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Today's Belize News: October 20, 2017 #526501
10/20/17 06:12 AM
10/20/17 06:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,068
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

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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

Family Claims Police Neglected Deceased Baby’s Body
While the family mourns the death of their three-month old baby, they claim that the San Pedro Police Department improperly handled the body. According to the family, the baby was found dead around 3AM on Saturday, October 14th after going to sleep on Friday the 13th. The family took the baby to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, where he was confirmed dead. The baby’s body was then given to the San Pedro Town Police Officers, to be transported to the morgue in Belize City for a post-mortem examination. However, when a family member went to claim the body of the baby in Belize City on Monday, October 16th, the person was told that they never received the body from San Pedro Town. The family here on the island immediately contacted the San Pedro Police to determine the location of the body. The Police Officers said that the baby’s body was being keep in a cooler unit here on the island that served as a morgue.

Elections and Boundaries Department: “Your Vote is Secret”
The Elections and Boundaries Department hereby informs the public, that in any election, ballot papers are numbered for reconciliation and accountability purposes. Election Officials have a responsibility to ensure that all ballot papers counted in an election are only those legitimate ballot papers issued by the Presiding Officer. The public is advised that the law DOES NOT require any Presiding Officer or any election official, to inform anyone of the ballot book series or the ballot paper number he/she issues at any given point during the election process.


Second Annual High Tea Charity Party a huge success
On Saturday, October 14th, ladies from across Ambergris Caye gathered at Marbuck’s Coffee House for the second annual High Tea Charity Party. Organized as a fundraiser for the non-profit organization, Raise Me UP, the party was an amazing success. Attendees were dressed in their best tea dresses and elegant hats for the event that started shortly after 3PM. The venue had been transformed with beautiful floral arrangements, draping white linens and smooth music in the background. On Saturday, October 14th, ladies from across Ambergris Caye gathered at Marbuck’s Coffee House for the second annual High Tea Charity Party. Organized as a fundraiser for the non-profit organization, Raise Me UP, the party was an amazing success. Attendees were dressed in their best tea dresses and elegant hats for the event that started shortly after 3PM. The venue had been transformed with beautiful floral arrangements, draping white linens and smooth music in the background.

GOB makes first reduction in Fuel Prices
Following the Government of Belize’s commitment to reduce fuel prices after a record spike, regular gasoline has seen a reduction in price since Friday, October 6th. The dip in price by 84 cents per gallon had been scheduled for mid-October, but after a protest in Belize City demanding lower fuel prices, GOB approved the decrease earlier than scheduled. The Government also announced that the upcoming shipments will aid in the reduction on pump prices for diesel, oil, kerosene and premium gasoline. However the new prices are still to be announced. The recent decrease of 84 cents brings down the price for regular gas to $10.29 in mainland Belize, whereas on Ambergris Caye the price dipped slightly at $10.70 per gallon.

Ambergris Today

BDF Officer Completes Strategic Security Studies In USA
The Belize Ministry of Defence today informed the public that Belize Defence Force Officer, Captain Eric Richard Neal Jr., has successfully earned a Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies and a War College Diploma from the National Defence University in the United States of America. Neil also obtained honors for his thesis entitled “Managing Indigenous People in Belize: Guaranteeing Security and Rights for All”. Furthermore, Captain Neal’s high level of academic performance was reflected in his cumulative G.P.A of 3.89.

Belize Places In Top 10 At Miss America Latina Del Mundo
Elicena Andrada, Miss Spain Latina, wins Miss Latin America del Mundo 2017. Final pageant night was held on Saturday, October 7, Oaxaca - Mexico. Joannie Cantun was at the beauty competition representing Belize and she proudly placed in the Top Ten. Rounding up the top ten spots Miss Belize, Joannie Cantun placed tenth in the competition. She is among the Belizean delegates who have performed well in the pageant. Last year Michelle Nunez placed fifth and in 2009 Liliana Nunez nabbed the Miss Amity title and also took Best National Costume for our country. it is the 2nd title that Spain wins in the contest.

Belize’s Future Dependent On Threatened Belize Barrier Reef
The extent to which Belize’s economy depends on tourism generated by the threatened Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage site has been revealed for the first time today by a new report launched by WWF and partner organizations. The report, Natural Heritage, Natural Wealth, aims to highlight the incredible resource the country is at risk of losing. Home to almost 1,400 species, the Belize Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, and a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. Unfortunately, it is currently in danger of suffering irreversible damage due to harmful coastal destruction and the absence of a solid regulatory framework to ensure its protection.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Verification of Fuel Pumps: (April to June 2017), (July to September 2017)

BELIZE DEFENCE FORCE OFFICER COMPLETES A MASTER OF ARTS IN STRATEGIC SECURITY STUDIES AT NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY IN THE USA
The Ministry of Defence wishes to inform the Public that Belize Defence Force Officer, Captain Eric Richard Neal Jr., has successfully earned a Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies and a War College Diploma from the National Defence University in the United States of America. He also obtained honours for his thesis entitled “Managing Indigenous People in Belize: Guaranteeing Security and Rights for All”. Furthermore, Captain Neal’s high level of academic performance was reflected in his cumulative G.P.A of 3.89.

PUBLIC AND BANK HOLIDAYS, 2018
IT IS NOTIFIED for general information that public and bank holidays specified in the First and Second Schedules to Holidays Act, Chapter 289 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000 – 2003, will be observed on the following days during the year 2018 in accordance with section 3 of the said Act:-

Beltraide job opening
A vacancy exists at Beltraide in the post of IT Officer at their Belize City office. Deadline for application is Friday, October 27th, 2017.

Belize's Wonder Women! Ms. Beverly Swasey
Meet our Wonder Woman for the month of October, Ms. Beverly Swasey, born on March 13, 1947 to Mrs. Carolyn & Mr. Louis Swasey. She earned her Diploma in Education at the University Of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in 1977. She was a very dedicated teacher and started teaching on May of 1964. She taught at Belmopan Junior School, presently known as Evergreen, as well as Belmopan Comprehensive School . Besides her professional life, she is one of the founding members of the Belmopan Cancer Society and was President for 16 years. She is also a Founder of Capital Culture drama group, as well as director and producer of several original plays, and is Representing Belize in El Proyecto Lagartija Centroamericano, which is a group of Central American actors and actresses trying to raise the level of acting in the region. In addition, Ms. Swasey is a Founder of Belmopan Women's Council, now Women Empowering Families. This Wonder Woman also served as a Belmopan City Councilor and as Deputy Mayor. She received the Belizean Patriot National Award in September of 2016. Congratulations Ms. Swasey!

The Caye Caulker Municipal Airstrip has been closed for repairs
The new investment will see a remarkable improvement with an elevated, longer and HMA-surfaced runway complete with international standards markings. The renovated Caye Caulker Municipal Airport will be a state of the art facility, which will facilitate the transportation of tourists and Belizeans in a safe and pleasant environment.

The start of Carmelita's industrial park project
The first building will measure 23,100 square feet. The hard work begins.

Tropic Air: taking delivery of our second Cessna Caravan from the early 90s

Why the Muslim School in Belize should be renamed “Ishmael Omar Shabazz” Primary School
The legendary Belizean black activist, historian, and founding member of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) and pioneering soldier of the modern Islamic movement in Belize Ishmael Omar Shabazz was fond of saying that in every movement you have the jawbone, leg-bone and the backbone. He would delineate the deeper meaning by explaining the jawbone was the takers, while the leg-bone was those who did the actually work, and finally the backbone was the individuals who kept the whole ship afloat.

NEW CARICOM YOUTH AMBASSADOR BELIZE
The Department of Youth Services (DYS) is pleased to announce Ms. Kylah Ciego as the new female CARICOM Youth Ambassador (CYA), Belize, 2017-2019. Ms. Ciego was chosen from among fourteen (14) other vibrant applicants. Youth Development Expert Henry Charles was the lead interviewer on the panel. Kylah has been active in youth development work through her involvement in student councils, a GoBelize member and was employed as a Social Worker where she was involved in working with incarcerated youth at the Belize Central Prison. Kylah was very instrumental in the consultation process for the development of the National Youth Development Policy. She recently obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Kylah strongly believes that in this era of globalization and connectedness we must be cognizant of the impact of our actions on others as we shape the type of world for future generations.

BPP demands transparency concerning $8 million contract
It is the opinion of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) that the greatest evil that has emanated from the unadulterated greed of the PUDP system is the deprivation of our children’s right to an education. It is the opinion of the BPP that the Faber’s Road Construction Project, valued at almost $8 million, signed on October 12, 2017, is yet another poor economic decision, one that reeks of the stench of corruption. Instead of investing in our people, particularly our children, this obviously bloated contract will be invested in more “Keynesian” projects which force many of our “at-risk” children onto the streets without the knowledge or ability to provide for themselves, thereby fueling the societal ills of gang membership and ultimately crime.

IRON MAN CHALLENGE
All eyes this weekend on Miami Beach for all you cross fit lovers. It's the IRON MAN CHALLENGE event that will take place this Sunday, October 22nd at Miami Beach. What is crossfit? CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. To register and for more details, contact Francisco Castellanos at 620-6104!

A power outage is scheduled for the entire Orange Walk District on Sunday, October 22 from 6:00am to 2:00pm
Necessary for BEL to conduct maintenance and testing of equipment at the Orange Walk substation and to replace poles carrying transmission lines.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Halloween is on it's way .. enjoy these scary picks. The Only Living Boy In New York, Annabelle, The Emoji Movie, Leatherface.

First Zone Elimination
Here are the results of the first Zone Elimination. This year, we are taking one additional school, a seventh school, to the Finals. We are calling that school the Wild Card School. The Wild Card School will be chosen from the two fourth place schools from each Zone Elimination.The fourth place school that has that highest cumulative score between Zones one and two will become the Wild Card School. Wesley Upper came in fourth in Zone one with a score of 650 points. Will Zone Two fourth place school be able to beat that score and advance? We will see tomorrow.

Zone One Eliminations in the Belize City Primary School History and Social Studies Competition
Here is the result of Zone One Eliminations in the Belize City Primary School History and Social Studies Competition. Holy Redeemer, Buttonwood Bay and Queen Square Primary School will move on to the finals next. Tomorrow eight more schools will compete.

Happy Diwali 2017
We wish the Hindu community of Belize a very Happy Diwali!

Channel 7

Guatemala Sets Date For ICJ Referendum
March 18, 2018 - that's when Guatemalans will go to a referendum to decide whether to take the territorial dispute with Belize to the ICJ. Multiple Guatemalan news sites are reporting that Guatemala's Supreme Electoral Tribunal will make the official announcement on Monday. The question will be: "'Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize on continental and island territories and any maritime areas corresponding to such territories shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final determination and that (the court) shall determine the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties?" Voters will respond with a simple "yes" or "no". The quezon will be identically worded in Belize when our referendum is held - which is expected to be late next year. But, if there is a "no" vote in Guatemala, then there may not be any need for a referendum in Belize.

PG Robber Chopped Chinese Shopkeeper
There was an armed robbery this morning in Punta Gorda Town today where the female shopkeeper was chopped multiple times. Between 8:00 and 9:00, two men with masks and machetes stormed into Blue Sky Store on the town's Main Street. They held up the couple who run the store, and the husband put up a fight. His wife came from the back and tried to help and that's when she got chopped. Her husband rushed to rescue her and the men broke into the cash register and ran off with a few hundred dollars and a cell phone. But police were quick to respond and reports are that two suspects have already been detained and could be charged as early as tomorrow. Police also recovered one of their knapsacks along with a number of stolen items. One of the men had scratches which he got in the scuffle with the man who runs the shop.

Another OW Armed Robbery
And, another Chinese store has been targeted in Orange Walk, this time in Trial Farm Village. Around 7:00 last night two men robbed Tan Store in Trial Farm of cash and cell phones. The owner of the store, fifty five year old Ziguan Tan shared surveillance video with CTV-3 which shows the terrifying ordeal his family and employees endured. Two Hispanic men rode up to the store and walked in at exactly 7:03 pm. Tan was seated at the entrance to the store and one pulled out a hand gun and chased him to the back of the store. Meanwhile, the other robber - with a mask over his face and a white hoodie - pulls the male employee to the back of the counter with Tan's wife and daughter.

Armed Holdup At Belchina Gas Station, Cops Get Suspect
And there was also an armed holdup in Belize City. This one happened yesterday afternoon at around 2:30. 41 years old gas pump attendant Floyd August was working at the BELCHINA Uno Gas Station when a man on bicycle rode up, held him up at gunpoint and demanded money. August handed over $627.00 dollars in cash. The robber rode off - but he didn't get far, because today police charged a 19 year old from Flamboyant Street for the crime. Today in court, Carrell Sanchez was charged with a single count of robbery with a firearm. Sanchez has been positively identified by Floyd August at the man who robbed him. Police are looking for a second suspect who remains at large.

Would Mayor Darrell Do a Road For 8 Million?
He paved 100 streets for 20 million dollars, so would Darrell Bradley pave a little over a mile for 8 million dollars? Well, it's not that simple a comparison. As you heard that one mile plus on Faber's Road will have drainage and a canal, and a roadway built to last for 20 years. As is well known, Mayor Bradley's roadworks project famously didn't include drains. Today he said that he cannot speak about the Faber's Road project because he doesn't know the details. But the PM did speak to Councilor Dion Leslie about those details. We asked the Mayor about that snub and to make a comparison between his road works and this project:... Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City: "Not seeing anything to the scope of works I cannot comment whether or not any particular price would be commensurate with what that work is." "Notwithstanding all the concerns that has been raised by members of the media, let us not be lost in the sight that it's an important project and I think that overall we need more transparency with relation to works projects in Belize City."

Mayor Laments Situation With Lake I Boulevard
And while the Mayor has to bear the blame for whatever shortfalls there are in the city's cement streets - that's nothing compared to the hot potato that was put into the lap of the Manager of Belize Infrastructure Limited, Christy Mastry yesterday. The Ministry of Works Engineer said BIL is responsible for the failure on Lake Independence Boulevard - which is the one coming off the Chetumal Street Bridge. The Prime Minister told the media to talk to Christ Mastry - who tried to avoid the Blame game when we spoke with her. But it all falls within Belize City, and the mayor says this fiasco is an example of why there needs to be more transparency in public works:...

Police Release Suspect In Alleged Child Kidnapping
All week we've been reporting on the alleged attempted child abduction in the remote community of El Progreso/7Miles in the Cayo District. Three girls claim that an American man put them in the back of his pickup and tied them up. They also claim that he touched them - and one of them returned to her mother with her underwear missing. The girls escaped after one of them got free, allegedly jumped out of the moving truck and then freed her sister and friend - all just as her father happened to be coming along on the road. Cayo Police have had a hard time trying to piece together the facts on this one, and now they are in consultation with the DPP's Office to try and fill in specific details on key points of the allegations.

The Future For The BDF Command
You may have recently seen Colonel Steven Ortega on the news as the acting BDF Commander. General David Jones went on pre-retirement leave a few weeks ago, after being commander since 2013. Today we asked Minister of National Security John Saldivar what's next for the command of the BDF. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "The decision has already been made and forwarded to the Governor General for Colonel Ortega to take over command upon the retirement of General Jones so General Jones is currently on pre-retirement leave and so Colonel Ortega is holding over until then and at the end of that leave colonel Ortega will be installed as the new General and promoted." "Colonel Ortega is the most senior person on the BDF at this point."

No Good News For Standby Soldiers
Acting Commander Ortega was the one who had to deal with the BDF standby's who refused to move from in front of the Price Barracks last Wednesday. Today we asked Saldivar for a comment on this issue and he reiterated Ortega's position. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "Indeed there was no need for them to be waiting outside there, because there was a standby list that had already been prepared. We know that the facility can only take on 100 recruits and so the hope for these potential recruits was that somebody would drop out. But whenever that would occur, we would simply refer to the standby list and so standing outside the gate of the BDF did not improve your chance of getting in and for that reason the BDF had ask them to leave."

Saldivar Says Post-Convention Wounds Will Heal
And finally from Saldivar, we also asked him to comment on Sunday's UDP municipal convention in Dangriga. The slate that Area Representative Frank Pawpa Mena supported lost and Mena then made his displeasure known on his Facebook page. He alleged that his own UDP colleagues bought out the convention saying, "it's a shame ... you have to use money to buy my people. Sad that they don't know how you only care for your agenda and your racist needs. That's politics." Now, the background to this is that Deputy Party Leader Patrick Faber backed the winning slate, because Mena is an ally of John Saldivar. But, today Saldivar just brushed it off as just minor bickering - the kind he says is quite normal after any convention.

Airlines Await Paving Of Caye Caulker Runway
And while Saldivar says Mena and the UDP will get over that social media squabble, the 3 dents on the Caye Caulker airstrip won't can't be glossed over so easily. As we told you, Tropic Air and Maya Island took a joint position to postpone all scheduled flights to Caye Caulker on October 1st. to try and force the Civil Aviation Department to act. Well the $7 million dollar runway renovation project should start this week. But while that is about to get underway, there are reports that the road leading to the municipal airstrip could be having some sinking problems. While we have seen water pooling on some parts of the road, today President of Tropic Air John Greif says the runway at the Municipal is in perfect shape. We also got a comment from Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr. about the Caye Caulker runway project.

What's Up With Dredging In Caye Caulker?
Now the runway renovation isn't the only project happening on Caye Caulker. San Pedro Belize Express Water taxi is dredging near their pier. Now some expressed concerns that this project could be damaging to the environment and to the reef. But Area Rep Heredia says the project is quite safe and all residents will benefit from it. Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism: "Permission was granted by the department of hydrology, I believe who are the pertinent body, to San Pedro Belize Express to do a dredging on the side of their pier, because the water was too shallow and propellers were breaking every now and then. So after studying that with the pertinent bodies, they decided to grant them a permit to do it with the condition that all the materials will be for the use of the community and hence you can ask in Caye Caulker I think 3 days now they have been on the streets - just the cost of transportation whatever. That is what they are charging. But the sand will be distributed to all needy people including the 3 schools that we have."

PM says BNTU Is Fixing For A Fight
Earlier this week we told you about the letter exchanged between the BNTU and the Prime Minister where they both scolded each other for bad manners. But what the BNTU wanted was an itemized update on the eight demands in made during its 2016 trike. Yesterday the PM told the media he gave them just that, but he knows they won't be satisfied:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "What inauguration was needed? What was the position with the UNCAC, has it been signed. Yes. What more you want me to say? Of course as I tried to point out the attorney general who leads the implementation process has been copious in the press releases that he's been issued. So that the public has been kept well informed right along."

PM Says He Won't Be Around To Stop or Encourage Vega
KREM's Orson Picart also asked the Prime Minister about his former Deputy Gaspar Vega. A few weeks ago Vega told the media he might be inclined to run again for the UDP in Orange Walk North, despite the scandals attached to his name. When asked whether he would welcome or reject that, Prime Minister Barrow said - with more than a little relief - that he won't be around for that headache: Reporter: "Your former deputy Prime Minister Mr. Gaspar Vega made comments that should he need to run again up north he would. Now considering the amount of allegation of corruption surrounding the Vega family, what would be your comments to what he actually said months ago that he would consider running for the UDP up north, if needs be?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "My comment sir that I can have nothing to do with that. By that time remember that I will have retired."

PM Explains Tender Process For Road
And going back briefly to the issue of the 8 million dollar Faber's Road contract. The Prime Minister and the Ministry of Works Engineer went to lengths yesterday to illustrate that the road works and related drainage and canals are worth all those millions. But what about not putting it out to open tender? Instead they sued the selective Tendering process. The leader of the opposition has written to the PM saying that the Finance and Reform audit act require it to be put to open tender. Here's how the Prime Minster addressed that yesterday:..

Kids On all Things History
The Primary School Social Studies competition was held this morning at the Bliss Center. It was a tough competition with even tougher questions but students representing their schools seemed like experts on all the History topics. 7News was there and got to speak to an organizer as well as the top finishers. Albert Avila, Community Liason Officer for the Belize City House of Culture and the Downtown Rejuvenation Project "Today the competition is to focus on the history of Belize City so most of the questions that are in this competition are Belize City focused and like I said because the students are our future we want them to be involved we want them to know our history and the significance."

New House Handed Over
This afternoon one of Jenny Pinelo's dreams came through. She finally got her own house. She was living with her mom but always wanted to have a place that she could call hers. After doing some research she found out about the Hand in Hand Ministry in Belize who along with The Heritage Bank helped bring her dream to life. We spoke to an overjoyed Pinelo this afternoon at the handover. Jenny Pinello, Recipient of Home: "I was sitting with my mom and my sister and we were just talking and she told me to build a house to the back instead of just renting or being with my sister so I went several places and suddenly she told me that the hand in hand is for families for moms like me to assist us in getting a home."

Sir Barry's Bust
As we showed you 11 months ago, renovation on the Municipal Airport were completed in November of last year. It was also renamed the Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport. Sir Barry was a pioneering captain of industry who was known for his love of flying. Well today to top off the renovations, a statue of Sir Barry was unveiled at the airport. Here are a few excerpts from today's ceremony. Dixie Bowen - Wife of Sir Barry Bowen: "It is my privilege to have been requested by the Belize Airport Authority to be asked to commission a statue of Sir Barry for the Sir Barry Bowen Airport, renamed in his honor last November. The truth be known, Sir Barry was always taken by statues. When traveling he would always take time to stop and really study this form of art and I know today he would be so very proud of this lasting remembrance of himself at the airport he so painstakingly designed and was determined to make it a reality. Quoted from moon handbooks, the one about Belize, quote, 'Barry Bowen was a prominent businessman in Belize whose products touched nearly every Belizean and every visitor in Belize.

Helping The Caribbean
Earlier this week, we told you about the Hands Across the Caribbean Telethon which is being held on Saturday. It is a fundraiser for Caribbean emergency relief efforts after Hurricanes Irma and Maria which devastated CARICOM Nations of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda. The effort is spearheaded by the council of churches along with different organizations like the Belize City Council. Today the Mayor and the President of the Council of Churches held a joint press conference to urge you to get involved:… The Telethon will be held at the Bliss Center on Saturday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Another CCJ Session of GOB Vs. AA
And in another part of the Caribbean - namely Trinidad - there's no hurricane, just a storm of lawsuits between the Government of Belize and the Ashcroft Alliance. Two days ago, they were arguing over the guarantee for Universal Health Care - and today it was about the compensation payment for the BTL acquisition. The second and final part of the compensation is past due - but - as we have reported - Government and the Alliance are arguing over what portion should be paid in Belize dollars and what should be paid in US dollars. That's because, in the settlement it was contemplated that a portion of the second payment would be used to fund social projects - after settling legal costs. But, those legal costs came up to tens of millions of dollars - leaving Government with only a few million for social projects. they say the Alliance isn't playing fair, and that the figure being demanded is exorbitant and unjustified.

Will Senate Select Come Up With Budget And Timeline?
And going back now to yesterday's senate hearings, when it was over Chairman Aldo Salazar discussed the timeline a timeline and a budget for the remainder of the hearings. As we have reported, the Prime Minster and the Chamber of Commerce are calling on the senate produce such a document. Chairman Salazar said he couldn't agree more. Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "For myself, again, I think I got a lot of criticism when I said that we need to look to wrap this up because I think we need to consider our usefulness. I think as a committee we are definitely in a position to say how long more we can go for and how much money it will take. So, I definitely agree with the chamber's position, definitely agree with what the Prime Minister has said. I have been saying that for quite some time. We need to be able to say how we are going to wrap this up."

Crashed Car Was Being Pursued
Earlier this week we told you about the shooting outside the Princess on Saturday morning where a security guard fired a shot on the ground and it injured two men. After that is where things got even worse. As they were rushing Tyrin Faber and Elon Faber to the hospital the vehicle flipped on Freetown road, near the Cinderella plaza junction. Another one of their friends Jaime Bradley was severely hurt in the accident and had to be place an induced coma - which he is out of now.

Channel 5

The Government’s Choice: Imer Hernandez Paid 7 Mil for Hot Mixed Caye Caulker Airstrip
Another multi-million dollar contract has been granted to the government’s choice contractor, Imer Hernandez, the nephew of the former Deputy Prime Minister Gapi Vega. As recent as last week, Hernandez [...]

Hernandez Can’t Be Beat; He Won Regular Tender over 2 Other Contractors
Now Imer Hernandez’s company has been awarded numerous contracts for multimillion dollar projects in past years. Back in 2014, the Prime Minister had to defend Hernandez’s work because many considered [...]

Is Faber’s Road a Good Deal?
The dust has not settled yet on the controversial eight-million-dollar contract for work on Faber’s Road. The agreement was signed on Thursday and by Friday, execution began. It prompted the [...]

Mayor Calls for Transparency But Warns About Priorities
The controversy surrounding the cost, as well as the awarding of the Faber’s Road Project to Imer Hernandez, is quite possibly the result of a lack of information about the [...]

Mayor: Consultation Didn’t Matter to Me
Why was Mayor Bradley skirted by Prime Minister Barrow in favor of Councilor Deon Leslie during his consultations on the Faber’s Road Project?  On the surface it appears that the [...]

BIL’s Mea Culpa: Hot-Mix Couldn’t Save Sinking Lake I Boulevard
Still on the issue of infrastructure projects…. it was intended to be a centerpiece of the giant Petrocaribe spending program – worth removing squatters, clearing out bushes and splashing cash. [...]

Mayor: “Appalling” Boulevard Should Have Been Questioned Earlier
Mayor Darrell Bradley also commented on the Lake Independence Boulevard. As both a citizen and Mayor, he was appalled at the state of affairs. He indicated that it was emblematic [...]

The Final (?) Hearing on B.T.L. Compensation
The long-awaited consolidated appeals and cross-appeals between the government, Dunkeld International Investments Limited and Dean Boyce and the B.T.L. Employees’ Trust were heard this morning in the Caribbean Court of [...]

Dunkeld: Government Can Run But It Can’t Hide
Answering for Dunkeld and the Employees’ Trust was Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay. He contended that the Government was seeking to delay its obligations under the agreement and ultimately not to [...]

Impasse in Collecting Outstanding Arbitral Awards in U.S.
While litigation involving the Ashcroft group is before the Caribbean Court of Justice, Prime Minister Barrow has weighed in on the matter of arbitral awards that were supported by the [...]

Released for Now, Suspected Abductor Could Still Face Charges
In an update to the alleged foiled abduction of three girls from El Progresso Seven Mile Community in the Cayo District, we can confirm tonight that the American businessman held [...]

Sir Barry Bowen Memorialized at Municipal Airstrip
The Barry Bowen statute was unveiled today at the municipal airstrip in Belize City which also carries his name.  Among the invitees were his wife Dixie and family, ministers of [...]

Grumbling after Dangriga Convention is Not News
The U.D.P. municipal convention held this weekend in Dangriga has brought into the open the division within the hierarchy of the party.  Former U.D.P. minister Mark King and current Dangriga [...]

Steven Ortega Rises to the Top of the B.D.F.
Bomb Expert and Commander of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones, is currently on pre-retirement leave after almost two decades of service with the force. But who will [...]

Water Taxi Has Permission to Dredge in Caye Caulker
There have been complaints from residents on Caye Caulker that a dredging project may have adverse effects on the surrounding ecosystem and the barrier reef.  Since the beginning of this [...]

Statisticians Trained in Software Analysis
The Statistical Institute of Belize, in partnership with the United Nations’ Population Fund, wrapped up a two-day training in data analysis and micro-data access in Belize City. The training for [...]

Deserving Partridge Street Family Gets New Home
It’s been said that there is something permanent and something extremely profound in owning a home – and that is what a south side family found out today when they [...]

Dogs and Their Best Friends ‘Pawty’ in the Park
This Saturday at the Memorial Park in Belize City, man’s best friend takes center stage in the first ever Dog Show and Pawty in the Park. From two to six [...]

Join Hands to Help Caribbean’s Hurricane Victims
A telethon organized by the Council of Churches and the Belize City Council to raise funds in aid of the thousands of hurricane victims in Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda [...]

Healthy Living: Avoiding a Stroke
Many consider a stroke to be a silent killer. The truth is that a stroke may not always lead to loss of life but it can disrupt or destroy the [...]

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Engineer shares the specifics of the Faber’s Road Project
Leader of the Opposition John Briceno wrote to Prime Minister Dean Barrow on October 17 demanding that the Government immediately cease the pursuant of the Faber’s Road Reconstruction Contract awarded to Imer Hernandez. The People’s United Party is also demanding that any disbursement with regards to the contract be halted until a comprehensive assessment of […]

PM: “We are going to get value for money from Imer Hernandez”
Contractor Imer Hernandez has had his own share of controversy over the past years. He has received several multi-million dollar infrastructural contracts under the UDP Government. He is a known relative to former UDP Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega. Critics believe that Hernandez was awarded the 7.9 million dollars Faber’s Road Reconstruction contract because of […]

Moody comments on Lake Independence Blvd
After two years of being constructed, the Lake Independence Boulevard is in a deplorable state. Portions of the road are sinking and uneven. Yesterday Professional Chartered Engineer Evandale Moody explained what went wrong. Moody, who designed the construction of Lake Independence says that his design was never used. Belize Infrastructure Limited, BIL, took over the […]

PM discusses the lowering of Gas Prices
Last month Prime Minister Dean Barrow promised that the cost of fuel would decrease by mid- October. So far the price of regular gasoline has decreased but premium gasoline has yet to do the same. Barrow said that it should decrease in the next couple of days. He said that the sanctions placed on several […]

Elrington comments on Boycott between the Media & the Police
Last week, the media instituted a boycott of the Belize Police Department in response to the Department’s stance on not granting interviews with regards to major crimes. Yesterday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said he hopes that the media and police would iron out the issues. Barrow said that the press should never be excluded. Minister […]

Minister of Defence refutes Claim of Divide within the UDP
Following the United Democratic Party’s convention on Sunday in Dangriga, UDP Area representative Frank Pawpa Mena went on Facebook to vent after the team he was supporting lost at that convention. He first wrote, quote, “it’s a shame … you have to use money to buy my people. Sad that they don’t know how you […]

Musa will not challenge Briceno for the Leadership
And while there seems to be an internal jostling for power within the UDP, yesterday Deputy Party Leader of the People’s United Party, Kareem Musa, announced that he will not challenge John Briceno for the leadership of the PUP in next month’s national convention. Musa made the announcement via his Facebook page yesterday. The announcement […]

PM discusses his Retirement
Leader of the United Democratic Party Dean Barrow is finishing his last term as Party Leader and Prime Minister. While there is no telling who his successor will be, Barrow says that whoever it is, that person will not have to worry about him looming in the background. He said that once he is out, […]

Colonel Steven Ortega to succeed Brigadier General David Jones
In June of this year, Brigadier General David Jones told the media that he would soon be retiring. Today, Minister of Defence John Saldivar told the media that the General is currently on pre-retirement leave after which he will leave the Belize Defence Force. Saldivar adds that Colonel Steven Andrew Ortega, who currently holds the […]

Captain Neal Excels Academically Abroad
Today the Belize Defence Force announced that one of its own has completed his Masters of Arts in Strategic Security Studies at the National Defence University in the USA. A statement from the BDF states that Captain Eric Richard Neal Jr. also obtained “Honours” for his thesis entitled “Managing Indigenous People in Belize: Guaranteeing Security […]


Re: Today's Belize News: October 20, 2017 [Re: Marty] #526502
10/20/17 06:12 AM
10/20/17 06:12 AM
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The Guardian

Southside residents deserve an 8 million dollar Fabers Road project
On Thursday of last week the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Works signed on to a contract for the complete overhaul of Fabers Road from Central American Boulevard to the George Price Highway. By some oversight, the scope of works was not expounded upon and the price tag of 7.9 million dollars took everyone by surprise as the stretch of road is only 2.5 kilometers in length. This led to mass hysteria and speculation as to the value of the contract and the television, print and social media went wild with accusations of the contract being bloated. COLA and their PUP attorney, Kareem Musa called a press conference and threatened to put the project into a grinding halt with an injunction. They claimed that the contract was in breach of the Finance and Audit Act. With all the speculation and accusations running rampant for almost a week it was not until Wednesday of this week when Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow called a press conference to clear the air.

Attempted abduction of three minors in Cayo
A 58 year old American National is currently detained by Cayo Police for questioning regarding an attempted abduction. Even with his detention, public concern has grown dramatically over the last few hours as to the safety for three female children. On Monday at about 10:00 am, a ten and a nine year old female went to buy ideals in El Progresso or Seven Miles in rural Cayo and on their way were invited by a clear complexioned male to travel to Belize City in his vehicle. The two females were then joined by another female minor. However; at the junction of Georgeville one of the minors saw her father and jumped out of the vehicle and so did the other two girls. In the process of doing so the children obtained some minor scrapes.

Kareem punks out
In a most sheepish manner, Kareem Musa has decided that he will not run for leader of the People’s United Party. In a statement he issued on Wednesday he completely backed down from the cavalier position which he had taken last week when he had invited the media to tell them he was considering running. In his craftily worded statement he blamed the media as the ones who “brought up my name,” stating that “I was surprised.” The reality is that it was neither the media nor was he surprised that his name was out there as he had in fact himself sent out the message as a trial balloon to test the weather.

Overnight and cruise arrivals show steady growth
According to the Belize Tourism Board, Cruise and Overnight tourism has shown a steady growth path in Belize. These positive trends have been visible for the first 9 months of 2017. The cumulative increase in overnight arrival has been a total of 8.6% while in September, there has been a 7.9% increase. September’s 7.9% increase represents an increase of more than 1,400 visitors. Although there was an increase in overall overnight arrivals, there was only a slight increase of overnight arrivals through the International Airport. This is due to the threat of storms in the region earlier in the month. While there was only a minimal increase through the airport in September, there was a more significant increase in the arrival of visitors through the Northern and Western land borders. For the third quarter of July to September 2017 when it was compared to that of 2016, there was a 10.9% increase in overnight tourism, despite this quarter being the traditional slow season.

Countrywide blood shortage
On Monday October 16th, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital sent out an advisory that it was postponing elective surgeries due to limited blood supply for these procedures. The shortage began two and a half weeks earlier and was attributed to the Blood Bank being unable to supply blood. While the hospital is able to continue life-saving surgeries, elective surgeries are being postponed. But what is causing the shortage? According to Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, it has to do with the Blood Bank being unable to screen blood. He told us that there is currently a region-wide shortage of HIV testing kits so even if donors provide blood, these cannot be screened. This has caused an acute shortage as the Belize City based blood bank is the only one that supplies blood to all medical institutions in need.

UDP selects Dangriga's municipal slate with record turnout
The United Democratic Party held a very successful convention in Dangriga where 1,301 supporters came out to cast their ballots for the persons whom they thought were best suited to represent the party in the upcoming municipal elections of March 7, 2018. There were two persons running for the position of mayoral candidate and in the end, current mayor, Francis Humphreys received 914 votes while his opponent, Herbert Nicassio received 322 votes. In the race for councilor candidates, there were 12 persons vying for 6 positions. Topping the polls was Cheryl Molina who received 754 votes; Alexander Joseph got 692 votes; Aaron Gongora secured 687 votes; Earth Lopez got 627 votes; Gary Franscisco got 624 votes and Yadira Diego received 603 votes rounding off the 6 candidates. The other candidates who contested were Therese Ariola who received 585 votes; Alden Chavez with 498; Anthony Garbutt 596; Marshall Mejia 489; Patricia Usher 444; and Augustine Sabal 290.

Aikman’s foolishness again!
About a month and a half ago, we thought we had put to rest this foolishness about political parties knowing how voters cast their votes at any particular election. However that thinking changed after midday on Sunday when we at this newspaper had the opportunity to watch the repeat of the Zenaida & Derek Show. The show is a show that is aired on Krem TV sometime during the week and repeats on Sundays. During that particular episode of the show Derek Aikman did a voting simulation in an attempt to prove that the Political Parties in Belize are able to tell how each and every one votes at any particular election. It is not the first time that Aikman has staged such a simulation.

PM says Cattouse’s murder not a political hit
Albert Cattouse was killed in his taxi on Thursday of last week and since his death some activists have said that his killing was motivated because he was an activist. On Wednesday, during a press conference, PM Dean Barrow stated that nothing could be further from the truth. He noted that Cattouse was an acquaintance of his and they were always cordial with one another whenever they met. He went on to state that the police’s investigations show that what happened was “completely at odds from any notion that this was a political hit. I am willing to bet my life that no UDP personality in the leadership of this party would ever do something like that.”

Belize City Council’s receives flood mitigation equipment
In November 2011, the Government of Belize (GOB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed a US $10 million loan agreement as well as US $750,000 counterpart funding for a flood alleviation and mitigation project for the Belama Area. The project, labeled “Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project”, has three components which were to be completed in a 5-year span. The first component, Engineering and Administration, included the establishment of an execution unit and operational expenses. Next were the First and Second Year of Civil Works subcomponents, the first being comprised of the outputs of street improvements, canal construction, and the upgrading of two parks. Component three was for Institutional Strengthening which consisted of a host of studies to be done in the areas of flood alleviation and mitigation.

Protecting Our Planet through Climate Action on Multiple Fronts - Minister Lee Ying-yuan Environmental Protection Administration Republic of China (Taiwan)
Climate change is a scientific fact, and its effects are already being distinctly felt around the world, threatening human health, the places we inhabit, and the sustainability of our socioeconomic systems. This includes Taiwan, which this year alone has experienced several extreme weather events. In early June, Sanzhi District in New Taipei City, northern Taiwan, received 615 mm of heavy rain in just nine hours, while the mountainous regions around Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan received a record 1,446 mm in total. In late July, two typhoons (Nesat and Haitang) struck the island in close succession, a rarely seen event resulting in a record 690 mm of rainfall in the southern coastal region of Pingtung’s Jiadong township over a three-day period.

San Juan/ Cowpen receives NEMO Flood Mitigation Works
The village of San Juan/ Cowpen has recently benefitted from the expansion of electricity in the village as well as the paving of its main road and is again a beneficiary of works by the government. They have now received much needed work in the area of flood mitigation. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) began excavating and cleaning drains to facilitate the free flow of water, pertinent in these times of excess rainfall. These works are being supervised by Keith Emmanuel, Southern Regional Coordinator, NEMO; David Cruz, Stann Creek District Coordinator, and other Ministry of Works personnel. Direction on the ground is also being provided by San Juan/Cowpen Village Chairman Carlos Peraza and Councillor Abby Blades.

Police continue their Du Di Rait Ting program
The Belize Police Department, Community Policing Unit hosted the 13th national “Du Di Rait Ting” program on October 14, 2017 at the Old Belize Pavilion. There were 37 submitted candidates and from that submission, 7 were exemplified as great examples of doing the right thing. The 3 top winners are: Jasmine Diego from Claver College Extension, Yunior Ramirez from Corozal Community College, and Honenaida Garcia from Independence High School.

FOR ELENA SMITH: WHEN YOU KNOW YOU DON’T KNOW BUT PLAY LIKE YOU KNOW
On Tuesday October 17, 2017 nightly news (Channel 7), Senator Elena Smith president of BNTU, was heard making the following statements regarding the Public Sector Workers’ Trust. “The initial sums of monies that were spent from the trust was spent to put together the trust deed. That had to be drafted and that had to be drafted by attorneys and so we paid I believe 3 attorneys had been paid to draft the deed.” “We must now go and redo the trust deed based on the court judgement. The government has been named as the settler and so we must now go through and draft a new trust deed to be presented for acceptance and that is where we are.”

Teachers and students from Belmopan participate in Fun Run
For the third year in a row, the adventuring teachers and students from the Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic High School OLOGHS in Belmopan have pounded the asphalt from Belmopan to San Ignacio for a worthy cause. First to reach San Ignacio on Saturday morning was Jamel Webster, 25 years of age, and by the time he was at the finishing line his tennis shoe had worn out. At the ready to assist Webster and other runners was a team from the Red Cross ; with the Traffic Department also keeping a careful watch for their safety.

George Price Highway cleaned over weekend
In remembering 25 years of Environmental Sustainability, a trio composed of the Department of the Environment, the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society once again partnered in a “Walk for a Green Belize” cleanup. The event aimed at building awareness and providing a firm foundation for an environmentally friendly Belize started at 7:00 am on Saturday along the entire 77 mile George Price Highway--with the involvement of over 50 groups, individuals and businesses.

What did Justice Abel tell the Unions to do?
Over the past couple of weeks there has been much chatter about the BNTU and the PSU refusing to abide by a court order issued against them. The unions were taken to court by persons who had their salaries frozen between 1994-1997 and were given shares in BTL as compensation. Since then the beneficiaries have not been able to receive any benefits from the trust which was established by the unions in 2014. For clarity we print some excerpts of the judgement to shed some light as to what needs to be done to make amends with the beneficiaries.

Saint Catherine’s Academy bans the use of disposable material
The Saint Catherine Academy community has ventured on a task to implement the utilization of reusable material into their SCA society. In speaking with Arlene Riverol, Vice Principal, Academic Affairs, as well as the seven girls that make up the student council, it was learnt that the task actually began three years ago but has finally come into play after the student council decided to take action.

Republic of China (Taiwan) Celebrates 106th National Day
A host of invited guests attended a ceremony to celebrate the Republic of China (Taiwan’s) 106th National Day at the Princess Ramada Hotel. At the ceremony on Friday, October 6, 2017, donations of refurbished ASUS laptops were made to fourteen organizations that included the Guardian Newspaper, Channel 7, Saint Catherine Academy, and the Pallottine Sisters.

Guatemalan remanded for sexually assaulting 8 year old girl
A Guatemalan construction worker who has been living in Belize for over 20 years has been accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl. He is 30-year-old Jorge Giovanni Garcia of Belize City. Garcia appeared unrepresented in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser for arraignment on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 where he was read a single charge of sexual assault. He pled not guilty to the charge but the Magistrate had several reservations and concerns. The first was regarding his status in Belize. Garcia claims that he has been living in Belize since he was 10 and never got documented by his parents.

Two dead in separate road traffic accidents
On October 11, 2017 at around 2:30 p.m., police officers responded to a fatal traffic accident between miles 32 and 33 on the Southern Highway. There they saw a lifeless body with head and body injuries lying on the side of the road. The body was that of 32-year-old Sebastian Cucul, a laborer of San Isidoro Village. Cucul’s body was taken to the Dangriga morgue. Investigations revealed that Cucul was riding his Skygo motorcycle towards Georgetown Village when he collided into the left side of a trailer truck which was travelling in the opposite direction. That truck was being driven by 33-year-old Hector Amilcar Melara of Hopkins. Melara has since been served an NIP as investigations continue.

Armed robberies in the north
On October 13, 2017, police visited Sun Luck Store located on Zericote Street in Orange Walk where they spoke to Hong Zhen Quin, a 24-year-old Chinese cashier, who reported that at 3:15 p.m., 2 male persons of Hispanic descent entered the shop. They were both dressed in full black clothing with caps on their heads and white rags covering their faces. One of the culprits was armed with what appeared to be a 9 mm pistol which he pointed to Zhen Quin. The robbers stole $600.

Bail for man accused of drug trafficking
A Belizean mason and contractor, 45-year-old Franklin Vernon, was taken to court on October 12, 2017 to answer to a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. Vernon was found in possession of 129 grams of cannabis earlier the same day. Vernon appeared before Magistrate Michelle Trapp where he was read a single charge for drug trafficking. He plead not guilty to trafficking and contended that he was guilty of possession and not drug trafficking. Magistrate Trapp explained that he was not being charged for possession. Prosecutor Inspector Hector Rodriguez informed Vernon that while he is unable to accept his plea for possession, he will be updated at his next adjournment which is set for December 21, 2017.

Keith Middleton killed at home
Keith Middleton, another resident of the Jane Usher Boulevard area, was killed in a shooting at his yard. He’s the fourth member of the Jane Usher boulevard neighbourhood to be murdered in 2 months, and this is the third time he’s been injured by gunmen. On Monday, October 16, 2017, at around 7:30 p.m. the 31 year-old was at his home on Mud Street, socializing with a friend when an unknown shooter opened fire on him and injured him multiple times.

Robbers hold Sirrom Gas Station
An unknown robber, with the assistance of another held a worker at the Sirrom Gas distribution point in the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio at gun point last Friday morning. Vicente Maldonado reported to San Ignacio Police that a man dressed in dark clothing entered into the fuel station and pointed a 9 mm hand gun at him and instructed him to hand over the funds. In response, Maldonado then handed $727.50 and his cellular phone.

Missing teen found in shallow grave
After being missing for 52 days, 17 year-old Erwin Rodriguez, a Belize City resident, was found dead in the Port Loyola area. A post-mortem has concluded that he died from multiple gunshot wounds to the face. It’s the end of a long search and a period of uncertainty for his family who had been hoping, but realizing that the worst possible outcome would be the likely result. His body was discovered in a shallow grave near the seashore area, behind the Port of Belize. That’s not too far from his home in the Jane Usher Boulevard area.

Shooting incidents, Accident and unintentional - Aaron Wilson shoots his brother
Aaron Wilson Guzman, a 23-year-old Belizean businessman of Silk Grass, Stann Creek, reported that on October 13, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. while at a farm about one mile from Silk Grass, he was with his brother Brandon Guzman loading lumber. After finishing, he jumped off the truck with his licensed Glock pistol with a bullet in the chamber which was tucked in the right side of his pants. The firearm fell on some lumber which caused it to discharge. The bullet caught his brother in his upper right arm. Brandon was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital for treatment.

Shootings in Belize City
On October 14, 2017 at 8:15 p.m., police visited the ER at the KHMH where they saw Kirkland Michael Dawson suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the right thigh. Dawson, a 31-year-old electrician and resident of Euphrates Avenue, was socializing with friends on Curassow Street in Belize City when he heard several gunshots being fired. He felt a burning sensation in his right thigh and realized that he has been shot.

Swiss National is charged for drug and immigration offenses
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, a 42-year-old retiree of Switzerland appeared unrepresented in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser to answer to a single immigration offense. He is Christian Reis, a frequent visitor of Belize. The allegations against Reis are that he entered Belize on April 13, 2017 through the Northern Border Station to remain legally until May 12, 2017 but he has since failed to get an extension to his permit. As a result, he has been charged with failure to comply with the conditions of a visitor’s permit.

Taximan Albert Cattouse’s killing a mystery
Family members and friends of 72-year-old Albert Cattouse continue to make funeral arrangements for him after he was killed in what appears to be a random act of violence in Belize City. The incident happened on Thursday, October 12, at around 7:30 p.m. That’s when police found his taxi, a grey Lincoln Town Car, in a drain on Hicatee Street. Inside it, they found him in the driver’s seat with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Police say that from their investigation so far, Cattouse was driving his vehicle from the direction of West Collet Canal, toward Dolphin Street. Shortly after he passed Bocotora Street, nearby persons and residents heard the sound of gunshots. It is believed at this time that he picked up the person who shot him to the back of the head.

Teenager charged with attempted murder
Police have arrested and charged 19 year old Asher Saunders with Attempted Murder and Use of Deadly means of harm following a shooting incident on Tuesday October 13th. Police report that they visited the Emergency Room at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw Floyd Elston McNab, a 33-year-old Belizean Laborer of Campos Avenue, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the right buttock and 3 gunshots to the left buttocks.

After staying one week with a friend, woman is accused of theft
On Thursday, October 12, 2017, Shelmadine Neal, a 21-year-old unemployed resident of Victoria Street, appeared before Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser in the Belize City to answer to a charge of theft. Neal appeared barefooted and dirty before the magistrate and claimed that she got into a fight with the family of the complainant on the way to court.

San Pedro Pirates best the Placencia Assassins in Premier League competition
The Premier League of Belize 2017 Opening Season is fast coming to an end with only three more weeks of play in the regular season remaining. On Saturday 14th October at the Ambergris Stadium in San Pedro Town, the host team San Pedro Pirates edged out the visiting Placencia Assassins by the score of 3-1. The San Pedro Pirates was the first onto the scoreboard when Hector Martinez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 28th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Inri Gonzaga scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 45th minute of play for a 2-0 lead.

Belize Athletics Association elects new officers
The Belize Athletics Association held its 2017 Annual General Meeting on Saturday 21 October, 2017 at Edward P. Yorke High School in Belize City. The highlight of the Annual General Meeting was the elections of officers for the association. At the close of nomination day the following persons nominated for the positions are: President - Deon Sutherland, 1st vice president - Jaheed Smith, 2nd vice president - Tricia Flores, General Secretary - Josephine Flowers, Asst. Secretary - Jeneicia Sanker, Treasurer - Orville Melendrez Committee members - Andrew Pilgrim, Shelmadine Carr and Shaun Gill. The elected officers will serve until the next General Meeting in which an election will be held.

Football Federation of Belize to hold 11th Ordinary Congress
The Football Federation of Belize is pleased to inform the general public and the football world that it will be holding its 11th Ordinary Congress on Saturday 2nd December, 2017, at 10:00 am at the Ramada Belize City Princess on Newtown Barracks in Belize City. The high point of the 11th Ordinary Congress will be the elections of the President and Vice President of the Football Federation of Belize.

National Track and Field Championship reschedule for November
The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts once again to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. The event will take place at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on November 4-5, 2017. All athletes 16 years and older can participate in the events.

Coconut - A Potential Super Food
Coconut is one of those foods that have been used for its beauty and competent creativity, rather than its richness in nutrition. Suddenly, coconut is back in style as a potential super food. Health experts have been analyzing the abundant health benefits of coconut; meanwhile one expert mentions that there are very few people, if anyone, looking at coconut health effects. Rather, much of the research on health benefits of coconut comes from India, a country that dominates the production of coconut food products- potentially tainting research results. What is known about coconut is that-in moderation- they offer a healthier type of saturated fat and fiber for your diet, and nutrients such as iron, potassium, selenium, choline, phosphorus, and niacin.

AMANDALA: “…THE TEACHERS (OR UNIONS) WOULD HAVE THEIR OWN POLITICAL PARTY…”
I am a parent and a teacher and I absolutely do NOT support the BNTU leadership. I strongly believe that the majority of parents similarly do NOT support the union leadership’s plunge into partisan politics! Should public sector unions even be allowed to exist if they involve themselves in partisan politics? Political partisanship violates a public sector union’s own principles and articles of association! Individual union members have the right to vote, and they should do so, like every other registered voter! Yet, the union’s role is completely different from that of a political party. Leadership should improve the abysmal PSE scores. They need to help produce good citizens – the almost total indiscipline in the community has got to be traceable directly to parents and teachers.

Issue #36-May 2017 of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online here!

GOD BUSH CONTROL PROGRAM IN CITRUS
Struthanthus orbicularis is one of the various parasitic weed that reproduces on citrus in Belize. Most commonly known as God bush or “Mata Palo” in Spanish. God bush can be reproduced by seeds and plant tissues, the spread from tree to tree is mainly by birds, human and farm machinery. Inadequate management of God bush forces trees to compete for sunlight, water, and nutrients. The growth aggressiveness of God bush can cover trees foliage rapidly causing and ideal micro climate within trees suitable for fungal diseases, subsequently leaf drop, die back of branches and final death of trees. Chemical control methods for God bush has damaged trees if sprayed direct, most command method implemented to control have been pruning of infested branches. A herbicide trial was conducted to control S. orbicularis on orange trees at Cool Shade, Cayo District, Belize C.A. from the 18th January to 7th April, 2017.

Old Crops Become New Underutilized Native Crops: Sweet Potatoes
The problem in food shortage, even with the technology that has been developed over the decades, continues to rise. In 1975 the deficit in food availability worldwide was 12 million metric tons; in the 1990’s it had surpassed 85 million metric tons. Today it is closer to 100 million metric tons. The crops with the most acreage or tonnage produced in the world are wheat, rice, corn, potatoes and sweet potatoes, presented in order of importance. Of the aforementioned crops, sweet potatoes have achieved the highest yields per acre in farm trials. Of all the roots and tubers consumed in the world sweet potatoes take second place just behind potatoes. Approximately 46 million acres of potatoes are produced in the world and about 34 million acres of sweet potatoes. Asia grows 92 percent of the total acreage of sweet potatoes. It is one of the few crops that can be grown from sea level up to 6000 feet about sea level.

Dear Editor:
I am writing to share the importance of the visit we had by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, MIT scientist, who presented to the Pesticides Control Board and the general public, “Why Glyphosate Should Be Banned, Globally.” Representatives for seven sponsoring organizations including Belize Organic Family Farming, Pro-Organic Belize, Belize Wellness Institute, Belize Botanical Gardens, Plenty Belize, Sustainable Harvest International of Belize, and Southeast Watershed Alliance Group (SWAG) made presentations to the Pesticides Control Board Review Committee on August 30, 2016 requesting the PCB review and prohibit the importation of glyphosate, and all its formulations (some 19) currently imported into Belize. We were instructed to base our presentations on peer-reviewed studies. This means that a group of scientists must vet the science behind the study, and deem it to be based on scientific fact.

Update on Missouri farmer, J.R. Bollinger of Missouri, USA: See Carbon-Smart Corn article, Issue #34, November 2016
We have some news about farmer, J.R. Bollinger of Missouri, USA, whose biological methods for large-scale farming were the subject of the Carbon-Smart Corn article, reprinted from Acres USA magazine, in our November 2016 Issue #34 (pg 5). This article’s length greatly exceeded our usual article size, but because it was so nutrient-dense with exciting applications used in a large conventional row-crop farm, we could not resist sharing it. Recently David Yarrow, the author of that article, shared some information regarding Bollinger’s farm and costs. He said that by cutting his fertilizer bills by 50%, Bollinger saved over US$100 per acre (US$100,000) on input costs; we are unable to translate that to Belize dollars because landed costs here would include freight and duty. Bollinger’s $100,000 USD savings on former input costs is worth a further look. For his 2016 corn crop, Bollinger used the same carbon-smart methods, planting with the same 6 inch strips as in 2015, and still with 50% fertilizers (compared to 2014 use). He harvested 330 bushels (18,480 lbs) per acre in 2016 and had the #1 yield for corn for the state of Missouri.

The Dairy Industry in Spanish Lookout An Interview with Frank Friesen and Ernie Thiessen
If a Belizean dairy farmer wants to rapidly improve his herd’s genetics, he has 3 choices: live dairy cattle importation, artificial insemination, or embryo transfer. The first dairy bull of some merit brought into Spanish Lookout was a Holstein, flown in from Pennsylvania about 50 years ago, by Joe Friesen, Sr. Many high-producing, locallyborn acclimated cows resulted. Belizean dairy farmers have learned that animals born in Belize will out-produce almost any imported blood-lines, and so have moved for the most part to artificial insemination (AI) and now are moving to embryo transfers as a more affordable alternative to importing single animals. Also, percentages have increased to make each resulting animal more affordable.

Beyond the Backyard: What on Earth?
My friend recently hurt his back and was prescribed some pretty heavy- duty unpronounceable medication that was also very expensive. He asked me if I knew of holistic alternatives. I suggested these potent pain killers: bone broth full of glucosamine; turmeric (yellow ginger) as it contains curcumin which is an anti- inflammatory; capsaicin (from chili pepper) which decreases pain signals to the brain and ‘tuna’ which contains taurine. “Tuna!! What on earth!” I was not referring to tuna fish but a cactus Jamaicans call tuna and we in Belize call nopal or prickly pear.

A Case for Changing Agriculture in Belize
In the early 1970’s, the late Earl L. Butz, 18th US Secretary of Agriculture, famously said, “ Before we go back to organic agriculture in this country, somebody must decide which 50 million Americans we are going to let starve or go hungry.” This came at a time when the American biologist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug was pioneering the Green Revolution at the Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de MaÍz y Trigo (CIMMYT) in Mexico. The Green Revolution brought about significant increases in the yield of a select few agricultural crops through the adoption of various new technologies including, but not limited to, high yielding grain varieties, advanced irrigation systems and the extensive usage of synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Ironically, this relatively new form of farming became known as “conventional” and traditional methods of farming were placed under the blanket term “organic” and, in many circles, became a testy topic of conversation.Organic agriculture became an ideology, one that had to give way to the banner of scientific innovation. In a flare of reductionism, the ultimate goal of conventional agriculture became higher yields per unit area.

BEL-CAR Updates
As we go to press, the bean harvest in Spanish Lookout, Cayo District is in progress. Bel-Car states that there is less acreage in black-eyes for this season, possibly up to 50% less, for several reasons. Roughly 12,000 (100 lb) bags of corn were harvested by Bel- Car farmers. ‘A’ grade corn price for Spanish Lookout has been listed as N/A - not available - on our centerfold Prices at a Glance page, for quite some time, as it is not sold in bulk, but rather used in the production of high quality corn meal.

National Coconut Stakeholders Platform Meets in Blue Creek, Orange Walk District
On Friday 31 March, the NCSP had its bimonthly meeting at the coconut farm of Sergio and Tina Marraquin. Almost all of the 12 original committee members plus many visitors who were all interested in learning more about the potentials of coconut farming in Belize made the trek to the remote Mennonite village in the northwest corner of Belize. Mr. Manuel Trujillo, Crops Coordinator of Central Farm called the meeting to order, and Ms. Omaira Avila, our (relatively) new Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) country representative took the reins of the meeting. As CARDI is officially appointed as the ‘focal point’, contracted to manage and fulfill the agronomical part of this Bz$5 M project, Ms. Avila reminded the group throughout the morning of the various tasks needing to be accomplished before the ending of this project in January of 2019.

National Agriculture and Trade Show
The 47th annual National Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS) was opened on Friday 28th April under the theme “Let’s Get Growing”. The opening ceremony was highlighted by keynote addresses by University of Belize’s new president Dr. Clement Sankar; and Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Godwin Hulse; and by the presentation of the Farmers of the Year awards. Male Farmer of the Year went to Mr. Gary Canto of Cayo District; Female Farmer of the Year was Ms. Mirva Flowers of Toledo District, and Junior Farmer of the Year was awarded to Mr. Santiago Gutierrez of Cayo District. NATS chairman Mr. Gary Ramirez estimated that close to 40,000 people visited the 3 day fair, which concluded on Sunday 30th April, at the newly renovated show grounds in Belmopan.

Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPDM) in the Sugar Industry
On April 12, 2017 the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI), the Government of Belize (GOB) and the European Union (EU) held a first-of-its-kind Integrated Pest and Disease Management Seminar at SIRDI’s headquarters in Buena Vista Village, Corozal District. A total of 185 stakeholders, including sugarcane farmers, sugarcane farmers associations, community leaders, students and NGOs, attended. Many farmers and stakeholders from the northern sugar belt are now well-versed and prepared to tackle the main pest in the sugarcane field known as the froghopper.

AgScience for Better Crops: Plant Disease Management
Agriculture in Belize has experienced a rapid expansion and diversification of crop production. Such changes come with increased challenges that growers have no control over and must learn to adopt and implement effective management practices. Currently the increase of pest and diseases remain a major threat to crop production. Moreover, there are main factors contributing to plant disease management, which include 1) the demand for safe and diverse food to support the growing population, 2) reduced agriculture production, 3) ecology of agro-ecosystem deterioration and natural resource depletion, and 4) increased disease epidemics from agricultural intensification and monocultures (He et al, 2016)

Neal Kinsey Soil Fertility Course
In the last days of February, Neal Kinsey arrived at University of Belize’s College of Agriculture at Central Farm to present his Intro 2 course on soil fertility using the Kinsey-Albrecht system. This was Neal’s 3rd teaching trip to Belize, and many of the participants had already attended one or both of his previous courses here. One of those repeating farmers said to Neal at the conclusion of the final class day, “Neal, you are changing the face of agriculture in Spanish Lookout”. What higher accolade can be given to our friend Neal? Other student comments on the annual surveys which asked, “What did you gain from this course?” included: “a better understanding of the complex interaction among elements and soil types and water”, Dottie Feucht.

Weed Control Using a Grit-Blaster
Weed scientist and USDA agronomist, Frank Forcella of Minnesota, U.S. solved two problems with one invention that he calls “PAGMan”. The first problem was how to get rid of the pits from his bumper crop of apricots; the second was how to get rid of weeds in row crops. He says that combining those two into a single solution seemed silly at first but he and colleague, Dean Peterson, at the USDA North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory in Morris, Minnesota, bought a cheap sand blaster and started some simple experiments in a greenhouse. Their initial work involved growing weeds next to a corn plant; when the corn was about six inches tall and the weed was about one to three inches tall, the researchers blasted both with a split-second application of grit.

The Mighty Ceiba - Tree of Life
After Hurricane Earl took down our favorite birding tree, our “Giving Tree,” we began to pay more attention to the ceiba tree that had been hiding behind, but stood strong through the storm. This particular tree is rooted at the base of the hill below us which gives us the unusual perspective of a peek into the upper branches of this fascinating tree. Over time we watched the tree drop its leaves, then bloom with delicate pink flowers that attracted many kinds of birds and wildlife. We then watched the blooms turn to small buds, then larger pods that have now burst open, releasing puffs of cottony clouds, filled with seeds. We have seen squirrels and kinkajous feasting on the pods and birds taking the kapok for their nests. It strikes me how few seeds from this tree actually make it to a proper place for germination. At first the tree was bursting with flowers, thousands of them. Many of the flowers were eaten or knocked off before being allowed to progress to the next stage. Once the small buds evolved, they became irresistible to all manner of creatures. Those buds that survived the feasting and grew to maturity still had to fight off the squirrels and toucans who continued to eat them, sometimes taking entire pods and often dropping them to the ground.

BLPA Holds AGM
The 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Belize Livestock Producers’ Association (BLPA) was held on 25th February, 2017, at their headquarters, Mile 47.5 George Price Highway. Mr. Abdala Bedran gave the welcoming remarks, which preceded Dr. Henry Canton’s Chairman’s Address. BLPA General Manager Ms. Elba Cruz also shared remarks and introduced the keynote speaker, Minister Godwin Hulse.

Cattle Auction in Spanish Lookout
The March 4, 2017 cattle auction was a great success; 37 head of cattle and 3 horses were sold. We were privileged to have some Blue Creek producers bring a load of excellent breeding stock from there as well. There were 15 different owners selling cattle. The cattle were sold to 22 different buyers. Again I estimate more than 300 people came out for the event; 56 individuals registered to buy. People came from all over the country and also Peten, Guatemala. One bull was sold to a Guatemalan buyer. Weather was perfect: overcast with just a little bit of rain but not so much as to really interfere with the auction. Country Meats served us with a delicious steak for lunch.

An Overview of Land Taxes on Agricultural Property Past, Present and Future
In 2003 the government of Belize (GOB) took a serious look at land taxes, with regard to updating them. Many felt that the existing rates were too high for agricultural/productive sector lands and that owners were discouraged from further agricultural development on them. In 2004, Minister Fonseca signed Land Act No. 5 of 2004, which amended the Land Tax Act, Chapter 58. As well as amending the rates (see chart below from Land No. Act 5), it also redefined several categories which are also covered in the amending act. The law of 2004 included clarifications such as the following new definitions:

Industrial Hemp as Weed Killer
New scientific studies claim that glyphosate, found in Monsanto’s Roundup® weed killer as well as in other pesticides, is causing serious health problems wherever it is used. These include but are not limited to: reproductive issues, birth defects, diabetes, autism, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, liver disease, as well as intestinal, digestive, kidney, and autoimmune disorders. The International Agency for Research on Cancer’s recent report stating that glyphosate is a probable cause of cancer has made this a priority issue in farming communities throughout Belize.

The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water
Book Review By Chris Harris. “The golden age of water is over”. That is the message of this comprehensive account of how we have taken water for granted over many decades. The fact is that 1.1 billion people of us do not have access to clean safe drinking water, and another 1.8 billion people do not have access to water in their homes. These are statistics [book published 2011] which should give us all pause for thought. And before we shrug those numbers off as a third world problem, we are reminded that Las Vegas, Los Angeles and large areas of American farmland are also threatened, not just with shortages, but rationing and even running out of water altogether. So this book really is a wake up call to us all.

Berries of Belize Part 1: Solanum Nigrum AKA Hierba Mora
The Mayas call it chayuk, but the Spanish, emphasizing both the leaf and the fruit in the name they gave it, called it mora after the Spanish word for blackberry or mulberry. In English we have been calling the fruits blueberries or wild huckleberries which they resemble more than either fruit in the mora category. A more correct English translation is nightshade; however since there are many nightshades, including tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant, that name doesn’t narrow it down much. But let’s not worry much about names and turn to culture and usage. Indeed, useful and under-appreciated, hierba mora is a plant bearing both edible leaves and fruit. Hierba mora is normally not cultivated; it grows wild, often coming up on burnt land and plowed land and growing profusely, winter and summer. You can recognize this “weed” which grows to a small bush bearing blue-black berries, by the distinctly purple underside of the leaves. However, the seeds from the ripe berries can be sown in trays and planted in a garden about 3 feet apart. Like other nightshade plants, they are an annual plant which can be planted any time weather conditions are favorable. They do not fruit according to a season. For planting in a garden, both summer and winter work well.

Coffee in San Vicente Toledo District
Approximately 8 miles northwest from Jalacte, Toledo District, and resting in the hills along the Belize- Guatemalan border, sits the quiet off-the-grid village of San Vicente, a primarily Maya Ketchi community of about 35-40 family farms, where cultivation of black beans, organic cacao and the recent addition of organic coffee are the mainstays. Efrain Caal, local farmer and TCGA (Toledo Cacao Growers Association) extension officer, met us as we arrived in the community and introduced us to Marcus Kal, one of the leading farmers of the newly formed San Vicente Coffee Growers. In 2006 Marcus started transforming a completely cleared hillside, previously a cattle pasture, into an organic multi-cropped orchard.

The Wonders of Green Coffee
Several years ago I wrote an article for the Belize Ag Report about the benefits of used coffee grounds in the garden. In this article I would like to talk about green coffee and the reported health care properties. The coffee and its beans have a reputation as a dark, rich drink that many enjoy for its “pick me up” property in the morning and during the day. The beans must be roasted to achieve the desired effect and flavor. Unfortunately during the roasting process many of the benefits which occur naturally are lost. The Arabica coffee plant produces two hard green seeds or beans per coffee “cherry”. These are fermented, cleaned, dried and bagged. Now they are ready for the roaster. In this form, green, coffee is very medicinal.

Senior Scientist and Professor from MIT Visits Belize
It was a rare privilege to welcome Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Senior Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. and her husband, Dr. Victor Zue, Director of International Relations, CSAIL and former director of the lab. Dr. Seneff’s recent focus on the role of toxic chemicals and micronutrient deficiencies in health and disease, with a special emphasis on glyphosate and the mineral sulfur brought in-depth scientific knowledge to our understanding. Having authored over two dozen peer-reviewed journal papers over the past few years on these topics, she shared her findings on KREM and LOVE TV, and in presentations in Spanish Lookout and University of Belize College of Agriculture at Central Farm (UB/CF) and to Belize’s Pesticide Control Board (PCB) as input to their re-registration and review process.

Inga Alley Cropping: An Innovative Method for Sustainable Agriculture
Many people have recently been asking the question of how to provide food for the growing Belizean population and protect the livelihoods of farmers while also maintaining the natural resources that attract tourists, providing jobs to a large number of Belizeans. How can we most efficiently use the land that is being farmed to produce a high yield without constantly needing to expand further into forested areas that benefit the agriculture industry and the country? Part of the solution may lie in inga alley cropping, a farming method that is being introduced to Belize after decades of testing at the Inga Foundation in Honduras. Whereas the traditional slash-and-burn practice involves rotating fields and has led to increased deforestation in some areas, inga alley cropping can be used to grow annual crops on the same piece of land for twenty years without the application of chemicals.

AG BRiefs
In March 2017, Belize welcomed back Dr. Gabriel Rodríguez Marqués, a citizen of Uruguay, as the new country representative for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). Dr. Rodríguez Marqués served as country representative in 2009 to 2010 during which period he supported the tourism sector study which led to the development of a tourism master plan for Hopkins.

Agriculture Prices At A Glance


Re: Today's Belize News: October 20, 2017 [Re: Marty] #526503
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Issue #37-Aug 2017 of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online here!.
Click HERE to download the PDF

Biochar Implementation in Agricultural Systems of Belize
By Gerardo Ofelio Aldana. In addition to pressures to adapt to climate change, agricultural production demands include innovative and effective solutions to balance both food production and environmental sustainability (Lehmann and Joseph, 2015). Volatility in agricultural commodities, in parallel with population growth, have initiated an alarming concern as to whether the rates of agricultural production will be able to meet its future food demands. Recent years have shown an improvement in agricultural productivity, but future demands are uncertain, especially in light of environmental factors such as climate change (Sands et al., 2014). The climate problem is now extremely large and is drastically affecting our food production systems. What the future needs is solutions that will counteract a myriad of problems all…

Old Crops Become New: Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batata) Part 2
By Santiago Juan. An Underutilized Root Sweet potato is a plant grown for its tuberous roots in tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate regions. As mentioned in the last Belize Ag Report, issue 36, sweet potato is cultivated for food in more than 100 countries, sometimes as a staple food but usually as an alternative food. All varieties of sweet potato are a good source of vitamins and minerals. In East Africa, the sweet potato is known as “the protector of children” because it is often the only food that stands between a child’s survival and starvation. A fast-maturing perennial plant, it is grown mainly as an annual. The roots are adventitious, mostly located within the top 25…

Belmopan Weekend Farmers’ Market at NATS Grounds
By Sally Thackery. The new pavilions at the Belmopan showgrounds are now open on Saturdays and Sundays for local farmers to sell their products to the public. Opening day, Saturday July 29, was lively and well-attended, by both the public and the market sellers. Big thanks to CEO Jose Alpuche and Show Grounds Coordinator Gary Ramirez for such a bright vision for this property at the entrance to Belmopan. The entire showgrounds have been cleaned up, mowed, landscaped with beautiful plants and vendor stalls have been colorfully painted. These detailed improvements also include a new entrance gate, bathrooms in all sections and designated parking areas.In addition to fresh vegetables, the market offers dry goods, eco-friendly cleaning products, fruit trees, flowering…

SIRDI EU IPDM Project: Metarhizium anisopliae Production to Control Froghopper in Sugar Cane
By Jeffy Gomez, Luciano Chi, Luis Gongora and Jian Cob. Froghopper is considered a major pest in sugarcane; every crop cycle it affects sugarcane farmers by increasing control costs while decreasing productivity. The problem is especially serious with the elimination of the preferential market for Belize’s sugar. Hence, it is of great importance to start adapting more environmentally-friendly controls by deterring the use of chemicals and meeting standards set by the Fairtrade market. With the assistance of the European Union (EU), the Government of Belize (GOB) and the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI), the project entitled “Strengthening of Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPDM) in the Sugar Industry” is being implemented in the northern sugar belt. The…

Beyond the Backyard: Suck Your Way to Health
By Jenny Wildman. I came across an article about a strange fruit that can boost your brain function – something all seniors think of when they cannot remember names or misplace their glasses. The picture was that of the fruit known here as kenep, kinnip or guayo. The deciduous, polygamous kenep tree is part of the soapberry family along with logan, rambutan and lychee, all cousins to the northern chestnut. The scientific name is Melicoccus bijugatus commonly referred to as Spanish lime, quenepa, genip, chennet, talpajocote and mamoncillo from the verb mamar to suck. Kenep trees are native to South America and the Island of Margarita and also found in drier woodlands and gardens of the Caribbean and Central America.…

2016 Domestic Export Trade Data Disaggregation

Rice: Circle R’s Contribution to Food Security in Belize
By Jeffrey Magaña. The highest priority for Circle R Products Limited, a farmer-owned business, is food security for Belize. Their newest product, Dalla Rice, was recently introduced to provide a 14 oz. package of grade A rice for $1. Harvest for Kids is grade A premium rice; Jade is grade B; Ruby, grade C and Topaz, grade D. The Harvest for Kids product is named for the socially responsible project it supports. A percentage of the sale of all Harvest for Kids rice goes to support Belize Camping Experience in Belize City, summer Bible camps and work with kids in schools throughout the city. We believe that if our children are inspired today, our country can become a better place.…

Fusarium spp.: An Important Disease of Soybeans
By Felix Cawich, Agronomist, M.Sc. Worldwide, soybean is considered an important crop for the production of oil and as a source of protein for people and animals. In addition, it´s now being used for biodiesel production. According to the Worldwide Web Foundation (WWF), soybean production has grown 10 times in the last 50 years, covering over one million square kilometres. The increasing production area, like the increase in yield of monocultivation, has also led to higher presence of disease in soy plantations. Furthermore, the varying climate may favor rapid development of diseases. Important Diseases Diseases originating from different microorganisms can cause blights, cankers, rots, rusts, wilts and others, causing damage to different parts of the plant at any given growth…

Fertility Needed for Growing Pastures and Hay
By Neal Kinsey. When the requirements for life-giving soil fertility to provide abundant plant growth and robust animal health are accurately considered, far too many pastures and hay fields used for livestock production are seriously lacking. Testing the soils in pastures and meadows has sadly proven this to be true far too often, even when only the absolute minimum nutrient content for those soils is considered. To treat your animals right you have to treat your soils right. Anything less and you rob from the total potential of life-giving principles for your soil, the plants grown there, the livestock that consume them and the products that are provided as a result. When soils are not cared for correctly, it is…

Modern Water Wisdom: An Interview
AUTHOR JUDITH SCHWARTZ EXAMINES WATER MANAGEMENT Reprinted with permission from Acres USA magazine, Vol.47, No.6 Interview: Author Judith Schwartz Examines Water Management

Homemade Health – Why and How to Use Essential Oil – Part 1
By Marguerite Fly Bevis, RN, BSN. This article, part 1 of a 2 part article on essential oils, describes their basic properties and why they are used. Part 2 will describe how to use them. Essential oils, the quintessential essence of medicinal plants, have been used by man for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. They are mentioned in the Bible at least 600 times. Thirty-three different oils are mentioned. Essential oils are the original medicine upon which modern medicine is based. Birch and wintergreen contain salicylic acid, the same component in aspirin but essential oils are easier on the body and present fewer, if any, side effects, whereas modern medicines can have many, some of which can be more…

Belize Strengthening Partnerships by Applying “One Health”
By Dr. Joe Myers, DVM, BAHA. Medical and veterinary officers from Belize were trained to collaborate using “One Health” strategies in zoonotic and food-borne disease surveillance, diagnosis and preparedness and response, through a comprehensive two-year professional development programme, the One Health Leadership Series (OHLS). The OHLS is part of the regional One Health, One Caribbean, One Love Project, implemented by the University of the West Indies (UWI), School of Veterinary Medicine. The One Health project was funded by the European Union (EU) and managed by the ACP Science and Technology Programme (S&T II), in collaboration with the ‘Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Project’, of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme coordinated by Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).…

Control Postbloom Fruit Drop in Citrus Production
By Edwin Gomez, Raymond Arnold, David Saraiva and Davilmar Avilez.

Maya Mountain Heirloom Cacao
What Makes Belizean Cacao So Special? Understanding Genetics of Belizean Cacao Beans By Dan O’Doherty & Minehaha Forman. In the rapidly growing world of specialty craft chocolate, Belize has earned its place among the fine flavored origins of cacao. Known for its unique fruity/caramel flavor, Belize cacao has won numerous awards in recent years. Cacao beans originating from Maya villages in the Toledo district of Belize and processed by Maya Mountain Cacao, Ltd (MMC) recently received an heirloom designation from the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA). The cacao sample was made into chocolate and blind-tasted by a panel of nine veteran chocolate companies including Guittard, Valrhona, and Felchlin. Panelists universally praised the sample for its overall high quality, as…

Cannabis Hemp Building Materials
By Karin Westdyk. James Savage, a New York business analyst, was greatly disturbed after learning about mold problems making thousands of New Orleans homes uninhabitable after hurricane Katrina, and of the thousands killed in Haiti, crushed by their own homes during an earthquake. He searched for solutions and came up with a material that has been around for thousands of years and started a company to create building materials made from mold resistant, stronger-than-steel cannabis hemp. Hempcrete The outer portion of the hemp stalk has a long history of use for producing paper, fabric, rope and sails (the word canvas comes from the word cannabis), but Savage discovered that hemp chips made from the woody interior of the cannabis plant…

Nematodes – Friend and Foe
by Mary Loan. Nematodes are non-segmented worms that live everywhere on the planet, including in ice and snow to the depths of the ocean and even in arid deserts. They are most abundant in tropical regions of the world, like Belize. Other names they are known as include: eel worms, thread worms, root knot worms. There are thousands of identified species of nematodes with estimates of about one-half million varieties to be ‘discovered’, studied and named. Most nematodes are almost invisible to the human eye and are less than 1 mm, or 1/125 of an inch in length. There are generally thousands of nematodes in a handful of soil, over one million in a spadeful, and as many as three…

The Humanure Handbook — A Review by Chris Harris
This is the book no one would publish. Why? Because it deals in some detail with a subject distasteful to some, uncomfortable to others and “something we just don’t talk about “ to yet more. So the author, Joseph Jenkins, published it himself. And in the process he did us all a big favour. OK, so what is this “taboo subject”? Well it deals with the subject of the ecological disposal of human waste. At first glance the author’s ideas amount to little more than an advanced view of the “bucket and chuck it” approach used in many rural areas of the world already. But here comes the rub. Jenkins applauds the “bucket” idea, but strongly challenges the “chuck it”…

Dear Veggie Detective
Dear Veggie Detective, Would you please investigate the mystery of the white-centered tomato? Why do some tomatoes have white centers and others are all red and tasty? Signed, Tomato Lover Dear Tomato Lover, Your mystery is solved! Tomatoes with white centers have a deficiency in potassium, an element abbreviated as K because phosphorus was assigned the letter P. Basic fertilizers that you buy have three main elements: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and are designated in 3 numbers which corresponds to these three elements. If your soil doesn’t need N or P you can buy elemental potassium fertilizer. Potassium will give you not only the nice red color on your tomatoes but bigger fruit…

Ag Briefs
UB CF announces that the next Neal Kinsey Soil Fertility 3 day course will be held the week of August 27th (note this has been changed from the dates in the previous Ag Report). This will be a repeat of the very well-received Intro 2 Course given in February. To register, contact David Thiessen at 670-4817 or thiessenliquid@gmail.com. Limited registration. Avocados reached the highest prices in the US over 19 years early this summer, at $28 USD/10 kilos, due to lowered yields caused by bad weather and other problems in the main producing countries of Mexico (strikes), Peru (floods), Chile (droughts) and the US (California droughts). Avocado as colorant: Researchers at Penn State, USA, inadvertently discovered that avocado…

Agriculture Prices At A Glance

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Gas pump attendant robbed in Belize City
According to police reports, yesterday about 2:24 p.m., Floyd August, 41, a Belizean gas pump attendant […]

Armed masked men rob almost $4000 from Chinese Grocery Store in Orange Walk
Last night around 7:30, Ziguan Tan, 55, a Chinese businessman and owner of Tan Store located on […]

Chinese store robbed with machete in PG
Our newsroom has received confirmed reports of a robbery in the town of Punta Gorda […]

Two San Ignacio police officers charged for extortion
On Tuesday, two police officers attached to the San Ignacio Police Station appeared before the […]

BDF officer completes Master Degree in Strategic Security Studies in USA
The Ministry of Defence today informed the public that Belize Defence Force Officer, Captain Eric […]

Galen University honors World Food day
On Monday, Galen University students, along with representatives from the Cornerstone Foundation of Belize, participated […]

Press should never be excluded says PM Barrow
Local and national media houses continue to boycott police activities in Belize. This came after […]

No work permit for Chinese clerks says Labor Commissioner
Aldo Salazar, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee, on Wednesday went on record to say that […]

Ministry of Labor accepts no blame in Immigration scandal
Labor Commissioner, Ivan Williams, was summoned to testify on Wednesday before the Senate hearing. However, […]

Anyone can access your birth certificate says Assistant Registrar
Patricia Hinkson, the Assistant Registrar at the Vital Statistics Unit has left the general public […]

Belize Fruit Packers Factory opening for the 2017-2018 crop
Yesterday, the Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) issued a release informing all producers that […]

Cattouse murder not a political hit says PM Barrow
Last Thursday night, community activist and taxi driver, Albert Cattouse, 72, was gunned down on […]

Kareem Musa will not challenge Briceno in next month’s convention
Deputy Party Leader for the People’s United Party (PUP), Kareem Musa has issued a video […]

Blogs

Meet the Husband & Wife Duo Who Manage Ka’ana
Ka’ana Resort is a passion project for husband-and-wife team Wolfgang and Anoushka Brandl, our General Manager and Sales Manager, respectively. They live and breathe Ka’ana, and are all-around hospitality experts. The couple even met at a hotel! “We met, typical for hoteliers, working in the same hotel,” says Austrian-born Wolfgang. That was in Dubai, and he and Anoushka, who’s from Mauritius, have since teamed up in several countries, including here in Belize for the last three years at Ka’ana. What made you want to go into the hospitality industry? AB: I lived close to the international airport where I grew up and was inspired by the vibrant tourism atmosphere. This definitely peaked my interest in the hotel industry. WB: I always knew that I wanted to work in the hospitality industry. As a young kid I adored the chefs and waiters when my parents took me to local restaurants – I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I worked my way through the ranks and now I am where I always wanted to be as a GM.

The Amazing Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley
One of the top diving and snorkeling sites in Belize is the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. A protected national park, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve gets its name from the Mayan term for "little channel." This is because the reserve is located on a natural cut in the reef (known as a quebrada) that allows marine life to transit between the inner and outer portion of the reef. Measuring just 75 feet (23 meters) across and 30 feet (nine meters) deep, this natural passageway in the reef sees an astonishing diversity of marine animals, including sharks and rays that feed on fish transiting the area. The total area of the reserve is approximately three square miles (8 square kilometers) divided into four zones:

7 Belize Family Vacation Activities For Kids
Belize is a beautiful, tropical wonderland with plenty to do and see for the entire family. Here are 7 amazing family vacation activities for kids that you can enjoy in Belize: Founded in the 1980s to rescue injured and abandoned animals, the Belize Zoo is the country's premier wildlife education center. Kids can learn about and see more than 100 indigenous species at the Belize Zoo including harpy eagles, jaguars, and enormous boa constrictor snakes. Thanks to the geology of Belize's mainland, there are hundreds of limestone caves scattered across the country. Many of these were used by the ancient Maya priests to conduct sacred rituals, including human sacrifices. Today, kids can get a hands-on history lesson by exploring Maya ceremonial caves such as Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave.

Belize in November: Weather, Places to Visit & Activities
November might be a month of increasingly cold nights across Canada and the United States, but the average daytime high in Belize is a beautiful and sunny 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius). The clear blue skies, balmy temperatures, and exciting festivals going on throughout the month of November make it the perfect time to visit.

Newest Cave Opened in Belize at The Sleeping Giant Lodge
The Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge in Cayo was the perfect place to kick off our summer travels. There are lots of activities to keep you busy there, but my favorite was the Sleeping Giant Cave. It’s the newest cave opened for tours in Belize and it can only be accessed through the resort’s property. I had so much fun on the tour. I learned all about the rainforest, trees and animals that can be seen on the path to the cave. We laughed so much along the way, cause mom is not very good at hiking and she was letting us know A LOT! The cave is a dry cave and there are parts of skeletons and skulls in there and lots of pottery too. If everyone turns their headlights off, you can’t even see your hands in front of your face. The tour guide knows and teaches so much about the Maya. I won’t tell you the secrets we learned in the cave cause I really think you need to experience it for yourself.

International Sourcesizz

Sun City Center inventor’s travel pillow lands online
Belizean born chasing his dreams! Support a Belizean born producer ... Glenn McCain thinks his travel pillow can make those long trips in the car or plane easier with his new invention, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is. McCain, a retired architect who says he logged around 1 million miles during his 39-year career, is betting $45,000 of his retirement savings that the Travel Kozy will be a hit. Some 1,500 pillows arrived at the Port of Tampa Oct. 5 and are already selling online. Boom or bust, McCain has no regrets. “I know this is a product that will work and I just don’t want to have regrets a few years down the road,” McCain said. “This is something I believe can help a lot of people.”

Going Deep into the Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole in Belize is high up on any diver’s bucket list – and how could it not be with that deep blue ring surrounded by limestone reef? In reality, many divers who surface after the Blue Hole dive are very disappointed having laid down some serious cash to go diving in one of the most famous dive sites in the world. Your expectations would be pretty high right? That’s where a lot of people go wrong. You can’t expect much in terms of coral, colour or even sea life on this dive because that’s not what it’s about! You’re here to dive in a massive sink hole, 318m in diameter and 124m deep.

More Details on Belize’s Mahogany Bay
The new Mahogany Bay in Belize is planning a December debut, the property announced this week. The property, which will also include a beach club, is a new-build project set on 60 acres on Ambergris Caye. It will be the first Hilton-branded project in Belize, taking the Curio — A Collection by Hilton brand. “To bring this innovative lifestyle community to Belize has been a labor of love and a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Beth Clifford, founder and developer. “Every detail of the property from the guest room layout and hand-selecting the bathrobes to providing access to a pristine private beach was strategically designed with the traveler in mind. We are excited to offer guests a new level of luxury and a chic yet relaxed way to discover Belize.”

Jamaican sworn in as Belize judge despite mounted opposition
Jamaican attorney Franz Parke was on Tuesday sworn in as a Court of Appeal judge in Belize amid controversy over his appointment. According to Belizean reports, the appointment came despite a claim filed last week by the Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party, Johnny Briceño, to have the Belize Supreme Court declare his appointment null and void on the claim that his appointment violates the Belize Constitution — the highest law of the land. It was also stated that the oppositions surrounding Parke's appointment comes from two standpoints — his qualifications and his past.

Manatee deaths concern Quintana Roo ecologists
he deaths of at least 20 manatees have Quintana Roo ecologists concerned with reports showing all of the deaths were human-related. The deaths of at least 20 manatees in Belize so far this year are worrying state researchers at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (Ecosur) in Chetumal who say these manatees normally live in Quintana Roo waters. Janneth Adriana Padilla Saldívar, from the Department of Ecology and Systematics of Aquatic Resources of Ecosur, reported that the causes of death of these marine mammals has been mostly boat motors either killing them or inflicting injuries from which they eventually die. The big concern, she says, is that these manatees live in the Bay of Chetumal and often move to the waters of the neighboring country.

What you need to know about international banking
According to OCRA Worldwide — an organisation that matches people and companies to international banking — international banks tend to offer their services to companies and to fairly wealthy individuals, i.e., people with $100,000 and counting. But plenty of international banks, particularly Swiss banks, open their doors to customers of any income bracket. Companies do business with international banks to help facilitate international business, the complexities of which can be quite costly. Individuals work with international banks for a number of reasons, including tax avoidance. This may probably be the term you have heard the most in relation to offshore banking. Tax avoidance isn’t necessarily illegal, as you will learn later in this piece. But there are plenty of other hazards in international banking. First, we will look at some reasons for banking internationally.

Videos

  • Rugby Belize, 22min.

  • Hand in Hand Ministries - built 330 homes, 27min.

  • "Reach the Light" - latest video with Yung Proti-Jay the Traffic Man, 1min. Latest video with Yung Proti-Jay the Traffic Man. Thanks to the partnership with The Belizean Youth for Road Safety, the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and The Belize Road Safety Initiative!

  • Don't Drink and Drive - testimonial with Stig Da Artist and Yung Proti-Jay the Traffic Man, 1.5min.

  • Belize Tourism Board's (BTB) Social Media Campaigns' Success, 7min. Presentation (6'40) on Belize's Tourism Marketing strategy and the positive changes, implementations since 2012 in order to distinguish itself from the competition.

  • Belize 2017, 4min. Caye Caulker / Ambergris Caye Oct 12-17

  • Expert Kayaking in Belize, 1min.

  • ARMED ROBBERY IN ORANGE WAlk, 2.5min. Tonight there is another armed robbery to report here in Orange Walk Town, the third in less than a week. This time is was Tan Store located in the Black Water Creek area of Trial Farm Village which fell victim to armed robbers shortly after 7:00 last night. Today when we visited the establishment, we spoke to owner of the shop, fifty five year old Ziguan Tan. He did not wish to appear on camera but recounted the harrowing ordeal which was captured on the store’s surveillance

  • Talk Ah Di Town October 19, 2017, 23min.

  • From Yes to I Do Channel % will Follow You Application Call on Open Your Eyes, 22min.

  • Marriage Divorce and Matrimonial Property Rights on Open Your Eyes, 52min.

  • Reorganization in the Ministry of Natural Resources, 5.5min. Three Bills concerning the Ministry of Natural Resources will be presented for the second and third readings at tomorrow's Meeting of the House of Representatives. Senator the Honourable Dr. Carla Barnett spoke to us about the purpose of these Bills.

  • Jungle Fever Rave Adventure, 12min. If you missed the Jungle Fever Rave, you can experience some of it through this video put together by Donnie Rockwire, who was shooting video all through the night. It's quite an adventure, and the rave was phenomenal. Thanks, RawSpa, for having such an amazing event!

  • TKO Farms, Ltd. to be World’s Largest Soursop Grower, 6min. On MoneyTV with Donald Baillargeon, TKO Farms, Ltd. reveals their Belize plantation.

  • Harvest 2017 - St. Barnabas, 2min. Students from St. Barnabas' Anglican School (Central Farm) give thanks for the fruits of the autumn harvest.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize | Virtual Trip, 19min. Caye Caulker is one of Belize's most famous islands, located right in front of the world's second largest barrier reef.Recognized for its relaxed atmosphere, it is an ideal place to discover the Caribbean Sea. We can reach the island from Belize City in about 1 hour with a taxi boat

  • Belize Trip 2017, 9min. I'm so glad I got this opportunity to go to Belize to serve! What a blessing.

  • Hello Belize, 1.5min. The wonderful Caye Caulker - simply Paradise


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