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#523480 - 05/10/17 06:50 AM Today's Belize News: May 10, 2017  
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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

Caye Note: Launching of our BHIS Card
Effective June 1st, 2017 all patients of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic will be required to have their individual cards to access health care services which include: Outpatient Clinic, dental clinic, psychiatric clinic, gynaecology/obstetric clinic, pharmacy, lab, x-ray and family and community health (vaccination, family planning). It is requested that the general public cooperates with our health care team to help us improved our health care system delivery. Thanks for your kind cooperation.

Tropic Air Launches iOS App
Tropic Air has launched a new mobile iOS app, offering travellers greater convenience from booking to boarding. Designed to be fast and intuitive, the mobile app aims to provide users with a functional and seamless user experience. Key features of the mobile app include flight booking, exclusive deals, tour and travel information, as well as itinerary management. “Tropic Air is constantly improving and enhancing our various digital touch points to keep up with the changing landscape of the travel industry. With our mobile app, customers can expect greater control and convenience when it comes to planning their travel itineraries,” said Tropic Air’s President, John Greif III.

US Embassy donates new equipment to Belize Customs to detect weapons of mass destruction
On Wednesday, May 3rd, the United States Embassy handed over a variety of equipment to the Customs and Excise Department in Belize City. The donation is part of the Embassy’s ongoing efforts with the Government of Belize (GOB) to enhance land, maritime, and inland border security. Greg Bates, Regional Export Control and Border Security Advisor for the US Department of State explained the importance of the donation. “Weapons of mass destruction is spreading globally…our efforts are to prevent the spread of these weapons into countries that are trying to develop a military grade, chemical, biological or nuclear program. There is also an issue to terrorism when we have organizations who have publicly announced their intent to develop and create radiological dirty bombs and chemical weapons…So part of the program is to help prevent that by preventing the illicit transfer of legitimate equipment for the private sector into the hands of individuals that can use the same equipment to create chemical, biological or radiological nuclear programs,” said Bates.

Only one more match until NBEL Finals
On Friday, May 5th, the Cayo Western Ballaz hosted the defending sub-champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium, in San Ignacio Town. The Ballaz had to win the match if they wanted to continue in their journey to the finals. The island team was at an advantage by half-time, leading with a tight score of 36-32. The second half of the match was intense, as the home squad finally were able to pull out the 75-63 victory they needed. As a result, both teams are now tied in the playoffs, forcing a decisive game this weekend in San Pedro Town. The winner of this game will advance to the finals against Belmopan Bandits, which will be played in a best-of-three format.

Ambergris Today

Rotary Club Of Ambergris Caye Belize Celebrates 1st Year Charter Anniversary
Officially Charted by Rotary International on the 25th of May, 2016, Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye Belize (RCACB) prepares to celebrate its 1st anniversary and the group would like to share a little about Rotary in general, the local Club and what the members have been up to over the past year. The Rotary club of Ambergris Caye Belize found it's start with a group of like-minded individuals, wanting to bring Rotary to the island. With some work and satisfying all the necessary criteria The Club was officially Charted by Rotary International on the 25th of May, 2016.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Belize Fishing Report, May 1st - May 8th , 2017
Good week! Jim Grandt brought twenty hungry spin fisherman eager to land permit, tarpon, and bonefish for their annual spin fishing tournament. Plenty of bonefish were brought to the boats as all the anglers experienced a lovely weather week. Top rod for the tournament caught over 50 bonefish. Bill B and John T also had a blast catching lots of bones as well. Francisco from San Salvador joined the fun and landed quite a few even though his stay was short.

The Road Safety Team in action!
Road Safety Team in action at different locations across the country in partnership with key line Ministries, NGO's, Educational Institutions and Civil Society celebrating UN Global Road Safety Week 2017. In Bemopan at the Police Open Day, we are showcasing the results and promoting good road safety practices. At present, over 50 persons accessing the booth and they comprised of 2 classes from two different schools and various Belmopan residents.

Department of the Environment's Radio Trivia is back!!! Get ready....

See & Taste Belize 2017 will benefit The Inspiration Center in Belize
See & Taste Belize, Inc. is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to help build a healthier and happier life for the children of Belize by inspiring hope and contributing to the well-being of these children by improving their health, education and living conditions through charitable projects and fundraisers. See & Taste Belize, Inc. was established in 2015 with a focus on giving back to the Belizean community while showcasing Belize’s art, culture and cuisine. The See & Taste Belize annual festival will feature top artists and chefs from Belize, in addition to providing the best of Belize’s entertainment. See & Taste Belize, Inc. is approaching its second major fundraising event, See & Taste Belize 2017, which will benefit The Inspiration Center in Belize.

Another great charity luncheon
Cinco de "Mama" Ladies Lunch was a huge success and tons of fun! Ti Southwell thank you or letting me assist in bringing your wonderful vision to viva! Great day with great people :)

Gary P. Nunn returns to Victoria House Sept 7-10
If you happen to be in the area. We are pleased and excited to host the one-and-only Gary P. Nunn once again this September! The Lone Star Icon returns for his fifth series of shows at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize in five years, playing intimate shows at Victoria House September 7–10, 2017. One of progressive country music’s founding fathers, Gary P. Nunn has been taking Texas country to the world for over 40 years, possibly most famous for “London Homesick Blues” (the iconic theme song for Austin City Limits for two decades). Nunn has twice been honored by Texas Governors: once by 1985 Governor Mark White as Official Ambassador to the World and again by 2007 Governor Rick Perry as The Music Ambassador of Texas! We look forward to Gary’s visits every year. He brings such a wonderful Texas vibe to Ambergris Caye when he visits. If you’re interested in joining us for the occasion, contact our reservations office at 800-247-5159 / 713-344-2340 to reserve or for more information. We always sell out during his dates, so don’t delay!

Corozal Town Historical Walk
In celebration of International Museum Day, the Corozal House of Culture is delighted to inaugurate the Corozal Town Historical Walk. This permanent self guided walking tour highlights eight historical landmarks within the central core of Corozal Town with the objective of educating and enlightening our residents and visitors alike. We cordially invite you to the opening ceremony beginning at 9:00 a.m. Thursday May 18th. On this special day we will offer guided tours by the graduating students of Corozal Junior College’s Tourism Management Program. Please join us in celebrating the preservation and promotion of our tangible heritage.

Cayo Mother's Day Celebration 2017
The 2017 Grand Cayo Central Mother's Day Celebration is Friday, May 12th, at the new Santa Elena Sports Complex. The New Sensation Band will be performing. "All happening at The Santa Elena Sports Complex Friday May 12 from 6 P.M to 12 Midnight. New Sensation Band Live"

Institute of Archaeology in San Lazaro
San Lazaro Methodist Protestant School in Orange Walk was very welcoming!

Splashers
Hey Guys. Paint Party is cancelled this week at Crazy Canucks. Sorry for any inconvenience. See you guys next week!

Reef Trivia Challenge
Congratulations to Austin Castro from San Pedro R.C School on winning the Reef Trivia Challenge this Morning as part of Reef Week 2017!

Happy Teachers' Day!
Today, we were honored to welcome to the Embassy and present certificates of successful course completion to three outstanding Belizean teachers! This was the first time Belizean teachers participated in the American English E-Teacher online certificate program, and we hope that many more will follow their great example! Teachers, this week, take some time to celebrate all of your accomplishments and the lives that you influence every day.

Channel 7

Teenager Killed On Wrong Side Of Street
When we left you last night, it was with the sad news that the war in the streets has apparently started again - and this time it claimed the life of a 19 year old. Ludwin Lalin was killed just a short distance from his home in the Jane Usher Boulevard area - less than a day after police had a family day in that area to bring rival factions together. And maybe that's why Lalin took a chance he normally wouldn't take - he went to a grocery store not far from home, but in the turf of a rival group - and he paid for it with his life. Alex Courtney has the story:... Alex Courtney reporting: 19 year old Ludwin Lalin was shot dead last night after a barrage of almost a dozen bullets lit up Curl Thompson Street. Lalin, who had just stepped out to buy a few groceries, was only two blocks away from his home. After hearing the heavy gunfire, his family rushed to the scene only to find their loved one already dead.

Alleged Rape Victim Claims Magistrate Provoked Her
Tomorrow, Magistrate Norman Rodriguez will make history when he goes before his boss, the Chief Magistrate to be charged for rape. Rodriguez is accused of raping his "ex" in early April, when he was on Magistrate's duties in Dangriga town. Police and the DPP's office worked on the case for a little over three weeks before deciding that there was enough evidence to bring charges. One of the complicating factors was that Rodriguez and his accuser had a prior relationship, and, another was that she took five days to make a report. Yesterday, she told Courtney Weatherburne that she almost didn't report it, but claims she was provoked by Magistrate Rodriguez when he went to visit her mother after the alleged rape:...

Fawda, Friend Of Norman
But one person who did want to speak up for Rodriguez today is his friend, Phillip "Fawda" Henry. Now, while the always outspoken Fawda has been known from time to time to act as a public relations mercenary, today he says he stepped forward because he knows both Rodriguez and his accuser, and claims he knows his friend didn't do it:... Phillip "Fawda" Henry - Friend of Norman Rodriguez: "I am here on behalf of Mr. Norman Rodriguez because he is a good friend. He's a good brother. He's a great teacher. He's a great poet as a patriotic person for this country, and also a good campaigner, meeting people. As for the young lady, I sympathize with her for what she said happen to her, until the day of court."

Vehicle Fleeing Customs Crashes In OW
The Immigration Department may have tried to put a clamp down on the Botes border crossing, but traffic keeps coming through - and today it was a mixture of weed with contraband onions and potatoes. The sacks of white onions and large potatoes were in the pan of an Isuzu pickup truck which refused to stop at a customs checkpoint at Yo Creek this evening. From there the pickup hightailed it into Orange Walk town, where high speed led it to a crash into a concrete fence post. Customs personnels were pursuing it and the driver dashed out of the truck with a black plastic bag believed to contain drugs. He escaped and customs has impounded the pickup and the contraband produce.

Neighbor Charged For Shooting Telswin
Yesterday we told you about 30-year-old Telswin Lara, who was shot in his home on Arlington Drive on Sunday. According to reports, Lara was watching TV at home when he heard a knock on his door. Lara got up and looked through the window to find his neighbor, Dane Gillett, waiting outside. Gillett then allegedly shot Lara once in the back before Lara was able to jump to floor and escape further injury. Lara was treated and released at the KHMH. Gillett appeared in the Magistrate's Court today where he was charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Because the offenses were committed with a firearm, Gillett was remanded to prison until July.

Another Lara Pleads
But that's not the end of the story for the Lara's of Arlington Drive tonight. Yesterday the news was about Telswin, but tonight it's about his brother Darwin Lara. He pleaded guilty to drug possession - which is usually a minor charge - but he got a major fine. The 35 year old was arrested for trafficking 114 grammes or four ounces back in May of 2015, but today in court he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of possession. When Lara pleaded guilty this afternoon in Court #2 before Magistrate, Emmerita Anderson, he begged the court for leniency. Magistrate Anderson imposed a non-custodial sentence where she fined him $3,000 dollars. She ordered him to pay the fine by December 24, 2017 in default, 2 years imprisonment.

Larios Gets Off In Dispute Over A Lady
Back in March, Contractor Elmer Larios was accused of assaulting a man he found at his girlfriend's house. He was remanded because the assault involved a firearm. Well, today in court, the man he allegedly assaulted, Elbin Valle took the stand and told Magistrate, Emmerita Anderson that he wanted no court action against Larios. Valle told the court, quote, "he and I had already talked and worked things out." With that, the charge was withdrawn from against Larios and both men walked out the court room, with Valle behind Larios.

Shrimp Industry Unperturbed By Industry Newsletter Headline
Belize's shrimp industry is rebounding from its worst year ever when farms were wiped out by a bacterial infection. And today, it looked like another blow when we saw an article in a shrimp industry newsletter called "Intrafish Aquaculture". The article says that the Aquaculture Stewardship Council has suspended several Belizean shrimp farms certifications in wake of an early mortality symptoms outbreak. The Belize Shrimp Growers Association fired back with a release saying that four of its farms simply opted out of the ASC audit. Today, speaking via telephone from the south, President of the Association Alvin Henderson told us why the article doesn't affect Belize's shrimp farmers. Jules Vasquez: "How would the tone and the screaming headline here, will it affect the industry when it says "ASC suspends several Belize shrimp farms' certifications in wake of EMS outbreak." Will that affect Belize's product?"

Former Immig Minister Perdomo Already Faced Hot Seat, In 2010
Tomorrow the Senate Hearings on Immigration promises to be hot since former UDP Minister, Elvin Penner, will show up and testify. It will be the first time that he will take questions on the Citizen Kim passport scandal of 2013. We are told Penner plans to open with a statement after which the Senate will have a lot to ask him. And while we look forward to that….one more former UDP Minister who may have to someday defend himself is Carlos Perdomo. He's the current Cabinet Secretary, and a former Minister of Immigration whose name was called dozens of times in the Auditor General's Reports on Immigration, and it has also come up in the hearings. Retired immigration officer, Therese Chavarria, went before the Senate 2 weeks ago to recount how she flagged a suspect passport application, only to have her bosses override her instructions and issue a passport anyway.

AirBnB In Belize
You might know about the popular travel service called Airbnb. It's an online marketplace for hospitality services, which allows property owners in different countries to offer anything from a room to a home, to tourists. Airbnb offers travelers cheaper accommodations than the traditional hotels and resorts, and part of the attraction is that it puts the tourist in the heart of a country like a local. Airbnb rentals are available in every corner of the world - including Belize. There are over 400 property owners in Belize who are already registered as hosts in Airbnb. It matters because in countries where Airbnb has established a foothold, hotels have complained that the service has cut into their market.

Camalote Killings, One Year Later No Justice In Sight
Exactly 1 year ago in May, Akeem Thimbrel and his cousin Shawn Lopez were shot and killed in Camalote. Their family and friends are very bitter about their loss but more so because justice has not been served as yet - no one has been charged . We caught up with Thimbrel's father in Belmopan yesterday and he expressed his concerns with how police are handling this case. Ervin Thimbrel, Akeem's Father: "The most difficult part is seeing my wife and children suffering on a daily basis wanting to hear answers from the police department and that is not forthcoming. We are all the time looking at the - Facebook is like now the way forward for people getting information and so we keep on looking at that to see if something is going to surface, but nothing has surfaced."

Saldano Sentenced For Sister
Yesterday Rayford Saldano was locked up for wounding his own sister. According to reports from Saldano's sister, Jolene, they had a misunderstanding last Friday. During the argument, Saldano allegedly grabbed a sharp object and stabbed his sister on the left side of the face. After the incident, Jolene was taken to the KHMH for treatment, and the doctor classified her injury as wounding. In court, Saldano pled guilty to wounding, and was sentenced to two months in prison.

Five Years For Jose - If They Ever Catch Him
Today in the Magistrate's Court, Honduran national, Jose Gomez, was found guilty of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. According to the minor's testimony, in December 2014, Gomez entered her home in Burrell Boom and began to caress her. When she started to scream, Gomez allegedly fled. Gomez failed to appear in court today, but the trial was still held in his absence. Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith found Gomez guilty of the charge and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. If and when police find him, he will go directly to jail to serve that sentence.

Cops And The Community
Last night you heard from the disgruntled Conch Shell Bay residents. The gang members in that area are fed up with what they see as unceasing and abusive GSU raids. And it seems it's only the GSU who believe force is the right approach because pretty much the entire police department has endorsed Community policing. And they continue to do so through police training. A ceremony was held yesterday in Belmopan to kick off a 2 week training. It is called Community Oriented Policing. We stopped by to find out more. The training ends on May 19th.

A Week For Those Maddening Mosquitoes
Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika, what do they all have in common? Well, they are spread by the disease vector, mosquitoes. So, the Ministry of Health is always looking for an opportunity to educate the public, and THAT'S WHY CARICOM nations are observing Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week. Mosquito awareness week is being observed under the slogan "Fight the bite, destroy mosquito breeding sites". We got a chance to speak with the chief officer from the Vector Control Unit, and he told us what Belize is doing to participate in the event: Speaking specifically, about Zika, Bautista told us that since November 2016 the Ministry of Health has been working on a project with Mexico and PAHO. It has allowed for 537 Belizeans to get tested, with 139 returning positive. Majority of the cases testing positive are coming from the Corozal district.

Planter Perdio
Three weeks ago we told you about the 18 planters that the city council was installing on Albert Street. Well, tonight you can call it 17. That's after someone just posted this picture on Facebook showing the planter in front of Belize Global at the corner of King and Albert Streets smashed to bits. The Council says it anticipates vandalism and it will counter it with education:..

Channel 5

Murder on Southside Devastates Family of Teenager
An eighteen-year-old Belize City resident was shot and killed on Monday evening, shattering a period a relative calm in urban gun violence.  It is not known whether the murder of [...]

Charges for Magistrate as Rape Victim Reveals Struggle with Incident
Magistrate Norman Rodriguez, accused by a twenty-seven-year-old woman of rape, is expected to be charged and arraigned in the lower courts on Wednesday.  Despite the crime having allegedly been committed [...]

Victim Says She Was Forced Repeatedly and Abused
In describing her ex-boyfriend, the alleged victim says that Rodriguez has managed to turn her family against her, reportedly through unfulfilled promises.  During their brief relationship, the woman alleges that [...]

Rape Accusation Will Change Lives of Accused and Accuser
From a legal perspective, Magistrate Rodriguez has retained the services of attorney Herbert Panton who will represent the accused when he is brought before the Chief Magistrate on Wednesday.  According [...]

Corozal Double Murder Person of Interest, John DeShaies, Still Being Questioned by Police
The murders of fifty-two-year-old Francesca Matus and Drew Thomas DeVoursney remain under investigation by Corozal Police, with the assistance of the F.B.I.  A suspect has been in custody for one [...]

Maskall Grapples with Water Problem; Will New System Help?
Maskall Village on the old northern highway is without running water and the Water Board says it is because most of the residents have not paid their monthly water bill.  [...]

Airbnb Wants to Grow Market in Belize
Airbnb, an online marketplace which allows travelers to lease or rent short-term accommodations, is budding in Belize.  The hospitality service includes vacation rentals, apartments, homestays and hotel rooms.  While it [...]

B.T.B. Says Airbnb Must Play by Local Rules
Director of Tourism at the B.T.B., Karen Bevans, says that the collaborative consumption and sharing that Airbnb enable are the future of the travel industry.  It is, however, being met [...]

2 Charged for Corozal Robbery/Kidnapping
Two of the four men alleged to be involved in the kidnapping and robbery of three young men in Corozal last week were arraigned on Monday in the Corozal Magistrate’s [...]

Teenager Charged for Shooting of Telswin Lara
Police have made an arrest in a shooting in the city of Telswin Lara on Sunday on Arlington Drive. This morning, eighteen-year-old Dane Khalil Gillett, a resident of Pinks Alley, [...]

Wife Spares Husband Over Threatening Words Charge
A Turkish national employed with the Princess Hotel and Casino was today arraigned on a single charge of using threatening words against his common-law wife, a Guyanese cosmetologist. She reported [...]

Elvin Penner to Break Silence at Senate on Wednesday But What Will He Say?
On Wednesday, former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, is to be questioned by the six members of the Senate Special Select Committee. It makes for high [...]

A Third Term for Darrell Bradley? City Mayor Not Ruling Out National Involvement
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley enjoyed significant majorities in his two elections to the post in 2012 and 2015, continuing a dominant run by the United Democratic Party at City [...]

Proposed Fees Eased for Memorial Park Vendors as Better Service Promised
The last we heard, vendors in the Fort George Tourism Zone were resistant to the efforts of the Belize City Council to collect a three-hundred dollar trade license for service [...]

CEMO Symposium Addresses Fire Safety
The annual symposium organized by the Central Emergency Management Organization, arm of the Belize City Council, begins on Wednesday at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. In addition to discussions about preparation [...]

CTV3

Canada Issues Travel Warning To Belize
The unsolved double murders of 53 year old Canadian National Francesca Matus and 36 year old U.S. National Drew DeVoursney have brought the focus of the international media upon us and a whole lot of bad press. The murders have been covered by a wide array of international, primetime news agencies including CNN, ABC and various news channels from Canada. Along with the recent double murders in Corozal Town, the international press has also taken note of Belize’s high crime rate, the violent killings in Belize City and the shoddy prosecution record of the Police Department and prosecution system. Belize’s sensitive tourism image stands to lose from the negative press reporting, but there is worst to report tonight.

ASC Suspends Four Belize Shrimp Farms Certifications
The Government of Belize has been boasting of a rebound in the shrimp industry which according to reports from the Statistical Institute for January and February 2017 has seen an almost two million dollar increase as compared to last year when the industry suffered devastating loss at the wake of problems in production. Reports even showed an expected forty million in export earnings would be generated by the Shrimp industry this year. However, recent reports are that the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, A.S.C., has suspended certification for four Belizean shrimp farms as of a month ago, on April fourth. The farms have been identified as Paradise Shrimp Farm, Tex Mar Farm, Bel-Euro Aquaculture and Tropical Aquaculture Investment Farm. IntraFish website says the companies’ certification was suspended after they were unable to undergo their planned surveillance audits due to the fallout from an outbreak of Early Mortality Syndrome in 2015. As of a few months ago these and four other companies were certified by A.S.C. to do business, but they will now have to restart their certification process.

Will Elvin Penner Show Up Before Senate Committee Hearing?
Tomorrow, all eyes and ears will undoubtedly be glued to the live television and radio hearings of the Senate Select Committee as it is highly anticipated that appearing before them will be the former politician who is wrapped up in the biggest immigration scandal in recent times, former Minister of Immigration Elvin Penner. The Penner/Won Hong Kim scandal, as we have come to know it, dates as far back as September 2013. Just two days before Belizeans celebrated Independence Day anniversary and pride in patrimony, the news spread that Penner was involved in a major immigration scandal that involved fraud on our very own patrimony. A press release from the Prime Minister’s office announced that Penner had been stripped of his Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration portfolio and that he was “fired” from Cabinet.

Traffic Offence Charges Brought Up Against Corozalenos
Meanwhile, two young Corozalenos found themselves in some serious trouble in front of the Magistrate Arana after they were detained for traffic offences. 21 year old Mike Depaz and a 16 year old who we cannot name were charged for driving a motorcycle that was neither insured nor licensed. What’s worst is that Depaz who was the driver did not even have a driver’s license, when they were searched, Police found 12.4 grams of cannabis on the minor.

Corozal Resident Charged for Marijuana Possession
31 year old Ismael Villanueva appeared before the Magistrate’s Court in Corozal on Monday morning to answer to a charge of possession of controlled drugs. Villanueva, according to the Police, was seen riding a bicycle on the morning of Sunday May 7th when he was stopped and searched by the authorities. On one of his pants pockets, the Police say they found some green leafy substance and so they detained Villanueva and escorted him to the Police Station. There, they confirmed that the green leafy substance is marijuana and weighed 5.3 grams.


#523481 - 05/10/17 06:51 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 10, 2017 [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,671
Marty Online happy
Marty  Online Happy

LOVE FM

124 Zika Cases Confirmed in Belize
Between November 2016 and April 2017, the Ministry of Health has sent out five hundred and thirty seven samples to Chetumal for Zika testing. Of that amount, one hundred and twenty four of them have turned out positive. According to the Chief of Operations in the Vector Control Unit, Kim Bautista, the prevalence is shown […]

Shrimp Farms Fail ASC Assessments
In November 2016, the Agriculture Minister, Godwin Hulse expressed optimism for the shrimp industry in Belize. When we spoke to him then, he had just finished a tour of the Rainforest Seafood Belize Processing Plant in southern Belize. For context, we bring you Hulse’s remarks on that occasion. GODWIN HULSE “I also had an opportunity […]

Honduran Man Sentenced for 5 Years for Sexual Assault on Minor
Thirty-six year old Jose Gomez, a Honduran national charged with sexual assault on a girl 11 years old, was sentenced to five years today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he was found guilty of the charge. The trial was held ex-parte because Gomez did not appear in court. The incident occurred on […]

Teenager Charged for Shooting Neighbour
Nineteen year old Dane Gillett, an unemployed, was charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Magistrate Mendoza explained to Gillett that the court cannot offer him bail because the offences were committed with a firearm. Gillett was remanded into custody until July 28. The […]

Orange Walk Family Concerned Over Burial Plot
A family in the Orange Walk District was unpleasantly surprised to learn that a new tomb had been set on top of a tomb of their loved one at the Orange Walk Cemetery. The bottom tomb is where Faustino Campos was laid to rest some twenty years ago. The problem here is that the new […]

Parties Gear Up for Municipal Elections 2018
Municipal elections for the nine towns and cities in the country were held on March 4, 2015 with the United Democratic Party claiming victory at eight of the nine local governments. In about three hundred days, another round of elections at the municipal level will take place. The two main political parties are already seeking […]

Canadian Article Says Deshaies Is a Scapegoat in Double Murder
The international publicity on the double murders that occurred last month in northern Belize goes on unabated. On Friday we told you that a Canadian national is being looked at for the murders although investigators have not indicated what the motive would be considering that he was a tenant and friend to 54-year-old, Francesca Matus. […]

MoH: Cracking Down on Quality Drugs and Operations
The development of a national online drug registry is in progress with the objective of having quality and standard medication distributed to consumers in Belize. It is an endeavour that has created some challenges in the health sector but according to the Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero, it is a necessity. DR MARVIN […]

Amandala

More motorcycle collisions: 1 dead, 1 critical
One man is dead and another man is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) as a result of two separate motorcycle collisions. The first incident occurred at about 9:00 Saturday night between Miles 38 and 39 at a curve on the Hummingbird Highway, near St. Margaret Village. Elmer Espinosa, 26, a farmer of St. Margaret, was traveling on his motorcycle from Belmopan to his home village when, on his arrival at the curve, he collided with a vehicle that was coming from the opposite direction.

M/Health shuts down Estrella’s Pharmacy and Clinic in Independence
Health authorities have moved to shut down a private pharmacy and clinic which was allegedly being operated by an unlicensed nurse after an official investigation found that a medication mix-up could have contributed to the death of Ricardo Quintero, a 5-month-old baby of San Pablo, a farming community in Toledo. The boy died en route to the Independence Polyclinic while his parents were trying to seek emergency medical care for him. By the time they arrived at the public clinic, the baby was already dead. A post-mortem conducted by Dr. Loyden Ken in Ladyville marked the time of death as 7:04 a.m. on Saturday, March 4, although the case only recently became public. The cause of death was said to be acute respiratory failure. The exam also found that the baby had suffered bronchial pulmonary aspiration of gastric contents, possibly from the inhalation of vomit.

Telswin Lara, 30, escapes death on Sunday morning
Telswin Lara, 30, was at his home on Arlington Drive in Belize City at around 1 a.m. on Sunday when he had a brush with death. A youth armed with what appeared to be a .38 revolver fired a barrage of shots inside his home, hitting him once in the lower back. Today, Monday, Amandala spoke to Lara, who was treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. He recalled, “I mi deh inna mi house di watch TV and I hear somebody di knock pan my door and I di holler, ‘da who dat, da who dat’, and nobody ansa. When I shub up my side window by my door, da because wa gunman deh deh and ih got ih gun inna ih hand, di point ina mi face and I haul back my head and ih just start to fire shot inna mi house, and den I jump pan the floor and den I get shot inna mi back.”

Gunman executes Ludwin Kivany Lalin, 19
On Sunday evening, community police proponent and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, concluded a family day event in the heart of the Port Loyola constituency: Jane Usher Boulevard. However, at around 6:00 p.m. today, less than 24 hours later, one of the participants in those activities, a stepfather to two children, was fatally gunned down in that general vicinity not too far from home. He has been officially identified as naturalized Belizean Ludwin Kivany Lalin, 19 – originally from Guatemala. Information to our newspaper is that hours before his death, he was warned via a telephone call that his life was in danger. An unperturbed Lalin had just bought some onions and sweet peppers from a store at the corner of Curl Thompson Street and Jane Usher Boulevard Extension and was about to mount his bicycle when 15 shots roared out.

2 kidnappers charged; two on the run
Two of four thieves who kidnapped and robbed three men in Ranchito, Corozal District, who were buying a car in Ranchito, have been arrested, and are in police custody pending arraignment in court. The two robbers, identified as Elio Axvel Lopez, 40, of South Street, Corozal Town, and Jason Espinoza, 23, a laborer, also of Corozal Town, are accused of stealing $13,000 cash from their victims, along with other valuables, including jewelry and cell phones, valued at over $4,000, and also kidnapping the men, threatening to kill them later. Police have charged the men with aggravated robbery with a firearm, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment and abduction. Police also are seeking two more robbers involved in carrying out the crime — Jeffery Gongora and Brian Espinoza, both of Corozal Town.

In keeping pace with technology, SJC History Department launches digital Caste War project
St. John’s College (SJC) made a bold step today into the digital world, which has for a while now been the domain of at least a generation of Belizean youth, who are connectivity-conscious, and are deeply engaged in cyberspace activities on smart phones, tablets, laptop computers and other on-line tools. Now in its 130th year, SJC, in launching its History Department’s Caste War Project this afternoon, seeks to employ digital learning to reclaim the mostly overlooked history of the Caste War of Yucatan 1847-1901, which has had significance influence on the demographics of the northern districts of Orange Walk and Corozal. The statements made, and the nationalistic sentiments expressed, at the ceremony during the launch of the project reflected a revolutionary acceptance of responsibility for an important part of Belizean history.

NEBL “In the Paint”
Give the Dangriga Dream Ballers credit; they gave it all they had, but at the end of the day, their best was not enough against a very deep, experienced, and highly talented Belmopan Bandits team. As a result, the clock struck midnight on the Ballers’ Cinderella season last Thursday night at the UB gymnasium, as they fell by the final score of 76-72. The Bandits displayed the markings of a team on a mission, and with the win, inched one step closer to completing their team goal, that is, of winning their first ever NEBL championship. After trailing by double digits for most of the third and fourth quarters, the visiting Dangriga Dream Ballers had their best opportunity of the night to steal the game. It came following a made basket by Tahj Wells deep inside the paint, with just 1:51 remaining in regulation, which made the score 71-68 in favor of the Bandits. An ensuing missed three-point attempt by Bandits’ point guard, Edgar Mitchell, followed by a defensive rebound by Wells, without doubt put the home-town Bandits fans in some distress. This was amplified even more so, when Wells was fouled in the act of shooting by Stephen Williams, thus sending him to the charity strips, with the chance to pull his team within one of the tie.

Women’s League reg. season ends; Top-4 playoffs kick off on Sunday
Two back matches were played over the weekend to close off the regular season for the National Women Amateur League 2017 football tournament. (One other back match, Sagitun Strikers vs Toledo Strikers, will not be played, as it has no bearing on the standings going into the playoffs.) On Saturday, May 6, at the Carolina Field in Corozal, visiting Belize City FC crushed Calcutta Strikers, 9-0, with goals from Shanell Gentle (4’ & 80’), Jinnelle Pott (9’, 27’ & 58’), Aracelli Lambey (14’), Cynthia Salazar (25’) and Kursha Pollard (45’ & 83’). And on Sunday, May 7, at the M.A. Stadium in Independence, it was Belmopan visitors Jewel Fury FC with the 3-0 victory over home squad Sagitun Strikers, courtesy of goals by Jayda Brown (34’) and Gisel Baeza (46’ & 54’).

Belmopan Bandits clinch spot in Pepsi NEBL finals
The Pepsi NEBL playoffs continued this past weekend, where Belmopan Bandits (#3) were able to sweep the Dangriga Dream Ballers (#2) in the first two games. For the first time in their franchise history, Belmopan Bandits clinched a spot in the NEBL finals on Thursday night, as they narrowly defeated Dangriga Dream Ballers, 76–72, at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan. On Friday night, Cayo Western Ballaz hosted the defending sub champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, at the Sacred Heart College auditorium in San Ignacio in a must win situation, having their backs against the wall. They were able to pull out the 75–63 victory at home, forcing a decisive game 3 back on the island this coming weekend. The date and time for this game will be confirmed later today. However, league leading scorer, and this season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), George Williams was unable to play due to a foot injury. His ability to play in game 3 will have a huge impact on the outcome of the game, due to his scoring, leadership and ball-handling skills.

Social Media
The so-called “social media” mechanisms have become exciting and influential in Belize and in the diaspora over the last several years. One of the most dynamic aspects of the social media in Belize is speed of response. As soon as something of consequence occurs, a social media activist can post an opinion on his/her site, and that matter can go, as they say, viral. In other words, in a short while thousands and thousands of people can be involved in the discourse. Relative to the electronic media in British Honduras, which consisted of a government monopoly radio station until after independence, newspapers were always so very slow. There was a stimulating period in Belize’s history when the leading newspaper, The Belize Billboard, was a daily publication, with a major issue published on Sundays. This would be between 1956 and 1968, say. The Belize Billboard was the newspaper voice of the People’s United Party (PUP) until late 1956. To the best of our knowledge, The Belize Billboard began publishing in the late 1940s, after the end of World War II in 1945.

Graveyard in Monkey River menaced by erosion
The entire Belize City will be submerged by an encroaching sea in under 7 decades. That was the initial reply from Director of Health Services (DHS), Dr. Marvin Manzanero, when we contacted him today to ask what, if any interventions, can be done to help the community of Monkey River, grappling with shoreline erosion which now threatens to wash away the community’s cemetery, where villagers are still being buried. Whereas climate change is forecast to submerge many islands and seaside communities around the globe in the decades ahead, the community of Monkey River—like no other seaside community in all of Belize—has been seeing their village of approximately 250 residents shrink over the past 20 years, but the erosion has been much more aggressive in recent years, and since February of this year, the encroaching seas started to eat away at the community’s cemetery.

International Regional Writers Conference held in Benque Viejo Del Carmen
As a part of the 7th International Festival of Culture, a writers conference was held today on the campus of Mount Carmel High School, in Benque Viejo del Carmen. The theme of the conference was: “The Writer as Inspiration for National Unity, Self-Confidence, and Pride.” Several Belizean writers were present and participated in the morning and afternoon workshops which also featured writers from Honduras and Guatemala. The aim of the workshop was to amplify on the selected theme. The workshop got underway shortly after 9:00 a.m., after the singing of the Belizean national anthem and an opening prayer. Belizean poet David N. Ruiz, who is one of the organizers of the event, gave the welcoming address and introduced the foreign guests. Entertainment for the occasion came in the form of a folkloric presentation by Orquidea Negra Dance Company from Belize and Ballet Folelorico de Quintana Roo, Mexico.

The future is history!
Today we launch the Caste War educational project, which includes an exhibition, a web portal, and a brochure and more importantly we go on the public record about how we need to disrupt our school system. Today marks four years, a high school cycle, of our project to transform the way we teach history. We pause to present a full curriculum on Latin American and Central American history all designed, curated and prepared by our small history department. Today we present a gift of 1145 eBOOKS on flash drive for our school. We are people of the Yucatan Peninsula, what I like to call the Hurricane Zone. But our hurricanes are not just atmospheric, they are social, economic, political and yes historical. Today I want to snatch a few seconds of your precious time and share some thoughts.

5 years for Louis Tucker, 55, convicted of sexual assault on woman, 25
Louis Tucker, 55, will spend the next 5 years locked away at the Kolbe Foundation-managed Belize Central Prison. Tucker received the prison sentence this morning from Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith following his conviction on a charge of sexual assault, which he allegedly committed on November 22, 2016. Tucker was remanded to prison last December when he was initially arraigned on the allegation that he grabbed the vagina of the virtual complainant, a 25-year-old woman, as she was walking on Mahogany Street. The woman had reported to police that Tucker had touched her on more than one occasion, and she was disgusted with his assault on her body.

Olatunji Balogun passes
He was born on April 29, 1947, as Michael Elvibirch Brewster. However, he died on May 5 as Olatunji Balogun. Seventy-year-old Balogun, known to many as a black conscious activist, educator and historian, lost his battle with gall bladder cancer. According to his common-law wife of twenty-three years, Lucia Ellis, he had been diagnosed with this ailment in July of last year. Ellis told us that he had opted to receive natural treatment and was coping well until his health began deteriorating about three weeks ago. Though Olatunji is no longer physically present, his books, all twelve of them, will remain for an eternity, shedding light on the plight of the black race and Afro descendants.

Canadian man, John Deshaies, 54, charged with theft
Canadian national John Deshaies, 54, who, according to our police sources, was one of the suspects in the Corozal double murder of fellow Canadian national Francesca Matus, 52, and American national, Drew Devoursey, 36, was in police custody since Tuesday afternoon. Within 48 hours after being detained, he was charged by police. However, the charges against him were not brought by Corozal police, nor were the charges connected to the double murder, but instead he was charged by Placencia cops for another incident. Deshaies was charged with theft and handling stolen goods in connection with the theft of over $50,000 worth of electronic items from a casino in Placencia in March. Deshaies, a construction worker, was employed by the casino at the time.

Guatemalan peasants “take” piece of land in Belizean village of Otoxa
Amandala has received news that a group of Guatemala peasants have come across into Otoxa, in the Toledo District, where they were seen clearing land. The intruders reportedly told the villagers that they were making a border mark in Belize and claiming the land in the village. The village chairman and the village alcalde, along with the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), went to the area to see what was happening, and saw the area cut and cleared by the Guatemalans. The incident occurred on Saturday. Wil Maheia, founder and leader of the BTV, who went to inspect the area for himself, said that indeed, the land had been cleared and a line had been cut to demarcate what the Guatemalans said they could take as Guatemalan land. The Guatemalans told the villagers that they were cutting the border on the Belize side to take land which they said is Guatemalan land. The problem is, however, that the land they have demarcated is part of Otoxa village.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Tropic Air launches new iOS app
Tropic Air has announced the launch of its new mobile iOS app, which is designed to make the customer experience with the popular airline even more reliable, convenient and efficient.According to Tropic, the new app will make things easier “from booking to boarding”. The app is designed to be fast, and intuitive. It will offer key features including: flight booking, exclusive deals, tour and travel information and itinerary management.

Teen killed in Jane Usher area
Shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday, 18-year-old Guatemalan laborer, Ludwig Lalin was killed on Curl Thompson street, near his home. Police reports revealed that he was shot once to the left temple.

Belmopan Police Open Day underway
Today the Belmopan Police formation is hosting an open day. The open day is focused on showcasing policing services to the public. The K9 Unit, the Mobile Interdiction Team, members of the police training academy and members of the Road Safety Project are all on hand for the open day.

Belizean body builders dominate Chetumal competition
On Saturday, Power Gym fitness center in Quintana Roo, Chetumal hosted a body building competition. Among the participating athletes were five Belizeans including Belize’s very own five time champion, Mr. Belize, Rigo Vellos and Mr. Physique, Rigo Menjivar. In the Mr. Physique category, Menjivar won 1st place and Vellos won 2nd place overall for the competition.

Motorcycle accident claims one life
Yesterday morning, a fatal motorcycle accident claimed the life of an elderly Belmopan resident. Fifty-one-year-old Anselmo Simeon Caliz was found along the side of the road near the Orange Gallery in Georgeville village.

No closure yet for Pamela Lino’s family
Belmopan school teacher Pamela Lino is still officially missing, though there is growing speculation that it is her burnt corpse that was found in the back seat of her Kia Sportage found last Tuesday near Mile 22 on the George Price highway engulfed in flames. The vehicle was involved in a high speed chase after it made abrupt U-turn just before the Hattieville checkpoint that morning.

Man charged for Sunday morning shooting
On Sunday morning, the Port Loyola area erupted in violence. Telswin Lara, was at his home on Arlington Drive when a gunman showed up and shot him in his lower back.

Blogs

Lobster Season in Belize to be open in June (Awaiting for the opening season)
At the open of the season, June 15th, (when you can eat lobster, fresh or otherwise) lobster sells for $20.00 Bze per pound. After the initial rush of the season the price per pound stabilizes around $18.00bze. Buyers will sometime get a way with a minimum offer of $17.00. Today, the going price is $17.00Bze/Lbs in Belize City and $20.00/Lbs in San Pedro. They are available in San Pedro at he Fishermen's Co-Operative, from individual fishermen and the various small fish markets. Conch season is September 30-July 1st, and shrimp doesn't really have a season but very hard to get from June-August. Stone Crab is available year round. Second grade lobster which is illegal is sometimes available at $10.00 per pound. But be advised that the penalties are steep for being in possession of second grade lobster. A lobster must weight 4 ounces and above for it to be legal and purchased at any cooperative or store. Second grade lobster is normally returned to vendors with little supervision or reprimand by the appropriate authorities on the grounds that individual vendors or fishermen will use such lobster for personal consumption. The bottom line is that a lobster meal ranges from $40.00 to $55.00 in most restaurants.

Mango Season in Belize; eat your favorite pick on a fruit stand
It's mango season here in Belize. Belize enjoys about 20 different varieties of mangoes. Most people are familiar with mangoes, but for those of you who are not, a mango is a fruit only grown in the tropical areas of the world. It is one of the most delicious fruits in the Caribbean. The taste is hard to describe, but the closest thing I've heard is that of a Japanese persimmon. Mangoes vary in shape and size and have many different name. To name just a few of the more popular ones: 1) Julie, 2) Slipper, 3) Sugar, 4) Thundershock, 5) Number Eleven, 6) Bellyful, 7) Blue, 8) Judgewig 9) Apple, 10) Common, and 11) Hairy. Mango blossoms are small pink flowers covering the trees beginning in January. They transform into tiny green mangoes around May then slowly fill out and acquire a reddish tint in readiness for the rain showers in June that put the ripening touch to a mango. By that time the colors range from blue to red to yellow and when cut there is a flat white seed in the middle surrounded by firm, juicy, yellow flesh.

Visit the Blue Hole in Belize; enjoy the clear water
The "Great Blue Hole" couldn't be a more fitting name for the underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize. The circular site, which can be viewed from space, has become a bucket-list destination for travelers and scuba divers alike. At 984 feet wide and 410 feet deep, the dark blue hole is located at the center of an atoll called Lighthouse Reef. Though the sinkhole appears to continue down an infinite depth, an island of coral that outlines the circle rests in much shallower turquoise Caribbean waters. Parts of the ring are even exposed during low tides, showing the contrast in water levels. The massive hole wasn't always submerged underwater. During the Earth's glacial period when the sea level was much lower, the Great Blue Hole originally formed as a limestone cave. But as the ocean began to rise, the cave flooded and eventually collapsed, becoming the popular dive site it is today. The former cave's calcium salt deposits, which look like yellow icicles, are still preserved and can be seen on one's swim.

Tropic Air Launches iOS App
Tropic Air has launched a new mobile iOS app, offering travellers greater convenience from booking to boarding. Designed to be fast and intuitive, the mobile app aims to provide users with a functional and seamless user experience. Key features of the mobile app include flight booking, exclusive deals, tour and travel information, as well as itinerary management. “Tropic Air is constantly improving and enhancing our various digital touch points to keep up with the changing landscape of the travel industry. With our mobile app, customers can expect greater control and convenience when it comes to planning their travel itineraries,” said Tropic Air’s President, John Greif III. Built in conjunction with a leading developer of digital solutions, the new Tropic Air mobile app is now available for download at the Apple App Store, and is compatible with iOS 9 and 10. Users can look forward to more features that will progressively be added in future updates, in addition to an Android version that is now planned.

What to Pack for Belize (and What I Can’t Belize I Brought)
This is not my first day as a post-pubescent adult, despite what my Hello Kitty T-shirt and collection of medicated face washes might tell you! So why are you reminding me to pack toothpaste and deodorant? This is why I’m not a fan of packing posts. Every traveler knows they must maintain some sort of hygienic existence on the road; this is not advice. This is common sense. You’re wasting my time and my cache. On the other hand, every traveler is different. What you travel with and what I travel with are rarely the same. I don’t carry a water filter. I don’t wear sarongs or “multi functional scarves.” And you’ll never, ever, find ballet flats and practical skirts in my suitcase. Who are these travelers? And how do they climb mountains in ballet flats? Doesn’t sound very practical to me…

Fabulously Soulful at Mahogany Bay Village and a New Club
It’s no surprise that “Socialite Sandie” was organizing a crew to go to the Science and Soul Wellness opening at Mahogany Bay Village this past weekend – she is a healthy soulful and big worthy cause supporter. I wanted to accept her invitation to join her and the girls but I knew I really just needed to rest (doing challenging food re-balancing) and keep preparing for a busy Monday. So my day ended up with work followed by selfie Netflix and chill time and more work. I picked a winner “Easy” and shared with a few friends via messenger. Instantly I reeled in a simultaneous binge watcher Lara Goldman. She caught up fast as I paused a few times to do some planning of the new club which I will detail below.

Five Places To Live In Belize; Two To Avoid
The English-speaking country of Belize has a lot going for it. For a tiny country, it packs a big wallop when it comes to charm and scenery. For the would-be expat—especially if you’re looking for real value—there are many areas deserving of your attention. Places where you can live the laidback, Caribbean lifestyle of your dreams. So if you’re thinking of moving to Belize, where should be front and center on your expat hit list?

Interesting facts about The Ancient Maya
Often misunderstood for savages, the ancient Maya were a fascinating civilization. At the height of their empire, they had the five fundamentals aspects of culture: food, art, customs, language and religion. A few of their achievements are the creation of massive architectural wonders, extensive travel and trade routes, and usage of an advanced system of writing and mathematics. 1. The Maya would drastically enhance their features in search of beauty. They were known to flattening their forehead, sharpen their teeth pointy, create holes in their teeth and fill them with jade, and deliberately crossing their eyes. 2. The Maya loved getting high. According to Mayanist Mark Van Stone, ingesting hallucinogenic drugs was an important part of many ancient American indigenous religious ceremonies. Interestingly enough, in preparation for rituals, one of the favorite ways the Maya got into trance was by licking the back of Cane toads (bufo marinus).

7 amazing active adventures in Belize, beyond the beach
MSN has named 7 amazing active adventures in Belize, beyond the beach to do in Belize. They had rated this places as one of the most visited places in Belize. Don't worry, if you haven't heard about this 7 stunning places here's a blog about it.

International Sourcesizz

Updated Information On What The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season May Be Like
There is the possibility that the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season could be more active than what was previously thought. The latest data from the Canadian, NMME and European model are trending towards either an average or above average season in terms of the number of storms and hurricanes. These trends by the models will have to be watched carefully, but more importantly we will be monitoring current data to see if it matches the model data. Let’s start with the Tropical Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa – The amount of unstable air (which helps to foster the development of tropical disturbances) is higher than it has been in previous years, however, it is currently mostly below average. In addition, the amount of shear is currently near average or a little above average. Turning to the Caribbean – The amount of unstable air is above average and the amount of shear is above average. It should be noted that the area above 30 North Latitude is not as favorable as they have been in previous years and this could be a signal that the deep tropics could be more active than it has been in previous years. In addition, the eastern Atlantic is quite warm as compared to normal and this supports the potential for a more active hurricane season in the tropics than what was previously thought.

Belize’s wild-west real-estate market behind murders?
Unscrupulous Belize real estate speculation may be behind the double murder of Francesca Matus and her American boyfriend, the Toronto Sun has learned. Matus, 52, and Drew DeVoursney, 36, vanished two weeks ago after a night of partying at local watering hole, Scotty’s Bar & Grill in Corozal. They were found bound and strangled to death last Monday in a sugarcane field. Cops have made no arrests but are holding Barrie native John Deshaies, 54, as a person of interest. He has denied any involvement in the murders. A longtime real estate developer in Corozal told the Sun that Deshaies - a local contractor - is being set up as a patsy.

Howler monkeys booming in Belize sanctuary 25 years after translocation
The calls of howler monkeys, once wiped out in a Central American forest known as the Cockscomb Basin, now ring out in the canopy, and the scientists responsible couldn’t be happier. “As conservationists, we’re constantly trying to stop things from disappearing. We’re always playing for a tie,” said Scott Silver, a tropical biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Silver was part of a team that reintroduced black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary two and a half decades ago. Then, in March and April 2017, he and his colleagues from WCS and the Belize Audubon Society returned and surveyed the area in collaboration with the sanctuary’s wardens. They confirmed that the howler monkey population has grown and spread throughout the 51,800-hectare (128,000-acre) wildlife sanctuary in, to his knowledge, the most successful translocation of a primate population yet.

Little Harvest Caye Recently Featured in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine
Little Harvest Caye, one of the most celebrated projects from American Real Estate Investments Belize, graces yet another top luxury destination list. Completed in January 2016, the private island drew the attention of a national publication, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, for its luxurious amenities and surprisingly low rental rates. In their article, Kiplinger’s profiled several exotic destinations with surprisingly low price tags for rent. “Renting a castle or private island for family or friends’ reunion is more affordable than you might think,” Kiplinger’s states. The magazine describes a castle in northern France offered at $1,066 per night or an adventurous luxury houseboat in India for $64 per night. Little Harvest Caye, the feature property of the article, is a 1.5-acre private island off the coast of Placencia, Belize. The island has a full-time staff to cook and clean for guests, a private boat to get to/from town, and access to some of the most beautiful sights in the Caribbean — the ultimate in privacy for $1,500 per night. Luxury and affordability don’t normally go together, but that is the nature of southern Belize right now. The region is becoming the go-to destination for real estate investors and vacationers alike.

How G Adventures made social good a key part of its management strategy
A few years back, Bruce Poon Tip began hearing from local authorities in Belize. Students on the small island of Caye Caulker had stopped showing up for class. Instead, they were picking up jobs in the booming tourism industry, primarily leading bicycle tours. Poon Tip recalls being scolded that “as your company grows, fewer and fewer kids are going to school.” As CEO of the tourism company G Adventures, Poon Tip has long sought to boost local communities through travel. But enticing kids to drop out wasn’t part of the plan. “Here was this social problem we had [created], and yet we were promoting ourselves as this great social enterprise,” Poon Tip recounted to a room full of CEOs at Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies symposium in April. “We had to figure out a way to get kids back into school.” So he struck a deal with the students. As long as they stayed in school, they’d be guaranteed a job and loaned a bike to lead G Adventures tours. Since the “Bike with Purpose” program was introduced in 2008, school attendance on the island has jumped from 35 per cent to 90 per cent.

Indigenous leaders taking Canadian experiences to global communities
Canada’s Indigenous leaders are helping communities across the world in their ongoing struggles with land protection and development. Global Indigenous Trust, a Toronto-based non-profit working to empower First Nations communities, has just launched a campaign to support the Maya people in southern Belize. The community of about 25,000 won legal battles in 2015 to reclaim rights to their land and its natural resources. But, as is the case in many other Indigenous communities all over the world, the government is keen on issuing concessions to oil companies and building hydro dams – the kinds of projects that are prone to destroying the very sacred nature Indigenous people want to preserve. “That’s the dilemma. Yes, you’ve won land rights, now what? You can’t eat that paper,” said trust president Sonia Molodecky, noting poverty and external pressure affect how people decide.

Caribbean’s first online human rights database launched
The region’s first online database that will enable a standard system for capturing, collating and reporting human rights violations, has been launched. Developed by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), the Shared Incident Database (SID) is an advanced, user-friendly, web-based technology that will strengthen evidence-based advocacy for more just policies and programmes in the Caribbean’s HIV response. “The database will track incidents affecting key population groups which include those living the HIV, sex workers, drug users, transgender people, men who have sex with men, marginalised youth, migrants and inmates, who often encounter barriers to accessing health services and human rights protection.”

FBI helping with Belize homicide case, but RCMP is not, local police say
The FBI is assisting with a homicide investigation involving a Canadian woman and her U.S. boyfriend who were killed in Belize, police in the Central American country say. Francesca Matus, of Keswick, Ontario and her boyfriend Drew De Voursney, from the Atlanta area, were found dead last Monday near the seaside town of Corozal. Police there say an autopsy found the cause of death was strangulation. While Belizean national police are leading the double homicide investigation, they are now getting assistance from FBI officers, Raphael Martinez, a spokesperson for the Belize Police Department, said Monday. But he said no such help has been offered by the RCMP. "We haven't heard anything from them," Martinez said. The RCMP doesn't confirm or deny when it is assisting in such a case, a spokesperson told CBC Toronto on Monday.

MILLENNIALS RESHAPING BELIZE’S ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET
According to John Passerini of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, searches for private islands on the company’s website had more tripled since 2015 through 2016. Host of HGTV’s ‘Island Hunters’, Chris Krolow noted interest in islands has increased since 2012 when the show began. He added that his properties sales website, Private Islands Online gets twice as many visitors on days when the show goes on air. While more viewings don’t necessarily translate to more sales, Krolow admitted sales of private islands have improved since the global recession. In January, Hatchet Caye, a private island located off the coastal town of Placencia, Belize, was listed for $9.9 million. While the market for private islands is yet to return to its former strength before the global economic meltdown, prices have dropped, attracting a new crop of wealthy millennials. Recall that in the mid-2000s when there was a rise in sales to celebrities, ambitious owners wanting a piece of the cake inflated their prices exponentially.

Placencia Belize Makes New York Times “Places to Go in 2017” List
For the 12th consecutive year, the travel section of The New York Times published its annual list of the top travel destinations in the world. The article, titled 52 Places to Go in 2017, was a collection of top vacation spots that met the criteria of being unique, exciting and diverse. This year’s list was especially exciting as our favorite vacation destination, Placencia, Belize, made the list. The article contributor, Elaine Glusac, introduced the piece with the phrase, “Ecotourism expands in southern Belize.” This statement perfectly describes the direction in which the country is moving. The feature mentions the delightful quaintness of the small village that makes it a top travel destination. Here is more about the ambiance, accommodations and adventure that can be found in Placencia:

Videos

  • The Zenaida Moya Show Episode 17, May 3, 2017 - UNIA Liberty Hall in Belize City, 64min. This is a lively and informative discussion about the history and importance of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Liberty Hall in Belize City.

  • 'belize it' the movie, 15min.

  • Belize Camera Traps: Puma, 5sec.

  • Belize Camera Traps: Tapir!, 11sec.

  • Belize Camera Traps: Paca, 11sec.

  • Belize Camera Traps: Curassow, 11sec.

  • Ariel Rosado’s Friends and Family Take a Ride for the Cause, 2min.

  • Belize 2017: A Week In The Life, 11min. Vacationing and Scuba diving in Belize. Unfiltered, as we seen it.

  • One of Belize riverside ..., 1min.

  • BSI/ASR CROP REVIEW 2017 - WEEK 22, 3min.

  • Jeff Corwin at the Belize Zoo in an up and coming episode of Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin on ABC! COOL!!!, 2min. Meet Rosie, the miracle American crocodile! Rosie came from an egg of the nest that was laid in a drainage ditch. The nest had flooded out and all the eggs had rotten out. A biologist found one of the eggs, which appeared to be relatively intact, and assuming it was not viable, he gave it to an elementary school for their science education program. Lo and behold, after being passed around from child to child from classroom to classroom, miraculously this egg hatched out on it's own! That's how Rosie came into the world, because she was hand raised, she, without being too anthropomorphic, likely believes she is a human being in a crocodiles body, thus could not live on her own in the wild. But now she lives at the Belize Zoo, where she serves as an ambassador for her species educating the world of the importance of these iconic giant reptiles! Will make a great moment for an up and coming episode of Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin on ABC! Please share this really cool moment with friends, and your thoughts with me! Cheers Jeff!

  • Belizean Journalist and Poet Talks Working in the Caribbean, 6min. The CARICOM Skills Certificate offers more career opportunities to Belizeans wishing to live and work in the Caribbean. With this certificate, Belizean nationals are able to seek out employment opportunities in any of twelve CARICOM Member States; and for those still in doubt, Kalilah Reynolds shared her experience of living and working in the Caribbean with the CARICOM Skills certificate.

  • Sam & Julie Belize Wedding Film, 10min. from Jose Luis Zapata

  • AMBERGRIS CAYE /// SAN PEDRO, BELIZE, 3.5min.

  • Diving with Sharks in Belize, 2.5min. April 2016 - A few shots of reef sharks from our trip to Belize.

  • BELIZE | A Honeymoon in Paradise, 4min. This footage was taken on our trip to the Isla Marisol Resort about an hour off the coast of Dangriga, Belize. We first flew into Belize City from Miami and then took a small plane from Belize City to Dangriga where we met up with our group. We all then hopped on a boat and rode out an hour away from the mainland to our tiny little island where we spent the first 4 days of our honeymoon. While there, we enjoyed paddle boarding, snorkeling, jumping on trampolines suspending over the water, and just hanging out in our private bungalow. Our guide, Ernesto, took us to about 4 different dive spots for us to snorkel and then brought us back for a night snorkel, which was unforgettable. However, we forgot our GoPro in the bungalow and didn't capture any footage (oops). But trust me when I say there was nothing quite like it. The ocean is pitch black and you can only see where your flashlight is pointing.

  • Snakes of Belize, 12min. Un corto video educativo de las serpientes salvajes comunes de Belice, desmitificando el peligro de especies inofensivas y enmarcando sus comportamientos y hábitos básicos. Video cortesía de Russell Gray.

  • Belize Geil unterwegs 2017 Part nine, 37min. Scuba diving


  • Links
    Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!

    Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!


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