lake I in second half.

National Primary Schools Softball Champions 2016
The National Primary Schools Softball Championship 2016 took place on Friday, May 6, in Belize City at the Marion Jones Sports Complex. Six female teams and six male teams, champions of the six districts of the country, participated in the tournament. Participating teams were: FEMALE – Independence Primary (Stann Creek); Crooked Tree Gov’t (Belize); Caledonia RC (Corozal); St. Francis Xavier RC (Cayo); Carmelita Gov’t (Orange Walk); and Aguacate RC (Toledo). MALE – Silk Grass Methodist (Stann Creek); St. Luke Methodist (Belize); Xaibe RC (Corozal); Camalote St. Jude RC (Cayo); Carmelita Gov’t (Orange Walk); and San Vicente RC (Toledo). After each team had played 2 first round games, the top 4 teams in each category moved on to the semifinals. In the female category, Aguacate RC edged Independence Primary, 6-5; and Crooked Tree Gov’t clipped St. Francis Xavier RC, 3-1. For the males, Carmelita Gov’t won, 12-9, over Camalote St. Jude RC; and Xaibe RC shut out St. Luke Methodist, 4-0.

NEBL championship will be decided at the Hurricane Shelter
The third and deciding game 3 of the NEBL finals will be played this Friday night, May 13, at 9:00 p.m. at the Belize Elementary School gymnasium, known as the “Hurricane Shelter.” Winner takes all in the final game of the NEBL season. In the first two games, the home team came out with the win, so the edge in this game goes to Smart Belize Hurricanes. However, the two-time defending champion, San Pedro Tiger Sharks has proven over and over that they can win on the road. The league’s MVP, Farron Louriano, from Smart Belize Hurricanes, has led his team in scoring with 24 and 30 points, respectively, in game 1 and game 2. He is averaging 27 points/game in this series, to go with 7.5 rebounds/game. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie scored 25 points in game 1 and 15 points in game 2, to average 20 points/game in the finals. Farron’s scoring and rebounding, complemented by Puppy’s scoring, poise and leadership on the court have been the only two constants for Smart Belize Hurricanes.

Blood and nationhood
No, we have not forgotten Danny Conorquie, and we’ll tell you why. When he was killed defending Belize in September of 2014, the attitude of the United Democratic Party (UDP) leaders of the Government of Belize was inappropriate and unacceptable. In fact, it was downright foul. The attitude of the UDP leaders spoke of a kind of snobbery which was historically characteristic of their party and their party’s antecedents. In these pages, we have previously said to you that Henry V (1387–1422) was England’s favorite warrior king. In these pages, we have also quoted (as we do above) from one of his speeches in the William Shakespeare play, Henry V, when he was about to lead his men into battle against the French. He told his men that they who would fight by his side that blessed day were his brothers, more so than anyone would be.

From the Publisher
Behind the scenes, the Government of Belize will be going all out to undermine the march of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) scheduled for this Friday, May 13, in Belize City. The march was announced at a press conference on Monday, May 9. It’s very short notice, but this is the BNTU: they can kick up dust in the twinkling of an eye. BNTU is campaigning against the Sarstoon River Statutory Instrument on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. When the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) attempted on Saturday morning, April 30, to defy Government’s ban on civilian travel to the Sarstoon, a couple of the BTV’s most militant supporters, that day, were BNTU executive members. Government used Belize’s security forces to stop the BTV expedition from embarking in boats at the pier in Barranco, Belize’s southernmost village. The BNTU is the single most powerful trade union in Belize with respect to its ability to challenge and shake up governments here. This was pretty much established in late 2004 and early 2005.

Letter to the Editor: Unsung heroes
Dear Editor: Whenever we hear the term “hero”, we often times think of someone who’s strong and powerful that comes dashing through the air at high speed racing to help someone, prevent the “bad guy” from striking and essentially, to save the world! However, I’d beg to differ. The aforementioned description of a hero is a gross misconception that needs to be rectified. I believe that a hero is someone who’s small and powerful. A hero is someone who hardly makes a lot of noise and has the power to effect change and shape the world in which we live. A hero works late at night and all day long to ensure that the service they offer is second to none. A hero is loving and caring – they guide, mold, protect and nurture the minds (much like seeds) so that they may bloom into productive, self-respecting adults. In case you’re wondering, a teacher possesses the genuine qualities of a hero.

It is the sacred duty of the Government of Belize to protect Belize’s borders, sovereignty and territorial integrity!
The United States (USA) had promised support to Guatemala in exchange for the use of its territory to facilitate the 1961 invasion of Cuba (Bay of Pigs). This ended in failure. General Ydigoras Fuentes, the then president of Guatemala, said he had allowed the C.I.A. to train the Cubans because the Eisenhower Administration had pledged to take a friendlier attitude toward his government and to increase the United States’ import quota on Guatemalan sugar. He said Washington had also promised to put pressure on the British government to discuss Guatemala’s claim to British Honduras. At the request of Britain, US president Lyndon Johnson appointed Bethuel Webster to mediate the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute. So the infamous Webster Proposals in 1968 came at a good time for the United States in its effort to help Guatemala. However, the Webster Proposals were classified by Belizeans as inconvenient to Belize and treasonous and were rejected by Belize. We need to be reminded that the United States was one of the last countries to vote at the United Nations in favour of Belize’s independence with all its territory intact. In addition, US investment in Guatemala is so extensive that it outweighs any factors that could possibly sway the US to support Belize. They will always support Guatemala.

Letter to the Editor: The great Beryl!
Dear Editor, In furthering the education of the Belizean people, I am submitting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, hoping you see it a worthwhile document to print at this point in time. I especially call the attention of your readers to Articles 13 through 30. Sincerely, Beryl Young

Sidney “Stretch” Lightburn, 77, reflects on life, labor and love
Sidney “Stretch” Lightburn, the older brother of two well-known Belizeans: Clinton “Pulu” Lightburn and the late Ray Lightburn, is living proof that high school dropouts don’t have to be failures in life: they can become productive breadwinners for their families and live comfortably. The hands of this humble 77-year-old were among the many which helped to build the foundation of many schools across Belize, including his alma mater, St. Ignatius School. In an exclusive interview with Amandala on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Lightburn, who has always lived a private life, shared his personal story. He is the eldest son of Lucille Eusey and Bill Lightburn. Apart from Ray and Pulu, he has a maternal brother, Terroll, who passed some years ago at the age of 50. Stretch Lightburn was born in Belize City in the middle of the 1939 war, World War II. He was raised in Belize City, where he attended St. Ignatius School and then St. John’s College. He told us that the Jesuits kicked him out after a year—and that was the best thing they ever did for him! When he left high school, he was about 15 years old.

Where will you be?
It is commonly held that World War II started in September of 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, and England and France declared war on Germany. However the case can be made that it actually began March 7, 1936 when Hitler ordered his troops to march into and reoccupy the Rhineland. Hitler issued the orders for them to march with the caveat that should the French begin troop mobilization in response, the German troops were to retreat immediately from the Rhineland. As late as 1936 Hitler was not prepared for war. The French and the British governments, with the horrors of the first great war fresh in their minds, were paralyzed and rationalized that the best response to preserve peace was to do nothing. If Germany had been made to retreat, it is commonly held by historians that it would most likely have been the end of the Nazi regime. As it happened, Hitler’s stock shot up and the British and French got what they feared most – another world war. As I watched the response to this latest episode in our dispute with Guatemala, I am looking everywhere for it. I am straining my ears to hear it from members of our government, or the common people, or those in the press. The utterance that came closest to what I was looking for was in an editorial in the Amandala. What is it that I am straining my ears to hear? Some hint that people in Belize are ready to defend Belize-militarily.

The legal age for drinking may be changed from 18 to 21
It is the norm that a person who has reached the age of 18 is considered an adult and one of the “benefits” of reaching adulthood is that such persons can legally drink alcohol. However, it is believed that this year, there might be an adjustment to the legal age for drinking. Today, Esner Vellos, Director of the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), told Amandala that accessibility to alcohol is causing young people to drink more, and changing the consumption age will allow for the state to protect young people from being exposed to alcohol at a very young age and the potential bad choices that may lead to bigger problems. Vellos said that it has been proven scientifically that a young person’s brain does not stop developing until the age of 21; therefore, allowing a young person to consume alcohol before the age of 21 would be contributing to potential health problems of that young person, Vellos said.

Mandatory 5-year minimum sentence under the Firearms Act is unconstitutional
Before the constitutionality of the minimum 5-year sentence under the stipulation of the Firearms Act was challenged in the Supreme Court, any person found guilty of committing an offense under the act was subject to a minimum, mandatory 5-year prison sentence, but sitting magistrates are no longer bound by that strict application of the law, because the Supreme Court has ruled that the mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years is unconstitutional. The first successful challenge of the Firearms Act occurred when Allyson Major filed a claim in the Supreme Court, alleging that two Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) police officers had violated his constitutional right when he was arrested, charged and remanded in prison for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition. Madam Justice Michelle Arana ruled that Major’s constitutional right to his presumption of innocence was violated when he was remanded to prison for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Channel 5

Three Guatemalans Detained for Illegal Activity in the Chiquibul
A joint patrol comprised of officers from the Belize Defence Force, the Police Department, and Friends for Conservation and Development encountered a group of 10 - 15 individuals engaged in what appeared to be illicit gold mining operations in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. This encounter took place around 7:45 pm yesterday, 13th May, 2016 approximately 7.9 kilometers east of the border. The Belizean patrol detained three Guatemalan nationals: 23-year-old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez, 17-year-old Edin Alexander Escobar Garcia, and 21-year-old Solomon Martinez Pasqual. The patrol reported that Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez advanced towards a member of the patrol in an aggressive manner with a machete and the officer fired a warning shot in the air but Hernandez continued to advance. The officer then fired a second shot in self-defense and wounded Hernandez in his left upper arm. The patrol rendered first aid to Hernandez’s wound after which all three captives were escorted to the San Ignacio Police station for processing. Hernandez was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was treated and released back into police custody. The investigation into this incident continues.

The Reporter

Several shot in Ladyville; one dead
A shooting in Ladyville at around 3:00 a.m., Saturday morning has resulted in several persons receiving gunshot injuries, one of them fatally. Police say Leonel Rhamdas died of his wounds while Lyndon Gillet, 44, of Marage Road Extension was shot in the right arm. Casey Lozano, 23, also of Marage Road Extensio was shot in the right arm as well and Terense Flowers, 22, of Marage Road suffered injuries not yet classified.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Another Chiquibul confrontation; one of three gold panners injured by gunshot in capture
The Government of Belize has confirmed that three Guatemalan men are detained after being caught in the Chiquibul area last night. In the process of being captured one of the men was shot in the left forearm. A joint patrol comprised of officers from […]

Belize Security Forces arrest 3 Guatemalan men in Chiquibul
Breaking Belize News has received confirmed reports that three Guatemalan men were arrested in the Chiquibul National Park last night. According to our sources, one of the men was shot during the process at the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul National Park. Details […]

Fatal incidents in Ladyville and Belize City
Police in Rural Eastern Division have confirmed the death of a Lionel Rhamdas by shooting on Friday night in Ladyville. Also injured in the incident were 44 year old Lyndon Gillett, who was shot to the right arm; 23 year old Casey Lozano, also […]


Pupusas on Middle Street: A Simple But Tasty Meal at Pupuseria Salvadoreno
Alternative Title: Cheap Date Suggestions in San Pedro I love pupusas. I named the first cat I adopted in Belize, Pupusa. And until I arrived in Belize, I had never seen or tasted one of these delicious little patties before. Meat, cheese and beans is typico. Stuffed in a masa pancake that looks easy enough to make but I know is not. Pupusas are the national dish of El Salvador and have been eaten for hundreds of years there. The popularity was spread throughout Central America and the US during the 80s and civil war when many El Salvdoreans fled the country. According to Wikipedia, the world’s largest pupusa was created in 2007 and fed 5000 people. A little pupusa goes a long way.


6 Exotic Resorts To Visit In Belize For Your Honeymoon
After all the stress and hectic planning for the wedding, why not relax in beautiful laid-back Belize? Just a short flight from the United States, Belize is a tropical paradise that is far less crowded than more typical honeymoon destinations like Cancun, Mexico and the Cayman Islands. Home to the second largest coral reef in the world that is habitat to hundreds of species of fish, nurse sharks, sea turtles and colorful plants, Belize is a marine paradise that offers world class snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing. Inland Belize on the other hand, is known for its pristine rainforests, ancient Mayan cities and a plethora of exotic flora and fauna. Bird-watching, hiking, canoeing in jungle rivers and cave tubing in sacred caves are top rated adventures for honeymooners. Honeymoons Destinations in Belize: The village of Placencia at the tip of the Placencia Peninsula is a quiet village where you can enjoy fine dining, boutique cafes, and dive shops with a full range of gear. San Ignacio in Belize’s Cayo District is the entertainment and culture capital of the west, and is close to some of the most impressive Mayan ruins in the country. Ambergris Caye, the most popular tourist destination is where you will find a potpourri of world class luxury resorts, amazing gourmet restaurants and endless activities like snorkeling, sailing, and windsurfing.

International Sourcesizz

Guatemala accuses Belize of excessive force during arrest
The Guatemalan government has accused Belize's army of using excessive force following the injury of a Guatemalan man arrested for illegal mining. The man was one of three suspected illegal gold miners detained on Friday on Belizean territory. Belize says its troops acted in self-defence when the Guatemalan tried to attack an army patrol with a machete, but Guatemala contests that. The two Central American neighbours have a long-standing border dispute. Last month, Guatemala deployed 3,000 troops along the frontier following a shooting incident in which a Guatemalan teenager was killed. Belize said the presence of large numbers of Guatemalan troops along the border had increased tensions between the two countries.

Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean by Maris Wicks; First/Second Books, 117 pages ($19.99)
Maris Wicks is a program educator at the New England Aquarium and she wrote and illustrated this amusing, informative, beautiful “Science Comic.” The book masterfully breaks down information into digestible bits while covering an impressive amount of territory. (The creatures of the reef introduce themselves. Queen Conch: “My diet consists of algae. I am another vacuum cleaner of the reef. But a royal vacuum cleaner.”) Others in the “Get to Know Your Universe” science series are “Dinosaurs: Fossils and Fathers” by MK Reed and Joe Flood and future comics subjects include Volcanoes, Flying Machines, Bats and Solar System.

Jungle of Stone: The True Story of Two Men, Their Extraordinary Journey, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya by William Carlsen; HarperCollins, 544 pages ($28.99)
“Jungle of Stone” is a tale of two men, fathers of archaeology in the Americas, that makes Indiana Jones look like a stay-at-home slacker. Full of astonishing adventures and breathtaking discoveries, “Jungle of Stone” is, best of all, a true story. William Carlsen’s book offers a window into the early days of archaeology (so early the word had not yet been coined) and much further back into the nearly 2,000-year-long reign of a sophisticated indigenous civilization throughout the lands that are now Central America and southeastern Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The Maya dominated that huge area from about 800 B.C. to 950 A.D., with a population estimated to have been as high as 10 million at some points. But they had long vanished from history by 1839, when John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood landed in Belize to begin an epic journey on the mere rumor of peculiar stone ruins in the jungles of Guatemala and Honduras. When they arrived in Belize in 1839, the plan was for the pair to produce another travel book. What they discovered in the jungles in two long trips over three years exceeded their wildest dreams – and almost cost them their lives, many times over.


  • Are you ready for Belize?, 2min.

  • Belize Promotional Video, 3min.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize - April 2016, 4.5min. This is a cut from my trip to Belize in April, 2016.

  • Lejia Melanie Gideon, 5th ACE participant, Belize, 5min.

  • Vlog4 Jour3 BELIZE, 13min.

  • Adventures In Belize Part 2, 16min.

  • Adventures of Belize Forest 2016, 12min.