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#523140 - 04/22/17 06:58 AM Today's Belize News: April 22, 2017  
Joined: Oct 1999
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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

DFC Eco Rangers are on a mission: Keep San Pedro garbage-free!
Kay stated that the kids are excited to receive their t-shirts, and are developing fun plans for the Rangers. “The Rangers have been effectively raising awareness on how to properly dispose of garbage, and this is a great way to get our youth involved. The kids are excited to get their t-shirts because they have been working hard together, and have united themselves in doing something positive for our community. The Rangers take pride in their actions, and now, whenever they see others throwing garbage, it becomes a reflex for them to advocate about the importance of keeping San Pedro clean. You can tell that the kids are inspired, and we know the Rangers will be expanding,” said Kay. As an adult supervisor of the Rangers, Kay said that the neighborhood residents have all pitched in to pay a yard worker to clean the bushy areas of Leeward Street. However, he stated that the Rangers would like to seek assistance from the San Pedro Town Council to provide their area with blue garbage drums, to enforce the law for residents to keep their yards clean, and to provide occasional cleaning services.

GOB denies wrong deeds in the GST Department
Reports of the alleged manipulation of General Sales Tax (GST) audit results by the senior management of that Governmental Department have been denied by the Ministry of Finance. The accusations surfaced from a leaked letter sent to the Solicitor General of Belize by a concerned senior GST officer. The allegations have raised serious questions regarding the management of the department, and as such, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) have demanded an investigation into the allegations made by the GST officer. The four-page letter dated December 28, 2016 suggests intervention at the highest levels of the department to assess businesses at much higher collection figures than those arrived at by the auditor. However, the auditor in question says he was called into meetings by his superiors and says that he reluctantly did what he was told to do, even though he knew it was wrong. The auditor also added that his higher ups furthermore instructed him not to show the agents the method used to assess, which is structured to yield the highest collection figure. He also stated that while some assessments went un-appealed, others were questioned by senior GST officers.

Leroy Goff officially charged for Delson Paguada’s shooting
On Monday, April 10th 30-year-old Leroy Goff was arraigned at the Belize Magistrate’s Court. Accused of shooting 18-year-old Delson Paguada and pointing his gun at Paguada’s 14 year-old brother in San Pedro Town, Goff was charged with dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm, and aggravated assault with the use of a firearm. He was then remanded to Central Prison. Goff returned to court on Wednesday, April 12th, where he was granted a Supreme Court bail of $7,500. He was then released under conditions that ensure he will return to court on Thursday, June 29th, along with any required dates after that.

Ambergris Today

Two Fake Police Officers Detained Pending Charges In Belize City
Police reports indicate that the department received information of two male persons dressed in what appeared to be police uniforms acting suspiciously in the vicinity of Publics Supermarket on the Phillip Goldson Highway on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at around 4:30 p.m. The two men were wearing a khaki shirt, long blue trousers with a green streak on the sides resembling the official uniforms of police officers. One had on a green belt while the other wore a red one. They were identified as 22-year-old Dorian Blair of a Gibnut Street address Belize City and 39-year-old Barrington Slusher of a Brown Street address Belize City.

Belize Barrier Reef Must Be Safeguarded From Inherent Dangers Of Offshore Oil
In a press release issued yesterday, Thursday, April 21, 2017, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage calls out the Government of Belize as it Fails to Honor Commitment with UNESCO on Offshore Oil Ban. Given the economic importance, biological significance and cultural relevance of the Belize Barrier Reef to Belize and Belizeans through goods and services such as coastal protection, tourism and fishing, all reasonable effort should be implemented to ensure that the sensitive ecosystems that comprise the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves) are safeguarded from the irreparable destruction caused offshore oil. Of note is that UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, in its response to the Government of Belize’s strategy to get our World Heritage Sites off the Sites In Danger list, have also stated that the proposed one kilometer buffer needs “revision in order to secure the protection of the property’s Outstanding and Universal Value.”

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Miss Belize: the Rebecca Response
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, Sher and I respect your right to yours. I reached out to you multiple times and I always expressed how thankful I was to you. After I won Miss Belize, my life quickly spiraled and got busier and you of all people should know that that is how it goes. Being new and "green" to pageantry, I didn't realize it but I continued..I thought we had formed a bond and when I realized that you never reached out to me either I was sad about that too. I always took your advice and never felt like I knew it all. Not once have I ever thought I am better than anyone nor have I let any "fame" go to my head but I don't need a Facebook post for people to see that. I work hard, I am fair and I know what it is I believe in. My experience with Opal was not good and I saw how badly she treated the other girls. She did not do even the basics of what she was supposed to do to get to Miss Universe. If it was not for my family and the Belizean public we would never have made it to Manila...

Miss Belize: former Queen Responds to Opal By Tanisha Vernon
Wolf in Sheep Clothing vs The Controversial Miss Belize Universe 07-08. Approximately 10 years ago I had participated in the Miss Belize Pageant. I remembered the series of events that occurred like it was yesterday. Before I venture into all the mishaps and adversities. Let me briefly introduce myself, I am 29yrs Tanisha Vernon, the last Miss Belize Universe to be crowned at the former Belize Civic Center by Maria Jeffries, who had recently crowned Rebecca Rath. Confusing right? Yes, Opal Enriquez and her team had intentionally omitted my title and reign for her own selfish reasons. Prior to the pageant they had the audacity to ask for my mentorship and sponsorship that I humbly denied for many reasons. At no point their organization members had offered an invitation to me so that I can passed on the crown to Ms Rebbeca Rath.

Miss Belize: the response to Tony Rath
I am not a photographer, not a journalist, nor a lawyer, but I am simply a person who has a heart just as anyone else. Perhaps we will never know all sides. And whilst you the reader will form your own opinion, allow me to assist you in developing your view on the matter, as I merely share my experiences with Rebecca Rath and her family. In the world of pageantry, all is never the way it really seems. I, Sherima Guity can remember convincing Rebecca to enter the Miss Belize pageant, which was clearly not on her bucket list. However, her ‘green’ state to pageantry only challenged my abilities because I trusted my passion for pageantry and was confident that once I had the support of my family, It would have been easier to capture yet another crown for my beloved Stann Creek district. In this light, Rebecca Rath was treated with the very same respect as all other queens I had trained vying for a pageant title. This even meant travelling to all events and personal practices I had with Rebecca at my own expense, as I have always done when dealing with any other contestant. I did all this while simultaneously training another queen for a different national level pageant.

Belize Literary Prize
Don't Forget: The Deadline for submissions to the Belize Literary Prize is April 30th. Flash Fiction and Poetry are this year's genres.

Book Week
Look out for Book Week Activities next week in Punta Gorda and San Ignacio Towns.

Joyjah Estrada Signs with an international modeling agency
"I just love being in front of the cameras! My favourite part is that you become different versions of yourself, different characters, it excites me"! This journey begun in 2012 when I did my first photo shoot with Danny Hun in PG It was as if a shinning light sparked from within me, I knew right then modeling was what I enjoyed doing.. I then worked with a number of different local photographers Delia Padilla being the main one, did a couple runway walks in fashion shows by local designers like Joris H. Groenendaal Rebecca Stirm it was so much fun!. Once I came onto social media I quickly realized I needed more frequent and fresh content, chasing photographers and waiting on jobs was becoming old and that's when we decided to invest in our first camera and Brandunn became my personal photographer overnight!.. Fast forward years later with the support of my amazing supporters dreams started to come true I was shot by super model @kendalljenner met the incredibly talented @kegrand and then landed the cover of @thelovemagazine WOW! I thought to myself! Is this for real? Is this a dream?...

What is tha going up next to Grand Colony???
Zip line? It's a watch tower...they are....Ashcroft... building a FIVE story condo unit....this way people wanting to buy can see what their view would be from which ever floor they wanted

Second Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey
The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey met in Istanbul on 20 April 2017 with the purpose of further strengthening and diversifying the relationship between SICA Member States and Turkey. They reaffirmed the excellent ties of friendship and solidarity that exist between both Parties and reiterated their will to continue strengthening their relationship in the diplomatic, political, economic and cooperation for development, and coincided on the importance of enhancing multilateralism. The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of SICA welcomed the incorporation of Turkey as an Extra Regional Observer State of SICA in 2015.

Letter: Congratulations BNTU on a successful convention
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP), in keeping with its social-oriented moorings, takes this opportunity to congratulate the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) on hosting a successful convention, which saw the smooth transition of leadership. The BPP recognises the significant role embodied by the union movement, in terms of ensuring that good governance practices and principles become the rule, as opposed to remaining the exception. The BNTU has demonstrated on numerous occasions, its resolve for ensuring that in conformity with the rule of law, equal rights and justice prevails. It is due to their staunch actions of remaining at the forefront of worker-related issues, the BNTU has distinguished itself as a trailblazer in Belize’s union movement.

Joyful and Exciting Music
The National Youth Orchestra of Belize presents an evening of joyful and exciting music in Corozal District on April 29th, 2017, at the Corozal Community College Auditorium starting at 6:30pm. Special performance by the CCC Marching Band. See you there! Tickets are available for $5.

BBIA Book Week 2017
Book Week is next week, and on Saturday, April 29th, they are having a Book Week event at the Cayo Welcome Center. "Book Week 2017 is coming up, save the date!"

International Festival of Culture
May 4th-7th, 2017 Central Park, Benque Viejo Del Carmen

Forest fires are already having a major impact in the Vaca Forest Reserve
Farms located nearby the reserve have also been impacted.

Raptors of Mexico and Central America, is Bill Clark's best Raptor book yet!
Happy to see my friends Ryan Phillips, Richard Kuehn, Yeray Seminario, and Sergio Seipke making major photographic and other contributions. My Solitary Eagle photo was artfully transformed by the awesome artist John Schmitt.

Did you know that the U.S. is a major importer of Belizean sugar?
Last week the Embassy Political and Economic Team visited Santander Belize, Ltd. in Valley of Peace village to learn about this fascinating and growing industry. Principal investors Jose and David Rodriguez led the team on a tour of the farms and the facilities. The multimillion dollar investment is a fully integrated operation encompassing sugar cane production, harvesting, milling and bagasse co-generation. The company directly employs approximately 1000 people, roughly 800 of them Belizeans, and uses state of the art harvesting, irrigation, sugar and cogeneration production processes.

Celebrate the Reef "Reef Week Hol Chan 2017"
It's that time of the year again, where we come together and celebrate the reef, through a week filled of fun and exciting activities!!!!

Lionfish Tournament May 12 in San Pedro
Beach party at Estel's

Channel 7

BNTU Election, The Blow By Blow Account
Last night, the late breaking news at 6:30 was that Senator Elena Smith had been elected as the new National President of the Belize National Teachers Union. Our news team was still in San Roman Corozal. So, we only had the broad strokes of the annual convention which elected a new leader after Luke Palacio had reached his 9 year term limit. Tonight, we have a full recap of the union's election day, right up to the moment when Elena Smith was declared the winner. Hundreds of teachers showed up for the second day of their 47th annual convention to vote for their new National President. Their choices: Mario Mesh from the Host Branch of Corozal, Troy Coleman from Stann Creek, and the most well-known candidate of the 3, Senator Elena Smith.

A New Union General Secretary Leads The Way
Of the 686 teachers who voted in the convention 349 of them voted for Elena Smith. Troy Coleman got 197 votes - not 147, as we had reported; and Mario Mesh got 140 votes. Elena Smith still managed to get more votes than both of them combined, and she now takes over from Luke Palacio. But, while Palacio is no longer the head of the union, he still remains on the executive as the first vice president. That's because no other candidate stepped up to challenge him for that post in yesterday's convention. Jorge Mejia was also returned as the national treasurer because, again, nobody challenged him for the post. The other new executive member is Ruth Shoman, who was elected in yesterday's convention. Following her victory, she spoke with the press about her new role, and about the direction for the new leadership:

COLA's Horse Won
So, as you saw in our story, the teachers placed a lot of emphasis on what they strongly believed was political interference designed to manipulate their union. The grassroots organization COLA, which has been a faithful ally of the BNTU, showed some presence in San Roman to observe the elections. President, Giovanni Brackett told us that he is hoping that the results reflected the will of the teachers, not PUDP scheming: Giovanni Brackett, President - COLA: "We didn't want to be up here, because we believe that we could support from afar. But it's very simple, the government has interfered within this election. I have gotten calls about this election over the last few weeks, try to ignore it. The latest reports that I have gotten is that there had actually meetings within the different parliamentarians within the government who have met with teachers and have gone to having a strategic orchestrated move to get their candidate elected here."

Guatemalan Businessman Killed In Toledo, A Hundred Miles From Home
A Guatemalan was killed in the Toledo District last night - and it's the first murder reported countrywide in 6 days. Around 5:00 yesterday, residents of Jalacte saw a man's body on the side of the road. His ID cards showed that he was Guatemalan, 42-year-old Carlos Pop Xol, a businessman from San Fernando Cha'al Alta Verapaz - which is about 100 miles from Jalacte.

Coast Guardsman Makes Criminal Compliant Against Admiral
7News has confirmed that a coast guardsman has made a criminal complaint against his boss, Admiral John Borland, which is now in the hands of the police. He is accusing the Admiral of verbal abuse and more seriously, of threatening words. Though we are aware of the specifics of the case, we are unable to share them with you because the Admiral hasn't been criminally charged, and - we could not reach him by phone or at his office. Nevertheless, the police have to treat the complaint seriously since the coast guard officer is requesting court action. We understand that his complaint has been forwarded to the Commissioner of Police. The Commissioner will then forward to the Ministry, where it will be assessed.

FFB On Corozal Chairman: "Alleged Illegal Activities"
Earlier this week, we told you about the shakeups in the FFB District Associations, where two chairman were given the boot - one by his executive in Toledo, the other, in Corozal, by the FFB headquarters in Belmopan. Today, the Federation put out a press release saying, quote, "due to alleged illegal activities by the Corozal Football Association's Chairman, Mr. Frank Sutherland was suspended until further notice." And what are those alleged illegal activities? Well, it seems that Mr. Sutherland was running a rent racket - or at least that's what the evidence points to. The FFB's letter to Sutherland on April 6th accuses him of the issuance of a fraudulent receipt and the misuse of Federation Moneys. The letter notes that he was given money directly to pay monthly rent for an office space for the Corozal Football Association.

Lino Turns Up Dead: Was The Hunter Hunted?
Tonight, a 45 year old hunter from Progresso Village is dead and his family is questioning the circumstances of his death. 45 year old Baltazar Lino was found dead after he went on a week long hunting trip near his farm a couple miles away from his village. But, after some days, his dogs returned but he didn't. That's when his family went looking for him and they found his decomposing body face down in a well yesterday. Police are investigating, but he family says that his neck had a telling scratch which they believe came from a jaguar:...

Bail for Betancourt
Last week we told you about San Pedro residents Jimell Paul Jex and Tracy Betancourt who were arrested and charged for possession of ammunition without a firearm license. Police searched their apartment and found 8 live 9mm rounds of ammunition. Jex was the only one present in the apartment when the search was conducted, and was arrested immediately. Police found and arrested Betancourt earlier this week.

Teenager says He Picked Up Weed At The Wrong Time
And today another teenager was in court for weed. 18 year old Lionel Lopez appeared in the Magistrate's Court where he was charged with the possession of about 1/10 of an ounce of cannabis. Lopez pled guilty to the charge but explained that it was all a mixup. He says that he was visiting his brother on Arlington drive when he picked something up off the street. He continued to say that before he realized that he had picked up an illicit substance, a mobile police unit came around the corner and busted him.

A Bucket Of Ganja
Ladyville Police today found two pounds of weed. They say the 930 grams were found in a bucket in an abandoned area on Marage Road in Ladyville around 11:00 this morning.

Customs and Immigration Have Headaches At La Union
"La Union" That's the Belize-Mexico border crossing in northwestern Belize that's becoming a real headache for customs and immigration. And that's because bus loads of Belizeans on excursions are flocking to the tiny village, so they can go across the river and shop for cheap items in Mexico. And When we say busloads, we mean as many as 18 buses at a time - coming from as far away as Dangriga. And all of them have to cross the Rio Hondo in little canoes! And that's probably why Customs put up this sign a few weeks ago. It says only persons form surrounding villages are permitted to shop in La Union. And that's also why about month ago, Immigration was turning people away. The Director of Immigration told us today that it's not an official border crossing, so they can stop persons form crossing there and so can customs.

Cop Knocked Down Elderly Man
Last night a police mobile unit was involved in a minor traffic accident in Southside Belize City. According to reports, the police vehicle was unable to drive down a section of East Collet Canal because of a clean-up effort being conducted at the time, so the driver began to reverse down the street. The vehicle didn't make it far before hitting, Karl Bradley, an elderly resident of West Collet Canal Street. Bradley's family told us that immediately after knocking him down, the police that were in the vehicle jumped out to assist and took him to the hospital with his son. After taking an X-ray doctors determined that Bradley received no threatening injuries, and discharged him. When we visited him today, Bradley was being cared for by his family. His left foot and ankle were swollen and much of his skin was peeled off. Bradley's family also told us that one police Sergeant who was in the patrol vehicle offered to pay for his medical expenses.

City Council Tries and Tries Again With Sidewalk Furniture
If you have walked along Albert Street in Belize City any time in the last few years you may have noticed several small squares cut out of the side walk. Those squares are what remains of several of the Belize City Council's attempts to beautify the street over the last decade and a half. Each square is supposed to hold a planter, or a cement pot with a palm tree planted in it. But, every time the City Council has tried to make use of these planters they have been the victim of vandalism and theft. Now, CitCo is getting ready to give it another try. We spoke to Councilor Michael Theus, who told why he is confident that the planters will be safe this time around... The re-addition of the planters is part of the City Council's project to rebrand the city as a major tourist destination.

Calling All Creatives
We always hear about IDB loans for major infrastructure and economic development projects, but what about the smaller micro-industries? Well, the IDB now says it wants to fund startups in the creative and cultural industries. They are focusing on Latin America, the Caribbean and South Florida and they are looking for innovative products or solution to improve lives in areas ranging from fashion, to music, to cooking. Cristina Nolasco of the IDB told us more from her office in Washington DC. WE ASKED HER WHO QUALIFIES:... THE open call will award prizes to startups that have those innovative products or solutions. Participating entrepreneurs must be over 18 years, and you can find a link to apply at 7newsbelize.com - https://blogs.iadb.org/kreatopolis/

Garcia, The Guatemalan, Gone?
And, finally, tonight, police have provided us with the picture of escaped prisoner 23 year old Henry Abel Calderon Garcia. As we told you last night, the Guatemalan Laborer who lives in Benque Viejo Town escaped when he was given a duty to go work outside the Benque Viejo Police Station on Wednesday. He was convicted for Possession of Control Drug and fined $805 dollars to be paid forthwith.

Channel 5

Guatemalan businessman murdered in Jalacte
We start our newscast tonight with a murder deep in the south where a Guatemalan businessman was stabbed to death a stone’s throw away from the western border near the [...]

Elena is B.N.T.U.’s leader after dramatic day in Corozal
Senator for Trade Unions and Civil Society, Elena Smith, is president-elect of the Belize National Teachers’ Union. She defied the odds following allegations of tampering and interference in the executive [...]

In Progresso, man found dead in well; did man or beast kill him?
A family up north is grieving the untimely death of one of its own. The body of Baltazar Lino was retrieved from a four feet deep well in the outskirts [...]

Union’s members demand retirement issue be settled by resolution
The impromptu Council of Management meeting that delayed elections also forced the Belize National Teachers’ Union to postpone the hearing and voting on five resolutions presented to the Annual Convention. [...]

Tax men accused of mishandling system of arrears and refunds for G.S.T.
On Thursday we told you about the backlash against the Government’s dismissal of alleged manipulation of audits by senior management of the General Sales Tax Department conducted by lower level [...]

Why Alex Sanker wants his Miss Universe painting back from Rebecca Rath
The fury over photojournalist Tony Rath’s blog continues to burn like wildfire online, where responses to the five-part article are being posted to Facebook in the wake of the lengthy [...]

So what actually happened to the painting?
What became of the commissioned artwork remains unknown. Sanker maintains that the painting was deliberately set aside in favor of a Pen Cayetano piece and that he personally hand delivered [...]

Did Joel Nagel’s “Global Access Conference” get him in trouble?
Ambassador of Belize Joel Nagel remains accredited to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and the International Atomic Energy Agency.  The U.S. attorney was also accredited to Austria and several [...]

Monkey Bay Resort sued over U.S. student’s drowning
A family in the U.S. is suing a local organization over the drowning death of their son. Back in February 2016, fourteen year old Tomari Jackson of Georgia, U.S.A., was [...]

OCEANA reminds G.O.B. of plans for reef on anniversary of Deepwater disaster
On Thursday marked seven years since the massive “Deepwater Horizon” oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In light of this day remembered largely by conservationists and those whose lives [...]

Central Bank details reasons for liquidation of credit unions
Central Bank Governor Joy Grant has responded to News Five via email following our story of Thursday night. The Bank in its capacity of registrar of credit unions is moving [...]

F.C.D. says gold panning is now biggest threat to Chiquibul Forest
Documents released by the F.C.D. chronicle the growth of gold-panning inside the inside the Chiquibul Forest, primarily its sharp spike in the southern portion of the forest in the last [...]

Football Federation suspends Corozal football chief
The Football Federation of Belize will hold its tenth Ordinary Congress in June. At that time members will be electing several outstanding positions on the executive, including a president. At [...]

First storm of 2017, Arlene comes and goes
Even though the hurricane season begins in June there has been some activity before the start of the season. Tropical Storm Arlene, the first named storm of the 2017 Atlantic [...]

Rest of season should be quiet, say weather experts
Over the past few days, we have been experiencing unseasonable rains.  According to forecaster Derrick Rudon, the 2017 hurricane season will be below average with fewer named storms and hurricanes. [...]

LOVE FM

BNTU Elects New President
Yesterday, Senator Elena Smith emerged victorious as the President Elect of the Belize National Teachers Union. Smith went up against Troy Coleman of the Stann Creek Branch and Mario Mesh of the Corozal Rural Branch. The day’s proceeding was interrupted when the Council of Management held an emergency meeting to discuss reports of political interference. […]

BNTU’s Newly Elected General Secretary Speaks of Work Ahead
The other post contested was that of National Secretary. Vying for the post were Ruth Shoman of the Corozal Branch and Adelaida Guerra of the Belize Branch. Shoman emerged as the victor with 336 votes while Guerra garnered 328 votes. Shoman spoke to the media after the announcement was made. Luke Palacio is now the […]

Jaguar Suspected to Be Responsible for Death of Villager
Reports of a jaguar attacking a man are emerging from Progresso Village in the Corozal District. Forty five year old Baltazar Lino was found dead inside a four foot well located in the bushes. Lino would regularly visit his farm accompanied by his dogs but on Easter Sunday, one of his dogs returned without him. […]

SSB Workers Protest Proposed Cuts
The staff of Social Security Board countrywide who are union members engaged in a subtle protest to their management today after a proposal was made to have their benefits cut. According to our source, the proposal is to reduce the vacation and sick days for new staff members for which the Christian Workers Union, (CWU) […]

Guat National Murdered in Southern Belize
Toledo Police are investigating the murder of a businessman in that District. Police report that around 5:30 Thursday evening they responded to information of a person lying on the side of the road about half a mile from the junction of Jalacte Village. When they got there, authorities found 42-year-old Carlos Pop Xol, Guatemalan businessman […]

Mayor Bradley on Business in Miramar, Florida
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is back in the county after travelling to South Florida. Bradley was invited by the mayors of Miramar City and Broward County to participate in a “Ease of Doing Business” Workshop. Bradley told us more. DARRELL BRADLEY “One of the things that we are actually trying to do is establish […]

No Stipend for the BNTU Branch Executives
While the ballots were being counted for the selection of BNTU’s president and general secretary, teachers who stayed behind had a say in the four resolutions tabled. The first resolution proposed was for the branch presidents, secretaries and treasures to receive a stipend from BNTU’s central office of three hundred, two hundred and one hundred […]

Arlene Forms Ahead the Hurricane Season
Two days ago we told you of the tropical depression that was formed outside the Atlantic Hurricane Season. While the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida had noted that it would be a short-lived system, yesterday that depression was named Arlene and is now the first storm for the 2017 season. Tropical Storm Arlene is […]

Music Ambassador Speaks on Miss Universe Controversy
The 5-part blog uploaded to the internet by Tony Rath on the behind the scenes accounts of the Miss Belize/Universe event has stirred emotions from various circles of society and in some cases have enraged many Belizeans. His account to what transpired between the contestant, Rebecca Rath and the Pageant Director, Opal Enriquez has basically […]

Belize’s Barrier Reef Remains in Danger of Losing Its Value
Local environmental agencies have been speaking constantly on the dangers being posed to Belize’s Barrier Reef due to various factors. It is a case that has gotten international attention particularly since UNESCO had named it a World Heritage Site back in 1996. Thirteen years after receiving the title of a World Heritage Site, the Belize […]

Amandala

Killer of Indira “Princess” Thompson still at large
As we go to press tonight, the man who brutally stabbed to death Indira “Princess” Thompson, a well-known woman of Belize City, on the grounds of the abandoned Bellevue Hotel on Southern Foreshore almost a week ago remains at large. Police have not yet released the identity of the man they believe committed the heinous act early last Friday morning. Information to police is that the 35-year-old woman was stabbed several times in her upper body and abdomen after she refused to have sex with her assailant. Carl Morter, with whom Thompson was reportedly living in a shack behind the decrepit hotel building, told police that he was returning to the shack when a Hispanic man exited, armed with a knife, and slashed his neck before running off.

Coyoc brothers suffocate in Trial Farm well on Good Friday
wo brothers of Trial Farm in Orange Walk, Jeovani Coyoc, 26, a taxi driver, and Isidoro Coyoc, 41, a farmer and tractor driver, were both laid to rest this Sunday in the wake of a tragedy which occurred at their family farm on Good Friday, when the men suffocated inside a 40-foot well. The incident occurred at about 12:30 on Friday, April 14, in the Goat Hill area of Tower Hill, Orange Walk. Police reported that at about 11:30 that morning, Jeovani lowered himself with a rope into the well, which contained about four feet of water, in order to clean the walls of the well. When Jeovani began to suffocate in the well, his brother, Isidoro, tried to get help and when he could not get an oxygen supply for him, he tried to rescue him alone. Sadly, both brothers fell unconscious inside the well, which had been out of use.

Guat congressman wants Belize on their map
It was confirmed this week that there is a lobby in official circles in Guatemala to have that country’s map for public and private use formally include Belize. Three weeks ago, news broke that Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had received a provocative proposal via one of its consultants, Edmundo Rene Urrutia Garcia, which made reference to suggestions that the country of Belize should be included in Guatemala’s map, apparently with annexation of the Sarstoon. Garcia also referred to a proposed public consultation on the oil exploration in Belize’s subsoil. Evidently, the suggestion did not end there. On Tuesday of this week, April 18, Guatemalan Congressman, Luis Fernando Montenegro Flores, tabled a proposal in Guatemala’s Congress, the country’s unicameral law-making body, to have Belize included on the map of Guatemala with a punctuated line carrying a notation that there is a territorial, insular and maritime dispute pending settlement, but furthermore, carrying a notation that the border with Belize is not defined.

BNTU to Faber: We shall not be moved!!!
Shortly after 6:00 this evening, candidates and counters at the national election of Belize’s most militant union – the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) – emerged from the counting room on the campus of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Village, Corozal, in a somber mood, walking towards the stage area, even as the word began to spread that Senator Elena Smith had captured the presidency, despite alleged political interference from the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) to usurp control of the BNTU by installing their man at the helm. Smith was asked if she thinks the political interference is real. “We have seen certain things, certain texts going around, and we have heard of certain meetings, and so, there is a saying in Creole, ‘if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck,’” Smith answered, as the crowd around her erupted in shouts of “Solidarity Forever!”

Taximan’s throat sliced by carjacker
Ernesto Robinson, 57, a cab operator of Belize City, survived a horrifying attack on Tuesday night, when a man pretending to be looking for a taxi cut him on his face and neck with a knife, then made off with his taxi, crashing it on the highway. Robinson was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for the injuries he suffered during the jacking. He has since been released. Meanwhile, the youth believed to have been the carjacker has been apprehended after a hot pursuit by police. Robinson told police that at about 8:30 on Tuesday night, he was stopped at the junction of Western and Ordonez Avenues in Belize City by a man requesting his taxi service. The man got into the passenger seat behind him, and after Robinson drove off, the passenger took out a knife, cut Robinson on his face, and tried to slice his throat, forcing Robinson to stop and flee. The assailant then commandeered the taxi.


#523142 - 04/22/17 06:59 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 22, 2017 [Re: Marty]  
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David Jenkins, former Amandala photographer, passes at 83
Amandala was saddened to receive news this week of the passing of David Emmanuel Alexander Jenkins, Sr., 83, who worked for several years as the newspaper’s photographer. Jenkins, Sr., passed away at home on Sunday, April 16, 2017, surrounded by his loved ones. He died from kidney failure. His daughter, Vanessa, said that her dad opted not to go on dialysis, saying, “I lived like a man; I will die like a man.” “Even in death, he taught us a lesson in bravery, character and staying true to himself,” she told us. Jenkins is also remembered by friends as the electrical engineer who for a one-time fee unscrambled television signals for poor Belizeans when access was limited to “pay per view” basis. According to Manolo Romero and Hector Silva, Jenkins opened access to television when it was limited to the wealthy.

Dangriga sports stats
The place to be this Saturday night to witness the biggest game in the NEBL will be Dangriga Ecumenical Basketball Auditorium. After our home team won on the road in the last game played in San Pedro against the Tiger Sharks, Griga Dream Ballers will prove it to their home fans that they always save the best for last, like a game this Saturday night against the Orange Walk Running Rebels. One victory against the O.W. Running Rebels in Griga this Saturday night, and our home team, Griga Dream Ballers clinch the playoff. All Dangriga fans and surrounding villages are invited to this big match-up this Saturday night – Griga Dream Ballers vs Orange Walk Running Rebels.

NEBL “In the Paint”
There is a bundle of games scheduled to be played in Week 15 of the 2017 NEBL Championship, which, for all intents and purposes, will determine who goes fishing, or who will be invited to the big dance. The (8-3) San Pedro Tiger Sharks and the (7-3) Belmopan Bandits have already clinched spots to the big dance, while tonight’s match-up between the (3-6)’s Orange Walk Running Rebels and defending champs Smart Hurricanes at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Center will more than likely take one of these teams off life-support system and gently put it to sleep. Whatever the outcome of tonight’s game, any one of these teams could be nominated for league’s biggest disappointment. You asked, why do we say this? Both rosters are blessed with some of Belize’s brightest talent; but for some unknown reason, none could muster any sort of consistency on a night-in night-out basis, both from an offensive and defensive perspective. The Running Rebels won the first meeting by the score of 86-84 on the road; however, the Hurricanes have shown a little life of late; but again, it may be just a case of … too little too late.

Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic 2017 finishers
According to an official release on Monday, April 17, 78 cyclists started in this year’s Holy Saturday Cross Country, and 41 completed the 140 mile journey, of which 38 finished within the official time limit, which is not more than 30 minutes after the first place finisher. Here is the list of those 38 within the time limit: 1st place (GUA) Alejandro Padilla Miranda (Guatemalan National Team, 5:35:05); 2nd (USA) Patrick Raines (Ken’s Bike Shop, 5:53:26); 3rd (GUA) Alder Torres (Guatemalan National Team, 5:53:28); 4th Ron Vasquez (Smart/C-Ray Western Spirit, 5:55:08); 5th Brandon Cattouse (Smart/C-Ray Western Spirit, 5:58:42); 6th (USA) Bill Elliston (Elliston Coaching, 5:58:44); 7th Oscar Quiros, Jr. (Smart/C-Ray Western Spirit, 6:00:03);

The significance of the BNTU election
After the December 1984 general election defeat of the People’s United Party (PUP), Assad Shoman, the socialist Health Minister of the PUP during its 1979 to 1984 term of office, broke with the PUP and exited electoral politics. Said Musa, the PUP’s Education Minister during the aforementioned 1979 to 1984 PUP term, who had been Shoman’s loyal ally, began to move into a relationship with two neoliberal second-generation PUP leaders – Ralph Fonseca and Glenn Godfrey. But for more than a decade, Mr. Musa’s change in philosophy took place beneath the radar. When he became PUP Leader in 1996 and then Prime Minister in 1998, Mr. Musa was still enjoying credibility amongst social justice Belizeans. He finally began to lose such credibility in August of 2004.

From the Publisher
Until I was 7 years old, which I became in 1954, I grew up on the southern side of Church Street in Southside Belize City, three or four houses down from what used to be the center of cycling in those days – a bicycle shop one or two houses down from Albert Street, across from the Government Printers. My late uncle was a total cycling aficionado. I grew up with him as my hero. Cycling combined elements of life which he loved – the outdoors, athletic competition, and gambling. A close friend of the four-time Crosscountry champion, Aston Gill, who is still alive in New York City, my uncle had ridden a couple Crosscountries himself in the late 1940s, his highest finish being fourth or fifth. Sometime in 1954, I moved to West Canal Street, near Bolton Bridge and the junction with Regent Street West. Around 1955, my uncle went to study electrical technology in Puerto Rico, but I know that in the late 1950s and early 1960s, his cycling “road dog” was Duncan Vernon, who won two or three Crosscountries.

Shifting sphere
A lot of Caribbean people seem to be concerned about President Donald Trump being president of the most powerful country in the world, the United States of America (US). He is perceived as a racist and an anti-immigrant president. Millions of Caribbean nationals reside in the United States and the concerns are reasonable. I am not concerned about that because that was a decision that could only have been made by US citizens. I see a more serious threat; that is, an unstable US economy. After the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, the US dollar became the global reserve currency and it was reinforced in 1975, when OPEC decided that oil must be purchased in US dollars. Every Central Bank in the region has US dollars as their reserve currency. The US is the Caribbean’s number one trading partner and usually the biggest contributor to our tourism industry, so their economy directly affects us.

Dear Mr. Hector Zapata and my Garifuna people
The idea of forming a Garifuna nation existed centuries ago before our people were removed by the British from our original homeland, Yurumein, now known as Saint Vincent & The Grenadines in 1797. It is not proper for a Garifuna individual or group to say that they founded the Garifuna nation. As an organization to mobilize our people into action, this new organization is being formed to facilitate this process and it will take time for our people to buy into this new concept. In my opinion, there is no other way but this way and eventually it will prevail. Why? Because (1) We have not gotten over our unlawful removal from our homeland, “Yurumein”; (2) The atrocities and genocide committed against our people by the French, British and now in some of the countries where we currently live, warrant action to be brought against all of them; and (3) Many of us are now willing to seek justice on behalf of our people, because moving from one country to another has not made our lives any better. Nothing like your home!

Cross Country Classic
Dear Editor, In the normal course statecraft is extremely complex as there are significant forces at play, seen and unseen, attempting to shape a country’s domestic as well as foreign policy. Belize’s diplomatic space is made even more complex because of the unfounded Guatemalan claim. There is no other country in the world that is being claimed in its entirety by a neighbouring state. Confronted with such a scenario we would be doing our country a great service by dissecting anything done by Guatemala or by Guatemalan nationals. Guatemala’s stated intent is to “recover” Belize and therefore we should strive to understand how each of their actions relates to such a stated intent. In the practice of statecraft things are seldom what they seem.

On toxic agricultural products
Dear Editor, We are so very concerned about our children’s health, yet we readily feed them foods that we know are laden with poisonous pesticides. The big agro-chemical companies make toxic chemicals derived from petroleum and coal to kill weeds and bugs. Petroleum and coal come from what has been dead for millions of years. We dig it up and burn it and what do we get? Death! And we make toxic agricultural products from them and what do we get? Death to wildlife, water, air, soil, food… increased cancers, birth defects, autoimmune diseases, etc. We need to be proactive and tell the politicians and the corporations to either move over, or make the positive shift toward sanity when it comes to agriculture.

Op-Ed
This is a moment in time in Belize when Labor is where the power is. I don’t mean merely that the unions (at least one) can be depended upon to successfully take on government on workers’ rights, economic issues, corruption or issues of good governance. I mean that this moment is bursting with potential for radical political change in Belize, an opportunity that was allowed to slip by in 2005 when the Belize National Teachers Union went on strike, joining other organizations in a campaign against the then PUP government. If there ever were a moment for clear, rational thinking, for not being satisfied with taking to the streets every time a wayward government needs to be put in check, for bringing an end to the UDP-PUP merry-go-round, this is it.

Holy Saturday Cross Country 2017
Why are we disappointed? As the 89th running of the Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic got underway at 6:00 o’clock on Saturday morning, April 15, a total of 78 cyclists took to the start line. The numbers have decreased significantly from the year 2007, when we saw the largest field ever of 135 participants at the start line. Of the 78 cyclists, 63 were Belizeans and 15 foreigners – 7 Americans, 5 Mexicans and 3 Guatemalans (including the defending champion from Guatemala). These guys would attempt to make their way from Belize City to San Ignacio and back to Belize City via the George Price Highway, and the first person to cross the finish line would be crowned the new champion. For years, as far back as I’ve been involved in cycling, and even before my days, the Belizean public have been major cycling fans … or at least around Cross Country time. People get all excited coming onto the Easter holidays, and plan their vacation to begin after the Cross Country race. Even Belizeans living abroad are sure to tune in and keep up with the action on Holy Saturday. We hear all the cycling chatter, and get all the remarks of the disappointment if a Belizean shouldn’t win. Well, this is one of those years; the Belizean cycling fans are again devastated. They are heartbroken, in fact; not only that a foreigner won, but a Guatemalan.

POVERTY IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH
Hello everyone. Did you know that how much money you make determines the quality of health care you receive (if any), and how long you may live? Wealth inequality and the perception of wealth inequality are two different things. Thus, if you’re poor or low-to middle-income, poverty is hazardous to your health. Here are some hard stats: The top 1% wealthy in America makes 380 times in one hour more than what the average worker in a CEO’s company makes in a whole month (I’m not talking about the janitor, but the average worker in his company). That same 1% owns half (50%) of all of the country’s stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, and owns 40% of ALL of America’s wealth. On that same chart, the poor and the middle-income people have only 7% of the nation’s wealth between them, even though they make up 80% of the country’s population. The rest of the 20% of the population comprises the rich, the very rich, and that 1% wealthy we spoke about. Together, they control most of the country’s wealth (minus the paltry 7% distributed to the poor and middle income). Now, I’m using the U.S. as an example; however, global economists will tell you that the poverty lines and the distribution of wealth may be worse, not just in second and third world poverty-stricken countries, but even throughout many parts of Europe.

Cross Country 2017 commentary & analysis
There is, and can only be, one Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. I say this because I hear many people saying, “Let’s have one with the foreigners and one without.” If you asked all the cyclists in Belize, I bet that almost 100% would vote for foreign participation. Any Belizean who won a Cross Country without the foreigners would be ridiculed, and would himself feel empty. Local riders want to compete and beat the foreigners. That Pandora’s Box has been opened and can’t be closed. Now, let me give you some insight from someone who has been in this sport from 1980, and who is on the road training daily with the Belizeans. First of all, the foreign competition invited this year was sub-par to the riders we have invited in the past. Remember, only the Cycling Federation can invite FOREIGNERS, and they do a good job ensuring that the playing field is level by no longer inviting the TOP QUALITY RIDERS. These riders they invite SHOULD be beaten.

First depression for 2017 forms in Central Atlantic, ahead of season which calls for 11 to 12 named storms and 4 to 6 hurricanes
Meteorologists are today confirming that the very first Atlantic system for 2017 has formed as a subtropical system in the Central Atlantic, the first April system since 2003 – a span of 14 years. Yesterday, researchers at the Colorado State University issued their April forecast, which calls for 11 named storms this year, 4 hurricanes and two major hurricanes—a slightly below average year, while the Weather Channel’s forecast is for a seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. “We anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them,” the CSU’s Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell said in releasing their forecast.

The Reporter

Man stabbed to death
On Thursday evening the body of 42 year-old Carlos Pop Xol was found lying beside the Southern highway, about half a mile from the Jalacte village junction. It had several stab and cut wounds. The discovery was made by police at 5:30 p.m., on April […]

Guatemalan prisoner escapes
Benque Viejo police are reporting the escape of a prisoner from at around 2:40 p.m., on Wednesday April 19. The public is advised to be vigilant and on the lookout for 23 year-old, Guatemalan National, Henry Abel Calderon Garcia. Garcia is said to have absconded […]

Police woman charged for theft, caught on camera
A woman police constable attached to the San Ignacio police division has been placed on interdiction and charged with ‘theft’ after she was allegedly caught on camera stealing money from a Chinese business establishment. Ann Marie Anthony was charged with stealing four $50 notes from […]

San Pedro man charged for rape
A 36-year-old San Pedro man, Eldon Williams, has been charged with  rape after he allegedly assaulted a sleeping 17 year-old girl early Sunday morning. The girl, accompanied by her mother, visited the San Pedro police station later that same morning. She told police that while […]

Highway bandit caught by cops
Belize City police have charged a San Ignacio man after he allegedly held up a Belize City taximan at knife point and carjacked him on Tuesday night. Police have confirmed that Shawn Rodriguez, 22, was charged for ‘robbery’ and ‘use of deadly means of harm’ […]

Guatemalan congress rejects proposal to include Belize on official map
Guatemala’s congress has voted against incorporating Belize to reflect as being a part of their territory on their official map, the Prensa Libre newspaper of Guatemala has reported.   The newspaper article, posted online on Tuesday reports that the congress “rejected a resolution to […]

Ministry of Works upgrades/repairs major highways
Motorists using the various highways might encounter “go-slow” signage as they approach certain sections, cautioning them about repairs or loose gravel on the road.  The caution signs are visible on highways across the country, as the Ministry of Works conducts major repairs and upgrades […]

Belize’s Ombudsman chairs Human Rights session in Panama
The Ombudsman of Belize, Lionel Arzu, recently chaired a successful session of the Central America Council of Human Rights Defenders and Ombudsmen in Panama City.   The extraordinary session was hosted on April 6 and 7 2017,  in order to formulate national and regional strategies to […]

GOB not taking budgeting seriously says NGOs
The Belize Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (BNN) is accusing the Government of Belize of making mockery of the national budget exercise through its $1 million honorarium to teachers that didn’t strike.   The BNN joined the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the […]

Gold-panning: Big problem in Chiquibul
Gold-panning has become an incessant problem and the most impactful threat to the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, says the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD).  The organization’s conclusion comes after a series of arrests in the nature reserve, at riverbanks where the activity can […]

CitCo collecting tires to fight Monkey River beach erosion
The Belize City Council is collecting tires to assist residents in Monkey River Village with mitigating the ongoing beach erosion plaguing the community.   City Councilor Phillip Willoughby, explained that the council is reaching out to tire shops, garages, bus owners, and the pubic at large […]

Interpol seeks six most wanted Belizeans
Six Belizeans were recently named among 257 Caribbean nationals on Interpol’s most wanted list.   The majority of accused criminals on the list were from the Dominican Republic with 160, followed by Jamaica with 54, and the Bahamas, Suriname and Guyana with eight each. Haiti had […]

Editorial
For the two years since his transfer to Belize  City as the Officer in Charge of Eastern Division,  Assistant Commissioner  of Police Chester Williams has worked tirelessly with the gangs  and their leaders, to reduce street violence. It has been frustrating work. The last three months have been the bloodiest […]

Elena Smith is new BNTU President
Elena Smith is the new President of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) following elections on Thursday afternoon, despite allegations that government tried to influence union voting against Smith. Smith won the election by a landslide on Thursday, April 20, beating out BNTU Corozal President, […]

Fake cops nabbed!
Two fake cops are in hot water after actual police officers noticed something unusual about the pair of impersonators, whose uniforms were oversized and  untidy. One officer sported an unusual red belt. Precinct IV police noticed the pair looking suspicious near Public’s Supermarket on the […]

GOB denies reports of GST double standard
The Government of Belize (GOB) has denied a claim made by one of its General Sales Tax (GST) auditors that it is using different methods to manipulate the calculations for taxes on businesses. The release is in response to a leaked letter which bears the […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Rhymes with Bagel
ECI Development/Joel Nagel organized a spiel/promotion for an “Annual Global Access Asset Protection & Investment Conference” on September 18 ~ 24, 2016 in Vienna, Austria. Information on this conference was put out by Joel Nagel, who at the time was the Ambassador of Belize to Austria and is publicly available at http://info.ecidevelopment.com/eci-vienna-promo-april-2016-lp-2. According to ECI’s website, ECI is a real estate developer committed to building people-centered, vibrant communities in Latin America with North American quality infrastructure and services.

NGO calls on GOB to protect the reef
The Belize Coalition to Save our natural heritage issued a release today stating that on the seventh anniversary of one of the worse environmental disasters in history—British Petroleum’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico—the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage restates its position that the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System must be meaningfully protected and safeguarded from the inherent dangers of offshore oil. According to the Coalition, in December 2015, the Government of Belize announced its intention to ban offshore oil activity along the reef and within World Heritage Sites and within a one kilometre “buffer” area.

Youth Resilience and Inclusive Social Empowerment project to be launched
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation will launch the Youth Resilience and Inclusive Social Empowerment (Youth RISE) Project on Wednesday, April 26, at Dellille Academy School in Dangriga Town at 9 a.m. The Government of Belize has secured financing from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to expand the Youth and Community Transformation (YCT) Project to at-risk communities in Dangriga and San Ignacio/Santa Elena Towns.

Feel the Change campaign to be launched
The National Climate Change Office (NCCO), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) will launch a climate change awareness campaign on Wednesday, April 26, at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City at 9 a.m. The campaign was developed based on the results of a Climate Change Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices survey conducted in several communities across Belize last year.

Readers are Leaders – Book Week 2017
Every year, in commemoration of World Book and Copyright Day on April 23rd, the Belize Book Industry Association (BBIA) organizes Book Week. This year, the programme will commence at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, April 28 at the Punta Gorda Central Park and will continue at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio on April 29th from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. The theme for this year is “READERS ARE LEADERS!”

“Return the painting,” artist tells Ms. Belize
Veteran painter Alex Sanker is calling on Ms. Belize, Rebecca Rath, to return the painting he did for her to give as the national gift at the 2017 Ms. Universe pageant. Sanker explained that he was informed that Rath never gave the painting as she was supposed to, but rather gave a piece painted by Penn Cayetano. Sanker maintains that the piece has significance both to Belize and himself and should be returned since it was not used for its intended purpose.

Belizean cyclist seeks sponsorship for race in Europe
Belmopan cyclist, 27-year-old Tariq Aguilar-Cano was born and raised in the capital city and fell love with the sport of cycling at the age of 11. Cano’s passion for the sport earned him the distinction of being one of the best junior All Around Cyclist of his time, winning his first race, King of the Hills Classic, at the age of 15 in a solo match. He then went on to win numerous races which gave him the opportunity to represent Belize in Guatemala, Cuba and the United States in an honorable fashion. Cano was also featured on the 2013 Belize Apprentice TV show, which showcased his capability to work hard on various levels. Following his success, he was later employed at the Belize Bank as a marketing officer for credit card and sale.

2017 Hurricane Season off to early start
The Hurricane season normally kicks off on June 1 and ends in November. However, the 2017 Hurricane season is off to an early start. Forty days before the official season begins, a tropical storm has formed in the North Central Atlantic Ocean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite provided forecasters with a look at the storm, swirling far from land areas. Tropical storm Arlene formed yesterday as Tropical Depression one and was strengthened into a tropical storm.

Mount Carmel Credit Union being liquidated, members in limbo
The Central Bank of Belize has not given any indication on what it will do about hundreds of customers affected by the liquidation of Mount Carmel Credit Union. The CBB announced, at the start of April, that Mount Carmel, based in Bemque Viejo del Carmen, would be one of four credit unions liquidated under Section 69 of the Credit Unions Act, Chapter 314 of the Laws of Belize.

Trial Farm, San Pedro and San Jose get new pre-school buildings
The Government of Belize in collaboration with the European Union (EU) will inaugurate three pre-schools in the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts on Tuesday, 25th April, at 1:30 p.m on the compound of the Trial Farm Government Primary School, Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk District. The three pre-schools were constructed with financing from the EU and the Government of Belize under the Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) 2012 programme, at a cost of 600,000 Euros or BZD $1,140,000.

Guatemalan man stabbed to death in Jalacte
According to police reports, yesterday around 5:30 p.m., police responded to information of a person lying on the side of the road about half mile from the junction of Jalacte Village, Toledo. Police went to the area and observed Carlos Pop Xol, 42, a Guatemalan businessman of San Fernando Cha’al Alta Verapaz, Guatemala lying motionless and apparently dead.

Blogs

Take home that Belizean experience with a memorable souvenir!
You came to Belize for the vacation of a lifetime, looking forward to all the incredible fun to be had. You fall in love with its landscape, people, culture, food and then, before you know it, it’s over. How can you possibly extend your Belize experience back home? How can your vacation last a little longer? Well, by picking up some authentic Belizean made goods! So what can you take? This question all depends on what you like. One of the most common “take-back-home” products made in Belize has to be a bottle of Marie Sharp’s pepper sauce – we Belizeans love our spice, and Marie Sharp has just the right kick. Chances are you saw (and sampled) it at pretty much every restaurant you ate at, and hopefully the spice-meter didn’t keep you from trying it! Grab a few bottles and share that taste of Belize with friends back home, and be sure to keep some for yourself! If you close your eyes, you could almost pretend you’re at your favourite restaurant in Belize again.

Trash on North Ambergris Caye – When Do We Say Enough Is Enough?
Until 2014/2015, almost everyone who traveled north – especially farther than a mile or two – went by boat. The road was in AWFUL…little more than a mud pit in parts…and most tourists and guests saw their resorts and rental homes for the first time when they arrived at the dock. But now (and for the last 2 years), the point of entry – the front entrance to northern Ambergris Caye resorts is the road. What used to be out back…the “back yard”…”the bush” is now where new guests form their first impressions. Whether they are arriving in the resort van or in a golf cart rental of their own – the very first impressions of our gorgeous island are gained while driving on the road. AND, I don’t know the nice way to say this so I will just say it: The road north looks like a giant garbage dump. The garbage and litter up north is GETTING WORSE. Here is a wildlife experience I had yesterday while in my golfcart. On the road. Just next to a gorgeous resort’s entrance. What a pretty ibis ;<

Kayak, Windsurf, and Participate in Water Sports in Belize
Islands and coves with sheltered bays and lagoons filled with crystal clear water are ideal for gentle water sports like sea kayaking and stand up paddling (a sport where participants stand upright on a device similar to a surfboard). The proximity of many islands to one another on the Belize Barrier Reef make sea kayaking a popular activity as participants can easily and safely “island hop” from one to the other or explore the shoreline of bigger destinations like Ambergris Caye. Steady breezes on the Caribbean are ideal for more adventurous water sports including windsurfing and kite surfing, especially in and around Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and off the coast of Punta Gorda in southern Belize. In other offshore locations, water skiing and riding jet skis are popular choices while canoeing and white water rafting can be enjoyed on inland waterways like the Mopan and Macal Rivers. Wear lots of sunscreen, and be prepared to have the time of your life as you enjoy a bevy of fun and exciting water sports on the lagoons, bays, coves, rivers, and offshore islands of Belize.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Imagine Noah’s Ark after the flood, only thousands of creatures exit the ark rather than just two of each species. This 250,000 acre wonderland is also richly endowed with breathtaking waterfalls, mountains, nature trails and rivers, creating the perfect environment for species to thrive in harmony. As the only jaguar reserve on the planet, these cats keep company with hundreds of neo-tropical birds, other wildcats, deer, tapir, reptiles, insects, amphibians and all manner of other sanctuary inhabitants. You might not see all of them but you could spot their tracks on trails and river banks. The dirt road from the Southern Highway extends for six miles isn’t paved, so if you drive, you’ll need a car capable of tackling rugged terrain. Use public transport if you can. Buses from Belize City and Dangriga Town get you to Punta Gorda Town and the Maya Village Center, then hike into the park. If you’re coming from a distance, grab a Maya Island Air or Tropic Air flight for the 20-minute trip to Dangriga. Taxis and tour companies are also viable options.

National Aquaculture Sector Overview
Aquaculture in Belize formally began in 1982 with the development of ten acres (4 ha) of experimental ponds by a private company, in the southern part of the Country. Since that time, the industry has developed rapidly and has become firmly established as a significant contributor to the Belizean economy in terms of foreign exchange earnings, income generation, employment, nutrition, and food security. In Belize, the aquaculture industry is primarily based on the production of the whiteleg shrimp (Penaeus vannamei). Aquaculture in Belize has been expanding in volume and value more rapidly than capture fishery production, terrestrial livestock production and other agro-production activities. The growth performance of this aspect of the sector is reflected in the 160 percent annual increase in the production volume of farmed shrimp over the last decade. The export production and revenues have increased from 1.2 million pounds (545.4 tons) and Bz$ 10.4 million (US$ 5.2 million) respectively in 1995 to 16.86 million pounds (7 664 tons) and Bz$ 84.28 million (US$ 42.14 million) respectively in 2004. The contribution of Fisheries, including aquaculture to GDP was five percent for 2003. Export earnings for aquatic products were Bz$ 107 million (US$ 53.5 million) in 2004. This was second only to Sugar Cane which earned Bz$ 114 million.

Human Rights in Belize – Rights of the Child
Recalling all its previous resolutions on the rights of the child, in particular its resolution 54/149 of 17 December 1999, in which it strongly supported the work of the open-ended inter-sessional working groups and urged them to finalize their work before the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,(1) Expressing its appreciation to the Commission on Human Rights for having finalized the texts of the two optional protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Conscious of the tenth anniversaries, in the year 2000, of the World Summit for Children and the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and of the symbolic and practical importance of the adoption of the two optional protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child before the special session of the General Assembly for the follow-up to the World Summit for Children, to be convened in 2001,

WHY BELIZE?
Gorgeous tropical islands, exotic nature, and ancient Maya cities await in this Central American paradise. Blessed with beautiful biodiversity, Belize is a mecca for travelers who love to explore the great outdoors. Whether you prefer to marvel at the kaleidoscope of marine flora and fauna of the Belize Barrier Reef or explore the jungles and parks of the mainland in search of birds and wildlife, Belize has something for everyone. Add in a healthy dose of cultural diversity and a rich Maya heritage, and it's easy to see why Belize is rapidly becoming a top travel destination. Perhaps the most iconic landscape in Belize is its vast Caribbean coastline. Home to beautiful sugar sand beaches, coral reefs, and picture postcard perfect islands, there's no doubt that Belize has much to offer. Top spots include snorkeling off the island of Ambergris Caye, spotting nurse sharks and stingrays at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, windsurfing at Caye Caulker, and diving more than 400 feet into the subterranean caverns of the Belize Blue Hole.

International Sourcesizz

Two Caribbean destinations in latest top 20 list of places to honeymoon
To help newlyweds, and the engaged, better navigate the honeymoon destination market, Flight Network, the largest travel agency that is both owned and operated in Canada, has spent months researching and interviewing the best of the best to curate the ultimate list of top 20 luxury honeymoon destinations, which includes two Caribbean resorts. San Pedro is a slice of paradise facing the Caribbean Sea. Home to the world’s second largest barrier reef, the Pedro Barrier Reef, is a world treasure you will get to enjoy every day you spend there. When not snorkeling or diving though, you’ll find yourself kicking back under a palm or exploring the old fishing village turned town that’s said to inspire the song, ‘La Isla Bonita’. San Pedro is also incredibly close to the world-famous Mayan ruins, a truly special place to explore.

Georgia mother sues school district after son dies on a class trip in Belize: 'He was everything to me'
One mother from Georgia is taking legal action after her 14-year-old son died while on a class trip to Belize last year, and is warning other parents to "trust no one" when it comes to sending your children on international school trips. Tomari Jackson, 14, was on a trip with his North Cobb High School Biology class last February in Belize when he died after drowning in a river during a chaperoned excursion. More than a year after her son's death, Forbes received package in the mail that contained a video from a small camera her son had strapped to his head at the time that he died. The U.S. State Department had sent the package of Tomari's belongings to her after receiving it from Monkey Bay Sanctuary, where he was staying at in Belize.

The Top 10 Things to Do in Belize
When it comes to choosing a place for your Caribbean vacation, Belize might not be at the top of your list — there are more popular Central American and Caribbean destinations, after all. However, what makes Belize a truly amazing holiday spot is its diversity in both terrain and activities. The country’s eastern side provides the azure blue waters that make the Caribbean such an in-demand destination, as well as the second largest coral reef system in the world. On the west side, you’ll find lush rainforests, historic Mayan ruins and many different species of exotic wildlife. Tourism is continuously expanding in this small, but lovely, country, as Belize had the fastest growth of any tourism destination in the last year, with an overall growth of 13% in the last two decades. Aside from its growing popularity, here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit Belize this year.

Video of Cobb teen drowning in Belize released on ‘GMA’
A video of a 14-year-old boy drowning within feet of fellow North Cobb High School students on a school trip in Belize was shown during a “Good “Morning America” segment Friday. Tomari Jackson’s mother Adell Forbes — who is suing the school district along with the chaperones and the trip organizer — spoke about watching the February 2016 video. “Now I’m able to fill in the gaps and see for myself what happened,” she told GMA, which did not show viewers the actual drowning. Forbes’ attorneys showed a room of reporters the video a week ago but chose not to release it then, one of the reasons being that the mother wasn’t ready to see the footage on air. After the program aired Friday, Forbes’ attorneys released to media a copy of the drowning video, which is shot from a camera strapped to her son’s head.

U.S. Troops Visit Children’s Home in Belize
Not even inclement weather was able to put a damper on the spirits of the children living at the Liberty Children’s Home here, as U.S. service members visited, to lend a helping hand, April 18. The soldiers’ visit is was part of the Beyond the Horizon 2017 task force. Service members spent their day removing safety hazards from the property, playing a variety of games with the children and providing basic medical examinations. “There was a low-hanging tree over one of the housing units and we decided to cut it down and get it out of the way,” said Army Spc. Rudy Sneed, a shower and laundry specialist with the 452nd Quartermaster Company, an Army Reserve unit based in Scottsdale, Arizona. “We were afraid the tree might fall and cause serious damage to the property.”

In Belize, local stewardship key to marine conservation
The reef was in plain sight, a majestic view with sandy white beaches surrounding cayes with magnificent frigate birds and booby birds flying overhead at Halfmoon Caye Natural Monument. I was eager to put on my diving gear and see the wonders of the 186-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Colorful coral reefs, whale sharks, turtles, and hundreds of cubera snappers aggregating three days before full moon at the Gladden Spit Spawning Aggregation Site in Belize. It was May 2002, and I was participating along with a research team to collect data on Nassau Grouper abundance and distribution which would inform the declaration of eleven Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregation Sites. Our ocean is rich in biodiversity and is a crucial carbon sink. Coastal wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs support a diverse array of marine life. According to a recent economic study of the Belize Barrier Reef, the estimated services derived for tourism and livelihoods is US$559 million per year with a population of 380,010 people. A healthy reef ensures healthy people and a resilient country. Two decades ago, fisherfolk were adamantly opposed to the designation of marine protected areas. However, the tide is shifting to a more inclusive and participatory co-management approach where communities are empowered to protect, conserve and utilize the seascape resources in a sustainable manner in partnership with regulatory government agencies (Forest and Fisheries Departments).

8 endangered sites to see now
(CNN)Florida manatees swim and sleep in the sunshine and golden-brown panthers prowl the shady forests at Everglades National Park. A swampy wilderness of gnarled cypress stands and waving sawgrass just beyond Miami's suburbs, this 1.5 million-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site can seem timeless. But rising sea levels have spiked the fresh groundwater beneath the Everglades with salt, and plants and wildlife must quickly adapt to new conditions to survive. That's why the Everglades are among the eight World Heritage Sites in the Americas included in UNESCO's list of "World Heritage in Danger," an exclusive club of 55 destinations, dominated by war-torn countries and terrorist hotspots. Stretching nearly the entire length of Belize's Caribbean coast, this massive reef system is the largest in the Northern Hemisphere, a chain of coral and sand that's visible from the International Space Station. From water level, a detailed world comes into focus. Hundreds of cayes lie just above the surface, a constellation of mangrove and sand islands with a coral foundation, and the undersea landscape is remarkably varied.

Videos

  • Belize It Honeymoon, 5.5min. Welcome to our 9 day honeymoon to Belize in 5 minutes. Enjoy. We sure did. :)

  • BELIZE 2017 Fun Diving, 12min. Nice scuba diving video.

  • Tamarind Juice day, 1min. We stop on the side to pick some tamarind and made tamarind juice! :) This was perfect for an extremely hot and humid day.

  • Belize 2017, 7.5min. Wilcoxon Honeymoon. April 9-15, 2017. Coco Plum Island Resort.

  • Labour Union Senator Elena Smith was elected by an overwhelming majority as the next National Presid, 10min.

  • NEBL: Running Rebels vs Hurricanes, 1hr25min.

  • Belize, 4min. Unbelizeable trip !!!!! 2017

  • Fraser Valley Adventist Academy Mission Trip 2017, 6min. Listen to the life-changing stories of the students of Fraser Valley Adventist Academy as they recall their Mission Trip to Belize.

  • BELIZE 2017, 2.5min. Well here's a glimpse into my spring break(: hope y'all like it!

  • Beach Profiling | University of Belize, 10min.


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