Today's Belize News: July 28, 2016
07/28/16 06:16 AM
07/28/16 06:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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
BTL donates $10,000 to help children affected by fire
With many families being displaced after the June 27th fire, many organizations and kind-hearted people have rendered assistance to the victims. On Thursday, July 21st, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), in collaboration with the Belize Red Cross and The Angelus Press Limited, made a monetary donation of $10,000 to facilitate school supplies to help the school children affected by the fire. BTL’s Chairman of the Executive Committee, Anwar Barrow, presented the check in a handing-over ceremony accompanied by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman, and John Gillet of The Angelus Press Limited.
Season 2 of Five–A–Side Football Tournament comes to an end!
The San Pedro High School and Island Citizen Sporting Club crowned six champions during the finals of the Five –A-Side Football Tournament on Sunday, July 24th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. It was a busy day as large crowds came out in full force to support their favourite teams. The teams that rose as champions in their respective divisions were Bayern Munich A Under 11, Inter de Milan, Under 13, Real F.C Jrs Under 15, San Pedro High School Blazers Under 17, Spice Girls, and Scorpions F.C in the senior category. The last game, and most anticipated, saw the two top senior teams facing off. This was a grueling match between Belize Pro Divers and Martha’s Ice Scorpions F.C. Both teams wanted the win but it was Scorpions F.C who out edged their competition, taking the game in a 3-1 point game. Pro Divers had to settle for the second place trophy and prizes, while Scorpions F.C walked away with the grand first place trophy and prizes.
Basil Jones Summer Camp brings fun and education to youngsters
Camp Basil Jones is in its third week of their youth education summer program at the Basil Jones Educational Centre in the Bacalar Chico Reserve. A group of 22 children enjoyed a long week of activities that included a balance of both fun and learning. The annual program which started on Monday, July 4th and will end on Friday July 29th is divided into four individual camps and spread over four weeks of unique educational summer experiences for children. On Thursday, July 21st, the children were visited by members of the Blackadore Caye Management Staff. Biologist Valentine Rosado provided the campers with a lecture about the formation of the island, and the importance of preserving the natural environment. He even spoke to them about the turtle nesting that happens on the area. The educational lesson included a walk by the beach, where the group of children were shown examples of erosion on the shoreline. “We need to take care of the environment, specially the mangroves, which are plants that hold sediments and sand in place. If we don’t have these elements on the shoreline, then the sea just washes the sand away and thus, the beaches begin to disappear,” said Rosado.
Two AC units donated to police department
The San Pedro Police station is currently undergoing a series of transformations that seeks to enhance its functionality and appearance. On Friday, July 22nd, in the presence of Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilor Gabriel Nunez, Estevan Perera, along with Cindy Staines, donated two new air conditioner (AC) units to the police department. On hand to receive the donation was Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Sub-Formation, Superintendent Sandra Bowden.
According to Staines, who partners with Caye Supplies, Super Buy, and Bachi Engineering Corporation, the donation was part of her company’s social responsibility to contribute to the community. “Since we have a new brand named “Daikin”, we decided to donate these units to help the police department improve their conditions. These AC units are Japanese state of the art innovative technology designed to withstand the climate of this island,” said Staines. The two unit models are a Daikin 900BTU and a Daikin 12000BTU, both equipped with inverter systems. Another benefit to having inverter systems is that these units are energy efficient, saving up to 30% in energy consumption.
Misc Belizean Sources
Acquafino Pool Side Party
Saturday, July 30 at 4 PM - 11pm. Pool Side Party with Costa Maya Beauty Contestants.
Swimsuit photo shoot - bikinis provided by Char Tolentino, Fashion show with clothing provided by Top Notch, live entertainment with Julianie J Ferguson, and music all night with DJ. Tomas Dzl Gongora, Raffles, silent auctions, etc.
Tickets $150bz includes transport to Acquafino Island Resort & Spa from the Boat Yard launch (behind Maya, same place that Cayo Espanto boat leaves from) with boats running back and forth from 4:00 pm forward and dinner with food being catered by: Las Terrazas, El Fogon, Caroline's, Pirate's Treasure & Hidden Treasure.
CYDP Life Skills through Sports and Adventure Camps
The third in a series of annual summer camps is well underway at the ITVET Compound in Belize City. The Under-19 Life Skills through Sports Camp is one of the major activities through which the Conscious Youth Development Programme (CYDP), under the Community Rehabilitation Department, Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, continues to positively engage inner-city youth of Belize City.
Over the years, the CYDP summer camps have become highly anticipated among young people in the at-risk communities of Belize City and surrounding municipalities. During the summer break it is very important for young people to be positively engaged in activities that stimulate their growth and development. These camps provide participants with the opportunity to develop life skills, such as conflict resolution, anger management, self-esteem, teamwork and healthy decision making, while utilizing sports as the main method through which to teach these skills. But more than positively engaging participants, these camps help to break the barriers and stigma created by labeling of gang communities and on-going rivalry. The camps provide a safe space for its young participants to have positive interactions and build relationships with each other, while having fun playing their favorite sports.
CALLING ALL MUSIC LOVERS!!!
OPEN MIC NIGHT Thursday night at the BTL Park in Belize City... Here's a chance to win $1000 for showcasing your talent! Bring out that voice for a night of fun with family and friends.
Competition begins at 7:00 p.m.
Cayo Creative Nonfiction Workshop
Only 6 spaces remain. Will you be there? This workshop is for any Belizean writer planning to write a work of nonfiction, especially a memoir, biography or autobiography. Send an email to the address provided to receive a registration form. Registered participants will receive confirmation by email before the workshop.
Art from Quintana Roo in Belize
You are kindly invited to view artwork by five artists from Quintana Roo currently on display at the House of Culture.
Job Opportunities US Embassy
We're Hiring! Checkout the job opportunities in the link!
Available jobs include - U.S. Embassy Janitor, U.S. Embassy Mechanical Engineer, and U.S. Peace Corps - Backup Medical Provider.
Please follow the instructions in the link provided and submit all job inquires or questions to BelmopanJobs@state.gov. The U.S. Embassy Belize Facebook page CANNOT answer job related questions. Thanks.
June 2016 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
During the month of June 2016, prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households were an average of 0.9 percent higher than they were in June 2015. According to the latest statistics on consumer prices released by the Statistical Institute of Belize, the All-Items Consumer Price Index stood at 103.7, up from 102.8 in last June. For the first half of this year, a year-to-date inflation rate of 0.5 percent was recorded.
During the month of June 2016, Belize’s imported goods were valued at almost $168 million, down by 11.2 percent or $21.2 million from the $189.2 million imported in June of 2015.
Climate Prediction Center’s Central America Hazards Outlook July 28 – August 3, 2016
Over the last 7 days, areas of eastern Nicaragua, El Salvador, and parts of Guatemala saw above-average rainfall, while most other areas saw suppression of rainfall. The easternmost departments of Nicaragua observed 100-200mm of rain, and similar totals were also observed in parts of Guatemala and El Salvador. While moderate rains were observed in eastern Guatemala, they were still well below normal totals. Some of the driest parts of the region included western Nicaragua and central Honduras; less than 10mm of rain was observed locally. As a result of this and several preceding weeks of poor rainfall performance, monthly rainfall deficits are on the increase in western Nicaragua and the Gulf of Fonseca region of Honduras. Less than 25% of normal rain has fallen in the driest areas of western Nicaragua and southern Honduras over the 30-day period. Vegetation indices look poorest through eastern Guatemala, western Honduras and the Gulf of Fonseca region but don’t yet reflect poor conditions for other dry regions. In addition, soil moisture is reported to be very low in many central departments of Guatemala.
Miss Mexico, Miss Honduras and Miss Belize are loving their first day on Ambergris Caye!
oday, the ladies enjoyed a sunset cruise on the Island Dream Tours YOLO, followed by a meet and greet at Sandy Toes Beach Bar & Grill
SELL - A - THON at the Lions Den July 30th
8am - Noon
John Saldivar not resigning
I understand that Love FM has erroneously or maliciously reported that I have or am planning to resign. Let me state categorically that I have absolutely no intention to resign from political life. On the contrary, I am even more determined to carry on with my dedicated service to the people of Belmopan and the country of Belize. The last two weeks I have been the victim of malicious fabrications, absurd conjectures, wild speculations and insinuations and character assassination undoubtedly aimed at destroying me politically. I have taken all that has been thrown at me in stride because I have done nothing wrong and am not guilty of any act of corruption or subversion of justice as is being suggested in certain quarters. I have done nothing that I am ashamed of and nothing that would warrant my resignation.
The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival August 4th - 6th
The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival August 4th - 6th,click the link for some photos. Only four contestants were able to arrive today. Miss Belize Yadira Yvette Argueta, Miss Mexico Ingrid Elizabeth Luna Solís, Miss Honduras Corina Canales and Miss Guatemala Maria Jose Larrañaga Retolaza were accompanied today by reigning Miss Costa Maya 2015 Miss Honduras Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle.
Miss Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua are expected to arrive tomorrow, after their flight via Avianca was cancelled today. Belize's Ambassador to El Salvador, Ms. Celi Paz Marin is hosting the four ladies during their short overnight stay in El Salvador.
Family asks for the community's help in locating 16 year old Ethan Jacobs. Last seen on Monday (July 25) going fishing and diving with a Leslie Wade. Neither of them answering phone calls. Please be on the lookout in the San Pedro and Caye Caulker areas and contact Angie Berg at 632-6101 with any information regarding their whereabouts.
Deadliest Hurricane to Hit Belize
As many as 2,500 lives lost in Belize City. Take a look at this feature story created using a Geo App. "The storm, which lasted about an hour and a half, left some houses roofless and blew down some fences and trees. St. John's College was situated by the seaside up at Loyola Park over Yarborough Bridge. The building was a large, three storey, wooden structure, and went down in the first storm, as also did St. Andrew's Hall, which was situated corner of Prince and Albert Streets.
After the storm passed, people came out to view the wreckage. Then something strange and unusual happened. The storm swung right back, but with more force, bringing a tidal wave about 10 feet high, which swept over the city of Belize, leaving 2,000 dead and thousands more homeless. The most devastated area was the Yarborough area. "
The 1931 hurricane also coincided with The Great Depression, setting the residents of Belize City back decades as they struggled to rebuild their lives. The era was marked by an intense struggle to uplift the working class and unemployment.
International Costa Maya Delegates began arriving today.
Miss Nicaragua, Miss Costa Rica and Miss Panama with Ambassador Celi Paz in El Salvador.
Calypso Rose Wins WOMEX Award
Congratulations, Calypso Rose! She has won the 2016 WOMEX award for being outstanding in the music industry. That picture was taken here in Cayo at the Soul Project.
Her video for Calypso Queen tells her story, and it's a great song too.
"In a style known equally for its outspoken messages and its party vibe, it truly takes a great Calypso artist to stand apart for their mastery and relevance, as Calypso Rose has done, for over six decades. In her long career, Rose has transformed calypso in many ways. Her most obvious achievement involve making the calypso scene more open to women: the scale of her talent and success made her impossible to ignore, leading to unprecedented prize wins, including the Trinidad Road March and, the highest of all, the title of Calypso King – renamed the Calypso Monarch in her honour. Rose is also a musical innovator of her style. She pioneered changes such as shortening her songs to three verses and writing fewer songs every season – both of which became the norm – and in her personal repertoire, she also explores styles such as soca, punta, reggae and ska. As a living legend and someone who has done so much to revolutionise her field, we are extremely pleased to be able to present Calypso Rose with the WOMEX 16 Artist Award."
2016 Belize International Jazz Festival
Here's the Belize International Jazz Festival calendar. So many events--some are FREE!
A Call for Artists
Calling all artists of music and dancing!
CAYE CAULKER EQUIPPED WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART AMBULANCE
Minister of Touristic Affairs, Manwell Ereba, confirmed to Rastaman News this morning that Caye Caulker has been equipped with a state-of-the-art ambulance, befitting its importance as one of Belize’s major tourism destinations.
“San Pedro cannot have it all,” Ereba stated. “After La Isla Bonita procured their ultra-modern firefighting buckets, I had to make sure that La Isla Cariñosa did not stay too far behind.”
Hailed as an emerging tourism destination, Caye Caulker is the second most popular destination for overnight visitors in the country after San Pedro. That is why, according to Ereba, the island must have modern health facilities.
“This ambulance is not only remarkably embarrassing in its design, it is also environmentally friendly,” boasted Ereba. “In one stroke, we have beefed up the island’s health services AND we have done our own little bit to combat climate change.”
The Flowers File, the Saldivar Retort
Superintendent Mark Flowers, he may be in jail tonight – but his name is ringing all over the country – and not because he's accused of molesting a 14 year old girl – but because of the allegations he's hurled at police minister John Saldivar. Though he never mentioned Saldivar by name, Flowers sat down with us for just under 40 minutes and ranted and railed at his Minister, and his police superiors who he says are doing the Minister's bidding to railroad his career and smear his reputation.
To be able to draw the inference that it is Saldivar he is pointing fingers at, we'd have to take you back to the beginning of the episode, which he says started a few weeks ago. Here he is in the interview sharing his reasons for suspecting that his Minister meddled in Police business to get him removed as the head of GSU. We also have Saldivar responding and completely denying that allegation, calling Flowers just a desperate man trying to deflect blame from himself:
Supt. Flowers, The Undercover Operator
And as we told you, according to Mark Flowers, the only reason he was able to have that conversation with William Danny Mason was because he was trying to gain the trust of this alleged con-man. He said yesterday that after discussing it with Acting Commissioner Russell Blackett, he decided to approach Mason, not as a policeman, but as a commercial farmer who was trying to make connections to grow his business.
Its quite a story, and tonight, we have a little more from our interview with Flowers in which he claims to have been able to get evidence of one of Mason's fake Belizean documents. Here are those comments:
"This is the first time we're hearing that you were an undercover police officer for the investigators of Danny Mason. They seem to have buried this information."
Bradley Says Cops Conspired Against Flowers
We backtrack now to yesterday's arraignment. All of yesterday, we'd been hearing from multiple reliable sources that Flowers was going to be charged with 2 counts of rape. That's what, according to our information, the police initially served on him, but they later changed it to unlawful sexual assault.
Yesterday, before his client was arraigned, attorney Dickie Bradley told us that they both suspect that the reason the police changed the charge was to ensure that he couldn't get bail right after his arraignment in the Magistrate's Court:
Dickie Bradley - Attorney for Mark Flowers
"Normally when it is a minor the charge is usually unlawful sexual intercourse which would be the equivalent of the old carnal knowledge. There has been an amendment, confusion as usual but he is in fact on the charge sheet charged with rape. Now interestingly enough the client control act has been amended that you cannot get bail for carnal knowledge but in fact rape is a bail able offence in the magistrate court."
Flowers Faced An Allegation of Sexual Assault in 1999
And while Flowers is facing this very serious charge against him for molesting a child who , to hear him and his attorney tell it, he has an above average chance to get off. And, it wouldn't be the first time Flowers has eluded an allegation of sexual assault. We've been doing our digging and found that in 1999, Flowers, then an Assistant Inspector in charge of the Dragon Unit Belmopan was accused of the sexual assault of a female police recruit. The recruit alleged that Flowers went to pick her up at the Police Training Academy at night and she left voluntarily – though against Academy regulations which prohibits recruits from leaving the compound. She returned an hour later crying, alleging that Flowers had sexually assaulted her. No criminal charges were brought, but Flowers did face internal pressures, and left the Department. The female recruit also ended up being forced out of the Training Academy. He turned up the following year working at Belize Central Prison. When the prison was privatized, he was absorbed into the scenes of crime unit as a civilian staffer, and later rejoined the police as a Sergeant. From there he quickly regained ranks and ascended with lightning speed to Superintendent under the UDP. Last year we asked him how he got promoted so quickly:…
No Judgment, CJ Re-schedules
About a month and a half ago, Gay Rights Activist Caleb Orozco, and his organization United Belize Action Movement, or UNIBAM, called out the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin for delaying judgement more than 3 years now. He wants the Chief Justice to deliver the judgment on his challenge to Belize's Sodomy Laws.
A few days later, notice went out that the judgement would be handed down on July 27. Everyone waited until this morning, only to learn once again that the Chief Justice had postponed the delivery. He's now scheduled it for August 10. Reports say the CJ was ill in mid-July.
Teenager Charged For Murder of Mother of Three in Belmopan
Police in Belmopan have charged an alleged teenage murderer. Two nights ago we told you about 34 year old Regina Williams who was viciously killed in front her home in Las Flores area Belmopan. She had been socializing with some individuals at La Cabana night club the night before. But sometime after 1:30 am, she left in the company of those same individuals. It was between then and 8 am the following morning that she was murdered in front of her house and left there half naked and with severe injury to her head. Police are still trying to determine whether or not she was raped before she was killed. However police today proceeded with the information they do have at the moment and arrested and charged 19 year old Salvadoran Josue Ortiz for murder. They told us more:
Chester Norales, Again!
The name Chester Noralez has been making crime news since the mid 90's when he was a teenager, and tonight he's back in the news. The 36 year old resident of Fern Lane is accused of snatching a gold chain from Franz Usher's neck. Yesterday Usher was at the corner of Jasmine and Oleander Streets when Noralez rode up, ripped his gold chain from around his neck and rode off. Police who were in the area pursued Noralez and apprehended him on Oleander street with the stolen chain.
When he appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. Noralez pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that Noralez has a charge of burglary for which trial is pending and he also knows the victim and there is the strong possibility that he will interfere with him if granted bail. Magistrate Rogers upheld the objection and denied Noralez bail. She remanded him into custody until August 31.
Paumen Will Stand Trial
Accused Child Molester Mark Flowers is this week's headline story; last week's was accused murderer, conman, kidnapper and extortionist William Danny Mason. But, a few months ago, the big story was the large scale American tour operator Bradley Paumen. He's already committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court for allegedly orchestrating a murder plot on his neighbour, Michael Modiri and 3 other persons, and now, he has been committed to stand Supreme Court trial once again.
This time it's because of those charges of attempting the pervert the course of justice, and conspiracy to pervert justice. As viewers will remember, it dates back to an attempt to plant an unlicensed rifle in Michael Modiri's vehicle. Modiri was eventually cleared of that legal mess, but Paumen ended up being charged along with his Mechanic, Lisburn Anderson, Belmopan Businessman Jahan Abadi, and Korean American Hyang Chong Park.
Climate Change the Struggle Is Real
OCEANA and the World Wildlife Fund today held their second annual seminar called The Nature of Energy vs. the Energy of Nature. Now, it may sound like just another dreary talk shop in a hotel room with bad pastries and cold coffee, but the organizers hoped to wake up participants and the wider community with the dire message that climate change and its consequences are real and it requires everyone, form government to the grocery shopper to pay attention and act. Here's how they put it:…
Nadia Bood - Climate Change Advisor, WWF:
"It's extremely important given the threat posed by climate change. It's a forum where we can get together and dialogue about issues related to climate change and how best we can try and adopt our actions and our efforts to promote a greener development pathway that will help to minimize or at least buffer against some of the threats that will be coming from climate change events."
Minor Charged For Killing John Jay
Dangriga Police have arrested and charged a 16 year old minor from Belize City for the murder of popular singer/songwriter John Jay Rodriguez. The 34 year old husband and father of one was gunned down in early June inside the Havana Club and Entertainment Center in the Heart of Dangriga Town. Initial police investigations revealed that three men armed with a pistol entered the establishment to commit a robbery. But when that backfired, they turned right back and bolted through the front door, but not before firing a single indiscriminate shot at the crowd which caught John Jay. He died from a single gunshot wound to the head. Two days ago, they arrested and charged a resident of Belize City for that fatal shooting. He is only 16 years old and so we cannot reveal his identity.
Cops Bust Island Weed
San Pedro police have taken a few pounds of weed out of circulation on the Island. Yesterday at midday – acting on Special Branch intelligence – island police searched a San Pedrito apartment room occupied by 27 year old painter Kurt Jason Cruz. They found 4.144 pounds of weed and he was charged for drug trafficking. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years imprisonment, plus a fine of ten thousand dollars.
And then, today, San Pedro Special Branch and CIB found another parcel of marijuana at the Tropic Air Cargo section. This one contained one pound of weed and was labelled as found property
Belmopan Pastor Almost Accompanied Lu
He almost went with Pastor Llewellyn Lucas…that's the story Belmopan Pastor Job Lopez told us yesterday. He says that Lucas called him on the morning of the 15th – and he was with the two other pastors – who would later accompany him to Mason's house – only to be kidnapped together with Lu. When their blindfolds were removed, Lucas had disappeared, and this is when it is believed he was beheaded.
Well Job Lopez almost accompanied them – and he told us that it started with a call early that Friday morning from a desperate sounding Pastor Lu:…
Job Lopez - Almost Went With Pastor Lu:
"I heard my phone ring and it was Pastor Lucas calling me and I said what can I help you with he said well I need you to come. I said where he said well I am at TV station, Plus TV. He says okay what we are doing and he said we need to go live, I said what for, he said come here I will explain to you. So when I heard that I heard that I heard like it was a desperate call. So I went there and he said we need to go live and we talk to pastor Wade and he said we can't go live right now because I don't know what you going to say so you need to anticipate what you are going to say then we go live so we could put it for next week. So pastor Lu say let's put it for next week; so I went out with them and he said you don't want to come along with us I said no I have groups to do, I have my work to do."
Police United Get Ready For CONCACAF Champions League
The Police United FC play their first game of the CONCACAF Champions League in less than three weeks. On drawing day two months ago, the team drew a tough card when they landed in group E- effectively matching them up with Mexican powerhouse Pachuca and Hondura's top club Olimpia for the first round of the tournament.
So how will Belize's Police United fare off against these top league teams? It is their first time ever representing Belize at the Champions League tournament. But as green as they are, the team is hopeful. They are currently in their 7th week of intense training and the executive has been recruiting both local and international talent to reinforce their squad. Today we spoke to the head coach and even got a chance to meet some of the players on the roster as they prepare for the upcoming game against Olimpia, which is to be held in Tegucigalpa Honduras on the 16th of August.
Police United Say Not Involved With Mason Megabucks
And keeping in line with football financing, when the matter of accused murderer William Mason first came into public view, one of the most widely reported masks he wore, was that of a football financier. That is actually how Hon. John Saldivar said he came to know Mason in the first place. Mason, as has been widely reported, donated several thousands of dollars to Saldviar's football club- the Belmopan Bandits. But there were also reports of Mason contributing to other football clubs in Belize. So was the Police United FC ever on Mason's payroll? After all he did appear to be rather friendly with senior members of the Government, particularly within the police department. Today the media asked Club Manager Superintendent Andres Makin Sr. just that.
"In terms of accused murderer Williams Mason that several football clubs have received donation sponsorship from him; is the Police United one of those clubs?"
Supt. Andres Makin Sr. - Manager, Police United FC:
"I would prefer that this question be given or be asked to the president who is Mr. Grinage he is the one that would be in a better position to say."
BTB's Big Plan For Corozal
San Pedro, Placencia, and the Cayo District are tourism powerhouses with tens of thousands of visitors passing through annually. But, what happens to the lesser-known tourist spots around the country? Well, now the BTB and the Ministry of Tourism want to boost the traffic in destinations like Corozal, Caye Caulker, and the southern parts of the country.
11 days ago, the Tourism officials launched their fix for the Corozal District, and Daniel Ortiz took a closer look at it today. Here's that story:
The tourism upgrades are being done in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank. The Government officials have another destination launch planned tomorrow for the Mountain Pine Ridge, Chiquibul, & the Caracol Complex. We'll be there and we'll have that story for you in tomorrow's newscast.
Corozal Cops Looking For Shooter
And Corozal also has to deal with the other side of keeping tourism prospects up – and that is managing appearances when it comes to crime. The town saw a shooting and home invasion yesterday. Corozal police told us more:…
The suspects demanded money and wore shirts over their faces, so getting a positive identification has proved difficult.
Re: Today's Belize News: July 28, 2016
07/28/16 06:16 AM
07/28/16 06:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Accused Murderer Speaks From Behind Bars
William Danny Mason has been behind bars since July nineteenth, in a special facility at the Belize Central Prison reserved for high-risk prisoners. He is alone – or as alone [...]
Family of Minor Denies Manipulation by John Saldivar
Superintendent Mark Flowers, former commander of the Gang Suppression Unit, spent his first night on remand at the Belize Central Prison on Tuesday. The pretrial detention succeeds an arraignment at [...]
Flowers Maintains Saldivar Is Plotting Against Him
Flowers maintains that the charges brought against him are all part of a plot to make him the fall guy, to shift attention away from the ongoing investigation involving alleged [...]
GSU Boss Claims Mason Offered to Buy His Land
The former GSU boss Mark Flowers has gone on record to say that he gained access to the posh home of William Mason in Belmopan as part of a covert [...]
Mark Flowers Says He Will Get PM Involved in Plot against Him
Prior to handing himself in at the Queen Street Precinct on Tuesday, the embattled Mark Flowers had a few choice words for those whom he believes are behind the conspiracy [...]
Flowers Says His Removal Was Invalid
Flowers fall from grace was not foreseen. The former head of the GSU once provided security for the former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel and was seen at many political events [...]
Belize Central Prison Has Special Protocols for High-Risk Prisoners
Today, News Five was at the Belize Central Prison and got an opportunity to enquire about the status of the new, high-profile additions to the facility. As we told you [...]
Teenager Arraigned for Belmopan Murder
A teenager of Salvadoran nationality was this morning arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s court for Monday’s murder of Bella Regina Williams. The mother of three was found dead by her [...]
Female Population at Kolbe Gets New Classroom
It’s not often that News Five is invited within the compound of the Belize Central Prison, currently home to about one thousand four hundred and twenty inmates. But today we [...]
Prison Finances are Stretched Thin
Just one look at the Belize Central Prison would reveal that it is operating on a shoestring budget. The facilities are adequate, but not more than that. Before the construction [...]
Prison C.E.O. Says Society Should Accept Prisoners Rehabilitated and Released
Yes, you heard right. While the Kolbe group is committed to rehabilitation and turning inmates into productive citizens, the less inmates they have, the less money they get from government [...]
Repeat Offender Chester Noralez on Remand
Tonight alleged repeat offender, Chester Noralez, is on remand for snatching a chain from a friend in Belize City. Noralez is the Belize City resident who is accused of beating [...]
What’s the Latest at the Sarstoon?
With so many things happening on the news front, the situation at the Sarstoon has been pushed somewhat on the backburner. But from official indications, while public attention has been [...]
Have Illegal Guatemalan Fishers Gone Away?
Access to the Sarstoon was one major concern for Belizeans – another was the flagrant, brazen, unhindered illegal fishing not only on our side of the Sarstoon but all the [...]
Meet the Footballers of Police United
This morning at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the capital, we caught up with Police United Football Club as the players trained to take on a Honduran team in a [...]
Manager Says Club Received No Money from William Mason
Now, to get Police United to the Scotia Bank’s CONCACAF Champions League is an expensive venture. Approximately two hundred thousand dollars is required for the team and delegation to travel [...]
Stakeholders Discuss Impact of Climate Change
A cross-section of participants from various organizations, government and N.G.O.s gathered at the Radisson for a daylong conference where they discussed the impacts of climate change. A panel of presenters [...]
UDP Councillor Shot At His Home In Corozal
The peace and tranquillity of the Altamira area located in the Corozal District was disrupted last night after two masked men forcibly entered the home of well-known Corozaleño and current UDP councillor, Guillermo Arana, in an attempt to rob money from him. Our news team visited the Arana family in Corozal earlier this morning where we were informed that at the time of the incident, Arana was at home in the company of his wife and four minors who were all witnesses to the horrific scene. Reports indicate that a struggle ensued between Arana and one of his attackers, however, both men were armed and as a result, Arana received two gunshot wounds, one to the right hand and the other to the abdomen. Roger Arana – Brother:
“Last night around nine o’clock my mother received a call from my little brother that they had shot my older brother, I went to his house and we found out that there were two persons with masks that came to his house and apparently there were only my niece and my nephew and two other kids that were visiting them and they heard the gun men that were armed approaching the door and they pointed the gun at my nephew...”
Did The Now Head Of GSU Served As Mason Personal Body Guard?
Since the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas on Friday and the detention of well-connected conman William Mason and four others, numerous reports have surfaced of who wine and dined with him and who all his acquaintances allegedly are.
And amongst that list, according to former Commander of the Gang Suppression Unit, Superintendent Mark Flowers, is Inspector Glenn Caliz the same man who has replaced Flowers as head of the Gang Suppression Unit.
Flowers, among other things, revealed yesterday that Caliz used to serve as personal security for Mason. But, says Flowers, while one man may have shot a few rounds at Mason’s shooting range at Outback Ranch, the body of the GSU did not.
Police Says Seventeen Year Old Minor Rode Into Their Vehicle
On yesterday’s newscast we told you about a seventeen year old minor from the Corozal District who is alleging that he was deliberately knocked down by police officers while riding his bicycle to work on Monday afternoon.
But while the family is accusing the officers of being at fault, tonight we can inform you that authorities are saying just the opposite as they are claiming that the minor was the one who accidentally rode into the police mobile after failure to stop while the vehicle was traveling across the road. Dennis Arnold – Officer in Command, Corozal Police Station:
“On Monday, whilst the police vehicle was travelling from north to south direction on the Olga Marin Drive, at the corner of Olga Marin Drive I think its Hidden Hill Street, a minor was riding a bicycle but that junction is a “T”, this vehicle on the straight have the right of way...”
Prices Continue On The Rise According To SIB
The Statistical Institute of Belize today published its latest statistics on prices and external trade for the country of Belize. First we take a look at the consumer price index for which the report shows that prices increased, on average by 0.9 percent for the month of June 2016 as it stood 103.7, compared to 102.8 in June 2015.
For the first half of this year, a year-to-date inflation rate of 0.5 percent was recorded.
Despite higher prices for both regular gasoline and diesel fuel during the month, the ‘Transport’ category saw an overall decline of 0.7 percent. The effect of these price increases was overshadowed by premium gasoline prices and international airfares, which remained lower than they were one year ago
Imports And Exports Continue To Decline
Belize’s total imports for the month of June 2016 were valued at $168 million, decreasing 11.2 percent or $21.2 million from imports for June 2015, which totaled $189.2 million, this is according to the latest figures released by the Statistical Institute of Belize today. The report shows that Imports destined for the ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, which accounts for more than one fifth of all the country’s imports, was a major factor in the decline for June 2016. This category, which spiked to $47 million in June of last year due to a major purchase of equipment, saw a drop of $11.5 million to $35 million in June 2016. ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’, on the other hand, saw its first monthly increase for this year, rising by $6 million from $13.6 million in June of last year to $20 million for June 2016. This was primarily due to the fact that diesel imports doubled when compared to last June. A shipment of premium gasoline was also received in June 2016, while none was imported during June of 2015.
Is Shyne Barrow Aspiring To Become Leader Of The Nation?
Will Shyne Barrow, the son of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and a former inmate and rapper who was named music Ambassador of Belize, become a candidate for the next Prime Minister of Belize? We know that Moses ‘Shyne’ Barrow, has decided to be a politician and wants to run in the Mesopotamia constituency in the next general elections but in a report on Jamaican news…“Bossip” speaks of Shyne’s intention to run for Prime Minister of Belize. Shyne was in Montego Bay for a Reggae Summer Fest, when he told the Jamaican news outlet Quote, “I’m going to be in Parliament in Belize very soon. I’m going to be leading my nation and contributing to my nation with all the capacity that I have. My father is the right honorable prime minster, and he’s retiring and I’m succeeding him and my uncle. So I can continue in the legacy of my father and serve the people.” End quote. Prime Minister Dean Barrow will complete his last term as leader of the UDP in 2020 after which a convention will be held to elect a new party leader, a position which has more than one has contender, including Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber.
Rotaract Orange Walk Promotes Reading
The Rotaract Club here in Orange Walk Town is well-known for engaging in numerous activities which seeks to benefit the entire community in some way or the other. And since a new board has recently been elected to take charge of the club’s affairs, a new agenda has been finalized in order to ensure that the work within the community continues.
This time around, the members have embarked in a new project. It is a book drive that has the intent of promoting literacy and reading as a hobby. The books will be distributed to children from the different villages.
Grisel Carballo – President, Rotaract Club, Orange Walk Town:
“We want to have a book drive and I think that it reading and sparking a hobby, it’s a new initiative that we will be doing and showcasing and our target is to collect over a thousand books whether you have it at home just sitting there collecting dust you can bring it over to sky pure, A&R or Landy’s and Sons there will be boxes and you can donate it if you know of someone that like to read books; story books or any type of books that people can use we will gladly appreciate it so we will be starting this as of next week.”
Former GSU Boss Expresses Mix Emotions
Former commander of the gang suppression unit, Superintendent Mark Flowers is tonight sitting in a cell at the Hativille Prison. He stands accused of two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 14 year old girl but Flowers maintains his innocence and calls the allegations made against him a malicious move on the part of a high government minister. During an extensive and very revealing interview made yesterday, Flowers admitted that he is saddened by it all.
Mark Flowers – Former Commander GSU:
“I am dishearten, I am angry, I am frustrated, I am feeling betrayed, I am starting to have a hate but I don’t know if I am disappointed at all, I don’t think they can disappoint me because I somehow understand the silly games and knowing that is going nowhere and I want to be specially optimistic about everything, and I am thinking that this might be the cause for financing my retirement because one malicious prosecution goes on and you know that it is malicious what else can I even think.”
No Resignation for John Saldivar
The rumour mill in Belize has been working in overdrive over the last few weeks especially since the beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas in Belmopan, Cayo District. The most recent one is that the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar is looking to resign. We have been trying to reach Saldivar yesterday but our messages […]
The Lives of William Mason and Mark Flowers Behind Bars
Now that we know that at least for tonight, John Saldivar remains the Minister of National Security, we can move on to William Alexander Mason. The 47-year-old Guyanese national is spending his ninth night on remand at the Belize Central Prison. He has just been joined by one of the men who used to visit […]
Video Footage Was the Trigger to Seek Melissa Ferguson
There is some difficulty understanding the rationale behind the police’s delayed move to issue an arrest warrant for William Mason’s girlfriend, Melissa Ferguson. Five days after the head of Pastor Lucas was found, a picture went out asking for help in locating Ferguson as she is wanted for questioning. Some speculations are that the police […]
Mark Flowers Claims Innocence
Yesterday we told you of the recording with former GSU Commander, Mark Flowers. In that recording there were two aspects to the conversation; the first being the allegation against him of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a young girl who is now reportedly pregnant and the second being allegations against Government officials. While the rumour […]
Traffic Incident Proves Fatal in Southern Belize
Two teenagers were killed in a road traffic accident in the Stann Creek District. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story.
Arrest Made in the Murder of Regina Williams
Belmopan Police have made an arrest in the murder of a woman that occurred earlier this week in the Las Flores area. Correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with the officer in charge of Belmopan Police.
Ten Belizeans Deported from the US
Ten Belizeans were brought in this morning via the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The US agency is currently escorting dozens of Central American citizens back to their respective countries including Belize. The plane landed just before nine o’clock this morning at the Philip Goldson International Airport and the nine men and one […]
Data Shows an Upward Trend in Consumer Prices
Consumer prices saw an increase of point nine percent in June as compared to the same period last year. According to the latest figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize, the all items consumer price index for June of this year was one hundred and three point seven compared to one hundred and two point […]
Heavy Rains Result in Flooding in Southern Belize
Heavy rainfall during the night contributed to another inconvenient flooded situation in sections of Punta Gorda and the biggest flood in town so far for this year. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung.
House Speaker Talks Integrity … Recall Mechanism … Standing Orders
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word integrity as being that of having a firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values; it is also defined as being honest and fair. With all that has been unfolding we asked the Speaker of the House on the matter of the integrity of elected officials and of it […]
Breaking Belize News
Murder victims see charges dismissed
26 year old Rene “Fat Cat” Chavarria of Ladyville and 21 year old Kieran Morrison of Belize City were murdered earlier this year in separate incidents. But at the time of their deaths, both men were accused of trying to take other lives, and […]
Women prisoners get multi-purpose building; can society change attitudes to ex-cons?
The Belize Central Prison at Hattieville, managed a multi-purpose building intended to be the base for their continued rehabilitation, in anticipation […]
High-risk prisoners are isolated from general prison population
Though by agreement with authorities they will not be mentioned by name in this story, a senior police officer accused of unlawful sexual assault on a teenager and an international con artist believed to have masterminded the murder by beheading of a prominent pastor […]
Teen arrested for murder of Las Flores mother
Wanted fugitive, Josue Ortiz, 19, was arraigned this morning in Belmopan’s Magistrate court where he was slapped with one count of murder and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Ortiz, is the main suspect in the death of Regina Williams who was discovered […]
San Pedro police find weed in cargo section
At 9:15 this morning members of the Special Branch and CIB police department in San Pedro Town, intercepted a parcel of suspected cannabis at the Tropic Air Cargo Section. According to the reports, the officials conducted a special operation that led them to the discovery of […]
Caleb Orozco decision adjourned for August
The decision on the constitutionality of Section 53 of the Criminal Code has been put off to August 10th, as confirmed by the Supreme Court. Belize’s church organizations had anticipated the decision with prayer rallies country wide including a major one last night in Battlefield […]
Belize Eco-Kids Summer Camp – Final Farewells Day 8
There’s always a feeling – of release, of relief, of ending, of starting over. Suddenly, going home doesn’t seem so fun after all. Suddenly, you wish the camp lasted two weeks instead of one – or even better, a month! A year! Let it go on forever!!!
At Chaa Creek, that feeling multiplied a hundredfold. After only eight days of magic, the spell ended and we were looking ahead at boring old home again. Yes, Chaa Creek was physically hard and demanding – climbing up mountains, horseback riding through the jungle, trekking through the bush, playing dodge ball, Maya Ball, having water-balloon fights, swimming and canoeing through the river and splashing around in the pools…
Amid the palms and cool sea breezes, a rare ‘cri de coeur’ is spotted
I was sitting on the deck this morning, cup of coffee in hand, bright sun on my face, a steady breeze rustling the palm trees and the waves lapping against the dock when I encountered a cri de coeur.
I hadn’t encountered one of those, face to face, in years.
Although, with election season in high dudgeon back in the States, cri de coeurs are flying back and forth like bullets on a battlefield.
No, I wasn’t bird watching.
The cri de coeur that I encountered was on Page 9 of the Sunday New York Times Arts & Entertainment section. It was a reference to an article in The Atlantic magazine passionately titled “Stop Making Film Adaptations of Philip Roth Novels.” The larger story from which this was extracted is about producer/director James Schamus (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Brokeback Mountain”) who, of course, recently has made a film adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel “Indignation.”
Returning to the Nursery at Wildtracks
When I first came to Wildtracks, in September 2015, I had no idea what I was in for: how amazing, challenging, and educational it would be. I had just graduated from law school, and thought that I would be a tangential character, feeding and cleaning and generally rehabbing with little interaction with the animals. I didn't have a zoology or veterinary background, and I wasn't sure I would be able to learn how to care for the animals in a meaningful way.
I was sorely mistaken.
Little Cas the spider monkey made it clear that he needed me - if only for milk, warmth, and rest. During every walk, play session, and snoozefest he barged his way into my routine, with his big eyes and even bigger personality. His nips and hugs, stronger with every day, brought us closer. But it was the string of night shifts that really cemented our bond. He met my initial anxiety and concern with playful squeaks, wriggly hugs, and peaceful sleepy-eyed milk munching. Walking around a sleepy baby spider monkey is inexplicable, and even more so when you catch a pink sunrise over a mirror-calm lagoon--even at 4:50 in the morning. At the end of my month, I'm not sure who needed who more. Holding him was second nature, and it was strange to walk around without him resting on my chest. I didn't realize that when I left, I would have an intimate knowledge of the animals with whom I worked
So many people release balloons without realising the environmental impact
Did you ever wonder where your balloons go when they are released? Birds, turtles and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them. Here's a photo of more than 100 balloons collected at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in NJ (Credit: USFWS), and then another of a bird strangled by a balloon string (Credit Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program).
Belcampo Belize Offers Fantastic Fare from Its Own Farm
Belize has it all. There’s the beautiful blue sea with reefs to snorkel and fish, there are rainforest jungles filled with birds and howler monkeys, and there are miles and miles of white sand beaches. And then there is Belcampo Belize.
Belcampo is a luxury agrotourism and ecotourism boutique lodge located in southern Belize. Over 90 percent of the food served at Belcampo is sourced right from its own farm, including vegetables, fruits, eggs, chicken, pork, and lamb. You even have the opportunity to go snorkeling with the chef to dive for your lunch. Belcampo Belize is the place we don't visit just once, but return multiple times during the year.
Shyne Wants to Be the Prime Minister of Belize, Working on New Album
Former Bad Boy Entertainment rapper Shyne has been living in his home country Belize since his release from prison in October 2009. He’s kept a low profile until last May where he performed via video satellite at the Bad Boy Family Reunion show in New York.
But the 36-year-old rapper is plotting big moves. In an interview with Bossip, Shyne revealed that he’s in line to be the Prime Minister of Belize.
“I’m going to be in Parliament in Belize very soon. I’m going to be leading my nation and contributing to my nation with all the capacity that I have,” he said. “My father is the right honorable prime minister, and he’s retiring and I’m succeeding him and my uncle. So I can continue in the legacy of my father and serve the people.”
“I love Belize. I love what I do for Belize. Everyday I change somebody’s life,” he added. “My father is the right honorable prime minister of Belize for the last three, consecutive terms, and that gives me access to resources, to power and influence to help poor people, to help people with limited income, people that are struggling and suffering the way I used to as a child.”
Tomball family hosts baby boy from Belize receiving medical care
Houston is known worldwide for being the premiere location to receive top medical care due to the Texas Medical Center. With the help of an amazing group, HeartGift, one blessed baby boy from Belize was able to receive care and be comforted by a great family in Tomball.
Edwin is a 10-month old from Belmopan City, Belize who was born with three holes in his heart due to Congenital Heart Disease. His mother Anita says since finding out about her son’s condition, she has been doing her best to have him helped and healed.
“I found out when he was two weeks old. The pediatrician that tends to him, she told me there was no one in Belize that helps babies heart problems and we would have to go out of the country .We were admitted that day, and she took us from the hospital by ambulance to Belize City where the cardiologist was. They did an ultrasound on him and they told me he needed operation. If not, he wouldn’t live that much longer.”
Belize’s top court expected to rule in sodomy law case
The Belize Supreme Court this week is expected to announce a ruling in a case that is challenging the country’s sodomy law.
The case focuses on Section 53, a statute in the Belize criminal code that criminalizes anyone convicted of “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” faces a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment.
Section 53 is an artifact of Belize’s colonial past that dates back to the 1880s.
The Belize Supreme Court heard the case in May 2013, but is still awaiting ruling from Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.
Caleb Orozco is a Belizean gay activist and executive director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement or UniBAM, a public health advocacy group in Belize for the LGBT community.
Orozco became an outspoken gay rights activist at the age of 31 after attending a workshop for gay men and people living with HIV/AIDS at a public conference in Belize City.
Ancient canal network found under Mayan temple in Mexico
Archaeologists in Mexico have discovered an ancient canal network under the 13-hundred-year-old Temple of the Inscriptions in the Mayan ruins.
Researchers at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History say the canal system was uncovered using sonar technology.
The tunnel network has different levels and still has running water. Scientists believe the canal may be a symbolic gateway to the Underworld for one of the world's most mysterious lost civilizations.
The Best Tropical Cocktails To Sip This Summer
I've been fortunate enough over the last few years to travel to many tropical locations; and summer in Toronto, with its soaring temperatures makes me long for beaches and island drinks.
Here are some of my favourites:
I've been to Belize several times and love it. One of my favourite spots is the Victoria House, an absolute gem of an island resort on San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. This is an award winning property, a great place to relax, and where I was introduced to a 'Coconut Mojito'.
I found a recipe that is very close to their coconut mojito: 6 fresh mint leaves muddled with 3 lime wedges and 1 tsp of brown sugar in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 ¼ oz white rum, ½ oz Malibu coconut rum and 1 oz cream of coconut. Fill the shaker with ice, stir vigorously and strain into a tall glass, top with club soda and a mint sprig.
Mexican village uses fireflies to halt deforestation by local logging industry
In the village of Nanacamilpa, tiny fireflies are helping save the towering pine and fir trees on the outskirts of the megalopolis of Mexico City.
Thousands of them light up a magical spectacle at dusk in the old-growth forests on reserves such as the Piedra Canteada park, about 45 miles (75km) east of Mexico’s sprawling capital city.
Piedra Canteada in Tlaxcala state isn’t a government-run park, but a rural cooperative that has managed to emerge from poverty and dependence on logging with the help of the fireflies.
Five years later, the park’s cabins and camp spaces are sold out weeks in advance, with the attraction especially popular among families with young children and couples seeking a romantic setting.
“The amount of fireflies you see is impressive,” said Carlos Landa, a Mexico City native who visited Piedra Canteada this week. “Something that I also find quite impressive is their synchronicity: to turn off and turn on, that is something really spectacular. It’s like Christmas in the forest.”
A New Private-Island Resort Rises Off the Coast of Belize
Located 8 miles off the coast of Placencia, Belize, Coral Caye is the newest addition to the Family Coppola Resorts portfolio. The rustic 2-acre island is located only 20 minutes by boat from the hospitality firm’s other Belizean property, the beachfront retreat Turtle Inn. An intimate retreat, the island accommodates up to 12 guests in its two seaside cottages, which are attended to by on-call caretakers who prepare all meals. Optional à la carte amenities include a private butler, a private chef, spa services, guided off-island fishing tours, and diving and snorkeling boat trips. Prices range from $895 per night during off-peak season to $1,495 per night for a three-night minimum stay during the holidays. (coral-caye.com)
Exploring Belize with Moon Guides and Lebawit Lily Girma: The Essence of Belizean Culture and Its People
Belize - gorgeous waters, perfect for diving and snorkeling; ancient ruins; rainforests and caves; the tallest waterfall in Central America; wildlife and marinelife; and a deep culture that entices you to explore more deeply. Affectionately called "The Jewel" by locals, this is a destination worth exploring. I recently read Moon Guides Belize, by Lebawit Lily Girma, and let me tell you - I'm impressed.
Moon Guides are some of my favorite guidebooks, for the deep look into local culture, in addition to interesting things to see, do, taste, explore. I've long followed Girma online, for her intriguing travels, her extraordinary writing and photography, and her deep look at culture. A former lawyer, she's the expert on the Caribbean region - I'm constantly referring travelers to her sites and books for advice. So when this book came out, I knew I'd love to share it with our Wandering Educators. It's that good.
Costa Maya delegates live on board the Yolo., 14min.
Spanglishiol in Northern Belize, 5min. Spanglishiol, an important aspect of native Northern Belizean bi/multicultural identity (see Balam 2013, 2015, 2016a, 2016b; Balam & Prada Perez 2016, in press). El skillful arte de hace mix languages en Northern Belize. For (socio)linguistic research on phonological/grammatical aspects of Northern Belizean Spanish and Northern Belize bi/multilingual code-switching, see
"Not only is language mixing a natural outcome of the bilingual mind/brain, it is also reflective of an underlying ‘optimization’ strategy at work" (Bhatia & Ritchie 2008:14).
Belize June 2016, 4min.
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