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Today's Belize News: January 6, 2017 #520707
01/06/17 12:55 AM
01/06/17 12:55 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,260
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials


The San Pedro Sun

Lucky islanders win big with Castillo’s Hardware Raffle
The annual raffle extravaganza at Castillo’s Hardware Company Limited took place on Friday, December 23, 2016. For every purchase or account payment of $50, customers had a chance to win one of five fabulous prizes. Customers gathered to witness Miss San Pedro Maresha Thompson draw the tickets, hoping they would be one of the lucky winners. Owner of Castillo’s, Mr. Alfonso Castillo, shared a few words of thanks to customers and friends via Reef Radio airwaves. With the official business out of the way, the barrel was turned and Maresha proceeded to pull the first winner, that of the fifth prize. Angelica Ramos was the lucky winner of a Makita Cordless Combo Kit.

SPTC seeks to finance dredging project on the lagoon side of the island
The plan to dredge from the southern Marina Area north to the Sunset Boardwalk, located right behind the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex has been stalled for over two years now. In 2015, it was announced that dredging would happen in 2016. Clearly, that did not happen, however, local authorities on the island began making preparations in August of 2016, assessing the area to be dredged. Guerrero has insisted that the change will benefit everyone. According to him, the new route would provide much diverse natural scenery of the western side of the island for passengers. He emphasized that it will also reduce the congestion on the eastern coastline of San Pedro Town, bringing a balance to the heavy traffic the windward side of town currently experiences. Guerrero encouraged everyone to work along with the Town Board, who is committed to continue improving the services the island has to offer to all visitors.

2017 Caye Caulker Lobster Fest canceled; San Pedro and Placencia is still a go!
Since 2007, hundreds of lobster lovers have made plans to attend Lobster Festivals across Belize. Not only does the festival celebrate the reopening of lobster season, but it has become a dynamic attraction for tourists within the country. Caye Caulker, the original and longest-running festival, was considered a ‘must-do’ every year. However, the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee made an official announcement on December 21, 2016, informing the general public that Caye Caulker’s 2017 Lobster Fest has been canceled. As the news came suddenly, The San Pedro Sun confirmed that both San Pedro’s and Placencia’s Lobster Fest will take place this year. San Pedro Lobster Fest organizer, Rebecca Arceo, explained that each Lobster Fest Committee is managed differently. “I understand where Caye Caulker is coming from. In the early years for us, it was a struggle to get people to participate. But I have found that the people like organized events, and that businesses like that their venues are assigned a date, which helps draw people to their business,” said Arceo.

Melvin Montesino charged for stabbing
On Monday, January 2nd, 32-year-old Belizean Tour Guide, Henry Williams was stabbed by Melvin Montesino, after a dispute at a local night club. According to the report given to the San Pedro Police Department, Williams went to the night club around 2AM to socialize with his friends. After Williams paid his entrance fee and was searched by security, he proceeded to the bar area to get some drinks. Before he was served, he was approached by a slim built, tall, Hispanic male, with low-cut black hair, who was vomiting right in front of him. Upon seeing the male, Williams recognized him as Melvin Montesino. When Montesino approached Williams, he was pushed away, and the two men began to brawl. Montesino stabbed Williams on the left side of his back and abdomen. After appearing in court on Tuesday, January 3rd, Montesino was formally charged with ‘Grievous Harm’ and ‘Use of Deadly Means of Harm’.

Ambergris Today

A Farewell to Corry McDermott
It is with saddened hearts that the community of San Pedro learned of the passing of Corry McDermott. Corry came to San Pedro many years ago to join his brother Gerry McDermott, owner of Paradise Hotel. A very friendly person, Corry made tons of friends with Sanpedranos and residents as he managed his own real estate business. He was a writer, promoter, traveller and an avid philanthropist. Ambergris Today and iTravel Belize, on behalf of he people of San Pedro and Ambergris Caye, extend sincere condolences to the family of Corry McDermott. Message from McDermott Family "We regret to inform you of the death of Corry McDermott on December 31st 2016. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1931. He is survived by his loving wife Janet, his children Cheryl Ann, Sean and Mary Colleen and his sister Patricia as well as his step children Cyan, Cindy, Monte and Apryl and his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.The story of Corry's life in Belize will be printed at a later date and information about a memorial to follow."

Rebecca Rath Miss Belize Universe 2016 Departs to Miss Universe Pageant
Dangriga born and bred, Rebecca Rath has spent the last few months mentally, physically and spiritually preparing for her journey to represent Belize in the upcoming Miss Universe Pageant in Manila, Philippines. Rath left Belize on January 3, 2017, on her way to Dallas for final wardrobe preparation and then on to Los Angeles for final training sessions with National Director, Opal Enriquez. She departs to Manila on January 11. Rebecca Rath is the first to represent Belize in the Miss Universe Pageant in ten years and is already a favorite on social media and popular pageant websites. The 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant will be held on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines. Missosology.info, a professional pageantry website, recently ranked Ms. Belize as 18th, stating that Belize is usually ignored but this time, the country is sending a beautiful candidate who is an athlete, appealing and very articulate. The website offers an in depth assessment of the Miss Universe front runners.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

NEW SOUTHWEST ROUTE COMING IN JUNE: FORT LAUDERDALE TO BELIZE
Coming on the heels of Prime Minister Barrow's announcement in his 2017 New Year's Message, Southwest Airlines today named Belize among its list of new destinations for its new non-stop daily service from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Service will commence on June 4th, 2017 with fares as low as US$79.00. Starting book those tickets!

Power Interruption 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Sunday, January 8, Belize City
Portion Orange St, West Canal between King St & Regent St West, Church St, Bishop St & portion Albert St. BEL to relocate high voltage lines in area.

Street Art Festival
Saturday, February 25th, 2017, Albert Street

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: Taiwan ICDF Scholarship Program 2017
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that the 2017 Taiwan ICDF (International Cooperation and Development Fund) Scholarship Program at undergraduate or graduate level for qualified Belizeans has started its application process. These scholarships are for enrollment at universities in Taiwan, commencing in September 2017. Applicants need fill out and submit the TaiwanICDF Scholarship application form and related documents to the Embassy before March 17, 2017.

Belize nominated for 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards and Featured on the New York Times List of Places to Go
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to share that Belize has been nominated in the latest 10Best Readers' Choice Award contest. An expert panel of diving and Caribbean Travel experts selected Belize’s Blue Hole as a contender for Best Caribbean Dive Site. A total of 20 countries have been nominated such as Bonaire, Puerto Rico and Aruba to name a few. Voting ends Monday, January 30th, 2017 at 11:59am EST and the winners will be announced on 10Best on Friday, February 3rd, 2017 at 12:00pm EST, then later on USA TODAY. The official rules can be found here. The contest, which is being promoted by USA TODAY, gives voters four weeks to vote for the candidate of their choice at http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-caribbean-dive-site/. A person can only vote once a day for the run of the contest. The Belize Tourism Board takes this opportunity to ask all Belizeans to assist us in making the Blue Hole the number one dive site by voting. And even more exciting news for Belize for the commencement of 2017 is that we have been featured in The New York Times’ annual list of 52 Places to Go in 2017. This is one of the most widely shared travel stories each year and a source where many travelers research for their trip inspiration. Placencia was chosen as #42 by the writer alluding to the destination as a laid-back atmosphere while offering close proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef for exploration. It also cited the recent developments and expansions in accommodations and amenities with the upcoming launches of Naia Resort & Spa and Itz’ana Resort and Residences.

Simone Biles' Motivational Ceremony
Simone Biles visited Belize for her free vacation, and she had a motivational session for future Belize Olympic athletes. "A motivating, one-on-one, session for young Belizean athletics and students at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts."

Mexican riot
Chetumal residents riot and police disperse teargas near the Plaza las Americas Mall

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
The Girl on the Train, What Now? Max Steel, Ouija

Channel 7

A 19 Year Old Charged For Killing Another 19 Year Old
Two days after 19 year old Randolph Johnson was killed, his alleged murderer has been charged. Elden Flowers - who is also 19 - appeared in the Magistrate's Court today where he was charged with murder. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser declined to take a plea and Flowers was remanded. Flowers is linked to one of the feuding gangs in the St. Martin's area. He allegedly shot Johnson on Tuesday afternoon. At the time of the attack, the teenager was fishing in a canal in a secluded area less than a mile from his home. He was along with five other young men who saw the suspect. Johnson's murder was followed by another killing in the same area four hours later. That was likely an act of retaliation. Police have since held mediation sessions between the warring gangs.

Who Will Be The 13th Senator?: The NGO Nominees Speak
Last night we told you about the six nominees for Senator. Well, tonight there are five. Valdemar Andrade has declined. So that leaves it between Donovan Reneau, Edilberto Romero, Janelle Chanona, Pablo Collado, and Osmany Salas. Tomorrow, they will each present themselves to the NGO Community, and on January the tenth, the NGO's will vote to select their Senator. But, not all NGO's will vote; it will only be those "in good standing" - that means those NGO's who have filed their returns as required by law. And of the 137 registered NGO's, how many is that? Well, try 29. That's right. Only 15% of the registered NGO's re in good standing. And only they can vote for the 13th Senator! And while you can argue over whether 29 NGO's can truly represent the much wider NGO community, that's what it's going to be… So we spoke to each of the nominees today - to find out why they want to be Senator. We start with Donovan Reneau. He's the Vice President of BCVI and has also been LOVE FM's night shift DJ for 20 years. He told us why he accepted the nomination:

Schools, Slowly Shutting Down - See Ya Next Week!
So, school should have started on Tuesday, and a couple of them did try, but based on the survey we did today, they tried and failed. When we did a drive by today we saw Wesley lower, closed; ACC high school, closed, Wesley college, closed; St. johns Anglican, a few classrooms were opened, Queen's Square, also closed, Wesley upper, that was closed too, St. John Vianney, closed; St. Ignatius, closed, St Martin's, closed; nearby St. Luke's also closed; we saw open classrooms at Palotti, while St. Joseph's was closed, and so was Holy redeemer - those are the two biggest Catholic schools in the city. We did see a few students at Anglican St. Mary's. So, all in all, in the struggle between the BNTU on one side, and the Ministry and School Managements on the other, we'd say: game over, the Union won this tug of war. Now, did the students lose? Well, we'll have to wait till the end of the school year to know the answer to that one.

From Life In Prison, To The Possibility of Life Outside Prison
In November, the Court of Appeal ruled that a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole can no longer be handed down to convicted murderers. This ruling came out of the appeal of Gregory August, who in 2012 was charged with the murder of 73 year old Alvin Robinson. He was originally sentenced to life in prison without parole, but the judgement has since been appealed and ruled unconstitutional. While the case is still not 100% over, since it is currently being taken to the CCJ, it has sent a potential precedent. There are currently around 40 prisoners serving life sentences in Belize, and if the CCJ rules in favor of August, some of their sentences will be up for review. That's why today, students from the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica, along with a few lawyers, went to the Hattieville Prison today to brief these inmates on their possible options. Two of those students gave us some more details on the consultations and the significance of this appeal... Hector Guerra, Student, Norman Manley Law School: "We were here to speak about the implications that emanate from the Gregory August decision that was handed down by the court of appeal earlier this year."

Belize's Murder Rate Second Highest In Caribbean
As we've been reporting, the number of murders recorded in Belize in 2016 increased sharply. It shot up by 15% from 119 in 2015 to 137 in 2016. That is our unofficial number since the police still have not circulated the final statistics. That accounts for a murder rate of 36 per one hundred thousand - which si very high, among the highest in the Caribbean. Here's how it compares based on available statistics. The number of murders in Jamaica went up by 10%, and their murder rate shot up to 47 per hundred thousand, which is probably the highest in the Caribbean. Based on preliminary information gleaned from a number of sources, that would put Belize's murder rate at the second highest in the Caribbean, with the largest percentage increase in murder. And while Belize is at 36, Trinidad is closely behind at 34 mruders per hundred thousand, and they had a 10% increase in the number of murders. The Bahamas is next with a murder rate of 30 per hundred thousand, but they had a 22% decline in the number of murders. St. Lucia is also unexpectedly high with a murder rate of 23, but, again, the number of murders went down by 26%.

Youths Allege GSU Fired On Them With Rubber Bullets
In our first 2 newscasts for 2017, we told you about the 6 murders which happened within 72 hours. So, the police are under pressure to get contain the spike in crime, and in their joint press conference, 2 days ago, Eastern Division Commanders Chester Williams and Edward Broaster made it clear that police would be watching the gang neighbourhoods like hawks. They said, quote, "The criminals will be holding more press conferences than the police", end quote. That means that residents in these crime hotspots will have a lot to complain about. And though Southside Commander Chester Williams did clarify that police brutality will not be a feature of these intensified operations, there is already a complaint of police excess coming out of the Ghost Town neighbourhood. Two youths from the Mayflower area say that the GSU was very heavy handed, shooting them with rubber bullets, which left them with hideous welts. We visited them today where they said it was unprovoked:

Cops Find Weed, Gun
But, make no mistake, the police also continue to find unclaimed property of criminals. This morning members of the Strike Team North searched an empty lot on Pickstock Street. They found a plastic bag containing two smaller bags each containing about 8 ounces of suspected cannabis. The Strike Team also searched an empty lot on McKay Boulevard where they found a chrome 9 millimeter P95 Ruger pistol along with four live rounds. Both the firearm and cannabis were deposited as found property at the Queen Street Police Station.

Suspected Stalker Gets Bail
Today 21-year-old Shawn Phillips appeared in the Magistrate's Court. He was arraigned on three criminal offenses: burglary, throwing missiles and common assault upon his alleged 19 year old victim. According to the victim's report, Phillips had been lurking in an abandoned house across the street from her home on New Year's Eve. He later emerged from the house and threw glass pints at her house. Phillips then took advantage of an open door and entered without her permission, armed with a glass bottle. The victim said Phillips began to threaten her, and only left after she told him she would call the police. The victim described Phillips as "just a friend", which gave Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser concerns about whether or not he was obsessed with her. After being reassured by Phillips that he would leave the victim alone, the Magistrate reluctantly offered him bail of $2000.

Southwest Flies From Fort Lauderdale, Can The Budget Carrier Break American's Miami Monopoly?
The Prime Minister announced it in his New Year's address last week - and today Southwest Airlines made it official. Starting June fourth, the budget airline is going to fly out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Belize. Southwest boasts that a one way fare can be as low as 79 US dollars - and we did find that when we checked their site today. Now, for those not familiar, Fort Lauderdale is a city about 30 miles north of Miami - and this daily, year - round flight is sure to shake up the Miami Monopoly that American Airlines has enjoyed for decades. That means fares are likely to be forced down by this budget competition. Benefits of that will redound to domestic travellers, and tourists. Today, BTB's Director of Marketing, Karen Pike discussed Southwest's distinctive market niche:.. Karen Pike, Director of Marketing - BTB "So ever since we had the flight from Houston hobby with Southwest airlines start we have known Southwest has been interested in giving us a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Belize so we are finally pleased that all the meetings and discussions have now resulted in June 4th being the day that the inaugural flight will take place from Fort Lauderdale to Belize daily nonstop."

Belize Selects Team For Copa Centroamericana
Belize has selected its National Football Team for the Copa Centroamericana Tournament which begins next Friday in Panama. 30 players showed up to camp, and new coach Richard Orlowski of Poland, and his assistant Carlos "Charlie" Slusher selected national team veterans such as Shane Orio and Woodrow West, Elroy Smith, Ian Gaynair, Trevor Lennen, Danny Jimenez, and Dion Mcauley, along with newcomers Michael Atkinson and Makonnen Clare. Belize faces host country Panama in the opening match. We'll talk to the team next week.

Channel 5

Police Charge Alleged Killer of Randolph Johnson
Police have cracked the second of six murders that occurred over a four-day period. It’s been two days since the murder of Police Street resident nineteen-year-old Randolph Johnson and tonight, [...]

10 Alleged MS-13 Gangsters Flee El Salvador Jail; Could They be Headed for Belize?
There has been a prison break reported, but not in Belize. Ten inmates escaped from a jail in El Salvador on Sunday. Authorities in Honduras and Guatemala are on alert, [...]

Watching for Counterfeit Twenties in Belmopan
It may be “maaga season,” but there is money circulating in Belize. Too bad it’s not the genuine kind, according to Belmopan Police. This week they found counterfeit twenty-dollar bills [...]

Janelle Chanona and Donovan Reneau Discuss 13th Senator Nominations
A final list from which a thirteenth senator will be chosen was formalized on Wednesday, after a steering committee vetted the names of all nominees.  That number has since been [...]

UNIBAM’s Caleb Orozco Questions Consultative Process
Gay rights activist Caleb Orozco, executive director of UNIBAM, has raised several issues concerning the process being used by the Thirteenth Senator Steering Committee in going about the selection of [...]

Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Beats Drums for Referendum
Guatemalan newspaper, Prensa Libre, in its January second issue, carried recent statements made by Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales. According to the article, FM Morales announced that Belize had [...]

Tracking Traffic Fatalities; is Road Safety Project a Success?
On Tuesday, we covered a fatal motorcycle collision in the Teakettle area, which claimed the lives of two young men from the village. It is the last of eighty-three fatal [...]

What’s Behind Crashes in Christmas Season
Of the eleven traffic incident fatalities reported in December, it is noted that seven took place between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, including the death of Gilbert Myers on [...]

Ex-Brodies’ Deliveryman Charged for Theft from Store
Twenty-year-old Frederick Sutherland, a former deliveryman for James Brodie and Company, was dragged to court today on a single charge of theft.  It is alleged that the fisherman of East [...]

G.O.B. Will Go to Court for Vega, Pitts “Compensations”
News Five has confirmed from reliable sources that the Office of the Solicitor General filed a claim in the Supreme Court on December twenty-eighth against the son of former Deputy [...]

Police Minister Plans New Effort on Surveillance Cameras
You may recall that a few years back the Police Department installed surveillance cameras in key spots on south side Belize City; at the corner of George and Dean Streets; [...]

Crime – Whose Fault Is It, Really?
2016 ended off as one of the deadliest years in Belize’s history – with one hundred and thirty-seven murders. The transition into the New Year was a bloody one as [...]

Despite Checkpoints, Gangs Continue War on Southside
The Christmas Season saw a noticeable increase in the number of police officers assigned to various hotspots across Belize City.  In fact, it would almost seem as though a small [...]

More Flights to Belize from Southwest Airlines
Starting June fourth, there will be a daily direct flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Belize at rock-bottom prices. That’s the latest coming out of the Belize Tourism Board, the [...]

Blue Hole, Placencia Get International “Big-Up”
The B.T.B. wants your vote to make the Great Blue Hole the ‘Best Caribbean Dive Site.’ Belize was nominated in the ‘Ten Best Readers’ Choice Award’ contest after it was [...]

Healthy Living: Do “Fad Diets” Cut Weight Faster?
So we’ve all heard of the military diet, the alkaline diet, grapefruit diet, and the cabbage soup diet, all that seem to be popular here in Belize when we want [...]

CTV3

Former Immigration Director Discusses Political Culture At Immigration Department
As you heard in our report of the Senate hearings earlier, the name Elvin Penner kept surfacing. Penner, you would recall, was in the thick of the 2013 immigration scandal involving illegal nationality and passport granted to South Korean national Won Hong Kim who was in a Taiwan jail at the time. Penner did more than recommend the processing of the documents. Yesterday the former Director Maria Marin testified that she had to carry out a major investigation into the Penner case, and while being asked about her involvement in the case, it led into a whole other serious conversation about a special file kept for Ministers, who like Penner, seemed to have an insatiable appetite for visas, passports and nationality documents. Senator Aldo Salazar – Chairman Senate Select Committee: “Comments by Mrs. Maria Marin that VISA recommended Minister Penner request initialled by her and dated and approved her initial in the same thing occurs in Pen Lin and Lee Joan Liu, this suggestion which I am seeing here is that there was an approval because the minister, am not saying that is the case I am saying looking at this it could be interpreted that that suggestion is being made, so I want to ask you whether the recommendation of Minister Penner in these instances, whether that weights on your decision to approve the VISA?” Maria Marin - Former Immigration Director: “Whether the requirements were met or whether the processes were followed and whether the supporting documents were provided.”

Guatemala Continue To Invade Belizean Waters
The Belize Territorial Volunteers led by Wil Maheia and their monitoring of the southern waters and the continued encroachment by illegal Guatemalan fisherfolk has not relented into the New Year. Today Maheia visited media houses to alert Belizeans that the trespassing into our territory continues. According to Maheia, just yesterday he visited the Sarstoon area and discovered that about ten Guatemalans were carrying fishing activities north of the Belize Defense Force Forward Operating Base. Now, if you know your Belizean map, you’ll immediately realise that north of the FOB is very much deep into Belize’s territory. Wil Maheia - Belize Territorial Volunteers: “Yesterday when I went to the Sarstoon I saw at last ten to twenty Guatemalans not of the Forward Operating Base which clearly means that there are inside Belize’s territory and they were all conducting illegal activities, they were setting nets where the SI according to Belize it would make it illegal, none of these nets are registered and clearly they were from Guatemala, the sad part about this is that all these fishermen had to pass the Forward Operating Base to get into Belize so clearly the laws are just not being enforced Guatemalans continue to operate as if not only the Sarstoon is annex but also from Barranco down because they were very close o Barranco yesterday.”

LOVE FM

Chester Chastises Media Personalities Over Murder Reports
There is no doubt that there is both concern and fear by Belize City residents in regards to the recent spike in murder concentrated in Southside Belize City. The news media has been keeping track of this recent spike, some reporters more than others. In a press briefing on Tuesday, ACP Williams accused certain reporters […]

Belize Placed on Alert for Possible Presence of MS13 Gang Fugitives
Whether or not the ten Salvadoran fugitives have plans to enter Belize is yet to be determined but police authorities are taking no chances and have issued a warning to the public to be on the lookout for the ten men who broke out of a maximum security jail in El Salvador. Honduran and Guatemalan […]

Teenager Charged for Killing Randolph Johnson
Nineteen year old Elden Flowers, a resident of Croton Lane, has been charged with the murder of 19 year old Randolph Johnson who was shot and killed on Tuesday, January 3. The charge was read to Flowers when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser who told Flowers that no plea will be taken […]

Pate Charged in Fatal RTA
Forty one year old Tedford Pate of San Ignacio Town has been arrested and charged for the death of forty eight year old David Alfaro. Pate was charged for manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct and drove motor vehicle without due care and attention. Pate knocked down and killed Alfaro on Tuesday, December […]

Sugar Production Sees Slight Decline from 2016
The 2016/2017 sugar cane crop season entered its fifth week on January 2. Last week, the factory at Tower Hill milled 32, 659 tons of cane, producing 3,197 tons of sugar. The factory is milling more than four thousand tons of cane per day. Last week’s tons cane per ton sugar ratio was recording at […]

Southwest Airlines Expands Presence in Belize
In August 2016, we told you of the announcement by Southwest Airlines to have seasonal direct flights from Denver, Colorado, USA to Belize starting March 11, 2017. We are still some weeks away from seeing that inaugural flight from Denver and it seems that 2017 will be a boom for Belize’s tourism industry as come […]

Bandits Sports Zooms in on Basketball
24-year-old, Richard Smith is from Cleveland, Ohio, USA and was brought into Belize yesterday by the Belmopan Bandits. Smith won’t be playing football however, instead he will be on the basketball courts in Belmopan. Coach Bernie Tarr met Smith at the airport yesterday and Love News got the chance to meet up with them in […]

PlusTV

Dillon Grinage; final murder victim for 2016
Just before 2016 came to an end there was a murder in the Ladyville area; the final one for 2016. The victim has been identified as 26 year old Dillon Grinage, a Belizean Laborer of Sandhill. ACP Edward Broaster has the details: Edward Broaster, Assistant Commissioner of Police; On Saturday the 31...

Major Crimes down in Belmopan area
Through the Meet and Greet initiative, the Police Department has developed a closer relationship with their various communities. Inspector Santiago Patt of the Belmopan Police Department said that with the help of the community, the police was able to solve two murders and several robberies. Accordi...

New Attorney General sworn in
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte was this morning sworn-in as Attorney General before the Governor General of Belize, H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan. Hon. Peyrefitte takes on his new role after serving in the capacity of Speaker of the House of Representatives since his election in ...

Rebecca Rath Departs Belize to Miss Universe Pageant 2017
Dangriga born and bred, Rebecca Rath has spent the last few months preparing for her journey to represent Belize in the upcoming Miss Universe Pageant in Manila, Philippines. Rath left Belize today, January 3rd on her way to Dallas for final wardrobe preparation from where she makes her way too L...


Re: Today's Belize News: January 6, 2017 [Re: Marty] #520708
01/06/17 12:55 AM
01/06/17 12:55 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,260
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

The Guardian

5 Murders in 4 days - How will police address the crime situation
The New Year started with a bang, several bangs, too many bangs at that and with each bang a life was ended. The violence in Belize City has escalated to unacceptable levels and culminated with the loss of five lives in just the first three days. Colin Sutherland, 22, was killed on New Years Day, Robert Gillett, 28, and Kenneth Dobson, 32, were killed on Monday, January 2, Randolph Johnson, 19, and Bert Abraham, 47, were killed on Tuesday, January 3. Most of these deaths are the result of gangland violence and internal gang warfare. Public outcry and the call for Police action was immediate and not without reason. There was a sense of impending danger for the general public as these gang outbursts can easily lead to loss of innocent lives. Now all life is important and precious, but when these gang members have engaged in MAD (mutually agreed destructive) behavior then they have forfeited their right to live as law abiding citizens do.

Simone Biles visit was “Rewarding”!
Simone Bile’s love for Belize has been well documented by major news networks from the United States such as ABC News, CNN, NBC Sports, New York Times, Olympic Talk Blog, Time Magazine, USA Today and Yahoo Sports among others. She holds dual citizenship for the United States and Belize and refers to Belize as her second home and favourite place to go on vacation. 2016 was a breakout year for the nineteen-year-old 4-foot 9-inch gymnast as she won four gold and one bronze medal at the Olympic games in Rio. Biles and Hillary Clinton were the top two trending women on twitter in 2016. She and Lebron James were named Athletes of the Year by the Associated Press. She was named Woman of the Year by several other institutions, including ESPN. It was a busy year for the Olympic giant and she deserved some time to relax over the Christmas holidays. There was only one place she thought of and she made it known to ABC News from August when she told Good Morning America, “We [US “Fierce Five”] all want to go to Belize.”

Belizeans Shine Bright in College Bowl Games – Kentucky’s Stephen Johnson
Two of the top performers in this year’s Division I College Football Bowl games are children of Belizean parents. Stephen Johnson of the University of Kentucky and Deontay Burnett of the USC Trojans delivered memorable performances. Johnson is the son of Paula Warren-Johnson, daughter of Paul Warren, Belize’s first Honorary Counsul to California, and Pearl Stuart, Belize’s first Counsel General in Los Angeles and current Secretary General of the UDP and Chair of the National Committee for Families and Children. The University of Kentucky is known for basketball. In the state they have been an after thought in football for many years since Kentucky is home to powerhouse Louisville. According to “SEC Country”, Johnson has gone from “losing his starting gig at Grambling State to starting under center for the College of the Desert Roadrunners then transferring to Kentucky to be the backup behind entrenched starter Drew Barker and then filling in for an injured Barker and leading Kentucky to a 7-win season.”

25 officers recognized
Twenty five police officers from the Belize District Rural Police Division were recognized with awards at a brief ceremony held on Wednesday morning at the Princess Ramada. The awards are the product of an initiative by the Belize Police Rural Division Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster. Broaster along with two members of the business community got together and devised a way to reward those police officers who displayed exemplary work ethics during the year. “We must not only discipline our officers when they do wrong, we must also commend them when they do right,” explained Mr. Broaster. The businessmen agreed to contribute monetarily to the program and it is thus that apart from a certificate of recognition, the awardees received $500.00 Belize Dollars. This is indeed a novel and bold initiative and speaks to the level of leadership on the part of Mr. Broaster.

Michael Peyrefitte is the New Attorney General
on. Michael Peyrefitte has been sworn in as Attorney General for Belize. At a short ceremony at the Belize House in Belmopan, Hon. Peyrefitte took the oath officially installing him to the post. Peyrefitte takes up the position after serving as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2012. Peyrefitte will be taking the office after former Attorney General, Hon. Vanessa Retreage demitted office in December of last year after serving a one year term. With Peyrefitte’s move, Laura Longsworth has been nominated to replace Hon. Peyrefitte as Speaker of the House. The new Attorney General was accompanied by family, friends, Ministers of Government, the Cabinet Secretary and His Worship the Mayor of Belize City.

Process to elect for 13th senator commences
The names of 6 persons who have been nominated and accepted the nomination to be the 13th senator was issued this week. Those nominated include Pablo Collado representing an NGO named Adopt a child with disability; Janelle Chanona representing Oceana, Belize; Edilberto Romero representing BACONGO; Osmany Salas representing the BTIA; Donovan Reneau representing the BCVI; and Valdemar Andrade representing TASA. The nominations will now proceed to go to the steering committee which will vet the candidates according to the criteria established by the NGOs in good standing on Nov 9th 2016. As a result of the nominations, Janelle Chanona and Osmany Salas have resigned from their posts on the 13th Senator Steering committee.

Boxing Day Party held in Benque
A Boxing Day Party went well in Benque. Samuel Bruce Captain of the Zone 4 Neighborhood Watch Program along with the Town’s children celebrated their 9th Consecutive year of observing a Christmas Season event for the neighborhood families and children. This year, Zone 4 personnel went around the neighborhood inviting everyone to the party, which was held on Tuesday 27th, between the hours of 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm at the Sam’s Community Park. This spacious park features a secure stone building, football courts, volleyball court, playground area, BMX trails, and full bathroom & kitchen facilities. With over 400 participants they enjoyed various games, competitions, and raffle events ending with a Santa Claus Pińata filled with 40 pounds of candies. Sam Bruce says that it was truly a joyous occasion for everyone. He thanks everyone that volunteered to help this year, and all the faithful sponsors that made the event possible.

Conviction for Rosewood found in Benque
On Wednesday December 7th, 2016, the Forest Department confiscated a total of 31,000 board feet of rosewood in flitch and lumber form in the Benque Viejo area. The Department proceeded to charge Miguel Angel Estala on January 4th, 2017 at the San Ignacio Magistrate Court with “unlawful possession of forest produce” in accordance with Section 19 of the Forest Act CAP 213. Estala pleaded guilty and was charged the maximum fine of $1,000.00, the rosewood material was forfeited to the Government of Belize. The Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development recognizes that perpetrators face a relatively minor penalty for forest crimes. Therefore, it has embarked on an exercise to revise penalties and fines for forest crimes, and will seek to introduce the necessary amendments to the Forest Act at the next sitting of the House of Representatives.

Assisting the Sugar Sector in Belize
More than 70 years ago, a group of visionaries recognized the need to create an agency specializing in agriculture for the American continent, with a purpose that still remains valid today: to promote agricultural development and rural well-being in this region. Thus; the Inter American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture IICA was born and today this organization continues to assist Belize in charting a course for agricultural sustainability. IICA has recently completed a reporting session with its stakeholders in an attempt to show that it is also playing a pivotal role in the sugar sector in the North of Belize. IICA Representative in Belize Dr. Dowlat Budhram advises that sugar production is an important ‘cash cow’ along with bananas, citrus and aquaculture. “I have learned over the years that you protect your cash cows, you make sure that they function well to generate the resources, they function well to generate the foreign exchange resources for the economy.”

Year in Review 2016
2016 began with a series of road mishaps and most memorably with the passing of well known businesswoman Pamela Bennett—Cumberbatch in one of those accidents. While driving on the Northern Highway with her husband, she collided head on with a vehicle being driven at the time by Alfredo Navarrete. Both drivers died on impact, while the husband of Ms. Bennett was rushed to the KHMH hospital. There was another accident which happened 3 hours before that deadly collision in the very same area. In that accident a blue Ford Escort, which was being driven by 27 year-old Marvin Ramirez, crashed into a purple Chevy Equinox, which was being driven by 30 year-old Andre Gordon.

First life taken in 2017
The New Year’s Holiday murders continued with the shooting death of 22 year-old Colin Sutherland, a resident of the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City. Sutherland’s killing happened at around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 1, on New Year’s Day, when readers were most likely celebrating. All indications are that he was walking on Youth for the Future Drive, in the near vicinity of the UNO Gas Station, which is located at its intersection with Vernon Street. Sutherland and 2 other companions walked past a parked car. That’s when one armed assailant immediately jumped out of the vehicle, and started firing shots at him. Police say that the gunman pursued him and shot him several times in the chest, the abdomen, and the back. That gunman escaped along with his accomplices, and police arrived shortly thereafter to try to rush him to the KHMH for emergency medical treatment.

Murder number 6 claims the life of easy going Bert Abraham
By all accounts 47 year old Bert Abraham was an easy going individual, with a very jovial and happy go lucky personality. That however was no deterrent to a killer who sought him out on Tuesday January 3rd at around 7:30p.m. ending his life with bullets. Family members report that Abraham was at home and had just sold some weed to someone and was in the process of hiding what was left over when a gunman approached him and shot him dead at the gate of his home on Holy Emmanuel Street in the St. Martin’s de Porres Area. A motive is yet to be established for the killing of Abraham but police are working feverishly in the area to calm gang rivalry tensions which have erupted once again over the past few days.

Murder number 6 claims the life of easy going Bert Abraham
By all accounts 47 year old Bert Abraham was an easy going individual, with a very jovial and happy go lucky personality. That however was no deterrent to a killer who sought him out on Tuesday January 3rd at around 7:30p.m. ending his life with bullets. Family members report that Abraham was at home and had just sold some weed to someone and was in the process of hiding what was left over when a gunman approached him and shot him dead at the gate of his home on Holy Emmanuel Street in the St. Martin’s de Porres Area. A motive is yet to be established for the killing of Abraham but police are working feverishly in the area to calm gang rivalry tensions which have erupted once again over the past few days.

3 years for pushing ex-girlfriend into the sea
Former Belize Defense Force soldier, Rennick Baizer, 32, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment after he was convicted of pushing his ex-common-law-wife into the sea on Newton Barracks. The fall caused the woman to sustain injuries to her body which a doctor classified as wounding. In a report to police, Shawna Gillett, 28, said that she was sitting by the sea side with some friends in front of Elements Night Club on Sunday, January 24, 2016 when Rennick Baizer approached her and the two got into an argument. The quarrel escalated and Baizer pushed her over the sea wall and she fell into the water. She suffered from abrasions to her left hand and other parts of the body. Gillett reported the matter to police and Baizer was arrested and charged.

Cop cleared of charges for shooting Nigel Castillo
Police Constable Wallace Meighan, 19, is free of charges relating to the shooting of Nigel Castillo, 29, which took place on Thursday, July 14, and Travaun Chee, 21, saw a charge of attempted murder downgraded to use of deadly means of harm, aggravated assault with a firearm and wounding upon Castillo. PC Meighan and Travaun Chee were charged on Monday, July 18, with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm with a firearm upon Nigel Castillo. Castillo reported to police that he was at the basketball court located behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building at around 9 p.m. on the Thursday when he was targeted by gunmen. Castillo was shot once to the lower abdomen. When police responded to the scene of the shooting, they found Castillo bleeding from his injury and immediately rushed him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. Police investigations later led to the recovery of a pair of firearms and the arrest of PC Meighan and Chee. The shooting is believed to have been triggered by an altercation that took place on the basketball court earlier that night. They were additionally charged for one count of aggravated assault with a firearm upon Gilbert Arana who they allegedly intimidated with a firearm.

Fully formed fetus found in Benque
A fully formed fetus was found in Benque Viejo del Carmen. On Saturday December 31, 2016 at about 4:15 pm, Benque Viejo Police visited an area along the banks of the Mopan River on Riverside Street, Benque Viejo Town, where upon arrival they found a large transparent coffee glass bottle with a fetus inside. The bottle had on a brown cover upon opening the container a black plastic bag was found inside. Further inspections by Police found that inside the bag there was a fully formed fetus believed to be male and apparently dead. No one was seen in the immediate area where the fetus was found. The fetus was retrieved and transported to the San Ignacio Town Community Hospital where the doctor pronounced it dead. It awaits a post mortem examination.

Fudgie killed as he played dominoes
The family of 33 year-old Kenneth Dobson, aka “Fudgie”, was the 4th family to lose a loved one on what should have been an enjoyable end to the New Year’s holiday weekend. He was murdered by gunmen who went looking for him at his favorite hang-out spot. The incident happened on Monday, January 2, 2017, at around 7:30 p.m., near to Dobson’s home on Raccoon Street Extension. He was in the company of friends playing dominoes as he always does in the evenings under a house on stilts. Most likely, he had his guard down, and that’s what the shooter exploited when he simply walked in through one of the gate entrances. Residents say that he immediately approached Dobson and open fire on him. Dobson reportedly tried to fight his attacker off, and he also tried to run, but he collapsed a short distance away from where he met the gunman. Reports say that the shooter had associates who came over to finish Dobson off, after which, they fled the scene.

Second day into the new year and Robert Gillett killed
Robert Gillett, a 28 year-old who was recently released from prison, was shot and killed on Monday, January 2, the final day of the long Holiday weekend. He was the third victim of gun violence, and at this time, police are not exactly sure why he was slain. Gillett was expected to show up to his family in Ladyville for a small New Year’s get-together. They anticipated that he would arrive sometime during the day, but sometime around 12 p.m., he was walking on North Front Street, in front of the Belize Farm Center. He never made it to that family gathering because he was ambushed by gunmen who attacked him in a drive-by shooting. According to his family, he was injured about 11 times to various parts of his body, and collapsed right on the street corner, where he bled out and died.

Dillon Grinage executed before the New Year
There was a spike in violent crimes over the 3-day New Year’s Weekend, which has resulted in the murder of 4 men. The victims are 28 year-old Dillon Grinage, 22 year-old Colin Sutherland, 28 year-old Robert Gillett, and 32 year-old Kenneth “Fudgie” Dobson. Dillon Grinage, a resident of Sand Hill Village became the last victim of 2016 when he was gunned down and killed on New Year’s Eve, December 31. Police have since arrested and charged one man in connection with his murder. It happened at a food shop in Sand Hill at the intersection between the Old Northern Highway, and the Phillip Goldson Highway. Grinage was in the company of a friend when a lone gunman snuck up from behind, shot him several times, and ran off in an attempt to escape. Police were immediately contacted, and they arrived on the scene where they found Grinage clinging to life. The officer tried to rush him to the KHMH in time to get medical treatment, however, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

San Pedro retiree robbed by his friend
Gary Hamilton, 65, a retiree of Sea Grape Drive, San Pedro Town reported to police that at about 12:50 a.m. on Wednesday, December 28, he left River Bar to walk with Omar Delgado towards the Boca Del Rio Park. Upon reaching in front of a construction site by the park, he stopped and sat on the bar of his bicycle. According to Hamilton, Delgado then left and headed towards the beach front, which was dark, and returned about five minutes later with another man. The man immediately walked up to Hamilton and grabbed him by his neck. While the man held him by the neck, Delgado went into his pants pocket and took out his cellphone valued at $600 and his sunshades from off his head valued at $30. Delgado then demanded that he hand over his money but Hamilton said he had spent all at the bar. This was when Delgado punched him in the face and told him not to make a police report or they will come back and mess him up.

Randolph Johnson executed while fishing with friends
Police on the Southside of Belize City had to contend with the 5th murder of the year when they were called out to Mile 2 and a 1/2 on the George Price Highway on Tuesday January 3rd. There they found the body of 19 year old Randolph Johnson who had been shot in the area. Police also found a couple of bicycles very near to where Johnson’s body was. The 19 year old was in the area at around 2:00 pm, fishing with friends. While he recreated, a gunman made his way to the bushy area and fired several shots at Johnson. He was hit in the chest, right leg and left palm. While his friends managed to rush him to the KHMH for treatment he did not survive.

Eleck Leander McKoy charged for escape from police station
Eleck Leander McKoy, 26, is back in police custody after police allege he managed to escape custody on December 4, 2016 from the Queen Street Police Station. According to police, the seasoned criminal was being held for burglary when he escaped from the station. He was apprehended and charged additionally for escape but McKoy disputes the allegations. McKoy appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Thursday, December 29, and was read a single charge of escaping from lawful custody. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. In court he said, “The whole place is barricade up and there is camera everywhere.” He continued, “I neva escape. The cameras nuh tell lies, sir.”

Leroy Meighan charged for shooting teenaged girl
Leroy Lawrence Meighan, 21, of #13 Pelican Street in Belize City is at the Belize Central Prison on remand for charges relating to the shooting of a 14-year-old girl. On Tuesday, January 3, Meighan was arraigned on criminal charges of use of deadly means of harm and wounding for shooting the girl once to the left thigh on November 13, 2016. According to police reports, the girl was standing with a male friend at the corner of Curassow and North Creek Street when Meighan opened fire in their direction, hitting her in the left thigh. She was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she was treated and released. Police believe the intended target that night was the young man she was talking to who they know only as “Stagger”.

Two motorcyclist killed in Cayo
Two motorcyclists were killed as a result of colliding into each other. On Saturday December 31, about 6:30pm, upon information received of a traffic accident between Teakettle and Ontario Villages, Roaring Creek Police visited the area between mile 53 and 54 where they observed two motorcycles in the middle of the highway with extensive damages. They also observed two male persons lying face down on opposite sides of the highway just a few feet from the motorcycles. One of the male persons was lying motionless on the right hand side of the road from the direction of Teakettle toward Ontario Village and appeared to be of Hispanic descent and the other male person was of Creole descent. First responders were able to report that the two men had head injuries and broken legs. Initial investigations reveal that the Hispanic male person was travelling from Belmopan to San Ignacio on a motorcycle while the Creole male person was travelling from San Ignacio to Belmopan when the collision occurred.

Security guard turns thief
A Security Guard from Priority Security Company is serving his first nights of a five year sentence for burglary after he pleaded guilty to entering a home he was responsible to protect and stealing items belonging to the home owner and her guests. Jorge Montero, 48, of Lords Bank Village was unrepresented when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Friday, December 30, to answer to a single charge of burglary. Allegations are that on December 26 he entered the house of Stephanie Lupp, 69, at #7 Princess Margaret Drive and stole, a pink digital camera valued at $1,040, a Kindle tablet valued at $420 and a white charger valued at $72. Lupp told police that she had guests visiting Belize from December 23 to December 26 for the holidays and one of her guests complained about their items being missing. Lupp told police she had hired a Priority Security Guard to stand guard on their property and when she reviewed the surveillance camera it showed the security guard entering her home. She said that she did not give him permission to enter.

San Pedro resident, charged with drug trafficking
55-year-old Moises Roberto Soriano of Pescador Drive area, San Pedro Town is out on bail after he was charged with one count of drug trafficking for 3.8 grams of cocaine. Allegations are that on Thursday, December 29, he was caught in possession of 3.8 grams of cocaine whilst in front of Karamba Restaurant on the island. According to police on the island, they saw him riding a bicycle contrary to the flow of traffic on Pescador Drive so he was stopped. The officer then noticed that Soriano had his hand gripped tightly and was acting suspiciously. This caused them to execute a search. Soriano refused to open his hand so the officer forced it open and he had a transparent plastic bag inside with what appeared to be cocaine. Soriano was escorted to the San Pedro Police Station where the suspected cocaine was weighed in his presence and amounted to 3.8 grams. Since the amount was more than 1 gram Soriano was charged with drug trafficking.

Ron Vasquez captures 27th Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic
The Belize Cycling Federation in partnership with KREM Radio held its 27th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic on Sunday 1st January, 2017. The Elite, Masters and U-23 riders started the 96 miles journey from the Belize/Mexico Border with the finish line at the junction of Mahogany Street and Central American Boulevard in Belize City. Some 54 riders started out on the historic journey with 32 riders completing the journey. At the end of some 4:06:09, it was Ron Vasquez of Team SMART that captured first place. The second rider to cross the finish line in a time of 4:10:50 was Brandon Cattouse also of Team SMART. Giovanni Lovell of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team finished third in a time of 4:10:50 and he was followed by Jose Choto of Imani’s Team in a time of 4:11:41 and he was followed by Oscar Quiros Jr. of Team SMART in a time of 4:11:41 to round off the top five finishers in the Elite category.

Rhondre Lewis captures Belize Athletics Association 10K run
The Belize Athletics Association sponsored its annual 5K and 10K Run on Sunday 1st January, 2017. The event utilized the Central American Blvd Circuit at and commenced at 6:00 am. In the main event which was the 10K run, 1st place went to Rhondre Lewis is a time of 39:41:31. The second athlete to cross the finish line was Marvin Hope in a time of 41:39:84, with third place going to Eaton Panton in a time of 43:45:84 and fourth place going to Anthony Flores in a time of 52:11:02. In the female 5K Run, first place went to Verenise Rodriguez in a time of 31:55:11.

Belize to compete in the Central American Football Union Copa Centroamericana Tournament
The Central American Football Union (UNCAF) has made its selection for the group stage for the upcoming 2017 Copa Centroamericana Tournament. Belize, being a part of the seven (7) UNCAF Nations, has been placed in Group A, which includes Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua. The Tournament will be held from 13 – 22 January, 2017 and will be hosted by the Republic of Panama. The top four teams will qualify for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while the fifth-place team will advance to a play-off against the fifth-place team from the 2017 Caribbean Cup for the final Gold Cup berth. All matches will be played at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City.

Belmopan Bandits national football champions of Belize
The Premier League of Belize 2016 Opening Season competition came to an end on Satrurday 31st December, 2016, out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the City of Belmopan, where the 2nd and final game in the home and away championship series was played. The home team the Belmopan Bandits went into the second game a game down to the Belize Defence Force. On Saturday 24th December, 2016, at the MCC Grounds, the Belize Defence Force blanked the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 1-0 to take an early lead into the final game. All that the Belize Defence Force need was a draw against the Belmopan Bandits to lay claims to this year’s opening season championship but it was not to be so. The outcome of the second game and the championship was determined in the first 34 minutes of play.

“The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Voted Against The ICJ Resolutions”
This week I was hoping to offer you a special treat, recall that I am still actively looking for a letter purportedly written by National Hero Goldson in which he recommended going to the ICJ to settle the dispute. I can report that there is a lady who says that P.S.W. Goldson told her that the ICJ would be the very best place to defeat the unfounded Guatemalan Claim! I am therefore very happy to be getting closer to the prize! On the other side of the coin, as I listened to some talk radio and read some newspapers, I realized that there is great danger out there. The uninformed are out in full force, saturating the newspaper pages and the airwaves with dangerous opinions and suggestions. They bestow ‘expertise’ unto themselves and then say and write things that are absolutely wrong. They are disingenuous. We all need to know a lot more. We all need to catch up on the details of the unfounded Guatemalan claim. We gained Independence in 1981 – we are newcomers to the table. Some in the Media and some ‘representing’ the People are wickedly playing partisan games.

WORDS OF LIFE
In Psalm 71:19-21, the writer declares, “Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? Though you made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will remember my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.” As we begin the year 2017, it’s a good time to reflect on the past 12 months, and consider what our Heavenly Father has brought us through. Our enemy Satan will always be busy trying to pull us down. In John 10:10, Jesus is referring to the devil when he says, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.” The more we do for Jesus, the more he attacks. He will attack us at our weakest point, and at our most venerable time.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Canada has not lifted visa requirements for Belizeans
An article posted on CBN-TV.com entitled “Canada Opens Its Borders to Belizean Visitors” is reporting that Canada has lifted the visa requirements for Belizeans. The article is untrue and false and CBN-TV is reportedly a fake news site. This afternoon, the Ministry of Foreign […]

Southwest Airlines introduces direct flights from Fort Lauderdale to Belize
Southwest Airlines has announced daily, year round, Fort Lauderdale to Belize flights starting on June 4, 2017. According to reports, these flights will connect in Fort Lauderdale to and from cities in the eastern half of the United States such as Baltimore, New York, […]

NGO to elect senator next Tuesday
The administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow will finally see the appointment of a 13th senator which had been promised in the 2008 UDP manifesto. However, that 13th senator will not be selected by PM Barrow but instead by the NGO community. Today we […]

Celsa Cobo is Tropic Air’s employee of the month
Tropic Air has issued a press release announcing that Celsa Cobo is their employee of the month. “Everyday, our Employees demonstrate a passion for serving our Customers with world-class service. This is why we feel it’s very important to engage and recognize our Employees […]

Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath departs for Philippines
On Tuesday, January 3, Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath departed for the final countdown to Miss Universe 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant will be held on January 30. Rath’s infectious personality, vibrant smile and captivating intelligence and talents […]

International Sourcesizz

Southwest flying to Belize from Fort Lauderdale
Southwest Airlines has announced daily, year round, Ft. Lauderdale to Belize flights. Flights will connect in FLL to/from cities in the eastern half of the United States such as Baltimore, New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa and DC. Service commences June 4, 2017 and its now bookable at southwest.com with fares as low as $79 each way. Due to increased demand, they have also added extra Denver to Belize #nonstop frequencies for the summer of 2017 Congratulations to our friends at Southwest. They will now serve Belize from Houston, Denver (starts March 11) and Ft. Lauderdale.

NY Times 52 Places to Go in 2017
There are thousands of getaways to explore this year. Here are some ideas to get you started. 42. Placencia, Belize: Ecotourism expands in southern Belize. A traffic arm still swings down to close the main road into Placencia in southern Belize whenever a small plane lands on its narrow peninsula. More of those planes may be stalling golf carts, a popular form of transportation here, with the recent opening of Naďa Resort and Spa, offering 35 beach houses, a yoga studio and a juice bar. The boutique Itz’ana Resort & Residences will follow in March with a locavore restaurant, five-room spa and rum bar. The laid-back beach town offers access to the Belize Barrier Reef, prime waters for seasonally diving with whale sharks, which were recently deemed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Guatemala and Belize move towards popular consultation on territorial litigation
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raúl Morales announced today that the Lower House of Belize has approved the reforms to the Referendum Law and decided to eliminate the electoral register, which leaves the majority with a simple majority Popular about the centenary territorial litigation with Guatemala. "I received last Thursday the news that the Lower House of Belize had already approved the reform of the Referendum Law, which eliminated the voter registration and left it with a simple majority, which added to the approval of the Congress of Guatemala Of the Protocol to the Special Agreement, paves the way for that longed-for popular consultation, "the Guatemalan Foreign Minister said at a news conference. The official said that this is a topic of 160 years, but it was decided in an institutional manner in 2008 to conduct the consultation so that the inhabitants of each country decide whether the case of territorial litigation is brought to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). "Both countries will act on equal terms and conditions," said the head of Guatemalan diplomacy.

Luxurious Belize getaways
Francis Ford Coppola’s new island retreat is among a swath of hotel openings encouraging visitors to explore an alternative side of the Caribbean. What music would you like?” asks my private attendant, Sucely. When you rent a tiny island eight miles out in the Caribbean Sea, there is a temptation to play something very loud indeed. But I demur: “I’m happy with the sound of the wind and the waves.” Relaxing on Coral Caye, a precarious speck of sand lost in the turquoise waters of the Belize Barrier Reef, one feels too humbled by nature to risk upsetting the elements with some high-volume heavy rock. I sense the ocean gnawing relentlessly at the mangrove-stitched shore, and watch the casuarina trees bowing to the unforgiving winds. Beneath me, the ground rises no more than a couple of feet above sea level, and when it’s time for a stroll it takes a mere three minutes to walk the length of my castaway paradise. Fortunately, there’s also a large, welcoming and tastefully decorated Great House, with a sand floor and pink conch shells on the walls — which is just what you’d expect from Francis Ford Coppola, the film-maker, passionate winemaker and maverick hotelier. Opened in October, Coral Caye is the latest example of Ford Coppola’s commendable and long-running interest in creating characterful getaways that offer, in his words, “barefoot elegance with a luxurious wink”.

A cacao tour of southern Belize — from bean to bar
Eladio Pop greets me for a tour of his 30-acre acre farm with a football-size cacao pod strapped to his back and a braided reed across his forehead. "Welcome to my paradise," he says, as we head into his Belizean rain forest brimming with cacao trees, pineapple shrubs, banana and mango trees, coconuts palms and a host of medicinal plants. "This is where chocolate begins," Pop says, plucking a ripe, yellow cacao pod from a tree before splitting it open with his machete. Inside, the thick white pulp cushions a kaleidoscope of purple beans covered in sticky gel. I pop one in my mouth, taste the sweet tropical nectar and then bite into a raw bean. Before it's dried, fermented, roasted and mashed, cacao is just a mild-tasting legume. We continue along the winding path, smelling and tasting other fruits and aromatic leaves. It's all part of Pop's Agouti Cacao Farm Tour (www.agouticacaofarm.wordpress.com) in this tiny Mayan village of San Pedro Columbia in southern Belize. Cacao has been prized in Mayan culture for centuries. The word is said to originate from the Mayan word ka'kau. Long revered as a drink consumed by the elite, the beans were once used as a form of currency.

“Belize Doubles Down on Tourism” by COHA Research Associate Alejandra Castillo
Tourism continues to be one of the most important sectors of Belize’s economy. Since 2007, the industry contributed over 25% of all jobs and made up over 15% of the country’s total GDP. A report by the Belize Tourism Board reveals that during the first quarter of 2016 tourist arrivals registered an all-time high, with a 16.9 percent increase in overnight tourist arrivals compared to 2015’s first quarter. These numbers are encouraging, indicates the Caribbean Journal, that claim Belize is having its “best year ever” in spite of the disquiet generated by the murder of ABC7 web news producer Anne Swaney on January 15. In a response to this homicide, ABC7, along with a couple other North American news sources, published articles casting doubt on the reliability of the Belize police, citing State Department studies that reveal alarming figures that indicate convictions in only three percent of all cases are solved.

Five Of The Best Overwater Bungalow Resorts In The World
Trying to figure out what could be the best vacation? Perhaps you see a deserted tropical island or even a snowy peak, but what about an overwater bungalow? Elevated over the ocean, these orthodox hotels are most often found in the Maldives and the South Pacific, but these overwater bungalows can also be found in some parts of Europe and Asia. According to Fodors, the best overwater bungalows usually comes with a private pool, elegant glass paneled floors where you can see the beauty of the ocean underneath from corals to colorful fishes and a ladder that will lead you down to the water wherein you can snorkel or just relax. With all these amenities and stunning beauty around, for sure you won't be leaving your far from your hotel anytime soon. Here are some of the best bungalow resorts around the world. Cayo Espanto, Belize is a four-acre private resort has seven villas around it. Cayo Espanto villa is an overwater villa which is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Guest of the villas can take a sun lounge at the end of their docks where they can relax all day long or have a private dinner served in there.

Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism successfully implements sanitary controls project
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in partnership with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has successfully completed the project “Capacity Building of regulatory and industry stakeholders in Aquaculture and Fisheries Health and Food Safety to meet the SPS requirements of international trade”. The project, which started in September 2016, was funded under the EU’s 10th EDF Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Project and delivered with the help of a team of consultants from Megapesca in Portugal. The aim was to continue to help CARIFORUM countries to improve the safety of fish and fishery products for consumers in national and export markets, and several activities The project prepared six new manuals to help fish inspectors apply the best international practices to the inspection of fishing vessels, processing establishments and aquaculture facilities. The subjects covered include HACCP, traceability, and for the first time, a compendium of food safety hazards encountered in Caribbean fishery products.

Videos

  • Dr. Consuelo Luisa Waight on Open Your Eyes, 31min. An interview on one of my Fulbright Projects in Belize: Developing E-learning Capacity in Belize

  • Belize December 2016, 4.5min. This is our Backgroads trip to Belize and Guatemala, December 24, 2016 to January 2, 2017.

  • Belize, 7.5min. mcclellands visit belize for xmas 2016.

  • Diving The Canyons - San Pedro, Belize, 3.5min. This is from our various canyon dives in San Pedro, Belize with Belize Pro Dive Center in October of 2016. It was a great time and I highly recommend using them as your dive shop in San Pedro. Demas was our Dive Master and Tony was our Captain. Lion fish, nurse sharks, a moray eel, and great views.

  • Flight with Tropic Air from Cancun via Belize City to Placencia, 3min.

  • Belize Dive Haven, 1.5min.

  • Belize dezembro 2016 - Giant cave, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2017 Recap, 3min.

  • Please Belize 2016, 4.5min.

  • Worldly Treats with No Meats - Belize - Rice and Beans, 4min.

  • Like Bush Fire - Reflections on the Crime Situation, 40min.

  • Resolution Week - Goal Setting for Lie Results, 28min.

  • Resolution Week - To Insure or not Insure, 30min.

  • Belize Scuba Diving - Blue Hole and Half-moon Caye (3 dives), 9min. Belize Diving 2017, Bluehole footage at end. Half-moon Caye was the most beautiful reef I have seen

  • Corry McDermott with Host Macarena Rose in Belize, 3.5min. Listen in to Corry share his story and wisdom about Belize and life in general. Host Macarena Rose, of Belize Talk Radio is partial to this Man as they share Irish ancestry and a passion for the people of Belize and for Real Estate

  • Day 5 Belize, 8min. Welcome to NCLs Private island at Harvest Caye/Key Beach Belize... Enjoy the beach once again with us and paddle boarding.

  • Snorkeling Belize 2015, 6min. The sharks are nurse sharks, they are cute very nice and friendly. We used to live in Mexico at the time. We took a plane from Mexico City to Chetumal and we went to Caye Caulker Island with a taxi boat. We snorkeled then did some scuba diving and our younger daughter passed her Junior Padi certification. The flow of time was suspended and we enjoyed it a lot. Very special moment at the end of the video with a Manatee.

  • Belize City - Walking To The Ferry Terminal (1/2), 12min. I arrived in Belize City and walked to the ferry terminal to see where it was and to buy a ticket.

  • Wildtracks, Belize - Round 3, 6.5min. Summer 2016 at WIldtracks, a primate and manatee rehabilitation center in Belize.

  • Belize Band fest 2016 (uprising marching band), 9min.

  • , 5min. They raised the price of fuel in Mexico and this happened. Latest news is that Chetumal is also under siege (well, at least the mall area).


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