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Today's Belize News: December 6, 2016 #519540
12/06/16 12:50 AM
12/06/16 12:50 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 59,021
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

Annual HIV/AIDS Fundraising Fair a resounding success!
The San Pedro AIDS Commission together with the National AIDS Commission/Island Committee (NAC) collaborated once more to host the annual World AIDS Day awareness fair at the Central Park on Sunday, December 4th. Activities such as free HIV rapid testing, information and counseling, condom distribution, pastry and food sales were the main highlights commemorating the day. International aids day is observed every 1st of December around the world, and is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV. The activities got underway shortly after 9AM, with a good turnout of visitors stopping by the different booths. Serenading the event was none other than San Pedro’s very own Rompe Raja! While the two groups worked together, they split responsibilities in order to enhance the success of the event. The AIDS Commission sold rice and beans, delicious pastries, and drinks for the fundraising, while the NAC offered free HIV testing, education and counseling.

The San Pedro Dance Academy brings a ‘Tropical Christmas’ to the island
The San Pedro dance Academy once again ushered in the Christmas spirit with their annual end-of-year Christmas show. Titled “Tropical Christmas”, the event took place on Sunday, December 4th at 7PM at the San Pedro Lions den. The annual performance serves as a fundraiser to support the Dance Academy, which has been in existence for 16 years. Attendees were delighted by the variety of creative dance routines, each one demonstrating the talent and skills of the group members. Participants included beginners, intermediate beginners-advanced and seniors. Elaborate theme costumes shone onstage during each dance, the well-executed choreography showcasing a variety of rhythms, from modern contemporary to classic ballet and traditional folklore.

Ambergris Today

Flamboyant Park Gets Facelift by Projects Abroad

Belize Wins at 1st Reina Garifuna del Caribe Pageant Guatemala!
On December 3, 2016, the first annual Reina Garifuna del Caribe (the Miss Garifuna Caribbean) pageant was held at the Malecon Cultural Park in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. The Reina Garifuna del Caribe Pageant was planned by Asociacion Amigos para el Desarrollo de Izabal in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Guatemala. The event was part of an effort to bring unity among the Garinagu within the Caribbean diaspora and assist with the preservation of Garifuna culture. The pageant featured contestants from Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. The National Garifuna Council of Belize is happy to announce that Ms. Sabrina Solano of Hopkins Village is the Reina Garifuna del Caribe for 2016-2017, while Ms. Kaylin Mejia of Dangriga was the first runner up in the pageant

UB Engineering Students Win Structures Competition in Mexico
Students of the Engineering Department, from the Faculty of Science of Technology (FST) of the University of Belize are the 2016 champions of the “XVIII Concurso De Diseño Y Construccion De Modelos Estructurales, V Fase Internacional”, hosted by the Instituto Tecnologico De Chetumal (ITCH) in Quintana Roo Mexico from November 23-25th, 2016. The competition is hosted every year and UB has officially participated for the past 5 years. Preparations for this competition included students participating in the UB Engineering Department’s 8th Annual Macaroni Competition held on 13th and 14th of October at the University’s Freetown Road campus in Belize City. The top two teams represent UB in Chetumal. These students are second year engineering students and they competed with 3rd and 4th year students at the ITCH.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Love FM Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 10 at 1 PM - 6 PM, Downtown Belize City.

GARIFUNA DANCING QUEENS IN CENTRAL AMERICA!
These spectacular Garifuna dancers from Honduras thrilled Belizean audiences some years ago at the Central American Black Organization (CABO) conference at the Bliss Institute of Performing Arts of Belize's National Institute of Culture & History (NICH) in Belize City. We here at Belizean Legends recognized deeply the Pan Garifuna Community of Central America of which Belize is a part of. They represent a taste of Africa in Central America. These Garifuna communities are calling out for help today from assimilation, cultural destruction, and the elimination of their ancestral lands today in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Watina (Calling out)!

BELIZE CITY'S FORMER MAYOR ZENAIDA MOYA DISCUSSES THE ISSUES ON HER OWN TALK SHOW IN BELIZE CITY!
Belizean Legends want to send a big shout out to Belize City's former mayor, Zenaida Moya, who has developed her own talk show on Belizean television in Belize where she will be discussing the social, political, and economical issues confronting the nation state of Belize today. We champion "Z"'s very ambitious move to step forward as a former mayor of Belize City, and to present her spin on these very crucial events confronting the nation of Belize today. Mayor Zenaida Moya made an incredible impact in the Los Angeles Belizean Community in 2005 where she was the invited guest of the California State University, Domiguez Hills, History Department, and later as guest of the Consortium for Belizean Development and BREDAA who hosted the former mayor.

World Heritage Site Forum Tuesday December 6th
In December 1996, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS) was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The BBRRS being the largest barrier reef complex in the Northern and Western Hemisphere, also represents the second largest barrier reef system in the world. It provides habitat to a number of endemic and migratory birds and threatened marine species such as the West Indian manatee, the American crocodile and marine turtles. Belizeans in the Tourism and Fisheries Sectors have relied greatly on the reef for their livelihood. The BBRRS comprises of seven marine protected areas which makes up 12% of the entire reef complex of Belize. The seven sites include: Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, Blue Hole Natural Monument, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park and the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve. In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, you are cordially invited to a World Heritage Site Forum held on December 6, 2016 (Tuesday) in Belize City at the Belize Institute of Performing Arts from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., which will also be broadcast live on Love F.M.

Chilean Government donates $50,000 USD for Hurricane Recovery

SUGAR SEASON OPENS
The 2016-2017 sugar cane crop season gets underway today. About 1.3 million tonnes of sugar cane are expected to be milled into sugar and molasses for international sale in the UK and USA. BSI's Vice President of International Relations Mac Maclachlan admitted that even with maximum preparation by the factory and farmers, some luck with weather and avoiding pests in the field is needed. Guest Speaker Minister of Agriculture Godwin Hulse said he was thankful that crop started on time without quarrels. He added that Belize should work toward having sugar growing in all six districts - currently there are four, from Corozal to Cayo.

Corozal Car Show
Photos of the Corozal Car Show sponsored by the North Ryders Car Club held yesterday at Caribbean Village (entrance to Corozal).

Project in Review & Award Ceremony
Wednesday, December 14 at 9:30 AM - 11 AM, Bliss Center for Performing Arts Southern Foreshore, Belize City. After two years, partners in the Primary & Secondary Art Skills Training Project (PSAST) invite the public to attend an event that reviews progress and celebrates its particpants on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts.

Writing Tour of Belize City
Friday, December 16 at 4 PM - 5:30 PM, Bliss Center for Performing Arts, Belize City. On December 16, we will do a tour of Belize City as a generative writing exercise. In this walk, facilitated by André Habet, we will discuss the historical significance of several buildings and locations between Baron Bliss Lighthouse and the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts where You Are The Jewel’s 2-day writing workshop will take place. During our walk, we will take several pauses to write short responses to writing prompts relevant to the places we’re experiencing. The goal of these prompts will be to help us recognize the rich details located within our city, and the ways we can employ those details in our writing to create a Belize distinct from the paradise it’s often characterized as.

Meeting was held with the Management Committee of the Friends of the Vaca Forest Reserve
The Forest Department, FCD and GEF SGP’s aim is to build the capacity of this Committee for improved utilization of the forest.

Splashers
Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Moorish Idol"

Poets Corner: Disability Registry
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. We need a report from the Special Envoy For all the trips and perks she has enjoyed Under the guise of fighting the diversely-abled ploy This the people of Belize a cannot be denied Since neither for us and nothing without is the diversely-abled cry This decadence hurts the I Belize became 148 signatory On 9th May 2011 fortunately To the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disability Promising protection of those with vulnerability Yet we have no disability registry BCVI, BAPDA, and NARCIE Claim they have theirs individually Inspiration Center has a personal registry What will it take to have national registry? This enables us to serve this community Persons who are most vulnerable in society It was Mrs Barrow who attended the signing ceremony Prior to her Judith’s visit to Hawaii

Workshop with the students of ITVET in Belize City
Belize and Mexico are always finding ways to help each other in common grounds. According to Mexican Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Quesnel, Chef Jose Figueroa from Tijuana, Mexico, will be holding a workshop with the students of ITVET in Belize City this Wednesday Decemember 7th on how to prepare Mexican food, as a part of the Mexican Culinary Week "Ven a Comer". Belize and Mexico sharing common culinary expressions!

2017 Belikin Calendar Cayo Launch
The 2017 Belikin Calendar Launch Party for Cayo will be Saturday, December 10th, at Jalapeno's restaurant. The fun starts at 7:00pm.

Stuck for an original Christmas Gift?
Zack and Kiki's First Big Adventure is now on sale at Reimers stores throughout Belize. Yours for just 9lbs of sunflower seeds ($32). A fabulous gift and a fabulous way to help feed the hungry birds at Belize Bird Rescue! Living outside of Belize? Order online at all Amazon websites. All profits go to Belize Bird Rescue.

Gender Based Violence (GBV) luncheon/round table in Punta Gorda
Ambassador Carlos Moreno hosted a Gender Based Violence (GBV) luncheon/round table in Punta Gorda as part of the Embassy's 16 Days of Activism Campaign against GBV. The event was a great opportunity to hear about GBV issues in the southern region of Belize and learn what the local government and civil society are doing to address these issues. The Ambassador also highlighted the work that the Embassy is doing to address GBV, such as the CARSI grant, Gender Working Group, 16 Days of Activism Campaign, and other initiatives.

Channel 7

Mentally Challenged Man Viciously Beaten To Death
A mentally challenged 19-year-old man was viciously beaten to death in Teakettle. On Saturday morning, Abner Vasquez was found bludgeoned in the back yard of a house. Everything seemed normal on Friday as villagers said they saw him collecting pint bottles to sell as he usually does. But later that Friday night, while everyone else was at a football tournament in the Arizona area of the village, Vasquez's attackers probably took that opportunity and killed him with uncommon savagery. Courtney Weatherburne has the story: Courtney Weatherburne reporting: Abner Vasquez had to have a chilled coca cola with every meal, and his aunt always had it ready for him. His aunt was expecting him on Thursday evening but Vasquez never showed up, instead he slept at a friend's house. She didn't find out the terrible news until 7:15 on Saturday morning from her 16 year old daughter.

Sunday Slaying In The City: Skyers Shot
We turn now to Belize City where there were two murders over the weekend: two men were killed in the street. We begin with Sunday afternoon's murder. It happened at around 1:30 when 26 year old Emerson Skyers was at the corner of West Street and Cemetery Road - which isn't far from the notorious Taylor's ally base. A white car pulled up, someone rolled down the window and let off a burst of gunfire. Skyers died on the spot even though - as this video posted on facebook shows - a desperate attempt was made to try and rush him to the hospital. Still, he was announced dead on arrival. Police told us more: ASP. Alejandro Cowo, OC, CIB: "Emerson Skyers was walking on Cemetery Road almost at the corner of Cemetery Road and West Street when a vehicle coming from the direction of Cemetery Road towards Albert Street passed him and a person from the vehicle fired several shots at him causing the fatal injuries. Up to now we do not have a motive in regards to the death of Mr. Skyers."

Father of 8, Poet and Tour Guide Killed For No Known Reason
The city's other murder happened early on Saturday morning - on Hyde's Lane - one block away from the city's biggest police station on Queen Street. At about 3:45 AM, Dale Anthony Tillett Sr., known as "Blinds" was coming from buying some street food after a night out with friends. He was walking with two other men: one of them a relative, and the other a friend. That's when death came looking for them on a motorbike. Police told us more, as did his mother Geraldine Tillett:.. ASP. Alejandro Cowo, OC, CIB: "CIB personnel visited the corner of Hyde's Lane and New Road just 40 to 50 feet from the corner where the motionless body of Dale Anthony Tillet was seen lying face up with apparent gunshot wound to the back of his head. What the police gathered so far was that Dale Anthony Tillet was waking down on Hyde's Lane, corners North Front Street along with two other male persons when two persons on motorcycle came from Hyde's Lane corners North Front Street and as they approached them almost by the corner, one of the male persons on the motorcycle fires several shots at the persons that were walking along with Dale Tillet. As a result, Dale Tillet received the fatal injuries and the other person David Garcia received apparent gunshot wound to the left side of his shoulder."

Throat Slit As He Slept On A Bus Stop Bench
And the weekend's fourth murder happened in the Stann Creek District on Saturday at around midnight. That's when inebriated Santa Rosa resident Gabino Chuc fell asleep on the bench at the San Roman bus stop. That's when a man - likely also drunk attacked his drinking buddy with a machete. Chuc's friend managed to escape with a cut to the eye and elbow. But the drunken machete man, then turned his blade on the sleeping Chuc and slashed his throat. He bled out and died right there at the bus stop. Police are looking for the attacker who is known to them.

"La Zafra" Begins With Optimism, Realism
This morning, the 2016-2017 Sugar Cane Season, known in the north as "La Zafra" opened, and ASR/BSI accepted the first cane deliveries for the new grinding season. As they do every year, the factory owners, the farmers, and the Government made a ceremony of it to mark its importance for the Sugar Industry. Today's start is on time once again, and that's important because preliminary estimates that there are currently just under 1.4 million tonnes of cane in the fields - which is considered a large crop. Our news team went to Orange Walk to witness the opening of the season, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Outside of the Tower Hill Factory, all the stakeholders gathered for the annual opening of the Sugar Season. Those within the cane farming community, the millers, the Government, and the regulators were all ready to get started, hoping to make the most of the season as they possibly could.

Sugar Cane, Fair Trade Sanctions, And Hon. Castro
Today's "La Zafra" opening gave us a opportunity to speak with Dr. Carlos Itza. He's the new Chairman of the Sugar Cane Production Committee, which regulates who can deliver how much cane to the factory. On last week Friday's newscast, we showed you our telephone interview with Cabinet Minister Edmond Castro, in which he discussed the allegation that his family's sugar cane dealings may have gotten the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association suspended from Fair Trade. The BSCFA's members are at risk of losing over a million dollars of financial aid from the UK based organization. In a recent Fair Trade audit, former BSCFA member Eloy Escalante was flagged for what is referred to as "phantom farming" or "ghost farming". He no longer produces cane, and according to reports, in an interview with Fair Trade Auditors, he admitted that he hasn't been doing so for 3 years. Instead, he entered into a business arrangement with Edmond Castro's son, who is in the sugar cane business. Under the arrangement, Castro's family became the administrators of Escalante's estate, which we are told is a work-around for not being a registered farmer who can deliver cane to the BSI factories.

Finding Phantom Farmers
So, while the Minister believes that Edmond Castro should be given an equal opportunity to deliver his cane, he does agree that there are other "phantom farmers" who need to weeded out of the list of persons allowed to deliver cane to the BSI factory. In his main address at the today's Ceremony, Hulse told the gathering that there should be a legally mandated census of cane farmers to ensure that those who say they are farmers, actually own cane fields.: Hon. Godwin Hulse: "I am looking forward to the census. We have a good agreement in our last meeting that the census will move forward and it will move forward with the participation of everybody. We need to know what cane we have. We need to know who is growing cane. We need to know where its being grown and we need to know who the serious farmers are. There is no ifs, buts and maybe's about that. There is no place. I am not on a bash at all to say there is no place for shopkeepers who posed as cane farmers and who buy quotas and that sort of thing. We need to be serious. We need to know who grown cane, where they grow it, how it is, so we can inspect fields, we can improve yields and that sort of thing. That is the business."

Accounting For Cane Deliveries With Precision
And to help keep the cane farmers honest, the Sugar Cane Production Committee and the Factory Owners have collaborated to set up an accounting system called, SIMIS, or Sugar Industry Management Information System. Apart from accountability, it has a direct benefit to farmers, because they are able to accurately take stock of how much cane they actually have in their fields. It's a system that the regulators and the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute worked on in a pilot project last year, and this year, they are rolling it out all the sugar cane farmers. They are hoping that they will willingly participate to allow for accurate data illustrating how much cane was actually under production. Here's what the coordinator of the SIMIS told us about the program, what it does:

PM In NYC To Talk Superbond
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in New York on superbond business. He left on Saturday and returns on Wednesday. He is accompanied by Financial Secretary Joe Waight, and Economic Ambassador Mark Espat. As we've reported, the Government has announced to bondholders that due to what it calls "serious economic and financial challenges currently facing the country," they need to restructure the Superbond again - this is after it was restructured in 2013. A government press release does not say what the Prime Minister hopes to accomplish with this meeting, but government hopes to re-schedule payments before the next payment becomes due in February, 2017.

Talking Real Development, Human Development
Each year, the UNDP publishes a Human Development Report, which highlights the changes countries see in many different areas such as agriculture, tourism, education and health. The annual reports are meant to emphasize growth and decline trends and guide government officials in policymaking. The 2016 report was launched today, and we spoke with UNDP's Latin American and Caribbean Regional Advisor, Kenroy Roach about the report's importance to the development of the country. As Roach mentioned, Belize's economy has not done so well this last year, but there is hope. Roach says that the growth in the tourism industry is a good sign, and he also highlights other sectors that need to be focused on in order for Belize to rebound from recession.

Found Guilty Of Firing Gun In BTL Park
In September 2014, Belize City resident Michael McDougal was arrested and charged for keeping a firearm without a gun license, discharging a firearm in public, belonging to a criminal gang and causing public terror. The incident occurred on at BTL park, where police say McDougal fired shots in the air and then threw the .38 pistol underneath a red SUV when they arrived. McDougal appeared in the Magistrate's Court today where the charge of belonging to a criminal gang was withdrawn, and he was found not guilty of causing public terror. McDougal was however, found guilty of keeping a firearm without a license and discharging the firearm in public. This was after McDougal's attorney, Christelle Wilson, argued that there was no forensic evidence linking her client to the case, and that no attention was brought to the allegation that police beat McDougal during his arrest.

Altreed Williams's Strange, Sudden Death
Altreed Williams was found dead in a drain on Lawrence Avenue in Belize City on Saturday afternoon. He was found outside his car, and half his body was in the drain. Police say it is a sudden death and foul play is not suspected. But, there is some suggestion that his death could have been preceded by a police beating some weeks earlier. Police denied that possibility: ASP Alejandro Cowo, Officer Commanding CIB: "On Saturday, sometime after 3pm in the evening, the police found a body by Lawrence Avenue, which was identified as Altreed Williams. The body was viewed and there were no signs of injuries or anything on the body. As far as we know there is no report or anyone made any report to police stating that he was beaten 3 weeks ago by any police, not even a complaint to the PSB office, nor to the uniform section. We understand from the family members that he had been suffering from some kind of seizures and that he had suffered two seizures on that Saturday, one in the morning and one in the evening where they found his body."

"Two Pound A weed Eena Bus Back"
And finally in police news tonight, on Saturday the Dangriga Quick Response Team made a big weed bust at a vehicular checkpoint at the entrance of Dangriga. Between 7:30 and 9:00 that night, police searched a James bus travelling from Belize City to Punta Gorda. The found a black backpack in the back of the bus, hidden in a spare wheel. The backpack contained two pounds of weed. No one in the bus admitted to owning the bag and it was deposited as found property.

Naia Resort And Spa, the Peninsula's Answer to Cruise Tourism?
As we've shown you, the Harvest Caye Cruise Tourism Port is in full effect, which means mass cruise tourism has laid it's very large footprint on the Placencia Peninsula and all of southern Belize. There were those overnight tourism interests on the Peninsula who had mightily resisted it, fearing the effect it would have on their delicate boutique resorts and their carefully cultivated product. But, there's a saying: fight culture with culture, and one of the biggest cruise tourism opponents, is now the boss at one of the newest and most exquisite resorts on the Peninsula. Stewart Krohn, the former Channel 5 founder and owner, has gone from TV reporting to resort running - and this weekend our news team visited his new place, called "Naia" to find out what he's created:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting: A bottle shaped speaker blasting Marley's Zion Train by the glistening sea. And a couple of coconut cutters, this might seem like the perfect Caribbean getaway in, let's say, the Bahamas.

The Northern Quarantine Spot
The Ministry of Agriculture and BAHA are cracking down on their quarantine regulations. In order to ensure that all produce being exported from Belize to Mexico is disease and bug free, the Ministry unveiled a new quarantine treatment facility at Santa Elena, Corozal. Minister of Agriculture, Godwin Hulse spoke about the importance of the facility, and had some choice words for those who try to avoid the proper quarantine procedures... A similar counterpart facility was built in Mexico to make sure Belize is kept just as safe.

It's The End Of The world As We Know It (And They Feel Fine!)
200 runners traveled to the Placencia Peninsula this weekend for the 5th Annual End of the World Marathon. There are 2 categories: the full marathon which is 26.2 miles and the half which is 13 miles. And like most events such as these, it's not only about getting in your high impact workout nor is it only about winning, it is also about giving back to the Placencia school kids through scholarships. We were in Placencia this weekend and found out more from the Marathon Director, Chip Lovett. We also spoke to the 1st place winners about their journey along the scenic Peninsula. Chip Lovett, Marathon Director: "The idea was to come up with a fundraiser for the peninsula and I am a marathoner , I have run marathons for years ,and when I first came down here 6 years ago ,I looked at the course from the air and I said this is the perfect course for a marathon and a half marathon , 15 mile peninsula, completely flat , beautiful scenery and it also seemed like an event that would bring all of the communities of the peninsula together."

Channel 5

4 Murders on the Weekend; Dale Tillett Ambushed Near Downtown
A Belize City man was murdered in the wee hours of Friday morning, giving way to the start of a bloody weekend in which police tonight have four murders to [...]

Another Youth Apprentice Killed
The murder count continues to climb. In the City, Tillett’s execution was followed with the broad daylight murder of twenty-six year old Emmerson Skyers of Taylors Alley. Skyers was shot [...]

What Happened to Altreed Williams?
There was a third death in the Old Capital. On Saturday afternoon, Eastern Division South Police were called out to Lawrence Avenue where the body of a Belize City man [...]

Why Was Abner Vasquez Killed in Teakettle?
The family of a nineteen-year-old is preparing to bury him this Wednesday in Teakettle Village, in the west. Abner Vasquez, who is a known handyman around his village, was killed [...]

Murder at the Bus Stop in San Roman, Stann Creek
The fourth murder in the span of forty-eight hours occurred in San Roman Village in the south. Thirty-year-old Gabino Choc was with a friend at a bus stop in the [...]

B.D.F. Commander Jones’ Price Barracks Home Ransacked for $30,000
Mum’s the word in Ladyville where a burglary at the residence of B.D.F. Commander David Jones has allegedly netted thieves a whopping thirty thousand dollars in cash.  It hasn’t been [...]

Death by Traffic Accident in San Ignacio
San Ignacio Police were called out to the scene of an accident between miles fifty-six and fifty-seven on the George Price Highway on Sunday night. One man was killed after [...]

Eamon Asks Godwin to Reverse Net Vasquez Integrity Commission Appointment
Arguing that the Senate was misled into approving the appointment and “a legal nullity”, lead Senator for the People’s United Party, Eamon Courtenay, has written Leader of Government Business in [...]

Sugar Crop Begins; Industry Stakeholders on Same Page
Today, the 2016-2017 sugar crop in Corozal and Orange Walk began. More than one point three million tonnes of sugar cane are expected to be delivered for processing to the [...]

Why Castro-Escalante Deal Will Be Tough to Reverse According to SCPC
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association continues to reel from news received last week that it would be suspended for the third time by Fairtrade managers FLOCERT. Publicly, the Association [...]

Godwin Wants Fellow Minister Castro to “Raise Cane”
Minister Edmond Castro claims to have as much as two thousand acres of sugar cane under production in and around his native Maskall. But the Sugar Act mandates for now [...]

Can Government Persuade Bondholders for Superbond 3.0?
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is tonight in New York City where discussions are taking place on the restructuring of what is known as the Belize Superbond 3.0, by all accounts [...]

Caribbean Human Development Report Launched
The BOOST Program through which needy families receive a conditional cash transfer from government has been cited as a success in the region. This is according to the Caribbean Human [...]

Action on Special Agreement Not “Appeasing” Guatemala, Says Foreign Minister
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has been soundly criticized by many, including the Opposition, for the handling of the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute. A recent motion by the Government of Belize to [...]

Caleb Orozco Scoops Activist Award After Section 53 Victory
Gay rights activist Caleb Orozco is the 2016 winner of the David Kato Vision and Voice Award.  The achievement acknowledges the continued efforts of the UNIBAM founder in highlighting the [...]

Sports Monday Has Weekend Sporting Highlights
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   {Feature on the weekend sporting highlights…}


Re: Today's Belize News: December 6, 2016 [Re: Marty] #519541
12/06/16 12:51 AM
12/06/16 12:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 59,021
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

CTV3

Minister Castro Will Continue To Deliver Cane As Phantom Cane Farmer
As the 2016/2017 crop season came to an official start today, the largest cane farmer’s association, BSCFA, remains under suspension from fair-trade. The problem, as we had previously reported, lies in the fact that registered cane farmer Eloy Escalante and Minister of Transport and NEMO Edmund Castro came under an agreement three years ago whereby Castro, who is not a registered cane farmer, would deliver cane to the factory under Escalante’s license, automatically making Castro a phantom cane farmer. CTV3 news was the first to speak on the issue with Minister of Agriculture, Godwin Hulse last week during the inauguration of the BAHA building at the northern border. Hulse, however, did not lay blame on Minister Castro, instead he came to his defense. And today when we spoke to Carlos Itza, the Chairman of the SCPC, which is the regulatory body of the industry, he told us that while the SCPC has the administrative power to deal with the situation there is not much than can be done.

BSI/ASR Di-spells rumors Of Causing BSCFA Suspension
Following the suspension of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association from fair trade, there was speculation from various members of the association that BSI/ASR somehow had something to do with it. Today when we caught up with Mac McLachlan, Vice President of International Relations of the ASR Group, he categorically dispelled any blame for the suspension. Mac McLachlan- VP International Relations ASR group: “Fairtrade is a relationship between the purchaser of the sugar in this case Tate & Lyle in the UK and the BSCFA directly there are independent audits that are carried out on all Fair Trade producers Associations, when an audits identifies that there is a major problem then the order is to report that to Fair Trade and then they act on that, these are independent audits then, nothing to do with anybody else. I think what we looking at here as I understand it, is that it cuts to the core significant problem that existed in Belize is then when people who don’t necessarily have the cane do have a culture for cane and it is what is tender to happen in the past since cane has been bought and sold particular from farmers who are in stress ...”

Shake Up At Lands Department
Very reliable sources have indicated to us that there will soon be a major shake-up inside the Ministry of Lands. Reports are that the Deputy Registrar of Lands, Baroni Hernandez, is preparing to exit the Ministry along with the Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos. So what’s the big deal? Firstly, Hernandez is a relative of former Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega – one of those family members who was strategically placed in the Ministry when Vega took charge in 2008. Vallejos has been Lands Commissioner throughout Vega’s term, and has been in the center of many controversies and scandals – a key player in what has often been described as a hotbed of corruption. Our sources say the decision to remove Hernandez from the Ministry comes from Cabinet, following their meeting last week.

LOVE FM

Sugar Season Begins for 2016/2017
This morning at Tower Hill in the Orange Walk District, the sugar cane crop season 2016-2017 was officially opened. Chairman of all three sugar producing associations were present and so was Love News. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “The first truck delivered the first batch of sugar cane just after ten o’clock. The goal this year for […]

Competing on a Global Level with Sugar
Going into the 2016-2017 Sugar Cane Crop Season, all three sugar cane producing associations along with the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and American Sugar Refineries, ASR, will need to compete on the global level. That’s because the European Union’s preferential market that Belize was a part of will no longer exist. Vice President of International […]

Gabino Found with Throat Slit at Bus Stop
A villager of San Roman in the Stann Creek District was also murdered this weekend as we hear in this report from correspondent Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU “Independence Police say that they are looking for a resident of San Roman Village in the Stann Creek district known to them as Mencho. The said individual is […]

Teenager Found Dead in Rural Cayo
Two other murders were reported outside of the Belize District. Fem Cruz reports on the discovery of the body of a teenager in Teakettle Village, Cayo District. FEM CRUZ “Roaring Creek police are investigating the murder of 19 year old Abner Vazquez whose body was found behind a store room in the back area of […]

Oceana’s Wavemaker Murdered in Broad Daylight
While investigators on the north side were following leads into Saturday’s homicide, members of the Eastern Division South were called out to a murder scene on Sunday afternoon. 26-year-old, Emmerson Skyers was shot to death just after one o’clock Sunday afternoon at the corner of Orange and West Streets in Belize City as he was […]

Tour Guide Slain Whilst Walking Home
A tour guide of Faber’s Road was slain in the early hours of Saturday morning as he and another man were walking on Hydes Lane in Belize City. The incident occurred just after four o’clock leaving 44-year-old, Dale Tillett Sr dead and David Garcia of a Lindo’s Alley address, injured. Inspector Alejandro Cowo of the […]

UNDP Report Says Belize’s Poverty Figures Have Climbed as Economy Gets Sluggish
The launch of a comprehensive report dubbed, ‘Multidimensional Progress: human resilience beyond income’ was presented today. The document is crucial as it reveals the gaps in various aspects of society in the Caribbean region including the economy, poverty, education, employment among others. Kenroy Roach is the Regional Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme; he […]

Another Land Scandal Set to Explode
Currently, the Government of Belize is awaiting its eight hundred thousand dollars that were paid out as land compensation to Sharon Pitts and Andre Vega. While that matter is being sorted out among the legal minds, there is another scandal of which the details are about to revealed. This one involves one thousand six hundred […]

Classrooms Set to Reopen Early Despite BNTU’s Objections
The Belize National Teachers Union took the issue of their salaries to court and emerged content that the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin had ordered that they be paid in full despite the strike action taken that kept them out of the classrooms for eleven days. Although content with the fact they received their full salaries, […]

Fighting the Gay Fight Lands Caleb in London
Caleb Orozco has become a household name over the years in Belize as his activism forgay rights has brought him spots on the media on various occasions. At times the spotlight was on him for the harassment he and his associates would undergo and then there were the times when he would be speaking out […]

The Belize Times

Belikin 2016 Calendar launched
The VIP room at the Radisson Fort George Hotel was wall-to-wall Belizean beauty for the Belikin 2016 calendar launch last Saturday night, November 26, and their admirers lined up by the hundreds to get their Belikin calendars autographed by 10 of the most gorgeous young women in the Jewel. It was not all about males with too much testosterone fawning over the array of female pulchritude – even mothers and grandmothers line up to get their calendars signed!

La Revolución Nunca Muere…
In 1997, the Society for the Promotion of Education and Research (SPEAR) took a small Belizean contingent to Cuba for the 14th World Festival of Youths and Students. For many of us, this represented a rare opportunity to visit a country that was vilified to such an extent that it became more appealing to want to visit. During the Cold War between the US and its Allies against the Soviet block of nations, Cuba had been one of the most ostracized countries in our hemisphere. Not only had its economy been crippled by the US imposed embargo and the fall of the Soviet Union, but most third world countries were afraid to be on friendly terms with Cuba because of the backlash they would receive from the US. Upon arriving into Cuba, I felt as if I had stepped into a time warp where the most predominant form of transportation consisted of vintage vehicles of the 1940s and 50s era. Since most companies could not legally operate or trade with Cuba because of the “Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 (Helms–Burton Act)”, the country on a whole became self-sufficient and manufactured their own products. The iconic Coca-Cola version is called TuKola and basically has the same taste. Other products such as Bacardi are still distilled as the Cuban government now owns the patent to that name.

Thinking Out Loud
As I look at what promises to be a dreary Christmas for far too many Belizeans, I am pleased and proud that the Orange Walk Town Council has managed to stay the course and to do so much infrastructural work for the people who elected us to serve them. It has not been easy because our Central Government continues to punish our residents for voting for the People’s United Party. There are times when our Council has struggled, but I give thanks for an understanding and dedicated team which has meant that the work continues. I give thanks also to the Honourable John Briceño, leader of the PUP and Orange Walk Central Area Representative. He joined us this week as we inspected the paving works being done on Cinderella Street, one of many which have seen dramatic improvement. He has never hesitated to support us in the work that we do because he truly understands the concept of service. I am proud of what he has been able to achieve as the new leader of the PUP, and I am confident that our Party has been pulling together and the right things are being done to assure victory at the next general elections.

THE CGA-MISMANAGED AND BANKRUPT
The Citrus Growers Association of Belize (CGA) is being mismanaged and is bankrupt. Its Committee of Management is operating illegally by making decisions without consulting with its general membership. It has not held an Annual General Meeting since 2013. Its operations are shrouded in secrecy. There has not been a submitted audited financial report of the Association since 2011. There have not been any elections to annually rotate the CGA’s Director and there is a decision making disconnect between a 4 man Executive Committee and the other 5 members of the Committee. These are all in contravention of the Citrus Industry Act and the Policies & Rules of the Association. It is unable to service its local or its international debts. The Association is facing some serious financial woes. Its membership continues to dwindle as it is unable to provide support services to its members. It has made bad investments or has made good investments go bad. The Citrus Growers Association also continues to operate contrary to established rules and policies that should govern its operation.

MY PERSPECTIVE – PERSON OF THE YEAR
I couldn’t start my entry this week without acknowledging the great Fidel Castro. This is truly the end of an era in Cuba and the world. Much will be said from the lovers and the haters, but it is undeniable the impact Fidel had and his positive legacy for our own George Price and the Belizean people. We received incalculable help for our struggles from the man Fidel and his people, and Cuba remains a standout globally in their fantastic accomplishments. They are indeed the envy of every single so-called third world country due to Fidel’s vision, the power of Fidel’s personality, and the incredible force of nature which Fidel became. Here at home we approach the end of 2016 and begin the second year of this Barrow administration with huge trepidation. How have we come to this pass? Social deterioration is evident in the threats to children that we have seen, and the outlook for the Belizean economy is anything but bright. We will have to be ready to tighten our belts in 2017, all due to the profligate conduct of the few in power. By the way, I made sure of the meaning of profligate: “recklessly extravagant and wasteful.” How appropriate in describing the Barrow gang of bandits in Belmopan.

Fidel – Humankind’s Best Friend
Fidel Castro has left us physically, but his humanity, his life’s work on behalf of the wretched of the earth, his example, will live on as long as mankind does. His constant warnings that the greatest endangered species is mankind, as a result of the avaricious and materialistic abuse of nature by man himself, we will ignore at our peril. From the early 1970s, and consistently since then, even during his ten years of illness, he has relentlessly championed the cause of the environment, and sought to prepare his people, through an educational and scientific revolution, to confront the dangers caused to our planet because of our abuse of the environment; in that he stands alone among world statesmen. He was the quintessential champion of human civilization.

Dancing from the Soul
“Dance from the Soul” is the theme of the 4th annual Dance X extravaganza hosted by NICH at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts in Belize City over the weekend, and at Hode’s Place in San Ignacio last Friday night, and at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk on Saturday night. Belizean dancer Jamie Thompson has taken his art onto the international stage and now dances professionally in Dallas, Texas, USA; and this realization of a lifetime dream is the reality he wants other Belizean dancers to have the opportunity to share. Thompson has left the dance company where he first turned pro, and has now formed his own company – the Live Arts Project, with Brittany Hunter, with whom he performed on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Transportation Industry in Shambles…Commuters Punish
Thousands of commuters who depend on Belize’s bus system to move around the country are now feeling the real pinch from arbitrarily increased bus fares, in some cases up by as much as 50%. The Transport Department is only now releasing official fares to the public even though those fares were approved and gazetted in early November. In Belize City this week, commuters were furious as Traffic and Transport officials started to enforce a no-standee rule at the terminal and Western and Northern outlets from the city. Many were forced to wait hours for buses which had space to transport them to their homes. They say that it is only the commuters who are being punished because bus operators are obligated by regulation to provide adequate standby buses to serve every run if the need arises, but there is no enforcement of that law.

WHY WE CAN’T GET NEEDED HOUSE LOTS
For almost a decade filing different application forms with a $5.00 stamp for house lots at the Lands Department and waiting many times from 3:00 a.m. in the cold at a Minister’s office to beg him for a house lot all proved futile for ordinary Belizeans. To poor people like John or Mary a house lot is a priceless thing. With it they can build a home for their families and steadily improve it. They can also mortgage such property with a Credit Union or bank to access finance to start a variety of small businesses. Land therefore gives poor people a degree of independence which is the opposite of what these crooked Ministers want. They deliberately choose to keep the people landless and poor so that they manipulate them to win elections. These crooked Ministers like when poor people have to rent houses they can barely afford and can never own, or have to squat on private lands to find space to build a little house. They cherish such situations because they know that the people have to bow down to them again and again for handouts to help meet their rent or for their blessings to remain as squatters where they are.

Reaping a Bitter Harvest
On November 24th, 2016 FECTAB (the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize), finally came to understand the extent of the betrayal of the Barrow Administration regarding the cruise port at Harvest Caye. FECTAB had called a press conference to inform the Belizean people that Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) had began to divert its ships from Belize City to Harvest Caye in southern Belize. Norwegian had only a week earlier, on November 17th, officially opened its flagship private island/cruise port at Harvest Caye. If the treatment of the media was any indication of how NCL intended to run its Harvest Caye affair then one would have to agree with FECTAB when they say that something is wrong.

Welcome to CSI Belize…
On Monday, after more than five years behind bars on remand for murder, accused killers Gilbert Craig and Theodore Andrews were freed of murder charges. The men had been accused of killing Troy Bowen in August 2011, but the prosecution could not continue because the main witness said he could not identify them as the killers. Without the testimony of the witness, the prosecution had nothing. In a recent incendiary documentary called Gringo, a senior investigator stated for foreign journalists that cases in Belize are not solved with forensic evidence, but only through witness statements. Those witness statements are not forthcoming any longer because persons fear for their lives. It’s a valid fear, but bad for the prosecution which basically has nothing to rely on in most cases but witnesses. Forensic evidence does not play a role in the solving of major crimes because we do not have the facilities to conduct proper testing of evidentiary matter taken from the scene of crimes, and we have no facilities to conduct DNA-tests to link rapist to victim, or attacker to victim or killer to victim.

If Dah Noh Soh…
So about five different elite units of the Police Department made a major bust yesterday, so major that they were snapping selfies all over the place. Let’s see…yeah they managed to confiscate a bunch of drums, some airplane seats, four batteries and some canvas I hear. Big ting dat. They didn’t manage to detain anybody and nope, they didn’t get their hands on any drugs but proud moment here…based on extreme precision, intelligence and a well-coordinated operation, they managed to capture images of the plane’s tracks on the impromptu runway off the Coastal Road. We should probably be handing out some medals anytime soon. Jeez. #sigh I finally figured out why the Police on the scene were so happy. It wasn’t because of the drums or the aviation fuel. It wasn’t the excitement of the moment. They saw the seats which were taken out the plane to make way for the cargo, probably a s*#tload of drugs. See, our Police have been having a hard time finding the resources to do their jobs. It’s gotten so bad that they’ve had to be using wooden seats in some of their pickups and it’s pretty rough on their backs during those long patrols. So now you can understand why they were so excited to see those comfortable airplane seats. One Police Officer was seen with a measuring tape checking out the chair specs…no lie! #dihstruggleisREAL

Questions to Ministers
Would the Member for Queen Square and Minister of Finance please confirm reliable reports that allocations to education, health and the Police will be slashed in the new budget, and that a finance team has almost completed lists of public officers who will be retrenched in 2017? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please confirm or deny reliable reports that the condo/resort he is building in Placencia on the beach will feature a helipad on the roof? Would the Member for Port Loyola and Minister of his own development please provide a REAL list of his assets (in his name and held for him by members of his family)? Could he further confirm reports that he recently purchased the abandoned Archie’s building in Belize City?

Yes Dih Plane Land…
Police have confiscated 16 drums of aviation fuel, along with equipment they found on a clandestine airstrip in the area of the Coastal Road. They are sure that a plane landed secretly in Belize, but are unable to say what kind of illicit cargo was smuggled through Belize. All signs are indicating that this was a drug plane which landed on this airstrip, but no other information has been forthcoming. Hattieville cops were first alerted to this plane in Belizean airspace in the predawn hours of Tuesday, November 29. That’s when they received intelligence that there was a low-flying aircraft in the area of the Coastal Road. Police were dispatched, and after searching the area, they came upon a clandestine airstrip 3 miles off a feeder road, located about 9 miles into the Coastal Road. There they found the open space, a clearing big enough to land a plane, and they found tire marks which they believe were made by the aircraft’s landing gear. A search of this area led them to discover 20 drums; sixteen of them were filed with aviation fuel while four were empty. They also found 4 batteries, electric wires, lights, and canvasses. They believe that these were all used to facilitate the landing of the aircraft.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Trend of father-son murder victims
There have been several troubling murders recently where the victim was either the father or son of another murder victim over the last few years. Leon Savery, 28, was killed in September 2014 while socializing with his friends on Angel Lane in Belize City […]

Nestor Vasquez not qualified for Integrity Commission
In a letter leaked to the media, People’s United Party (PUP) Senator Eamon Courtenay has written to Leader for Government Business Senator Godwin Hulse requesting Nestor Vasquez’s appointment to the Integrity Commission last week be rectified as Vasquez does not qualify to sit on the […]

GOB to sign UNCAC this Friday
Belize will officially accede to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on World Anti-Corruption Day this Friday, December 9. The PM’s decision to sign came after the Belize National Teachers Union’s 11 day strike in October. Among its list of demands BNTU demanded […]

Taylor’s Alley man killed near home
Yesterday afternoon around 1:35 p.m., Belize City police responded to a shooting incident in the vicinity of Cemetery Road and West Street Belize City and consequently visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where officers saw 26-year-old Emmerson Skyers of a Taylors Alley Address. He […]

Defense Minister comments on completed National BDF Tour
Last Friday, Minister of Defence, John Saldivar completed a nationwide tour of BDF installations. The national tour started in September, one month after Saldivar was named Minister of Defence and appointed a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant Colonel […]

Castro catches flack for R word
During an interview about questionable business transactions now affecting the sugar industry, Minister of NEMO and Transport, Edmond Castro used a derogatory term in an attempt to deflect away from the question, raising the ire of many in the public and especially on social […]

World Heritage site forum to be held in Belize City tomorrow
Today, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable development announced that a World Heritage Site forum will be held tomorrow at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts from 7-9 p.m. in Belize City. This is in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Belize […]

Fatal traffic accident in Esperanza, Cayo claims one life
Last night, San Ignacio police responded to a fatal road traffic accident between miles 56 and 57 on the George Price Highway where 56-year-old Marlene Wellington, a resident of San Ignacio Town reported that around 9 p.m. while she was driving her Mazda mini-van […]

Body of young man, 19, found dead in Teakettle village
On Saturday morning around 7:30, police visited Teakettle village in Cayo District where they saw the body of 19-year-old Abner Vasquez with injuries to the back of his head and right jaw. Initial investigation revealed that Friday afternoon around 4, Vasquez was socializing at […]

Police issue official report on murder of Dale Tillett Sr.
On Saturday morning around 3:45, police responded to a shooting incident on Hyde Lane, Belize City where they saw 44-year-old Dale Anthony Tillett Sr., a tour guide of Madam Liz Avenue, Belize City with apparent gunshot wounds to the right side of the neck. […]

Man chopped to death in Stann Creek
Yesterday, around 2:32 a.m., Independence Southern Formation Police visited a bus stop in San Roman village, Stann Creek District where they saw 30-year-old Gabino Choc of Santa Rosa Village, Stann Creek with a large cut wound to the throat. Initial investigation reveals that around […]

Official Launch of ‘Ven a comer!’
The Embassy of Mexico in Belize officially launched ‘Ven a comer en Belize!’ on Friday. It is a project that promotes Mexico around the world through gastronomy. The four-day event will include workshops, as well as interactive training sessions with students of the Hospitality […]

Caleb Orozco to be awarded for overturning anti-gay law
Belizean LGBT Activist, Caleb Orozco will be honored with this year’s David Kato Vision and Voice Award in recognition of his successful battle to overturn Belize’s anti-gay laws. The award is presented every year in memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT campaigner David Kato. He […]

Blogs

An Early Christmas Present for the World
I decided to give everyone an early Christmas present this year. It is a known fact that people love saving money. I am making it easier than ever for you to do so by giving you a most useful present. This is going to be your gift that keeps on giving this holiday season and well beyond. I can’t lie, I had a little help from someone for the first part; Tropic Air. They just made your Belize Travel even easier by simplifying the system and making their tacogirl flight discount coupon code quarterly instead of monthly in the New Year. As a result this makes it easier for all new people to have a bigger booking window with one code – monkey for December. Must be booked online 24 hours or more before scheduled flight. The tacogirl flight discount coupon code going quarterly will also be a big benefit to those that fly often.

Belize one of the friendliest places for Americans to visit
Belize has a long-standing reputation for being one of the most hospitable places in the world. With a rich diverse cultural and ethnic background, people of all races, religion and political inclinations are welcome in Belize. And now according to online travel publication Thrillist, Belize is one of the best places for American tourists to visit. According to Thrillist, Belize can often feel like an even chiller extension of Southern California: diverse, laid-back, and always ready to eat some killer fish. Thrillist describes Belize as a nice picture of what your life could’ve been if you had shirked all responsibility and went firmly for the “no worries” lifestyle (aka what you probably should’ve done).

Wellness and pampering at the new Victoria House Spa
How do you improve on perfection? For over 30 years, the award-winning Victoria House Resort on Ambergris Caye has set the standard for intimate, luxurious accommodations. Nestled on a gorgeous beachfront, with white Caribbean colonial buildings and lush landscapes, this island escape also features an elegant restaurant and cozy beachside bar. It’s the ideal romantic getaway, and the ultimate relaxation destination. With every attention to detail met, there was only one thing a miss…a splendid spa. With so many amenities to choose from, some may have a hard time deciding on the pampering they want…but in all seriousness, who doesn’t love a good massage? Spa manager Jennifer is also a massage therapist, and she has the gift of locating the trouble spots in your back and shoulders you didn’t even know you had until she deftly massages them away. Once she has worked her magic on those areas, she places hot stones on your lower back to maintain the warm radiance while massaging your legs and oh yes, the feet. It’s amazing how good that feels! The entire massage is dedicated to detail, with special attention even paid to the hands, scalp and knees. Using lightly scented eucalyptus oil, the body is fully relaxed and rejuvenated after the hour-long treatment. One could certainly become addicted to such indulgence!

International Sourcesizz

Belizean LGBT activist to be honored internationally
An LGBT activist from Belize is the winner of this year’s David Kato Vision and Voice Award, in recognition of his successful battle to overturn his country’s anti-gay laws. The David Kato Vision and Voice Award is presented every year in memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT campaigner David Kato.

Endangered sea turtles are actually thriving at Belize reef
Endangered hawksbill sea turtles are doing swimmingly well at a reef in Belize, the Wildlife Conservation Society has announced. The sea turtles are described as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, so the fact that they’re prospering at Glover’s Reef Atoll in Belize is good news for conservationists. According to a new study, researchers estimate that there are now over 1,000 juvenile hawksbill turtles in the area. “The findings of our research show that juvenile hawksbill turtles are thriving at Glover’s Reef– extremely good news for this endangered species,” Virginia Burns Perez, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s technical coordinator in Belize, said in a statement. “Strongholds for the species such as this one should become a model for other foraging and nesting areas that are important for the hawksbill turtle.”

Explore Belize’s Barrier Reefs
My husband, Mac, and I are in our early 60s and are not SCUBA divers. We have always been daunted by the amount of specialized knowledge and equipment that diving seems to require. Yet on a trip to San Pedro, Belize, our friends put the pressure on. “This country has the second-longest barrier reef in the world,” one said. “People come from all over to dive here. You’d be crazy not to.” They suggested we do a shallow-water introductory dive requiring about 20 minutes of instruction and no certification. We signed up for a dive with SeaStar, a San Pedro scuba shop. On the dock we got a rundown of the equipment before we motored out to a spot near the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where the reef is only 12 feet below the surface. Fifteen minutes later, I sat on the boat’s edge in full gear and let go. Soon I saw giant sea turtles, huge rays and schools of fluorescent-blue fish. Docile nurse sharks cruised past. It turns out diving was just as our friends had described it: like swimming in an aquarium.

Kato Award honors Belize man who toppled anti-gay law
Caleb Orozco, the activist in Belize who successfully challenged and overturned his country’s anti-gay law, has been selected as the 2017 winner of the David Kato Vision and Voice Award. In memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato, the award is presented annually to an exemplary LGBT rights activist. The award is presented at the annual fundraiser for the LGBT rights advocacy group Kaleidoscope Trust, scheduled for Jan. 26, 2017, in London. Pink News, which is a media partner for the event, reported: In 2006 Caleb Orozco co-founded Belize’s only LGBT-led campaign group, the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which brought legal action to challenge the country’s anti-gay sodomy law.

High seas murder mystery from 1978 finally solved?
The two lifeless bodies were floating about 200 metres off popular Punta de Manabique beach on the Caribbean Sea. Guatemalan cops reported that the victims’ feet and ankles had been bound. Their last minutes, assuredly agonizing. Their badly decomposed bodies had been weighted down with heavy engine parts tied with nylon rope. And cops didn’t have a clue who was responsible. It was July 8, 1978 and the bodies were not meant to be found. Now, after 38 years, detectives have made an arrest in the grisly slayings of young British tourists Christopher Farmer and his girlfriend, Peta Frampton. According to the affidavit, Boston, 37 at the time, promised to take the British couple to Mexico. Instead, investigators believe Farmer was beaten with a billy club and stabbed in the chest with a fillet knife following a spat with Boston. The couple was then tied up and both were tossed overboard to a watery grave. Vince Boston, who was 13 at the time, said his father had taken his children to Belize, where he bought the boat and charged for scuba lessons.

Videos

  • A lesson in "obeah yuh man", 1.5min. A little comedy for from a San Iggy resident.

  • It's beginning to sound a lot lilke Christmas!, 2min. Season's Greeting from your Benque House of Culture & our Benque Marimba Youths - Los Hijos Del West with a little favourite for the season!

  • Toucan Belize Zoo, 1/2min. Up close and personal with a Toucan at the Belize Zoo.

  • BEST BELIZE SNORKELLING | 4K - GoPro Hero5 Black, 2.5min. 4K Belize Snorkeling filmed with our new GoPro Hero5 Black. Snorkeling in the second largest reef system of the world. UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Swimming with turtles, sharks, stingrays, barracudas and other Caribbean reef fishes at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, Caye Caulker Coral Gardens.

  • 2016-2017 SUGAR CROP OPEN, 7.5min. It is a known fact that Sugar is the backbone of the north, but similarly to many other industries in Belize, the sugar industry has undoubtedly faced many challenges over the years, and is expected to face many more as the prices in the preferential market are expected to plummet to an all-time low come 2017. But none of this seemed to dampen the spirts of steak holders who were present today for the official opening of the 2016/2017 at the gates of BSI/ASR.

  • Update on Referendum Act Adjustments, 41min.

  • Belize High School - 35th Model OAS Conference Participants, 30min.

  • Episode 2 of the Zenaida Moya Show, 1hr26min. Episode 2 of the Zenaida Moya Show featred Professor Patrick Menzies and Attorney-at-Law Arthur Saldivar who discussed the immigration element of US President Donald Trump first 100 days Policy Plan and the impacts, if any, on Belize and Belizeans living in the USA.

  • Belize Barrier Reef, 1.5min. A campaign video designed to save the barrier reef located in Belize

  • Belize it, baby! 2016, 4min. Spent a few days (not enough) in Caye Caulker going slow and then took off to San Ignacio for one of the best caves I have ever swam, ran and climbed through. ATM caves have been a highlight to my trip so far. Special thanks to Yuma's Hostel, Marios snorkeling tours and Xplore Tour for the ATM Cave Tour!

  • Sea to Shore Belize Program, 2.5min.

  • Ambergris Caye Daniel Matusiak Action Belize, 2.5min. If anyone ask WHY Belize - Here is the answer! One of the Best Island of the Caribbean. Ambergris Caye.


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