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3/21/2014 to 3/31/2014
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March 31, 2014


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofer: Rich Old Man
“Why don’t we meet on the deck at the Holiday at 10:30?” Charlie asked, when I called him.. When I got to the Holiday Charlie was well established with two beers and a glass of ice. “I hope you don’t mind,” he said, “but I got a call from Robby Peterson. He’s in town and […]

Doctor Love: Relationships
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, My girlfriend and I get along good most of the time. The times we do not get along is because of her best […]

Letter to the Editor: Forgiveness Justice Peace
The first day I arrived in San Pedro was the day the “Justice for Peace” walk was held. Ironically, I counseled both Rafael and Jeffery about anger and ego issues. No one is perfect and we all have issues. When we feel someone has wronged us it takes great strength to turn the other cheek, meaning to give the opposite of what is expected. For instance, if someone gives you the gift of hate or anger to turn it into the best possible kind act – to do our best to turn away from retaliation. Truly we hope to have laws to do justice and to set an example for the young in our lives. For the last few days I did my own Walk for Peace. Ironically I had almost lost my voice being silent most of the time. Thinking about all the harsh words I have used in San Pedro. Just with my words it struck me so hard. Also having lost 2 members of my family to Cancer in the last year compounded my silence as I went about my day. Our lives are so precious. Both of these young men had potential to do great things in life. I remember the joy on Jeffery’s face when he saved a man from drowning. We all need to work harder in our little San Pedro to create and keep the Paradise that is the no 1 Island. Each act we can do for each other helps send out the energy of peace and tranquility throughout the Island. After all where else would peace be if not in Paradise.

Letter to the Editor: PUP Belize Rural South Executive Committee
The PUP Belize Rural South Executive Committee has commenced a series of informative newspaper articles with the intention of keeping everyone properly informed. In the area of sports we all know that the present San Pedro Town Council has done absolutely nothing for the past UDP administrations. The present Town Council continues the trend of doing nothing and every time interested parties ask for help, their usual excuse is that there is no money. But how come they can find money at Christmas time to give away a few hams to a very limited few of their friends and cronies? Does the UDP and Manuel Heredia really believe that by bribing people with hams they are improving the standard of living of our people? Don’t they realize that the more you spoon feed people, the more you keep them in poverty? The people are not asking for hams. The people of San Pedro need opportunities that will help them provide food for their tables.

Misc Belizean Sources

Top 10 Things to do in Belize
Lush tropical rain forests, pristine beaches, ancient Maya cities, diverse flora and fauna, and the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere are just a few of the many natural attractions that allure the adventure traveler to visit Belize. Here are the top 10 things to do in Belize: Dive the Great Blue Hole of Belize, Visit the Ancient Maya Ceremonial Center of Xunantunich, Explore Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, Dive or Snorkel with Whale Sharks, Visit Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Climb Ca’ana, the tallest Maya structure in Belize, Learn how to Make Delicious Belizean Tamales, Visit Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Go Cave Tubing, Go on a Kayaking trip.

Tanya Carter Delights Benque
Tanya Carter played at Club Onyx in Benque Saturday night. Looks like it was a great concert, blackout and all. "Last night was great after all despite the block-out Tanya killed it with some acapellas."

Western Ballaz Beat Warriors
The Western Ballaz traveled to Dangriga last night to play the Warriors in the first game of the second half of the season. They won 61 to 48. Go Ballaz! Picture Album 1. "Western Ballaz vs Dangriga Warriors. Western Ballaz won 61- 48."

Guatemalan farmer shot and killed in the Chiquibul
A Guatemalan man was shot and killed on Saturday morning, allegedly by Belize Defence Force soldiers in the Chiquibul National Park. Guatemalan media reports identify the dead man as Thomas Ramirez. Prensa Libre today carried a report which said that two farmers were working on their plantation when the incident happened. While the Guatemalan press is saying that the shooting happened in the San Marcos Community, sources say the shooting happened inside Belize’s Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Thomas Ramirez’ body is at the morgue in San Ignacio town. There has been no official word from Belizean authorities as yet about this incident.

WPC collapses at concert, remains hospitalized
A Belize Police Officer is hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial after she collapsed on Saturday night. According to reports, Kimara Tucker had gone to the ITVET compound on Freetown road last night to attend a concert, but started to complain that she was feeling faint. She later collapsed, according to reports, and was rushed to the KHMH where on Sunday, she remains hospitalized. Her family and friends remain worried about WPC Tucker’s condition.

Belizean wins University of South Florida international pageant
Belizean beauty queen Jacinta Gomez today won the annual University of South Florida Miss International Pageant. The event is held annually and according to its website, seeks to “provide a superb opportunity for young women to share their unique cultures and educated members of the USF community about their area of the world.” Reports from Florida say that this is not the first time that Belize has taken part in the competition which was first held in 1984. It is organized by the Caribbean Community Exchange Students at the University of South Florida.

Schoolboy drowns in Dangriga
An 8 year old school boy is dead, reportedly from drowning in the North Stann Creek river. Adrian Lopez, a Standard One student at the Sacred Heart Primary School in Dangriga town, went swimming with friends in the reiver around 3 pm on Saturday. He did not return home. My colleagues at KREM Radio in Belize City reported on Sunday that a family member is saying that Lopez’s friends say him floating on a piece of Styrofoam but that he slipped and fell into the water. Lopez reportedly disappeared and did not resurface. When he did not get home late in the evening, his parents went looking for him and that was when information about what happened started to slowly come out. A search team fund Adrian Lopez’s body around 9:45 pm and there was nothing that could be done at that time to save him.

Belize City shooting leaves one man dead
A shooting incident tonight in Belize City has left one man dead. The victim has been identified as Dean Lyons, believed to be in his 60s. The shooting happened around 7:30 pm on West Canal street between Water Lane and Orange Street. The circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting is not yet known. Lyons’ body has been taken to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial hospital and police investigations of the killing is ongoing.

International Student Teaching Program in Cayo
NMSU has quite a few student teachers in Cayo right now. "Meet Belize's Gilman Scholar, Francisco Jaquez. Mr. Jaquez is a student at New Mexico State University studying secondary education, but is currently studying at Sacred Heart Colleg in San Ignacio as part of the "International Student Teaching Program." As part of the program, Mr. Jaquez is currently teaching 2nd and 4th formers. He says his time here has taught him many things (such as classroom management) that he might have missed out on had he done his student teaching in New Mexico... The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides scholarships to U.S. undergraduates with financial need for study abroad, including students from diverse backgrounds and students going to non-traditional study abroad destinations. "

Junior Cross Country Champions
The Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic was today, The Cycling Federation of Belize has pictures of the winners accepting their trophies. Congratulations to all racers! "Top finishers in the 15th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic. We would like to thanks all those who helped in making this event possible. Our riders, the teams, officials, the Police, the parents, and fans and sponsors. Special thanks to Mr. Emil Figueroa for soliciting the prizes on our behalf. Our majors sponsors as it pertains to the finish prizes, BEL, the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, DigiCell, Marie Sharp Fine Foods."

RawSpa Eco-lodge in Bullet Tree Falls
There's a new eco-lodge in Bullet Tree Falls, and it's called the RawSpa. They have a cool promo video for the lodge, and what better way to start than by rope swinging into the Mopan River. "The new Raw Spa Eco-lodge in Bullet Tree Falls."

Video: Morning Matters with Drew Miller
53min. Friday March 28

Video: Scuba diving The Blue Hole

Video: Raw Spa Eco-lodge in Bullet Tree Falls
2min. There’s a new eco-lodge in Bullet Tree Falls, and it’s called the RawSpa. They have a cool promo video for the lodge, and what better way to start than by rope swinging into the Mopan River.

Video: Archaeological Excavation in Belize Pawnce the Archaeologist

Video: Belize - Snorkle
2min. Caye Caulker

11min. A Clients Trip to Belize

Video: Flying over Ambergis Cay, Belize landing in San Pedro.
2min. Final approach into San Pedro, Belize on a Cessna Caravan March 2014

Video: Atop El Castillo, Xunantunich Belize
30 sec. View from the top of the tallest structure in the Mayan archaeological site of Xunantunich, Belize along the western border of Belize and Guatemala.

Video: SanPedro, Belize - March 2014 ... DOLPHINS and other underwater friends
3min. Swimming with friends at Victoria Canyons - San Pedro, Belize


Kanantik Resort & Sanctuary Belize – Where to Even Start?
Sanctuary Belize is a huge, well awarded development project currently happening in Southern Belize…just south of the Hopkins area and north of Placencia. I do not use the word HUGE lightly. The land is 14,000 acres. About the size of the island of Manhattan, NY. 26 square miles. Land that goes from Caribbean Sea to pines to savannah to jungle almost to the Mayan mountains. Land that is going from completely undeveloped to 1800 housing lots, a 200 boat slip marina that can house boats up to 150ft in length, condos, hotels…the scope is unimaginable to me. And I spent the day there yesterday. BUT before I get to all of my pictures of Sanctuary, let me start where I am now…and where I arrived yesterday morning. A GORGEOUS resort owned by Sanctuary Belize called Kanantik Lodge. It’s where the Sanctuary visitors stay when they are touring, it’s about a 15 minute boat ride south of the development and it’s amazingly pretty. They have their own airstrip. The resort is made up of palapas. Huge ones for the central dining area and lounge/bar. And smaller private ones scattered along a beachfront boardwalk…

Victoria Peak – An Enchanting Natural Monument in Belize
Victoria Peak can be found within the verdant Maya Mountains of Belize and is the second highest mountain in the country. It is situated in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to a vast array of flora and fauna. Here is a little history on Victoria Peak: The History of Victoria Peak Natural Monument The first recorded expedition to the Cockscomb Mountains was led by Governor Roger T. Goldworthy in 1888. From 1927 to 1928, there were three more expeditions into the Cockscomb Mountains. They found that the peak described by the Goldworthy Expedition was not the highest peak, and therefore not Victoria Peak. Clearly, whatever peak the Goldworthy Expedition climbed, the name “Victoria Peak” was given to the highest peak of the Cockscomb Range, in honor of Queen Victoria. On May 2, 1998, Victoria Peak was declared to be a natural monument. Prior to this declaration, Victoria Peak was part of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. At the Launching of the 30th Anniversary Celebration on February 6, 1999, an agreement between the Belize Audubon Society and the Government of Belize was signed, adding Victoria Peak and Blue Hole Natural Monuments to the list of protected areas managed by the Belize Audubon Society. Note: The highest peak in the country is Doyle’s Delight with a height of 2688 ft. Adventure travelers who have climbed this peak describe their experience as a challenging and unique one. “As you ascend above tropical moist forest, the vegetation changes to elfin shrubland, characterized by sphagnum moss and a canopy of trees are no more than two to three meters high. At this height, the East Basin of Cockscomb looks like a green carpet of forest stretching as far as the eye can see. Whatever trees are in bloom are easily seen. And just before the summit you will encounter a humid and rich forest environment sheltered by Victoria Peak. The fiery-colored orchid (Epidendrum ibaguense) is another botanical wonder of Victoria Peak. This rarity in Belize only grows at high elevations”, reads the Audubon Society website which is a non governmental body that is responsible for managing this natural monument. Victoria Peak is accessible through Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Outside Looking In’ when in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Sitting out on the veranda- the first floor one on the western (lagoon) side of the house the other morning (yes it was early and I did have a mug of black coffee and my iPad with me ) I didn’t follow my normal routine of ‘going’ straight to The Times online. Instead I just sat there enjoying the stillness and allowed my thoughts to go wherever they wanted to go. And believe me sometimes they can go to very strange places! I thought about how I really do not miss England. I miss seeing my family (I was going to write ‘of course’ but not everyone misses their family, so I didn’t). I miss going to the Emirates to watch Arsenal (win, draw or even lose). I do (oh how sometimes it consumes my thoughts to the point where my imagination runs riot and I salivate ) miss my visit to a pie and mash shop ( a traditional, working class meal which originated in East London where I was born).

Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s Deflections – His Haunting Reflections
Barrow in his final comments to wrap up the 2014 budget debate described the Leader of the Opposition’s review of the budget as “useless” and that Fonseca’s “intervention was one of brevity…..after all there is so much of his remarkable decibel level that normal eardrums can take.” Barrow has pulled this cheap stunt before. If it wasn’t piteous for one gifted with the gift of gab, it would be laughable. We know exactly who those comments were intended for and if Santino Castillo was sophisticated enough, Barrow’s antics would have paid off. No one has a more “annoying decibel level and an even more irritating cadence than the member for Caribbean Shores. But there he sits behind Barrow with a mute’s grin oblivious to the Prime Minister’s aggravation. What could be more “useless” than Sedi Elrington’s incoherent and irrelevant ramblings on the legacy of Rt. Honorable George Price? Elrington comes off as someone troubled with Alzheimer’s. Nothing could be more annoying to the eardrums than listening to Minister of Health Pablo Marin’s unscientific rebuttal to physician, member of the House Dr. Marco Mendez. Pablo Marin who historically and infamously referred to the PAHO as “a person”!

International Sources

Leading by example to bring comfort to those in distress
Field Officer Jessie Young is a kind and dedicated member of staff at Belize Red Cross. She is warm hearted and a sincere humanitarian always showing great concern for her fellow human beings. Jessie was recently on duty travel, flying from El Salvador to Panama on a TACA Airlines flight when she noticed a fellow passenger in discomfort wriggling in his seat and in pain. He was sitting across the aisle from her. Jessie identified herself to the passenger, showing him her Belize Red Cross Identification Card. He motioned to Jessie that he was having discomfort in his ears and in pain. She says tells us she immediately thought that he was having air pressure problems and instructed him to make fists and blow into them, like a horn. “This seemed to cause him more pain,” she says. “So I then instructed him to pinch his nose and blow out his ear.” She says she told him to do it multiple times until they landed. “When we landed you could see the relief in his face. I was so glad I was seated nearby and be able to help this gentleman. He was in a bad state. He was really suffering. A flight attendant had tried but to no avail. I never got his name, he was African, I think, Nigerian from his accent. He was very thankful. He had gotten back a smile on his face.”

Moving abroad? The expat's life isn't all beach bars and bungalows
Many Americans want to move inside their screensavers: As more Americans move to destinations farther flung than Florida, they may find unexpected trouble in paradise. A few weeks ago, in the midst of a miserable, relentless east coast winter, my editor, at the end of her rope, gave in and bought a ticket to somewhere warm. A day later, she was on the beach, sharing photos of sun-dappled kayaks and breezy rainforests. If only retirement could be so easy. Imagine finding a town in Panama or Ecuador with reasonable hospital facilities and reliable internet access – not to mention those warm beaches – where your dollar will stretch a hell of a lot further than it will go at home. For those of us in large swaths of the lower 48, this winter’s weather has reminded us of another allure of retiring abroad. Staring out the windows at snowbanks still hanging grimly on to life in the final days of March are a wordless testimonial in support of the idea of spending one’s golden years running a beach bar in, say, Belize. Or a pottery workshop in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

Top 10 sexist and heterosexist moments in Caribbean Politics
Contribute to the final list of top 10 sexist & heterosexist moments in Caribbean politics by leaving your suggestions in the comments below. Here are what i’ve been able to come up with in no particular order. Thanks to all who sent suggestions via facebook and twitter.

March 30, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Police Report
Theft Christina Askew, American businesswoman of Santa Monica, California and owner of the Sausage Factory located on Coco Plum Drive, San Pedro Town reported to the Police that on Friday, March 14th she fired the factory’s manager and the assistant manager. She then conducted an internal audit of the business and at her conclusion she discovered that the following monies to the total value of $25,577.66 were missing and suspects that the monies were stolen by her former employees. Police investigations continue. Traffic Accident Harold Arthurs, office assistant at Carts Belize Golf Cart Rentals in San Pedro Town reported that on Friday, March 21st at around 9PM while driving a white and yellow golf cart, with license plate SP C-2055 belonging to the company, and just after Passing Crazy Canucks entrance, he saw a motorcycle being driven from his opposite direction. He stated that he saw the motorcycle knock down a young boy who was riding on a bicycle. The motorcycle lost control, colliding into the gulf cart that Arthurs was driving. He further stated that his cousin 20-year-old Dericka Castro, who was along with him and two more friends flew off the golf cart due to the impact. Castro sustained a scrape to her left knee and went unconscious. She was transported to the San Pedro Polyclinic where she regained consciousness.

30 pints of blood collected during San Pedro Blood Drive
There has been some talk about people being turned away from giving blood in San Pedro although they were able to in their native country. This article is to help everyone understand the challenges the San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) is facing in regards to building a healthy supply of blood for Ambergris Caye. Consider the fact that Belize is a developing country and has neither the technology nor the resources to spin and clean blood. The screening standards currently being utilized in Belize date back to 1991 and any changes to those standards would have to be done country wide. The SPBRC hopes to get some educational assistance on the current standards from the American Red Cross and Canadian Blood Services to help in this area. In the interim, we will still set our goal of (50) pints at the next blood drive in June: Aside from building a strong base of regular donors, the San Pedro Branch hopes to do this by encouraging more young adults to donate. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, the San Pedro Branch was able to collect 30 pints of blood last Saturday (March 22nd). Adding that to the current stock, gives Ambergris Caye for a grand total of 72 pints on reserve. So far 7 pints have been used by 2 different people.

Footprints for Peace lead Feeding Initiative for Police
In response to the escalation of crime Ambergris Caye has experienced in the past months, the Ministry of Defense deployed a joint operation team consisting of the Belize Police Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) and the Belize Defense Force (BDF) to render aid in San Pedro Town. Footprints for Peace, a community based anti-crime initiative organized by the Eiley and Arceo families, who recently lost their beloved Jeffrey Eiley in the rash of crime and violence, decided to thank the officers by orchestrating a feeding program. Even though the officers were provided with a meal plan and budget for their time on the island, Footprints for Peace wanted to offer the team hot home cooked meals to show the community’s appreciation for the officers who worked hard to “clean up the town”. The effort received donations from the community in both monetary and food items in order to feed the officers. Footprints for Peace fed 52 officers on Friday March 21st, and were also able to provide them a second meal later that evening through the generous contributions from the Youth Services Department that held a youth rally at the San Pedro Lions Den that same day.

Misc Belizean Sources

President-elect of El Salvador on a visit to Belize
The President-elect of El Salvador Salvador Sanchez Ceren, 69, is on a brief visit to Belize. According to reports in the Salvadoran media, the visit of the President-elect is to meet with Salvadorans living in Belize and to share with them the plans which his administration will carry out during its term in office. Today’s meeting between the visiting Salvadoran President-elect and his countrymen and women living in Belize is taking place a the gymnasium of the University of Belize in Belmopan. Salvador Sanchez Seren is a former teacher who won a narrow victory in the recent presidential elections. The presidential term for Salvador Sanchez Ceren starts on June 1, 2014.

15th Annual Junior Cross Country
Today is the 15th annual Junior Cross County Cycling Classic. They start at Succotz, and head to Belize City. The race starts at 9:00am. "The Junior and Youth Male Category of the Federation challenge themselves to prove, who is the best rider to completed this annual prestigious event. They ride from the Ferry at San Jose Succotz, just outside Benque Viejo Del Carmen and travels the George Price Highway to finish in front of Leslie's Import near Miles 2."

More information emerge about rape case in Placencia village
More details have been slowly emerging about the rape of a woman on Thursday night in Placencia village in the Stann Creek district. Police have not yet released any official information, but information received say that the victim is a 29 year old Canadian woman. Reports say that the woman and her partner were accosted on the beach by two men who held the couple up at gunpoint. It is alleged that both of the attackers raped the woman and then forced her partner to withdraw money from an ATM under threat that if he did not comply his wife would be hurt. It is believed that after receiving money from the woman’s husband, the robbers took off and made good their escape. Police investigations are ongoing. In related news, the Placencia Police will be meeting with residents of Placencia village on Monday evening at the Community Center where information on the case will be shared, as well as information on citizen’s safety. Monday’s meeting starts at 6 pm.

American retiree found shot to death in Sarteneja village
Police in Corozal are investigating a homicide, the second for the year in Belize’s northernmost district. The victim has been identified as 77 year old naturalized Belizean Dennis Waltz who lived in Sarteneja village. According to reports, Waltz, an American retiree, was reported missing a couple days before his decomposed body was found in a warehouse in Sarteneja village on Friday evening. He had been shot to the mouth, head and chest. Reports say that when Waltz was not seen for a couple of days prior to the discovery of his body, neighbours became concerned. His motorcycle was found abandoned at the entrance to the village, and that led villagers to suspect that something was not quite right. They went to Waltz’ house to investigate and upon their arrival, encountered a foul odour coming from the warehouse.

Women’s art fair held in San Ignacio town
The Cayo Welcome Centre was buzzing with activity today as a fair was held featuring the works of Belizean women. Arts and craft displays, pastry products and paintings were just some of the things on display and sale. The event was coordinated by the San Ignacio/Santa Elena House of Culture. Some of the women travelled all the way from Punta Gorda town to take part in today’s event. Today’s “Women In Arts” fair was sponsored by NICH, that National Institute for Culture and History in conjunction with the Cayo Welcome Center.

Motorcycle and bicycle crash in Georgeville
One man was injured in a road traffic accident on the George Price Highway tonight in Georgeville village, Cayo. Just before 7 o’clock, a west-bound motorcycle hit a man who was riding a bicycle at the eastern entrance to the village. crash31 Motorcycle and bicycle crash in Georgeville The victim is identified as Kareem Gongora, who sustained a large injury to the face and complained of pain to the hands and chest. He was taken to the San Ignacio community hospital by a police mobile that responded to call for assistance. The driver of the motorcycle had to be rescued from an angry mob of family and friends of Gongora who accused him of trying to run away from the scene of the accident.

American retiree shot to death in Sarteneja Village
Corozal Police report that about 4:46 p.m. yesterday March 28, 2014, they acted on information received of a dead body that was found in Sarteneja Village, Corozal District. Corozal Police visited the property of DENNIS FRANK WALTZ 77 year old retired American/Naturalized Belizean residing in the said Village where checks were made in the warehouse of a concrete bungalow with zinc roofing measuring 26" X 15" which lead to the discovery of a male dressed in blue jeans short pants, white socks and brown tennis shoes lying in a sitting-down position, motionless in a corner of the building with apparent gunshot wounds to the mouth, right upper side of chest and to the top of his head. According to TEOFILO RODRIGUEZ 44 year old resident of the said village, he made checks at the property after a motorcycle belonging to Mr. Waltz was found about 1 1/2 miles at the outskirts of the said village on Friday March 28th, 2014, sometime in the morning.

Belize - Caye Caulker - Snorkelling

Liberty Childrens Home Ladyville Belize

Landing in Belize City International Airport

Tarrus Riley live in concert in Belize

Hiking 'The Outlier' in Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary
7min. Hiking 'The Outlier' a 1,800ft peak in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve, Belize.

Belize 4/3/2014
3min. Carnaval 2014 Lighthouse Reef, Belize Mergulho: Acquarium (gravado com GoPro Hero2)

Belize Adventure!
4min. We tackled the muddy roads, steep stairs, deep caves, and coral reefs of San Ignacio, Caracol, Caves Branch, Caye Caulker, and Ambergris Caye.

Video: Hand-operated Ferry; Belize.
Mopan River, San Jose Succotz; March 9, 2014.  , .   ; 9  2014.

Video: Guanacaste Tree; Epiphites; Belize.

Video: Kaley in the Caribbean, Day 5
15min. Our next port was in Belize City, Belize! This was one of my favorite days because we literally went to hell. I also never had iguana and I'm still bitter.

The Belize Times

Arrested & Charged! – Corrupt Penner Faces Jail
Elvin Penner could run, but the corrupt politician could not hide. Penner was forced out of his hiding hole today, Thursday, March 27th when he had to appear in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court to be arrested, arraigned and charged for illegally issuing a Belizean nationality certificate and a passport to Kim Won Hong, a South Korean who is in a Taiwan prison at the time. The charge was brought about by a private criminal complaint lodged by grassroots organization Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA). COLA has accomplished what the Barrow Government has been reluctant to do, that is, bring criminal charges against Penner for his disgraceful and illegal actions against provisions of the Belize Passport Act and the Belize Nationality Act. Despite the mounting evidence and public pressure for Penner to face prosecution, the UDP Government continues to defend and protect him. They gave instructions for the Police not to charge him and not even to entertain an investigation. On Tuesday, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse was up to the government’s old tricks of trying to deflect blame from Penner.

Joblessness forces young mother to work at a bar
30 year old mother of two, Nickolette Montes, is more qualified in the medical field than the current Minister of Health, but she has had to settle with working at a nightclub

UDP insults the Judiciary! – Political crony
Very disturbing news has reached the news desk of the BELIZE TIMES. We have learnt that the judicial system is in severe crisis. The mother load of unconfirmed reports is that

Barrow’s Noodles Budget!!
Presentation of the 2014/15 Budget for Fiscal Year by Hon. Francis W. Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition March 24, 2014, Belmopan I rise to make my contribution to the debate

Broken down dreams
As our Parliamentarians meet in Belmopan to toss around figures and to debate the merits of a billion dollar budget, I prefer instead to conclude my assessment of the KHMH as it stands. After spending a week at our country’s flagship hospital, I would only hope that

Editorial: The Ugly Reality
As the Barrow Administration enters its 6th year in office, we have noted the intensity with which it is trying to hide the reality of the poverty, economic depression, corruption and social decay in our country by brainwashing Belizeans with expensive political ads about the few and too seldom, and

Belmopan Bandits drill FC Belize 2-0
Defending champs Belmopan Bandits are No. 3 in the Premiere league of Belize, after enjoying their first win after 3 draws in 4 outings, since the departure of Belize’s top striker Deon McCaulay to the Atlanta

7th RF&G national table tennis tournament winners
Zhi Cheng of Dangriga won the “A” Division”, Sen Sen won the “B” division champ, Marion Usher won the “C” division champ, and Petie Usher-Matus won the female champ at the Belize Table Tennis Association’s (BTTA)

Lady Jaguars, Stars & Jaguars win volleyball games
The defending female champs Lady Jaguars, Moen Stars, SQ Junior Stars, the Jaguars men and the Scorpions all posted big wins in the Belize District Volleyball Association’s (BDVA) 2014 competition held

Sweetheart deal for Jon Jon’s Mayoral hopeful
Shockwaves were sent through the city of Belmopan when the UDP Belmopan representative John Saldivar announced that his preferred candidate for the upcoming Municipal Elections was no other than his puppet, UDP

A snitch and peeping tom!!
There are three characteristics that most disliked on the streets: snitching, being a peeping tom, and behaving feminine-like. The UDP Gang Minister, Mark King, has confessed to two out of the three. A

AMAZING GRACE – Broken Streetlamps
I was driving home one night and as I turned down the lane towards my house, I noticed that one of the lampposts were out. For some reason, that dark lamppost’s image stuck with me and as I pondered all the implications the lack of light would mean for the

Journeying Back to the Beginning
I started connecting with my Garifuna roots as a youngster and I made my first visit to the community of Hopkins when I was 3 years old. My father told me that during this visit, I was blessed by a shaman of the community. My Creole

The price of beans and corn
Corn and beans are staples in the Belizean diet...but with the wholesale price of corn now at $30.50/100lbs and red-kidney beans at $210/100lbs…dinner tables across the jewel are fast seeking substitutes for these. Twenty years ago…the bulk of these commodities were produced by hundreds of small, traditional milpa farmers.

Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, Area Representative Orange Walk South, Budget Presentation
My presentation here today Mr. Speaker is “consultation based” and includes the views, opinions and experiences of a cross-section of the Belizean society, including the unions, many teachers, doctors, students, laborers, the private sector and Mr. Speaker, those who deserve the greatest respect and

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Empty Rhetoric
The focus this week is on the Budget Speech for Fiscal Year 2014 to 2015 delivered in the House of Representatives on March 7, 2014 by Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development. After the tabling of several reports and the Questions to

UDP privatizing BTL
On the Wednesday night news the nation was lulled by the launch of the BTL phone book cover but the mess at BTL is bubbling. Inside sources within the telecommunications company have leaked information to the BELIZE TIMES. Those sources indicate that the yellow pages have been

Butane prices go up!
It is not the kind of news Belizeans need as overall the cost of living has been on the rise consistently, but on Thursday March 20th the cost of butane price crept up some more. The cost of a 100 pound cylinder increased by a dollar for

Faber accused of smashing wife’s car
Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Patrick Faber has refused to comment on very serious allegations that he smashed his wife’s windshield after the pair got

What you need to know about Sedi & the Attorney General’s Ministry
There is a mass exodus from the Attorney General’s office. The Attorney General’s Ministry is home to the Solicitor General’s office. This office is responsible to go to Court to defend the Government and its ...


Shop the Country of Belize on Ambergris Caye
In spite of it’s small size, the country has a large amount of very talented Artisans. If you are one of those Island types that never seems to get much further than Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker while on vacation, you can now shop the Country of Belize on Ambergris Caye at 12 store. Owner Lara Goldman wanted to showcase the country’s talents and give Belizean artists especially those in from smaller villages an opportunity to increase their income and have their talent marketed to locals and tourists in one place. She searched the country via Tropic Air, word of mouth and facebook to find the most beautiful and functional arts and crafts. As a result, 12 store is a place where you will find en eclectic mix handmade hidden gems. 12 offers a wide range of Belizean crafts and products from stylish wood carving, pottery, food items and so much more. They also custom embroidering and and a wide range of gift baskets, perfect destination weddings and corporate shopping needs. Visit website or Romantic Travel Belize facebook page to see more.

In Contact With my Inner Rastafarian
In Monaco this summer we couchsurfed with the most amazing guy. He was also hosting four other people (he had 6 surfers every day – wow!). Two of them were Amy and Myles, a married couple from New Zealand. They had been 6 weeks in Central America before going to Europe, and naturally we had a million questions for them. One of the things they talked about did not excite me at all: rastafarians. Slow living, lots of marijuana and just plain laziness. It sounded like hell to me. I’ve always dreamed of living in a big city. Big like New York City – The Big Apple. Strolling down 5th Avenue with a million other people, the constant buzz, the lights, the opportunities… Everything about the city that never sleeps were just perfect in my eyes. But then we went to Caye Caulker in Belize and everything changed. From the minute we stepped out of the water taxi, we instantly fell into a much slower beat. Everything just tuned in at a much, much slower pace. And we were instantly hooked.

International Sources

Deon McCaulay continues his goal-scoring feat with the Silverbacks
Deon McCaulay continues to shine on the football field in the United States. According to the Atlanta Silverbacks website, McCaulay scored a “hat trick” helping the Silverbacks to a 4-1 defeat of the Young Harris College in a preseason game that was played on Saturday afternoon. The official game summary shows that McCaulay scored the Silverbacks’ first goal in the 66th minute of play, equalizing the score at 1-1. Deon McCaulay’s second goal came in the 81st minute of play and his third goal came two minutes later.

Bike through Belize
This is a 314.88 mi Bike Ride beginning in Chetumal, Mexico and ending near the Honduran border in Southern Belize. The Bike Ride has a total ascent of 5748.95 ft and has a maximum elevation of 760.33 ft.

March 29, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Special Operation “cleans up” San Pedro
On Thursday, March 20th a contingency of law enforcement agencies consisting of members of Belize Police Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) and the Belize Defense Force (BDF) descended on the island to tackle the current surge in crime. The team consisted of 47 personnel, mostly from the Eastern Police Division which is the police jurisdiction that includes the islands. The operation ran from Thursday, March 20th through Saturday, March 22nd, during which time the officers confiscated a large quantity of drugs and a firearm. Large amounts of illegal drugs were seized during the three-day operation. Drugs found included 1,215.4 grams of cocaine and 1,097.3 grams of cannabis. Other items seized by the police included: one 4.5 inch long crack pipe, one marijuana plant measuring 1.5 feet, one 9mm Luger CZ 110 firearm with a magazine containing three live rounds of 9mm ammunition, one liter Teachers Whisky, three liters Bacardi White Rum, one liter Label 5 Whisky.

Guest Editorial: People of San Pedro, Enough Is Enough: ARISE!
Submitted by Corry McDermott My brother Jerry McDermott and I tried over 12 years ago to help give better living conditions for the police force on this island. We gave a house and lumber to them and nothing happened. You ask, “Why hasn’t the local and federal or national government helped us. Partly, I believe that hasn’t happened for the last 28 years I have lived here, and worked and enjoyed this beautiful island and its people, not the PUP or the UDP have ever given more than $69,000BZ yearly to us these past 28 years to San Pedro. Instead, the politicians have taken millions from this island and they have talked, and talked about helping with our very much needed infrastructure, but little has happened. Unbelievable, when I do believe we give the most millions to the national government than anyone. When I talked to our leaders years ago they wanted to raise the hotel tax from 6% to 7% and they would give us the 1% to stay here to help better our falling down infrastructure. That never happened, when I believe the hotel tax is now 9% and still we haven’t received even half of the one percent, but after seeing we have been recently named twice in a row the number one island in the world is us, Ambergris Caye and you would think the government would want our infrastructure to be the best so our visiting tourists would want to come back over and over and as I told George Price in the 80’s that the tourists couldn’t hurt us. They wouldn’t take jobs from our Belizeans but create more jobs for them by leaving their money when they left. He agreed and at that point tourism became the main source of income for all of Belize.

New south cemetery may be relocated
Residents of the Mosquito Coast Area of San Pedro Town are not happy after they received word that the south cemetery is being relocated into their neighborhood. The cemetery that is currently on the dump site road was opened in 2013 after it was determined that there was no more burial space at the old downtown cemetery at end of Barrier Reef Drive. Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero would not go into details, but did indicate that there is a possibility that the cemetery may be relocated. According to Mosquito Coast residents, the area in which the council is planning to relocate the cemetery is residential. They protested that not only is it not the most pleasant sight to have to live with, but such a relocation will decrease the value of their properties. In addition, neighbors claim that the area in question is swamp land, which is also not fit for burial purposes. The Mayor did not say in which area of Mosquito Coast they are contemplating to move but residents are claiming that it is directly across from Marin’s Store. Mayor Guerrero stated that the possible relocation of the cemetery is in discussion but has not finalized. He further explained that the current land on which the new cemetery sits on has not been fully acquired by the Government of Belize and the process may take a very long time to be completed. Guerrero said the five-acre land being proposed for the relocation of the cemetery is being given to the San Pedro Town Council.

Diamante Beachfront Suites breaks ground
The official groundbreaking for Diamante Beachfront Suites was held on March 27, 2014 at the beautiful beachfront location of the newest development on Ambergris Caye. Invited guests were witness to the ceremonial digging of the sand by owner Lisa McCorkle-Guerrero, Sales Director Kristian Guerrero, business partner Phil Keuber, Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mayor Daniel Guerrero. It was a brief affair that highlighted the dream of Lisa and her late husband Miguel’s vision to develop this prime property into an exemplary complex. Designed with luxury in mind, and being built with utmost attention to structural integrity and energy efficiency, Diamante will feature five standalone buildings comprised of 2- and 3-bedroom condos with private balconies, high-end appliances, 10 foot ceilings and high end finishes throughout. Prospective homeowners will have an opportunity to purchase a full strata condominium in the heart of town, with direct views of the gorgeous Caribbean sea and Belize’s spectacular barrier reef.

Ambergris Today

Groundbreaking of Diamante Luxury Beachfront Development
Local island developer Lisa McCorkle Guerrero, officially broke ground to one of the island’s most luxurious and prestigious beachfront developments to date. She, along with her partners and associates, took to the shovels and officially commenced construction of the Diamante Beachfront Suites on Thursday, March 27, 2014. Diamante Beachfront Suites is a luxury beachfront development that boasts a classic and contemporary feel in building and design. It offers prospective homeowners an opportunity to purchase a full strata condominium in perfect proximity to all the town of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize has to offer.

San Pedro Belize Red Cross Holds Successful Blood Drive
There is been a some talk about people being turned away from giving blood in San Pedro although they were able to in their native country. This article is to help everyone understand the challenges the San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) is facing in regards to building a healthy supply of blood for Ambergris Caye. Consider the fact that Belize is a developing country and has neither the technology nor the resources to spin and clean blood. The screening standards currently being utilized in Belize date back to 1991 and any changes to those standards would have to be done country wide. The SPBRC hopes to get some educational assistance on the current standards from the American Red Cross and Canadian Blood Services to help in this area. In the interim, we will still set our goal of (50) pints at the next blood drive in June: Aside from building a strong base of regular donors, the San Pedro Branch hopes to do this by encouraging more young adults to donate. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, the San Pedro Branch was able to collect 30 pints of blood last Saturday. Adding that to the current stock, gives Ambergris Caye for a grand total of 72 pints on reserve. So far 7 pints have been used by 2 different people.

Misc Belizean Sources

Dara feeding program receives donation
Joel “Dara” Robinson has been feeding school children in Belize City out of pocket for seven years now, and his humanitarian efforts have earned him wide acclaim. But that does not always translate to the money he needs to keep the program going. He estimates that he spends upwards of $1,300 per month, the majority on food supplies. To help out, the Social Security Board today handed over $5,000 worth of kitchen appliances, including a brand new stove, refrigerator, cake mixer, microwave oven, freezer and blender, and promised to pay out $500 per month to help Dara meet his program budget. Social Security’s Belize City administrator Shawn Stuart says this is the Board’s way of recognizing its origins as a collector of contributions from working Belizeans which pay for employment and other benefits and promoting the children as the future.

Cancer Society opens dialogue with media on non-communicable diseases
The Belize Cancer Society today hosted the press in an information and strategy session to address the issues of portrayal of non-communicable diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, hypertension, diabetes and especially cancer in print and on the airwaves. These diseases are recognized as a leading cause of death in Belize. From 2007 to 2011 there were 857 deaths caused by cancer in Belize: 421 women and 436 men. For women, cervical cancer caused 23% of all deaths; prostate and lung cancer are leaders among men. According to Cancer Society president Laura Longsworth, Belizeans must begin to change their lifestyles and eating habits and make regular visits to the doctor, getting over their shyness with regard to medical procedures. She pointed out that health services are available to all Belizeans, even under NHI (National Health Insurance), but few take advantage, especially men.

Toledo farmers get equipment for seed production project
A bold new community initiative was officially launched on Thursday in Silver Creek village in the Toledo district. The Nim La Ha Chutamil Cooperative Society Limited was officially presented and a seed production facility for the new community group received much needed start-up equipment. It’s a community initiative where people from a small community have come together to help themselves and by extension their neighbors. The Seeds for Development” project is intended to provide farmers from Silver Creek and surrounding communities to be able to produce quality grains at a minimal cost.

Ladyville police investigate alleged rape report
A 51 year old man is accused of raping a 26 year old woman early this morning in Ladyville village, Belize district. Police say that acting upon information received, they visited an area near mile 10 ½ miles on the Phillip Goldson Highway where they encountered a man who was apparently holding a woman against her will. Police say when they arrived at the swampy, overgrown area about ten feet away from the roadside, they noticed that the man had his hands over the woman’s mouth and she was struggling to escape. Police say they ordered both the man and the woman out of the swamp at which time the woman immediately told them that she had been raped.

PACT Gives Radios to FCD
This week, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust gave the Friends of Conservation and Development a set of radios to help with communicating while they monitor and protect the Chiquibul National Forest and Chiquibul Cave System. Thanks, PACT!

Orquidea Negra at Maya Festival
The Orquidea Negra Dance Company went down to Toledo with a bunch of fans to celebrate Maya Day. Here are some high quality stills from their performance. "Our own Orquidea Negra Dance Company performing at the Maya Day at Tumul K'in Learning Center, Blue Creek, Toledo District. Proud of them... Photographs courtesy of Subrata Basu"

DPP clarifies her role in the Penner private prosecution
Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal today broke her silence with regard to the case against Elvin Penner brought by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA). After Thursday’s drama and spectacle of which she was a small part, Belize’s chief prosecutor felt the need to clarify her role, which essentially is that of an observer. Having met with the group on Wednesday, she made clear that while private prosecutions are an avenue of bringing a matter to the court, the ultimate responsibility for prosecution of a crime once the tests of sufficient evidence and level of public interest are satisfied, rests in the office of the DPP. She points out that while her office has not been satisfied to lay charges based on what has been presented by police, that investigation has not yet concluded and the directives given by the office three Fridays ago have not been met, and if she is not in a position at this time to lay such charges, then she cannot assume control of any prosecution brought by anyone else.

Magistrate wins judicial review of residency application
The Immigration Department has been ordered to receive and process the application of Jamaican magistrate Narda Morgan to receive Belizean permanent residency, after Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel ruled in favour of Morgan in an application for judicial review. Morgan represented herself as she sought to overturn the decision of Director of the Department, Maria Marin, to refuse her application and deny her request to state the reasons for such rejection in writing. Morgan was hired by the Government in 2011 in the local Magistracy and holds a CARICOM Special Skills Certificate. She tried to apply for permanent residency sometime thereafter, but was refused. Attorney for the Department, Crown Counsel Herbert Panton, was unable to convince Judge Abel that the Treaty of Chaguaramas which established the Caribbean Community and guaranteed freedom of movement for all Caribbean citizens, did not apply to citizenship of any territory.

Staff and management problems pop up at St. Ignatius High School
Tensions are running high between management and the staff of the St. Ignatius High School in Santa Elena town, Cayo district. Late payment of salary and arbitrary reassignment of job description to faculty members are just two of the list of complaints which surfaced today. According to veteran trade unionist and former General Secretary of the Belize National Teachers Union, George Frazer, its time for the issued raised by the staff of the High School be addressed seriously. Following classes today, the teacher met with BNTU officials to fully air their grievances. Today’s meeting with the staff of St. Ignatius High School was in advance of a planned Monday morning meeting involving Ministry of Education officials, the Board of Governors of the High School and the BNTU.

Small fire in Punta Gorda town
The Punta Gorda branch of the National Fire Service was today called upon to put out a small fire in town. It is not certain how the fire got started behind a restaurant in the vicinity of the PG Central Park. People in the area started to see the smoke which soon started to affect visibility for motorists and pedestrians alike. After putting out the fire, officials of the National Fire Service appealed to PG residents to take precautions with fire especially during this dry season to minimize dangers to lives and property. No one was hurt in today’s incident in Punta Gorda town and there were no structural damage.

3rd Annual Reading Fair
Over 10 primary school were invited to visit the the third Annual Reading Fair hosted by the Language Arts Department of St. John’s College High School in Belize City. The children expressed great interest in journalism and the importance of writing and reading.

Flash Mob in San Ignacio
There was a flash mob in Cayo! The San Ignacio Public Library, along with the Canadian Rotary, teamed up with some Sacred Heart primary school students to head to the Cayo Welcome Center for the performance. The SIPL also teamed up with tourism students at SHJC for the Art in the Park day. "Sacred Heart school participates in flash mob to encourage reading to keep literacy alive. thanks canadian rotary and SHPS in making the library a part of this event."

Earth Hour Tomorrow
Earth Day is coming, and tonight contains Earth Hour. There will be a celebration at Governor General Field in Belmopan starting at 8:00pm. Switch off your lights from 8:30 to 9:30 to celebrate. Panerrifix will be playing.

Validation Session for the Development of an Investor’s Guide for Mitigation and Carbon Markets and a Mitigation Project Portfolio
Government of Belize Press Office

Hundreds of Pre-schoolers, parents and teachers marched today through the principal streets of Corozal
Hundreds of Pre-schoolers, parents and teachers marched today through the principal streets of Corozal to celebrate the conclusion of Pre-School Stimulation month. Kudos to the Ministry of Education, schools, teachers, parents and the many volunteers for their tireless work and efforts in this successful endeavor. Corozal is certainly proud of its future young leaders. Power to the people of Corozal. Will share more photos on Monday.

Participants with display boots at the Caribbean ICT Road Show underway at the Corozal Communty College Sports Campus Auditorium.
BELTRAIDE - Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College, Corozal Community College, Stellar Links Corozal, Fultec Systems, BTL, Belize Police Department.

Grand Belize Casino Hotel to open in Santa Elena, Belize
The Grand Belize Entertainment Group has been granted a gaming license and secured the location to operate the former Golden Princess Casino in Santa Elena, Belize. Grand Belize Casino Hotel plans to operate approximately 500 slot machines, 20 table games, a brand new 50-room hotel, over 20,000 square feet of events space, and multiple first class food & beverage offerings. The location that the Grand Belize Casino Hotel sits sees over one million visitors per year and is known for its popular duty-free shopping. Michael Glauser, chief operating officer of The Grand Belize Entertainment Group, said, “We are excited to step in and operate in this location. Although there are still plans for a larger casino resort, opening in this current location allows the Grand Belize brand to place a foothold in the market. We look forward to making a positive impact on the local community, as well as Belize as a whole.”

US Capital Energy And Government Of Belize Taunt Supreme Court - SATIIM File For Injunction
On October 23rd, 2013, arguments ended in the case between SATIIM and the indigenous communities, and the Government of Belize. Justice Arana reserved judgment. One would expect that a law-abiding and socially responsible company would suspend its activities out of respect for the Belizean justice system until a judgement was delivered. Not so with US Capital Energy. In fact, they continue to conduct themselves as though there are no claims before the Supreme Court of Belize. US Capital Energy, most likely with the blessing of the Government of Belize, has been working around the clock engaging in pre-drilling activities, which are part-and-parcel of exploratory drilling operations. These activities, from our view, continue to violate the National Parks System Act and the Rights of the Indigenous Communities. SATIIM adjourned the injunction it filed in July 2013. This was because US Capital informed SATIIM and the Court that they would not drill until December 2013. As a consequence of letters to the parties associated with the oil contract requesting for information on the activities in the park, the Attorney General’s Ministry, in a letter dated February 10, 2014, informed the Court and SATIIM’s legal Counsels that no drilling will happen before March, 2014. The Attorney General was acting on behalf of the defendants named in SATIIM’s claim, including US Capital Energy.

What You Need to Know About Traveling to Central America
Central America is part of North America, but it is often grouped as a political collective, sometimes with the Caribbean, but usually by itself. The region is composed of seven nations: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Mexico is to its north, Columbia is to its south while its west and east flanks are bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea respectively. Of the seven nations, only Belize has a primary official language that is not Spanish. It is English. Belize was formerly known as British Honduras before receiving its independence in 1973. The country, however, is also claimed by Guatemala which considers the land its 23rd department or state. No worries — it is a peaceful dispute, at least for now. Getting There and Getting Around To get to Central America, several airlines serve its major cities. American, United, and Delta all fly to points due south. Also serving the area are Copa Airlines, TACA, and Avianca. Some people visit Central America via cruise line. Very few travel by car, particularly from the United States. It is possible to do so via the Pan American Highway.

Video: Razing the Roof: Acts of Purposeful Destruction in and around the Belize River Valley
17 min. Annual Maya Symposium - Sarah Kurnick Voices of the Past: Maya Research Scholars, first-time visitors, enthusiasts, and lovers of all things Maya are invited to take part in a full day of special Maya-related programming. Guests hear from experts, including Curator Richard Leventhal and Associate Curator and Keeper Simon Martin, one of the world's leading scholars on ancient Maya glyph writing—both of the Penn Museum's American Section—as well as scholars and students specializing in a variety of pre-Columbian disciplines. Topics of discussion range from ancient environmental issues, to historic excavation sites, to the future of Maya heritage.

Savannah Ecosystem Assessment Belize, 2009 - 2012

Video: 1. Overview of the Darwin Savanna Project.

Video: 2. How the scientific findings are now used in Belize.
How the scientific findings are now used in Belize. (Elma Kay, Pat Ashworth, Kamela Palma).

Video: 3. How the new Savanna mapping is being used in Belize.
How the new Savanna mapping is being used in Belize. (Jan Meerman & Edilberto Romero).

Video: 4. Benefits of the botanical research for Belize.
Benefits of the botanical research for Belize (Elma Kay, Jan Meerman and Rudi Aguilar).

Video: 5. The re-curation of the national herbarium.
The re-curation of the national herbarium (Dave Harris, Elma Kay, German Lopez).

Video: 6. Wider beneficiaries of the project throughout Belize.
Wider beneficiaries of the project throughout Belize. (Judy DuPlooy & Sharon Matola).

Video: Belize 1
8min, scuba diving

Video: Belize media clip
Chiquibul rainforest is rich in diversity

32min. From Spanish colonial Antigua to the Mayan temples towering above the jungle

Video: Belize Adventure!
4min. We tackled the muddy roads, steep stairs, deep caves, and coral reefs of San Ignacio, Caracol, Caves Branch, Caye Caulker, and Ambergris Caye.

Channel 7

Wild Shootout and Chase in City
Mahogany Street is one of the most trafficked thoroughfares in Belize City - but this afternoon pedestrians ran for cover and drivers ducked behind their steering wheels, as dozens of shots were fired in a high speed chase. It played out at around 1:40 - when multiple police units were pursuing a private van. Most of it played out on Mahogany street where a red Van was seen firing shots near the complex building. Police came behind, firing after the van, and as it sped away east on Mahogany Street. That's where a GSU Patrol was waiting. The van was heading right for them as the GSU let off gunshots - but they didn't shoot out the tyres and the van darted down a side street. The GSU followed, but the van eluded them, and re-emerged unto Mahogany Street where another police vehicle set chase, gunshots firing the whole time. But the van got away from them both - and while they shot the van, it kept going. Incredible, under chase from at least three police vehicles, the driver of the van got to his home on Santa Barbara Street which is two blocks from Mahogany street. That's where police caught him.

Cayo Teachers Call In the Union On Their Principal
This morning, word went out that the teachers of Saint Ignatius High School in Santa Elena Town, in Cayo, went on a type of “go slow” with the threat of striking. It’s a situation that has been brewing at the school, we are told, for several days now, where the teachers say that the interim Principal, Vanessa Neal, has been making personnel decisions and transfers they don’t agree with, and which they say put their jobs at risk.

May Bush Gets 13 Years For Killing Man
54 year-old Cayo Resident May Bush will spend 13 years in prison for killing 29 year-old David Guerra. That was the sentence that Temporary Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore handed her today in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court. As we reported, in February, Bush stood trial without a jury before Justice Moore, where evidence was presented that on June 18, 2011, she stabbed Guerra, who was the boyfriend of her daughter, with a pen knife after they had a been drinking at restaurant. The incident reportedly happened after Guerra and Bush's common-law husband ended up in a bar brawl. In the trial, Bush denied the crime, but the prosecution presented evidence that police found her on the scene shortly after Guerra's stabbing, with the bloody 7 inch knife which was used to commit the crime.

DPP Sees No Case For Criminal Charges Yet
Yesterday, we told you all about the private prosecution against former Minister of State Elvin Penner. Well today the Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn Vidal made her position clear in a detailed letter to the press. She stresses that she's an interested observer in the COLA matter, but, she has not taken over their private prosecution, especially since her office has not even launched a public prosecution. And her office hasn't done that because as she explains, quote, "I have not yet reached the stage where I am satisfied, on what has been presented to me by the police, that I can properly direct that charges be laid." The investigation is ongoing and the DPP says "the directives given (to police) 3 Fridays ago have not all yet been complied with." So she concludes, "If I am not in a position, at this time, to direct that charges be laid, then I am certainly not in any position to assume control of any prosecution brought by anyone else." In that regard, we stress that the DPP was not in court yesterday. She adds that she "has not joined COLA", or "is appearing on behalf of COLA" because if she did, it would be a public prosecution, and it is not that, not at this point.

Alleged Scotia Bank Robber Gets Off (again) In Nolle Pros Case
It made national headlines when armed robbers targeted the Scotia Bank Branch in Spanish Lookout, killed 32 year-old Steven Lopez, the on-duty security guard, and made off with over 300 thousand dollars. Well the news tonight, that 25 year-old Frank Edwards, the man who was accused and acquitted of being the gunman who shot Lopez to death, is now virtually free of the robbery itself. His trial before Temporary Justice Antoinette Moore began on Tuesday before a jury of 9 was empaneled to hear the first prosecution witness called by, Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez. But he didn't get too far with his case. That's because, Edwards' attorney, Dickie Bradley, indicated to the court that he was going to challenge a caution statement police say that he gave, which they intend to use to secure a conviction against him. In a trial within this trial, Bradley contented that in Edwards' murder trial almost exactly 2 years ago, the prosecution tried to use this very same statement against him. It was challenged then, and Justice Troadio Gonzalez threw it out ruling that it was improperly obtained by police investigators.

18 Year Old’s Family Discuss Accident
On Wednesday we told you that Erin Davis had died. The 18 year old Belize City resident was in that March ninth traffic fatality that killed 20 year old Linsbert Tucker and 3 year old Ashley Silva. Well Erin Davis was sitting beside Tucker when he crashed into the oncoming vehicle. He was hospitalized for 17 days, and died on Wednesday. His mother who works in the hospital monitored her son throughout, from he was brought into the emergency room. Today, she told Monica Bodden what she saw:…

Youth Thanks KHMH Doc’s For Saving His Life
And, keeping it at the KHMH – our next story involving a teenaged patient has a much happier ending. Remember in January when we were reporting on all those worrying h1n1 cases? Well, we told you about a 14 year old who wa sin grave condition – possible from h1n1 - and had to be put into an induced coma. Well, he stayed under that for a month, but he survived! And today – still recovering - he went back to the KHMH to say thanks for saving his life. Monica Bodden was there:..

Court Tells Immigration Dept to Make Jamaican Magistrate A Resident
Two weeks ago, San Ignacio Magistrate Nardia Morgan made the news after an allegation emerged against her that she inexplicably reversed a ruling she had made to be more lenient to a convicted Guatemalan drug trafficker. Well tonight, she's back in the news because the Jamaican National is challenging Belizean authorities to grant her citizenship here. She applied to the Immigration Department to gain permanent resident status, but her application was refused by Acting Director Maria Marin. She didn't accept that as the final decision, and with her attorney, she applied to the Supreme Court for Judicial review of Marin's decision. Her claim was that she had met all the requirements for permanent residency, but her application was unfairly refused.

El Salvadoran President-Elect In Belize
The President-elect of El Salvador is in Belize tonight. Former Guerilla Commander, Salvador Sanchez Ceren arrived in Belize this morning three weeks after a razor thin victory at the polls. Reports say the 69 year old paid courtesy calls on the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister today - but that cannot be confirmed. He is expected to be at UB in Belmopan tomorrow - again unconfirmed. And all this is unconfirmed because the local press was not told about or invited to cover his visit. We are told it was classified because of security risks to the President elect. What we do know for sure is that his contingent staying at the Radisson which is beefed up with security and that he leaves tomorrow.

Dara Gets Institutional Backative
Very many times on this newscast, we’ve covered the grassroots philanthropy of Dar Robinson. His feeding programme feeds 40 - 50 school children per day, and he does it all out of his small home. It’s his life’s work, no one pays him to do it, and, generally, he only gets the thanks of the children he feeds. But Dara never asks for anything other than contributions to his very worthy cause, and the Social security Board came through nicely for him today with a donation of five thousand dollars’ worth of kitchen appliances, and a commitment to give him 500 dollars monthly to buy groceries. They did this at his home in Belize City and we were there:…

SATIIM Calls Peyrefitte Remarks Offensive
Last night on the news, you heard the attorney for US Capital Energy Mike Peyrefitte putting down the Mayan Leaders who have negotiated with the oil company. He characterized them as greedy and caring most about money and least about the environment. Today SATIIM sent out a release challenging his bald accusations. The release calls his comments "uninformed and offensive." The statement adds, quote, "For a corporation, it is always about money, so of course negotiations with them include discussions about money." SATIIM says that "When the Maya people say land rights, the oil company hears money; When they as for consultation, the oil company hears money; and when they talk about their culture, and environment, the oil company hears nothing.

Youths Are Tops In Table Tennis
The third Dutch Lady Primary School Table Tennis championship was held today at Belize Elementary School. Youth players from 7 primary schools got to play on a major spread in a full tournament setting. President of the Belize Table Tennis Association Tux Vasquez who organized the event told us more:... On Monday, we'll tell you who the winners were.

Ce’Cile Sweets Up Belize
Reggae songstress Ce'cile is back in Belize tonight. The internationally known vocalist and hit maker is her for a concert in Dangriga that is also a fundraiser. She told us about the event called upgrade: The concert is tomorrow night in Dangriga Town.

Tonight's I AM Belize Profile, featuring inspirational teachers and their influence on students, tells the story of Annette Cooper. She started learning the skills she uses to teach by learning from a technician who fully assembled computers from their parts out of the box. Her fascination with the hands-on approach to technology led to individuals observing her progress, that she had the potential to be an educator because she had the ability to show observers in a step-by-step basis. Here's her story:

Channel 5

Mahogany Street shooting; police on hot pursuit fire shots at fleeing vehicle
Around one-thirty this afternoon, there was a dangerous shooting on Mahogany Street; it was all caught by our camera. Here’s how it unfolded…Police and GSU officers were responding to a [...]

St. Ignatius teachers revolt against decisions of high school management
In the west, there is growing dissention tonight among the faculty and staff of St. Ignatius High School in Santa Elena Town, following a series of unsanctioned decisions reportedly being [...]

Valley of Peace farmers receive some good news
Green Tropics, a Spanish company involved in sugar cane cultivation, is accused of conducting aerial spraying in the Valley of Peace community which is the main supplier of vegetables in [...]

Frank Edwards beat murder rap and now walks from robbery in Scotia Bank heist
Frank Edwards beat a murder charge back in 2011 before Justice Troadio Gonzalez but he was in the Belmopan Supreme Court this week on a robbery charge. Edwards was accused [...]

Fifty-one year old sentenced to thirteen years for manslaughter
Fifty-one year old May Bush, convicted of the June 2011 stabbing death of David Guerra, has been sentenced to thirteen years for manslaughter.  On March seventh, a jury of twelve [...]

Supreme Court says Jamaican magistrate qualifies for permanent residency
A written judgement is yet to follow, but a decision was verbally handed down in the case of Magistrate of San Ignacio, Nardia Morgan. Morgan defended herself in trial this [...]

Road Safety Program sees infrastructural road works on highways
Anybody travelling on the George Price Highway recently would see a massive program of infrastructure works in effect. It’s all part of a wider Road Safety Program, and the primary [...]

SATIIM continues to monitor illegal harvesting activity
The perennial issue of rosewood extraction, despite an existing moratorium, remains a thorn in the sides of conservationists across the south.  Illegal logging operations continue throughout Toledo, from Trio in [...]

Rape in Ladyville; aggressor was caught in the act
There is also a case of rape to report tonight where the aggressor was caught in the act.  Early this morning at about two-thirty, Ladyville police were tipped about a [...]

Armed hold-up at the Oasis Water Plant in Corozal
Up north, police have detained an alleged robber and are looking for another.  At about seven-twenty on Thursday morning, there was an armed hold-up at the Oasis Water Plant located [...]

Budget Wrap Up – a revisit of the fireworks in the House
The annual budget debate 2014, held on Monday and Tuesday, has been widely described as anticlimactic, primarily because majority of the arguments in the Honorable House revolved around the many [...]

Kids Talk News
The International Children’s Day of Broadcasting was launched by UNICEF in 1991 in order to encourage broadcasters worldwide to create awareness for children issues. ICDB, is a day when broadcasters [...]

3rd Annual Primary School Table Tennis Tournament
The third annual primary school table tennis competition was held today at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. Seven schools, sixty-four athletes and two hundred and fifty-six games later, the top [...]


Barrow Says EU Needs to Get Its Act Together
In other issues that made the news this week, Love News managed to question the Prime Minister on these including the European Union’s ban on Belize’s fishing imports. It is an issue, we thought was crucial as we have brought reports to you on several initiatives that the Government had been undertaking in order to avoid such a decision by the EU….but according to Barrow, it’s not something to put much stock into. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “I’m not especially worried except, I think the EU does need to get its act together. You can’t send a team down here, you can’t have an understanding reached; you can’t offer assurances by way of that team that certain things will happen or not happen and then within a couple of weeks, you go back on your word. But the practical effect of what has been done is not of a kind of consequence that unduly worries me. You are talking about a small number of ships, part of the fishing fleet, that can’t now access European Ports. In the larger scheme of things, really it is not something to be especially concerned about.”

Barrow on Esquivels’ Resignations: “….what it is, is what it is.”
In the early part of March, the Director for Belize Tourism Board was ousted from the organization after several managers filed complaints of no-confidence in her management. On the heels of that announcement, Lady Kathy Esquivel who served as the Director of the National AIDS Commission and Sir Manuel Esquivel, former Prime Minister also tendered his resignation as a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister. It was a triple move that surprised many and left many questions unanswered. Today, Love News spoke to the Prime Minister today and got his feedback on the matter. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “I wrote to both Sir Manuel and Lady Kathy; I thanked both of them for their stellar service with respect to the last positions they held. I went on in the case of Sir Manuel to make the point that this was of course just part of a large trajectory – a larger historical background that fixes him firmly in the national consciousness as an exemplary public servant, as an exemplary politician and exemplary Prime Minister. I expressed my regret at his departure but made clear that in the circumstances I understood.”

EU’s Belize Ambassador on Working Visit in Country
Head of Delegation of the European Union to Belize Ambassador Paola Amadei is on a working visit to Belize. The Ambassador’s visit is to participate in the first political dialogue with the Government of Belize under article 8 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement. British High Commissioner Peter Hughes will address issues of mutual interest for Belize and the European Union related to national security, human rights, regional integration, climate change and natural disasters. The dialogue will also cover recent developments in Belize and the European Union in the political and economic sphere. As part of the dialogue, Ambassador Amadei and other officials will take part in a high level visit to the Guatemala border being organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the security and environmental concerns between Belize and Guatemala, including illegal logging and gold panning , will be examined. Ambassador Amadei will hold meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development in charge of EU development cooperation, and participate in a special tour to the Toledo Cacao Growers Association and the Maya House of Cacao in Southern Belize which have received funding under the EU supported Belize Rural Development Program. Ambassador Amadei will leave Belize on Sunday.

Nat’l Security CEO Says Police Officers Will Get Paid ASAP
Complaints were coming out of the Police Department about two weeks ago regarding payments that were not forthcoming for duties worked some months ago. Colonel Lovell assured the media that this matter is being addressed. COLONEL GEORGE LOVELL “Extraneous duties, as we refer to them, is something that is issued after the fact, the one that is done in the December period is usually issued around the March time frame. March is the period when we look at our finances and there is a period of time when the Ministry of Finance will close all budget activities. This unfortunately happened and a few of the extraneous duties which the Ministry has approved for some reason did not make it through the Human Resource Management System that we have at the Ministry of Public Service.


Our Lady of Guadalupe Launches 3rd Annual Science and Business Fair
Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. in Belmopan held its third annual Science and Business Fair. Emanuel Pech visited the high school this morning and has the story. Emanuel Pech- Reporter for Plus News Science and Business Fair- an all day event that gives students an opportunity to lay down...

Ladyville Woman Found Apparently Being Raped
A woman says she was raped early this morning in Ladyville. Police say that acting upon information received, they visited an area near mile 10 ½ miles on the Phillip Goldson Highway. There they met a man who was apparently holding a woman against her will. According to...

Placencia Claims Another Rape Incident and a Robbery
There is another rape incident to report on. Plus News has learned that a tourist has been raped and robbed in the village of Placencia. Information is sketchy at this time as Police have not sent out any release on this latest crime against tourists. However, we understand that...

DPP Clarifies her Role in Lawsuit Against Mr. Penner
Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal today broke her silence with regard to the case against Elvin Penner brought by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA). After Thursday’s drama and spectacle of which she was a small part, Belize’s chief prosecutor felt the need to clarify her role,...


Maranco tries to tap 50 million barrels of dense oil in Orange Walk
During Tuesday’s budget debate, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow announced a major oil find—an estimated 50 million barrels—in northern Belize. Today, Amandala got some details of the find from Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Colin Young, who told us that while the company, Maranco, has estimated that the crude oil reserve within a 2,500 to 3,000-acre chunk of northwestern Orange Walk could total 50 million barrels, preliminary indications are that the oil will be difficult and more expensive to extract than the crude at Spanish Lookout, which is a lighter crude. “50 million barrels in the ground does not translate into recoverable crude,” said CEO Young. Amandala readers will recall that recoverable reserves at Spanish Lookout were estimated at 10 to 14 million barrels of oil. Young said that Maranco made the find after assessing the South Canal Bank #3 site, but the oil is 16 api (a unit of measure used by the American Petroleum Institute). This contrasts sharply with the crude that Belize Natural Energy found at Spanish Lookout, which Young said is 38-40 api crude.

Judge orders elections for Belize Ex-Services League
Mckesson Garrett, head of the Belize City branch of the Belize Ex-Services League, told Amandala today that a decision handed down by Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel, mandating the Belize Ex-Services League to hold elections which would include the general membership from the various branches across the country, rather than two representatives per branch, could restore stability to the organization and bring the kind of unity that they have not enjoyed for over a decade. Garrett said that in advance of that biennial meeting, due to be held next month, at which members should vote to elect “fresh blood” to govern the organization, the Belize City branch will host a meeting of its 60 or so members. That meeting is due to be held at Canada House on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 30. The Belize City branch and the executive management of the League have been locked in a bitter dispute for years.

Erin Davis, 18, who was involved in a tragic road accident on Sunday, March 9, in Burrell Boom, in which two persons were killed, died 17 days after the incident due to the massive head injuries he suffered as a result. He went into a coma after being injured, and did not recover. The Davis family of Administration Drive, Belize City, is devastated and is mourning the death of Erin, who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) at about 2:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Police reports are that at about 5:15 Sunday evening, March 9, they went to the scene of a reported traffic collision in the Burrell Boom area near the riverside, where they saw two vehicles with the front portions extensively damaged. Their investigations revealed that Lindbergh Tucker, 20, the driver of a white Honda SUV, was driving out of the Boom Road when he collided with a white KIA Sportage coming from the opposite direction, driven by Karim Silva, 31, who was accompanied at the time by his daughter, Ashley Silva, 3.

One hundred and eighty-nine days after Prime Minister Dean Barrow fired Minister of State Elvin Penner on September 19, 2013, for his issuance of a Belize passport and nationality paper for an unqualified South Korean criminal, Won Hong Kim, the Cayo North East area representative was arraigned this morning in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on two criminal charges filed in a private lawsuit by the grassroots activist organization Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA). The COLA case against Penner comes after months of at least three government investigations that have yielded no results. Although it appeared that immigration laws had been broken, the Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration, told the nation that their internal investigations dealt only with public officers of the department, and Penner was not going to be questioned because he did not fall under the rules of the public service. There have been an Auditor General investigation, an internal Ministry of Immigration investigation and an investigation by the Financial Intelligence Unit, all of which produced nothing.

In February, we reported that Karen Bevans had resigned from her post as Chief Operations Officer of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) after 25 years of service at the company, but Amandala has confirmed from an official source that the Office of the Prime Minister has been in negotiations with Bevans to have her fill the recently vacated post of director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). Laura Esquivel-Frampton resigned from that position earlier this month, after seven of BTB’s managers complained to Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia, Jr., about her leadership and penned their signature to a vote of no-confidence. Furthermore, our newspaper had received reports that the BTB came out of 2013, which saw healthy tourism growth in both the cruise and overnight sector, being millions of dollars in the red. Amandala understands Bevans met with Heredia and Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday to discuss the terms of reference for the BTB post, but at news time tonight, we were told that she had given no indication what her final decision is.

Greg Ch’oc, executive director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM), said that the NGO and the Maya communities of Toledo which have joined them to challenge a decision by the Government of Belize to grant a petroleum concession over what they insist is their ancestral lands. “…will not stop until we achieve [our] rights guaranteed by the Constitution.” In a case lodged before the Supreme Court last year, SATIIM led a claim against the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy, challenging the decision to permit the company to drill in the Sarstoon National Park and to furthermore grant a concession to the company without the free, prior, informed consent of the Maya – as specified in the Maya land rights ruling by former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh. However, Michael Peyrefitte, the attorney for US Capital, told the media today that the Maya want the company to drill, and Peyrefitte said that the only reason the Maya have gone to court is that they want a bigger share of the pie that other Belizean landowners would get from petroleum production. “It’s about money,” insisted Peyrefitte, who also sits as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Introducing Belize
A relative sent us some information today along with an SMU (Southern Methodist University) website link on a young man who has made some major strides toward his dream of playing professional football in the U.S. There are many youth with Belizean parentage in the U.S., and it is always refreshing when we hear of their success academically or in the sporting arena, especially if they show appreciation for their Belizean roots. And it could be a great inspiration for our youth back home in the Jewel. According to information on the team roster, #26 Deshawon Nembhard is a 6’1 170 lb Freshman defender/midfielder on the SMU men’s soccer team in Dallas, Texas. Below we print a brief extract from an article appearing recently on the team’s weekly web page, followed by some information on Deshawon provided by his uncle, Derrick Morgan.

At this newspaper, we try to be careful with words. Indeed, we have to be careful with words, because our newspaper words do not just quickly blow away into the wind: our words are printed in black and white, and they will last for generations. The words we use are there for us to be judged by, and so our words bring a weighty responsibility along with them. We have a phrase we have been using at Amandala for decades, which is, of course, “power to the people.” It was used by the Black Panther Party founded by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in Oakland, California in the late 1960s. But it was a Belizean who was visiting Belize from that said city of Oakland, California in the spring/summer of 1969, who introduced the young UBAD cultural movement to the South African word Amandla. (This Belizean was Bert Simon, who soon returned to the United States and converted to the Nation of Islam. He is now Nuri Muhammad.) Our understanding of Amandla at the time was that it translated roughly in English to “power to the people.” Over the years, we have come to understand that Amandla is part of a call-and-response ritual in South Africa where the speaker cries Amandla, or power, and the people respond, Ngawethu, which means roughly, the power belongs to the people. (In that summer of 1969, we chose to call our newspaper Amandala, adding an extra “a” to make the word more easily pronounceable.)

The anti-British colonialism vibes of the nationalist revolution in Belize were also pro-American vibes. Belizeans who travelled to Panama to work during the 1930s/1940s had been struck by the grand nature of American planning and construction in Panama. The Americans did not do things in the cheap, niggardly way in which the British had always operated in Belize. Belizeans became impressed with America, and even more disappointed with Britain. George Price’s boss in old Belize City, Bob Turton, sold his chicle to P. K. Wrigley in Chicago, and our sources say Mr. Turton and Mr. Price travelled together to New Orleans often, to transact banking business there or on their way to Chicago, where Wrigley’s chewing gum headquarters were located, or to New York City and Boston, where Mr. Turton was doing some of his mahogany business. Mr. Turton’s chief business rival in British Honduras was the Belize Estate and Produce Company (BEC), and BEC was, of course, always favored by the British colonial establishment in Belize. Bob Turton, the illegitimate son of a British army officer and a Creole lady, had to quit school at the age of 9 and fend for himself. He became British Honduras’ second native multimillionaire, after Isaiah Morter, who had made his fortune in coconuts.

Exports down, imports “continue to swell,” inflation up
The 2013 trend of declining receipts from Belize’s major exports has continued into February 2014, according to information just released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). “Belize export receipts for February 2014 stood at $49.5 million. This represents a decrease of approximately $12 million or 20 percent over the same month last year,” the SIB said. It added that export receipts for all major exports, except marine products, declined. “The largest fall in earnings occurred in the export of sugar, which fell by roughly one-half to $7.7 million,” the report said. Poor weather conditions and the delayed opening of the sugar factory was the cause of declining sugar revenues, the SIB said. However, it noted that the 2014 forecast for sugar production was generally good. Crude oil receipts were also down, despite an increase in world market prices. According to the SIB, this is because Belize exported slightly less crude oil in the month, resulting in a $2 million reduction in revenues.

Bagasse negotiations continue between BSCFA and BSI
The second in a series of intensive discussions to resolve a quantum payment for the multifaceted sugar cane byproduct known as bagasse was held this past Tuesday, March 25, at 2:00 p.m. at the BSI Staff Club in Orange Walk. Representatives of the two major stakeholders in the sugar industry, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and the mill operators Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/ American Sugar Refineries (ASR), convened once again to hopefully hammer out a new sugar cane purchasing agreement since the infamous 2-month impasse in which cañeros refused to deliver cane to the mills unless they were given a percentage of the profits that BSI/ASR hauls annually from the sale of bagasse. Today, vice chairman of the BSCFA’s Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, spoke to Amandala about the developments in the negotiations and explained that the sugar compromise is being worked out under a positive light. Ortega told us that the meeting went well and just as they expected. He stated that BSI provided their counterproposal to the cane farmers, in which the company presented a proposed formula they derived for apportioning payment to the farmers for the bagasse, in addition to the most practical and feasible sum of money they are able to disburse in exchange for bagasse.

Sex, murder, mayhem and confessions
It is said that ignorance of the law is no defense and thus the assumption of our Common Law legal system is that every citizen knows the laws and as such cannot plea ignorance of it. Along with this assumption is that our people are equally “educated” and for me education is beyond being book smart – it’s about being aware, knowledgeable and competent to engage in sober well informed discussions. The whole premise of a democracy is likewise under the understanding that citizens of a democratic society are “educated” or enlightened. So when we keep our people ignorant, uninformed and “uneducated” we cannot expect that the socio-political system we operate under will ever be as functioning as it should be. I read and heard some very damning comments about our judicial system and while some are so true, lots are based on ignorance of our system and our people not realizing that they too have a role. Now, let me say up front that I am in no way saying all is well with our system and that it should remain as it is, but we first appreciate it before we constructively dialogue about what to change.

From the swamps to the hills, and back! …
This newspaper is 34 years old, and over the years we have written many editorials about the Cross Country race, the Holy Saturday cycling race which is so much a part of our collective Belizean psyche. Next Saturday’s race will be the 75th race in the history of British Honduras/Belize, and things have changed. Nowadays it is the norm that foreign riders win the race. On Holy Saturday 2003, if there are 10 riders coming back through Hattieville, 7 or 8 will be foreigners; and if there are 5 riders coming back, 3 or 4 will be non-Belizeans; if there are 3 riders coming back, 2 will be from outside. This has become the pattern. The Mexicans had been coming, from Chetumal and Cancún and Ciudad del Carmen, from as far back as we can remember, from the 1950’s, and only one ever won – Pablo Calderon in 1971. And though Pablo was a threat again in 1972, a threat turned back in 1972 by Anthony “The Tank” Hutchinson in his thunderous ride through the Cayo hills, it was the “team concept” which really began foreign domination in the late 1980’s.

Belizean rum receives international recognition
Distilled products manufactured by Traveller’s Liquors Ltd. have been on the shelves of Belizean merchants for over 60 years, and today the company exhibited superiority in the world of spirits yet again as another one of their products – this time Traveller’s Classic White Rum – was rated, for its flavor, at the top of the list of white rums from around the world. The – raters of the globe’s finest wines and spirits – recently hosted a White Rum Tasting competition in New York, where 20 contenders were evaluated for the distinguished “Best White Rum” awards for 2014, and Traveller’s Classic White Rum of Belize emerged as the victor. The product was awarded a gold medal, and today the proprietors of Traveller’s Liquors invited the media to the Heritage Museum at Mile 2 on the Philip Goldson Highway where they delightedly made the announcement. General Manager of Traveller’s Liquors Ltd., Amanda Perdomo, said, “In 2013, we won 2 awards in London; the 5 Barrel [aged rum] won gold in the Masters Spirits competition, and the 1 Barrel won silver. This year, we submitted the Traveller’s Classic White rum to for a tasting competition, and out of 20 rums, we got a gold award, so we’re very proud of this rum.”

Two armed Guatemalans who illegally entered Belize through the Chiquibul National Park were met by a Belizean composite patrol, who promptly arrested them. The two persons have been taken into custody at the San Ignacio Police Station and were charged with keeping firearms and ammunition without a gun license. The men, Jose Sub Coc, 21, a Guatemalan farmer of Cah Bom, Alta Vera Paz, and Pedro Lopez Ica, 36, a Guatemala farmer of Monte Los Olivos, were both taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, where they were arraigned on the firearm possession charges. They have since been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until May 30, when they will be returned to court. The incident occurred about 9:00 a.m. Monday morning in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. The patrol reported that they saw two Guatemalans, who were armed with a .22 automatic rifle and a 9mm pistol.

Belmopan City Council Mundialito
The Belmopan Football Association (BFA) held Week 3 games in the Belmopan City Council Mundialito Youth Cup 2014 on Sunday, March 23, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. In game 1 at 10:00 a.m., YWAM-Netherlands shut out Piccini-France, 4-0, with goals from Naim Wilson (37’ & 51’), Zachariah Zimmerman (67’) and Adrian Waight (83’). Game 2 saw Armenia-Portugal registering a 3-1 win over Mountain View-Italy, with Carlos Gonzalez netting a hat trick (34’, 60’ & 80’) for the winners, while Marlon Jones (71’) scored for Mountain View. It was target practice in game 3, as Valley of Peace-Korea bombarded Maya Mopan-Chile, 13-nil, with goals from Savier Sanchez (5’, 9’ & 54’), William Flores (14’), Elvin Umana (34’), Henry Sanchez (39’ & 42’), Jose Delgado (63’), Ector Gomez (70’), William Perez (46’), Jason Sanchez (45’) and Nelson Martinez (60’ & 71’). And in game 4, it was Central Site-England, 2-1, over San Martin-Mexico, with a goal apiece from Ajani Banner (35’) and Jamal Tejada (38’), while the lone goal for San Martin was by Jonathan Lopez (47’).

Belize City’s No Limit Soldiers defeat the Culture Warriors in Dangriga
The Belize City (Smart) No Limit Soldiers made the journey to the Y-Not Island in Dangriga to take on the hometown Culture Warriors. The Soldiers made the trip along with some No Limit fans early Saturday afternoon, as they departed from Belize City around 2:30 p.m. The team managers made it a priority to have the Soldiers in Dangriga early, so they could have sufficient time to stretch and warm up properly for the game. This was definitely necessary, because in past road games the Soldiers would often struggle in the 1st half, before hitting their stride in the 2nd. On this day, however, the Soldiers were early, so early, in fact, that they had time to walk around and soak in the culture capital of the country. The people of Dangriga welcomed the No Limit Soldiers, and were very hospitable to the visiting team for the duration of their stay. The Dangriga Culture Warriors are a very young, athletic and exciting team to watch, and it’s because of that the Soldiers made every effort to slow down the game to negate the speed of the young Warriors. As a result of the game being slowed down, the score was slightly lower than what the Belize City No Limit Soldiers would normally produce. They were very much in control through the 40 minutes of action, as the team continues to improve their shooting. Team No Limit shot 21 for 36 (58%) from the charity stripe, and even shot a better percentage from behind the arc than they did on 2-point field goal attempts, as they hit 50% of their shots from the land of 3 and only 34% on 2-pointers.

“Ladies” is ready for Holy Saturday Half-Marathon
A dedicated long distance Masters runner, 53-year-old Anthony “Ladies” Flores visited the sports desk this morning to serve notice that he is ready for this year’s annual Holy Saturday Half-Marathon race. “In my Masters category, I expect to have strong competition this year from Louis Haulze and Michael ‘Big Wire’ Lewis,” asserted Ladies. “Big Wire” is better known for his cycling achievements, having won all the major cycle races, including the Cross Country; but Ladies says he saw Big Mike training for the foot race, and expects good competition from him on Holy Saturday. The annual Half-Marathon (approximately 13 miles) will take off shortly after the start of the Cross Country Classic on Holy Saturday morning, and will journey from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 8 on the George Price (Western) Highway and back to Leslie’s Imports.

Junior Cross Country
This Sunday, March 30, will see the 15th running of the Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic, which will take off from the Succotz Ferry at 9:00 a.m. and travel on the George Price (Western) Highway to finish in front of Leslie’s Imports on the outskirts of Belize City, approximately 72 miles. The Cycling Federation of Belize will hold its Technical Meeting for the event tomorrow, Friday, March 28, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the NOC Conference Room upstairs of Doony’s on Albert Street. Deadline for registration is today, Thursday, for Youth riders (14-16 yrs) and Junior riders (16-18 yrs). Last year’s race was a photo finish, with the victory going to Zamir Guerra in 3:34:38. There was a tie for 2nd place between Michael Wagner and Tarique Flowers, who both also clocked 3:34:38.

Traffic accidents prevalent in rural Belize
A disturbing number of traffic accidents have occurred within the jurisdiction of the rural Belize District over the past few weeks, and this past weekend the phenomenon continued, as there were a jaw-dropping four more road traffic accidents in that municipality, leaving at least three more individuals in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). One of the most serious of the incidents happened on Sunday evening after two employees of Bowen and Bowen Ltd. had left from a company function in Ladyville. Upon reaching the curve before the Burrell Boom cutoff, the grey Jeep Cherokee that they were traveling in reportedly ran off the road and overturned several times. The victims were 38-year-old Ian Nunez of Poinsetta Street in Belize City, and 35-year-old Deon Geban of Fabers Road, also in Belize City. Nunez suffered a broken pelvis, spine, hand and foot; while Geban was injured in the back, shoulder and foot.

Stann Creek fishermen protest dredging at South Water Caye Marine Reserve
The Stann Creek Fishermen Association (SCFA) this week sounded the alarm that a company is dredging inside the South Water Caye Marine Reserve – even as fishermen from the community have been locked out for years from fishing in the protected area, after having been told that they could not continue their usual fishing activities inside the reserve. The association said that they are exhorting the Minister responsible for fisheries to call an emergency meeting on this. Earlier this week, Amandala consulted authorities at the Department of the Environment (DOE) on the reported dredging inside the protected area, and we were told that the DOE knew nothing of it. We tried contacting the CEO responsible for fisheries, as well as authorities at the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, but no one was available to speak with us.

Police anti-crime operations impact San Pedro
A 2-day police operation called Operation Ambergris Caye was conducted by the Eastern Division Police on San Pedro in response to a spate of crimes that was disturbing the peace of the island. The operation began Thursday morning and concluded Sunday morning. Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, commander of the operation, said that the purpose of the operation was to address the increasing number of shooting incidents and other crimes being committed on the island town and to ensure that San Pedro returns to being the tranquil place it has been known to be – a place where both residents and tourists can feel secure. As part of the operation, officers searched 250 persons, 20 premises, and 20 known drug bases. Ten suspected vehicles were stopped and checked; and 8 persons were arrested on various offenses, including immigration. Of those arrested, one person was detained for immigration offenses; another person was arrested for possession of a crack pipe, and a deportee was detained for failing to report to the proper authorities.

Protruding plough on towhead causes traffic accident; 5 injured
A truck driver’s alleged indiscretion almost cost the lives of roughly 18 to 20 passengers who were on board a James Bus on the way to Belize City last night after a projecting heavy duty farm tractor’s rake ripped open the left side of the bus like a tin can. Around 7:15 p.m. last night, near Mile 44 on the George Price Highway, a passenger bus belonging to James Bus Line from Punta Gorda was on its final route to Belize City when it was raked in the side by a protruding piece of a farming machine that was being carried on a towhead that was coming from the opposite direction. Luckily, there were no casualties, but five people, including Oscar Cal, a resident of Colombia, Toledo, who was the driver of the James Bus, sustained injuries. Cal and four of his passengers suffered various degrees of injuries and were rushed to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, while the others were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City.

Traffic collision again in San Pedro
A three-way collision occurred at about 9:00 Friday night on Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro, and two persons are hurt as a result. The collision occurred when a motorcycle hit a bicycle, after which it slammed into a golf cart in which four people was travelling. The person riding the bicycle was hurt, and three persons from the golf cart were thrown out, causing one of the passengers to be knocked unconscious. Harold Arthurs, office assistant at Cart Belize Golf Cart Rentals San Pedro Town, told police that he was driving a company golf cart, and three persons were with him, including his cousin, Ericka Castro, 20. Just after they passed Crazy Canucks Restaurant’s entrance, Arthurs saw a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction, which knocked down a young boy who was riding on a bicycle. The motorcycle driver lost control of the motorcycle after that, and then the motorcycle hit the golf cart.

5 persons missing: 3 from Belmopan, 1 from Toledo and 1 from Belize City
Five persons have been reported missing — three from Belmopan, one from Mafredi, Toledo, and one from Belize City. Missing from Belmopan are Touri Conorque, 13, a student who failed to return home from school yesterday; Izidoro Zacharias, 52, who went out on Friday and failed to return, and Ami Polanco, 15, a student who left home to go to school about 7:00 yesterday morning and has not yet returned. Missing from Mafredi, Toledo, is Rosas Tobar, whose 15-year-old daughter reported her missing to police. In Belize City, Alex Myers remains missing since Wednesday, March 12. About 4:30 this afternoon, Markeisha Thomas of Sapodilla Street, Belmopan, told police that her daughter, Touri Conorque, 13, did not return from school at the time she usually does. She has not been seen nor heard from since. Conorque is of brown complexion, is 5 feet 5 inches in height and weighs 110 pounds; she is slimly built, has brown eyes and was last seen wearing her school uniform, which is a light brown blouse and khaki brown jumper. At about 5:30 yesterday evening, Maribel Bolon of Garza Street, Belmopan , went to police and reported that her brother, Izidoro Zacharias, 52, left home about 5:00 Friday evening and since then, she has not seen nor heard from him. Zacharias is a resident of Brazil Street, Salvapan. He is of fair complexion, is 5 feet 6 inches tall, is slimly built, has dark eyes, and his top front teeth are missing.

Corozal police carry out new initiatives to combat crime
The Corozal police have embarked on new initiatives to combat crimes in the district. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Commander of Corozal District police, said that the initiatives began yesterday. A two-man motorcycle team will now patrol the business and residential areas. The patrol will carry out stop-and-search operations, and random searches of suspicious persons in the area will be done. The initiatives will be for an indefinite period, and will be carried out from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening, from Monday to Friday. Commander Ramirez said that two officers have been assigned to carry out the initiative. Since the beginning of the exercise yesterday, the stop-and-search effort has already confiscated four grams of weed and two persons were arrested as a result. Ramirez said that the initiatives boost the ones presently in place, so that there are always ongoing security patrols in the town.

Plane destroyed by fire after it crashed in remote Spanish Lookout area
A six-seater Cessna plane believed to have been used to transport cocaine has been destroyed by fire in a remote area of Spanish Lookout. It was found abandoned on a feeder road Tuesday morning by law enforcement authorities. At the time of the discovery, there was no one around, and the cargo was nowhere to be found. Police believed that the plane crash-landed and unnamed persons deliberately set it on fire. Police strongly believed that the plane was used to transport cocaine. An investigation, in collaboration with Aviation authorities, has been launched by police, but so far, no one has been detained.

Motorbike slams into car turning left across highway
A motorcyclist is fortunate to have only received minor injuries after he collided into a car which was reportedly turning into a lane on the Philip Goldson Highway yesterday morning. The incident took place at Mile 4 near the Benny’s Apartments where, according to eyewitnesses, the motorcyclist – who was driving a white and burgundy motorbike – suffered serious abrasions to his body after making a failed attempt to overtake the car – a silver Nissan Altima, which was in the process of making a left turn, across the opposite lane. The front portion of the driver’s side of the car was subsequently damaged, while the cyclist –identified as Noel Leal, Jr., 29, of Buttonwood Bay in Belize City – was violently hurled into the air, reportedly landing some 30 feet away. Both drivers were apparently heading into Belize City, and eyewitnesses claim that the female driver of the car – who was unhurt – had put on her signal to indicate that she would be going left. However, the cyclist, who was allegedly traveling at a high speed, apparently did not notice the signal, and so slammed into the turning car.

It was neither my wish nor intent to diminish the image of Rt. Hon. George Price in our history with my view on Sir Manuel’s role in same. I was just stating what was backed up by the “Tribute to Falo Fonseca” in the Amandala of the same date. Both Mr. Price and Mr. Esquivel have their magnificent roles in our history but like the Marco Antonio Solis song says, “Hombre perfecto no hay”. We all are humans and no one is perfect, except “Jesus, the Christ”. Mr. Price had a vision of a politically independent Belize, which he achieved, but it took Esquivel to straighten up the finances of that dream come true. It cost them both. Mr. Evan X Hyde also has a huge role in our history. He is the revolutionary who publishes the truth. That is why Amandala remains the best newspaper in Belize. He may take sides but will always publish the truth. He feuded with both Prime Ministers because that is his role in our history, to “Fight the Power”.

Gabino Garnett, Jr., 23, a laborer of San Ignacio who was wanted on murder charges in San Ignacio and has been on the run from police, was arrested today and charged for the death of Earl Baizar, 19, of Dangriga. Garnett was arraigned today at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on the murder charge, and has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Baizar was stabbed in the chest on Saturday, March 8, in front of the Atlantic Bank in San Ignacio during an altercation with a man who later was identified as Garnett. Police said that Garnett stabbed Baizar four times in different part of the body — the left side of the chest, the left hand, his left underarm and his right thigh — during an altercation on March 8.

Drug smuggler escapes from police, but over 5 pounds of weed confiscated
Benque Viejo police confiscated over five pounds of compressed cannabis which was abandoned by a drug smuggler who escaped from police officers when they tried to arrest him. The drug has been labeled “found property” and [...]

Best Man won’t make it to the wedding, because he’s remanded to prison
A Belize City man who was supposed to be the best man at his brother’s wedding will not be attending, unless he can get special permission from the authorities at the Belize Central Prison, where he [...]

Belize City man arraigned for month-old robbery of high-tech cellphone
A Belize City man was arrested and charged for the robbery of a high-tech cellphone that occurred a little over a month ago. Kadeem Olivera, 19, a construction worker of 76 Neal Pen Road, pleaded not [...]

Woman escapes rape in Punta Gorda
A woman, 24, who is a German national visiting Punta Gorda, escaped being raped by a man who attacked her while she was swimming in the sea. The man tried to hold her down and take [...]

5 men and minor arrested for 104.5 grams of cannabis
The men allege that they were badly beaten by police Five men and a 16-year-old minor were arraigned on Tuesday morning before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on a single count of drug trafficking, for 104.5 grams of [...]

Lucius Myers, 33, found guilty of keeping unlicensed ammunition
He was sentenced to 5 years Lucius Myers, 33, who the Gang Suppression Unit believe is an affiliate of the Ghost Town Crips Gang, was found guilty of “kept ammunition without a gun license” and sentenced [...]

Stolen car recovered
A Nissan Sentra car, the property of Michael Jorgenson, a taxi driver and resident of La Croix Boulevard, valued at about $5,000, which was reported stolen from in front of his house sometime between 12:30 to [...]

Money changers robbed on the Western border
Two money changers who work at Belize’s western border with Guatemala were robbed by two men, believed to be Guatemalans, who stole over $2,700 from the money changers, after which the robbers fired shots in the [...]Two San Pedro tour guides attempted to bribe Superintendent Broaster

Two San Pedro tour guides attempted to bribe Superintendent Broaster
Two San Pedro tour guides who were arrested for possession of a small quantity of cannabis, for which they pleaded guilty and were fined $200, are still not yet out of the woods, as far as [...]

Facey robber captured in San Pedro and remanded
Eulalio Witz, 59, a mason of the San Pablo area, San Pedro Town, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was taken to the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court on charges of aggravated robbery, possession of stolen goods, 3 counts of forgery and 3 counts of claiming upon a false document. He was remanded until May 17. Police said that about 1:30 Monday afternoon, a businesswoman, the co-owner of a store on Northern San Pedro, was robbed by Witz at knifepoint of her purse, which contained her chequebook, cash and her personal documents. The businesswoman, who lives in the Northern San Pedro area, was giving Witz a ride from the center of the town to the north of San Pedro Town and upon passing Lost Encantos, Witz, also known as “Hector,” pulled out a knife, put it at her side and took away her purse, which contained the cash and other items, and ran away. The woman promptly alerted her husband. Shortly after, at about 6:50 that same Monday evening, according to police, they responded to reports of a fight behind the RC Primary School in Northern San Pedro and on their arrival, the husband of the businesswoman who was robbed by Witz handed over Witz to them. The businessman had hunted him down, captured and beat him.

The Reporter

Penner charged, out on bail!
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner, the man at the center of the seven-month long “Citizen Kim” scandal, was charged Thursday with two counts “making a false statement” in the Belmopan Magistrate court. Penner pleaded not guilty to both charges, and was granted and met bail of $2,000 plus one surety in the same amount. The charges were brought under Sections 3 (A) of the Passports Act and under Section 22 of the Belize Nationality Act, through a private prosecution case initiated by activists, Geovanni Brackett, the president of the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, and Nedal Jihad McClaren of the Commoners Movement. Brackett’s and McClaren’s attorney, Kareem Musa, who represent the men pro-bono, spoke to reporters following the court proceedings. He commended McLaren and COLA for being the ones to press forward with the charges against Penner “at a time when nobody else wanted to step up. “There are many other ministers who feel as they are abnormal. They need to face the courts as well,” Musa added.

Oil found in Northern Belize! But how to extract 50 million barrels of thick crude !
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced this week that some 50 million barrels of thick crude oil have been found in Orange Walk. However more testing needs to be done to determine if it can be extracted commercially. He said that because of the complexity of the rock formation in the area, Maranco Energy Belize Limited will not be able to determine its commercial value without further testing and without financial and technical assistance from abroad. Barrow, speaking at the end of the National Budget Debate, said that the company reported the test results of South Canal Bank #3 exploration well on Monday. He added that the test results determined that the oil is located at between 4009 and 4026 feet deep under the surface, with a size of between 2500 to 3500 acres. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Colin Young, explained that Maranco cannot determine if the find has commercial value without testing exactly how much oil the rocks can hold (porosity), and the space available between the rocks for the oil to pass through (permeability).

Belmopan Bandits bomb FC Belize 2-0 in Belikin football
By William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter Defending champions, the Belmopan Bandits posted their first victory in four outings in the Belikin Cup closing the season competition organized by the Premiere League of Belize: 2-0 over FC Belize at the MCC grounds on Belize City on Sunday, March 23. The game was […]

Barney Brown, Andrew Vasquez & John Borland win Weekend Warrior cycle race C
Barney Brown of Scotiabank Cycling Team won the “A’ Division when the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club held its fifth in a series of races, this time from Cotton Tree on the George Price Highway to finish at Leslie’s Imports in Belize City on Sunday, March […] Inspiration Center officially launched

Inspiration Center officially launched
The Inspiration Center for children with diverse abilities was officially launched on Thursday with overwhelming support from a variety of contributors that helped to make the Center a reality. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow, said to the gathering at the inaugural […]

Kidneys highlighted in the month of April
Failure to care for any vital organ can result in death and kidneys fall into this category. Hoping to raise awareness of this organ’s importance, the Kidney Association of Belize (KAB) has chosen the month of April to launch an education campaign and fundraising effort. A Kidney Walk is the […]

Reading a novel triggers lasting changes in the brain
Lovers of literature can rejoice. A new study combines the humanities and neuroscience to take a look at what effects reading a novel can have on the brain. Researchers say exploring a book can not only change your perspective, but also it can change your mind – at least for […]

Cahueque, 21, walks free of murder
Aracely Cahueque, 21, the woman accused of being the mastermind of the October 2010 murder of Raylene Dyer, 18, walked out of court free of the charge, thanking God and those who prayed for her but saying nothing to the family of the deceased. […]

Vinnie Garbutt arraigned for murder of Kayla Burgess
A San Ignacio man has been remanded to prison for the murder of his girlfriend, 24-year-old Kayla Burgess. Twenty-one-year- old Vinnie Garbutt was arraigned before Magistrate Nardia Morgan on Monday on a single charge of murder. Due to the nature of the charge, no […]

Guats suspected in armed robbery at western border
Two Belizean money changers stationed at the Benque Border Management Compound were robbed at gunpoint at around 5:30 p.m. last Friday. The victims were at a small booth assigned to money changers and taxi drivers at the Belize/Guatemala border, reports say, when two men […]

Russia kicked out of G8
President Barack Obama and other world leaders have decided to end Russia’s role in the group of leading industrialized nations, the White House said Monday. The move to suspend Russia’s membership in the G8 is the latest direct response from major countries allied against Russia’s annexation of the Crimea. “International […]

Japan agrees to hand over nuclear material to USA
Japan and the United States have co-signed an agreement to remove and dispose of hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium from the Asian nation. The fissile material will be transported from the Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in Japan […]

Oceana offers assistance to GOB on EU fishery ban
Oceana has reached out to the Government of Belize to assist in removing Belize from the European Union’s (EU) blacklist for not acting promptly against illegal fishing. Oceana Vice President for Belize Janelle Chanona told The Reporter that Oceana stands ready to assist the […]

The Esquivel’s Decision
The critics of the Esquivels have not been as loud or as vocal as those extolling other UDP’s scandals, but nevertheless there have been harsh ones. And while these critics have been crucifying the Esquivels for being sour grapes, placed in the same situation I would dare […]

What do President Barak Obama of the United States, Secretary Xi Jinping of China, the United Nations and the International Red Cross have in common? They are all motivated by a desire to reduce soaring world population growth. The world population has exploded from 6 billion at the turn of […]


Construction on the Caye: The Ground Breaking of Diamante Residences, The Opening of a New Beach Bar, A New Crossfit Gym & More
Yesterday was the ground breaking of one of the biggest projects on the island – the Diamante development. Those who have visited will know the land. For the past 10 years or so, it has been the site of the very popular BC’s Beach Bar… BC’s has been dismantled (perhaps to be moved elsewhere) and Diamante is being built in its place. The project is being managed/run and sold by the McCorkle/Guerrero family and many in town were there for the ceremony including the Mayor Danny Guerrero and the Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. Construction has actually started and it’s happening fast! A sea wall, lots and lots and lots of really fine sand and more… Favorite Blue Water Grill is on one side. And Hurricane Ceviche Bar is off to the other. You can not say that the amenities won’t be available. This spot really is the HEART of town.

Chaa Creek Hails The Rise of Healthcare in Belize
A novel new initiative between the US Military medical officers and their Belizean counterparts is good news for everyone living in or visiting Belize, according to Chaa Creek safety officer Emil Bradley. Mr Bradley said a report by the US military’s Defence Video and Imagery Distribution Service (DVIDS) that Government of Belize and US military met 24 March 2014 to discuss final arrangements to prepare for the upcoming New Horizons medical readiness training exercises, or MEDRETES, in the Corozal region in Belize is excellent news for the people of Belize. “Each year we see improvements to medical care in Belize that are keeping pace with population growth, the rise of ecotourism and the increase of people moving to Belize to retire, and this is great news. “After all, superior medical care is the cornerstone to quality of life, and it’s heartening to see that health remains a priority in Belize,” he said. According to the DVIDS report, initially, Belizean and military medical providers will use the MEDRETES as an opportunity to learn from one another as they provide medical care to residents out of schools in Chunox, Progresso and Libertad.

Exploring Mayan Masterpieces – Belize Family Travel Series
The time had come. Our biggest adventure yet was about to begin. The crown jewel of our week in Belize, and an adventure we still talk about today. We were about to embark upon an adventure that would find us up close and personal with an ancient civilization. Step back in time with us as we spend our final day exploring two Mayan masterpieces buried deep in the jungles of Belize - Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. Welcome to Xunantunich, where Mayan royalty once performed ancient rituals high up on ceremonial platforms. Where, at it’s peak, nearly 200,000 Mayans lived beneath the shadows of a towering pyramid called El Castillo. Welcome to an adventure sure to intrigue and mystify the whole family.

International Sources

Encouraging lion onto Caribbean menus
A NEW project is underway to encourage Caribbean fishermen to include the deadly lionfish as part of their daily catch in an attempt to protect the world’s second-largest coral reef. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve World Heritage Site is 116,148 hectares and comprises seven marine protected areas. The second largest barrier reef system in the world, it is Belize’s number one tourist spot and crucial to the country’s fishing industry. However, the barrier’s diverse ecosystem is under serious threat from the invasive lionfish, a native of the Indian and Pacific oceans that was introduced to the Florida waters in the 1990s. There is a growing concern that the predominance of the fish poses a serious threat to the very existence of indigenous fish species, including the grouper and spiny lobster.

Fortis Inc. Announces Pricing of US$500 Million of Senior Unsecured Notes
Fortis Inc. ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") (TSX:FTS) announced today that it has priced a private placement to US-based institutional investors of US$500 million in Senior Unsecured Notes (the "Notes"). The Notes will be issued in multiple tranches with terms to maturity ranging from five years to 30 years and coupon rates ranging from 2.92% to 5.03%. The weighted average term to maturity is approximately 11 years and the weighted average coupon rate is 3.85%. Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, US$213 million of Notes will be issued on June 30, 2014 and US$287 million of Notes will be issued on September 15, 2014. Net proceeds from the sale of the Notes will be used to refinance existing indebtedness, including the US$150 million 5.74% Senior Unsecured Notes of Fortis maturing on October 30, 2014 and C$125 million 5.56% Unsecured Debentures of a subsidiary maturing on September 15, 2014, and for general corporate purposes, including repayment of US-dollar drawings on the Corporation's committed credit facility. The Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act"), as amended, nor will they be registered under any state securities laws. Unless so registered, the Notes may not be offered or sold except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

Costa Rica Hosts First Meeting Of Lat Am CELAC Community
Costa Rica hosted the first meeting of the Quartet of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Foreign Ministry said. The meeting was attended by the foreign ministers Enrique Castillo (Costa Rica), Bruno Rodriguez (Cuba), and Ricardo Patino (Ecuador), and the Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Celia A. Prince, representing the Caribbean. Costa Rica currently holds the pro tempore presidency of CELAC; Cuba fulfilled that responsibility last year and Ecuador will assume that mandate in the coming period, while the Caribbean is part of the quartet of the forum. In a press conference held at Casa Amarilla, headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, Castillo reiterated the commitment of the current President Pro Tempore of contributing to strengthening political dialogue and CELAC consensus. CELAC is composed of Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Wild Belize
There is no better place to reflect on my adventure in Belize than here on the go-slow Caribbean island Caye Caulker. Serenaded by the morning chorus of seabirds as I squat at the end of a wooden pier stretching out over crystal clear waters, I chuckle at the UK weather. Under the surface an eagle ray investigates the shallows, swiftly darting a barracuda before it returns to the depths. One of my favourite days in Belize started with a boat ride over turquoise seas accompanied by a pod of dolphins. I was to dive into the Great Blue Hole, with its stunning contrast between light and dark blue waters. As I descended, I observed the walls studded with stalactites, overhangs and limestone formations originally developed as an Ice Age cave. Then, a rather large shadow appeared in the corner of my eye, leaving me overcome by a small moment of panic as I scanned the cuts with which I was afflicted while in the jungle. I took my leave of the black tipped reef shark and ascended to explore the outer reef. This was quite simply a scene from Finding Nemo: an underworld paradise with explosions of colour dispersed by exotic marine life and arty coral formations. Fascinated by an exceptionally bulbous fish inhaling and exhaling, I prepared to take a stunning photo; but, greeted by a curious moray eel, I politely allowed it right of way and retreated towards a nonchalant turtle seeming to watch life go by.

March 28, 2014


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

43% of Belize’s population lives in poverty while PM Barrow reveals $1 Billion Budget for 2014/15
On March 7th, Prime Minister of Belize Honorable Dean Barrow presented the proposed General Revenue and Appropriations Bill (budget) for the fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015 to the tune of $1 billion dollars. That proposed budget was debated in the House of Representatives on Monday March 24th and Tuesday March 25th. The budget, entitled “Bettering People, Building Belize – A budget for All,” will provide $34 million in the form of increment and salary adjustment to teachers and public officers. The budget flows from the FY 2013/2014 in which Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was at 0.7% growth instead of last year’s projection of 2.5% GDP growth. Moreover, last year’s FY saw a combined rise in the inflation rate and cost of living. Adding to challenges is the fact that almost 25% of the population is unemployed. As reported by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) in their last annual report, 21,000 Belizeans who want to work are unable to find jobs. The challenges are compounded by the fact that 43% of the population is considered living in poverty – Toledo District being the poorest district, followed by the Corozal District.

SPTC to relocate two buildings for Police
While the building of the new barracks is being spearheaded by Kanabar and a few other businesspeople, there is another issue of concern: the relocation of two small wooden houses donated to the police that will complement the barracks project. The two houses were originally donated as sleeping quarters for the Belize Coast Guard by the San Pedro Business Association (SPBA). Now that the Coast Guard has new headquarters near the marina, they no longer require the use of the buildings, and the SPBA has offered the building stop the San Pedro Police Department.The SPBA claims that they approached the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) for assistance in relocating the buildings, but months passed without any word from the SPTC. SPBA memberElitoArceoannounced last week that he was prepared to move the buildings with the help of community support, since all attempts to get the council’s assistance had failed. Mayor Guerrero agreed that it has taken a few months for them to act on the initiative and indicated that the coordination to remove the buildings took time. “We know that tensions are high because of the recent crime and shooting and people want things to be done immediately, but these things take time,” said Guerrero. When asked what is taking so long,Guerrero indicated that the delay was due to the acquisition of nine lamp posts from Belize Electricity Limited that would be used as foundation piles.

Community responds to police barracks project but more help is needed
Due to the lack of much needed funds, the construction of San Pedro’s new police barracks has been at a standstill for the last several months. The new building is geared at providing better living conditions for island officers who have no other alternative but to live in deplorable and substandard conditions. Despite the financial challenges, the San Pedro community has fueled the efforts to soon resume the work. So far the project has consumed $62,000, which was raised through the efforts of a group of concerned businesspeople. The group took on the challenge to raise funds and get the barracks built. Mukul Kanabar, one of the active businesspersons spearheading the project,indicated to The San Pedro Sun that the group continues the appeal to other businesses to get on board with the project. Financed solely by a number of businesses and individuals on the island, the $62,000 raised has been depleted with the purchase of materials and labor for the project which is being supervised by Deputy Mayor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez of Gaby’s Construction. An additional $86,000 is needed to complete the project.

Throwback Thursday
The mama of the San Pedro Sun, the Coconut Wireless, dated 31 March 1988. 26 years ago photos on the front page, Jimmy Buffett impromptu poolside concert at Ramon's Village Resort and Tropic Air Belize's Johnny Grief III (with hair!) comes to the rescue at a neighborhood fire!

Our Senior Reporter Jorge Aldana has been covering the budget debate in Belmopan today
Newly sworn in PUP Senator Patrick Andrews speaks at the General Revenue Appropriation 2014/15 Bill (Budget) Debate. According to Andrews, the 2014/2015 budget is a UDP tool to prolong a ‘dying government’. "I cannot boast about this budget when I know the grassroots people are suffering because of the unfair distribution of our country's resources." He went on to say that this budget lacks consultation with the various stakeholders, thus it does not represent and address the real issues affecting the nation. Andrews elaborated that there is no plan in the budget to reduce poverty and create employment. "For instance Mr. President, the reality of the UDP food pantry program is just a political tool to create dependency on this UDP government implemented in strategic UDP areas. It is not teaching our people to fish but rather giving them a fish. If the government is serious about helping those in need, channel the millions through the social partners and charitable organizations to ensure that those who need it get it...this budget lacks vision and purpose."

Ambergris Today

Lime Shortage Crisis Hits the Region
The lime crisis in Belize has now reached staggering proportions. It is not only the shortage that is affecting Belizeans but the soaring price as well. The limes, those few that are available, are becoming smaller and they are so immature that it costs an effort to get half a teaspoonful of juice out of one. And the cost of limes has climbed to an all-time high of $1.50 cents each. In San Pedro it has hit hard like a bullet. What is a good fish soup (chechak) without lime? And how can you do a good conch ceviche with only a few drops of lime juice? Even the more conservative users of this precious juice who use it for cleaning fish or chicken have been hurting. Bartenders are scrambling around to locate some decent limes to fix up their cocktails, margaritas or tequila shots with lime. These are only a few of those complaining.

Jamila Janmohamed Awarded for her Fundraising Efforts
Around 2004, local Sanpedrana Jamila Janmohamed was asked to run the collection for the Poppy Appeal, during the month leading to Remembrance Day (observed in November and remembering Belizean and Commonwealth veterans, their families and fallen soldiers). Before Jamila’s participation in the collection in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, little over $200 was raised. Taking over the collection, she immediately raised funds in the thousands of dollars. This last year Jamila managed to handed in BZ$13,246.86 which is about UK£4,416.00. For her outstanding efforts, dedication and heart, Jamila Janmohamed was honored with an award by the Royal British Legion of Belize, which she is a member of, at a special function held at the Flagstaff Mess.

Misc Belizean Sources

How to Treat Jellyfish Stings
Jellyfish stings can vary greatly in severity. Most often they result in immediate pain and red, irritated marks on the skin. Some jellyfish stings may cause more whole-body (systemic) illness, and in rare cases, are life-threatening. Most jellyfish stings get better with home treatment, but severe reactions require emergency medical care. Here’s Dr. Lopez’ professional advice about the topic.

Pre-School Child Stimulation celebrations end today
Friday March 28th is the closing of the Pre-School Child Stimulation celebrations. A morning parade will commence at the Corozal Central Park through the principal streets of town. Come support our future leaders. Photos taken of Cultural Day. Pre-schoolers and teachers depicting our Belizean ethnic identities.

Activities for Pre-School Child Stimulation month 2014
- Sports Day Parade, ceremony and activities carried out on March 14 at the Andres Campos Civic Center. Guest speaker was Mr. Carlos Acosta, Sports Council Coordinator, Corozal. The event was fun and enjoyable for all who attended and took part.

Inspiration Center Inauguration
The grand inauguration of the Inspiration Center was today. Everyone involved deserves a huge round of thanks for making this dream a reality. It opens to the general public on April 14th. "The Inspiration Center is finally a reality for Belize! These are some snapshots from this morning's launch. More pictures to come!"

BTL Yellow Pages 2014 Video
BTL has a video out that talks about, and shows a lot of, the new 2014 phone directory. It highlights the photo competition they had to find the cover picture. Congratulations to Darren Lamb for taking the winning shot! You can see the congratulatory party BTL had at Chaa Creek for Darren, see his award winning picture, and also learn about the directory for mobile devices. Darren explains the picture here. "Today was a nice and sunny day and also it was the launch of our 2014 Telephone Directory, Take a look at the video and see how the enhancements to the book and also find out how we did this years cover. Enjoy"

Western Ballaz vs Warriors
The Western Ballaz will be traveling to Dangriga on Saturday to play the Warriors. This weekend marks the start of the second half of the season, so it's all rematches at this point. The game will start at 9:00pm, and will be televised on Channel 5. The bus is $5, and leaves at 5:30pm. We beat the Warriors 63 to 52 the last time, and here are the pictures. In related news, it's Jaime Cabajal's 18th birthday today. Happy birthday, Jaime! Its the rematch between the Dangriga Warriors and Cayo Western Ballaz! Make sure to be at Y-Not Island this Saturday March 29th. Game starts at 9.p.m.

Pack for a Purpose with TRL
Table Rock Jungle Lodge is one of many lodges in Cayo that are supporting the Pack for a Purpose project, where they ask guests to bring some school supplies down in any extra space they might have in their luggage. It might be just a book or 2 at a time, but over the course of a semester, that all adds up, and they donated it to the Cristo Rey primary school. Thanks, TRL! " Thanks to all our great guests who PACKED FOR A PURPOSE this season and to our niece, MIKAELA TRULL, who celebrated her 13th birthday by asking for books and sports equipment for the Cristo Rey School kids rather than presents for herself! This was our largest and most exciting donation yet! Let's keep it up! You can help the local village children when you visit Table Rock Jungle Lodge, Belize, too--click here for more details:"

Toledo farmers take part in survey on climate change
Farmers of the Toledo district were today part of a series of countrywide consultations on climate change and its effects on the agriculture sector. A mango tree in front of the home of one of the leaders in the village of Silver Creek was the venue for today’s forum. It was a meeting devoid of any political tint whatsoever and gave the farmers an opportunity to be a part of something that will affect them and their way of living. The survey is being conducted by the Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology. Dennis Jones is the Executive Director of BEST.

A meeting with Toledo farmers
under the mango tree in Silver Creek village.

FINPYME ExportPlus Trains Belize Companies For Export
IIC holds training workshops to help SMEs in Belize to create export business plans. The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) held the first of its five-part series of training workshops aimed at increasing the strategic planning capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Belize. The program is designed to boost SME exports by helping companies draw up business plans to enter new markets. According to Mr. Bove, the training will help the companies identify their strengths and weaknesses in order to become more competitive in the international market. We are pleased to be a part of this effort.” The participants of the two and half day included Belizean companies such as Marie Sharp’s Fine Food and Product, The Orange Gallery, Traveller’s Liquor Limited, BASGroup, Hot Mama’s Belize, Quality Poultry Product , Chemical Specialties of Belize and the Bureau of Standards who participated in the first day of training tailored to meet internationalization standards the BELTRAIDE team was influential in stirring discussion whilst the knowledgeable guest speakers Ms. Julie Colinet and Mr. Antonello Bove respectively carried out their presentation.

St. Luke’s Methodist marching band receives new instruments
The Purple Spirit Band of St. Luke Methodist Primary School this afternoon received a timely donation of musical instruments, without which they were in danger of being unable to participate in the annual Band Fest sponsored by LOVE FM. They are a favorite in the City for major events, and the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation stepped in today under the Community Action for Public Safety Project (CAPS). Minister of State in the Ministry and Lake Independence area representative, Mark King, said that the school and surrounding area will continue to benefit from the program, which tackles the problem of youth development especially for out-of-school youth.

Inspiration Center opens
The Inspiration Center, intended to be an integrated, community based program for disabled and disadvantaged children and adolescents from especially poor areas of Belize, opened its doors in grand style today. After a year and few months of fundraising and then construction, Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow told this morning’s audience that the real work now begins, of making it into a true home. She says the Center is intent on fostering development of Belize’s “differently abled” community and other Belizeans’ respect of them. Two Inspiration Telethons in 2012 and 2013 raised some $1.5 million, much of which was donated by the Government of Belize.

Supreme Court decision for SATIIM next week
This morning in her chambers, Justice Michelle Arana told parties to the SATIIM vs. GOB and U.S. Capital case that a decision will be given next Thursday, April 3. In the interim, SATIIM’s plans to seek an injunction to halt pre-drilling activity in the Sarstoon Temash National Park were discontinued. But it appears that frustration with the Mayas of southern Toledo for U.S. Capital seems to have reached a peak. Attorney for U.S. Capital Energy, Michael Peyrefitte, told the press after court that it seems the Maya only care about one thing, demanding a greater share of the oil revenue should oil be found. He described the Maya as great at “playing victim” but maintains that the percentage is already set and so they will not get very far. According to Peyrefitte, U.S. Capital never had any intentions of starting drilling before a decision had been made by the courts. He expects that even with a decision next week in their favor, drilling would not actually begin until April or May.

CARILED Local Economic Development Officer
There are a lot of acronyms in this job opportunity, and a even more years in the proposed CARILED project. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is partnering with the Ministry of Labour and the SISE town council, and they are looking for someone to be the Local Economic Development Officer for Cayo. Basically, they need a qualified point person for the 6 year project. The applications should be in by April 7th. Good luck! "For further details, Interested applicants for the position of Local Economic Development Officer (LEDO) may contact the Town Administrator for the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council at the following number: 804-2035."

San Jose Succtoz Festival 2014
San Jose Succotz Village is a destination for the escapists. You will find yourselves reveling in the essence of this little remote region of Belize while enjoying the annual attractions that the 3-day “San Jose Succotz Festival 2014” offers (March 28th – 30th, 2014). The Event: Day One – (March 28th, 2014) live musical performances, food and drinks, crowning of the San Jose Succotz Fiesta Queen, and a dance hosted by Super Furia. Day Two – (March 29th, 2014) river activities (canoe and tubing), bicycle race and a dance hosted by the legendary Gilharry Seven of Belize and Sonido Magico of Guatemala. Day Three – Cultural Day and dance hosted by Sonido Magico.

Ms. African Queen Pageant
Is this Saturday, March 29th at the Bliss Center in Belize City

March 16 - March 22 2014 Fishing Report
Bottom line, fishing is really, really good right now here at El Pescador! Wow. Award ceremonies every night are filled with stories about dreams coming true. Beaming faces, proud parents and a proud fishing director! The guides have been very committed to making each day special for their anglers. It’s truly rewarding witnessing relationships between the guides and their anglers grow. Send me your pictures you guys! [email protected] We want to brag about you on our facebook page. As they say here in Belize, “Why not?” For those of you getting ready for your trip – practice your cast! The ones that show up practiced are making huge leaps forward in their casting once they get here. Isa and I have enjoyed this week as we tally up what has been going on out there in the day of fishing. My bonus this week was of course having my family here. It was so special for me to watch my fish-crazed sister and brother-in-law cast and learn on the flats. Now you know! Thank you to all of my El Pescador family for making my family feel so welcomed. From the EP fishing department we hope to see you again soon casting to your dreams. Fish On!

Video: Belize
8 min. I had the opportunity to travel to Belize on my winter break! It was an amazing experience, and I am so happy that I can share it with you!

Video: Belize 2K14
32 min. An educational recap of 7 students and 2 faculty members Spring Break Service Learning trip to Punta Gorda Belize. Hosted by Garcia Homestay.

Video: Dolphins at the Bow, Placencia, Belize
3 min. From a recent sailing trip to Placencia, Belize, and the first time using my new GoPro... we had an escort out into the Inner Channel. It's hard sticking your new camera into the water while sailing by at 7 knots!

Video: Belize 2014 Eagle rays
2 min. At Ranguana Cay.

Video: Belize Trip March 2014
5 min. Belize SB2014 filmed with GoPro Hero3

Video: Corozal to San Pedro Belize
1 min. A flight from Corozol to San Pedro, Belize. March 27th, 2014. Beautiful!

Video: Belize 2014
3 min. Oklahoma State University Literacy Project St. Johns Anglican Primary School Belize City

Video: Sacred Heart Flash Mob
Students from Sacred Heart School in San Ignacio in Belize raised awareness about Literacy by performing in a Flash Mob

Video: Expert removal of a botfly larva (beef worm)
Don't panic if you're unlucky enough to get a botfly larva under your skin during a visit to Belize. They can be extracted simply and painlessly. Here's advice on how to do it from an expert.

Channel 7

Hon. Penner Criminally Charged
Tonight, Former Minister of State Elvin Penner is out on a $2,000 bail after he was arraigned on criminal charges for misdeeds he allegedly committed as minister of state in the Immigration Ministry - when he facilitated the bogus passport for South Korean fugitive Kim Won-Hong. The public and the opposition have been pushing since September for Penner to be charged for his central role in the Citizen Kim Affair, but in the end it was a private prosecution undertaken by activist organization COLA that got him charged. President Geovanni Brackett and Executive Member Nedal McLaren charged him under the Passport Act of "vouching the fitness" of Won Hong Kim, without having actual knowledge of Kim as an applicant. Additionally the COLA members charged him under the Nationality Act for "making a statement which he knew to be false" for signing the Nationality Certificate knowing that Won Hong Kim has never been a citizen of Belize.

PM Measures His Words On Penner Criminal Charges
And so, today, a former member of the Barrow Cabinet and two-term UDP representative was charged. Though the UDP has cut him off, and distanced him from the party, Penner hasn't done the same. He still appeared with a posse of red-shirt wearing UDP supporters today - and unless he crosses the floor or is recalled, he's still an elected UDP representative. So then how does Party Leader Dean Barrow feel about Penner being charged today? When we caught up with PM Barrow at the opening of the Inspiration Center, he was measured in his remarks:.. Jules Vasquez "How do you feel about him being arraigned?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "Well the matter is before the courts, I won't comment. Justice will take its course." Jules Vasquez "However, just speaking in very general terms about a person who was elected under the UDP and who serve in the Cabinet under you, facing criminal charges. You would think on the objective circumstances it would bring shame."

COLA Lawyer Questions Whylie Decision
But back now to the Penner case. As you heard in our story, COLA's attorney said that they are depending Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to turn over all evidence that the police has gathered before the next court date. He said that they will continue to press him and the Auditor General to turn over whatever evidence they have. But, as we told you, Whylie has filed a notice of his intent to appeal the Writ of Mandamus, which was granted by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. COLA and their attorney have interpreted that as a clear attempt to defy the intent of the court's compulsion, but they says that ComPol Whylie must go another step, which is to apply for a stay of execution. He would then be asking to court to relieve him of the responsibility of having to complete the investigation, which Musa told the media is political suicide for the UDP Government. Here's how he explained it:

Oil Company Lawyer: Maya Leaders Put Money Over All Else
And turning now from the Belmopan Magistrate's Court to the Supreme Court in Belize City, SATIIM today had an injunction hearing. As we've reported that Toledo Mayan group says that the oil company US Capital Energy has violated the spirit of an undertaking to the court, by getting ready to drill in the Sarstoon Temash National Park, when a pivotal judgment is pending. That judgment could assert Mayan Customary Land Rights over the exploration area and put a stop to US Capital's activities. So today SATIIM went to the Supreme Court asking for an injunction to stop any further pre drilling activity. But, that request was set aside when Justice Michelle Arana told them that her judgement would be issued next week. So, with that, they agreed to hold off on the injunction. But, attorney for US Capital Michael Peyrefitte was not impressed. He said it's all just public relations engineering:...

Inside The Inspiration Center
The Inspiration Center - it's Kim Barrow's dream for physically challenged children. But while most dreams just stay up there in the clouds, she brought this one to earth, and to life - by relentless promotion and fundraising. Today it culminated in the opening of the center, a world-class facility which was built in just 18 months. 7News was at the opening - which was a "standing room only" event:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The clatter of drums set the tone for today's event which was a celebration in song and in word of a long and emotional journey that saw Kim Barrow and her dream make it intact through tough times: Kim Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children "Images just flash back to this moment and it's an emotional day for me. I can recall coming back from one of my chemotherapy treatments and I was really worried that this wasn't going to happen. It was at that point that I realize maybe I was biting more than I could chew and I was kind of desperate."

Hon. Grant Defends Board's Decisions On National Bank
Yesterday, we showed you CEO Colin Young's categorical denial that his Minister, Joy Grant, used her influence as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the National Bank of Belize to get him a loan at a preferential interest rate and with preferential terms. That was one of the reasons that Grant and former Manager Jose Marin, a veteran banker, clashed which he says led to his termination. That's an ugly allegation against the reputation of the 6 month old bank, which was created to provide lower income Belizeans with access to affordable credit. So today, at the Senate Debate on the 2014-2015 budget, Grant, who is a Government Senator, used the platform to the respond directly to the allegations. Here's what she had to say: Senator Joy Grant "We want to be clear also that the board of the National Bank of Belize which comprises someone from the social sector, someone from the business community unanimously agreed that it was time to terminate the existing general manager and have moved on from this. We now have a very experience person who is serving as assistant general manager and we will be advertising for a general manager very soon. There are robust internal procedures and processes in place at the National Bank and no one director can approve any loan or advance to anyone."

PM Apparently Intrigued By CEO Young's Loan
Today we also got a chance to hear the Prime Minister's opinion on the shake-up at the National Bank. The General Manager was fired last week - and he said he was glad to go because - as he described it - the Board wanted him to engage in unethical behavior. So what's the Prime Minister's take on this kerfuffle at one of his Government's signal accomplishments? We asked him today:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "Do I saw the reports of what Joy Grant who is chair of the board said and I completely endorse those remarks. Anybody who knows Joy Grant knows that Joy Grant would never ask anyone to do anything improper. Mr. Marin is somebody that I knew from a previous life; I was the one who asked him to come onboard initially, so I would not say anything unkind about him. Obviously the entire board felt that it was time for there to be a parting of the ways. It just turned out that it was not the kind of fit that the board and the bank required."

Barrow Says Sir Manuel Still Respected
We also got to ask the Prime Minister's about last week's hot issue - which is Sir Manuel and Lady Kathy Esquivel's resignation from all their government posts. As we told you PM Barrow responded to Sir Manuel's letter of resignation. Esquivel described the letter as "generous", but what did the PM really say? We asked him today:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I wrote to both Sir Manuel and Lady Kathy; I thanked both of them for their stellar service with respect to the last positions they held. I went on in the case of Sir Manuel to make the point that this was of course just part of a large trajectory - a larger historical background that fixes him firmly in the national consciousness as an exemplary public servant, as an exemplary politician and exemplary prime minister. I expressed my regret at his departure, but made clear that in the circumstances I understood. And that's where I will leave it."

Why Didn't EU Get The Memo On Belize Fisheries?
And finally today we got to ask the Prime Minister about the European Union ban on fisheries products from Belize. A release from government this week said that there was no justification for this action because in January, a delegation from the EU visited Belize to discuss the action taken by Belize to comply with the EU Regulations on Illegal and Unregulated fishing. But then this decision came out in March, which led Jules Vasquez to ask the PM if that delegation flew back to the EU on that ill-fated Air Malaysia flight: Jules Vasquez "The people who came to see him in January must have been in the Air Malaysia flight or some such thing because apparently he met with them and they didn't take the message back. They must have disappeared."

Turtle Catchers Caught Hustling Hicatee
Tonight two Belize City men are faced with 3 counts of illegal fishing after they were caught with 8 hicattee turtles by officers of the Fisheries Conservation Compliance Unit. The men were in an area called Mexico Creek just outside of Sandhill Village when their boat was searched by the officers who found the hicattees inside a gill net. The law clearly states no person shall have in his possession more than 3 turtles at any given time nor should these turtles be captured using a net. Also 4 of the turtles were undersized and one was oversized. So the two men were detained by the officers and the turtles are now in the possession of the department where stats will be taken and then they will be release back into the wild. We found out more:..

Hon. Mark Says No Thief Spotted At Hon. Julius's House
All this week, we've been reporting on the reported break in at PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat's house on Seashore Drive in Belize City. It happened on Sunday morning and he told police the thieves took two laptop computers and his budget reply speech. As to who's responsible, he inferred that he's got his eye on his neighbor Mark King. King ignored the insult and responded magnanimously by saying he was helping police with security camera footage. You see, King has 16 security cameras on his house, and now he says he's reviewed all of them. He gave us his verdict today:.. Hon. Mark King "I did mentioned in the National Assembly that I try to be good to my neighbor although he tries to insight - it would be unfair to say he accuses me, but indirectly he in sighted and I said to him it's not the best thing, I look after. I did follow up the police request and I did check the surveillance videos and from the angles that our videos were relayed absolutely nothing happened there. I would not like to instigate anything else on it, but I would say from our cameras nothing came of it. I would know from the side and his rear end of his home, but I would say that at the end of the day we don't have to go through these things as neighbors."

Senate Wasn't Talking About Stolen Speeches
And while Espat and King will take that up in the House of Representatives, today in the senate they weren't talking about stolen speeches, security cameras, humpty-dumpty or ramen noodles when they debated the budget. The Senate prides itself on enlightened debate, not the name calling and petty accusations that dominate discourse in the House. Senator representing the business community Mark Lizarraga didn't like the budget. He said that for the last 2 fiscal years, the country has been borrowing around 160% more than it did 26 years ago. Senator Mark Lizarraga "Mr. President is 1987 we Belize owed externally 200 million dollars. 26 years later we owed 2.16 billion dollars. On average an increase of 77 million borrowing per year we have constantly borrowed according to the available statistics from the Central Bank over the last 26 years to balance our budgets. The budget deficit for fiscal year 2012/2013 was 77.8 million dollars, which is about on average. But the budgeted deficit for fiscal year 2013 was 125.8 million - 48 million more than average, but Mr. President, the actual numbers are projected to spike to 137 million. That's some 60 million dollars more than average. The budgeted shortfall Mr. President for 2014/2015 is projected at about 126.5 million or some 49.5 million more than average."

Love For St. Luke's
This afternoon Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation- Anthony Boots Martinez handed over 14 thousand dollars' worth of Musical Equipment to St. Luke's Methodist Primary School. This initiative is a part of the Community Action for Public Safety Project that is being implemented by the Ministry, and intends to provide the students with extracurricular activities that will promote constructive use of their free time. The generous donation couldn't have come at a better time for the students of St Luke, who will be taking part in the Love FM's Band fest competition. The value of the instruments is A LITTLE OVER fourteen thousand Belize dollars. That includes 6 bass drums with carriers, 5 snare drums with carriers, 4 metal cowbells, 5 cymbals and 4 guiros.

Channel 5

Elvin Penner is finally charged; the D.P.P. joins in the private prosecution
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner appeared in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court this morning where he was criminally charged for his involvement in the immigration scandal. Despite what appears to be [...]

ComPol must continue to investigate Penner despite appeal
On March third, the Supreme Court issued landmark directives to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to investigate Elvin Penner and the Won Hong Kim passport scandal. The court took that [...]

PM weighs in on the arraignment of Penner
Prime Minister Dean Barrow also spoke on this morning’s arraignment of his former cabinet minister and Cayo Northeast Area Rep., Elvin Penner. He told the media that in his estimation, [...]

PM says the EU needs to get its act together on fisheries sanction
The European Union earlier this week imposed fisheries sanctions on Belize because the country has been found not to be cooperating in the fight to stop illegal fishing. The government [...]

Gabino Garnett Jr. arraigned for murder
  While Penner was arraigned in Belmopan, in the San Ignacio Court, Gabino Garnett Junior was charged for murder. Garnett Junior was wanted by San Ignacio police in connection with [...]

US Capital Energy Attorney says SATIIM’s legal challenge is all about money
Country Representative for U.S. Capital Energy Ltd., Alistair King, as well as Executive Director Greg Ch’oc, of the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, were back in court this morning.  [...]

SATIIM’s Greg Ch’oc responds to US Capital’s claim
According to Ch’oc, the injunction has been a secondary issue because SATIIM believes that it will gain more grounds on the primary matter which is its challenge against government to [...]

3rd person dies from horrible Burrell Boom accident
An accident on the Boom Hattieville Road two weeks ago claimed two lives: a three year old girl passed away and so did a twenty-eight year old driver. Ashley Silva [...]

Chair of National Bank says Board members supported termination of Jose Marin
The decision to remove career banker Jose Marin has left a black eye on Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s National Bank of Belize Limited. Marin lasted only half a year at [...]

PM wants to know about the loan that likely caused Marin’s demise
Jose Marin was dumped due to complaints that loans were not processed fast enough. It is said that Marin’s ouster had to do with a loan application by Grant’s C.E.O., [...]

Senator Mark Lizarraga gets fiery in the senate
As we mentioned earlier in our newscast, the Senate met today in regular session following the Budget Debate on Monday and Tuesday. News Five wasn’t there long, but while we [...]

PM says it is what it is in respect of the resignation of the Esquivels
Since his return from a CARICOM intercessional meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines last Thursday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has not given the media interviews. Well the press caught [...]

Consumer Price Index for February shows 1.7% increase in expenditure
The Consumer Price Index for the month of February, released earlier this week by the Statistical Institute of Belize, indicates that there is a one point seven percent increase in [...]

3 Cubans detained in Belize City
A trio of Cuban nationals, who entered the country unlawfully and believed to have been en route to the United States, was busted by immigration officials inside a hotel room [...]

Inspiration Center inspires many to attend grand opening
The idea for the Inspiration Center was birthed in 2012 and since then Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow has been hard at work making that dream [...]

The impact of technology on your vision in Healthy Living
Time for a little mathematics….Try to add the number of hours you spend looking at a computer monitor, smart phone, tablet, e-reader and yes, even the hour or so you [...]


Immigration Minister Says Penner Investigation Needs to Be Factual and Tight
The immigration scandal has hit all the media houses in Belize as several investigations are being carried out and many have been asking for charges to be levied against the former minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Elvin Penner. As we mentioned earlier in our newscast, Penner is expected in court tomorrow…..and while the outcome of that is left to be seen, Renee Trujillo and cameraman, Brian Castillo met up with Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse and here is their story. HON. GODWIN HULSE “The only reason the media is involved in this and the only reason the media and the public knows about this is because the Taiwan Embassy made a request to our Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with respect to this gentleman and the fact that he was asking for some protection as a citizen of Belize. When it came to my desk, I recognized that there was something wrong and we were the ones who initiated that investigation and went promptly to the Prime Minister, who after he looked at it, promptly within a day decided to move Mr. Penner from Cabinet.”

Nat’l Security CEO Says Police Officers Will Get Paid ASAP
Complaints were coming out of the Police Department about two weeks ago regarding payments that were not forthcoming for duties worked some months ago. Colonel Lovell assured the media that this matter is being addressed. COLONEL GEORGE LOVELL “Extraneous duties, as we refer to them, is something that is issued after the fact, the one that is done in the December period is usually issued around the March time frame. March is the period when we look at our finances and there is a period of time when the Ministry of Finance will close all budget activities. This unfortunately happened and a few of the extraneous duties which the Ministry has approved for some reason did not make it through the Human Resource Management System that we have at the Ministry of Public Service. I had my Finance Officer, since Friday, looking into the matter …just by way of background, what we have is our country broken down into two areas of responsibility for the purposes of payment for extraneous duties; we have a group that is looked after by the Belmopan financial section and that includes all those police formations and branches from Toledo to the west part of the country. So, Stann Creek is involved, Independence, Belmopan and San Ignacio – those people received their monies. The second half, which is administered by the Belize City area which includes Belize City, Corozal, Orange Walk, I was made to understand that even though we had approved it at the ministry and the Police Headquarters have given it back to the finance people to pay, for some reason that got held up in the financial process. We are working diligently to make sure that the police officers do get their money and there is not a much longer delay.”


Former Minister Elvin Penner Gets Arraigned in Court Today
Former Minister Elvin Penner was arraigned in court this morning in Belmopan before Magistrate Aretha Ford. Our reporter Emanuel Pech was on the scene today and filed the following report. Emanuel Pech- Reporter for Plus TV Many questioned whether Elvin Penner would even show up at the Magistrate court...

Helmet-less Motorcyclist Dies in Accident
There was a fatal traffic accident in the Orange Walk District. On Tuesday night, 18-year-old Jacob Niekoleis Jr., a Belizean Mennonite of Little Belize, Corozal District was riding his motorcycle without a helmet and upon reaching a curve on the Linda Vista Road he lost control of his motor...

Girl Knocked Down on Pedestrian Ramp in Belmopan
And just this evening, a student of the Belmopan Comprehensive High School was knocked down at the pedestrian ramp located by the school. Reports are that a motorcycle knocked down a girl by the name of Rosita, but then didn’t stop to render aid. Rosita became unconscious and was...

Teachers’ Pay to be Docked for Day of Demonstration
Principals have been asked by the Ministry of Education to dock the pay of those teachers who participated in the Friday March 7th demonstration. This is what various teachers have told Plus News. The teachers were wondering whether or not it would have been for more than one day...

Gabino Garbutt Arraigned for Murder
Gabino Garbutt Jr. was formerly arraigned today for the crime of the murder of Earl Baizer. Garbutt appeared before Magistrate Norla Morgan in the San Ignacio magistrate court. No plea was taken and Garbutt was remanded until his next court appearance on July 2. Garbut handed himself in to...

Armed Robbery Hits Independence Village Store
There was an armed robbery of a Chinese owned store in Independence Village. On March 22nd, at 9:00p.m., three masked men entered Wendy’s Store located at Amado Mena and Big Creek Road. The female proprietor, Kia Xia Zhau, was in the store at the time. One of the men...

Motorcyclist Knocked Down
Police have released information about an accident that happened in front of Benny’s apartments on Tuesday. The incident happened at mile 4 on the Phillip Goldson Highway where a Nissan Altima, driven by Charlett Castellanos and a Red and White Yamaha Motor cycle collided. The motor cycle driver was...

Supreme Court Decision Adjourned for SATIIM Next Week
This morning in her chambers, Justice Michelle Arana told parties to the SATIIM vs. GOB and U.S. Capital case that a decision will be given next Thursday, April 3. In the interim, SATIIM’s plans to seek an injunction to halt pre-drilling activity in the Sarstoon Temash National Park were...

Inspirational Center Opens
After several years of telethons and fundraising, the Inspiration Center opened today to great acclaim. It is intended to be an integrated, community based program for disabled and disadvantaged children and adolescents from especially poor areas of Belize. After a year and few months of construction, Special Envoy for...

New Senators Sworn in Today
Two new senators were sworn in today at the National Assembly. The budget was approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday and so it was passed on to the senate today. At that senate debate, the two new PUP senators were sworn in. They are Anthony Sylvester and...

The Guardian

EU Ambassador to hold high level meetings in Belize
Head of Delegation of the European Union to Belize Ambassador Paola Amadei will be visiting Belize from March 26 to 30 to participate in the first political dialogue with the Government of Belize as foreseen under article 8 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement. The British High Commissioner Peter Hughes will also participate in the meeting which will address issues of mutual interest for Belize and the EU related to national security, human rights, regional integration, climate change and natural disasters. The dialogue will also cover recent developments in Belize and the European Union in the political and economic sphere. Commenting ahead of the meeting, Ambassador Amadei said:”We appreciate the good relations that the European Union has with Belize and reaffirm the EU’s commitment to strengthen a comprehensive dialogue on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. Our aim is to harness our already strong and mature relationship based on shared interests to the benefit of our citizens.”

More Oil in Belize
Officials at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum are 'cautiously optimistic' at an oil find made by Maranco Energy Belize Limited. During the Budget Debate held this week, the Prime Minister announced that the company had made a discovery of an oil field which may contain as much as 50 million barrels of oil. But before anyone can go about jumping to celebrate, there is concern that the oil may not be easily extracted. Speaking to Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Dr. Colin Young, he told the Guardian that the oil find was made after a third well was drilled in the Maranco exploration block located in Gallon Jug. He said that the third well, Canal Bank Number 3, showed significant potential for oil. This came after the company announced last year that they had struck the oil but were having difficulty in extracting it. Since then the company has sent rock cuttings for analysis and the results of these have shown that the oil is at a 16 API or it is a heavy crude. In comparison, the oil at the Spanish Lookout fields is between 38-40 API, or it is light sweet crude. The lighter the crude, the better flowing it is, there is no such luck with the latest find however.

Undebatable Budget
The majority of Belizeans are extremely disappointed in the performance of the PUP parliamentarians during the debate of the 2014/2015 national budget, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow is the man to blame. One woman in the gallery of the National Assembly on Tuesday, March 25th, said, “He [PM Barrow] made it difficult on the Opposition because he went and presented an undebatable budget.” However, the opposition members went to the House and tried a thing. The “Leader” of the Opposition was first to take a shot. In what supporters of both the U.D.P. and P.U.P. are saying was the weakest budget presentation by a Leader of the Opposition ever, Francis Fonseca’s only memorable statement was in name tagging Ramen noodles to Ministers of Government. Fonseca’s comical performance lasted less than 30 minutes. The only thing he managed to do, other than making people laugh at his jokes, was making people laugh at him. It was a very feeble attempt to convince people that he knows a cent about economics. When he spoke facts he failed to show he understood the numbers, and, even worst, for the majority of the presentation he chose to ignore the factual figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize and introduced his own.

Drug Plane in Spanish Lookout
Cayo police are investigating a burnt plane that was found near the Aguacate Lagoon in Spanish Lookout on Tuesday of this week. So far members of the Civil Aviation Department, Belize Defence Force and Police have visited the site. The Cessna 6-seater which was originally thought to have crash-landed in the area is now believed to have been used to transport illicit drugs. The plane was found partially burnt with only portions of the wings and tail having been spared from the blaze.

DUNCE of the Year!!!
The race for Dunce of the Year ended on Monday, March 25th, with a rant from Mike Espat about something that “really bothers” him. In his contribution to the budget debate, Espat referred to a quote in Prime Minister Barrow’s budget speech in which he said, “Away, then, Mr. Speaker, with the harlot’s brow, falsely beautified with plastering art.” Espat scolded PM Barrow; saying how dare he refer to Belizean women that way. He instructed the Prime Minister to have some respect for the women of Belize because “our women are not whores [harlots]”. Espat’s charges baffled the scholars in the gallery of the House of Representatives. It was as if he used the stage to announce that not only is he ignorant and illiterate but he also is too slow to realize when he is the one being insulted. Prime Minister Barrow was using a line from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in which Claudius spoke about disguising “ugly actions” using “fine words”. PM Barrow’s use of the line was referring to the P.U.P.’s recent “recommitment to social justice”. PM Barrow said, “The whore’s pockmarked cheek made pretty with make-up is just like the ugly actions they [PUP] are seeking to disguise with their new rhetoric.” Such beautiful use of a literary masterpiece went far above Mike Espat’s level of understanding.

A Doctor for Corozal South West
Doctor Angel Campos secured a victory in the most recent convention held by the United Democratic Party. The polls opened at 10 in the morning and by 5 a total of 1,432 residents of the area had voted. When the final tallying was done Doctor Angel Campos had come out victorious with 1,210 votes cast in his favor. His competitor, David Romero secured 210 votes. There were 12 rejected ballots. Immediately after the announcement was made to the crowd of supporters who had gathered outside of the Escuela Secundaria Mexico in San Roman, the oath of allegiance was administered and both candidates got an opportunity to address the supporters. Romero explained that the democratic process had taken its course and the people had spoken. “It was now time to unite and move forward with the UDP”, he stated. For his part Dr. Campos thanked God, Rivero, the UDP and the people for the opportunity that was offered to him to be the Standard Bearer. He stated categorically that the division will now move forward and that he will bring back the South West constituency to the UDP.

New appointments to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Belmopan. March 26th, 2014. In a brief ceremony this morning at the Belize House in Belmopan, three men were officially appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of the New Year Honours 2014, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to Belize. This year’s honorees include: Mr. Rafael Manzanero for his contribution to Environmental Protection; Dr. Adrian Alexander Coye for his contribution to Medicine and Mr. Rodney Harold Neal for his contribution to the Public Service. Both Mr. Manzanero and Dr. Coye received the insignia of Ordinary Officers of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire while Mr. Neal received the insignia of Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The Governor General expressed his sincere gratitude to the men for their hard work and dedication to Belize.

BINGO in Fort George
The Government of Belize has noted with concern the decision of the Council of the European Union to list Belize, along with Cambodia and Guinea, as a ‘non-cooperating third world country’ in the fight against illegal fishing. The Government believes that there was absolutely no justification for this action as Belize has taken all necessary steps required by the E.U’s Directorate General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The decision of the EU Council is based on outdated information and takes no account of the measures adopted by Belize within the last six (6) months to strengthen its high seas fishing regime. In October 2013, Belize enacted a new and robust High Seas Fishing Act which came into effect on November 8, 2013. This Act was supplemented by the Sanctions Regulations and the Licensing Regulations, both of which came into force on March 12, 2014. These regulations which prescribe stringent penalties for violations of this Act would make the High Seas Fishing Act fully operational – a key demand of the EU. In addition, Belize has signed a contract with a South African Company, Capricorn Fisheries Monitoring, to provide On Sea Observer services for Belize flagged vessels, at a cost of about US$200,000 for the first year. This program takes effect from April 1, 2014.

Belize responds to the decision of the European Union Council on High Seas fishing
The Government of Belize has noted with concern the decision of the Council of the European Union to list Belize, along with Cambodia and Guinea, as a ‘non-cooperating third world country’ in the fight against illegal fishing. The Government believes that there was absolutely no justification for this action as Belize has taken all necessary steps required by the E.U’s Directorate General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The decision of the EU Council is based on outdated information and takes no account of the measures adopted by Belize within the last six (6) months to strengthen its high seas fishing regime. In October 2013, Belize enacted a new and robust High Seas Fishing Act which came into effect on November 8, 2013. This Act was supplemented by the Sanctions Regulations and the Licensing Regulations, both of which came into force on March 12, 2014. These regulations which prescribe stringent penalties for violations of this Act would make the High Seas Fishing Act fully operational – a key demand of the EU. In addition, Belize has signed a contract with a South African Company, Capricorn Fisheries Monitoring, to provide On Sea Observer services for Belize flagged vessels, at a cost of about US$200,000 for the first year. This program takes effect from April 1, 2014.

Dolores causing pains in Rural Central
Motorists travelling on the Philip Goldson highway were taken aback when all of a sudden, some humongous speed bumps were erected near to the Our Lady of the Way R.C. School in Ladyville. This is the same area where 8-year-old Kyeisha Joseph, was knocked down as she came off a school bus to go to school. Acting in the most hasty and uncalculating manner, it seems Dolores Balderamos Garcia, trying to be some sort of guardian angel, put them up. She even called radio stations beating her chest and pronouncing that this was the only act she has done since being elected area representative more than two years ago. And while she beat her chest in triumph, motorists beat their heads on their steering wheels as the bumps were just too much. The height is just too much and now instead of savoir, she turned into a mechanic's best friend as complaints keep pouring in that motorists are ripping the base pans off their vehicles.

Francis Frowns on Laborers
Every single day hundreds of Belizeans wake up and get to the job of improving the country's infrastructure. They are hired as manual laborers, cutting and tying steel and mixing and pouring concrete on the streets of Belize City and other municipalities. It is back breaking work, but it is an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. For Francis Fonseca however, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and who sips on fine wine and nibbles on expensive cheese on a daily basis, the work is undignified. So much disdain does he have for the manual laborers working across the country that he made light of their honest work. But not only did he make light of the work, he next to ridiculed the workers saying that they were out on the streets breaking stones. He made reference to them almost as if it was demeaning to be doing the work.

Albert Area Representative Herman Longsworth opens Wesley Lower School’s Computer Lab
The Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Area Representative for the Albert Constituency on Thursday March 20, 2014, opened a Computer Lab at Wesley Lower School on Albert Street. The lab is equipped with 10 computers which are all internet connected and also includes an access point which allows the teachers to integrate technology into their everyday teaching. The lab was totally refurbished at the expense of the Hon. Herman Longsworth and he pledged to donate some more computers to the lab. According to the Principal Ms. Darlene Lozano, the lab is occupied daily with at least 75 pupils taking computer classes.

Phone Book Cover Selected in Facebook Competition book Includes Discount Coupons from 33 Businesses
In 2014, the Facebook site seems to be the center of the world; therefore, it makes sense that the Belize Telemedia Limited left it up to Facebook users to decide what goes on the cover of its 2014 telephone directory. In a Facebook competition themed “The Great Belizean Adventure”, applicants were encouraged to submit photos of their adventures throughout Belize. There was no limit to the amount of submissions one could make. Over 800 photos were submitted featuring some of the most beautiful moments in time that are unique only to the Belizean adventure. The winner of the competition was determined by how many people liked the photos on Facebook. At the close of competition it was Daren Lamb’s photo in the Caribbean Sea near Caye Caulker that was liked the most with 1,396. Lamb said he had taken hundreds of photos in his life and had taken some beautiful shots of birds. He said those shots with the birds’ wings extended were always in a horizontal position. The winning shot was one of a Tern flying to eat a small fish held in the hand of a tour guide. The Tern’s wings were extended vertically and Lamb says he knew it was a special shot. The opportunity lasted about three seconds and Lamb managed to take a photo which rewarded him with an iPad 4 and a year free DigiCell service. Second and third place went to students from the Belize High School.

Prime Minister Barrow to Hand Over $1 Billion to Hon. Oscar Requena
The Prime Minister of Belize was so impressed with Hon. Oscar Requena’s presentation at the 2014 budget debate that he is thinking about presenting a cheque to the Area Rep for over one billion dollars, according to rumours. We are told that Hon. Requena already has a plan for the money. He gave hints of that plan in his budget presentation but those close to the Area Rep have given a few details. Within six months time, Requena plans to hot mix every street in Toledo West. Every drain will be equipped with pipes that will flush out dirty water and replace it with high quality purified drinking water. Water pipes will reach every home with hot and cold shower and Jacuzzis. Lamp posts and electricity will be extended to every home- even in the most remote communities and there will be no light bill. There will be an ambulance, police truck, autobus, grader and bulldozer for every street. Requena’s affiliates say he plans to build a couple high schools and a university in every village and education will be completely free, even the pencils and erasers. For those out of school, office jobs will be provided for everyone regardless of educational background and skill set. Massive green houses will be built weather proof so that storms and Mother Nature will never affect agricultural products.

Valley of Peace Farmers loose crops, blaming Green Tropics
The Ministry of Agriculture is completing its investigation into allegations that crop dusting done by Green Tropics in the Valley of Peace village on March 15 may have destroyed as much as $150,000 dollars worth of vegetables being produced by some 30 farmers. Ministry personnel have sent samples taken from the crops to El Salvador to determine what type of chemicals were causing the damage. Those results are expected by the middle of next week. A spokesperson from Green Tropics has told the media that if the company is culpable they will deal with the liability. As much as 150 to 200 acres of vegetables have been damaged. Farmers say that about 80% of their crops have been damaged and are dying as a result of chemical burns. It is also believed that the rest of the crops have received damage where it will not be able to be harvested.

Young Woman murdered by Boyfriend
Residents from the Cayo District are still reeling from the horrible murder of a recent graduate from the University of Belize. Twenty four year old Kayla Burgess was found dead shortly after 6:30 p.m. last Thursday in the rear of her Kia Sorento SUV; some 100 yards from the Pride of Mopan Bar on the Santa Familia Road. She had a plastic bag covering her head and a white plastic strap tightened around her neck. Kayla Burgess’s vehicle was processed by investigators but the key was not found. The body was transported to the San Ignacio Hospital where death was confirmed at 8:30 p.m. On Friday, the body was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital morgue for a Post Mortem Examination. Her cause of death has been certified as due to broncho-aspiration, from asphyxia, which resulted from strangulation. Subsequent to this incident, 21 year old Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt, a Galen University student from the Kontiki Area in San Ignacio was detained and was observed to have scratches on several parts of his body.

Belizean killed abroad
Joseph Firek, a 59 year-old American, has been charged with murder in the first degree and a hate crime, after Chicago police believe he caused the death of a Belizean living in that city. 59 year-old retired Belizean boxer Michael Tingling was well-liked in his North Side Chicago neighbourhood and on Wednesday, March 19, he was walking his 15 year-old daughter, Masharah, in the Rogers Park neighbourhood at around 2 p.m. That’s when he noticed that Firek was reportedly eyeing his daughter while making inappropriate gestures. Firek approached Masharah, and that’s when Tingling intervened, and they started to argue. Firek then reportedly punched Tingling, who uses a heart pacemaker, in the chest, while making racial epithets. The Tinglings then tried to avoid a further confrontation, and they headed to an alleyway, but Firek pursued them while shouting insults, and soon after Michael Tingling started having trouble breathing. Reports say that when Firek realized what was happening, he started repeating, “I hope he’s okay. I hope I didn’t kill him.”

Not guilty of Masterminding a Murder
Aracely Cahueque, 21, the woman who was accused in October 2010 of soliciting the help of 3 men to murder 18 year-old Raylene Dyer so that she could get control of her baby, was acquitted in her Supreme Court Trial on Friday, March 21, 2014. She becomes the fourth defendant to walk in connection with Dyer’s murder. Since Wednesday, March 12, Cahueque began standing trial before Justice Denis Hanomansingh and a jury of her peers for 3 counts of abetment to murder. The accusation against her was that she hired the 3 men who were accused of the actual killing to get it done on her behalf. Police said that she had done it because she wanted Raylene Dyer’s 3 month-old baby, Ravonne Dyer. Investigators believed that her intention was to try to fool her boyfriend into believing that she became pregnant for him, and that he needed to support her and this baby that they supposedly shared together.

San Pedro residents Charged for Attempting to Bribe Senior Supt. Broaster
Argyle Jex, 28-year-old tour guide of Coral Street in San Pedro, and Lewis Caal, 33-year-old tour guide of Pescador Drive, San Pedro, have been arrested and charged with attempting to corrupt a public officer. The men are accused of attempting to bribe Senior Superintendent of Police, Edward Broaster, on Saturday, March 22nd. The men were held in custody on the island of Caye Caulker when they allegedly offered Broaster $100 for their release. Broaster refused and in addition to drug possession, which they were originally held for, they were jointly charged with attempting to corrupt a public officer. The men appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, March 25th, where they were jointly charged. No plea was taken from the men and they were granted bail in the sum of $1,000 each plus one surety of the same amount. Chief Magistrate Smith ordered the men to report to the San Pedro Police Station every Monday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. until their next court date on May 15, 2014.

More Traffic Mishaps in March
For the month of March alone, there have been 10 people who have died as a result of traffic accidents on Belize’s roadways. The most recent happened on Saturday, March 22, at around 5 a.m., where 63 year-old former BDF Soldier Henry Pascual was doing his morning jog on the Stann Creek Valley Road. That’s when a motorist knocked him down from behind. The driver stopped and rendered aid, taking him to the Southern Regional Hospital, but he died shortly after from the injuries he sustained. The next accident happened in Belize City where the skull of a man was crushed underneath a dump truck. 33 year-old Honduran Jose Martinez was reportedly riding his bicycle contrary to the flow of traffic on Cemetery Road, and when he arrived at the pedestrian ramp, he fell off his bicycle. That’s the same time when a dump truck was trying to get over the ramp, and one of the wheels crushed Martinez’s skull killing him instantly. Police have investigated and they are waiting on the DPP’s Office to decide on whether or not they should charge the driver of the truck for anything. It is notable that eyewitness reports say that Martinez was riding as if though he was intoxicated.

Northern Illinois University lecturers call on Minister Herman Longsworth
The Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports with direct responsibilities for youth and sports, on Wednesday March 12, 2014, received in his Belize City office, four lecturers from Northern Illinois University, which included Programme Coordinator Dr. Paul Wright, Dr. James Ressler (Sports Education Model expert), Dr. Jin Jung (TPSR Model Expert) and Dr. William Pitney (Athletic Trainer) along with Ph.D candidate Jenn Jacobs, and Mr. Rob Castañeda, Beyond the Ball founder and coordinator. The US team is a part of the Belizean Youth Sport Coalition which has as its theme “Using Sport to Promote Social Change”. The purpose of the Belizean Youth Sport Coalition is to increase the extent to which youth sport programmes promote youth development and social change.

Police United clip Verdes FC in Belikin Cup Tournament
The Premier League of Belize 2014 Belikin Cup Closing Season competition continued over the last weekend with three games across the country. On Saturday March 22 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the host team and co-leaders in the Closing Season, the Police United blanked the visiting and other co-leader Verdes FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Harrison Tasher in the 63rd minute of play to give the Police United Team their 2 won of the campaign. On Sunday March 23, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters and the host team San Ignacio United played to a 0-0 draw.

Central Christian girls win again in primary schools softball
The Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition continues at Rogers Stadium with a number of games. On Tuesday March 11, in the girls’ game played, Central Christian School continued on its winning path when it defeated Trinity Methodist School by the score of 16-0. The winning pitcher was Hannah Usher and the losing pitcher was Devina Periera. In the boys competition game played, Unity Presbyterian edged Wesley Upper in a hotly contested game by the score of 7-6. The winning pitcher was Shemmar Bowen and the losing pitcher was Andy Alford. The competition then continued on Wednesday March 5, with two more games. In the girls’ competition, Muslim Community School defeated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 14-1. The winning pitcher was Essenie Vernon and the losing pitcher was Tyra Belisle.

15th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic
The Cycling Federation of Belize would like to inform of the upcoming 15th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 30th, starting at 9:00 a.m. from the Succotz Ferry outside Benque Viejo and travels the George Price Highway to finish in front of Leslie’s Imports. The Technical Meeting for this event is scheduled for Friday, March 28th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association Conference Room, upstairs of Dooney’s on Albert Street. Please note deadline for registration to participate in the event is this Thursday, March 27th.

National male softball championship this weekend
The Belize Softball Federation will be hosting its 5th National Male Softball championship at Rogers Stadium on Saturday and Sunday March 29 and 30, 2014 respectively. This year’s championship will feature the champions and sub-champions of the Affiliated Association which had a male competition in 2013. The games were originally scheduled to play last year but had to be postponed because of the inclement weather. The games are scheduled to commence at 4:00 pm on Saturday March 29 with game one being played between the Belize City champions Guardian Bombers and the Cayo Association second place team Esperanza Royal Devils. Immediately following that game will be game two, between the Belize City sub-champions Oceana Strikers and the Cayo Association league leading Belmopan. This will be followed by game three which will feature the two winners from games 1 and 2.

San Pedro Tigersharks and Cayo Western Ballaz lead in the National Elite Basketball competition
The 2014 National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last week with four games on the schedule. On Thursday March 20, at the UB Gymnasium in the City of Belmopan, the visiting and current-co-leaders in this year’s competition the Cayo Western Ballaz defeated the home team the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 58-46. The top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Richard Troyer with 16 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal, Kurt Burgess with 11 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal and Farron Louriano with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Dorian Jones and Christian Rodriguez with 9 points each. Dorian Jones also pulled down 7 rebounds and had 3 steals in his team defeat, while Jamal Harris with 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal. At the Y-Not Island in Dangriga Town, the Belize City No Limit team won handily over the Dangriga Warriors by the score of 66-53. The top scorers for the Belize City No Limit team were Gregory Rudon with 23 points, 4 rebounds, 1, assist and 2 steals; Andrew Ortiz with 13 points, and 6 rebounds, and Kevin Lorenzo with 8 points.

I listened in, on and off, to the budget debate on Monday and Tuesday past and I must say that it was, from the presentations I got to hear, much more civil than on previous occasions, even with the usual background banter from both sides. For the most part, I think the topics addressed were properly researched and the deliveries eloquent. We can allow ourselves a dash of pride once in a while you know, when something like this goes right for a change. Of course some people have commented that the PUP Leader shouts too much, and that Musa has now been reduced to reciting Mother Goose rhymes. I tell you, with the next election slated for 2017, and Musa vying for another five-year term, it seems that the PUP will have to prop him up to make his speeches/recitals in the future. The man just will not retire from politics. Then I must mention the usual counterfeits in the PUP, the ones that use this forum to grandstand about how saintly and intelligent they are as compared to the UDP. They preach on every occasion about how deeply concerned they are about the plight of the Belizean people and if ever they get appointed to the Cabinet, they would do, oh so much for our country! How humbly they would serve the people and corruption would never taint their white, four-pocketed “Guayaberas”. I need to ask a favor: the day you hear me say that I subscribe to the words of Julius Espat, Marin Jr. or any Fonseca, I want you to please have me committed.

Candle Light vigil for Kayla
A candle light vigil was organized on Tuesday night in the City of Belmopan for Kayla Burgess. It began with a procession from #10 Oriole Street that went around the Ring Road then ended at the Belmopan Comprehensive School. (See full story on page 17)

World Water Day Exhibition held in San Ignacio Town
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture the Hon. Gaspar Vega declared open World Water Day exhibitions at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel on Friday of last week. Present for the occasion was the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena John August as well as standard bearer for the Cayo North Division Omar Figueroa. Also present for the opening were industry leaders in the water sector such as the Belize Water Services Ltd BWS and the Belize Electricity Limited; two partners inextricably linked in the extraction, processing and distribution of water resources in Belize. Children, students and other Belizeans were bused in from different parts of the Country to visit the various booths at the Resort Hotel and meet with local experts on water. In his main address the Hon. Gasper Vega informed that water is used to generate 45% of Belize’s electricity, three times the average amount of electricity produced worldwide via hydroelectric power. “As our population grows and our appetite for more potable water and energy increases and as climate change threatens water supplies, we need to identify more in-Country sources of water for clean, affordable and sustainable energy,” Hon. Vega said.

Preventing children from coming in conflict with the law
The news ticker flashes across the screen – a teenager and his uncle are arrested for breaking into a home and injuring the occupants in the process. Another teenager is accused of assaulting the owner of the neighborhood grocery store. A third teenager has been caught with drugs at school. Their crimes vary from petty to serious offences but the alleged perpetrators have one thing in common – they are minors all under the age of eighteen. This makes them children; and although they have come in conflict with the law, they are still children. Children who come in conflict with the law are those who are alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law. The concept contravenes with the connotation that many have of children – ‘children’ in our minds are supposed to be innocent and full of promise and hope representing the best of society. The unsettling thought of them as having the capacity to perpetrate crimes often leads people to immediately ascribe adult status to them and advocate for the full administration of the law for their crimes.


From Los Angeles to Belize with ease and what it was like riding the Inaugural flight
The inaugural flight of a new aircraft route is always a historic occasion and local Ambergris Caye resident Rosie Syme shares her story of what it was like being one of the passengers on the first flight. “Taking a midnight flight from anywhere is never anyone’s favorite thing to do, but for me there was something special about this direct flight to Belize. I was so excited that I could get home on a short 5 hour flight, and everyone I spoke to felt the same way. There were many couples and families excited to visit the country for the first time and everyone was eager to arrive and get started on their days’ activities. Checking in was a breeze – much better than I had expected considering the flight leaves from LAX and it was the holiday season. Many of the staff at the airport were surprised to hear Delta is now offering a direct flight to Belize. I guess that’s what happens when you’re on the inaugural flight! Everything went quite smoothly on the flight. After takeoff the lights were dimmed and most people settled in for the night. Everyone seemed to have a full day of activities planned since the flight arrives in the early morning around 7:30am.

International Sources

Nina Agdal Turns 22, Plays in Bikini in Tropical Belize (photos, video)
Nina Agdal traveled a long way from chilly Denmark to the tropical beaches of Belize for her first Beach Bunny bikini shoot. To mark the occasion the brand put together a video as a birthday present. Nina turned 22 yesterday (Mar 26), but she’ll always be a 10 in our book. The video a behind-the-scenes look at her Belize expedition to Kanantik Resort. From there she traveled by boat to a remote island called “Sanctuary Belize.” Nina talks about her career and traveling to the exotic location. “It’s paradise; it’s postcard material; it’s gorgeous,” she says.

Vuela in Belize tra siti Maya e diving
Il tour operator Vuela propone “Belize diving, Maya e avventura”, un viaggio di 14 giorni/12 notti tra cayos nel Mar dei Caraibi lungo la seconda barriera corallina del mondo, siti archeologici Maya, parchi naturali e fiumi. Il tour inizia a Placencia con un programma che include diverse immersioni al giorno e pranzi in stile Caribe sui cayos. A Silk Caye ci si immerge tra squali balena, tartarughe e mante, mentre a Pompion Caye si scende lungo una parete ricca di granchi, aragoste e tartarughe. Il giorno dopo è la volta di South Water Caye e Grand Channel, tra una miriade di pesci tropicali, squali nutrici e tartarughe, ma anche spugne, coralli, gamberi, pesci angelo. Segue Glovers Reef, patrimonio dell’Unesco, a un’ora e mezza di barca da Placencia e tra le più belle immersioni dei Caraibi occidentali. Si passa poi al Monkey River, fiume ricco di mangrovie e pesci, ma anche di iguane, coccodrilli e uccelli e habitat naturale della scimmia urlatrice. Il viaggio prosegue al Blue Hole National Park, dove vivono molte specie di animali, tra cui il giaguaro, l’ocelot, 200 varietà di volatili e dove si trova l’Inland Blue Hole, una piscina naturale di acqua dolce che cela numerose grotte sommerse. Dalla natura si passa all’archeologia con la visita del sito Maya di Xunantunich e, successivamente, a Caracol, una delle città Maya più estese. Quota con sette pranzi, transfer e voli interni da euro 2.960 euro. Voli intercontinentali calcolati con la migliore tariffa disponibile.

Nina Agdal Loves Her Bum in Beach Bunny Bikinis
Danish model Nina Agdal joins Beach Bunny bikinis for her first photo shoot for the brand in tropical Belize. Nina, who appeared topless on the cover of and inside Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue joins models Kate Upton and Irina Shayk. Both have also repped for the brand and appeared in SI.

Belize, the Caribbean's undiscovered coast - audio slideshow
Kevin Rushby takes a sailing trip through Belize's mangrove islands and reefs, stopping off for a bit of snorkelling along the way

Belize Baby!
Well today I wore socks with sandals you guys…however there is no evidence that this crime occurred because cameras were forbidden on this excursion. I should probably just stop blogging and giving fashion advice but instead I am going to share with you an experience of a lifetime and get real deep because it’s my blog and I will get intellectual if I want to…Oh and happy Thanksgiving. As I am here in Belize with my family I am being MIND BLOWN and it is only the second day. Read on to learn about the amazing ATM Caves (Actun Tunichil Muknal which means Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre) and our experiences… So we finally show up to the cave entrance after about 45 minutes. Which by the way Belizean minutes are much longer than actual minutes. Example-he said it was going to be a 2 and a half hour tour…it was four and a half. But no one is complaining.

March 27, 2014


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The San Pedro Sun

Three Men Appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
In a brief ceremony this morning at the Belize House in Belmopan, three men were officially appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of the New Year Honours 2014, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to Belize. This year’s honorees include: Mr. Rafael Manzanero for his contribution to Environmental Protection; Dr. Adrian Alexander Coye for his contribution to Medicine and Mr. Rodney Harold Neal for his contribution to the Public Service. Both Mr. Manzanero and Dr. Coye received the insignia of Ordinary Officers of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire while Mr. Neal received the insignia of Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The Governor General expressed his sincere gratitude to the men for their hard work and dedication to Belize.

Only eight teams advance to the Quarter Finals of the SPSC Football Tournament
The first phase of the San Pedro Sports Committee (SPSC) Football Tournament is over and only the top eight teams advanced to the quarter finals. The lucky teams that still have the opportunity to win the first ever SPSC Football Tournament are Joker FC, Legends, Caye Caulker and Island Pure for Group A, and Southwind, FC United, Veterans and Dorados for Group B. Which teams moved on were decided after the games from weeks five and six. On Tuesday, March 18th, the first game was between Caye Caulker and Warriors. Caye Caulker delivered a blowout win in a 9-0 point game. Next to take the field was Southwind and San Juan. Both teams were eager for the win, but in the end it was Southwind who took the game in a 5-2 point game. The second set of games was played on Wednesday, March 19th. In the first match, Legends annihilated VH Ballers in an outstanding 15-2 point game. The second game was between Dorados and FC United. Edging out the competition from early in the game, Dorados delivered a win over FC United with a 2-0 point game. The final game of the week was played on Thursday, March 20th between Communicasiones and Island Pure, the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

A Unique Opportunity for Young Leaders to Be Trained in Road Safety
In collaboration with YOURS – Youth for Road Safety Project and the Caribbean Development Bank – the Government of Belize would like to open an invitation to your school to select future young leaders to apply for a unique opportunity to be trained as youth facilitators in road safety. Why Road Safety? Road traffic crashes are the single biggest killer of young people, killing more than HIV/AIDS, TB or Malaria. In Belize, approximately 30% of all road traffic fatalities are young people aged between 16 and 29. About 90% of these youth casualties are males. A combination of physical and developmental immaturity, and inexperience and youth-related lifestyles further increase the risk of young road users to road traffic collisions. We believe young people in Belize have not yet been adequately empowered to make informed choices to influence their own development. Young people are part of the road safety solution.

Entrepreneurship skills displayed at the 2014 SPHS Business Fair
On Saturday, March 22nd the San Pedro High School (SPHS) hosted their annual Business Fair. The fair is a chance for junior and senior students taking Business as their major to display their business and entrepreneurship skills. From the beginning of the school years the students were tasked to form their own business and product that would benefit San Pedro’s economy. Not only do the products have to be unique but they have to prove to be profitable in the economy. The fair started at 10AM and was open to the public. Each group prepared an elaborate booth to display their business, complete with a model of their future business building and product. The students developed both products and services that would be profitable in the competitive markets of San Pedro Town, and Belize as whole. The students were responsible for identifying a product, creating a business, identifying a location, securing funds, preparing a business plan and marketing their product. The senior students also had an opportunity to sell their product to the public to experience firsthand the exchange system in an economic market.

Ambergris Today

European Union Bans Fish Trade with Vessels Flagged To Belize
The EU’s executive arm announced on Monday, March 24, 2014, a ban on fish imports from vessels flagged to Belize, Cambodia and Guinea (Conakry), in a move that could have repercussions for tuna companies such as MW Brands and Pervasa. The ban is part of the EU’s efforts against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The council’s decision is based on the view that Belize, Cambodia and Guinea are acting insufficiently against illegal fishing. The sanctions mean imports into the EU of any fisheries products caught by vessels from these countries will be banned, while EU vessels will not be allowed to fish in these countries’ waters. It is the first time that measures of this type are adopted at EU level.

Sit Back and Enjoy a Sunset Sailing Cruise in Belize
I lay down on the bow of the sailboat staring upwards, deep into the universe. A brisk, but gentle breeze pushes the E-Z Boy’s sailboat along the leeward side of Caye Caulker island. Shortly after sunset it is pitch black but the ceiling above is dotted with thousands of stars, planets and the Milky Way brushed across the sky. At that point nothing really matters, but absorbing your surroundings – feeling the breeze on your skin, hearing the waves crash on the bow of the sailboat, seeing the magnificence of the night’s spectacle, smelling the ocean breeze and tasting the salty air on your lips. That is what makes a sunset cruise so special in Belize; it involves all of your senses and has you relaxing in total bliss, in Paradise mind you.

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal Pre-School Stimulation Month 2014 – Theme “Early Childhood Education: Where Our Future Begins”
The commencement of the activities started this month with the Pre-Schooler’s Parade followed by the Festival of Arts.

Corozal Pre-School Stimulation Month continues with Pre-School Festival of Arts and Sports Day
All photos taken were with the consent and supervision of teachers and parents.

Three Men Appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (6 photos)
Government of Belize Press Office

Inspiration Center Grand Opening
The Inspiration Center, an outpatient rehabilitation center for children with disabilities from birth to 16 years old, is having its grand opening tomorrow. This amazing project has been in the works for years, and it's great to see it come to fruition. Thanks to everyone that donated and participated in the project.

1930's Banana Cultivation Video
Take a step back in time, almost a century, with this classic video of the banana trade in British Honduras. It follows the crop from Belize to Northern Europe. Interesting, to say the least. "Clearing forest for banana plantation. Cultivation (including air spraying of crops) and harvesting and transportation of the crop to the port for export to Europe. Loading of ocean freighters and ocean voyage (including stop at Kingston, Jamaica) and unloading at Rotterdam."

Youth Road Safety Facilitator Training
Excellent opportunity for any youths that are interested in facilitating workshops on road safety. The GOB, using a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank, will be offering 2 weeks of training to 15 lucky youths. "CALL FOR APPLICATION FOR YOUTH ROAD SAFETY FACILITATORS. If you think you are the candidate we are looking for please fill the form below and send it to [email protected] by March 28, 2014 or send to the Road Safety Project Management Unit with attention to Ms. Jewel Crawford, Director, Department of Youth Services before the mentioned deadline. Application Form.

OAS Donates Drumset
he Organization of American States donated a drumset to the Benque House of Culture, where it's getting a lot of use. Thanks, OAS! "We wish to thank the OAS Administration Belize for strengthening the the musical passion of the Benque Marimba Academy, their inkind donation of a drum set will certainly evolve and uplift their musical skills and standards. We are humbled by the support of all of you who believe in the high spirit and commitment that the Boys have achieved during these 15 months... "

WTTC Belize Tourism Statistics
The World Travel and Tourism Council has released the tourism statistics for Belize. There are some interesting numbers in there. Overall, tourism accounts for around 33% of jobs in Belize, and brought in $1.2 billion, which is 36.6% of the GDP. Tourism should grow by about 4.5% in 2014.

A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Line Inspector
in the Transmission & Distribution Department, Belize City.

COLA says goverment is appealing Writ of Mandamus
A meeting between the attorneys for the group COLA and the Director of Public Prosecutions was held today, and as was expected, the DPP will join Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action in their private prosecution of the Honorable the member for Cayo Northeast Mr. Elvin Penner. COLA is mounting the private prosecution of Penner, alleging that the two-term area representative and former Junior Minister broke the law when he facilitated the issuance of a Belize passport to South Korean national Wong Hong Kim who was in a prison in Taiwan at the time the document was issued in Belmopan. While the logistics of the DPP joining COLA in the private prosecution is news, the bombshell that emerged from today’s meeting is that the government of Belize has launched an appeal of the Writ of Mandamus given by the Chief Justice against Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie.

Police investigate carnal knowledge case involving teenagers
There is another case of an underage girl being sexually exploited. And that sexual abuse has resulted in a pregnancy. Belize City police report that on Tuesday, the minor, in the company of her mother reported that in November of 2013, she engaged in sexual intercourse with her 17 year old boyfriend at her home. The minor further explained to police and she and the 17 year old boy have been “dating” since August, 2011. Police say the girl is now 5 months pregnant.

Police say burnt aircraft near Spanish Lookout was a drug plane
The Belize Police Department has issued some information on the wreckage of a small plane that was found near Spanish Lookout on Tuesday morning. Authorities say that the aircraft was a Cessna 6-seater. While initially it was thought that the plane crash-landed, police say their initial investigation reveals that the plane was used to transport illegal drugs. That would suggest, according to one source, that the plane may have landed, and then deliberately set on fire.

Negotiations for bagasse payment progressing
Negotiations for the payment to cane farmers for baggasse have been progressing slowly between BSI/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. The last we heard was that BSCFA was waiting for BSI/ASR’s counterproposal to their proposal made on the revenue sharing of bagasse. And yesterday the miller revealed its counterproposal to BSCFA as they once again met around the negotiating table. According to the Vice Chairman of the BSCFA Alfredo Ortega, a formula used by BSI/ASR provided the framework for the Association to come up with its counter proposal. “They came up with a number of 52 cents per ton, based on the information we have for the 2010-2011, we use those same numbers and we presented to them that our figures give us in the vicinity of 4 dollars and thirteen cents and that is where the basis is where we can move through the negotiations,” says Ortega. That counterproposal, according to the BSCFA vice chairman will be presented to BSI/ASR on Monday.

Fire Service receives motorcycles
The National Fire Service today received eleven Honda motorcycles valued at $36,000 which will be used in its efforts to address issues with regard to fire safety. Acting Fire Chief Ted Smith says they will be used as more convenient transport for firemen to conduct safety activities and inspections. The Minister in charge of the Fire Service is Senator Godwin Hulse, under the portfolio of National Emergency Management. He handed over the vehicles to the service today. The motorcycles will be distributed to all fire stations throughout the country.

Prime Minister says Maranco makes oil find in Orange Walk
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has reported that oil prospectors Maranco had struck a huge reservoir of petroleum in their concession area in southern Orange Walk near Gallon Jug. But there is still much work to do before the find can be deemed commercial – that is, if it can even be extracted from the ground. Dr. Colin Young, CEO of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) says that the oil is more difficult to withdraw because of the surrounding rock formations and lower original quality, substantially different from that found at Spanish Lookout by Belize Natural Energy more than seven years ago. Dr. Young explains that the company is now in the process of hiring its experts to determine whether it is feasible to pursue the oil, which is as much as 50 million barrels, a larger find than the Spanish Lookout strike.

Caribbean ICT Roadshow comes to Belize City
Belize City hosted the second leg of the third annual Caribbean Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Roadshow at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City today. ICT is basically the use of modern technology such as computers, cellular phones and so on to link with software and other tools to more effectively access, store and transmit information. The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) is collaborating with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) to take the displays and workshops across the country. Selby Wilson, representative from the CTU cited the outreach to students in the Toledo and Belize districts as an example of how ICT affects the next generation in his address at this morning’s opening ceremonies. Ministry CEO Dr. Colin Young said that ICT has a beneficial effect on Belize’s economic bottomline as more people become technologically friendly.

Progress on Police Barracks in San Pedro
We are VERY excited to announce that construction on the police barracks will resume immediately! Since the San Pedro Sun article last week, we've received the following generous donations: Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize - $10,000. The Phoenix - $10,000. Blue Water Grill - San Pedro, Belize - $10,000. Landings at Tres Cocos - $10,000. Havana Cigars -$250. Mark & Brooke Maggiotto - $1,000. You can see an up to date list of donors here: - the most recent donations are highlighted in green. We still need to raise more money. If you want to donate, please contact Mukul ([email protected]) or Gricel ([email protected]). If you can share this post to help spread the word, we'd appreciate it. And last: if all you do is complain, you aren't helping to solve the problem.

BWRC Hangs Out
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic crew practiced with the tree climbing equipment in order to prepare for the climb up to the nests of some of their 'patients.' The BWRC works with Scarlet 6, and monitors and does check ups on Scarlet Macaws, which can have nests located high up. Looks like they had fun during their practice. "There is rarely time for boredom at BWRC. But thanks to our friends Charles Britt and Kristi Drexler the entire staff and intern crew (including even Dr. I, only missing Dr. Z who joined the students at CBS and the Belize Zoo VIP tour) had an awesome morning practicing with tree climbing equipment! We will go wherever we need to go to come to the rescue, thanks to our friends, staff and other supporters. More pictures to follow later..."

Maya Day 2014 (25 photos)
San Antonio, Toledo's Deer Dance Group

Belize Chamber of Commerce Business Presentation at Tony's Hotel in Corozal
Today at 10:30am. Topics to be discussed: 1) Why the Chamber exists and who it serves? 2) The Chamber's valued Added services 3) Chamber's Western Union Franchise in Belize 4) How the Occupational, Safety and Health Bill 2014 will affect you 5) Discussion on business issues affecting your area All are invited to attend at 10:30 a.m. Tony's Conference room.

Video: Belize Maya Ruins 2005
Pastor Don Ballard reflects on the Mayans and God's Grace today.

Video: BTLs Yellow Pages 2014 Launch Video

Video: National Budget Debate Continued on Day Two

Video: BELIZE 2013
12 min.

Video: Voyage Mexique Belize Honduras Janvier 2014
53 min. Voyage de plongée, Janvier 2014, avec Karine et Jeff! ca dure 53 minutes, mais c'est dur de faire moins pour résumer un mois complet de plongée dans le sud!!

Video: 33rd Belmopan Cycling Classic first 60 miles
33rd Annual SMART Belmopan Classic Sunday March 16, 2014 Belize City - Belmopan - Belize City The Annual SMART Belmopan Classic travels from SMART Headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway through Belize City and unto the George Price Highway to Belmopan, where it goes around the Ring Road and returns back via the same route to Finish with one lap from the Round a Bout that goes from Napa to the Sol Round a Bout at Buttonwood Bay Blvd for the Open Elite/Masters; while the Female/Junior/Youth use the same route but only to La Democracia and return I was only able to capture the first 60 miles of the race with a rear facing camera, do to lack of battery life. I overlayed my GPS, power, speed, cadence, and heart rate data. I also captured the first 40 minutes of the race with a forward facing camera but it was on a plastic mount that was vibrating badly, you will see in the video, and the battery died early on this camera. At the finish line I finished 10th place in this race. 00:33 Start bike camera recordings 6:45 Start neutral roll out 18:25 Start race 32:50 My mechanical 33:45 Start chase after mechanical 34:50 End forward camera 35:00 Avoid crashed riders laying in road 39:30 Catch peleton 2:09:40 Turn onto Hummingbird Highway 2:14:20 Turn onto Constitution Dr. 2:16:15 Turn onto Ring Road 2:21:40 Turn onto Constitution Dr. 2:24:20 Turn onto Hummingbird Highway 2:27:20 Turn onto Western Highway - catch 2nd chase group of about 20 riders

Video: Belize City and Cozumel Cruise

Video: Zip Lining Belize
Zip-riders Howling Hills, an awesome experience!

Channel 7

BTB: Karen Bevans Next Director?
What's next for the Belize Tourism Board? We know all about the tumultuous and disorderly departure of the last director Laura Esquivel after her managers pulled a palace coup on her. So, who's next for this important national organization that's reeling at the highest level? Well, we can confirm that outgoing Chief Operating Officer at BTL Karen Bevans went to meet Minister Manuel Juniour Herredia at BTB to discuss the job today at 2:00 pm. We are told that Bevans, who is leaving BTL after 25 years – much of it in senior management - got the nod from Cabinet last week. She is being handpicked for the job because they hope she can bring some leadership and stability to the organization, which has gone through three directors in six years – two of them resigning after less than two years. And while she is being invited to take up the post, Bevans told us today that she is in discussions about the job, but nothing is formalized and she has not told them yes. Bevans's last day at BTL will be tomorrow.

COLA and The DPP Meet To Discuss Prosecuting Penner
Will Area Representative Elvin Penner appear in Belmopan Court to answer to charges in COLA’s private prosecution? Well, COLA and the DPP are getting ready to go to court tomorrow – but there is a chance Penner might not show up if he hasn’t been served with the court papers. Whatever the case, COLA has retained Kareem Musa, and Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, has asked to join them in the matter. With a trained attorney pressing for them, and the chief prosecuting authority in their corner, they are going to court fully equipped tomorrow. And so this afternoon, all 3 parties met at the DPP's Office in Belize City. When it was finished, the COLA president told us about how the meeting went:

Why Did Whylie Appeal?
But the person in the best position to produce solid evidence against Penner is Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. Viewers may remember that on March 3, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin compelled the commissioner with a Writ of Mandamus to immediately commence an investigation against Penner so that the DPP can be presented with the file for her determination of whether or not he can be criminally charged. Well, Kareem Musa, who was one of the attorneys who represented Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca in the Mandamus hearing, revealed to the media that lead attorney, Edwin Flowers, received a notice of Commissioner Whylie's intent to appeal the writ of Mandamus in the Court of Appeal. COLA and Musa told us today that they interpret this move as the Commissioner still refusing to investigate Penner: Kareem Musa - Attorney for COLA "Unbelievable, Mike, It is totally unbelievable. It is a sad state of affairs that you have the executive arm, which is the Commissioner of Police; he is represented by the Solicitor General, who also, by the way, represents your Prime Minister, and represents all Government Officials, that office has decided to appeal.

Who Gave The Order?
A critical part of Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca's success in the Mandamus case before the Chief Justice was memo between DPP Vidal and the Head of the National Criminal Investigations Branch. In that memo, ASP Julio Valdez was quoted as saying that he got instructions to shut down the initial Penner investigation. Fonseca interpreted that as clear political interference into the police matter, and the Court agreed with him when the Commissioner was compelled to direct another investigation into Penner's involvement. Today, the media caught up with George Lovell, the CEO in the Ministry of National Security and asked him if inquiries were made into where those instructions to ASP Valdez came from. He suggested to reporters that Valdez misunderstood:

CEO Colin Young Talks About His Loan At The National Bank
Last Friday, 7News told you about Manager Jose Marin's acrimonious departure from the National Bank of Belize, only 6 months after the bank first opened its doors. Marin gave a laundry list of reasons for his clashes with the board, but one of the ugly one was his contention that Minister Joy Grant, who is the Chair of the Bank's Board, used her influence to push through a loan for her Ministry's CEO, Colin Young, with a preferential interest rate and preferential terms. That's a major allegation from a veteran banker, for an institution created as a sort of pro-poor initiative to provide banking services at a competitive rate. So, when Young was spotted at another event today, the media made a bee-line for him, and asked him to respond directly to Marin's claim. Here's how he responded:

Major Oil Field In Northern Belize, Not Commercial Yet
And keeping it with the Ministry of Energy, Science and Public Utilities, last night at 7:15, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow wound up the budget debate, he announced that a major oil find had been confirmed by the Oil company Marenco in Northern Belize. And while it is good news, the PM stressed that the oil is under impermeable rock, and it is not a commercial find at this time: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Let me report that yesterday, just yesterday, Marenco completed the drilling and testing of the sub-canal bank well number 3 in Gallon Jug. As a result, they are now able to confirm that there is oil from a depth of 4009 to 4026 feet. The accumulation is between 2,500 and 3,500 acres in extent with a minimum of 50 million barrels of oil." The PM added that enhanced recovery operations requiring significant capital and international expertise will be required to commercialize the find. Today CEO Colin Young elaborated on the specifics of the oil field.

Close Shave With Bus Leaves Four Injured
Last night passengers on a James Express Bus experienced a terrible scare after the bus ran off the road. The bus that had left Belmopan 7 last night en route to Belize City –was making its way through St Matthews Village – when it brushed against an 8 wheeler trailer that was travelling in the opposite direction. That caused a front wheel blow out and the bus ran off the highway. Luckily they were no causalities but 4 passengers had were injured and had to be transported to the Western Regional Hospital. Gary Ayuso who is physiotherapist was a passenger on the bus and today he told us what he remembered. Gary Ayuso – Passenger "The 7 o'clock express from Belmopan to Belize is a James Express. What happened was that it was 18-wheeler trailer with a wide-load. It was a plow, I believe, a very heavy piece of equipment. And the bus was, I'm not sure; I cannot say who was at fault because I was at like third or fourth seat to the front of the bus, when I heard the collision. Right in my mind, something told me, I believed it was God telling me to lock down into the crash position, which I did, and I braced myself properly.

Green Tropics Under The Microscope
Tonight, a joint team of Government officials working in the Agricultural Ministry continues to investigate whether or not Green Tropics damaged over $150,000 in vegetable crops belonging to local farmers from Valley of Peace. 7News understands that the joint team is just about finished with their report, but they are waiting for a chemical test from a lab in Salvador to positively identify the chemical in the herbicide which Green Tropics is being accused of dumping on the crops when their employees did their crop dusting on May 15. But, as we told you last night, we've received reports that there may be a dispute about whether the farmers planted on their own land, and that they could be squatting. Today, 7News was finally able to get in contact with Green Tropics' country representative Beverly Burke to get a comment on the allegation from those 30 local farmers.

Illegal Logging In Stann Creek
We all know about illegal logging of Rosewood, but illegal logging in general continues in southern Belize. For over a week, we've been hearing of illegal timber extraction operations in the Stann Creek District, near Maya Center village and now these pictures obtained by PGTV confirm it. Activist Will Maheia says these pictures were taken in the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve where they saw a bunch of illegally cut hardwoods mainly Barbajalote and Mahogany. There is no permit for the operations, and we are told some of it is being done on slopes which undermines the integrity of the soil. There is no confirmation, but reports suggest the loggers could be Guatemalan.

The Relevance Of an ICT Roadshow
The Caribbean information and Technology Roadshow started in 2009 all across the Caribbean – and this week, it is being held in Belize for the third time – more than any other Caribbean Territory. We found out why it's especially relevant in Belize: As the name suggests, the ICT roadshow is going on the road. It has already been to PG and Belize City, and heads to Corozal on Friday.

Budget Debate: Barrow Roughs Up Francis, Mauls Musa
As we told you last night, the budget debate wound up just as the news was finishing, about 7:40 pm. In his 40 minute closing remarks, the Prime Minister heaped insults on current PUP Leader Francis Fonseca, and former Leader Said Musa. He dealt with Fonseca first – who used the debate to criticize Barrow for his Rolex watches: And while you may think that was rough, it was actually kind compared to the abuse levelled at former leader Said Musa. Musa had said that Barrow went from Hercules to Humpty Dumpty, and Barrow sniped back at the senior parliamentarian:

The Phone Book, Belize's Most Widely Distributed Book?
And moving on from politics now to the most widely distributed book in Belize. It's not the bible, but the phone book. This year's directory was unveiled today, with its usual pomp and ceremony, and the image which made it on the front cover was captured by Darren Lamb, a tour guide from the Cayo District, who went out on a trip to Caye Caulker. His photo entry was chosen from a competition on Facebook in which BTL asked customers to decide on which image is the most appropriate. Today, he received his prizes and recognition for capturing that image, and explained the origin of that photo:

Imports Up, Exports Down In Feb 2014
Latest figures from the statistical institute of Belize shows a contraction in Belize trade imbalance, but compared to last year at this time, imports are growing and exports are going down. According to the SIB, in February imports valued $141.2 million, $7.5 million more than February 2013. Exports for February, 2014 on the other hand were down by 20% and stood at $49.5 million. The SIB states that there were decreased earnings from all major exports except marine products. The largest fall in earnings occurred in the export of sugar, which fell by roughly one-half to $7.7 million.

Conservation, CardioThoracic Surgery Honoured By The Queen
This morning at the Belize House in Belmopan, three men were officially appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of the New Year Honours 2014. They are the FCD's Rafael Manzanero for his contribution to Environmental Protection; the KHMH's Chief of Staff, Dr. Adrian Coye for his contribution to Medicine and both Manzanero and Dr. Coye received the insignia of Ordinary Officers of the Civil Division The public service commission's Rodney Harold Neal received the insignia of Ordinary Member of the Civil Division for his contribution to the Public Service.

Channel 5

Maranco confirms possible reserve of fifty million barrels of oil in South Canal Bank
Almost one year ago, on March thirtieth 2013, Maranco Energy Belize Limited announced that it had found an encouraging oil show at its South Canal Bank number one exploration well. [...]

Government appeals order of CJ directing ComPol to investigate Elvin Penner
More than six months ago, former Minister of State Elvin Penner was implicated in the facilitation of fraudulent Belizean nationality and a fraudulent Belizean passport for a South Korean national [...]

Still no update on criminal investigation of Penner
Since we were circling the subject of the criminal investigation of former Minister of State Elvin Penner, News Five came right out and asked National Security C.E.O., George Lovell, for [...]

COLA and D.P.P. prepare for case against Elvin Penner
The status of the criminal investigation might be very much in the air at this point, but a private criminal case has been lodged against former Minister of State Elvin [...]

Godwin Hulse concerned about criminal investigation into missing files
While the COLA and the D.P.P. prepare to head to court on Thursday, the status of the criminal investigation ordered by the court is still up in the air. Now, [...]

Minister Hulse says Penner has been punished for passport scandal
Minister Hulse says that the files on Won Hong Kim are still missing and that has caused setbacks in the investigations. But Hulse went on a limb to protect former [...]

Passenger bus crashes into towhead on George Price Highway
There were no less than five accidents over the weekend and on Tuesday night, another occurred on the George Price Highway. A bus loaded with passengers was travelling to Belize, [...]

Roaring Creek resident injured in Hit and Run near Cotton Tree Village
Earlier in the day, there was yet another traffic accident on the same stretch of the George Price Highway. This time, it was a hit and run accident which sent [...]

Single engine Cessna found in Spanish Lookout was used to transport drugs
On Tuesday night we reported that a single engine plane had crashed landed at Spanish Lookout, Cayo and left abandoned on a feeder road. The pilot or passengers were nowhere [...]

Annual Caribbean ICT Show gets on the road
Today, the annual Caribbean ICT Road Show touched down in Belize City, as part of its countrywide awareness tour. The tour is a collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Energy, [...]

Did Jose Marin drag his heels on disbursing a large loan to C.E.O. Colin Young?
March twenty-first was Jose Marin’s last day as Managing Director of the newly minted National Bank of Belize. The career banker was hired and flaunted as the integrity figurehead of [...]

Extra-duty payments outstanding for at least 500 Police Officers
In the past week, News Five has received multiple reports indicating that extra-duty payments for at least five hundred Police Officers have been delayed. We went digging for answers, and [...]

2 Guatemalans caught with firearms in Chiquibul
Two Guatemalan nationals were busted on Monday morning in the Chiquibul National Park. Police report that the officers of the Special Patrol Branch conducted a search on them that yielded [...]

Firefighters get motorcycles to ease efforts of fire prevention
The efforts of fire prevention is about to get easier for firefighters. This afternoon, the National Fire Service received a fleet of eleven motorcycles which will be used by personnel [...]

National Security C.E.O. says more police officers to be placed on city streets
During the Budget Debate on Monday, Minister of National Security John Saldivar reported that B.D.F. personnel on Belize City streets will soon be pulled out. It’s a move that has [...]


Remanded For Intent to Steal Chain While Armed
Two persons, 19 year old Justin Hyde and 19 year old Ian Adolphus, were charged with aggravated burglary when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. According to the allegation, Hyde and Adolphus, whilst armed with a firearm, entered as trespassers, the dwelling house of Ivan Harris, located on North Creek Road, with the intent to steal two gold chains. Harris was alerted to the burglary and when the intruders saw him they ran. Harris called the police and police pursued the suspects and apprehended them. Hyde and Adolphus pled not guilty to the charge. The court could not offer them bail because the offence was committed with a firearm. They were remanded into custody until May 14. Hyde was represented by attorney Kevin Arthurs.

Honors Bestowed Upon Outstanding Contributors in Belize
The recipients of the New Year’s honors today were officially appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of their outstanding contributions to Belize. Rafael Manzanero was honored for his contribution to Environmental Protection; Dr. Adrian Alexander Coye for his contribution to Medicine and Rodney Harold Neal for his contribution to the Public Service. Both Manzanero and Dr. Coye received the insignia of Ordinary Officers of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire while Neal received the insignia of Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Governor General Sir Colville Young expressed his gratitude to the men for their hard work and dedication to Belize.


Overhanging Tractor Rips Oncoming Bus; Passengers Injured
There was a traffic accident on the George Price Highway where the side of a bus was opened like a tin can by the rake sticking out of the side of a farming machine. Emanuel Pech has the story. Emanuel Pech reporting: About 18 to 20 passengers were on...

Health Officials Discuss Counterfeit Medicines in Belize
The Pharmacists’ Association of Belize leveled a whopping accusation against the Ministry of Health a few weeks ago. It stated that “Belize is plagued with a myriad of issues related to the quality of pharmaceuticals’ and cited some of those problems as “counterfeit medications, prescription medications sold over the...

Who Pushed Mr. Jose Marin from the National Bank?
The National Bank of Belize has been embroiled in controversy since last week when managing director Jose Marin announced his resignation, ostensibly because he could not see eye-to-eye with the board of directors chaired by Senator and Minister Joy Grant. But Grant’s understudy, CEO Dr. Colin Young, has been...

Woman Escapes Rape in Sea at Punta Gorda
A 24-year-old German National says she was almost raped while swimming in the sea in Punta Gorda. The woman says on Sunday afternoon, she went for a swim at Front Street Punta Gorda Town by the Warf and noticed that there was a male person in the water. While...

Crashed Plane Believed to Be Drug Vessel
Yesterday we told you about the crashed airplane that was found in Spanish Lookout. Today, police issued a report saying that they believe the plane was a drug vessel. The aircraft was found in an area of Spanish Lookout on a feeder road near the Lagoon. The partially burned...

Motorcycle Accident in Belmopan
There was another accident in the Belmopan area in front of Shanghai gas station on the Hummingbird Highway. A 2006 RAV SUV driven at the time by 30 yr old Jian Xinyu was travelling from a south to north direction in front of Gallardo’s glass shop. A motorcycle was...

Oil Found in Gallon Jug
Late yesterday in wrapping up the budget debate, Prime Minister Dean Barrow reported that oil prospectors Maranco had struck a huge reservoir of petroleum in southern Orange Walk near Gallon Jug. There is still much work to do before the find can be deemed commercial – that is, if...

Missing Persons Found Alive and Well
A missing woman has been found safe and in good health. 41 year old Rosa Tobar was reported missing by her daughter on Sunday but she has since been located at the grandmother’s house in Punta Gorda Town in good health. Another reported missing person was Tori Conorque. She...

Authorities Found Armed Guatemalans in Belizean Territory
On Monday morning, while police were conducting foot patrol in the Chiquibul National Park they encountered two Hispanic males in Belizean territory. One of the male persons had a point 22 rifle slung on his back and the other a 9mm pistol. Both persons were searched which led to the...


More Beautiful Weather, Belize-Perfect Banana Bread and The Island’s Best Burger Confirmed
Yesterday was a gorgeous day (as is today) but I’m going to start out with the MOST perfect recipe that is so totally Belize. Double Chocolate Banana Bread from Smitten Kitchen. I was turned on to Deb’s blog The Smitten Kitchen about a year ago. She is married to a high school classmate of mine and she is inspiring, funny, a gorgeous food photographer and just easy to follow. Very important for the person who turns on her oven just a few times a year. And now random topic #3…I went to a party last night at DJ’s Seaside Restaurant and can confirm that their burger REMAINS the best in San Pedro. The bun, the meat, the sauce…all together, it’s simple and absolutely, ridiculously delicious.

Belize gets Nod as First of Ten Best Dives in North America
The Jacksonville Business Journal just did an article (March 23, 2014) on the ten best dive spots in North America. And who came in as number one? Belize’s Half Moon Caye, which is indeed one of the top dives in the country, and not far from the famous Blue Hole, probably the most iconic and certainly most photographed dive hole on the planet ever since being made popular by Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso documentary (go ahead, hit Google and see…). And these are just two of many incredible dives along the 180-mile Belize Great Barrier Reef. That’s the beauty of the Belize’s Great Barrier Reef – it puts you close to so many very different dives that you can get a week’s worth of variety in one day. Here’s what the Jacksonville Business Journal had to say about Half Moon Caye: 1. Dive: Half Moon Caye, Belize Half Moon Caye in Belize offers divers the chance to go on a wall dive–a dive in which the vertical facades of the earth’s landmasses are explored. The depths at Half Moon Caye (and really at any wall dive) are tremendous, giving you the very correct feeling that you are staring into an abyss. The waters at Half Moon Caye are particularly clear, despite the depth, so you will be able to see all manner of wildlife, including loggerhead turtles, rays, barracuda, and eels. Other noteworthy spots were in the British Virgin Islands, Point Lobos, Carmel, California, Keahole Point, Hawaii and the ironically named Ray of Hope shipwreck in the Bahamas.

How to Make Homemade Corn Tortillas
I use the Harina de Maiz to make homemade corn tortillas. Just by adding a few ingredients to the instant corn flour, in no time at we have fresh homemade corn tortillas.

10 must-have Belize souvenirs
Whenever I travel I make sure to carry extra cash and have additional space in my bags for cool souvenirs. However, many times due to being overwhelmed by options or time constraints, I end up buying ridiculous things. That’s annoying, right? During your trip to Belize you’ll witness a wide variety of keepsakes and fortunately, I’m here to help by providing a short list of the best stuff you can take home. From rum, beers or chocolate, to wooden bowls and amazing Mayan baskets, here’s a list of 10 must have Belizean souvenirs.

International Sources

Why I Continue To Recommend Belize
by Kathleen Peddicord of Live and Invest Overseas. My first trip to Belize, coming up on 30 years ago, was organized courtesy of the Belize Tourism Authority. I was a starting-out travel writer; the BTA was looking for press. This was well pre-"Survivor," pre-"Temptation Island." The only people who knew this tiny country existed way back then were divers and backpackers. And Morley Safer. Around this time, Mr. Safer broadcast a "60 Minutes" segment from Belize, in which he traveled the Belize River in a small wooden boat. From that humble perch, on the river, looking up into the camera, Morley declared: "The good news from Belize news from Belize."

Lo splendido Belize, tra Maya e Caraibi
Il Belize è uno dei Paesi con il più alto tasso di biodiversità del mondo: oltre il 90% del territorio è ricoperto da foreste incontaminate e vanta la più grande barriera corallina dell’Emisfero Boreale, nel mondo seconda solo a quella australiana. E in più, interessanti ed affascinanti siti Maya immersi in scenari suggestivi. Tra le attrazioni dell’unico paese anglofono del Centro America (era una colonia inglese), Placencia, penisola all’estremità meridionale del Paese; palme che ombreggiano la sabbia bianca, e mare caraibico. A un’ora e mezza di barca da Placencia, lo splendore di Glovers Reef, Patrimonio dell’Unesco, che molti considerano tra le più belle immersioni dei Caraibi Occidentali. Vedi anche la grande voragine blu del Belize, Caye Caulker, un’isola da sogno nel Belize, e Cayo Espanto: un resort da sogno in Belize. E le immersioni continuano a Silk Caye, nei pressi della barriera corallina, dove ci si immerge tra squali balena, tartarughe e mante, Pompion Caye, dove si scende lungo un a parete ricca di granchi, aragoste e tartarughe, e South Water Caye e Grand Channel, tra una miriade di pesci tropicali, squali nutrici e tartarughe, ma anche spugne, coralli, gamberi, pesci angelo e pappagallo. La natura dell’entroterra offre il Monkey River, il fiume che scorre nella fluorescente foresta del Belize, ricco di mangrovie e pesci, ma anche di iguane, coccodrilli e uccelli e habitat naturale della scimmia urlatrice. E poi il Blue Hole National Park, dove vivono molte specie di animali, tra cui il giaguaro, l’ocelotto, felino selvatico, 200 varietà di volatili e dove si trova il famoso Inland Blue Hole, una piscina naturale di acqua dolce che cela numerose grotte sommerse. E dalla natura si passa all’archeologia, con i siti Maya di Xunantunich e Caracol, una delle città Maya più estese con migliaia di strutture tra le quali domina, con i suoi 42 m di altezza, Caana, il palazzo del cielo, e le grotte di Actun Tunichil Muknal, un sistema sotterraneo che si estende per 5 km lungo un fiume sotterraneo, dove tra stalattiti e stalagmiti sono stati scoperti numerosi oggetti cerimoniali.

Diving into biodiversity
Victoria Erb stood in the back of the boat with her classmates and watched three sharks cut through the crystal clear water of Belize’s Great Blue Hole. The senior biology major then did the one thing the vast majority of people in this situation absolutely would not do. She dove in. Assisted by funding from Wake Forest’s biology department, the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES), and the Center for Global Programs and Studies, Erb and 14 of her peers traveled to Belize’s Lighthouse Reef Atoll, part of Belize’s Barrier Reef, to study an estimated 500 species of reef fishes and 86 species of soft and hard corals. The Blue Hole was one of many stops the students, currently taking the Ecology and Conservation of Coral Reefs class, made during the spring break trip.

UN Praises Tsunami Drill in the Caribbean
The United Nations EDucation, Science, and Culture Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) organized today in the Caribbean a tsunami drill to evaluate the regional response capacity to those events, highlighted United Nations. According to a press release, 31 countries were part of the exercise, consisting of a fictitious tsunami, 430 km west of the coast of Gibraltar, from the model of the earthquake and tsunami reported in that area on November 1st, 1755. Records of the time pick up that the phenomenon struck Portugal, Spain, the Caribbean and North Africa; 20 minutes after the earthquake hit Lisbon, and Antigua and Barbuda after about nine hours. The simulacrum came from issued alerts to the participants from anti-tsunami centers of the Pacific and United States.

The Caribbean’s Best Boutique Hotels
What makes a boutique hotel … boutique? Is boutique just another word for a small hotel? Is a boutique hotel a small hotel with an upscale image, a unique design or a special theme? There are so many special small hotels in the Caribbean where you can hide away right in the middle of it all, and these small gems are at the heartbeat of the Caribbean. We think a boutique hotel should be very small — no more than 25 rooms. But small is by no means short on hospitality or service levels, experiences or amenities. Indeed, it’s quite the opposite. A well-managed boutique hotel oozes charm, personal service and luxury. Congratulations to the 25 Best Boutique Hotels of the Caribbean for 2014!

Belize: Beautiful by Land and by Sea
It's my first time in a tiny 12–seater plane and despite being a little bit nerve–racking, the view below is breathtaking. Bright, lightning streaks of red-clay roads cut through hundreds of miles of trees and muddied rivers. This is the first leg of my surf and turf tour of Belize and my fourth flight of the day. I started out from Mexico City, then puddle–jumped to San Salvador, San Jose, and finally Belize City, where I and the group I'm with loaded into a Maya Island Air charter flight headed to Chaa Creek Resort, a 30–minute ride into the interior of Belize. The airport in Cayo, where we land, feels like an isolated outpost straight from "Out of Africa." We are escorted to Chaa Creek as dusk falls and are greeted with chilled towels and jamaica water. I can already feel the humidity melting my achey muscles and the night is starting to come alive with crickets and tree frogs. Chaa Creek is a 365–acre resort in western Belize established by Mick and Lucy Fleming in the early eighties when they came down to carve out their own little piece of paradise. They started with a few simple cabins for visiting friends and the place has grown to include 23 palm–thatched villas, a nature center, a medicinal trail through the rainforest, a butterfly house, an infinity swimming pool, an organic farm, horse stables, and a wood–working shop.

March 26, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

The Belize National Youth Consultation 2014 comes to San Pedro
Over the past few months, The Ministry of Education and Youth has been hosting youth consultations across Belize in an effort to not only promote but to set the foundation for the Belize National Youth Development Policy. On Friday, March 21st the countywide initiative came to San Pedro. Young leader from both San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den, where they learned more about the youth policy. The event started shortly after 10:30AM with the National Anthem being sang by San Pedro’s very own choir, Heaven Voice. Clive Welsh continued with a short prayer, after which Nomar Bembridge, Manager of the Belize Youth for the Future Governance Unit, addressed the group on the importance of implementing the youth policy.

Running Rebels falls to the mighty Tigersharks in Orange Walk
The San Pedro Tigershaks basketball team picked up their fifth consecutive win in week seven of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL). On Saturday March 22nd the Tigersharks travelled to “Suga City” where they faced off the Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multipurpose Sports Complex. The home team was unable to hold on to the home court advantage and in the fourth quarter of the game, fell by 13 points against the visiting team. San Pedro Town’s Michael Adams opened the scoreboard when he caught one of two foul shots awarded to him in the first five seconds of the game. But Orange Walk’s Tyron Baptist responded with a two point basket, giving the home team an early lead. The Tigershark’s veteran player Rico Black then made a stellar appearance early in the game when he caught his first shot – a three pointer, putting the game 2 to 4 in favor of the visiting boys. A few seconds after, Adams made his presence felt a second time when he caught a two pointer, adding to the lead. But the Running Rebels pressured hard and hung in the game and by the time the first quarter ended, the San Pedro Tigersharks were only leading by one point (18-17).

In the Americas, one in five people with tuberculosis is unaware of the disease
One in five people infected with tuberculosis in the Americas remains unaware of the disease, whether due to failure to access health services or because they are not properly diagnosed, according to estimates by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). In 2012, almost 220,000 cases were reported, and an estimated 19,000 people died from tuberculosis in the Americas. Furthermore, an additional 60,000 people are believed to have TB who have not yet been diagnosed or reported. This situation not only endangers their lives, it also facilitates further transmission of tuberculosis, and generates socioeconomic costs for individuals and their communities. “The diagnosis and treatment of all people affected by TB can only succeed if all health providers, community organizations, partners, and countries join forces to detect and treat these 60,000 people”, stated PAHO/WHO Director Carissa F. Etienne, referring to the “Diagnosis and Treatment for All” slogan of this year’s World TB Day commemoration. “Universal access to high-quality health services through primary health care-based health systems will help to reduce the toll of TB and to ensure that all peoples in the region of the Americas live long, productive lives”, she added.

“Deal with the Devil” wing eating competition at Lazy Croc’s a hot success!
Taking on the challenge first was local business owner, “Wade the Gringo” of Roadkill Bar. This would be the moment of truth, with six minutes on the clock and the signal to start, Wade went in on the six piece plate set out before him. In a matter of seconds Wade was through, however it was time for “the wait” that would make him the first winner if he could withstand the burn. Though uneasy and clearly very uncomfortable, a sweat drenched Wade managed not to give in and took the prize! Congratulations to Lazy Croc for a great event and to Wade the Gringo for taking on the “Deal with the Devil” and winning $1000 Grand Prize! We’d like to know what counter- offer Wade gave the devil to take this first of its kind win! All we know is that Wade will never be able to take on the challenge again-game rules!

25 Years Ago: San Pedro Islanders Loved Windy Days!
Strong breezy or windy days might cause some measures of discomfort today and for that matter they are disliked. However I can assure you that windy conditions were loved very much 25 years ago and for good reasons. The children of San Pedro especially liked those windy days because it was good business for them. The strong winds tended to blow the sand away and pile it up further down the street. At some street junctions the sand was blown off all the way to a solid hard crust. Naturally only sand was blown away; coins like nickels, dimes, quarters and half dollars or 50 cent coins remained. And here is where the children did their good business. They would try to be the first to get up on windy days and be the first to arrive at these spots to look for lost coins. As the saying goes: “The early bird catches the worm,” the children who got there early were able to collect quite a fortune considering that finding a half dollar back then would be like finding 20 dollars today. You would not like to see the fight that ensued when two kids spotted a coin simultaneously.

Ambergris Today

Eastern Division Personnel Conduct Successful Operations on Ambergris Caye
On Thursday, March 20, 2014, a team comprising of 47 personnel from Eastern Police Division, headed by Sr. Supt. Edwards Broaster descended to the island of San Pedro to conduct police operations. The team consisted of personnel from the Gang Supression Unit (GSU), including its commander Supt Linden Flowers, Special Branch, ITUnit, Anti Drug Unit, ED Quick Response Team, Belize Defense Force BDF) and Coast Guard. The team operated on the island from Thursday, March 20, 2014 to Saturday, March 22, 2014, conducting searches on premises and persons suspected to be involved in illegal activities, vehicular check points, mobile and foot patrols. A team of SB/GSU along with Coast Guard Personnel also made maritime patrols along the coast, north of San Pedro.

Letters To The Editor: Forgiveness, Justice and Peace
by Chris Emmanuel. The first day I arrived in San Pedro was the “Justice for Jeffrey – Peace Walk” ironically I counseled both Raphael and Jeffrey about anger and ego issues. No one is perfect and we all have issues. When we feel someone has wronged us it takes great strength to turn the other cheek meaning to give the opposite of what is expected – For instance, if someone gives you the gift of hate or anger to turn it into the best possible kind act – To do our best to turn away from retaliation. Truly we hope to have laws to do justice and to set an example for the young in our lives. For the last few days I did my own Walk for Peace. Ironically I had almost lost my voice being silent for most of the time. Thinking about all the harsh words I have used in San Pedro. Just with my words it struck me so hard. Also having lost two members of my family to cancer in the last year compounded my silence as I went about my day. Our lives are so precious. Both these young men had potential to do great things in life. I remember the joy on Jeffrey’s face when he had saved a man from drowning. We all need to work harder in our little San Pedro to creat and keep the paradise that is that number one island.

Misc Belizean Sources

Illegal logging activity uncovered in the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve
Community activist and leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers Wil Maheia is reporting the discovery of an illegal logging operation in the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve. According to Maheia, he and a group including another member of the Belize Territorial Volunteers went to investigate reports that Guatemalans were engaged in the […]

SATIIM injuction application to be heard on Thursday
The application for an injunction against US Capital Energy by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management is scheduled to be heard on Thursday in the Supreme Court. Last week SATIIM went to the Supreme Court alleging that US Capital “has been working around the clock engaging in pre-drilling activities, which […]

Preschoolers take part in Cultural Expo in Corozal town
DEVON YOUNG Reporting: Today was culture day for Preschoolers in the Corozal district. The Cultural Expo, which was held at the Central Park, was part of activities for Child Stimulation Month. It featured the children dressed in clothing relating to the Mestizo, Garinagu, Chinese, Hindu and Creole. The children also performed cultural dances depicting the […]

Deon McCaulay scores in pre-season game
Belizean football superstar Deon McCaulay has scored his first goal with his new team, the Atlanta Silverbacks. According to a story on the team’s web page, McCaulay scored the first of the team’s 3 goals late in the first half as the Silverbacks defeated the University of Birmingham-Alabama in a pre-season […]

Single engine plane crashes near Spanish Lookout
A small plane has crashed in a remote area of the Cayo district. Details are sketchy and the police department is yet to release any information, but sources say the plance crashed early this morning in an area of northern Spanish Lookout. It does not appear that anyone was hurt and […]

Four people,including two students, reported missing
Four people have been reported missing in the Cayo and Toledo districts. The Tobar family of Mafredi village, Toledo, is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a loved one. Rosa Tobar left her house in Mafredi village on Sunday afternoon around 3 pm. She did not tell her children where […]

Car and motorcycle collide on the Phillip Goldson Highway
Traffic was backed up for a brief time this morning on the Phillip Goldson Highway in Belize City because of a collision involving a car and a motorcycle. The incident happened on the highway in front of the Benny’s Apartments. The exact details of what transpired are not yet known, but […]

The Price of Beans & Corn in Belize
Corn and beans are staples in the Belizean diet…..but with the wholesale price of corn now at $30.50/100 lbs and red-kidney beans at $210/100 lbs….dinner tables across the jewel are fast seeking substitutes for these. Twenty years ago….the bulk of these commodities were produced by hundreds of small, traditional milpa farmers. The price of corn […]

Government reacts to EU fisheries ban on Belize
The government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has reacted “with concern” to the news that the European Union has blacklisted Belize as a country that is not cooperating in the fight against illegal fishing. The ban on Fisheries products was announced on Monday and joining Belize on the blacklist were Cambodia […]

The Police Press Office confirms that on Monday, March 24 several students were reported missing. At 4:30p.m., Markeisha Thomas of #4 Sapodilla Street, Belmopan visited the Belmopan Police Station and reported that her 13-year-old daughter Touri Conorque, a Belizean Student did not return from school at the time she usually does. Touri Conorque is of brown complextion, has 5ft 5in in height, weighs 110lbs, slim built, has brown eyes and was last seen wearing her school uniform which is a light brown blouse and khaki brown jumper. Police are investigating. At 5:45p.m. Noemi Polanco of St. Luke Street, Belmopan City visited the Belmopan Police station and reported that at 7:00a.m. her 15-year-old daughter Ami Rosani Polanco 3rd form student of same address left en route to school and has not returned home since. Rosani Polanco is of clear complexion, 5ft in height, has short curly hair. (picture shown)

Important Invitation to all Industry Stakeholders in Corozal - The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), is pleased to announce that Belize will be hosting the Caribbean Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Road Show this Friday March - 28th, 2014 Corozal Town commencing from 9:00 a.m. at the Corozal Community College. Stakeholders will have hardware, technological equipment and latest gadgets on display. You don't want to miss this ICT Road Show coming at your doorstep in Corozal. The ICT Road Show is a joint initiative of the MESTPU and CTU and is a part of a regional effort to foster innovative use of ICT in Caribbean countries for national and regional development. It is specifically designed to raise awareness within the public and private sectors, civil society and academia of the innovative approaches required for the effective application of ICT in government, business and social development geared at enhancing Belize’s global competitiveness.

Corozal to observe EARTH HOUR
Friends of Corozal United for Sustainability (FOCUS) in conjunction with the Corozal Town Council, other environmental groups, friends and schools proudly announce its annual event: Earth Hour to be held Saturday March 29th at 7:00 P.M. at the Corozal Central Park.

Reason to Retire in Corozal
Belize is just plain beautiful. Our "norteños' are the hardest working and friendliest people in Belize. From its Caribbean shores to its jungle interior, this nation has great natural beauty to recommend it–blue water and deserted beaches, inland retreats where jaguar and scarlet macaw still live in their natural habitats. While it’s true that Belize is not the most affordable place to buy property, this country offers economic stability, ease of living, and a cost of living that, while not dirt-cheap, is nevertheless a good value when you compare it with that of other Caribbean retreats. With its close proximity to our Mexican neighbours, Corozal offers the lowest cost of living in Belize. Easy shopping in Chetumal, MX.

St. Luke's Primary School to Receive Musical Equipment Under CAPS Project
Government of Belize Press Office

The Organization of American States in conjunction with the University of Information, Science and Technology, namely “St. Paul the Apostle” [in Ohrid, former Yugoslav Republic of macedonia] herein offer Bachelor Degree Scholarships , duration 4 years, in English. All information regarding the programs is available at . The program application deadline has been established at April 30, 2014 and the scholarship application deadline at May 15, 2014.

The Mexican Authorities herein offer Bachelor Degree Scholarships in the fields of (1) Public Administration and Policy and (2) International Relations for the academic period 2014 to 2018 at the El Colegio de Mexico. The application deadline has been established at May 2, 2014.

If you think you are the candidate we are looking for please fill the form below and send it to [email protected] by March 28, 2014 or send to the Road Safety Project Management Unit with attention to Ms. Jewel Crawford, Director, Department of Youth Services before the mentioned deadline.

Government of Belize Press Office

Rescue Swimmer Class Belize
Fire Management Consultant International and Robert's Grove Beach Resort Presenting Ocean Rescue Swimmer Class This course will cover basic water rescue skills needed for Surface Water Rescue and Surf Rescue requirements. Motorized Rescue Boat Training will also be conducted to improve boat handling skills in the surf and open water. Class will include information on the aquatic environment, a thorough explanation of the drowning process, how to perform a rescue in the open water environment, use of basic and advanced rescue equipment, medical care of injuries specific to the aquatic environment, search and rescue procedures. May 20, 21, 22 Class starts at 08:00

Revolution Artistry Makeup Class
Revolution Artistry had a Makeup Class at the SISE House of Culture. In related news, they'll be at the Cayo Welcome Center this Saturday, and have Katrina Cosmetics on sale. "San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture hosting a Revolution Artistry session."

March Out Youth Rally
The March Out Youth Rally will be at the Cayo Welcome Center this Saturday, March 29th, starting at 6:00pm. They have a nice promo video for it. David Smith, Bethany Ann, Kudzae, and Mission 3:16 will all be performing. "LISTEN UP! For those of you who would like to go the Rally but don't have a way to be there, We will be providing transportation in the form of a bus leaving the Belmopan Market square at 5PM SHARP this saturday! It will be at a cost of $3 one-way and $5 Round-trip! Doesn't get any better than that! All road's lead to cayo - there's no excuse! SEE YOU THERE!!!"

Tanya Carter Cayo Concert
Tanya Carter is going to have a concert in Benque this Saturday, March 29th, at Club Onyx. You can get tickets at Masabaduga restaurant at the Cayo Welcome Center. "Just around the corner for the first time in the west people, Belize's very own Tanya Carter performing live in Club Onyx (formerly los angeles in Benque). This the bigest event ever!! Tickets now on sale at the Masabaduga Restaurant in the welcome center or call 600-4057. Dis event wah TUN OVA!"

Natural Resource Management Symposium
The 8th annual Natural Resource Management Symposium is tomorrow, March 26th, at UB's Jaguar auditorium. This year's keynote speaker will be Jenelle Chanona. The theme is, 'multidisciplinary strategies to achieving sustainable socio-economic development in Belize through effective natural resource management.'

Da Dun Fine Art
19th Da Dun Exhibition

Power interruption 8:00am to 12:00noon on Wednesday, March 26, Stann Creek: entire Hopkins Village and Sittee Point. BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines at Sittee Point and adjust high voltage lines on Hopkins Road.

Emergency power interruption 9:00am to 12:00noon on Wednesday, March 26: the entire Northern portion of San Pedro Town from Boca del Rio onwards. BEL to conduct urgent repairs of hot spots at San Pedro Substation.

SI United Tie Freedom Fighters
The San Ignacio United tied the PG Freedom Fighters, 0-0. "Picture gallery of our home match against PG. 23-3-14"

UB's Mar/Apr Newsletter
The University of Belize has another issue of their e-magazine out. "UB Black Jaguars win in Basketball, Environmental Research Institute gets new building and other stories."

St. Luke's Primary School to Receive Musical Equipment Under CAPS Project
Government of Belize Press Office

Lifeline is hosting its annual Black and White Gala on Friday, March 28th in #Belize City
Lifeline Black and White Gala is this Friday 28th March, 2014 at the House of Culture. “Lifeline Foundation” is a philanthropic charity trust geared towards raising money to benefit children at schools and orphanages who are in dire need of assistance in the form of feeding programs, medical care, and educational materials. “Lifeline Foundation” is committed to carrying out positive and impacting projects to help improve the quality of lives of our precious Belizean children.

Video: Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington fires a broadside into the PUP center

Video: Go Pro Ambergris Caye, Belize 2013

Video: Belize GRAIN GROWERS Association
This commercial was Recorded and Produced by SHAMAX Production Packages are available to suit your budget. Packages: Category 1 -(3D, Special Effects, Actors etc.) *Category 2 -(Acting, Special effects etc.)

Video: PINE LUMBER Company - Products
This commercial was Recorded and Produced by SHAMAX Production

Video: Day One of Two Day Budget Debate 2014
8.5 minutes

Video: Day 2 of budget debate

Video: iDive Belize Turneffe Atoll Series
ALL IN A DAYS WORK- Three Dives, What You See is What You Get. NO STOCK IMAGES- All marine life images were obtained on this single day trip based from Blackbird Caye within The Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve.

Video: Belize-half moon
17minutes. Using go pro for the first time with a red lens cover,work great in about 60ft of water...... viz over 100ft

Video: Sunset Sailing Cruise E-Z Boy Tours Caye Caulker, Belize
Enjoying a Sunset/Booze Sailing Cruise tour around the island of Caye Caulker, Belize on board the 'Inri' sailboat of E-Z Boy Tours.

Video: Go Pro Ambergris Caye, Belize 2013
5 minutes

Channel 7

Mystery Plane Burnt Up West Of Spanish Lookout
Tonight police and Civil Aviation Authorities are trying to determine the origins and destination of a mystery plane that had a crash landing west of Spanish Lookout early this morning in an area known as Green Hills. Police have confirmed that the plane, believed to be a Cessna 210 single engine crash landed on an abandoned road two and a half miles from the Guatemalan border. It is believed to have attempted a landing on the dirt road, and then ran off the road. After that, the occupants are believed to have deliberately set it on fire and then fled. There are no signs that anyone was seriously hurt. But really there are no signs of anything! There are also no identifiable marks on the plane, no cargo, no id's, no nothing, because it was completely destroyed by fire - save for the tail section. Because of the fact that it was attempting to land in the pre-dawn hours, and that it was deliberately destroyed, the suspicion is that it was a drug plane, and the illicit cargo was removed.

House Speaker Scolds Representatives for Lightweight Debate
At this hour, the budget debate is deep into its second day at the House of Representatives in Belmopan. Only 13 of the 31 members spoke yesterday, and so far today, 14 more have spoken - bringing the total to 27 of 31. Elvin Penner didn't show up, and Michael Finnegan is not expected to speak, so there are two representatives left to go. So, the debate will rage into the night, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow will wind it up, probably around 7:30 or 7:45 pm. But, while this year's debate is lengthy, many observers have commented that it lacks substance, and has disintegrated to little more than unenlightened name-calling, endless self-aggrandizement, silly catch phrases and wide, elliptical digressions.

Hon. Ramirez Uses An Ugly Word On The UDP
That was this morning. But by the early afternoon, after a marathon one hour thirty-eight minute presentation from Pickstock Representative Wilfred Elrington, the PUP's Ramiro Ramirez weighed in. But when members on the UDP bench started to snipe at him under the microphone - he called one of them a "punk" - which enraged the Speaker again - here's that exchange:.. Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Corozal Southwest "You want to talk to me? Why don't you shut up, that is your puppet, why don't you shut up. I was waiting for you, but you were a coward." Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House "Member, make your presentation. Minister let him make his presentation." Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Corozal Southwest "He is a big mouth man." Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House "Don't say that man." Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Corozal Southwest "Let us continue."

"The Noodles Budget"? Really?
And one recurring theme in the lightweight debate of 2014, is noodles, Ramen Noodles to be exact. At a GST-free 50 cents per pack, it's poor people's food - and Belizeans consume 960 thousand single packs of Ramen per month. That prompted the Leader of The Opposition in his official response to called it a "noodles-budget". He did so yesterday with an extended commentary, the after effects of which were still being felt today:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Noodles budget; more and more Belizean families forced on to a steady diet of ramens, a steady diet of noodles and you can pick your flavor. You know on the street Mr. Speaker every flavor got a minister name, on the street everyone got a name; chicken is after the honorable member for Port Loyola. Chicken is Boots. Beef is the honorable member for Cayo Central and of course Mr. Speaker the big boss is given the privilege of having the name for Shrimp." Hon. Mark King, Lake Independence "Well Mr. Speaker I can tell him: I don't know where he grew up, but I grew up eating corn beef, I still eat sausage, sardine and damn right I eat noodles with my kids every single day."

The Stones That The Leader Refused Are King's Cornerstones
Another subject of debate was the manual labour driven infrastructure projects implemented by the UDP as a means of job creation. The Leader of the Opposition called it a "bruk-stone" job creation, which the representative of one of the poorest areas embraced:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "The UDP jobs plan Mr. Speaker is to send you to break stone on street." Hon. Mark King, Lake Independence "Well my goodness Mr. Speaker I can tell you in Lake Independence men are not playing to break stones. Mr. Speaker, when the young men and women in this country are out there breaking stones and sweating to take home a salary every week to feed their families, I encourage them to break more stones."

GOB Balks At Fisheries Ban
As we told you last night, the European Union has enacted a fisheries ban on Belize, along with Cambodia and Guinea. The Europeans say Belize is a 'non-cooperating third country' in the fight against illegal fishing. This comes after the Government nationalized Immarbe, which is the ships register, and passed a new High Seas Fishing Act. But it wasn't enough, and the Europeans enacted the ban. Well today Government issued an indignant, huffy press release basically saying, they "can't believe the Europeans did that!" The release says quote, "Belize has taken all necessary steps required by the E.U's Directorate General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing." End quote. And, so the government concludes that the EU Council is using outdated information and not taking into account of the measures adopted by Belize within the last six months - even though EU Officials visited in January. That includes a two hundred thousand US dollar contract with a South African Company to monitor Belize flagged vessels.

Man Shot In Ladyville Lay in Bush For Hours
Yesterday we told you about a shooting in Ladyville that happened right up the street from the police station. Reports are that the shooting took place at around 6:30 yesterday morning through a picado road that leads to the Japan area of the village. Corey Usher and another man were riding on bicycles when they were followed and attacked by a gunman. They tried to escape but Usher was shot multiple times - twice to the back and once to the leg. HE lay helpless for over 8 hours fighting to survive in the bushes. He was found at around 3 yesterday afternoon and was rushed to the KHMH emergency. Today his sister spoke with the media about his condition. Voice of: Sister of Corey Usher "He is doing well. He has lost a lot of blood because he got shot from 6am and they found him at 3pm. He was lying in the bushes for 9 hours, he ran far for his life. So right now he is doing okay. He is waiting for an x-ray to see of he needs to get surgery because one of the bullets supposed to graze his spine."

Police Move On "Weedists" After Shooting
And following up on that wild Sunday shootout in Ladyville….it happened on Pigeon Street, where bullets rang out and penetrated the homes of unsuspecting residents. Police immediately went on a round up operation and busted 6 men with drugs. A team of officers from Ladyville went searching in the area immediate after shooting, and they decided to visit a house nearby. According to the officers, 41 year-old John Fuller Sr, 26 year-old Errol Andrews, 27 year-old Reuben Depaz, 32 year-old Sanjay Rudon, 39 year Alfred Smith, and a 16 year-old minor were all in the house at the time. Well, it seems that the men realized that police were coming to conduct a raid, and one of them tried to throw a bag of weed into the backyard. The only problem was that in his haste, the man stoned one of the police officers in the face with the drugs. He didn't realize that the officers had surrounded the house.

He Tried To Bribe Broaster
Whenever we report on cases of bribery making its way to the court, it's always the police officers who end up in court, accused of extorting members of the public. But tonight, we report on 2 men who tried to bribe Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, but failed. They are 28 year-old Argyle Jex and 30 year-old Luis Cal, and they tried to bribe Broaster with $100. It happened this weekend where the two tour guides were detained in the Caye Caulker Police Station on suspicion of drug possession. They got tired of that, and they offered Broaster $100 if he agreed to release them. Well, Broaster refused the money and made sure to note what they had attempted to do. For their bribery attempt, they were both charged with attempting to corrupt a public officer. They were arraigned this evening before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, where they pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Commuter Gets Whiplash On Swerving Bus
If you are a daily bus commuter, our next story will come as no surprise to you. It's about a woman who was injured while travelling on a city bus this morning. Maurine Williams told us she was on a Faber Road bus heading to work around 8 this morning, when another bus tried overtaking the one she was on. The driver of her bus almost collided into a third bus that was in front of them - and so to avoid that accident, the bus driver had to swerve violently, causing the woman to almost fly through the front door of the bus. Luckily for her, that didn't happen but she had to check herself in at the KHMH after she began experiencing neck pain. After her x-ray was completed, she was informed that her neck will need to be kept in a neck brace. She is outraged at what happened and decided to bring her story to the media. Maurine Williams - Injured on a City Bus "This morning I was going to school roughly about I would say 7:45 to 8:50 something like that. On Albert Street I took the bus the Faber's Road bus, a blue bus, got on the bus and while going towards the double entrance to like Barrow Law firm area they blue Faber's Road bus was going through that route and then another white bus running Caesar Ridge route boycott. When it boycott, the blue Faber's Road bus had to go to a halt right away and when that happen I was getting up to sit in the front seat to pay because I had a $20 and I didn't want to wait for my change while the bus stop. The same time the bus went to a halt because there would have been an incident or accident. So then I was stumbling from one side to the next and the bus conductor tried to hold me back. I was left scared and then I sat back in my seat and the next two buses were already in front racing. I started to look at it and say look how easy I could have fell out of this bus and just die. The conductor and the driver look at back at me and said sorry."

Hon. King To Hon. Espat: Love Thy Neighbor
As we reported last night, PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat's home was burglarised on Sunday morning. He reported to police that the thieves stole two laptop computers, and he reported to the media that they also stole the budget debate presentation which he delivered in the House half an hour ago. In speaking with us yesterday, he adverted to the fact that the UDP's Mark King is his neighbor at the corner of Seashore Drive and Indpendence Street in the Buttonwood Bay area, inferring that the Honourable King might know something about the break-in. King told us yesterday that he knew nothing of it, and today he told the House of Representatives that even with that ugly suggestion from Espat, he still loves his neighbor, and is helping police to catch thief:... Hon. Mark King, Lake Independence "First Mr. Speaker let me go to my good friend Jules Vasquez and the member from Cayo South who so rightly pronounce on national TV. He is my good neighbor the member from Cayo South Mr. Speaker and I said no comments because I got an email from the police last night and I was about to assist them with video see if we can try to retrieve his laptop, but it always says that God says to be good to your neighbor and I try to be very nice to him today I won't steal from him the way he steals the judges house and the Prime Minister explained that many times to him.

Hon. Elrington Castigates Workers For Industrial Action
The debate on the billion dollar budget is winding up at this hour - but as we told you at the top - most of the debating has had little to do with numbers, and much to do with a whole bunch of other stuff, from noodles to George Price. Opening up today's session was Wilfred Elrington, who had the longest presentation at one hour and forty minutes. He spoke on a whole host of issues, including the state of striking workers. He discussed the 13 Bowen and Bowen employees who staged a sick out, the teacher's union who took days off for rallies, and the gang of stevedores who staged a 12 hour strike because they didn't like the food the Port of Belize had gotten for them. Elrington didn't mince words:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Pickstock "But I am sounding the warning to all our workers that you have to produce and you cannot just not come to work and say you are not going to work because you are upset. You see what the people at Bowen and Bowen has done at Bowen and Bowen; poor workers misguided by their leadership decided that they are going to stay at home to study some proposals that the management gave them. When they went back the following day there was no job. That is how the private sector works. It is only in government that you can stop work every week and still go collect your salary - it doesn't happen in the private sector and it can't continue to happen because if you are not generating you can't pay. People can only pay if you are generating."

Hon. Ramirez In A Rage
The PUP's Representative for Corozal Southwest Ramiro Ramirez didn't have a whole lot to discuss on the budget, and that's because he says his division didn't get anything. That led him to dramatically slam the budget book on the table:.. Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Corozal Southwest "Three years from now, three budgets, on this book they talk about billions - nothing for Southwest. I came here to talk for my people. My people deserve better things that they have here."

Did Green Tropics Cause Major Losses to Farmers?
Tonight, an inter-agency group of government professionals continue to investigate a situation in Valley of Peace where 30 small farmers are accusing Green Tropics, of putting their livelihoods at risk. These vegetable farmers who supply the Cayo District claim that on Saturday, March 15, Crop Dusters from Green Tropics began spreading herbicide in the area, and some of their chemicals damaged 150 to 200 acres of vegetables belonging to the farmers. They are reporting that 80% of their crops in that area have been poisoned, and are dying from chemical burns, which they blame on Green Tropics. The Ministry of Agriculture has since gone in to assess the situation and they is estimating that the herbicides have destroyed at least 150 thousand dollars' worth of produce, and there is the concern that the chemicals will taint the rest of the crops.

Hon. Elrington Challenges Rt. Hon. Price's Record
Yesterday in his response to the budget, former Prime Minister said Musa went way back in history to say - almost in passing - that the UDP was opposed to independence. Well, what did he say that for? Today, Wilfred Elrington put on his N-I-P hat, pulled out all the relevant literature, and gave the PUP a history lesson. But when he got to the long held NIP - slash - UDP belief that George Price was trying to sell out Belize to Guatemala, that's when the current PUP leader bolted out of his seat. Here's how that went:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Pickstock "In 1957/58 when Price went to the United Kingdom to try to get monies for Belize, he had a secret meeting with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, a man named Granados. And the proposal was that Granados would give us money and he would call Belize to enter into some associate with Belize." Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Point of order Mr. Speaker. It's an absolute disgrace for the Minister of Foreign Affairs of this country to get up in the National Assembly of Belize and try to diminish the legacy of the greatest patriot to ever serve this country George Price. You should be ashamed of yourself."

The Rum More Travelled
Since 1953, Travellers Liquors has been making rum, but since 1996, they've been entering international tournaments to increase their international profile. With an impressive list of awards all the way up to earlier this month, the company today invited the media to its headquarters to discuss them: Again, it was Travellers Classic White Rum which was awarded a gold medal at the competition held by on March 10.

Karate Competitors
And while Travellers went out 2 weeks ago to compete, the House of Shotokan Karate Academy students went to Chetumal to compete in the Blackbelt League (NBL) Karate Championships, which was held on Saturday. These 7 students brought back a total of 15 trophies and their sensei spoke with 7News today about the accomplishment: The House of Shotokan Karate Students will now start to prepare for the upcoming Cancun World Karate Championships to be held on May 2014.

High School Girl Still Missing
The family of 15 year old high schooler Noemi Polanco needs your help in finding her. Yesterday evening, the family of St. Luke Street, Belmopan City reported that at 7:00p.m. on Monday, her 15-year-old daughter Ami Rosani Polanco 3rd form student of same address left en route to school and has not returned home since. Rosani Polanco is of clear complexion, 5ft in height, has short curly hair. Police are investigating.

Channel 5

Remnants of a suspected drug plane found in Spanish lookout
There is a report tonight that a small single engine plane has crashed in the Spanish Lookout area. Details have been slow in coming in but police confirm that the [...]

Crops destroyed in Valley of Peace by Green Tropics and farmers want compensation
Aerial sparing carried by the Spanish company, Green Tropics, has caused the destruction of about a million dollars in crop in thirty-two farms in the Valley of Peace area. As [...]

Day two of the budget debate
As we bring you the news tonight, the Budget Debate is still raging in the sacred chambers of the National Assembly in Belmopan. All members of parliament from both sides [...]

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington fires a broadside into the P.U.P. center
In theory, the purpose of the two-day session currently in the House of Representatives is to debate the 2014 – 2015 Budget. But in fact, after twelve speakers from both [...]

Mark King responds to Julius Espat
On Sunday unknown persons entered the home of P.U.P. Area Representative for Cayo South Julius Espat, in Belize City. Espat told News Five on Monday that despite the presence of [...]

Are you better informed of the budget after two days of debate?
And our question for tonight is: After two days of debate are you better informed of the budget? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or [...]

Guatemalan truck carrying contraband goods from Western Free Zone shot at by military
News Five has received multiple reports of an incident at the Western Border several weeks ago. According to credible sources, contraband operators in two trucks coming from Benque Viejo del [...]

EU blacklists Belize from international fisheries
On Monday, the Council of the European Union formally imposed a sanction on Belize, as well as two other countries, for failure to comply with international regulations in the fight [...]

Flitches of mahogany found in Maya Mountain Forest Reserve
Last week, our friends at PGTV reported that a container of rosewood was detected near Trio Village and taken to Big Falls Port ready to be exported. While there is [...]

2 San Pedro tour guides charged for attempting to corrupt a police officer
Two San Pedro men are in trouble with the law tonight. Twenty-eight year old Arglye Jex, a tour guide of Coral Street in San Pedro and thirty-three year old Lewis Caal, [...]

6 men including a minor busted in Ladyville for drug trafficking
A group of six, comprising five adults and a sixteen year old minor, was back in court today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano for drug trafficking after police found about four [...]

Errol Andrews claims they were brutalized by cops
When they were leaving the court today several of the men were bandaged and were limping or suffering from injuries they allegedly sustained at the hands of police. Before departing [...]

Shooting victim from Ladyville clings to life
Corey McKay of Ladyville remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in critical condition following a shooting on Monday morning in the Bobo Hill area of the village. McKay [...]

P.U.P. writes National Security Minister on amendment to Firearms Act
The issue did not make it in the Minister’s presentation during the budget debate, but today the People’s United Party wrote Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, for an update [...]

Who is Khalid Belisle?
As we’ve told you, most of the budget debate never touched on the budget, but there was plenty of entertainment. On the opposition side, there was a lot of ‘call [...]

2014 Preschool Festival of Arts
The 2014 preschool festival of arts opened on Monday at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. Hundreds of preschoolers from Belize District are performing in dance, music and drama [...]

A traditional Mayan wedding inspires cultural tourism in the north
The Santa Rita Monument stands proudly at the northern entrance of Corozal Town. Once a thriving trading center for the Mayas, it has now been transformed and restored into a [...]


Motorcycle Ignores Indicator and Collides with Vehicle
A man received minor injuries after he was involved in a traffic accident that included a motorcycle. It happened near mile three on the Philip Goldson Highway. When we arrived on the scene we observed a silver Nissan car with damages to the front right portion and a white a burgundy motorcycle. Both drivers were heading into Belize City. The driver of the car told us off camera that when she arrived on Mile 3 she put on their signal to indicate that she would be making a left turn. However the driver of the motorcycle, who, according to eyewitnesses, was coming with great speed, did not pay attention to the signal and attempted to overtake the car. That is when the car hit the motorcycle flinging the driver some 30 feet away. Fortunately no serious injuries were recorded and police are investigating.

Government Responds to EU’s Decision to Ban Fish Imports
Over the weekend, Love News ran the story of the EU’s decision to ban its member states from importing fish from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea and to ensure that the union’s fishing vessels do not operate in the waters of these countries. It comes as a surprise to many as the media has been reporting on several measures being taken by the Government to ensure this decision was not taken but the fact remains that it has been taken and today, the Government of Belize, through its Press Office issued a release stating that they have noted with concern, the decision and that they firmly believe there was absolutely no justification for this action as Belize has taken all necessary steps required by the E.U’s Directorate General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The release goes on to say that the EU’s decision was made based on information that is outdated and that no credit or consideration has been given to the measures that Belize has adopted over the last six months in an effort to strengthen its high seas fishing regime. In October 2013, Belize enacted a new and robust High Seas Fishing Act which came into effect on November 8, 2013. The Act was supplemented by the Sanctions Regulations and the Licensing Regulations, both of which came into force on March 12, 2014. These regulations which prescribe stringent penalties for violations of this Act would make the High Seas Fishing Act fully operational – a key demand of the EU. In addition, Belize has signed a contract with a South African Company, Capricorn Fisheries Monitoring, to provide On Sea Observer services for Belize flagged vessels, at a cost of about US$200,000 for the first year. This program takes effect from April 1, 2014. In addition to the above measures, Belize has also prepared monitoring and surveillance regulations, as well as a national plan of action, to eliminate IUU fishing.

Opposition Party Writes to Security Minister on Amendments of Gun Laws
Forty two days ago the main opposition party, the People’s United Party had submitted a letter to the Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar enclosing a list of proposed amendments to the Firearms and Crime Control and Criminal Justice Acts. The letter, dated February 12, 2014 was drafted and sent to Saldivar on the heels of the Gino Peck case which had ignited much controversy among the public, leading to the demand of the revision of the laws pertaining to firearms and bail. Well, according to a copy of a letter that we received today, the People’s United Party wrote again to Minister Saldivar requesting an update on the status of not only a response to the amendments proposed by the PUP but perhaps more importantly, on the series of public consultations and revision of the relevant laws.

Joint Operation Yields Six Arrests For Drug Trafficking
Six persons, one of them a 17 year old boy, were arraigned on a charge of drug trafficking when they appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The adults were 27-year-old, Ruben Depaz, 32 year old Sanjay Rudon, 39 year old Alfred smith, 26 year old Errol Andrews and 41 year old John Fuller. Fuller, who was evidently in pain and Andrews, who bore bruises to his right thigh, both claimed that they were beaten by the police. When asked by Magistrate Cayetano if they knew the officers who beat them, Andrews and Fuller said that they could not see their faces because they were made to lay face down before they were beaten. Magistrate Cayetano allowed them to sit while they were being arraigned because of their injuries. They all pled not guilty to the charge. They were released on bail of $5,000 each. Their case was adjourned until May 20. The bust occurred shortly before 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 23, at a residence in Ladyville. Police from Ladyville and police from Belize City, in a joint operation, went to the residence and surrounded it. The police reported that when the occupants of the house saw them, one of them threw a black plastic bag to the back of the yard in an attempt to get it over the fence. According to the police, the bag landed on one of the officers. The police retrieved the bag and when they opened it they found that it contained cannabis. The cannabis amounted to 104.5 grams. As a result, all the occupants were arrested and charged.

Dangriga’s Area Rep Says PM Uses Pretty Words in Budget to Fool Belizeans
One of the more sober presentations came from the representative from Dangriga Ivan Ramos. He spoke of the need for representatives to set a good example for the young people. Ramos said this budget like those before has been cited as being the best budget yet. HON. IVAN RAMOS “Our economic performance – these are important indicators about the direction that the Government is prepared to take this nation. Like the other budgets introduced in 2012/2013, 2013/2014 – the Prime Minister characterized the 2014/2015 budget as the best budget ever; then, in my view, it is the best budget and I have heard that being repeated over the past two years, there should be milestones, there should be significant areas where the people can say yes, it will make a difference in the lives of the people. Mr. Speaker, we cannot say this, even after I have gone through the budget and the budget now exceeds one billion dollars to be spent in this country. This sounds pretty if you listen to the Prime Minister over and over again because he characterized it and put it in words hoping to fool the Belizean people but the facts are stubborn, Mr. Speaker, about the performance of this economy under this Government. It is simply not growing.”

Area Rep Says Nothing in Budget Is For Corozal Southwest
Area representative for Corozal South West Ramiro Ramirez used his presentation to lament the lack of work within his area. He listed requests he has made to central government seeking assistance. HON. RAMIRO RAMIREZ “The problem here with this budget, they’re talking about billions but nothing is for Corozal Southwest. I could recall, my speech on the 13th July, 2012, I asked for a police station in Libertad – nothing is done; road from Libertad to Buena Vista – nothing is done; a water reservoir for Concepcion – nothing is done; San Victor road – thanks to the cane farmers, a company measure for sugar, the road has started; it’s not done yet but thank you to the cane farmers. Again, in Louisville, I asked for a water reservoir – nothing is done; San Narciso – electricity for San Narciso and San Roman – nothing is done; a community centre for Santa Clara – nothing is done. Three years ago; three budgets – in this book they talk about billions but nothing for Southwest.”

Vital Statistics Upgrading to Digital System
Elrington said in this new budget it will see the appointment of an Ambassador to Venezuela and upcoming changes at the Vital Statistics unit which should ensure better service. HON. WILFRED ELRINGTON “It is a matter that has been causing the Government of Belize great pain as well as the public of Belize because the entire system is a system that is outmoded, Mr. Speaker; many of our systems in Belize are outmoded; we are trying to put old rind into new rind skins. Anybody who knows the Bible will tell you from the days of Moses, you know that will not work; you have to find new institutions and new mechanisms if you are in fact to satisfy the needs of the present society and so, at the Vital Statistics Unit, we are transforming the whole thing, we are digitizing the whole system and I can assure you, Mr. Speaker and I can assure my friend on the other side that within the next sixty days we will have the entire system so digitized that the people from PG won’t have to come to Belize City to get their wedding certificate or their birth certificate or death certificate. You will simply have to go to the main district/town, make your application for it and in many cases you will be able to get it either the same day or the next day because it is being digitized.”

Elrington Discredits George Price in National Assembly
The debate of the 2014/2015 budget entitled “Bettering people, building Belize – a budget for all” wrapped up a short while ago in Belmopan. The first presenter was Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington who began his intervention by responding to comments made by the area representative for Fort George Said Musa. Elrington said the comments were a misrepresentation of Belize’s history. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca rose on a point of order accusing Elrington of trying to rewrite history and diminish George Price’s legacy. HON. WILFRED ELRINGTON “There was nobody in Belize who wanted independence in the manner in which George Price was advocating for it because nobody trust him and if you think, Mr. Speaker, that I am not telling the truth, I will refer you to this book written by Godfrey P. Smith, we all know who is Godfrey P. Smith. Let me invite you, Mr. Speaker, and I have it here, to turn to page 237, it says, ‘order was restored ultimately after the dispute, after the shutdown but Price was disappointed because he had wanted the Belizean people to move forward to independence unified instead of being deeply divided on the issue. He knew that the reaction to the Heads of Agreement stemmed from the distrust that a large segment of the population held of him which was partly as a consequence of his own actions and the perception that he nursed as a secret ambition to Latinize the country.’


National Budget Debate Continued on Day Two
Day two of the budget debate was held today at the National Assembly Building. Speakers on both sides of the house continued arguments for and against the Proposed Budget for 2014/2015. We’ll take a look at some of those arguments. Hon. Wilfred Elrington- Attorney General and Area Representative for...

Government Reacts to EU’s Banning on Belizean Fish
Yesterday, we reported on the EU’s decision to blacklist Belizean fish products from being imported in its countries. The EU says that Belize, along with Cambodia and Guinea, is a ‘non-cooperating third country’ in the fight against illegal fishing. The Belizean Government has responded to the bann saying, “The Government...

Sought Alleged Murderer of Earl Baizar Hands Himself to the Police
27 yr Gabino Garnett Jr. handed himself to San Ignacio police yesterday. Garnett was being sought by police for questioning in relation to the murder of 19 year old Earl Baizar. Baizar was stabbed and killed in San Ignacio Town on March 8th 2014, sometime after midnight. According to...


Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt, 21, a student and star player on Galen University’s basketball team and a resident of the Kontiki area of San Ignacio, appeared before San Ignacio Magistrate Nardia Morgan, who arraigned him on one count of murder today, Monday, for causing the unlawful death of Kayla Burgess, 24, on Thursday, March 20. When Magistrate Morgan read the charge to him and asked him if he understood what she had just read, Garbutt, appearing perplexed, answered, “No, I don’t understand.” Morgan then explained to him what the murder charge meant and that he did not have to enter a plea, because, she explained, “this court will only hold a preliminary inquiry. You will not be tried here.” Garbutt told the magistrate that he had given a confession statement to police on Friday, because he “never had a chance to speak to an attorney.” Following the formalities of the arraignment, Morgan remanded him to the Belize Central Prison, until his next court appearance on June 24.

The Pasqual family of Dangriga is mourning the death of two of their family members who died less than 24 hours apart. Tanya, 38, died 6:30 Friday morning at the Dangriga Hospital after being ill, and her father, retired BDF soldier Warrant Officer Class 2, Henry Pasqual, 66, was knocked down and killed at about Mile 2 on the Valley Road early Saturday morning, at about 4:30, while riding his bicycle in the area of the Bowen and Bowen Distributors on his way to Pomona from Dangriga. Henry Pasqual was doing his regular early morning exercise when Courtney Campbell, 67, who was driving his vehicle from Pomona to Dangriga, lost control and slammed into him. Pasqual suffered massive head and body injuries and was declared dead on the scene. He has joined his daughter at the morgue, awaiting a post-mortem to certify the cause of death.

The former Corozal beauty contestant, Aracely Cahueque, 21, who was charged with three counts of abetment to commit murder for the gruesome October 2010 killing of Raylene Dyer, walked away from the indictments this morning after Justice Dennis Hannomansingh instructed the 9-member jury in his Belmopan Supreme Court to return formal not guilty verdicts, abruptly ending the trial, which had 16 more prosecution witnesses. Cahueque is now the fourth and final person accused of involvement in eighteen-year-old Raylene Dyer’s heinous murder to be acquitted. Her head had been cut off and her body dumped in a river, never to be found. The acquittal verdict so inflamed Raylene’s relatives that a fight between broke out outside the court between the women from her family and women from Aracely’s family. Police and others who knew the families had to intervene to restore order. Earlier this month, the three men accused of the brutal execution – Jason Anderson, Darren Banner and Brandon Budna – walked from the murder indictment due to bungled police investigative methods.

A 28-year-old man of Corozal, known only as “Daniel,” has been taken to the Corozal Magistrate Court on charges of trespassing, attempted unnatural act and aggravated assault of an indecent nature in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court. In court today, however, the family of the victim told the court that they wanted no further action against Daniel, and the Magistrate withdrew the charges against him and he walked out of court a free man. Police say that at about 7:30 Saturday night, a 14-year-old boy of Corozal was at home alone when a man known to him as “Daniel” entered the house, took off his pants and showed the boy his private parts. Daniel reportedly advanced towards the boy and told him, “You like boys, right?” The minor, according to what he told police, answered, “No”.

Opposition says “noodles budget” reflects “ugly reality”
In less than 30 minutes, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca delivered what Belmopan area representative and Minister of National Security John Saldivar said must have been the shortest reply ever to the national budget presentation made on Friday, March 7, but while Fonseca’s response may have been short on words, it was long on punches. “The budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 is what many describe as a ‘noodles budget,’” said Opposition Leader Fonseca, the People’s United Party’s representative for Freetown. Saldivar said that, to the contrary, this is “another wonderful budget for yet another wonderful year to come…” – quite a different picture from that painted by Fonseca, who said that “The Belizean people’s reality is ugly bad!” Under the government of the ruling United Democratic Party, more and more people line up at the ruling party’s area reps’ offices for handouts – help to buy groceries and pay their bills, the Opposition Leader commented.

EU fisheries sanctions against Belize begin
The European Commission (EC) announced out of Brussels, Belgium, today that it has moved to take concrete, historic action against Belize and two other countries: Cambodia and Guinea-Conakry, for alleged illegal fishing, by imposing new trade sanctions against them – this on the claim that these three countries have been “acting insufficiently against illegal fishing” on the high seas. It is the first time that such measures are being adopted at this level of the EU—an economic and political partnership between 28 European countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. “Today’s decision by the Council means that fisheries products caught by vessels flying these countries’ flags are now banned from being imported into the EU,” it said. Apart from banning EU vessels from fishing in the waters of the blacklisted countries, it also said that “Other forms of cooperation, such as joint fishing operations or fisheries agreements with these countries will no longer be possible.”

If the attorney, one-time PUP politician, and online columnist, Godfrey Smith, wished to throw bouquets at Sir Manuel Esquivel, Belize’s two-term Prime Minister, then this was Mr. Smith’s eminent right as a citizen of Belize and a player in our public affairs. And, so he did last week in his online “Flashpoint” column, which was published in the weekend issue of The Belize Times, the official newspaper of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). Mr. Smith described Sir Manuel as “the United Democratic Party’s only statesman – living or dead,” “the elder statesman of the UDP,” and referred to his government leadership as “marked by personal integrity, fiscal discipline that restored the financial health of the economy and a clear-headed attempt to drum up foreign investment.” Well, this was definitely not the broadcast political opinion of the PUP during the years when Mr. Smith was the party’s General Secretary, which was before he became the PUP’s Pickstock constituency candidate in 2002. But, such discrepancies in Godfrey’s last two decades constitute an aside.

Looking back, I can recollect that it was Mr. Wilhelm Arnold who pushed for us to become an organization in early February of 1969. In fact, he took us to his farm at Mile 26 on the Old Northern Road, and there a cultural organization called the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) was formed. Mr. Arnold was one of Belize’s most successful black capitalists, and it is for sure that he had a specific direction in which he wanted the new organization to go. But the organization soon began to be influenced by the young socialist attorneys, Assad Shoman and Said Musa, especially after Lionel Clarke left permanently for New York City and yours truly became the president. This was not at all to Mr. Arnold’s liking, so he departed the scene. By early 1973, UBAD was four years old and had become a political party, in August of 1970. UBAD had been tested and proven worthy in three separate Supreme Court trials involving its leadership, several Magistrate Court’s trials, and various demonstrations and public encounters with the forces of the ruling People’s United Party (PUP). In addition, the UBAD Party had contested the December 1971 Belize City Council election as a coalition partner of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Philip Goldson’s National Independence Party (NIP). In early 1973, UBAD was still young, but UBAD was already experienced and established.

Michael Tingling, 59, a veteran boxer of Belize City who used to fight at the Big Birds Isle in the heydays of boxing, who afterwards migrated to Chicago, died on Wednesday at the St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois. Tingling was approached by a man who punched him in the chest while he was protecting his daughter, 15, from the man, who was menacing her. Tingling, who has a pacemaker in his chest, went into cardiac arrest following a physical exchange with the Caucasian man, 59-year-old Joseph Firek, who Chicago police say had an extensive criminal record. Tingling was rushed to the hospital, but he died about 45 minutes later, at about 2:45 Wednesday evening.

Road accident in Corozal sends driver to the ICU in KHMH
Jesus Chicas, 21, of San Roman, Corozal District, is presently admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he suffered head and body injuries in a road traffic accident in front of Carias Cool Spot in Concepcion, Corozal. The accident occurred at about 8:30 Friday night, between Miles 73 and 74 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Chicas was driving a pickup, from Corozal to Orange Walk when it collided with another vehicle, an Isuzu Rodeo, being driven by Zamir Herrera, which was travelling from the opposite direction. Travelling with Chicas at the time was Sebastian Martinez, who suffered a wound to his forehead.

Child, 3, “critical” at the KHMH
A recent spike in traffic incidents in rural Belize over the past few weeks has left a number of people either injured or deceased, and this past weekend, there were a few more accidents to add to that tally – including one involving a 3-year-old child who is presently in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Amandala has confirmed that Romeo Florez, Jr., 3, was knocked down by a passenger bus on Sunday, March 23, in front of the Adventist Church in the village of Scotland Half Moon, which is located between the villages of Burrell Boom and Bermudian Landing. Today, we spoke to Rural Executive Officer, ASP Chris Noble, who outlined what happened. Noble said that, based on what they’ve been informed, the child was hit by a passenger bus which was travelling toward one of the villages. ”We are looking into it and we are asking persons who were on the bus or who may have seen to come forward and report it to the Burrell Boom police, the Bermudian Landing police or the Ladyville Police Station,” said Noble.

Welder’s head crushed by 14-wheeler dump truck
Just after 4:00 Saturday afternoon, the life of a Honduran national came to a tragic end when his head was smashed by a 14-wheeler dump truck after he was knocked down while attempting to cross the pedestrian ramp near the bus stop at Mile 1 on the George Price Highway in Belize City. Amandala was on the scene shortly after it occurred, and eyewitnesses told us that the victim had fallen off his black beach cruiser bicycle at the same time that the truck was approaching the pedestrian ramp, and it was while he was in the act of getting back to his feet that he was fatally run over by the vehicle, which was loaded with sand at the time. The driver’s sideman, Gregory Longsworth, gave us his account of what transpired. He said, “I saw the man stumble and drop off his bike, and he ended up right under the front wheel [of the truck]. I then told the driver that he had knocked down somebody and then he stopped.”

Travel and tourism netted BZ$1.2 billion or 36.6% of GDP in 2013: WTTC
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has released a report indicating that for the year 2013, travel and tourism netted Belize BZ$1.2 billion, or 36.6% of GDP, in 2013. WTTC forecasts that travel and tourism in Belize should grow by 4.5% during 2014. Statistics recently released by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) indicated that tourism arrivals grew in 2013 by 5.7% for the cruise tourism sector and by 6.1% for the overnight tourism sector. WTTC’s report said that, “The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the sector was 46,823 jobs (33.0% of total employment).”

(by “Oldtimer,” originally published in the Friday, May 13, 1983 issue of Amandala.) The eulogies paid by the People’s United Party to the late William Lloyd Coffin last week, especially the one by Minister Rogers, are a classic example of how the PUP perverts and defaces the history of Belize in general and of the PUP in particular. The truth is that in 1956 Coffin denounced PUP leader George Price and walked out of the PUP annual convention! Here are the facts. Coffin was chairman of a “rump” meeting of the PUP held at Liberty Hall on Barrack Road in June, 1956. The PUP leader, Leigh Richardson, Jr., was trying to justify his personal change of policy to favor Belize’s entry into the West Indian Federation. He was supported by PUP assistant secretary Philip Goldson, Chairman Coffin and GWU President Herman Jex, among others.

International Day of Forests observed, but Belize’s forests reportedly remain under attack
While today is being proclaimed as the International Day of Forests across the globe, there are credible reports that our lush forests in the deep south of the country are still being pillaged and our valuable rosewood stock is continuously being depleted, even after a moratorium was passed in February of 2012. According to the United Nations General Assembly, the purpose of the day is for nations to celebrate, and bring awareness to the issues relating to, the world’s forests while undertaking local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees. At the same time, residents from the Toledo district have been complaining about an increase in activity in the cutting and shipping of rosewood out of the district over the last few days.

Some 1956 PUP history
(excerpted from a paper by Lawrence Vernon, A HISTORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN BELIZE, originally published in Readings in Belizean History, Second Edition, published by BELIZEAN STUDIES, St. John’s College, Box 548, Belize City, May 1987.) In City Council elections held on March 19, 1956, the PUP won an unprecedented landslide victory by getting all six candidates elected. These were: William Coffin, George Price, Jose Rivero, Tharine Rudon, Leopold Grinage and Jaime Staines. The National Party only seated two out of eight candidates, while one independent candidate was successful. When the Council met, George Price was elected Mayor; and he subsequently became the first PUP leader to read and present an address of loyalty to the Governor during the September 10 celebrations. A rift occurred in the Party, when at the annual convention on September 27, 1956, the Party Chairman, William Coffin, presented a declaration charging Nicholas Pollard with conducting a public campaign of slander against leaders of the PUP.

Food safety alert – are you buying from a certified source?
The Public Health Bureau trained and issued food handler’s permits to 2,016 persons in the Belize District, the country’s most populous district, in 2013 – an increase of 22% over the previous year, 2012; still, they believe that there are several food vendors who have not bothered to obtain the required certification before venturing into the food market. The ID card shown with the article is really a permit which food handlers obtain from the Ministry of Health, via the Bureau’s Environmental Health Unit, after going through a screening process (to determine if the applicant has diarrhea or boils in the skin, or if the applicant had visited a country where a disease of concern is prevalent) and 2 to 3 hours of training covering international food safety standards. All applicants who pay their $20 fee must then sit an exam with 20 questions (multiple choice and true and false) and if they pass with at least a 70% grade, they are issued the permit.

Verdes, Police tie for PLB lead at Week 4
The picture changes quickly in this fast moving abbreviated Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2013-14 Closing Season, and with their defeat of Verdes on Saturday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, home standing Police United have joined Verdes FC at the top of the standings. Police have the edge in goal difference. Week 4 games of the PLB Closing Season were played over the past weekend, while Week 5 games take place on Wednesday. The PLB secretariat reported today that a second half goal from Harrison Tasher (63’) stood up to give Police United FC the 1-0 win over visiting Verdes FC at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday night, March 22.

Boxing coming to Placencia
Lions Den Ladyville manager Clinton Tucker dropped by the sports desk this afternoon to inform us that plans are afoot to hold another in their series of boxing events across the country. The details are still being worked out, says Tucker, but the date they are looking at is Saturday, April 5, and the venue is the Tipsy Tuna resort on the beach side in Placencia Village. “We expect to have 5 first time boxers from Placencia making their debut,” said Tucker, “and there will be visiting boxers from the Lions Den gyms in Cayo and Ladyville, as well as hopefully from George Swaso’s gym in Stann Creek and the Leopold Smart gym in Belize City.”

Belize City primary school softball
The National Sports Council coordinated Belize City Primary School Softball Tournament commenced on Monday, February 10, at Rogers Stadium with 11 female teams and 10 male teams participating. The females (F) were divided into two groups, A and B, and likewise the males (M). And after the regular competition, the top 2 teams from each group took part in the semifinals on Thursday of last week and today, Monday, March 24. In last Thursday’ semifinals, (F) Muslim Community defeated Central Christian, 17-1; and (M) Buttonwood Bay Nazarene won, 10-6, over St. John’s Primary. And in today’s semifinals, (F) St. John Vianney edged Holy Redeemer, 4-2; and (M) Central Christian defeated Calvary Temple, 18-14. Championship games schedule:

4 City residents busted with over 6 1/2 pounds of weed
Customs were manning a checkpoint at northern border Four residents of Belize City were busted at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the northern border with 6 and a half pounds of compressed weed which they were [...]

Prisoner recaptured after escape attemp
Keith Bennett, 27, of Corozal, who tried to escape from out of police custody, was recaptured after police fired warning shots into the air, over his head, causing him to halt. While being taken to the [...]

Slaughterhouse Road mechanic charged with another robbery
A mechanic residing at #55 Slaughterhouse Road, who was released on bail after being charged with robbing a Chinese man last September, has been re-arrested and charged with robbery again. This time his purported victim is [...]


Pay it forward and important information and misinformation on donating blood in Belize
There is been a lot of talk about people being turned away from giving blood when they were able to in their native country. Today I will explain important information about donating blood in Belize that will help you understand the challenges the San Pedro Red Cross is facing in regards to building a healthy supply of blood for Ambergris Caye. I will also clear up some misinformation that has been brought to our attention. It is important for everyone to know, we have experienced staff on our blood drive committee and we do our research based on current procedures. We are all disheartened when people who would not even be questioned in the US or Canada have been turned away in San Pedro. We are continuing to focus on what we can do to climb this mountain and overcome our obstacles to make long lasting positive changes in the system. This is no easy task and we appreciate everyone’s help, support and feedback.

Capture that Springtime Love-Vibe
Ah, Spring… how many odes, love letters, songs and poems keep being dedicated to that time of year when all creatures great and small, turn their attention to love and life. Spring is that time of year when everything starts thawing out, the heavy clothes come off, green buds appear on the branches, more birds sing and the world just looks good again. And while it’s not so noticeable here in the tropics, it is in evidence, as the hummingbirds check out the new pollen on flowers and everything seems to wake up, as the days get longer. Even that battered old Native American warrior Sitting Bull waxed romantic: “Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” The noble chief said.

“It’s All Over Now” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up around 04.45 hours on Saturday morning and out on the veranda (the western, lagoon facing one on the first floor) before 05.00 hours with my mug of black coffee and iPad. It’s still dark at that time of the morning but that suits me fine. I Ike this time of the day. Not being able to see so much ‘kicks’ the seeing and smelling and hearing senses in to ‘top gear’ mode. Well, it does for me anyway. At this time of the day I find that I can smell the foliage of the trees (not ours yet because they are too young/small but there are plenty in the adjacent lots) so much more. There are also so many so any different sounds to listen to. The sound of mullet jumping out of the lagoon and re entering it ((I’m sure that there is a proper term to describe it but it escapes me at the moment and I really cannot be bothered to engage the memory cells ( for one because I’m just plain lazy and secondly for fear that the cells will fail me)), the sounds of the leaves rustling in the breeze, the birds saying ‘good morning’ to each other. Oh, and the screeching of the raccoons. I haven’t worked out yet whether they are fighting off potential predators or if this is just how they normally ‘talk’.

Lionfish spearing, Learning to dive and beach cleans!!
A fabulous few weeks in pictures with ReefCI!!

International Sources

Belizean, US officials make final preparations for Corozal MEDRETES
Belizean government and U.S. military officials met March 24 to discuss final preparations for the upcoming New Horizons medical readiness training exercises, or MEDRETES, in the Corozal region in Belize. Belizean and military medical providers will use the MEDRETES as an opportunity to learn from one another as they provide medical care to residents out of schools in Chunox, Progresso and Libertad. "The three schools agreed to let us use their facilities to provide medical care, so we reconnected with the principals to make sure everything was ready to go," said Lt. Col. James Smith, New Horizons chief liaison officer. Belizean and U.S. medical teams will work side by side "to provide general medicine, dentistry and veterinarian care to the local population" and their pets.

From reef to plate - Belize combats the lionfish
A film by Katja Döhne. With its venomous sting and voracious appetite, the lionfish is one of the biggest threats to the world’s second-largest coral barrier reef in Belize. Now, human intervention seems the only way to fight the danger. Project goal: Combating the invasive lionfish in the Caribbean in a bid to protect the biodiversity in coral reefs Size: The Belize Barrier Reef off the coast of Belize. Stretching over an area of 960 square kilometers, it’s the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere Biological significance: The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world and is a UNESCO world heritage site, but one that’s considered to be in danger

Thai Union aims to re-flag MW Brands vessels in light of EU IUU sanctions
Thai Union Frozen Products said MW Brands will seek to reflag its Belize-flagged vessels to another country as a result of the EU sanctions on vessels flagged to Belize, Guinea and Cambodia, the company told Undercurrent News. The company’s response comes as one fisheries lawyer has denounced the sanctions for being more show than substance. Due to kick in soon, the sanctions against Guinea and Camdodia-flagged vessels are seen as having no significance for the EU or the industry, considering they will not affect any existing trade. On the other hand the sanctions against vessels flagged to Belize could impact at least three tuna vessels owned by French canner MW Brands – owned by Thai Union– and Spain’s Pevasa.

What kinds of pooches did the ancient Maya favor?
Is that the Maize God or an ancient image of Elvis? What kinds of dog breeds were common to the ancient Maya area? How did the diets of the high and mighty differ from that of the hoi polloi in the Maya city of Palenque? These are just a few of the questions to be considered when the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Mesoamericanists convenes Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, at NIU. Hosted by both the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the conference will draw participants from the United States and Canada. Archaeologists, art historians and geologists will present recent research on Mesoamerica.

Consolidated Water reports drop in 2013 net income
The Cayman Island’s largest water distributor has dipped in a dry spell after recording a drop in net income last year from $9.3 million to $8.6 million. Consolidated Water develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of drinking water are scarce or nonexistent. A report from the company said the recent decrease in net income was attributable to the earnings and profit sharing derived from the company’s equity investment, which dropped $1.3 million. Total revenue for the year ending December 31, 2013, decreased 2.5 percent to around $63.8 million, compared to $65.5 million in 2012.

Garifuna-American Heritage Month proclaimed at City Hall
Earlier this month at City Hall, March 11-April 12 was proclaimed Garífuna-American Heritage Month. Members of the Garifuna Coalition and others in the community were on hand for the honors. Heritage Month acknowledges the great contributions of Garífuna-Americans to the fabric of New York City and New York State. Among the month of significant dates and scheduled events, Garifuna-American Heritage will be celebrated April 3 at Bronx County Courthouse and April 11 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, both starting at 5:30 p.m.

Mexican shrimp buyers hunt for product with EMS impact still being felt
Shrimp production in Mexico this year is expected to be in line with the very low levels of 2013, as early mortality syndrome (EMS) continues to impact farming and buyers hunt elsewhere for product. According to sources in the country, production in 2013 was down between 45,000 metric tons and 70,000t. “The semi-official figure was 55,000t but I think that is overstated, probably more like 30-35,000t,” said one source working in the Mexican sector. In 2012, production was 100,000t, before EMS hit last year. “Only 50% to 60% of the farms will stock, the outlook is for the same as 2013, at best,” he said. “In general the measures being taken to minimize EMS are just shots in the dark based on anecdotal tales of “good” results. So they really have no idea if what they are doing will actually work.”

World Expert on Big Cats Coming to Skidmore
Skidmore hosts one of the world’s leading experts on big cats on April 2. Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, labeled the “Indiana Jones of Wildlife Ecology” by Time Magazine, has spent a lifetime in the world’s last wild places hoping to preserve habitats and secure homes for some of the world’s most endangered mammals. Rabinowitz will present a talk entitled “Saving the World’s Big Cats for the Future.” Rabinowitz helped to establish the world’s first jaguar preserve in Belize. His work also led to the creation of the world’s largest tiger preserve in Myanmar’s Hukaung Valley. He has conducted research on a number of species of large cat, including clouded leopards, jaguars and tigers, along with Sumatran rhinos, raccoons and civets. He also discovered a new large mammal species and the world’s most primitive deer, the leaf deer.

The captain cut the boat’s speed as we entered the lagoon. We were coming back from a day spent slowly meandering up Monkey River in southern Belize for some birdwatching and hiking newly cut trails in the jungle. About fifteen minutes after our driver/guide had steered into the Placencia Lagoon, we were treated to the best part of the day: "Dolphins," he said. "This is where they play." Dolphins? A lagoon? Disbelieving, we looked for signs of their diaphanous bodies, spots of grey, slender dorsal fins popping through the lapping waves. After lolling in the water for 15 minutes, lapping our circular path, we're rewarded. A pod of six seemed to be following us, circling in a wide circumference around it and diving under the bottom. Bent over opposite sides of the boat, the four of us had our eyes peeled. These dolphins knew this brackish lagoon, outlined by mangroves, and knew the patterns of their environment. They knew what a slow boat meant. Before long, one sprung from the water in a majestic arch, giving us gawkers a good splash. "Whoa! We could have touched him!"

Belize’s 3 Best Beach Towns
Most expats who consider moving to Belize dream of living near the Caribbean Sea on a beach. Fortunately for them, Belize offers several beach lifestyle options. Right now, the three most popular beach areas expats settle are Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and the Placencia Peninsula. Here’s a quick peek at each of these popular beach retreats… Ambergris Caye: The World’s #1 Island on the Caribbean Sea Ambergris Caye is the island that I’ve called home for the past six years—and I’m not the only one who has discovered its charms. For two years running Trip Advisor members have voted Ambergris Caye their favorite vacation island. But what’s it like to live fulltime in this hip, happening, tourist haven? Caye Caulker: The Ultimate Laid-Back Island Lifestyle Caye Caulker is blessed with the same gorgeous Caribbean seascape as Ambergris Caye. The two cayes are close. The water taxi between them takes only 20 minutes or so and both cayes are only a half-mile from the barrier reef. But there is a world of difference between these sibling islands, in terms of lifestyle… Placencia: An Irresistible Beach Community Placencia is a haven for beach connoisseurs. Kick off your flip flops and you can walk for miles along the wide sand beach. The peninsula is 16 miles long, with the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Placencia lagoon to the west. The Maya mountains provide a gorgeous backdrop for the tranquil lagoon. But the peninsula is also close to all the diverse activities that the mainland offers. You’ll easily be able to reach them with a car.

25 Brilliant Prank Ideas For April Fools’ Day
April Fools' Day (April 1st) is fast approaching, so we thought we might offer a few prank ideas for the more mischievous pandas among you (and if you're not prone to mischief, now you'll have some idea about what to look out for). It's unclear exactly where the April Fool tradition originated, ...

March 25, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Referendum Unit still active even though no new date is in near sight
Sunday October 6, 2013, would have been the date for the joint Belize –Guatemala referendum to see if the people of both nations were willing to have the unfounded Guatemalan claim taken and settled before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). But months before the agreed date, Guatemalan government pulled out and so far, there is no concrete information as to when and if it will be held. The Belize Referendum Unit updated the media on Thursday March 20th about some of the work the 30-member Referendum Commission has been engaged in. Rosado explained that the work of the Joint Commission is moving hand in hand with the Referendum Unions and hopes that by the final meeting in December, a way forward can be reached. For the time being, a slightly different approach is being taken to address issues between the two countries. “Over the years, the subject of the claim has tended to kind of absorb all the energies that we have in our bilateral relations, so that when it comes to collaborative efforts, those have basically gone by the wayside because we have been concentrating on finding a solution to this claim which has eluded us. This time the minister decided to take a slightly different approach.

Maya Traditions: Meeting a Maya Shaman
Before the rise of conventional medicinal practices, communities around the world were much reliant on the consultation of shamans and spiritualists for remedies and treatment for anything from infertility to snake bites. In Belize, before the influences of western culture and conventional medicinal practices were introduced much of these communities relied upon shamans. These healers employed the use of the lush rainforests, finding the remedies to various ailments in the forms of herbs and plants. Don Elijio Panti was one of these healers. Don Elijio grew up in San Antonio, a small Yucatec Maya village located in the Cayo District of Belize. He used traditional Mayan healing techniques passed down from countless generations before him. His healing system encompassed the use of plants, herbal baths, acupuncture, prayer, massage and the use of the sacred Sastun (a sacred object passed down from generations believed to have healing powers and wisdom). His works went on to take international significance through several apprentices that came from abroad to learn herbal healing under the wing of Don Elijio himself. Don Elijio passed away on February 4, 1996 at the age of 103. Throughout his lifetime he was distinguished with several national and international awards such as the “Distinguished Contribution to Science” by The New York Botanical Garden, and “Member of the British Empire” by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Belize for his contributions in herbal medicine.

Missing in Belize
To Whom It May Concern: Hello. My family member, Dean Nassad Joseph Jr, went missing in Belize. He was a resident, and last seen March 1st on the north part of Ambergris Caye with his friend Vincent Crawford. He was last seen by a security guard who stated he was in a group of 5 and that was the last anyone heard from either Dean or Vincent. From my understanding, coast guard are not able to locate him, although I'm not sure how much more this has been looked into. This is so extremely important and we desperately need help locating him as we are in the United States and unable to travel, and are not sure if our safety would be a question, if this is a disappearance due to him being hurt. I'm wondering who these other 3 men are, have they been questioned (surely the security guard has been able to identify him), have police checked where his cell phone last pinged from, interviewed more people who may be witnesses, etc.

Ambergris Today

Saga Humane Society Prepares for National Pet Week Activities
Deciding to get a dog is a life changing decision for you and the dog and should never be taken lightly. Dogs require at least a couple of hours of your time every day for feeding, grooming, exercise, training and play. They need to be kept safely contained and on walks their poop picked up, bagged and placed in the garbage bin. If you don’t have a fence, then your dogs should never be left unattended in your yard. Your dogs will be able to run away to poop in the street or in your neighbor’s yards, empty garbage bins making an unhealthy environment. They will learn bad habits like chasing children, bicycles or vehicles resulting in accidents or injuries. Not only are you placing them in danger, but also could be causing nuisance problems in your community. Unbelievably, some irresponsible dog owners blame vehicle drivers when their dog is hit by a car or cart, forgetting that it is their responsibility to keep their dog safe and off the streets.

Glorious Sunrise Beach Wedding in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
We had to share this amazing picture that was captured by Jose Luis Zapata Photography during one of his destination wedding assignments. He took this image during a sunrise beach wedding that took place at Victoria House Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Congratulations to Gregory and Jodie Stewart for their one-of-a-kind island wedding.

Saga Italian/Pasta Cook Off
Saga Humane Society Monthly Cook Off Fundraiser Wednesday, March 26, 2014 At Bella Italia Tickets go on sale at 6pm - serving starts at 6:30pm

Fundraiser Event for Adolfo Gongora
Adolfo Gongora is in need of an urgent heart surgery and is in need of financial help. He is a worker at Caribeña Enterprises and the staff and friends are hosting a fundraiser event this Friday, March 28, 2014 at Jaguars Temple Night Club! Lots of giveaways and surprises through out the night! Come on out and have fun and support a worthy cause.

How Do You Get Around In Belize? Local Traveling Can Be an Adventure!
Travelers and locals get move around in Belize in all sorts of ways to get to their destinations. The best part about traveling is informing and sharing your experience with others. I have had many unforgettable experiences traveling my own country and, believe me, they make one heck of a conversation starter followed by loads of laughter. One of the best advices that my dad has shared with me growing up is, “Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.” Traveling Belize by air, land or sea you are bound to have a good adventure to add to your stories. Let’s be realistic, sometimes not all traveling goes as planned; but those are the ones that we learn from. I have heard many traveling stories from locals and tourists and I find them very interesting. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling alone or with company; you are bound to make more friends along the way.

Misc Belizean Sources

Distributor needed for exclusive territories
RediVolt International is looking for one or more distributor(s) on the Belize mainland. Our product is designed in the USA and produced with US parts and has continually provided protection since 1987. Our products are unique as they completely guard against surges, brownouts, blackouts, and harmonic distortions. Every RediVolt comes with a lifetime warranty of up to $100K connected equipment. No need to house the inventory as we can get it to you in 24 hours. Maintenance free.

Sunday night shooting leaves one man injured
A shooting incident on Sunday night in Belize City has left one man injured. The victim has been identified as 21 year old Anthony Young. According to police reports, Young was socializing through an alley near the corner of Armadillo and Dolphin Streets when gunshots rang out. Young told police that he ran and sought refuge in a yard and that was when he realized that he had been shot. Anthony Young was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was admitted to ward and police say he is in stable condition with gunshot wounds to his right ankle and left wrist.

Escalante gets covered with hardcore material and we have already started with Boca del Rio!
(18 photos)

Maya wedding at the Santa Rita Archaeological Park
On Saturday March 22nd, Corozal Junior College (CJC) rendered a spectacular display of a Maya wedding at the Santa Rita Archaeological Park, now the official site of the Maya Wedding Garden. Guest speaker of the event was Darrell Bradley, Mayor of Belize City. Mr. Roy Rodriguez recounted the importance of the Santa Rita site to Belize and its history. The re-enactment of the Mayan wedding was to honor Corozal’s rich culture and heritage to greatly benefit generations to come. All proceeds for the event will be used to improve the Santa Rita site. Videos and photos were reserved to two media companies and one photographer but no Corozal media was announced, so we bring you only one photo of the event that we took at our own risk.

Paint Up A Storm
The Winsom Foundation is having this year's Paint Up A Storm at the Cayo Welcome Center on April 5th, starting at 10:00am. It's fun for all ages. The movie entitled 'Wasteland' will be shown at 6:00pm. "TWO WEEKS TO GO... COME OUT AND SUPPORT THE ARTISTS AND GET THE CHILDREN PAINTING"

Caribbean Women in Business: A Trend or Paradigm Shift?
Across the globe and through the ages, women have experienced the disadvantages of existing in a patriarchal framework, which has designated them to a homemaker role, and continues to define the sex as a whole. Women in business are breaking that mould across the world and writing new stories for themselves, and in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is assisting them through a variety of programme-based interventions. In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2014, Caribbean Export wishes to highlight and applaud the tremendous progress of Caribbean women in the business arena. We believe that, in keeping with this year’s theme of “Inspiring Change”, that these women are not only inspiring, but also effecting change in meaningful and lasting ways.

Belize Contraband Turns Violent on Western Border
Armed contrabandistas shot their way across the Western Border crossing with Guatemala one evening about two weeks ago causing a serious International Incident. Reports from the border have shown the Contraband business coming from the Benque Viejo Free Zone at the Western Border has escalated into a violent confrontation with Guatemalan SAT officers manning the crossing between Benque and Melchor de Mencos. The peaceful nature of this usually quiet and unarmed border crossing was shattered as two trucks loaded with suspected contraband successfully entered Guatemala territory by use of force at the heavily traveled legal border crossing at Melchor de Mencos, Peten. The two trucks were reported to have come directly from the Benque Viejo Free Zone and refused to be inspected by Guatemalan authorities and opened fire on the border check point forcing the Guatemalan SAT officers to flee for their lives while the two trucks, suspected to be loaded with contraband, forced their way through the moveable barricade that is used to control traffic between Belize and Guatemala. This is a serious international incident and Guatemala has reported it to the OAS even though, ominously, there has been no mention of the incident in the press.

Honduran bicyclist gets head crushed by dumptruck
Police have identified the victim of Saturday’s road traffic accident in Belize City as 33 year old Jose Martinez, a Honduran living on Iguana Street. His head was crushed, killing him on impact, after he appeared to slip and fall off his black beach cruiser bicycle while crossing the pedestrian ramp on the right side of the road on Saturday afternoon around 4:30. Police say that the driver of the 14-wheeler Peterbilt truck, a 57 year old Gilroy Wade of Western Paradise, Belize District, was driving toward Hattieville when his sideman informed him of what happened. He immediately called police who cordoned off the area and processed the scene.

Trevor Vernon lawsuit against Edmund Castro is postponed
Minister of State Edmond “Clear The Land” Castro is being sued by one of his constituents, Trevor Vernon. Vernon accuses Castro of violating the Code of Conduct enshrined in the Constitution and the Corruption in Public Life Act when he caused himself and others to receive some $30,000 in funds from the Belize Airports Authority in 2013. The case was scheduled for hearing today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, but it has been postponed until May 5. Neither man was present in court. The Minister was in Belmopan for the budget debate while it is not known why Vernon was not present.

EU bans Belize fish
The European Union has banned fisheries imports from Belize and two other countries after determining that the country had not acted sufficiently against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Last November, the EU gave Belize, Cambodia and Guinea a final chance to address the matter. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was quoted as saying that additional regulations would be incorporated into the High Seas Fisheries Bill which was then before the House of Representatives, and if necessary the fishing fleet under the International Merchant Marine Registry (IMMARBE), which had been taken over last July, would be deregulated. But the EU has said it is simply not enough. OCEANA Vice-President Janelle Chanona spoke to us via telephone this afternoon and said that the immediate effect of the ban will be seen on international fishing vessels carrying the Belize flag which sell directly to EU member states, but if the ban is allowed to continue, that will eventually spread to local fisheries products.

Man charged in Kayla Burgess murder; Dueck family expressed condolences
The family of an 18 year old woman from San Ignacio has put out a statement to the pubic regarding the case of the murder of 24 year old Kayla Burgess. The family of Faith Deuck has retained the services of attorney at law Audrey Matura Shepherd and in the media statement today stated that Dueck “is as much a victim of the accused 21 year old Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt.” The one-page statement goes on to explain that Dueck had recently started to share a house in the Kontiki area and that she met Kayla Burgess through Garbutt “who introduced Kayla as a friend and with whom she had socialized before in the company of Vinnie.” The Dueck family statement goes on to say that: “To faith, it was not unusual to see Vinnie with Kayla’s vehicle nor to learn that he dropped off Kayla or picked her up somewhere or even had to take the vehicle for Kayla somewhere, thus seeing him with the vehicle that Thursday did not send off any alarm bells to her. It would not even have been unusual for Vinnie and Kayla to hook up and make plans unknown to her or for Kayla to even visit him. It was not until police visited Faith at her workplace Thursday night that she learnt that Kayla was dead, which was devastating news in itself and worst yet when she learnt that Vinnie admitted to being responsible for her death and recalling that earlier he had been in possession of Kayla’s gold Kia.”

Belizeans with dual citizenships can no longer depend on the UDP for support
By Wellington C. Ramos When I first came to America in 1978 to live, most Belizean Americans wanted a change of government. Many of them were complaining that they came to this country because they were victims of victimization committed against them by the People’s United Party and I was one of them who felt and experienced it. I remember attending a “No Guatemala Demonstration” in April of 1977 along with other police corporals like myself. After the demonstration that same week, I was given an immediate transfer to San Pedro Ambergrys Caye. The problem was that I was scheduled to commence my three months leave in the month of July that same year. I went to the Commander of Eastern Division at the time, Superintendent Gilbert Franklin, to file a complaint against the transfer but he said he could not do anything about it. I then decided to go and appeal to the Premier George Cadle Price and he said the same thing but referred me to the minister of internal affairs Carl Linbergh Rogers -- “Lindy”. When I got to Paslow Building, his permanent secretary Michael Hulse approached me and said the following: “Corporal, da we you mi di du di demonstrate with UDP yada day”.

A Unique Opportunity for Young Leaders to Be Trained in Road Safety
In collaboration with YOURS - Youth for Road Safety Project and the Caribbean Development Bank - the Government of Belize would like to open an invitation to your school to select future young leaders to apply for a unique opportunity to be trained as youth facilitators in road safety. Why Road Safety? Road traffic crashes are the single biggest killer of young people, killing more than HIV/AIDS, TB or Malaria. In Belize, approximately 30% of all road traffic fatalities are young people aged between 16 and 29. About 90% of these youth casualties are males. A combination of physical and developmental immaturity, and inexperience and youth-related lifestyles further increase the risk of young road users to road traffic collisions. We believe young people in Belize have not yet been adequately empowered to make informed choices to influence their own development. Young people are part of the road safety solution.

Candle light march for Kayla Burgess
A candle light march will also be held in Belmopan on Tuesday March 25th at 6:30 p.m. from in front of Kayla's house at #10 Oriole Street around the Ring Road and end in front of Belmopan Comprehensive School. Kindly wear either a green or white top. Candles will be provided. All are invited. Funeral will be on Wednesday March 26th at 2 p.m. Nazarene Church in Independence Village. A bus will leave at 10 a.m. in front of BTL- Belmopan

H4L Chetumal Excursion
The Hand for Life club at SHJC is doing a Chetumal bus trip as a fundraiser and it leaves on Sunday, April 11th. It's an overnighter, and includes Bacalar too, for only $95. "Please support !!!! Open to the general public ....."

Your Guide to Snorkeling near San Pedro, Belize
Ever dream of swimming with sharks without getting your leg bitten off? What about swimming throughout schools of fish and watching a sea turtle glide gracefully throughout the water? Does snorkeling with a sting ray tickle your fancy?! Care to swim alongside a manatee (!!!) anyone? With a 185-mile barrier reef (only second in size to Australia's), the opportunity to see a vast array of sea life is pretty amazing. Pretty gosh-darn epic if you ask me. The options are basically endless when it comes to sticking your head below the surface. All around the island of Ambergris Caye there is an abundance of sea life and colorful corals just waiting to be explored. The water is turquoise in color, and the best snorkel spots are easily accessible by both half or whole day tours. Diving is also an option, although requires a PADI license.

Ocean Rescue Swimmer Class offered at Robert's Grove, Belize
Robert's Grove Beach Resort in Placencia Belize and Fire Management International presents the Ocean Rescue Swimmer Class!

Inauguration of New Facilities at Bacalar Chico
Ecological & Educational Center, photos

Faith Dueck is No Accomplice in Death of Kayla Burgess Says Her Attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd
Audrey Matura-Shepherd, attorney for co-accused, Faith Dueck in the murder of Kayla Burgess released the following statement on behalf of her client on Monday. The accused, Vince Garbutt, 21 has been formally charged for Murder. His mugshot issued by police on Monday, shows scratches on Garbutt’s cheek and neck. Audrey Matura-Shepherd wrote to the press on Monday: “The Family of 18 year old Faith Deuck, wishes to set the record straight that unlike all the speculations and accusations against her, she is no accomplice in the death of 24 year old Kayla Burgess, and she too is as much a victim of the accused 21 year old Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt. She had just become his room-mate sharing the same house in the Kontiki Area the Monday before the murder of Burgess, whom Faith met through Vinnie who introduced Kayla as a friend and with whom she had socialized before in the company of Vinnie.

Embattled Belizean Minister of Education Responds to Viral Report via Facebook
News went viral over the weekend that Belize’s Minister of Education, Patrick Faber went berserk on Friday evening in front of his mother-in-law’s home on Gill Street in Belize City and shattered the windsheild of his estranged wife’s vehicle. It is not known what ticked off the minister known for his penchant to easily become unhinged. Mrs. Krishna Faber and Patrick have been married since 2004. Things deteriorated over recent years, we’re told, due to Faber’s drinking, philandering and abuse. Late last year, Mrs. Faber packed up and left and moved back home with her mother on Gill Street.

Video: Monkeying Around at Wildtracks
Molly came back to visit Izzie, a monkey being rehabilitated at Wildtracks after being away for 8 months. Cuteness ensued. They give status updates on many of the other monkeys too. "Wildtracks Update: A busy week at Wildtracks, with a visit from Molly, Izzie's primary carer through the early days - the trips to the vet, the operations, and the recuperation. It has been eight months since they last met, so what happened when they were reunited?"

Video: ERI and Panthera Seminar S1E2
Today is the second Environmental Research Institute and Panthera seminar. This time, they'll have Dr. Francis Putz talk about Natural Forest Management. They have pictures from the first seminar, which was last week. "Oh look!! It's the second seminar in our series... didn't think we'd keep you waiting too long for another one, did you? Join us next Tuesday!"

Video: Belize - Spring Break 2014
Spring Break trip (2014) to Placencia, Belize Video Shot and Edited by Jake Rockefeller

Video: Gringos In Belize
Motley crew of characters aboard 2 chartered catamarans frolic through the barrier reef of Belize.

Video: Ramon Llaneza Exploring Mysterious Bottom of Belize Blue Hole by Ramon Llaneza

Video: Orquidea Negra Dance
A dance presentation by Orquidea Negra Dance Company at Maya Day, 2014. Here is another awesome presentation by Orquidea Negra Dance Company. This was done at Maya Day 2014 in Blue Creek village, Toledo district.

Video: Crusin' Baby!!! Part III: Belize City, Belize
Rain Forest Jungle Trek and Cave Tubing in Belize! Day 5 of our 7 day cruise.

Video: Cave Tubing in Belize, Central America
21 minutes

Video: Belize
8 minutes

Video: Spring break 2014 GUATEMALA & BELIZE
Everything was capture with a GoPro!

Video: The Garifuna people in Belize
Well known Topsham builder Claude Belanger is also an archeologist, and an expert on the Maya civilisation in Belize. In 2005 he took me to visit Barranco village on the border with Guatemala to meet one of Belize's interesting minorities - the Garifuna people who are struggling to preserve their culture. I saw some familiar problems - definitely worth a slot on Topsham TV.

Video: Ambergris Caye Belize Diving
Simcoe Diving's trip to Ambergris Caye Belize to dive on the Belize Barrier reef system. Great footage of nurse sharks, moray eels, coral systems, and turtles!

Video: Blount Small Ship Adventure BELIZE 2014
46 minutes. One of my "bucket list" items has been to visit Belize and to snorkel in this pristine location. Blount Small Ship Adventure with only 72 passengers was the perfect platform for this adventure. The snorkeling was both plentiful and very beautiful. This video is both for our friends who like to follow our travels and for all of the great new friends we made on the ship. I want to admit that names of sea-life plants and animals could be incorrect but are accurate to the best of my knowledge. I hope you enjoy.

Video: Maya Day in Belize, at Tumul K'in
13 minutes. Maya Day was being celebrated in Belize on March 24, 2013. The festivities were hosted by Tumul K'in Learning Center, located in Blue Creek, Belize. On this day, Mayas celebrate their Identity and traditional Mayan customs are performed, including "The Dance of the Deer." In collaboration with Ak' Kutan Radio, also located at Tumul K'in, the Berinstein (2013) Q'eqchi Mayan Narrative collection is being produced on a weekly Q'eqchi Maya Storytelling Program. One of the most popular legends is the story about "The Dance of the Deer" because the dance is known throughout all parts of Belize and is still practiced widely in Guatemala, as well as Belize.

Video: Belize Trip 2014
An incredible place to visit!! Ambergris Caye Belize I apologize for the shaky cam syndrome in this video, I enjoyed things so much that I didn't focus on filming lol

Channel 7

Vinnie Garbutt Arraigned For Kayla's Murder
21 Year-old Vinnie Garbutt, a resident of the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio, is on remand at prison tonight after he was arraigned for the murder of his girlfriend, 24 year-old Kayla Burgess, who was killed on Thursday afternoon. Garbutt was arraigned this afternoon before Magistrate Nardia Morgan, on the single charge of murder. Because it's murder, no plea was taken, and he was remanded to prison until June 24 when he'll appear in court again. As we told you, on Thursday evening, Burgess' family from Independence Village, received a text from Kayla's phone demanding a ransom of $250,000 or else she would be killed. They also got information in the form of another text message that she could possibly be in the Cayo District. Her family immediately alerted police, who conducted a sweep of the entire district, and her body was found in Bullet Tree Road inside her vehicle, a Kia Sorrento. The vehicle was locked, and when police got inside, they found Burgess with with a plastic bag over her face and a plastic tightener strapped around her neck.

Rt. Hon. Musa: PM Barrow From Hercules To Humpty Dumpty
Turning now to politics - the 2014 - 2015 budget was debated today at the House of Representatives in Belmopan. As per parliamentary convention, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca started with his response to Prime Minister Dean Barrow's 6th budget. He said it exposed the Prime Minister like a ringmaster at a circus: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "This is a UDP government that is disconnected, out of touch and high on themselves. And the budget presented on March 7th by the Honorable Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister reflects that disconnect, reflects that arrogance. Like the ring master at a cheap circus, the Minister of Finance smeared on the makeup and the lipstick, sprayed himself from head to toe with some five dollars "Kush Kush" and for good order, even recited some Shakespeare, but Mr. Speaker, no amount of makeup can hide the ugly reality of the Belizean people and no amount of cheap cologne can cover up the smell of this rotten UDP government." "The game is over master. The ringmaster, Mr. Speaker, is standing all alone on center stage under the big circus tent and his pants are on the ground. You try to talk pretty Mr. Prime Minister, but the Belizean people reality ugly bad. The UDP jobs plan Mr. Speaker is to send you to break stone on street - that is their jobs' plan."

PUP Youth Arm Protest Against Minister of Youth
And when those supporters left, it was time for them to "fall-in" at a planned protest through the streets of Belmopan leading up to the National Assembly stairs. It's organized by the youth arm of the PUP to pressure youth Minister Patrick Faber on lack of support for youth development in the new budget. We spoke to lead organizer Micah Goodin:.. Micah Goodin, PUP Youth Envoy "We are here because we have recognize that it is time for young people to step up - this is our time and we will not wait anymore. We will get involve and we will take on whoever we have to take on even if that includes Minister Faber." Jules Vasquez "What is specific allegation here today? I know you all have been complaining for a while that youths are left out of the budget." Micah Goodin, PUP Youth Envoy "Yes, for too long we have been excluded out of the budget and today you are seeing a youth rally. We have identified different youth leaders from the different districts and this is the beginning of something great. This is the beginning of a new era where young people are not sitting on the sidelines anymore. We want to live in a Belize where we are confident that after completing an education that there is employment. We want real opportunities, we want real development we want to be a part of that development."

A Frightening Number of Weekend Traffic Accidents, Two Fatal
For the Month of March alone, there have been 10 traffic fatalities, 6 of which happened on the Northern Highway in the jurisdiction of the Ladyville Police. Tonight we report on 6 more accidents which happened over the weekend - 4 of them in the Belize District. There were 2 fatalities among this weekend's victims, but we start with the story of a survivor: 3 year-old Romeo Flores Jr., who remains in the hospital in a critical condition. On Saturday afternoon, the child was knocked down by a bus which was traveling through the Scotland Half Moon area after his family and he attended church. Today, 7News spoke with police and his father about what happened: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "Our traffic incidents; we had one in Scotland Halfmoon, persons were exiting an area where there is a church, traffic may have been thick and a child was knocked by a passenger bus traveling towards one of the villages. The child was rushed to the hospital and is being attended to there."

Truck Runs Over Man At Crowded Roundabout
And we turn now to the fatalities - two of them, on in the Belize District, the other in Dangriga. First to the once in the city - which was gruesome: one man died after a dump truck ran over his head. 33 year-old Jose Martinez was riding his bike at around 4 on Saturday evening when he fell off. That's when the dump truck tried to get over the pedestrian ramp, and one of its wheels crushed his skull. It was a very gruesome scene, and today Police told us more about how it happened: Cpl. Jorge Lemus, Admin Officer, Precinct Two "Precinct Two police proceeded to one mile George Price Highway where upon arrival they noticed a Hispanic male person lying face down on the street beneath a 14-wheeler dump truck, Peterbuilt brand that was driven at the time by one Gilroy Wade of a 8 Mile Community address. Our investigation has revealed that this said male person was riding contrary to traffic and the said dump truck arrived at the pedestrian ramp to give way to pedestrians crossing the ramp. However, upon moving off, his side man alerted him that he had knock down somebody. He immediately stop the said truck and rendered assistance."

Early Morning Exerciser Knocked Down and Killed In Griga
In the weekend's other fatality, the family of 63 year old former BDF soldier Henry Pascual tells us that he was knocked down while exercising on the Stann Creek Valley Road early on Saturday morning. They say that he was in the habit of waking up before 5:00 am to go exercise - and that's when someone knocked him down from behind. The driver stopped to pick him up and carry him to the hospital, but he died shortly after. His family tells us his daughter died on Friday morning and he was knocked down and killed 24 hours later…

Ladyville Scene of Three Shootings In 48 Hours
As we told you before the break, Ladyville police had to manage 4 traffic accidents this weekend, but there were also violent crimes which happened that kept the officers busy. The first happened on Saturday morning, where one man was shot on Pigeon Street. The Rural Executive Officer told us about it: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "On Saturday morning sometime after 1:30am, the police visited an area on Pigeon Street and a gentleman had gone to a police officer and reported that he had been injured. The person was taken to the military hospital, they assisted and then taken to the Karl Heusner. He has been released. The preliminary on that is that somebody had fired shots indiscriminately. We don't know if it was at somebody, but pellets may have hit that person. He is now out of the hospital." And a few hours later, police had to go back to Pigeon Street after a wild shootout happened in which bullets went flying into the houses of unsuspecting victims. It's the kind of thing we report on frequently in the crime hotspots in Belize City, but the family which has been living in at their address on Pigeon Street for over 15 years, has never experienced this before. They told us about how the shootout disturbed their sense of peace and security:

Two Shot In Ladyville, One Still Hasn't Turned Up At Hospital
And there's still more crime news from Ladyville police are investigating a possible retaliation for Sunday's shooting. This one is believed to have happened this morning possibly as early as 4:00 am. But the victims did not go to police or the hospital, and police only found one of them around 2:30 today. He is Corey McKay and he had multiple gunshot wounds. The person who was shot along with him has still not turned up at the police station or the hospital.. The pair were reportedly on the turf of a rival individual who opened fire on them. Police have a suspect and are seeking the other shooting victim.

Hon. Espat's Home Burglarized, But They Only Stole His Budget Presentation!
Deputy Leader of the PUP Julius Espat is expected to make his response to the budget tomorrow. His turn on the floor is always anticipated because of his combative style. He's already become well known for his confrontations with the Speaker of the House - and his sparring with members of the UDP. But he'll have to burn the midnight oil if he wants to be ready for tomorrow's debate session, and worse than that, he may have to show up with a handwritten speech. And all that's because his laptop computer and his speech were stolen from his home on Seashore Drive on Sunday morning. Police say that Espat's home at the corner Independence Avenue and Seashore Drive was broken into around 1:00 am on Sunday - which is across the street from Mark King's residence. Espat today told us that only two things were stolen:.. Hon. Julius Espat, Cayo South Area Rep "Well I was working late, preparing my speech and I forgot to put on the alarm, went to sleep and my wife alerted me that there was something upstairs in the house; the dog alerted us. And so I took out my weapon and tried to find out what was happening. And we didn't find anything, so we put on the alarm and went back to sleep. In the morning, we got up and I wanted to practice my speech and I asked my wife, where did she put the speech and she says she didn't touch it. And then we realized that the two laptop computers that I was working on last night and the speech miraculously disappeared."

Hon. Faber Downplays Domestic Dispute
Another parliamentarian who had a tough weekend was UDP Education Minister Patrick Faber. Faber and his wife are going through a separation and, according to reports, on Friday - which happened to be Faber's 36th birthday, there was a domestic dispute. Reports say it happened at his wife's family home in Belize City where Faber allegedly threw a cement brick into her vehicle's windshield. She has not made a police report, and when we asked Faber for comment via text message today he told us quote, "The article being circulated is riddled with falsities. It is clearly crafted by those who would wish to tear me down. The truth is that my wife and I are going through a separation. It is a matter that is for us both a personal issue. We would hope that you can respect that, if not for us then for the sake of our two boys."

Rogue Corporal Accused of Another Lawless Assault On Civilian
A hair braider who works out of the Belize City Tourism Village claims a police corporal with a long history of abuse used excessive force against her. She says that last week Wednesday, she had a confrontation with a fellow hair braider while in the tourism village. Officers attached to the Tourism Police Unit responded to try to keep the peace, and in that process, Sharmaine Copious claims that the Corporal punched her in the head and choked her before his fellow officers could calm him down. Today, she explained the confrontation with the officer to us: Sharmaine Copious "They came up to the approach of the vociferous behavior with me and the young lady. They escorted us out of the village which is behind the barrier behind Mirab - both of us in the direction behind the barrier, this other officer followed us and he start to push at me. I said to him please not do that. Both of them held on; one on the hand that I had a soda and the other that I am holding my bicycle with. The corporal drag the bicycle out of my right hand and the other police officer drag the soda out of my left hand. Anyways, my hand went backwards because of the way the police officer had my hand. So my hand ended up hitting him on the shoulder area. He said that he was going to charge me for assaulting a police officer. I got so mad I said to him "f-ing charge me" with an obscene language.

Belmopan Man Says He's Victim Of Capital Harassment
And we came across another tale of alleged police harassment this weekend. Michael Usher, a 33 year old Belmopan resident says since he was wrongly charged for burglary in 2012, police have been constantly harassing him - most recently wreaking havoc at his home in the Capital. Here's his story:.. Michael Usher "I am getting repeated harassment from Belize Police Department in Belmopan for no reason. Every time something happens in Belmopan, the police come to my house and digs up my house. If the camera crew goes to my house right now, they will see where my door is broken off; my back and front doors are broken off. My house is totally dug up. Police always harass me for no reason and takes me to the police station for 48 hours and then they release me because they never have any charges on me." Jules Vasquez "Well, nobody doesn't stone empty mango tree." Michael Usher "I have never done anything. The police don't have any charges on me from the past until now. The only charge that they have on me is what they gave me in 2012."

Former Belizean Boxer Killed In Chicago Assault
A Belizean who lived in Chicago is making national headlines in the United States after he was killed trying to protect his daughter form a racist. Last week Wednesday, 59 year old Michael Tingling was walking his 15 year old daughter home from school when Joseph Firek started making inappropriate gestures at the girl shouting racial slurs at them. Tingling stood up in front of his daughter to defend her, which is when Firek pushed him in the chest., Tingling has a pacemaker and the push or the stress of the event triggered a cardiac event, which caused him to die an hour later. Joseph Firek, 59, has been charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime. Tingling's family said he a Belize native who boxed in his youth. He had health problems - diabetes and heart disease -- and wore a pacemaker, they said.

Brazen Border Bandits Rob Money Changers
On Friday evening at 6:00 pm there was a brazen armed holdup on the Belize side of the Western Border at Benque Viejo. A pair of armed Guatemalan Bandits held up two money changers - and as police told us the robbers weren't afraid to use their pistols:.. ASP Dinsdale Thompson, O.C., Benque Viejo Police "Yes there was a robbery which we believe to have been carried out by two Guatemalans male individuals if Hispanic descent. We have further investigated that there are $2,700.00 which they have stolen from of our Belizeans money exchanges who work out at that location on a daily basis on the Belizean side." "Our investigations reveals that they have come over with one 9mm pistol and have discharge some rounds up in the air with the intend to put the individuals in fear. It's a good thing no one was hurt. So far what we are doing is we are working along with the Guatemalans authorities in trying to find out who these individuals are." Jules Vasquez "Is there anything you can do because all these money changers have a lot of cash on them?"

Despite Executive, Legislative Efforts, Belize Banned
Belize passed new fisheries laws and nationalized Immarbe, but it wasn't enough and it has been announced that the trade restrictions will be placed on Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea for failing to cooperate in fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing. The decision means EU member states are now required to ban the import of fish from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea and ensure that EU fishing vessels do not operate in the waters of these nations.

Channel 5

Budget Debate: Leader of the Opposition says the budget is a noodles budget
Today parliamentarians from constituencies countrywide gathered to debate the 2014 – 2015 Budget, presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow two weeks ago. It’s titled Bettering People, Building Belize – A [...]

Former Prime Minister takes on the Prime Minister
The third speaker for the day was former Prime Minister and political firebrand Said Musa. If there’s one thing that can be said for the wily veteran, it is that [...]

Said Musa says PM has lost his fight on corruption
According to Musa, the performance of the economy under the U.D.P. has been dismal at best, and that is borne out by poverty statistics. The government has boasted about the [...]

Patrick Faber targets B.N.T.U.
Following former Prime Minister Said Musa was Collet Area Rep and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. He’s usually good for two hours, but today he seemed somewhat subdued. Still, he [...]

John Briceño lashes out at the government
Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceño, then took center stage. He was fired up, and combined past achievements and present statistics to lash out at the U.D.P. government. [...]

Vince Garbutt is arraigned for murder of ex-girlfriend
Three police officers escorted a university student to the San Ignacio court this morning. Vince Garbutt was handcuffed, as he made his way to the courtroom of Magistrate Nardia Morgan. [...]

Family traumatized following shootings on Pigeon Street
Police in Rural Belize District had their hands full over the weekend. There were a number of traffic accidents which we will have later in the newscast, but there were [...]

2 persons injured in early morning shooting in Ladyville
But there was a third shooting in the Ladyville Area…this one occurred early this morning. A search by the family of Corey McKay and Karim Arnold as well as the [...]

Honduran National killed in traffic accident in the City
There were various traffic accidents over the weekend, at least five, in the Belize District alone; one was fatal. A Honduran national of Iguana Street Extension, Jose Angel Martinez, was [...]

Brazen robbery of two money changers at the Western border
A daring, late-evening heist at the western border last Friday, believed to be the work of a duo of Guatemalan bandits, remains the subject of a joint police investigation.  The [...]

Home of Deputy P.U.P. Leader Julius Espat burglarized
On Sunday morning, there was a burglary in Belize City. Now that’s nothing out of the ordinary, but in this case the victim was a well-known politician and the burglary [...]

Janet Arnold is new Assistant GM of National Bank of Belize
There is an update to report on the National Bank of Belize. As you know by now, Jose Marin was named Managing Director when the Bank opened its doors last [...]

Janine Ebanks-Alpuche appointed Executive Director of Friends of Belize
Former Product Development Officer at the Belize Tourism Board, Janine Ebanks-Alpuche has been appointed as executive director of Friends of Belize.  Alpuche is responsible for heading the organization’s efforts in [...]

3 year old boy clings to life following accident in Scotland Halfmoon
There were a total of six traffic accidents over the weekend; four occurred in rural Belize which is the jurisdiction of Rural Executive Officer of the Police Department, Assistant Superintendent [...]

2 Bowen & Bowen employees badly injured in traffic accident
Two Bowen and Bowen employees are also in critical condition at the K.H.M.H. following an accident on Sunday evening. Thirty eight year old Ian Nunez of Poinsetta Street and thirty-five [...]

Minor accidents along Phillip Goldson Highway
Two minor accidents also occurred in Rural Belize District.  Although twenty miles apart and not as serious, the number of accidents within his area is of concern to him, says [...]

Salvadoran man remanded for immigration offense
A Salvadoran national who has been living in Belize illegally had to spend the weekend in lockdown after he was busted while hanging out with a group of men on [...]

Did Faber smash wife’s windshield with cement block?
It was reported on social media over the weekend that Minister of Education, Patrick Faber had damaged the windshield of his wife’s vehicle. The incident happened on Gill Street, where [...]

Sports Monday with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday.   Week 7 brought up the halfway mark in the National Elite Basketball League so we journeyed to Orange Walk [...]


Supal Street Shooting Injures Fisherman
It is an area well known to the Police and in the past we have reported several shootings in this area with one of the most recent ones being, what was dubbed an attempted hit on the leader of the Supal Street Bloods Gang, Jason Williams. Well tonight, it is a Belizean fisherman who was the victim of a shooting that occurred on Sunday night just after ten o’clock. Police were alerted of gunshots fired in the area and upon response, investigators encountered 21-year-old, Anthony Young of a Supal Street address suffering from gunshot wounds. Initial reports say that Young was socializing in an alley near a primary school on Dolphin Street when he was alerted by gunshots ringing out around him. In response to hearing those gunshots, he sought shelter in a yard on Supal Street but realized a few moments later that he was injured in his right ankle and left wrist. Police recovered five 9mm expended shells from the scene while Young was taken to the hospital for treatment where he was listed as stable. Investigations continue into the incident.

Separate Shootings = 2 Men Injured
Love News visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this afternoon where we found the family of Corey McKay in distress after receiving the news that he was shot twice this morning in his back in Ladyville Village in the Belize District. Also injured in the shooting incident was Kareem Arnold who received a gunshot wound to the shoulder. The family was not in any frame of mind to speak with us today and the Officer Commanding that area, ASP Christopher Noble was not available to provide us with any further information. ……But while we cannot bring to you the full details of that incident, we can tell you about Marlon Itza. Itza is a Belizean security officer who was found by Police bleeding from the head on Sunday night just around nine o’clock. According to reports, the Police went on Nurse White Street in Belize City where they encountered 26-year-old, Marlon Itza with injuries in the back of his head. Preliminary investigations indicate that Itza was inside his home, in the company of three other individuals when two men of Creole descent entered his residence. One of the two men, armed with a handgun hit him in the back of the head while demanding money. A struggle ensued and the firearm fell to the ground causing it to discharge.

Faith Cleared of Charges on Kayla’s Murder
As we mentioned, 18-year-old, Faith Dueck was also detained by San Ignacio Police following preliminary investigations but upon receiving directives from the DPP’s office, Dueck was released and no charges were levied against her. One can only imagine the distress brought upon the young girl and as a consequence of that, the girl’s family acquired the services of Attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd in an effort to muzzle the media and effect some damage control to the girl’s reputation. Today, Shepherd issued a release to the media that read as follows: “The Family of 18 year old Faith Deuck, wishes to set the record straight that unlike all the speculations and accusations against her, she is no accomplice in the death of 24 year old Kayla Burgess, and she too is as much a victim of the accused 21 year old Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt. She had just become his room-mate sharing the same house in the Kontiki Area the Monday before the murder of Burgess, whom Faith met through Vinnie who introduced Kayla as a friend and with whom she had socialized before in the company of Vinnie.

Vinny Arraigned on Murder Charge
Police in western Belize started out their investigations last Thursday with the report of a ransom kidnapping of 24-year-old, Kayla Pandy Burgess of Independence Village in the Stann Creek District. Hours later, further investigations revealed that the authorities were being misled and there was no ransom kidnapping to investigate but rather a murder incident that is believed to have occurred in the Kontiki Area in San Ignacio Town. A diligent search and quick response by the Police led to the discovery of Kayla’s body on the Bullet Tree Road inside her 2005 gold Kia Sorento and subsequently, to the detention of 21-year-old, Vince ‘Vinny’ Garbutt and 18-year-old, Faith Dueck. Evidence was gathered and statements were taken and all of this was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions. On Saturday, March 22, directives were issued to the San Ignacio Police by the DPP’s office and Garbutt was charged with murder. He appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Nadia Morgan where he was arraigned and is scheduled to reappear in court on June 26, 2014. At the time of the incident, Garbutt was a student at Galen University and had attended classes up to the day of the murder. Kayla Pandy Burgess will be laid to rest on Wednesday in Independence Village.

Joint Operations Yield Drugs, Alcohol and Firearm
Last week we told you of the joint operation that was being conducted on San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. It was an immense team effort as the Military, Coast Guard and Police officers including members of the Gang Suppression Unit got together and carried out a search of twenty premises, two hundred and fifty vehicles as well as individuals. They also carried out searches on ten known bases on the island. It was an intense day’s work that resulted in the arrest of eight person for drug possession, I person for an immigration offense, one person for possession of crack pipe as well as the confiscation of one thousand two hundred and fifteen grams of cocaine, one thousand and ninety seven grams of marijuana as well as one 4 ½ inch crack pipe and a marijuana plant about 1 ½ feet tall and one nine millimetre pistol with a magazine containing three live rounds of ammunition. In addition to all this, the operation yielded uncustomed goods including one litre of Teacher’s Whiskey, three litres Bacardi White rum, one litre of Five Whiskey. The operation on the island entailed vehicular check points, mobile and foot patrols as well as maritime patrols. The operations team was led by Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster and Superintendent Linden Flowers.


Man Charged in Kayla Burgess’ Murder
Ms. Kayla Burgess’s accused murderer was formally charged by San Ignacio police on Saturday. He is 21 year old Vince Garbutt, a resident of San Ignacio town. Mr. Garbutt allegedly confessed to the murder of Kayla Burgess, a resident of Independence village, Stann Creek district. After her parents received...

Belize District Reports More Shootings
There was a shooting incident this morning where two men were shot. It happened in the Ladyville area. Police say that Corey McKay was shot twice to the back while Kareem Arnold was shot once to the shoulder. Police say they are seeking the shooter. There was another shooting...

Truck Wheel Crushes Man’s Head
There was a terrible road traffic accident on Saturday afternoon in Belize City. Around 4:30 pm Saturday on Cemetery Road in front of the First Stop Taxi Stand, 33-year-old Honduran national Jose Martinez of an Iguana Street address in Belize City was knocked down and killed when a passing...

Fatal Traffic Accident in Stann Creek
A fatal traffic accident on Saturday claimed the life of a retired BDF soldier. Our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu has the story: Mr. Harry Arzu- Correspondent of Dangriga “63 year old BDF retired soldier Henry Pascual lost his life over the weekend as a result of a traffic accident...

EU Blacklists Belize’s Fish Products
Today European Union States voted, in a historic decision, to officially Blacklist Belize, banning the importation of Fish and fish products into those countries. The bann, which is the first of its kind for the EU, means that Boats flying the Belize flag cannot export to the 28 states...

First Hearing of Mr. Trevor Vernon vs. Hon. Edmund Castro Postponed
Minister of State Edmond “Clear The Land” Castro is being sued by one of his constituents, Trevor Vernon, who believes that in his actions during and after some 80 cheques were distributed by the Belize Airports Authority, totaling over $30,000, he violated the Code of Conduct enshrined in the...

GSU Descends on San Pedro
A team comprising of 47 personnel from Eastern Police Division descended to the island of San Pedro to conduct police operations from March 20th to the 22nd. The team consisted of personnel from GSU, Special Branch, ITUnit, Anti Drug Unit, ED Quick Response Team, BDF and Coast Guard. Recently,...

Drugs Found Along Mopan River
On Sunday, police on mobile patrol in Benque Viejo Town, Cayo District were working along the Mopan River when they saw a male Hispanic person with a back pack crossing the Mopan River. ‘ Upon the approach of the police, the male person dropped the blue back pack and...

Belmopan UDP Mayoral Candidate is Mr. Khalid Belisle
Municipal Elections are set for March 4th, 2015, that is a little less than a year away. Today, Honorable John Saldivar took the opportunity at the budget debate to introduce his favored candidate running for Mayor of Belmopan City Council. Hon. John Saldivar- Minister of National Security and Area...


Where to find good seafood and my favorite healthy snack from Cayo Belize
Whether you live here or planning to cook on vacation and want to enjoy some good Belize seafood, Grace Shrimp on front street has you covered. I have passed it by a zillion times and never stopped in then finally one day I decided to give them a try. The shop is closer to the beginning of front street on the left hand side. Just look for the blue sandwich board sign right before the Cigar store on the left hand side, walk down the lane and you will find the store in your right. It is small but they have a good selection fresh frozen seafood in their 3 big freezers. I was very happy to find both black and white de-veined shrimp in a variety of sizes in the $20 range. I also bought conch and snook both in $15 BZD range the first time and have already been back for more shrimp. Anyone have any good tips on cooking conch? I did not do such a good job of it. When I looked it up online I read that it will get rubbery when it goes into the pot and that simmering it longer will soften it up again. Maybe I was impatient that day but it never seemed to soften back up again.

LOTs of Sun, Snorkelling, Sparkling Ocean and A Few Goose Bumps on the Rum Punch 2
I spent lots and lots of outdoor time over the water on one of my favorite trips – sailing northward to Mexico Rocks snorkeling site with Captain George Eiley and the Rum Punch 2. We met our good captain and his trusty first mate in town at 10am on a gorgeous GORGEOUS Sunday morning. The Rum Punch, an old Belizean fishing boat turned touring craft, was ready to sail. We pulled up to Mexico Rock…a huge swimming pool like area dotted with coral heads. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY.

Lionfish searches and lobster tickling
After our first week of marine science classes in the beautiful fishing village of Sarteneja, myself and my fellow expedition volunteers were excited to finally make it to the Bacalar Chico Dive Camp and get stuck in with the hands-on part of our expedition. Our first three weeks of diving were spent gathering important coral and fish data, and by the fourth week we were set for a new challenge… On almost every one of our dives, a lionfish would be spotted. Lionfish are thought to have been accidentally released into the Caribbean from an aquarium in North America. Despite their strange beauty, from a very early point in the expedition we learned about the damage that this species is wreaking on the local reef. Blue Ventures’ lionfish research is therefore designed not only to monitor the lionfish population itself, but also their food competitors and potential predators. Still a topic of some debate, it is thought that some of the larger marine species could develop an appetite for this rather sedentary species.

International Sources

European Union blacklists seafood trade in Belize
In its toughest move yet to eradicate illegal fishing, the European Union on Monday blacklisted Belize, Cambodia and Guinea, effectively banning their products from the world’s most valuable seafood market. The move to target the three “as countries acting insufficiently against illegal fishing” means EU states will now be required to ban their fish imports and EU vessels required to stay out of their waters. “These decisions are historic,” said the EU’s Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki. “I want EU citizens to know that the fish they consume is sustainable, wherever it comes from.” Illegal fishing is estimated to account for 15 percent of world catches and the decision by the EU, which imports 65 percent of its seafood, won swift praise from environmental groups. “Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing depletes fish stocks, damages marine ecosystems, puts legitimate fishers at an unfair disadvantage and jeopardizes the livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable communities,” said WWF, Oceana, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Environmental Justice Foundation.

EU bans fish imports from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea
The blacklist, first proposed by the European Commission and then rubber stamped by the member states on Monday (24 March), is a first for the EU under its illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing regulation from 2010. “I want EU citizens to know that the fish they consume is sustainable, wherever it comes from. We are steadily moving in that direction,” said EU fishery commissioner Maria Damanaki in a statement. The ban was imposed because they do not comply with international fishery laws. The laws set out rules to prevent illegal fishing practices. At €10 million annually, the value of their exports to the EU is relatively low, but NGOs say it sends a strong signal to other larger fishing countries on the commission’s warning list.

EU Council announces first-ever seafood trade ban against illegal fishing nations
Today, four leading environmental groups – Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts and WWF have welcomed a decision by the EU Fisheries Council to place trade restrictions on Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea for failing to cooperate in fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. The decision means EU member states are now required to ban the import of fish from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea and ensure that EU fishing vessels do not operate in the waters of these nations. In addition to welcoming the ban’s approval by the EU’s 28 fisheries ministers, and praising the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, for her leadership, the NGOs are calling for greater transparency in the way the EU evaluates third countries’ efforts to fight illegal fishing. They are also calling on the European Commission to close a loophole that allows non-EU vessels fishing in the banned countries’ waters to continue exporting their catches to the EU, and to work with EU member states to strengthen efforts to keep illegally-caught fish off the dinner plates of European consumers.

Paul Simon To Join Sting For Rainforest Fund Benefit Concert
Sting and Trudie Styler will be joined by Paul Simon at a star-studded 25th Anniversary Rainforest Fund Benefit Concert on April 17. Joining the lineup will also be James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, Ivy Levan, trumpeter Chris Botti and opera singer Renee Fleming. The concert will take place on the Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall to raise awareness and funds for the important work the Rainforest Fund provides to communities of indigenous peoples throughout Brazil and other countries including Belize, Cameroon, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The biennial Rainforest Fund concert provides a major source of funding for the work of the Fund, which was started by Sting and Trudie in 1989, out of a desire to help a community of indigenous Amazonian people in Brazil.

Ambergris Caye in Belize listed as one of the "Destination On The Rise" by the Chicago Tribune
World destinations on the rise, according to's Travelers' Choice awards. Read more here: Ramons Village Resort Pier and palapa in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Something Fishy is Happening at the Belize Barrier Reef!
Belize may be a small country but it holds the largest cave system of Central America and the second largest barrier reef in the world. With over 500 species of birds, 400 species of subtropical fish, and 900 Mayan historic sites, the country embraces a rich culture with biodiversity unlike any other around the globe. In 2009, the Belize Barrier Reef was named a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, World Heritage Site in Danger. The 900 sites entitled in danger are highly significant to humanity for its cultural and natural characteristics. The World Heritage Committee supplies resources and plans treatment programs for sites in danger of devastation or complete demolition. The sites around the world vary in geography and sizes ranging from monuments to lakes. The Belize Barrier Reef is among one of them because of problems associated with natural environment events, human activity, and pollution.

March 24, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Police Report
Possession of Controlled Drugs On Thursday, March 13that around 2:30PM, San Pedro police conducted a search at the residence of Lincoln Robinson, 41 years old, Belizean Labourer and Leroy Peters, 18 years old, Belizean Labourer, both of Sea Grape Drive, San Pedro Town. The search led to the discovery of a piece of black plastic bag containing 1.0 grams of suspected Cannabis. A further search conducted inside another room of the apartment building, also located on Sea Grape Drive and also occupied by Peters led to the discovery of a black plastic bag and a transparent plastic bag that altogether contained 56.1 grams of suspected Cannabis. Both men are presently detained and pending charges of Possession of Controlled Drug.

Doctor Love: Roommate and Alcoholism
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, My sister and I are roommates We found a great three bedroom place that we liked a lot but we knew that the only way we could afford it is if we had a third roommate. We put the word out and we got another room mate to split the rent. Unfortunately, the only thing she is good for is that she pays the rent on time. Otherwise, she has put us through hell. My sister and I usually eat at our mother’s house.

Misc Belizean Sources

Man dies after his head was crushed by dump truck
There was a terrible road traffic accident on Saturday afternoon in Belize City. It happened around 4:30 pm yesterday on Cemetery Road in front of the Taxi Stand. A man on a bicycle was knocked down and killed when a dump truck crushed his head. The entire portion of Cemetery Road between Central American Boulevard and Partridge Street was closed while police processed the scene. According to reports, the man, who has not yet been identified, was crossing the pedestrian ramp in front of the Cemetery Road taxi stand when he slipped and fell off his bicycle. His head was run over by the truck’s rear wheel, killing the man on the spot. Witnesses say that when he realized what was happening, the driver of the truck immediately brought the truck to a complete stop. Holds a Tasting of White Rum rating the finest in wines and spirits, has once again shined its spotlight on White Rum. recently hosted a White Rum Tasting, where 20 contenders were evaluated for the distinguished “Best White Rum” awards for 2014. images Holds a Tasting of White Rum is very pleased to announce that Travellers Classic White Rum was awarded a Gold medal. Using professional criteria, the pre-qualified panel of judges blind-tasted the white rums and rated them individually on a 1-5 point scoring system, with 5 being the best. Rhum agricoles were tasted and scored separately. After tallying the scores, medals were awarded based on the judges’ impressions. The complete ranking results, along with tasting notes, can be viewed here:

Children’s Festival of Arts
The Festival of Arts was held at Santa Elena Primary School this week. "St. Hilda Anglican School of Georgeville has won two gold certificates in the Children’s Festival of Arts which was held at the Santa Elena Primary School on Wednesday. The winning entrants for St. Hilda were a poem entitled 'The Rights of A Child' and a dance by the Standard 5 students entitled: 'No Worries, Kukere.' In addition to the two gold certificates, St. Hilda Anglican also received a silver certificate for their rendition of the Black Eye Peas song 'Where is the Love.'”

Lucas Botanical Medicinal Trail
The Lucas Botanical Medicinal Trail, located in Bullet Tree, is a great medicinal trail to hike. It can be found on Paslow Falls road, just off of Bullet Tree Falls road. It'll be on Trip Advisor soon. Call Lucas Medina at 665-5421 for more information, or for an appointment.

International Day of Forests Forum
The Environmental Research Institute hosted the Forest Management and Monitoring Forum to celebrate the International Day of Forests this week. ERI and Channel 5 coverage. "A quick look into Day 1... a lot of stimulating discussion, sharing of information and starting to forge the way forward for Forest Monitoring and Management in Belize. Day 2 promises to be awesome too!! Join us!!"

BAY General Meeting
The Belmopan Active Youths, who are very active in the community, and have been hosting basketball matches for the youth, are having their first general membership meeting this evening at 5:30pm, at the George Price Center. If you are interested in making a difference with them, please go and show your support. Educate, Engage, Empower! "Put it on your calendars! BAY General Membership Meeting ... tomorrow, Sunday, March 23rd at 5:30 pm at George Price Center. SEE YOU THERE!!! You're Invited! Join us on Sunday at 5:30 pm at the George Price Center!"

KIDS Art in the Park
Feelgood news of the day. It's Children's Month, and the SHJC Tourism students worked together with the SIPL, the SISE HoC, and the Green Iguana Conservation Project to have a morning of education, fun, and games at the SHC auditorium. Kinds Involved in Dynamic Social Activities(KIDS) Art in the Park was a great idea. Thanks, SHJC! "The Tourism students from Sacred Heart Junior College, Belize had their Art in the Park to celebrate Children's month. They worked with the San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH), the San Ignacio Public Library, and the Green Iguana Conservation Project to host a fun day for the local youth. There was face painting, coloring books, basketball, football, and a water balloon toss. Everyone had a great time."

How EU and US Economic Policies spell bitter end for Caribbean Sugar
This article was originally posted by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs on June 24, 2005. We thought you may be interested in reading it. Notice how the Caribbean nations have been affected by this and add it in to what we’ve been saying all along that things are all part of a larger goal. At the end of the article, I’ll point out some things I’ve been trying to get across and this is part of the glue that holds it all together. Yesterday, the European Union’s (EU) agriculture commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, revealed the specific provisions of the plan originally proposed last July to cut the preferential price the EU pays for sugar imported from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries under the 1975 ACP-EU Sugar Protocol. The changes, which are scheduled for immediate debate by EU ministers and slated to take effect in July 2006, mandate a 39 percent price reduction for ACP sugar by 2008. According to Boel’s announcement in the UK’s Financial Times, the cuts are needed to “make Europe’s sugar industry fit to handle future competition,” regardless of the fact that preferential prices are “an economic lifeline” for ACP countries. Despite EU development commissioner Luis Michel’s announcement of an aid package for ACP countries valued at 40 million euros, the cuts will drastically affect the economies of many Caribbean islands, some of which depend on sugar exports for a major percentage of their GDP. In fact, according to a report by Oxfam, the minimum aid required to keep ACP economies afloat during the changes is 500 million euros.

Video: The Orquidea Negra Dance Company in action at Maya Day, 2014
The Orquidea Negra Dance Company of Benque Viejo del Carmen town made a stunning presentation at Maya Day 2014 in Blue Creek, Toledo.

Video: Fresh Water Cup
It is always refreshing to watch out children at play. This is the way it should be. A female game from the TIDE Fresh Water Cup Tournament. This game was played at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda town.

Video: MAYA DAY 2014 (12 photos)
The Tumulkin Center of Learning in Blue Creek village, Toledo, today hosted the annual Maya Day festivities. The Maya culture was on full display.

Video: Belize: Kampf gegen die Feuerfisch-Invasion
Er ist wunderschön, doch seine Stacheln verbreiten Angst und Schrecken: Der Rotfeuerfisch bedroht das Ökosystem im karibischen Meer. Er frisst das Riff leer. Denn er hat dort kaum natürliche Feinde. Die Fischer jagen ihn auch nicht. Sie fürchten seinen schmerzhaften Stich. Die Meeresschutzorganisation Blue Ventures hat den Kampf aufgenommen. Wie der Rotfeuerfisch vom Indopazifik in das karibische Meer gekommen ist, ist nicht ganz geklärt. Klar ist: Der gefräßige Fisch vermehrt sich in atemberaubender Geschwindigkeit. Seine Invasion ist eine Bedrohung für das gesamte Ökosystem

Video: Belize
world project


DIVES 3-4-14 AND 3-5-14

Video: GoPro - Zip Line in Belize Rainforest


Belizean Man Murdered In Chicago
A man who left his country of birth, Belize, at the age of 15 died in Chicago in the U.S after he was beaten in the presence of his daughter. The Chicago Tribune reports that Michael Tingling and his 15 year old daughter Masharah were out on one of their regular afternoons on Wednesday they were approached 59 year old Joseph Firek who "made inappropriate gestures" to the Masharah. As a result the men got into an argument and Tingling, an ex-boxer, who has a pacemaker, was punched in the chest and collapsed in front of his daughter. He died an hour later at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. According to the Cook County medical examiner's office, Tingling died of heart disease and from stress due to an altercation.

Compassion School Takes Second Place In Poster Competition
World Water Day will be observed this year tomorrow, March 22nd, as is done each year by the United Nations. It is held as a way to bring focus on the importance of freshwater and thus advocating for the sustainable management of fresh water resources. It is a time to celebrate global efforts to bring clean water to the 800 million people who still don't have it. Belize celebrated the occasion today March 21st with an Exhibition in Cayo. The country’s World Water Day Committee also held a poster competition for primary schools throughout Belize and winners were awarded at the exhibition. Second place was won by a primary school student of Compassion School in Yo Creek Village, Jennifer Chi. She told us about her entry. Jennifer Chi “Un mundo que tenía un cable que se conecta y una bujía que esta prendido y la mapa de Belice.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Ganaste el segundo premio como te hace sentir esto?”

Talent Comes Alive In Corozal
Over 10 preschools in the Corozal District gathered today at the Central Park to celebrate one more activity in commemoration of Child Stimulation Month. Victor Castillo has the story from Corozal. Victor Castillo – Reporting Bright colors and smiling faces decorated the Corozal Central Park today as teachers, parents and preschoolers conducted their annual expo which forms part of the ongoing activities for stimulation month. With live animals, presentations and singing sessions, the audience was served a plate filled with fun activities. In commemoration of the celebration, over 100 preschoolers found themselves out of their usual classrooms as the Central Park automatically became their new study hall for the morning. Maria Correa, Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education, told us that the main idea of today’s event was not only to highlight the talent of these young minds, but also to share and educate children on other styles of learning.

Primary Schools Celebrate Cultural Day
The sights, sounds, smell and attires of many children engaged in Cultural Day was quite a vista for many parents and the public today at the San Jose Nuevo Palmar Roman Catholic School. Students of nine schools across Orange Walk Town participated in the Culture Day as they came dressed up in the different ethnic groups that make up Belize. On display were several stalls depicting the culture of the various ethnic groups, highlighting their food, custom and tradition. The attire of the students included those of Mestizo, Garifuna, Mennonite, Hindu, Creole, and Chinese. Teacher “Today we had cultural day and students are being expose, this is stimulation month, they get to know what are the different cultures in Belize and they really enjoy it because there were different kinds of presentations and they get the experience and it was very good, very nice.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “Is this a singular event on observation on stimulation month, have you been doing other activities?” Teacher “They have had many more, they have had like visiting important places in our town, we have had different types of activities which helps them to stimulate.”

Three Men Charged For Robbery
Three Corozal men are tonight behind bars at the Kolbe Foundation while the man believed to be the mastermind of a robbery in Corozal walked free after he was granted bail after appearing in front of Magistrate Hurl Hamilton today. Samir Vivas, Josmer Monima and Keith Bennett, were denied bail after pleading not guilty to the robbery that transpired on the 15th of March 2014 and are to appear back in court on the 24th of June. The men were denied bail since they are being investigated for other robberies. On the other hand, the man believed to have orchestrated the robbery, Corwin Bennett, who pleaded guilty, was offered bail of $5,000 plus a surety of the same amount and with the condition to report to the Green Street Police Station in Belize City every Monday and Friday. If you recall, on March 17th, we reported on a robbery that occurred at knife point in which 17 year old Marielena Gilharry and Adolfo Medina were approached by two male persons of dark complexion who were riding beach cruisers. Both men had on warm caps and were dressed in black shirt and black pants.

Elderly Man Beaten In Orange Walk
A sixty four year old man is beaten and robbed and according to him was also mistreated at the Orange Walk Police Station. According to sixty four year old Ramiro August, after socializing with some men last night he was heading home after midnight and was attacked. August alleges that his attackers were the same men he had been socializing with. He told us he was attacked around the vicinity of New Diamond Restaurant located along the Belize Corozal Road. Ramiro August “We had an altercation and grievance due to personal issues and then the main issue was financial issue to rob my money because I win some couple of pieces of boledo last night and I got money from other sources, nice money and they like to see and like three hundred and odd dollars had spent because I was socializing and inviting them with some drinks and things like that that cause the whole altercation.” August says his bicycle was stolen along with all his money. He sustained a cut wound to his head. August says he reported the incident to the police but adds that he was also mistreated there.

Rotary District Ohio Assists Schools In Northern Belize
At least twelve schools in northern Belize are benefiting from the Resource Centers International Project coordinated and implemented by the Rotary District in Ohio, USA. The team is once again in Belize conducting deliveries to schools in Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. The idea was born six years ago when Project Coordinator Mel Honig approached educators in the University of Belize with the proposal. With the assistance of Rotary Clubs in the Country and several educators, the group has been able to reach many schools. The donations include books and electronic items that are collected in the US. Mel Honig – Project Coordinator “We collect them in the United States most of them are given to us as donations; the computers, the books, the video tapes, some things we have to buy but that is usually a small portion of what we send down here and then we ship it via a container in Belize city and we get everything duty free through the ministry of education and then we bring it to a place for it store temporarily and the schools pick up everything that we wend and distributed.” The team also brings computer and education experts on their trips to Belize to ensure that the resources centers are adequately installed. One school that has benefited from the project is the Compassion Primary School in Yo Creek Village. Principal Manuel Rejon says they are grateful for the donation.

Baby Allegedly Mishandled At N.R.H. Dies
In November 2012 we had reported on the case of Sally Coh who alleged that her baby was seriously hurt when she gave birth to him at the Northern Regional Hospital. Coh and a number of other families had been making reports on malpractice at the NRH during this time. Her case differed from the others as she said that her baby was mishandled during her time in labor and suffered brain damage. Today there is sad news to report as Coh visited our studio to report that her seventeen months old passed away last night and he apparently died in his sleep. Sally Coh “Nunca esperaba que llegara el día que él se iba a morir porque nunca me dijeron que él se iba a ir, pero los doctores se lo habían dicho a mi suegra y a mi marido pero a mí no me lo dijeron para que no preocupara y anoche murió; yo lo acosté a dormir, bebió su baba y se fue a dormir y yo me acose y tarde durmiendo y me levante y dije mi nene no levanta, ahora yo lo fui a chequear y cuando fui estaba obscuro porque solo una lucecita le dejo y entonces cuando yo lo agarre y lo estoy meneando su pecho veo que no levanta como tres veces se lo hice y ahora puse mi cachete contra su nariz y veo que no respira y cuando yo encendí la luz mi nene ya estaba muerto estaba bien moradito y todo eso paso cuando me lo lastimaron pero yo no sé si se ahogó o le agarro un ataque yo no sé.” Coh says that she had a normal pregnancy and is convinced that her baby was severely hurt by the medical practitioners who attended to her at the time she gave birth.

Friday Was Business As Usual For Bowen And Bowen
On Tuesday we told you about a boycott on Bowen and Bowen products that would be held today. This was a movement spearheaded by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and its affiliates in light of the 13 employees who were terminated under pre-text that these persons employment status became redundant. The release stated that it was imperative for Bowen and Bowen to take serious consideration for the reinstatement of their jobs. But, it seems as though, the largest bottling company in Belize, who has a staff of over 900 workers, did not budge and it was business as usual today. We made checks at our local branch distributors but they declined any comment. Our observations around town concluded that no one seemed to have paid heed to the boycott as the ever growing supply for Bowen products remain in high demand. We spoke to Chairman of the Belize Workers Union here in Orange Walk Town and he informed us that the union was merely joining hands with the NTUCB in this boycott and that after meeting with the unionists in Belize City, he would then be able to provide a comment on Monday.

Customs Confiscates Drugs At Northern border
Today four Belize City residents appeared before the Corozal Magistrates after they were arrested and the Belize Northern Border for drug trafficking. Derrick Thompson, 32 year old laborer of #22 Iguana Street, Belize City, Keisha Garnett, 36 year old Belizean Domestic of #10 Welch Street, Belize City, James Welch, 25 year old Belizean laborer of #38 Logwood Street, Belize City and Jason Brown, 36 year old Belizean Laborer of #10 Welch Street, Belize City appeared before Magistrate ....Hamilton this morning and were charged for drug trafficking and intention of supplying to a person or persons. All four pled not guilty to the charges and were granted bail to the sum of $6,000 each plus one surety of the same amount. The charges stem as a result of a drug bust carried out by Custom Officials at the Santa Elena Border on Thursday at around 5:49pm. Reports are that when police arrived at the scene they were over a black plastic bag containing (3) Parcels of suspected cannabis which was found in a blue Chrysler Van with Belize City License plate. Driving the vehicle at the time was Thompson and traveling along with him were Garnett, Welch and Brown. All four individuals were escorted to the Corozal Police Station where the suspected drugs, weighing a total of 3082 grams were sealed for evidence. The accused are scheduled to reappear in court May 21st 2014.


Local Bar Owner Takes $1000 Prize at Lazy Croc’s “Deal With the Devil” Wing Competition
Last night was the much discussed event – Lazy Croc’s Deal With the Devil wing eating competition. For those who haven’t been here, Lazy Croc’s BBQ is a much loved smoked meat & sides joint on Ambergris Caye. They are located north of the bridge and on a small lagoon that just happens to be populated by some serious looking crocodiles. They were down quickly…like 40 seconds. And then the hold for six LONG minutes. And the sweat. It was actually uncomfortable for all of us. Wade. Did. Not. Look. Well. VICTORY! Time was up. Wade toasted the crowd with a yogurt drink. And we went wild. The crowd was most impressed. By Wade’s ability to eat the wings AND the fact that he won $1000! Perhaps Lazy Croc’s went too big on this first night of competition. Next week, I’m guessing the prize is perhaps a small bar tab and a t-shirt.

International Sources

4 CJs take part in drug treatment court workshop
The Organisation of American States (OAS) says chief justices from four Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries have participated in a drug treatment court exchange and on-site study in Vancouver, Canada. Chief justices from Jamaica, Belize, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago took part in the workshop last week that was held in cooperation with the Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals (CADTCP). Each country participating in the event sent a team made up of judges, magistrates, prosecutors, defence attorneys, probation officers, and treatment providers, as well as chief magistrates and chief justices, the OAS said. “The workshop was intended to put ideas and theory into practice for Caribbean countries that are exploring new ways to deal with drug-dependent offenders,” it said. “All participants in the workshop took part in DTC (Drug Treatment Court) simulation sessions.”

10 best dive sites in North America
Fun, sun, and…scuba? For many, a trip to the beach just isn’t complete without the possibility of a deep sea dive. Whether you want to explore ship wrecks, meet creatures of the deep, or wonder at gorgeous coral formations, scuba diving can be a fun and athletic opportunity while you’re on vacation. Getting certified is crucial before attempting a dive, and if you choose to give it a go, we’ve compiled some of the best dive sites in North America for you to visit. Some may not realize just how many dive sites await in our own backyard! 1. Dive: Half Moon Caye, Belize Half Moon Caye in Belize offers divers the chance to go on a wall dive–a dive in which the vertical facades of the earth’s landmasses are explored. The depths at Half Moon Caye (and really at any wall dive) are tremendous, giving you the very correct feeling that you are staring into an abyss. The waters at Half Moon Caye are particularly clear, despite the depth, so you will be able to see all manner of wildlife, including loggerhead turtles, rays, barracuda, and eels.

Caribbean chief justices participate in workshop on drug treatment courts
The Organization of American States (OAS), in cooperation with the Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals (CADTCP), held last week in Vancouver, Canada, a drug treatment court (DTC) exchange and on-site study program event for four Caribbean countries: Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. Each country participating in the event sent a team made up of judges, magistrates, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, and treatment providers, as well as chief magistrates and chief justices. The workshop was intended to put ideas and theory into practice for Caribbean countries that are exploring new ways to deal with drug-dependent offenders. All participants in the workshop took part in DTC simulation sessions.

Belize and Venezuela
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Belize and Venezuela became engaged in 1978 When the country got its first Venezuelan consulate Perhaps it was faith that their relations had to wait Belizeans had already set independence on their plate Venezuela was one of the countries that mediated For Belize at the United Nations for us to become an independent nation They were given two lots in Belmopan For a residence and their Embassy’s construction The first is located between the Mexican Embassy and the British High Commission The other is near the Embajada Americana They started international relations in 1989 The only Venezuelan president to visit Was Carlos Sanchez Perez For six hours, because he and George Price were friends They signed many agreements but never ratified Until Chavez took power in 1999

From Burkas to Bathing Suits: Reflecting On Our Recent Travels
It’s the middle of the night in Iran and I have to go to the bathroom, which happens to be down the hallway. Great. Where’s my long-sleeved shirt, pants and shoes? Fumbling around in the dark I try to get dressed without waking up Nick. I search for my headscarf and wrap it around my hair to ensure that no strands are showing. By this point, I’ve practically burst by the time I make it to the toilet! Fast forward to Belize, four months later…

Sunset Sunday: Caye Caulker, Belize
We arrived on stunning Caye Caulker one week ago…and found it hard to say goodbye today. The relaxed island vibe was contagious, the Creole and Caribbean flavoured food was fabulous and the water was crystal clear and calm. Needless to say, we didn’t want to leave this little gem! The island (technically it’s a caye) is so small that it’s only a 2 minute walk from East to West. We definitely weren’t up for any sunrises, but we made it for sunset!

March 23, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Discovering Merida MX on Tropic Air Belize
On Monday, March 3rd Tropic Air inaugurated their new flight service to Mérida, Mexico. Originating from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, the one hour fifteen minute direct flight arrives at the Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport in Mérida. While many Belizeans may be familiar with nearby Chetumal where some take advantage of the shopping opportunities, medical facilities and variety of entertainment choices, Mérida offers these same conveniences, but on a grander scale. Mérida is the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatan and is also the largest city in the Yucatan Peninsula, with a population of over one million people. Very much a vacation destination where culture, architecture, museums, and top-notch restaurants are in abundance, getting there couldn’t be easier now that Tropic Air offers this new flight. As part of promoting the new air service to Mérida, Tropic Air invited The San Pedro Sun, along with other Belizean media houses, travel writers and travel agents on the inaugural flight to experience the colonial culture and contemporary comforts this historic city has to offer. For two days we were accommodated by the Yucatan Tourism Board, and their public relations coordinator Josué Carmona Tapia was a very amiable and resourceful host.

Being a Good Pet Owner
Deciding to get a dog is a life changing decision for you and the dog, and should never be taken lightly. Dogs require at least a couple of hours of your time every day for feeding, grooming, exercise, training and play. They need to be kept safely contained and on walks, their poop needs to be picked up, bagged and placed in the garbage bin. If you don’t have a fence, then your dogs should never be left unattended in your yard.Your dogs will be able to run away to poop in the street or in your neighbour’s yards, empty garbage bins and generally make an unhealthy environment. They will learn bad habits like chasing children, bicycles or vehicles resulting in accidents or injuries. Not only are you placing them in danger, but they also could be causing nuisance problems in your community. Unbelievably, some irresponsible dog owners blame vehicle drivers when their dog is hit by a car or cart, forgetting that it is their responsibility to keep their dog safe and off the streets.

Misc Belizean Sources

Funeral for Martin Simon Paulino held in PG
Funeral service for former deputy mayor of Punta Gorda town Martin Simon Paulino was held this afternoon. Friends and family gathered at the St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic Church on main street to say their final farewell to Paulino who was affectionately Pau. He was found dead in his PG home […]

Domestic incident in Seine Bight leaves woman injured
A woman from Seine Bight village in the Stann Creek district was the victim of a vicious beating last night. Because of the nature of the attack, the name of the victim nor the perpetrator will be released at this time. Police in Placencia have confirmed that the incident involved the woman’s former spouse who was apparently intoxicated at the time of the beating. Police say that bruises on the woman’s body were clearly visible and she was referred to a doctor for treatment. Police have detained the man who beat up the woman and charges against him are pending.

The Social and Political Challenge of Belize
The Bredaa organization sponsored what can be called the first Belize Prime Ministers forum held at Los Angeles in 1992. The forum was hosted by Nuri Akbar and held at the Marcus Garvey school in front of a live audience. This interview was later broadcasted via Pacifica radio network (KPFK 90.7 FM) in Los Angeles on the BREDAA produced “Belize Caribbean Pulse” show. The guest included former and current PM Manuel Esquivel and Dean Barrow. Topic covered the economy, social/political challenges, foreign policy and the impact of race on the local body politics of Belize. Many of the issues discussed almost two decades ago remain elusive to the Belizean experiment. This historical interview was release on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Belize independence on Sept 21st 2011.

Vehicles crash on the Phillip Goldson HighwayA man is in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City following a traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway on Friday night. The victim has been identified as 21 year old Jesus Chicas, a resident of San Roma village in the Corozal district. The crash happened beween miles 73 and 74 on the Phillip Goldson Highway around 8 o’clock last night. According to Corozal police a Rodeo, driven by 20 year old Zamir Herrera was heading north when it collided with a south-bound pickup truck driven by Jesus Chicas, which apparently made a U-turn into the lane of the oncoming vehicle. 35 year old Sebastian Martined received a cut wound to his forehead.

Tide Fresh Water Cup tournament underway
The annual Tide Fresh Water Cup is kicking off today, literally. A football marathon marking the commencement of the sport segment of the community initiative is taking place at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda town. 28 teams from within the Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment’s project region are taking part in this year’s competition. This is the tenth year of the TIDE Fresh Water Cup and coordinator of the competition Norman Budna says that the objective is to get communities and schools involved in the management of our natural resources. As part of the initiative, participating schools are required, at the start of the school year in September, to implement various environmental projects and if successfully assessed, then they are permitted to take part in the football competition.

A candle light march for Kayla Panda
A candle light march will also be held in Belmopan on Tuesday March 25th at 6:30 p.m. from in front of Kayla Pandy's house at #10 Oriole Street around the ring road and end in front of Belmopan Comprehensive School. Kindly wear either a green or white top. Candles will be provided. All are invited. Funeral will be on Wednesday March 26th at 2 p.m. Nazarene Church in Independence Village. A bus will leave at 10a.m. in front of BTL- Belmopan.

Traffic accident
There was a horrible traffic accident that happened a little after 4:30 that claimed the life of a man. According an eye witness he saw the Hispanic man who was riding a black bicycle crossing the pedestrian ramp that is located across from the First Stop Taxi Cooperative on Cemetery Road. According to the eye witness the man on the bicycle slipped and fell under the 10 wheeler truck. The front passenger wheel of the truck ran over the man’s head. The driver of the truck was quickly alerted by his passenger about what happened and he stopped the moving vehicle.

Benque House of Culture Marimba Academy
Musical interlude. The Benque Marimba Academy played at the inauguration of the Xunantunich Welcome Center, and the Pandy Show was there to get a great video of one of their songs. In related news, the SISE House of Culture is going to start offering marimba lessons. Contact them for more information. "Youths getting into marimba music... The benque house of culture marimba academy was playing at the Xunantunich visitor center."

World Water Day in Cayo
Happy World Water Day! Cayo celebrated Friday with an exhibition in the Bedran Hall at the SIRH. Many institutions set up booths for the event. The Department of the Environment is having an fb promotion, so you can go to their page and answer 2 questions to win. Video from the event.

CCIC Grant Funding
The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center is having a proof of concept competition, and funding between $25,000us and $50,000us is availble for development of climate technology that have a positive impact on sustainable agriculture, solar energy, water management, and related fields. The deadline is April 20th. Check out their website for more information.

Belize Still on Happiest List
Belize 'made another top 10 happiest countries list. Of course, and the reef is only a small part of the reason. "Wouldn’t you constantly be happy if you were surrounded by the largest barrier reef in the world, a relaxed Caribbean lifestyle, and a somewhat perfect climate? That’s what Belize citizens get to enjoy every day. On top of that, the country is known for its cultural diversity, making for a happy and harmonious place to live, Travel Channel says."

Minister of Education Patrick Faber Goes Ham – Damages Wife’s Vehicle
Like the song by Rose Royce, says, “you’ve abandoned me; love don’t live here anymore”. That must be what Minister of Education Patrick Faber was feeling on Friday evening when he paid his wife, Krishna Faber a visit at her mom’s home on Gill Street. Divorces are never a good thing. It’s harder when there are children involved. Both parties to the petition must try as best they can not to visit any trauma or discomfort on the children. Try telling that to Minister of Education, Patrick Faber! NBZLive has confirmed that Faber showed up at the Gill Street home of his mother-in-law, on Friday evening around six and got into a confrontation with his soon to be ex wife, Krishna Faber. It is not known what made the minister lose his cool but his penchant is well known as it has been on display before the nation in the House of Representatives. Faber, reportedly in an apparent intoxicated state hurled a cement block onto the windshield of his wife’s vehicle before leaving the property. Mrs. Faber moved in with her mom sometime late last year after enduring much verbal and physical abuse from her husband, sources close to them say.

Video: Belize socio/political challenge - NFL great Jim Brown & Kwame Toure speak on struggle.
39 minutes. n 1991 Nuri Akbar conducted exclusive interviews with two prominent activist and Legends - ESPN voted Jim Brown as NFL greatest football player of the twentieth century. The Hall of famer sat down for a rear in depth interview with the Belize Caribbean Pulse in his Hollywood Hills home.The late revolutionary/Pan Africanist Kwame Toure aka (Stokely Carmichael) granted a interview with us after his lecture on the campus of the University of California at Long Beach. Topic covered Self determination, Social Challenges within the Black diaspora, Gangs/Youth violence and economic development. These interviews are dedicated to the many youths around the globe who continue to be inspired by the work of Jim Brown "Amer-I-can" project and Kwame Toure Legacy of global social/political activism.

Video: Belize socio/political challenge- Past & future Prime Ministers of Belize
50 minutes. The Bredaa organization sponsored what can be called the first Belize Prime Ministers forum held at Los Angeles in 1992. The forum was hosted by Nuri Akbar and held at the Marcus Garvey school in front of a live audience. This interview was later broadcast via Pacifica radio network (KPFK 90.7 FM) in Los Angeles on the BREDAA produced "Belize Caribbean Pulse" show. The guest included former and current PM Manuel Esquivel and Dean Barrow. Topic covered the economy, social/political challenges, foreign policy and the impact of race on the local body politics of Belize. Many of the issues discussed almost two decades ago remain elusive to the Belizean experiment. This historical interview was release on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Belize independence on Sept 21st 2011. PT 2

Video: Travel Like the Locals with Darley
The Best "Off The Beaten Path" Destinations in Western Belize Darley's top picks, adventures that shouldn't be missed in Western Belize.

Video: Parrot Cove Lodge Hotel - Hopkins - Belize
Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, a garden and a terrace, Parrot Cove Lodge is centrally located in the Caribbean coastline in Hopkins Belize between the reef and the rainforest. Rooms with tropical décor include tile floors, cable TV and pool views. The bathroom is private and has a shower and free toiletries. Chef Rob's Gourmet Café changes its dinner menu every day, based on the availability of market fresh products and International food. Guests have free use of our bicycles, kayaks, and snorkel gear. There is also an on-site diving shop. Parrot Cove Lodge can help planning additional activities. Philip Goldson International Airport is a 2-hour drive from the Parrot Cove Lodge.

Video: Tour of Belize with Mr Ken

Video: Crab eating on the bottom of the sea
Munching crab

Video: Guatemala - Belize
I spent one week traveling through Guatemala to Belize in the fall of 2013. Here's a collection of clips from the trip. Places visited: - Antigua - Semuc Champey - Rio Dulce - El Remate - Temples of Tikal - Belize City - Caye Caulker

Video: Vega Inn Beachhouses Hotel - Caye Corker - Belize
Vega Inn Beachhouses is located in Caye Corker. These fully equipped houses are situated across from the public beach and offer free Wi-Fi. With 1 bedroom, the houses feature a seating area and a kitchenette with a sink, microwave and fridge. Guests enjoy a white-sand garden and views of the public beach and the Caribbean Sea. There is a terrace with hammocks. Guests at Vega Inn Beachhouses will find restaurants, bars and shops within a 2-minute walk. The ferry to San Pedro and Belize City is 400 metres away. The property offers free parking.

Video: Sky Flower Hotel Belmopan / El Rey Hotel - Belize
Centrally located in Belmopan, this family-run boutique hotel ofers 24-hour reception, free Wi-Fi and free parking. It can arrange transfers to Belize Airport, as well as the ferry and bus terminals. All rooms have a fan and private bathroom with a hot shower and free toiletries. Most feature a flat-screen TV. Suites additionally have air conditioning, a seating area and a coffee maker. El Rey Hotel has a restaurant and packed lunches can be requested. A laundry and ironing service is offered and luggage storage is available. You can hire a bicycle from the tour desk.

Video: Belize March 2014
Diving with Chuck and Robbie's we encountered a pod of wild dolphins

Video: Ziplining in Belize
7 minutes

Video: Princess Hotel and Casino - Belize City
With an outdoor pool, a spa and and a health club, the Princess Hotel and Casino is in Belize City. Free Wi-Fi access is available, and the property has 2 on-site restaurants, a gym and a business center. The rooms here have cable TV, a sitting area and a refrigerator. Featuring a shower, the private bathrooms also include towels. You can enjoy a sea view from all the rooms. At the Princess Hotel and Casino, there is sit-down restaurant and a buffet restaurant. One of the restaurants specializes in seafood dishes. The Celebrity restaurant is also 215 yards away. The property has a private beach area. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including fishing, bowling and massage treatments. There is also a cinema, gift shop and a beauty parlor. Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport can be reached in a 20-minute drive. The property provides free parking.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Miss Lobster Fest 2013 sizzles in photo shoot!
The reigning Miss Lobster Fest 2013 – 2014, Miss Sherylee Dawson, sizzles in her latest photo shoot. She is set to give up her reign at the end of June. It is a right of passage for each Miss Lobster Fest to be awarded a special photo shoot. This year’s photo shoot took place at Spoonaz Cafe in Belize City. Photographer for the occasion is Ernie Alpuche Photography. Her is the queen in all her regaldom.

Cayeboard Connection hosts book fair
Today, 4-7pm

Would you like to study in Mexico?
Belizeans can benefit from the Mexican Special Scholarship Program 2014. The Embassy of Mexico is pleased to inform that the Special Scholarship Program for Foreigners 2014 has been launched. The special programs, beginning between April and October 2014 include: Visiting professors High-level conferences “Genaro Estrada” Scholarship for Specialists in Mexican Studies Artists Fellowships Media Fellowships Programs for Improving the Quality of Mexican Secondary and Higher Education Institutions.

The Belize Times

BTB’s Worst Kept Secret – Millions of Dollar in Deficit
As the Belize Tourism Board tries to recover from the hemorrhaging caused by the political drama and local and international embarrassment of having to oust its own leader, former BTB Director Laura Esquivel Frampton, as a result of what those on the inside called her “secretive, egotistical” style of leadership, it is also trying its best to conceal from the public a crushing financial dilemma which the flagship tourism institution finds itself in. Well-placed sources in the Tourism Industry have informed the BELIZE TIMES that as the BTB enters its new financial year, it is staring at a huge non-projected financial deficit to the tune of millions of dollars. The information reaching the BELIZE TIMES is that the deficit is the result of an overly-aggressive and poorly coordinated and monitored marketing campaign which has cost the BTB millions of dollars which was not part of its financial forecast. This marketing campaign, which involved the contracting of an international company, who sold them a new but very costly branding concept that involved rainbow colours and a new BTB logo that was similar to one already conceptualized and launched by Mexico’s tourism officials, was met with resistance by BTB executives. These level-headed, experienced tourism officials who tried to apply the brakes on this marketing campaign, felt that there was not only not enough bang in the buck, but not much sense either. The strong reservations expressed eventually got overruled by Esquivel-Frampton who gave the ultimate approval to the marketing campaign. The result, we are reliably told, is a tab to the tune of millions of dollars which was not forecasted in their expenditure.

Fraudulent UDP Conventions! – Delroy Cuthkelvin confirms conventions are rigged, wants Chairman Alberto August sanctioned
Someone in the UDP has finally found the courage to publicly confirm that the conventions held by the United Democratic Party to elect standard bearer candidates for the upcoming elections are fraudulent. Delroy Cuthkelvin, who is a Chief Propagandist for the UDP and who was hired on a political contract to head the Belize Press Office, has exposed that the UDP conventions are entirely rigged. Cuthkelvin speaks from experience. He boycotted the Stann Creek West convention, held last weekend, as a result of heavy manipulation of the voters’ list by UDP Chairman Alberto August to favor the recycled candidate, Melvin Hulse. In a press release issued on Monday March 17th, Cuthkelvin said that they boycotted the convention because August had arbitrarily removed over 600 voters, when the candidates had only agreed to disallowing 200 from the total list. “…we made the decision to boycott the convention as we were convinced that to participate in it would be to validate a glaringly fraudulent and undemocratic process deliberately designed to disenfranchise legitimate voters of Stann Creek West and install the Chairman’s candidate of choice, Melvin Hulse,” stated the press release.

New Senators Bring Fire & Fury
PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca said he expects fire and fury from his new appointments to the Senate, which were announced this afternoon at a press briefing at the Party Headquarters, Independence Hall. Formidable Attorney Anthony Sylvestre Jr. and community activist/Belmopan Standard Bearer Patrick Andrews are the two new Senators, who will join the Lead Opposition Senator Hon. Lisa Shoman. When addressing the media, Sylvestre said that it is a privilege to serve as a Senator for the PUP and that he will take the job were seriously. He criticized the Barrow Administration as being a “Government in an abyss” and one that has “lost the legal and moral authority to govern”.

Legal Drug Hustlers
By G. Michael Reid I hereby ask forgiveness of all those readers who tolerate my weekly rhetoric since I had need of a two week hiatus. My absence was necessary to attend to an urgent medical situation. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) has wreaked havoc on my frame and has necessitated the replacement of several joints. Science has not yet found a way to halt the damage that RA does to joints nor have they found a way to help the joint to repair itself. They have found a way to replace those joints that become severely damaged and I have since had the need to replace both hips and a knee. Hopefully, this latest replacement will set me on relatively good footing for a fair period of time and allow me to once again move around and be productive. I must say a big thank you to Dr. Francis Smith and Dr. Roberts, who together, have been remarkable at stitching and patching up of my dilapidated frame. Thanks to the nurses and other helpful staff members of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Many thanks also to my family and friends who have been most helpful and supportive during my “downtime”. I would have loved to have traveled abroad for this latest procedure but financial constraints left Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) as the only option. I was determined not to solicit anymore handouts so I sold ‘stole and barrowed’ all that I could and haggled with the doctors for a good deal. I have had success in a previous surgery at the KHMH and do not share the fear of that institution that some people do. Having been there before on several occasions and seeing what is happening though, I believe gives me authority to assess and compare between what it was and what it is today.

Editorial: Of Quicksand, Parasites and Puppets
Dean Barrow once described his second term in office as quicksand. His first four years were the glory years: an extended honeymoon involving lobster dinners on Miami Beach, million dollar legacies for the first Mrs. Dean Barrow, plush jobs for the kids and the highest judicial appointment for his Brother, Denys. Yes, Barrow was able to get away with anything and everything. Barrow’s second term in office however, has been nothing short of an utter disaster. With only a slim two seat majority, Barrow’s grip on power is now at the mercy of his lawless, his desperate, his conniving, his incompetent, and yes his corrupt UDP Ministers. Only months after winning the 2012 general elections, Elvin Penner used the two seat slim majority as leverage to force Barrow into appointing him Minister of State with power to sign nationality certificates and passports. According to the Laws of Belize, the power to sign Belizean nationality certificates is reserved exclusively for the substantive Minister, who in this case is Godwin Hulse. In essence then, Barrow bent over backwards to accommodate Penner so that Penner would not “cause problems” for his leadership. Barrow authorized and Hulse recognized.

SMART No Limit sacks Belmopan Bandits elite basketball
SMART no Limit posted their 3rd win over the Belmopan Bandits (73-56) in the national elite basketball tournament which continued at Bird’s Isle on Friday night. Greg “Chippy” Rudon hit 4 treys as he led SMART with 27 points. The Bandits had led 15-14 in the 1st quarter, Andrew Ortiz rammed home 3 monster dunks to add 12 points and tie the score 31-31 at the half. No limit ran over the Bandits in the 3rd quarter as Elsworth Itza scored 10 points. Kyle Pascacio led the Bandits with 14 points. Other game: Cayo Western Ballaz vs. Toledo Diplomats – 83-54 Top scorers: Richard Troyer, 14pts (Cayo); Daniel Valerio, 22 pts (Toledo)

Mexican import takes SMART Belmopan Cycling Elite Classic
Team Benny’s Megabytes’ 20-year-old Mexican import Ignacio Prado won the annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Elite Classic, organized by the Cycling Federation of Belize on the George Price highway, and finishing in front the SMART headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway on Sunday, March 16. Prado won the $1,500 1st prize, a trophy and two nights at the Inn at Robert’s Grove when he rode in 1st in 4:34:09. Other finishers 2nd – Herman “Hijo” Requena (SMART) – 4:34:57 – $1,000 and a round trip to San Pedro 3rd – Oscar Quiroz Jr. (Western Spirits) – 4:34:58 – $700 prize 4th – Robert Liam Stewart (Team Benny’s Megabytes) 4:35:17 – $350 5th – Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray Road Addiks) 4:36:32 – $200.

Gwen Liz girls win softball nationals
The Gwen Lizarraga High School girls won the high school softball championships by shutting out the Southern Zone winners, Independence High School girls 2-0. MVP pitcher Ashley Lucas struck out 7 batters to shut out the IHS girls while Roslyn Smith and Lucas scored off Camryn Linarez’s pitching for the 2-0 win. 3rd place went to the Belize Rural girls who won 7-4 over the Alvin Young girls. Leeyann Moody and Brentlee Garcia came home in the 1st inning, and Lorette Young came home in the 2nd for BRHS to lead 3-0 until Naomi Myers and Simpson came home in the bottom of the 2nd.

International Disgrace!! – Chetumal media sniffs out criminal Elvin Penner
The BELIZE TIMES reports to our concerned Belizeans that even the media in Chetumal has shown interest in the arrest of the disgraced UDP Cayo North East Area Representative Elvin Penner for his criminal wrongdoings. Last week the BELIZE TIMES reported that even though the Supreme Court has ordered the Commissioner of Police to accelerate their investigation into Penner’s issuance of fraudulent Belizean nationality and passport to South Korean Kim Won Hong who was at a Taiwan prison at the time, Penner is roaming free and was even seen shopping and vacationing in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico last weekend. Penner, the ComPol and the UDP continue to thumb their noses at the authority of the Supreme Court and the loud calls for action made by the Opposition, social partners and every right-thinking Belizean.

PUP Mourns passing of PG Deputy Mayor Simon Paulino
The People’s United Party wishes to record our profound sadness at the passing of Simon “Pau” Paulino. Mr. Paulino served as a PUP Deputy Mayor elected in March 2012 under the leadership of Punta Gorda Mayor Anthony Fuentes and PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca. Mr. Paulino was a well-respected elder resident of Punta Gorda known for his profound connection with the people of the communities. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and the PUP PG family.

What is Eric Chang hiding?
Eric Chang continues to serve as a UDP Belize City Councillor even though a dark cloud of notorious mystery hangs over his head. Chang has yet to come clean about his involvement in the Kim Won Hong nationality/passport scandal along with disgraced and corrupt former Minister of State Elvin Penner. For unexplained reasons, Chang “disappeared” from Belize for several months right after September last year. This was exactly around the time during the Independence celebrations last year when the scandal broke out that UDP area representative and then Minister of State Elvin Penner had given a fraudulent Belize passport to a South Korean Kim Won Hong who was at the time in a Taiwan prison. Chang’s name also surfaced as a major player. The unconfirmed report was that Chang was the special courier who personally took the illegal passport to Taiwan to Kim and who “collected” for the favour.

AMAZING GRACE – Slow and Steady Wins
This past weekend was full of adventure, excitement and lots of water. Crowds surged and sighed to the rhythm of rough hewn paddles dipping into the dark green waters of the competition route. Shouts and exclamations grew louder and louder as the steady stream of colorful canoes nosed their way down the stream towards the finish line. A frenzy of encouragements poured out of the people lining the river witnessing the end of the three day race. I couldn’t help but think, however, that though the people went crazy with anticipation the closer those boats drew to the end of the race, the true goal for some of those participants was not to be the crew that crossed the finish line first (although I’m sure most of them wanted to accomplish this). I saw in the determined set of the jaws and strong steady strokes of the paddlers that, even when a crew had already passed first, the race was not over. The goal changed from gaining the hype and acclaim of coming in first to an equally important challenge: finishing the race. In life, a lot of pomp and circumstance goes to the people who start out strong with all the noise and excitement that a thrilling launch to a race will bring. They have lofty attitudes and are unspoiled to the rigors of the long journey. These people are strong. They’re tough. They’ve got half of the gambling room abuzz. These are the people everyone will tell you to watch, to count on.

Supporting Sports in OW South
In support of young people’s involvement in positive activities, Area Representative Hon. Jose Mai co-sponsored football jerseys which were donated to Compassion School in Yo Creek Village. The students of Compassion School are talented athletes and they hope to compete in upcoming sports tournaments. In handing over the jerseys, Hon. Mai expressed his hope that the students reach their goals academically and athletically. He mentioned that he will continue to organize sporting events in Yo Creek and other communities to young people the kind of additional positive activities that will help them grow into productive citizens. Principal Manuel Rejon thanked Hon. Mai for the continued help he has provided to Compassion School.

Celebrating Women…Developing Leaders
As we celebrate women’s month, I must share the attributes I believe encourage and motivate all girls and women to become excellent leaders in their daily lives. Ladies, you must define your own success by breaking the rules of the games. Sisters world-wide have already shattered the proverbial glass ceiling, so I challenge you to be more assertive, and learn to promote yourselves and be ambitious. The definition of leadership has many parts, which includes figuring out what needs to be done, having a vision to solve the problem and learning how to motivate people to achieve the vision. So, ladies what type of leader are you? Here are some character and personality traits of a good woman leader. Do you have any of these traits? The answer should be YES! I believe in you, so believe in yourselves, and go for it. Leadership: It is important that you lead with integrity. Leadership is risky, dangerous, challenging, and inspiring as you influence people for the good to fulfill humanity’s highest potential.

The Government outside the Government
In the beginning there was one government….it taxed the people and provided services based on those taxes….through its various line ministries. Then…the public sector entrepreneurs started special-interest projects…with the guise of improved services through better management…with “cost-recovery” mechanisms, replicating all kinds of quasi-government statutory bodies out of these projects. Most with special “laws” that these bodies would write for themselves with their built-in authority/right to tax, but without the fiduciary responsibility to account for those “extra-budgetary” revenues. The line of authority still ended with the Minister under whose portfolio the statutory body fell, so the MINISTER ruled in the CENTRAL GOVERNMENT….and the NOT-SO-CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. He became a king with two fiefdoms. So it was….that the politicians built….a house for themselves and their favorites….outside of the house where the voting public has a direct say. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is one of those houses. The Minister of Tourism is at the head of the line of authority….it has a Board of Directors that is appointed by the political directorate of the day, but which is mostly rubber-stamp…and it has its own law that gives it authority/rights to collect taxes and license fees…with its own “tax-collectors”. Among them, the Hotel Tax….which is many millions of dollars in revenues each year.

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Shall We Rally???
Belizeans are surely aware that the women’s rally held by the National Women’s Commission and Ms. Kim Simplis Barrow took place on March 6th, two days before International Women’s Day. On March 5th, the People’s United Party’s fifth Women’s Agenda was launched in an impressive ceremony at Independence Hall. Our party has presented a Women’s Agenda, a set of specific manifesto commitments and pledges, in every election cycle since our first one was launched in 1998. We felt that it continues to be of importance to put together and to make public our pledges and our agenda for the unfinished business of bringing Belizean women fully into the development of our country. Likely American Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has this year made it clear once more that equality for women is the great unfinished business of the twenty-first century. Likewise the head of the United Nations Agency for Women Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka called for big steps, not baby steps, to bring about equality for women. We need a “He for She” campaign, she said, so that men can be integral partners in the work for women’s equality. I agree wholeheartedly that: “Equality for Women is Progress for All!!”

More contracts for Gapi Vega’s delinquent nephew
The nephew of the NOT NORMAL Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega continues to benefit enormously from Government projects, even though he has yet to account for an abandoned public contract to repair a road in Orange Walk Town for which full payment had been made. The BELIZE TIMES has confirmed that Imer Hernandez has been awarded a contract to build a multi-million dollar fence near the Belize border with Mexico. The BELIZE TIMES has not seen any evidence of any tendering for the contract, before it was awarded to the privileged UDP family member. There is also no immediate need or clear purpose for the almost half-a-mile-long fence being built with public funds. But Hernandez’s company, which bears his name, is being paid millions to carry out the work. This time the money is just right, it seems.

Helping the Differently Abled
On Thursday last, March 13, 2014, Area Representative for Belize Rural Central Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia attended a small but very special ceremony at the Belize Zoo. Zoo Director Sharon Matola and Zoo Officials hosted the opening and ribbon cutting for a section of the Accessible Walkway Project. British High Commissioner H.E. Peter Hughes, Faculty Members and Students of the State University of New York (SUNY Cortland), Hon. Dolores, and key representatives of the Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities (BAPDA) gathered to celebrate the achievement of another phase of the project. Mr. Hughes gave a contribution on behalf of the British High Commission, SUNY Cortland students put in the sweat equity, and Hon. Dolores made a donation to the project’s completion.

Barrow’s Bogus Budget – The PM’s Budget Speech is wickedly deceptive
The Prime Minister presented his Budget Speech to the Legislature a few weeks before the official fiscal year begins on 1st April. This was his seventh since he first came to office in 2008 and the third since he called snap elections in 2012 when his government was returned to office with a very slim majority. These have become annual masquerades and puppet shows to bolster the fast diminishing credibility of a government which has now established itself as egregiously corrupt, self-serving and nepotistic-especially with a royal family of Barrows. The country now looks as if it is Belize, Barrow, Barrows & Associates, Inc. The Budget Speech is supposed to be a narrative by the Prime Minister to review the performance of the national economy, an accounting for his government’s performance and an overview of the government’s objectives and proposals on how the government proposes to spend tax-payers money, called revenue and expenditure, for the next twelve months. But the Prime Minister’s budget presentation was far removed from the reality of the mumbo-jumbo and falsified figures prepared by the Ministry of Finance – most of which will be mismanaged, misappropriated and simply siphoned off. The budget is bogus.

REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – The 2014/15 Budget – Some Facts, Figures & Notes
The Budget presented on March 7th, 2014 by the Prime Minister is a Budget disconnected and divorced from the Belizean reality being lived on a daily basis by families across our Country. It is a Budget that offers no hope and no plan to grow the economy and create jobs for our people. It is a Budget that celebrates poverty and dependence. The Belizean reality in 2014 is thousands of lost jobs, businesses closed, homes auctioned or repossessed, loans defaulted on, children out of school, the sick dying because of unaffordable healthcare, families unable to keep the lights on and the stove burning and increasingly unable to put food on the table . In 2013, GDP growth fell to 0.7%, the worst economic performance in more than 20 years for Belize. The production of all our major crops: Banana, Sugarcane, and Citrus fell significantly. Petroleum production continued its downward spiral falling by a whopping 23% in 2013.

UDP Rots Away
Like a cancer spreading its deadly contamination, corruption is slowly rotting away Dean Barrow’s United Democratic Party. The most recent bombshell to hit the UDP as a result of this cancer is the resignation of former Prime Minister and former UDP Leader Manuel Esquivel and his wife Kathy Esquivel from all of their posts held in the Barrow Administration. Former PM Esquivel was appointed as a senior advisor to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the Ministry of Finance. He was also a Government-appointed Director on the boards of Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Sugar Industries. His wife was the Chairman of the National AIDS Commission. The resignations followed the sudden announcement that the Esquivel’s most political daughter, Laura Esquivel, was leaving the Belize Tourism Board as Director. She had been ousted by her own employees who said she lacked leadership.

Faber punishes teachers for BNTU rally – PM supports salary deductions, claims teachers were being “utterly unreasonable”
Patrick Faber never misses a beat to show Belizeans how petty, unreasonable and vindictive he is. The hundreds of teachers who exercised their right and defended their cause by participating in last week Wednesday’s Belize National Teachers’ Union demonstration outside the National Assembly as the Prime Minister Dean Barrow read his lame budget have been punished by the Barrow Government. A massive and loud crowd of teachers gathered outside the national assembly from early Wednesday morning to call on the Barrow Administration to give the teachers a respectable salary adjustment and to deal with the scandals and corruption. Led by their militant national president Luke Palacio, the teachers have proven to have backbone, unlike other union leaders, and have taken their fight for respect seriously. The BNTU is no poco tiempo organization.

Cry Baby Delroy!
As a voter in the Stann Creek West division, I now consider Delroy Cuthkelvin as no politician and as the UDP’s biggest cry baby! Nobody was plotting against or standing in Delroy’s way. In fact if you listened to Delroy’s radio ad just a few days before the convention, you would think that Delroy was the chosen candidate and that he was well financed and enjoyed the blessing of the party leadership. He even boasted to have a committee of 90 members, but on convention day only got 19 votes. But Delroy seemed hard to believe his own propaganda and he did the smart thing when he bowed out and cried foul. He blamed UDP Chairman Alberto August, who I agree ain’t no saint and Melvin Hulse, who is a “tyaad old horse” as their own nasty mouth Joe Bradley would say.

Crimea: Lessons for Belize!
Dear Editor, The ongoing crisis in Ukraine presents strategic lessons for Belize which should guide our response to the “eastward drift” by Guatemala. Ukraine has for the last couple of years been a covert battlefield for the so called West as they try to penetrate Russia’s sphere of influence. Under the guise of democracy the West supported, if not orchestrated, the overthrow of a democratically elected government solely because that government was, in their view, eastward leaning. It is safe to say that the West in their zeal to topple Yanukovych, severely miscalculated the likely Russian response. Western leaders have been quick to draw similarities between Russia’s Crimean experiment and Germany’s invasion of Poland. There are significant differences of course, but this is not the focus of my treatise. The Crimean conundrum is rooted in the large Russophone population in Ukraine–about 17%. Ukrainians of Russian decent never fully assimilated into the overall national body politic thus they remained oriented toward Russia. When the West inspired the overthrow of the duly elected government of the Ukraine, Russia took immediate measures to maintain its sphere of influence. The pretext was that the “new” Ukraine was westward leaning and thus posed a serious threat to Ukrainians of Russian decent. Russia therefore had no choice but to intervene in Crimea in order to protect its people. The West disputes that such threats exist but what is done is done: strategic battle plans are now being drawn up on both sides of the Atlantic!


Poly Clinic meeting and San Pedro blood drive preparations
Our second San Pedro blood drive is today from 9:00am – 2:00pm at Los Pinos Clinic on the same road as Tropic Cargo.Today we increase the store of “Ambergris Caye” blood that is being kept in Belize City at Belize Blood Bank Services. This reserve of blood to People on the Island who require blood in an emergency or surgery. Currently, Chairman Aiden Salazar and Vice Chair Anthony Anderson are the 2 board members who can authorize blood use to the Blood Bank. Last time we collected 49 pints of blood, learned a lot and the system is working – so far 2 Islanders have used 7 pints of blood. We plan to continue to improve and refine our process as we go along. This time I was put in charge of the entertainment division and so my bag is packed with coloring book, crayons, blank paper and my portable dvd player with Blue Planet so the adults can have something to enjoy while they wait. Amy offered to help and bring some word search and a few books.

Blue Skies, Blue Water, A Friday Afternoon in Caye Caulker
Here are some pictures around Caye Caulker. Every time I go…which now seems to be about once a week…I take the same pictures over and over. But the caye is just SCREAMING to be photographed. Everything just looks so perfect to me.

Mastering the Art of Maya Cooking at Ka’ana
Part of the spell-binding magic of Ka’ana is its deep roots in the Maya culture. Our strategic location is set (literally!) on the doorstep of an ancient Maya city and has inspired Ka’ana’s name which means “Heavenly Place.” We aspire to expose as much of this great culture as possible through our stunning adventures that take you to the top of thousand-year old temples or deep into the sacred underworld. We’ve even brought the Maya magic into our resort with the unique decor and authentic pottery on display throughout the entire property. Most of our guests are left with a sense of wonder at the rich history of the Maya people, and plenty have asked to learn more about the culture. If you can’t get enough and would love to experience Mayan culture in a unique way, then hop aboard and let us to take you and your taste buds on one more adventure – a culinary journey!

International Sources

Caribbean Chief Justices and Multidisciplinary Teams Participated in Workshop on Drug Treatment Courts
The Organization of American States (OAS), in cooperation with the Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals (CADTCP), held this week in Vancouver, Canada, a Drug Treatment Court (DTC) Exchange and On-Site Study Program event for four Caribbean countries: Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. Each country participating in the event sent a team made up of judges, magistrates, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, and treatment providers, as well as chief magistrates and chief justices. For his part, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin of Belize observed that the experience “will serve to inform the imminent launch of a pilot DTC program.” Chief Justice Benjamin asserted that “the sharing of experiences from other Caribbean countries has been invaluable.”

Archaeological Team Uncovers Elite Residential Complex
Researchers are now uncovering evidence that will shed light on the lifeways of Maya elites, the class of people who lived within that rung of society between the kings and royal households and the commoners of ancient Maya civilization. For four weeks in July, 2013, a team of archaeologists, students and volunteers under the auspices of the Maya Research Program, based at the University of Texas in Tyler, excavated the remains of what is considered to be an elite residential complex or compound at the site of Xno'ha (named after the nearby Xno'ha Creek) in northwestern Belize. They discovered, in addition to architectural features, a cache of purposefully positioned Late Preclassic (400 BCE - 200 CE) ceramic vessels, and an Early Classic (200 - 600 CE) tomb. Under the direction of site supervisor Alexander Parmington, excavators focused on a set of structures designated 'Patio Group 78'.

Saint George's Caye Resort in Belize is featured on the popular TV show MOTION
Self-described workaholic Shiloh Janes was terrified to go scuba while visiting Belize with host Greg Aiello. After a few hours of training, he faced his fears and plunged into the ocean. Self-described workaholic Shiloh Janes was terrified to go scuba while visiting Belize with host Greg Aiello. After a few hours of training, he faced his fears and plunged into the ocean. Greg and Shiloh plan to dive on a world famous reef, get up close and personal with jungle wildlife and discover the Maya ruins of Belize. There's nothing quite like the Caribbean. It is a popular escape for travelers in search of crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, cool drinks made of rum and the warm tropical sun. Like a lot of visitors of Belize, they made plans to stay off coast on a tiny island known as St. George's Caye. The St. George's Caye crew picked them up from the airport in a van along with several other guests to take them to a small boat for the seven mile ride to the resort.

March 22, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Laura Esquivel forced to resign as Director of BTB
There is major discontent in the family of the former two-term United Democratic Party (UDP) Prime Minister Right Honorable Doctor Sir. Manuel Esquivel. The discontent stems from an issue which his daughter, Laura Esquivel-Frampton,who was forced to resign as the Director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). Esquivel-Frampton had been at the head of the BTB for 22 months following the resignation of Seleni Matus. But on March 11th, a letter signed by seven members of her senior executive management team was leaked to the media in which they lodged an unexpected vote of no confidence, calling for her resignation. According to various media reports, there have been serious differences between Frampton and the current CEO Tracy Taegar-Panton, which has been carried over to senior management. What makes matters even worse is that this year there are reports of a deficit in the finances at BTB, which is believed to be in the millions of dollars, and according to Channel 7 News, it is being put at the door of Frampton. It was an unprecedented and not too happy departure for Frampton, since over the past six years, under the watch of Heredia, BTB has seen the resignation of three different directors and two Board Chairmen.

2014 Scholarship Opportunities at the University for Information Science and Technology “St. Paul the Apostle”
The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment (DHDEE) and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, through the OAS Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC), are offering scholarships to qualified candidates of the Americas to pursue undergraduate degrees at the University for Information Science and Technology “St. Paul the Apostle” (UIST). All information regarding the programs is available at The program application deadline has been established at April 30, 2014 and the scholarship application deadline at May 15, 2014. Further questions and concerns may be directed to [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]

Ambergris Today

A Messy Situation at Boca Del Rio Area
San Pedro Mayor, Daniel Guerrero, explains that the San Pedro Town Council is in charge of garbage collection from Palapa Bar (in the Tres Cocos area) and down to the bridge. He indicated that there is a private business that collects trash from homes and resorts further up in the north of the island and barges it down to town where garbage truck pick up and transport to the dump site. Mayor Guerrero was not aware that this was happening at the lagoon-side of the Boca del Rio. Mayor Danny stated that the San Pedro Town Council will take necessary measures to ensure that this stops and conduct inspections so as to identify who is carrying out these illegal dumping of garbage. The Council has been working very hard in keeping the community safe and clean and is constantly carrying out clean up campaigns at different areas of the island. The Town Council has even implemented a system and schedule as to how garbage will be picked up throughout the course of the week at different areas so as to maintain order and to have the island looking spick and span. The general public is asked to report any similar incidents such as this one to the San Pedro Town Council so that matters can be dealt with accordingly and in a timely manner. The phone number for the SPTC Office is 226-2198.

Great community effort to take care of those who are tasked with caring for us!
First day of feeding program successfully completed!!! Stew beef, rice and beans with cold slaw packaged and picked up! Thanks for making this possible today! We welcome all the help we can get! Pass by El Fogon to drop off donations!!! (3 photos)

Misc Belizean Sources

5 Things to do in Belize this Easter
Easter is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in Belize due to the fact that more than 80% of Belizeans are Christians. It is a time when a lot of Belizeans are off from work and school and travel around the countryside to enjoy Belize’s beauty. Not only is the weather perfect on Easter, but it is also a good time to go diving with whale sharks, snorkeling in the turquoise waters of the grand Barrier Reef, as well as exploring the famous Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave or even climbing Xunantunich Maya Temples.

Police say San Ignacio man allegedly admits to killing Kayla Burgess
Police in San Ignacio have two persons in custody pending the outcome of their investigation into the death of 24 year old Kayla Burgess. Burgess, a resident of Independence village, Stann Creek district was found dead inside her vehicle that was parked near to a bar on the Santa Familia Road in Bullet Tree Falls village, Cayo on Thursday afternoon. The official report says that when authorities found Burgess’ body, she was “lying face up on the extreme rear of the vehicle with a plastic bag over her face and a white plastic strapped around her neck.” The official police report further states that a 21 year old man from the Kontiki area of San Ignacio town has reportedly confessed to strangling Burgess.

COLA prepares for next week’s first hearing of the private prosecution of disgraced Minister of State Elvin Penner
As COLA prepares for next week’s first hearing of the private prosecution of disgraced Minister of State Elvin Penner, we have written to Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and Auditor General Dorothy Bradley asking for any information they have gathered in their investigations of the Kim Won-Hong scandal and, in Mrs. Vidal’s case, her support to prosecute the matter. COLA has retained Kareem Musa of Musa and Balderamos as its attorney and we have been informed by the DPP that she will be present at next week’s hearing in support of COLA and the private prosecution. Prior to that, she will meet with Mr. Musa next week to go over the case.

Aracely Cahueque has been acquitted of charges for Abatement to Murder
Twenty-two year old Aracely Cahueque has been acquitted of charges for Abatement to Murder. Aracely Cahueque was accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of eighteen year old Raylene Dyer back in October 2010. The jury was impaneled on March eleventh and after a voir dire, her trial for three counts of Abetment to Murder started on Tuesday in the Belmopan Supreme Court before Justice Denis Hanomansingh. The case highlighted the shocking circumstances under which Raylene Dyer was taken to Roaring Creek, butchered to death and her body allegedly thrown into a river and never found.

Western Ballaz Defeat Bandits
The Western Ballaz defeated the Belmopan Bandits last night at the Jaguar auditorium in Belmopan. The final score was 46-58. "The Western Ballaz, and a couple 100 of their fans, travelled to Belmopan to play the Bandits. It was a good game, with a good turnout, and the Ballaz won 46-58. The Ballaz travel to Dangriga next weekend to play the Warriors. The after party was at Wing Stop Belmopan."

Cayo Weekly Classifieds 18-Mar
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly classifieds are out. They talk about massage in the Wellness Corner this week. "Belize's original classified ads publication. Private Party Ads (people selling personal items) are now FREE. Business Ads start at $15 per week with designs included. Deadline to place ads are every Saturday @ 12 pm. Don't pawn it! ... sell it fast with our Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds."

Rosita May is Woman of Culture 2014
Congratulations, Ms. Rosita May, for being named 'Woman Of Culture 2014' by the National Institute of Culture and History! Definitely a woman of culture.

Belizean living in Chicago dies after altercation
A man from Belize who had been living in Chicago for a number of years died this week after an argument with another man. 59 year old Michael Tingling collapsed and later died after he got into an altercation with another man who was allegedly making inappropriate gestures to his teenage daughter. A report by a local Chicago CBS 2 News said that 59 year old Joseph Firek, allegedly pushed Tingling and punched him in the chest, while continuously making racial slurs at Tingling. Although was rushed to the St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, he later died. An autopsy confirmed that Tingling dies of hypertensive cardiovascular disease, with stress being listed as a secondary factor.

San Pedro Pre-School students dress as community workers
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilor Carlos Barrientos visited the children and teachers from the San Pedro Pre-School this morning where they were all dressed up as community workers: Police Officers, Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Fire Fighters, Traffic Wardens, to name a few, as part of the Child Stimulation Month activities. The children also did models of the buildings of the Police Station, the Fire Station and the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II to name a few. The children were all enthusiastic to pose with the Mayor and Councilor with their costumes and models. (18 photos)

Cayo Christian Academy Science Expo
CCA had their annual Science Expo today, and the students had a great time doing their experiments.

Xunantunich Welcome Center Inauguration
The Xunantuncih Welcome Center Inauguration was this week. Dr. Jaime Awe, Diane Haylock, and Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, as well as the Benque Marimba Academy, were all there for the ribbon cutting. Quite a few Cayo attractions have gotten upgrades over the last couple of years. ATM got new bathrooms, and Cahal Pech got a new walkway. Which site will be next?

Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant
Sacred Heart College's Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant is next Friday, March 28th, at the Bedran Hall. Go root on your favorite. "Thanks to all our sponsors for Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant: Scotia Bank, The Dollhouse, Estella Recinos, Nail Addict, Patty's Salon, Blooming Beauty, Adma's Photography, Hode's Place, Lisa's Boutique, Aguada, High Street Fashion Boutique, Corie's Hair Salon, Tech Gadgets Belize, Joris Hendrik and Pop's Restaurant. The pageant wouldn't be possible without our sponsors. Thanks from SHC."

Power interruption 8:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday, March 23, Belize City
Mile 1 to Mile 3 along the Philip Goldson Highway. BEL to reconfigure structures carrying high voltage lines to meet new standards. Two 15-minute power interruptions from 8:00 to 8:15am and 3:45 to 4:00pm will affect Buttonwood Bay, Coral Grove, Sunrise Ave, Blue Marlin Blvd, E St, Dolphin Street, Park Avenue and Belama Phase 1.

Power interruption 8:00am to 12:00noon on Saturday, March 22, entire Caye Caulker
BEL to conduct urgent repairs to hot spots at the Caye Caulker Substation.

Video: 2014 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Day 4
Burrell Boom to the Belikin bridge in Belize City. Interviews with the finalists.

Video: Tarpon On Fly- Awesome Take Gopro Belize HD
A video of my brother jumping a tarpon on fly. Fishing out of El Pescador Lodge in Belize with Tomas. I highly recommend this lodge as we saw tons of fish while we were there. Bones, permit and tarpon. My brother was lucky enough to get this on his Gopro

Video: Howler Monkey! Belize Zoo
Killer sound

Video: Belize Vacation - Part 3 Mayan Ruins
Join us for part 3 of our Belizian Adventure as we visit the Mayan Ruins at Lamanai

Video: Snorkeling in Belize
5 minutes

Video: Xunantunich Visitor Center Becomes a Reality

Video: A River Somewhere: Turneffe Islands Belize
27 minutes

Video: SunBreeze Hotel - San Pedro - Belize
Featuring an outdoor pool, a restaurant and free Wi-Fi, the SunBreeze is in Belize's island of Ambregris Caye. This hotel has air-conditioned rooms with views of the tropical gardens. In San Pedro Town, this Caribbean-style hotel features a massage studio, an Art Gallery and a bar. The restaurant serves tropical dishes including seafood and poultry. The rooms at the hotel have tile floors and mahogany furniture. Each comes equipped with a flat-screen cable TV, a work desk, a ceiling fan and has a private bathroom with toiletries. SunBreeze Hotel arranges activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling with sharks or trips to the Mayan Ruins. San Pedro Airport is only 525 ft from the hotel and the island can be reached in a 15-minute flight from Belize International Airport.

Video: Mission Silk Grass Belize 2014
Mission: Silk Grass, Belize -- Dr. Lloyd J. Earles, Tyrone Domingo and Wayne Domingo of the Altadena Church of Christ in California greatly enjoyed their visit with the Silk Grass Church where Rayan Gordon is the minister. Nine new souls obeyed the gospel and were added to Christ's Church. The ministry at the Belize Central Prison also continues successfully. Special thanks to everyone involved.

Channel 7

Kidnapping/Murder to Love Crime?
Tonight Cayo police are close to charging a 21 year old man from San Ignacio for the death of 24 year old Kayla Burgess. When we left you last night, it was with the news that Burgess, who is originally from Independence, but lives in Belmopan - had been found murdered. Her alleged hostage taker, demanded a ransom, and then killed her. At least that is how the early narrative went. Well tonight, it appears that was all a ruse, a smokescreen to cover the fact that she had been killed before any ransom message was sent, and the killer is believed to have been a boyfriend - who likely killed her at his house in the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio, and then took her body in her vehicle out to Bullet Tree to make it seem like some Guatemalan hostage business - similar to the one that happened in that same village in January.

Aracely Acquitted of Raylene Dyer's Murder
Not guilty, that's the decision that came out of Belmopan today in the Aracely Cahueque trial, she become the 4th defendant to have been acquitted of the murder of 18 year-old Raylene Dyer. It looked to be a marathon trial where over 17 witnesses were scheduled to testify for the prosecution. But it came down to the main witness, Brandon Budna. As we told you, Budna gave police a 2 statements, and in the second, he agreed to cooperate with the DPP's Office as a witness against Aracely Cahueque. DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal took the stand on Wednesday and gave evidence for the prosecution in this case in which how that second statement was gotten, and how it would have been used.

Raylene's Family Rage At Aracely's Acquittal
As you saw in our story, Raylene Dyer's family is nothing short of furious at the outcome. Her throat was cut, she was decapitated, her body was thrown into a river, and it was never recovered. The 4 persons who were charged for it, got off of one of the more disturbing killings we've reported on. While the rest of the family was too angry to speak with the media, Raylene's sister, Ingrid Cayetano was a bit more patient today, and she gave us a reaction. Even then, she didn't temper the rage that she felt when speaking with Daniel Ortiz. Here's what she told us about that fight outside of court: Indira Cayetano - Sister of Deceased "Put yourself in my family's position, how would you feel sir?" It doesn't give them right for what happen in Belmopan today. I will not apologize but thats how it went." Reporter "Now that the case is wrap up and its finally over, what next for your family?" Indira Cayetano - Sister of Deceased "Pick up the pieces and move on like nothing happened."

National Bank's First Manager Fired
Just six months after the National Bank of Belize opened its doors - manager Jose Marin has been shown the door. At 2:00 pm today, Chairman of the Bank's Board, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology Joy Grant went to the bank to tell him that the board had taken the decision to terminate him. But, Marin, a veteran banker says he's happy to be gone, and actually wanted to resign a month ago. This is because he's been having frequent clashes with the Board and told us candidly today on the phone that they wanted him to do, quote, "things in banking that you cannot do, things (that are) not ethical and not professional." He named Chairman Grant directly as driving this behavior. She told us today, quote, "Anyone who knows me knows I would never urge anyone to do anything unethical." End quote. Grant did not want to get into a back and forth, only saying that it was time for a separation and that she was thankful to Marin for his service.

Customs Make High-Grade Weed Bust
The market for marijuana in Belize is almost insatiable, and one of the most sought after products is the weed that comes from Mexico known as Oaxaca. That's what customs at the northern border may have gotten yesterday when they busted a Chrysler van that was coming over from the Mexican side. Around 5:30, a rented van coming over from Mexico driven by Derrick Thompson pulled up at the border. 3 passengers went through the passenger control, and when the vehicle got to the checkpoint Thompson said they had nothing to declare. A search was conducted and in a compartment on the floor of the van, customs found (3) parcels of suspected cannabis weighing 1.1 kilos, .97 kilos and 1 kilo. That's a total of three kilos or 6.7 pounds, with a street value of about ten thousand Belize dollars on the streets.

Bill Lindo; A Citrus Expert Now
We've spoken plenty about the citrus industry recently - mostly about the government funded bailout. But very little of that talk has been about the citrus greening disease which threatens to decimate Belize's citrus industry. There are ways around greening, but once a tree is affected, it is incurable. Just last month, the New York Times quoted a senator as saying that Florida's citrus crop is quote, "totally threatened….If we don't find a cure, it will eliminate the citrus industry." That's how serious it is, and "concerted efforts by growers and millions of dollars spent on research to fight the disease have so far failed." University of Florida agricultural analysts concluded that between 2006 and 2012, citrus greening cost Florida's economy $4.5 billion dollars and 8,000 jobs. All that from a disease spread by an insect smaller than the head of a pin. The insect snacks on citrus trees, depositing bacteria that gradually starves the trees of nutrients.

Fishermen Train To Deal With Industry Hardships
And while citrus farmers have to contend with citrus greening, fisherfolk have a whole host of issues that are threatening their livelihoods. First, there's overfishing, then there's climate change, then there are those pirates looking for drugs on the high seas. That's why the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association had a training workshop today at their Belize City office. The Chairman told us what the fishers were there to learn:... Pedro Alvarez, Chairman - BFCA "We see it necessary because as the time goes along with the fishing industry we need to educate our members more about what happen in the fishing sector. We have first time climate changes which is a great impact in the industry right now."

Seafront Fight At 'One Mile'
If you've travelled to Punta Gorda, you probably know about the area called "One-Mile" - which is the seafront area entering the town. It is one of the nicest stretches of seafront you'll find, and there's also a small beach area that towns-people use to swim. But now, one resident says it is under threat because a developer wants to build a restaurant and docking area there. Darius Avila who owns a hotel in the area told us more:... Darius Avila, PG Resident - Hotel Owner "I investigated with the mayor and he confided that he and the town council had agreed to the lease of the space to private individual who will put up docking facilities, apparently a grill and perhaps a restaurant and do other developments. Although the mayor mentioned that yes the public will still be allowed to use the area. The common sense of it is that once a private individual is investing in a parcel of land then he will want to see returns. I could see that public access will be restricted."

Celebrating the Importance Of Water
Simply turning on your tap, and going to the shop to buy water is a luxury that you may take for granted, but around the world, there are millions of people who don't have access to potable drinking water. That's why Belize joins the international community in celebrating World Water Day 2014, which now has now been done for 20 years now, since it was first adopted by at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil. Today, the Government and its stakeholders in the industry of water and its uses observed World Water Day at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in the Cayo District and 7News stopped by. Here's what one of the organizers told us about its success: This year's theme is Water and Energy, highlighting how water can be used to generate energy, such as electricity. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture reports that 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.

Central American Importers Are Up To Standards
For months, we've been putting the Central American LPG importers on blast for selling sub standard butane. Last night we told you that they were now charging almost the same for LPG with a high propane content as other importers are for LPG with a far higher butane content. Well, we are happy to report that this time we were wrong, the Central American importers have finally gotten up to standard. The Manager of TOMZA gas today came and showed us this certificate which proves that as of February 15th the Central American companies, meaning BWEL, TOMZA and Z-Gas are bringing in LPG with a 70 - 30 mix - meaning 70% propane and 30% butane. This is far more efficient for households - because the higher butane content burns hotter. In the past these companies would regularly bring in 90 - 10 mixes which are unsafe and inefficient. They said they had until March 31st of this year to comply with the news regulations.

PROFILE: Felicia Castillo
Tonight, We continue with the I Am Belize Profile, focusing on Teachers, and the influence they wield in the classroom and on the life of young Belizeans. This week's profile focuses on Felicia Castillo, a teacher at Saint Johns' Anglican School. She tells the profile who she fell in love with the teaching profession in trying to search for her calling in life:

Channel 5

Aracely Cahueque freed of 3 counts of abetment to the murder of Raylene Dyer
Corozal Beauty Queen Aracely Cahueque was set free…acquitted of three counts of abetment to murder this morning. We’ll have her first words as a free woman since October, 2010. But [...]

Hell breaks loose; Dyer and Cahueque families get physical
After the verdict, hell broke loose as Cahueque was being processed out of custody at the Belmopan Police Station. At ten-thirty this morning, Cahueque stood in front of the Police [...]

Aracely Cahueque speaks to the media
Cahueque’s first minutes as a free woman this morning were not happy ones, as she was attacked outside the Belmopan Police Station and her mother punched in the face and [...]

Managing Director of National Bank of Belize is forced out
There is another resignation from a senior government post to report tonight following on the heels of the departure of the Esquivel family from government. When Laura Esquivel-Frampton was forced [...]

Kayla Pandy found murdered in Bullet Tree falls
Late Thursday evening, News Five reported the alleged murder of twenty-four year old Independence resident Kayla Burgess. The family had previous posted it as a kidnapping, but by seven p.m. [...]

Crops in Valley of Peace destroyed herbicide sprayed by Green Tropics
About a million dollars in vegetables have been destroyed in the Valley of Peace area, Cayo District.  The community is the largest provider of vegetables to two districts, but the [...]

Belizean murdered in Chicago
The Chicago Tribune is reporting today that a Belizean was murdered in Chicago on Wednesday. Michael Tingling was protecting his fifteen year old daughter, Masharah, when he was punched on [...]

4 persons caught with 7 pounds of weed at Mexican border
At the northern border on Thursday evening, custom officers busted a group of men returning from Chetumal. Belize City resident thirty-two year old Derrick Thompson was behind the steering wheel [...]

Noel Zetina granted Supreme Court bail
He was accused of shooting at an Orange Walk man back in January 2013 and even though he had fled the jurisdiction, Noel Zetina was granted Supreme Court bail in [...]

COLA prepares for private prosecution of Elvin Penner
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action….The organization says that they are providing the public with the final resort to have former Minister of State Elvin Penner, before a court to [...]

CWU supports former Bowen & Bowen employees
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize called for a boycott of Bowen and Bowen products today after the recent termination of thirteen employees from the company. The employees were [...]

Butane gas prices up again
Butane prices are up once again. The Belize Bureau of Standards has approved the increase effective Thursday. The new controlled price for liquid petroleum gas (LPG) depends on the supplier. [...]

A 12 hour strike by stevedores over subsistence
A gang of fifteen stevedores on Wednesday pulled off an unexpected strike at the compound of Port of Belize. The gang was scheduled to unload ninety-five containers from Seaboard Marine [...]

APAMO supports injunction to stop pre-drilling activities in Sarstoon Temash National Park
SATIIM has applied to the Supreme Court for an injunction to stop US Capital Energy from starting pre-drilling operations within the Sarstoon Temash National Park pending a court decision.   Today, [...]

Fishermen get much-needed training
A training workshop for fisher folks was held today at the office of the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association. The workshop is part of a project funded by the Community Management [...]


Butane Prices Continue On The Rise
The last time we reported on an increase in price of hundred pound cylinder of Butane was back in the month of February when the price for the high grade increased by three dollars and the price for the low grade increased by five dollars. Today, Government announced another change in the price, but don’t get your hopes up because it is not a decrease. A hundred pound cylinder of butane imported from Mexico is now selling for a dollar more, while butane imported from Central America is selling for two dollars more. The new controlled price per 100 pound cylinder for LPG imported by Belize Gas limited and Western Gas Company limited from PEMEX in Mexico is as follows:

BNECT Donates 200 Chairs to Libertad Methodist School
Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust is an organization that is committed to the development of the Belizean people and their communities. The Trust provides funding to organizations, individual programs and projects that aim at the empowerment of the people and community. Since 2009, over six hundred million Belize dollars have been spent in the development of this country through educational infrastructure, student loans and Micro Enterprise projects. And today, BNE continued to give back to the community. This time, the proud recipients of the much needed assistance was the faculty and staff of Libertad Methodist Primary School in the Corozal District. Victor Castillo reports from Corozal. Victor Castillo – Reporting Last year the faculty and staff of Libertad Methodist Primary School saw the necessity of acquiring new furniture for the students of the school. With that in mind, the managing staff submitted a letter to Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust asking for the donation of 200 large arm chairs for the students. In October 2013, BNE Charitable Trust responded to the schools request, a starting point to make their pleas a reality.

Mexican Authorities Confiscate Hundreds Of Boxes Of Contraband Cigarettes
In regional news, Mexican authorities intercepted a large contraband of cigarettes in Mexico City last week. What has caught our interest in this report is that the Mexican media is reporting that the cigarettes originate from Belize. The amount intercepted is reportedly over fourteen million cigarettes, the most that authorities have intercepted since January last year. The goods, one thousand four hundred two boxes, were found in a trailer. They ranged in brands including Bronco, D & J, Royal, and Supreme and Gold Seal. The cigarettes were crossed into Mexico through the Belize Mexico Border and no duties were paid on the products. The trailer was being driven by forty two year old Juan Ramirez Sanchez who presented false documentation for air conditioners.

Fishermen To Receive Capacity Building Training
In regional news, Mexican authorities intercepted a large contraband of cigarettes in Mexico City last week. What has caught our interest in this report is that the Mexican media is reporting that the cigarettes originate from Belize. The amount intercepted is reportedly over fourteen million cigarettes, the most that authorities have intercepted since January last year. The goods, one thousand four hundred two boxes, were found in a trailer. They ranged in brands including Bronco, D & J, Royal, and Supreme and Gold Seal. The cigarettes were crossed into Mexico through the Belize Mexico Border and no duties were paid on the products. The trailer was being driven by forty two year old Juan Ramirez Sanchez who presented false documentation for air conditioners.

Residence Complain About Unsanitary Conditions Of Drainage System
Viewers might recall that back in the month of October 2009 a $2.5 million drainage project for residents of Black Water Creek was launched by the Government of Belize to alleviate flooding in the area. Phase one of the project was carried out by more than one contractor including D-Mar’s Construction Company. In 2011 the project was still incomplete and if our records are correct the last phase of the project was not completed until late 2012. Since then, the drainage systems put in place, has been wreaking havoc for several residents. To be exact, a total of seven properties in which the drains flow through, are feeling the effects of the problem. So what is causing quite a stir amongst the residents? Reporter Maria Novelo and video journalist Jesus Melgar followed the lead and filed this report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Julio Godoy – Concerned Trial Farm resident “Hay tiempos que pasa el agua con sangre, hay tiempos que pasa con puro jabón y cuando pasa con sangre apesta bastante y nos afecta porque yo por eso no hago que mis nietos venga aquí por medio de que hay ratos que apesta mucho y por eso yo hago que se vaya por que se ve malo.”

Orange Walk Resident Stabbed By Minor
A minor remains in stable condition at the KHMH whilst another is detained at the Orange Walk Police Station pending charges of wounding. Second in command at the Orange Walk Police Station, Inspector Selvin Tillett, gave us details on the incident. Inspector Selvin Tillett- Deputy Officer in Charge, OW Police “Yesterday about 1:30pm upon information the police visited the northern regional hospital where they saw one Kenny Perez 16 year old construction worker of Orange Walk suffering from two stab wounds, initial investigations reveal that Kenny was along with other friends when they met another minor when Kenny and this minor were involved in a fight resulting on Kenny receiving wound stabs so far the police have detained the other minor in this stabbing incident and we continue with our investigation.”

Tourism Information Centre Repainted
Weeks ago the building owned by the Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter was vandalized. The building was recently painted when it was riddled with graffiti once more. Not willing to give up, this morning, the Orange Walk Town Council assisted the BTIA in repainting the building thus covering the defaced sides. Deputy Mayor and Councillor in charge of parks and playgrounds Ian Cal, says the assistance rendered is just the start towards a bigger project to upgrade Central Park. Ian Cal – Parks and Playgrounds “What we want is to have good, clean park and for the visitors to come around we will pretty much see the upgrade of the Central Park coming next month we should start to see a new Central Park and we want to start teaching it from now to take care of things that it belongs to the people of Orange Walk, it is not for the council of BTIA but for the people of Orange Walk and we need to be proud of what we have so we ask to take care of the things that we have and the council be stepping up its security in the park to ensure that this doesn’t happen again and we will be following up on who doing these things and we saw the graffiti they did on the building and that shouldn’t be.”

Solomon's School Holds Cultural Day
Over the course of the years education has shifted and schools are incorporating a lot more hands on activities and more practical sessions in their lessons. The strategy has received much favourable feedback and the students have been enjoying the changes. One such school that has put the initiative into practice is Solomon’s Seventh Day Adventist Primary school which today held its first ever Culture Day. Reporter Dalila Ical takes a look at what was on display. Dalila Ical – Reporting Preparing for the big day has been an exciting one for children says school principal Cheryl Distan. Teachers she adds went full force for their first ever Culture Day Cheryl Distan - School Principal “There was a lot of excitement maybe because it was the first one but I know that the children and the teachers they came on board full force for this event.”


Authorities Team Up for Ops in San Pedro
Military, Coast Guard and Police officers including members of the Gang Suppression Unit teamed up yesterday and travelled to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to conduct an operation on the island. After carrying out searches on over ten homes, the team came up with several parcels of cocaine and marijuana. As the operations continued through to the evening, 1,210 grams of cocaine along with 540 grams of cannabis were confiscated in the operation. The operation team was led by Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster and Superintendent Linden Flowers. L

Cases of Murder and Child Stealing End with Four Acquittals
When the media reported the horrific murder of Raylene Dyer back in October 2010, it seemed like a movie coming off the silver screen as she was brutally butchered at a slaughterhouse in the community of Valley of Peace in the Cayo District and then disposed of in a nearby river…..but the story didn’t end there as Dyer’s 3-month old baby was stolen. Investigations into the murder led to the arrests of three men, namely, Jason Anderson, Darren Banner and Brandon Budna. The trio was charged with murder while a fourth arrest of a woman, Aracely Cahueque led to a charge of child stealing, as the baby was found in the woman’s possession in the Corozal District a few days after the murder. It has been a trying time for the family of the murder victim as they have since been waiting to see justice served on the accused persons but their hope for justice began dwindling, as exactly one week ago, the three men were set free.….Today, however, that hope for justice inside the court room disappeared as Cahueque exited the court room of Justice Denis Hanomasingh in Belmopan, a free woman. Cahueque’s attorney briefed the media following the delivery of the verdict.

Businessman Says Employees Robbed Him of Over 25K
More than twenty five thousand dollars has been stolen from Sausage Factory in San Pedro Town. Police says that the owner of the establishment, an American businesswoman of Santa Monica, California, Christina Askew, reported that on Friday of last week she fired the Factory’s manager and assistant manager. And it turns out that she did so for a reason because after Askew conducted an internal audit of the business she discovered that twenty five thousand five hundred and seventy seven dollars were missing. Askew told police that she believes that the monies were stolen by her former employees. Police are investigating.

Romance Turns Deadly for Young Woman
A family in Independence Village in the Stann Creek District is in mourning after police in western Belize found the body of their relative, 24-year-old, Kayla Pandy Burgess. Renee Trujillo and cameraman, Brian Castillo travelled out west today to get the details of this horrific incident. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “I’m standing at the morgue here in San Ignacio Town where the body of 24-year-old, Kayla Pandy Burgess has just been transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City where it will undergo a post mortem examination. Kayla’s body was found late yesterday evening on the Bullet Tree Road inside her 2005 gold Kia Sorento. She was found strangled to death. Love News travelled to San Ignacio to get answers from the police investigators as well from her brother, Caral Pandy. SGT. JAIME GONZALEZ “Sometime after 5pm, Thursday, March 20, we received information from our counterparts in Belmopan city of a possible kidnapping and the victim was last located in the vicinity of the Bullet Tree Village. We responded to the area; we later located a vehicle with the description given to us a Kia Sorento vehicle, gold in colour with Stann Creek license plates.”

COLA Pursues Private Prosecution Against Penner
Next week Thursday, Citizen’s Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, will take their private prosecution of Former Minister of State, Elvin Penner a step further. After filing for a private prosecution on February 28th in the Belmopan Magistrate Court, the Judge set March 27th as the day in which Penner will answer to COLA’s private prosecution. Yesterday COLA sent letters to the Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie and Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, requesting all files and evidence as it pertains to the case. The DDP has answered stating that she will be present for the hearing on the 27th. Penner will also be served with a summons and President of COLA, Giovanni Brackett, says that three scenarios can unfold this Thursday.


UB student, 23, murdered
The breaking news tonight is that a mother’s nightmare was made real when she was taken to the scene at an area outside Bullet Tree Falls to identify the body of her daughter, Kayla Burgess, 23, of Independence, a student of UB Belmopan who was found dead at about 6:00 this evening, strangled in her car. Police have reportedly detained a person in connection with the murder. Kayla Burgess’ family were hoping and praying that it was not her body which had been found. According to Plus TV, Burgess was reportedly kidnapped earlier today, somewhere between Belmopan and Cayo. Her parents were sent a message and they went to the Independence Police Station to make an official report. They showed police a text message that they had received which said that their daughter had been kidnapped and that if the kidnappers received the $250,000 which they reportedly demanded for her return, “nobody else will be hurt.” One media source is reporting that when the brother tried to call Kayla’s phone, a man answered and warned the brother not to get the police involved.

Student, 8, knocked down in Ladyville
Another unfortunate traffic accident which occurred early yesterday morning in Ladyville underscores the importance of safety measures for schoolchildren who exit buses to get to school, especially during peak hours when drivers are making their way to the Old Capital, mainly for work. The family of an 8-year old female student of Our Lady of the Way RC School in Ladyville is presently reeling with disbelief and anger after she was knocked down right in front of her school compound as she made her way to school this morning. Around 7:30 a.m., Kyeisha Joseph, who is a resident of Double Head Cabbage in rural Belize, reportedly exited her school bus and was about to cross the Philip Goldson Highway to make it to classes when she was hit by an SUV which was headed towards Belize City. The standard 2 student suffered injuries which have left her in a critical condition and clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).

Yesterday, a former beauty queen contestant, Aracely Cahueque, 21, appeared relaxed, clutching a New Testament in her hand as if she was in another world, occasionally leaning backwards on her seat in the prisoner’s dock inside the Belmopan Supreme Court, where a 9-member jury began day two in her trial for three counts of abetment to commit murder before Supreme Court Justice Dennis Hannomansingh. Cahueque is believed to be the mastermind behind the October 2010 murder of Raylene Dyer, 18, who was beheaded, and her body dumped in a river, from which it was never recovered, according to caution statements the three men accused of carrying out the brutal execution gave to police. The motive for the murder is said to have been because Cahueque wanted Dyer’s baby girl. The three men whom Cahueque allegedly abetted to commit Dyer’s murder were acquitted last week. One of them, however, Brandon Budna, 28, who is a former University of Belize student, had given two statements to police in which he not only implicated himself, but also linked Cahueque to Dyer’s murder.

It took Magistrate Dale Cayetano almost two hours to read 117 counts of theft to Rashida Kira Sedacy, 24, as he arraigned her on the allegations that she stole $83,629.79, over a period of several months from her former employer, Traveller’s Liquors Ltd. Sedacy, a resident of Los Lagos, was represented by attorney Darrell Bradley, who is also the Mayor of Belize City. She pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was released on bail of $15,000 plus two sureties of $7,500 each. Apart from ordering her to surrender her travel documents to the court, Magistrate Cayetano stipulated that Sedacy is to report to the Ladyville Police Station every week. On Saturday, March 15, police arrested Sedacy, who is employed as a secretary at Rangers Security, and she remained in their custody until this morning when she was returned to court. Her arraignment was originally to have taken place yesterday, Monday, but was delayed until this morning after the court’s bureaucracy experienced logistical difficulties due to the volume of the charges.

Facebook has hundreds of millions of unique visitors every month, and it is deemed the most popular social network online site. The reality is, though, that minors could fall prey in a vast sea of online sexual predators—some several hundreds or thousands of miles away from their targets, others very near, but who use the online tool to hook their targets before closing in for an intimate—albeit illicit—sexual experience. Randy Lee Shill, 45, of Southeast Portland, was arrested in the US by FBI agents on November 10, 2010, when he went to meet a 16-year-old girl in the US for sex, equipped with condoms, flowers, alcohol, and a bottle of Viagra. After having pled guilty, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by a five-year term of supervised release.

Paul Patt, 32, of Buena Vista, Corozal District, told police that two robbers fired twice at him with a shotgun while he was travelling on his motorcycle on the Buena Vista Road on his way to Caledonia at about 3:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Patt, a farmer, was on his way to pick up some money owed to him. Patt told police that he saw three men standing on the road with shotguns, and their faces were covered with masks. On seeing the bandits, Patt quickly turned back, but the bandits fired twice at him.

Kenny Perez, 16, of Orange Walk, is recovering at the Orange Walk Hospital after he was stabbed in his abdomen and the right forearm at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon by another youth, 17, during a fight on San Felipe Street, in Orange Walk Town. The 17-year-old has been detained by police and will be charged with grievous dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Perez told police that he and two of his friends were walking on the street when the 17-year-old, whom he knows, rode up on a bicycle and stopped in front of him. There was an exchange of words and the young man attacked him, he said.

The police are seeking a man who raped a 12-year-old girl, and, in a separate incident, arrested and charged a stepfather, 49, for carnal knowledge of a 13-year-old girl. The stepfather was remanded today to the Belize Central Prison by the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court until his next court appearance on Friday, May 30. Police say that the 13-year-old told them that she had been sexually molested numerous times by her stepfather. Doctors at the Punta Gorda Hospital who examined the girl confirmed that she is 20 weeks, 6 days pregnant. The girl, a resident of a village in Toledo, had reportedly become fed up with the frequent rapes and the sexual abuse she was enduring at the hands of her stepfather, and told her mother what was happening. Both of them then went to the police and reported the matter.

Residents of the Tres Cocos area of San Pedro captured a thief who was burglarizing a woman’s house. It is reported that when the owner of the house chased him after she found him in the house, the burglar fired at the owner. Misty Plemons, 31, told police that about 10:30 Wednesday morning, she was at home when she heard noise coming from her bedroom. When she checked, she saw a masked man, with a rag tied around his face, in her bedroom. On her approach, the thief quickly closed the room door and escaped out of the house through a window. Plemons then pursued the bandit, who fired in her direction, but missed. According to the San Pedro Sun, the neighborhood watch group of Tres Cocos were alerted by the gunshots in their vicinity and a woman’s cries for help, and ran after the burglar, whom they caught and tackled to the ground. The group overpowered him and held him for police, who took him to the San Pedro Police Station, where he was identified as Juan Martinez, 18, a fisherman of the San Pedrito area.

A licensed .38 Special Amadeo Rossi revolver was stolen at gunpoint from its owner, who was pistol-whipped and robbed while at a house at the corner of West and Basra Streets at about 1:40 yesterday afternoon. The gun owner, Theodore Chavarria, a technician living in Sandhill, told police that while seated in front of the house, he was approached by two men riding on separate bicycles coming from the direction of George Street. The two men were each armed with 9mm pistols. Both men took out their guns, cocked them and pointed them at him. Chavarria said that while one of the robbers held him at gunpoint, the other robber beat him in the head with the butt of his pistol, then put his hand into his pocket and stole his gun, valued at $1,000, and other personal belongings.

A young couple was robbed at about 8:30 Saturday night on 1st Avenue in Corozal Town, in the area of Vamps Chill and Grill Restaurant, by two thieves armed with knives, who escaped with over $810 in valuables and cash. The couple, a 17-year-old young lady and a 20-year-old young man, both of Corozal Town, told police that the two men rode up and stopped them. At knifepoint, one of the thieves stepped up and pulled off the necklace that the girl was wearing around her neck, which had a cross medal attached to it, valued at $100, while the other thief stayed a short distance away and acted as a lookout. Fearing for her life, the girl took off her three gold rings, all valued at $150 each, and gave them to the thief. She also handed over her purse, which contained $10, her lipstick, and her Digicell Samsung cell phone, valued at $250. The thief also stole her bracelet and her wristwatch. The youth also gave them his cellphone.

Earl Johnson, 43, who is employed as a security guard at Hour Bar, located on Newtown Barracks, pleaded guilty to one count of wounding when he was arraigned before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. In his mitigation plea, Johnson told the court that he is a father of three children, and that this is his first offense. Hamilton fined him $1,000, plus $5 cost of court, which he has to pay by April 28; if he defaults in payment, he would have to spend one year in prison. The incident occurred on Sunday, March 16, around 3:15 a.m., when Johnson got into an altercation with a co-worker, Leopold Piñeda.

Students and staff of the Biscayne Primary School have been deprived of much-needed equipment for the smooth running of the school after thieves burglarized the school and got away with 4 desk computers and other electronic equipment totaling about $7,000 in value. The break-in was discovered yesterday morning when teachers reported to work and found that the classroom in which the computers were kept had been broken into via the door. The teachers reported that they had locked the classrooms Monday evening at the conclusion of the school day. A teacher reported that yesterday morning while going to school aboard the bus, he could see that the door to the room where the computers were kept was damaged and open. He later discovered that beside the laptop computers, the stereo set and the projector were also missing. The missing laptops are 3 Dell computers and one Lenovo. The loss of the computers will significantly impact the teachers and the school.

The US wants to control our oil again, says Venezuelan Ambassador
Thirty deaths in thirty days: This is the devastating human toll of ongoing street violence in Venezuela, which the country’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Yoel Perez Marcano, told the media at a press conference held at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City Thursday morning, was engineered by what he termed the “political and economic elite” – backed, he said, by the United States of America. Marcano furthermore charged that a move by the local elite and the US to regain control of Venezuela’s oil is at the heart of the conflict. Marcano charged that the administration of Barack Obama—president of the United States, which he said controlled Venezuela for 100 years with an oil-based economy, before revolutionaries forged the creation of a new socio-economic model—is behind what he said is this new attempt to fracture the political administration of Venezuela president Nicholas Maduro, who was elected to office after Venezuelan revolutionary Hugo Chavez died last year, in 2013. The Ambassador said, “We have to talk with Obama and we are willing to talk with Obama,” and if the US joins Venezuela in a dialogue for peace, “the crisis situation created by the elite will end immediately.”

NTUCB asks for immediate termination of new director of drug inspectorate
The Pharmacist Association of Belize (PAB)—the group which last week issued a public statement decrying the manner in which the Ministry of Health had hired Danina Contreras, daughter of Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras, for a newly created post—told Amandala today that they had just received a request from the Ministry of Health to meet, but they could not disclose details because they had not yet consulted internally on the matter. PAB now has the support of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), which issued a statement earlier this week in which it expressed solidarity with PAB and called for “…the immediate termination of Ms. Contreras from the Public Service.” The NTUCB said that it, “Furthermore …insists that the post of director of drug inspectorate [for which she was hired] be advertised and that the due process be undertaken in accordance with the Public Service Commission Regulations/Public Services Commission: the sole authority responsible for appointments in the Public Service; in order that a suitably qualified and competent person be hired to fill this post… one that has been long advocated for the Pharmacists Association of Belize, complemented by an entire Inspectorate UNIT.”

TB workshop held for medical practitioners
In commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day – which will be observed next Monday, March 24 – the Ministry of Health organized a workshop at the ITVET Compound in Belize City today, which was aimed at keeping nurses and caretakers “in the know,” as it relates to dealing with patients who contract the disease. The participants received advice on how to deal specifically with isolated cases of tuberculosis – also known as “TB,” and how to administer medication to patients based on the severity of their condition, among other presentations which were conducted by the workshop’s facilitator, Dr. Francis Morey, who is also the director of the national tuberculosis program. Morey told Amandala about today’s undertaking as well as some of the problems associated with eradicating the curable, but deadly disease. He said, “This activity is being held to increase awareness in regards to the existence of TB in our population and how to diagnose it, treat it early, and hopefully decrease the number of individuals who are affected by tuberculosis in our country.”

The Pharmacist Association of Belize (PAB)—the group which last week issued a public statement decrying the manner in which the Ministry of Health had hired Danina Contreras, daughter of Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras, for a newly created post—told Amandala today that they had just received a request from the Ministry of Health to meet, but they could not disclose details because they had not yet consulted internally on the matter. PAB now has the support of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), which issued a statement earlier this week in which it expressed solidarity with PAB and called for “…the immediate termination of Ms. Contreras from the Public Service.” The NTUCB said that it, “Furthermore …insists that the post of director of drug inspectorate [for which she was hired] be advertised and that the due process be undertaken in accordance with the Public Service Commission Regulations/Public Services Commission: the sole authority responsible for appointments in the Public Service; in order that a suitably qualified and competent person be hired to fill this post… one that has been long advocated for the Pharmacists Association of Belize, complemented by an entire Inspectorate UNIT.”

Tribute to Mr. Falo Fonseca
(The following is the FROM THE PUBLISHER column published in Amandala no. 745 of Friday, October 14, 1983) Probably the worst thing happen to Belize in the last five years was the death in December, 1978 of the first Belizean Financial Secretary – Rafael Aloysius Fonseca, C.M.G. Mr. Fonseca died in a traffic accident on the Western Highway days after Anglican Bishop Eldon A. Sylvestre and his wife perished in another traffic accident on the same highway. Within the space of one week Belize lost the only churchman who was not afraid of George Price (as a Canon, Sylvestre had defied Price by blessing the first UBAD parade in 1969), and the man who stood between Belize and fiscal irresponsibility.

Four female and four male high school softball teams, champions of the four country zones, converged at King’s College in Lucky Strike Village, Belize District, to compete on Friday and Saturday, March 14-15, in the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) 2014 Softball Championship. The tournament followed a simple knockout format, with Friday’s losers playing for third place on Saturday, and Friday’s female (F) and male (M) winners meeting for the championship on Saturday. There were some exciting duels in this year’s Nationals, with both championship games ending in low scoring shutouts. Representing their respective zones were: NORTH – (Female) Belize Rural High School (BRHS); (Male) San Pedro High School (SPHS) CENTRAL – (Female) Gwen Lizarraga High School (GLHS); (Male) Nazarene High School (NHS) WEST – (Female) Alvin Young Nazarene High School (AYNHS); (Male) Belmopan Comprehensive High School (BCS)

Sir Manuel and Lady Kathy Esquivel’s decision to resign simultaneously from their respective posts in the administration of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) was an attempt to embarrass the Dean Barrow administration while registering massive protest at the forced resignation of their daughter, Laura Esquivel–Frampton, as head of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). Their public protestations to the contrary, it is impossible not to believe that Laura Esquivel’s parents expected some kind of noisy mobilization of their loyalists to take place once they resigned so dramatically from their various posts. Such a noisy mobilization of Esquivel loyalists did not take place, and the question has to be where exactly is the Esquivel power base. To respond to this question, there is a need to examine Sir Manuel’s political history. A physics teacher at St. John’s College and St. John’s College Sixth Form, Esquivel was a nobody when he entered local politics as an official of the Liberal Party in late 1972/early 1973. Sir Manuel was already married to the former Kathleen Levy, who had come to serve in Belize from Britain as a Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) volunteer.

Older brother stabs younger brother multiple times
Henry Baptist, 25, of San Ignacio, the elder brother of Luis Espat, 23, also of San Ignacio, has been arrested and charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, wounding, and threatening words against Doreth Wellington, 67, his grandmother, after he went into Espat’s room, in her house, and allegedly stabbed him in the head, lungs, leg and arm. When Wellington intervened to save her younger grandson, Baptist stabbed her on her hand, which began to bleed, Wellington told police. Baptist was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Friday, and was released on bail of $3,000 and a surety of the same amount and ordered to return to court on May 28. Espat is now suffering from five stab wounds. Deputy Commander of San Ignacio Police, Inspector Reymundo Reyes, said that Espat refused to make a statement against his brother, Baptist, and did not report the stab wounds, so Baptist was not charged for the attack on Espat.

There is an internal breaking down in the United Democratic Party and it is as if the party is now practicing cannibalism…. Yes, they’re eating up each other from inside, and the blood spewed from the jaws in each other’s throat is now spilling into the public domain. We the people not close enough to the inner circle are now seeing how vicious the inner workings are and whose jaws are on whose necks. Clearly they are going for the jugular. Bleeding jugular Laura Esquivel-Frampton must have a jugular that is bleeding so badly because when her management team, clearly with the support of the BTB Board, the Minister of Tourism and his CEO, went after her, it was to see her dead. I do not know if what they claim is true or not, exaggerated or fictional…, but I do know that the letter they sent dated March 5, 2014, was not diplomatic, and was intended to go for the kill. It is as if they had to put in writing the marring of her name and reputation…. No mercy! But what I find amazing is that the management team in the first sentence makes it known that they have been holding meetings with “…you [Minister of Tourism], past and present chairmen of the Board, Board of Directors and the CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture…,” and it is after these meetings that they were now forwarding their “vote of no-confidence”. So my question is, could not the young Esquivel have been removed without all the bloodshed?

The 10th Day of Healing in the City
Another Day of Healing – the tenth of its kind— will be held in the Taylor Alley area of the city from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 29. There will be games, entertainment by local artists and entertainers, and a candlelight vigil in memory of those who have lost their lives due to the senseless gun violence. Entertainers at the event will include Bobo Youth, Blackberry, Positive Vibes, Barbie and, depending on their availability, TR Shyne, Nello Player and Dylan Diamond. Social activist Perry “Stickz” Smith, the organizer and director of the Day of Healing, said that the aim of the event is to bring people of the community together to work for the betterment of their community. Smith said that for the continued healing of the city, hatchets should be buried, and warring factions should learn how to respect and love one another by coming to together to work for the improvement of their community.

Belize Ambassadors make case for closer collaboration with Guatemala
This morning at the House of Culture in Belize City, the 30-member Referendum Commission met to discuss the Belize-Guatemala territorial differendum, and this afternoon, key Government officials, including chairman of the Commission, Ambassador James Murphy; Coordinator of the Referendum Unit, Ambassador Stuart Leslie; and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources, CEO Alexis Rosado, met with the media to update the public on plans to tighten cooperation between both countries. CEO Rosado, who heads the Belize delegation on the Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission installed earlier this year at the launch of a new roadmap, told the press that Belize remains committed to finding a legal solution to the problem, and they are trying to find a way to ensure that the public information campaign is continuous. He said that they are also gathering data, building a great research library, and assisting in every way possible to move things to the next phase of confidence-building negotiations.

GOB looks at revamping butane sector
At an exorbitant high of $128 for a 100-pound cylinder, the prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have consistently been escalating in the country, but the Government of Belize is negotiating with Mexican officials for a concessionary arrangement that it said could ensure quality supply at a stable and more affordable price. The national demand for LPG, a mixture of butane and propane, is 1.2 mil gallons per annum, said Jose E. Trejo, Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards. Trejo said that although Belize’s energy policy pushes for more renewable energy and higher efficiency, the country has to establish a balance between renewable and non-renewable energy sources, such as LPG and LNP, so as to meet the local demand. He told Amandala today that the Government of Belize has been in talks with Mexican officials, as part of a bi-national initiative, similar to the PetroCaribe model under which the Government imports fuel under concessionary financing terms from Venezuela. Payment terms have not yet been disclosed.

Vehicle overturns on the Philip Goldson Highway
Walter Flores, 23, a cargo truck driver of San Estevan, who police said was driving a vehicle while intoxicated, escaped unhurt after the truck overturned between Miles 66 and 67 on the Philip Goldson Highway at about 6:45 Sunday evening. Flores was arrested and charged for driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and driving a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit. A urine sample was also taken from him for analysis. Police reported that the black Volvo truck with license plate OW-A-00585 was overturned on the passenger’s side across the street with the right side of the truck damaged, and its windshield was shattered. According to police, Flores had been travelling from Corozal to Orange Walk, and upon reaching between Miles 66 and 67, he lost control of the truck and as a result, it overturned.

Two women found dead in their rooms in Corozal and Cayo
Two women, one in the Cayo District and the other in the Corozal District, were found dead in their rooms in two separate incidents. One of the women, Norma Lopez, of Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, Cayo, was 85-years-old, while the other, Delma Cristelia Sosa Murillo, was a 26-year-old Honduran young woman who worked as a waitress at Palacio Dulce Bar, located in Ranchito, Corozal District. Lopez was found decomposing on the floor beside her bed a little after noon, yesterday, Tuesday, while Murillo was found lying face-down on her bed, lifeless, at about 7:30 Sunday night, March 16. Neighbours of Lopez had started to smell a foul odor, and when caretakers of hers took food for her on Monday, they had to leave it at the door, which was locked. When they returned yesterday, Tuesday, and found the food untouched and the door still locked, however, they raised an alarm.

SATIIM moves to stop oil drilling by US Capital
The challenge mounted by the indigenous Maya of Toledo against the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy – over plans to drill for oil on ancestral lands amid unresolved legal disputes – has intensified, with a recent move by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) to get a Supreme Court injunction to stop US Capital from pressing ahead with pre-drilling works at the Temash #2 site in Toledo. Supported by four affected indigenous communities in Toledo, SATIIM took US Capital and the Government to court last year, challenging the decision by the Government to grant the company a concession to drill on ancestral lands, without getting the informed consent of the Maya who hold traditional land rights in the area; but SATIIM also challenged the decision of the Government to include the Sarstoon Temash National Park in the concession – a decision which the NGO contends is a blatant violation of the National Parks System Act. SATIIM had initially intended to get a court injunction to stop US Capital from drilling – but it withdrew after indications from US Capital that it would not drill before November 2013.

No Limit Soldiers
After the No Limit Soldiers suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Cayo Western Ballaz in San Ignacio a week ago, the Belize City squad regrouped and refocused for their next challenge, which would come in the form of the visiting Belmopan Point Bandits on Friday night, March 14, at Bird’s Isle. Going into the big matchup, the Point Bandits were just ahead of the No Limit Soldiers in the standings, as the Bandits occupied the number 4 spot while the Soldiers were at number 5. Only 4 teams will make it to the playoffs, so every one of the remaining ten games for team No Limit is crucial if they are to make a run at the title. The Point Bandits opened the scoring in the 1st quarter, as Adam Carswell would convert the put-back layup off a missed shot. After that, the game would remain close for the rest of the 1st quarter and much of the 2nd, as both teams were hungry for a victory. The No Limit captain, Greg “Chippy” Rudon would get hot early, as he scored 8 of the No Limit Soldiers’ first 10 points, with 2 field goals coming from beyond the arc. There were a total of 5 lead changes in the game, including 4 ties, and at the end of the 1st half the score was 31 to 31.

A foreigner, Ignacio Prado of Mexico
The last big race before the historic Cross Country was a reminder to the Belize cycling community of the challenge facing our cyclists from international competition, as Sunday’s 33rd Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic was won in commanding and intimidating fashion by a 20-year-old Mexican newcomer, Ignacio Prado, riding for the Benny’s Megabytes cycling team, whose lead rider, Byron Pope, was unable to secure a spot among the top 5 finishers. In the Female category, reigning Cross Country champion Shalini Zabaneh was first, and in the Juniors, Tarique Flowers took the top honors. Open/Elite/Masters – 100 miles The 100-mile Open/Elite/Masters race left at 8:00 a.m. from in front of the Smart headquarters near Mile 2 on the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway, passed through Belize City proper, travelled on the George Price (Western) Highway to Belmopan, and returned on the same route to the finish, with one circuit around the two nearest highway roundabouts before ending in front of the Smart headquarters.

Dangriga sports stats
Cycling: The Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association will be hosting its last Sunday in the month monthly race on Sunday, March 30. This race will start (and finish) from in front of Ilagulei Sports Bar at 11:00 a.m. and head all the way to Sittee River junction and back. Classic Gold Mayor’s Cup: Week 1 games in the 2014 Classic Gold Mayor’s Cup tournament, sponsored by Traveller’s and Belikin, were played over the weekend at the Carl Ramos Stadium. In game 1 on Friday night, March 14, Southside won over Riverside Nets, 2-1, with both Southside goals coming from Lennox “Namule” Mejia; while Dave Brackett got Riverside’s only goal. Game 2 saw Alliance FC getting the 2-1 victory over Wagiya. Michael Cho and Hector Gomez scored 1 apiece for Alliance FC, while Wagiya’s only goal came from Brandon “Rasmo” Cacho.

Belize’s modern day sports dynasty
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, defines a sports dynasty as a “team that dominates their sport or league for multiple seasons or years.” It also goes on to say that often these teams’ recognition in such a capacity is, more often than not, subjective and retrospective. When sports enthusiasts speak of dynasties from an international standpoint, they usually connect the UCLA Bruins men’s college basketball team from 1964 to 1975; the Oakland Raiders of the 1970’s and 1980’s; the Boston Celtics during the period 1956 to 1986, who won 16 of 30 NBA championships; and the Chicago Bulls, who won 6 of 8 NBA championships during the period 1989-1998. Meanwhile, on the local scene, the first teams that come to mind when we speak of dynasties are the Kremandala Raiders basketball franchise, who won an unprecedented 7 of 8 semi-pro basketball championships during the period 1993-2000; and the Juventus football team from Orange, who won four consecutive semi-pro championships thru 1995 – 1999.

Originally printed in the Sunday, July 24, 2011 issue of the Amandala. A Pledge of Allegiance The American influence on the lives of Belizean is pervasive. We copy their dress and their attitudes. We sing their songs and are influenced by their politics and social vicissitudes and their God is our God – materialism in all its forms. Still, there is one thing to which we are impervious, their sense of nationhood. There are pockets of individuals who are patriotic because of their narrow self interests and, those whose conditions of living make them disaffected but, mainstream Americans love their country, think it is the best in the world and, would do what they can to keep it so. I think one of the reasons for citizens of American’s great devotion to their way of life is that they were taught and required to say at the beginning of each school day, their Pledge of Allegiance. I think that pledge is a powerful unifying force and colors and flavors how American children look at themselves and their society.

From The Publisher
Where moral and religious issues are concerned, that of abortion is probably the most explosive one in the United States. Those who are against abortion are described as being pro-life, whereas those who are in favor of a woman’s right to abort, are called pro-choice. In America there are abortion clinics which make these procedures conveniently available to women, and they have been the targets of violent crimes, including bombings, over the decades. This is how explosive the abortion issue is in the United States: people who are pro-life commit murders in pursuance of their cause. They believe that human life commences at conception, and that those women who abort fetuses and those who assist them in doing so, are themselves real murderers. This is not an issue about which I know a lot, and no doubt I should have done some academic research before writing this column. My excuse for not doing research is that this column is about specific Belizean circumstances in colonial days, and the shadowy, fearful world in which some abortions were performed.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Belizeans with dual citizenships can no longer depend on the UDP for support
When I first came to America in 1978 to live, most Belizean Americans wanted a change of government. Many of them were complaining that they came to this country because they were victims of victimization committed against them by the People’s United Party, and I was one of them who felt and experienced it. I remember attending a “No Guatemala Demonstration” in April of 1977 along with other Corporals of Police like myself. After the demonstration that same week, I was given an immediate transfer to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The problem was that I was scheduled to commence my three-month leave in the month of July that same year. I went to the Commander of Eastern Division at the time, Superintendent Gilbert Franklin, to file a complaint against the transfer, but he said he could not do anything about it. I then decided to go and appeal to the Premier George Cadle Price, and he said the same thing, but referred me to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Carl Lindbergh “Lindy” Rogers.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Who were the real conquistadores?
I recently heard an ad on the radio promoting a ceremony depicting a Spanish conquistador “taking” for his wife a Mayan princess! The true history of the Spanish conquest of Mexico was hidden for centuries so as not to reveal who were the real conquistadores. The bold and brave Maya drove the Spanish masters and “patrones” to the coast of Yucatan and across the border of the Rio Hondo, and they only turned back for home when they realized that it was time to plant their corn, which was life to them. Valuable and unique ethno-historical sources, accessible as never before, offer a compelling new perspective on the Spanish conquest.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The end of my patience …
I have been patient since last year with the governing bodies of Belize and I have reached the end of my patience. We have all kinds of things happening in Belize. Prices are going up all over in everything. Now as I drive around Belize City, a 10-minute drive now takes up to 45 minutes; needless to say, that it is an inconvenience, but between BWS and CISCO, it is even worse. There is Central American Boulevard at the gas station blocked off; Partridge Street where it meets the highway, blocked the other side; beside Carter’s is now one-way; Vernon Street blocked off all by government work. Yes, I say GOB because they own BWS and BTL and all the work being done is by those two entities. We, the public, are the ones suffering from all these blockages. Gas is not cheap!!!! We seem to do work haphazardly. Why don’t they concentrate on one street at a time and why do we stop at the end of the day? Works like street repairs should be day and night. It is all nice that they are trying to make jobs, but at the same time, whilst making jobs, the public suffers.

I would like to publicly draw attention to a serious concern about a certain section of the textbook, ¿Qué tal? An Introductory Course, sixth edition by Thalia Dorwick, Ana Maria Pérez Gironés and others. This textbook has been used over the years by St. John’s College Junior College, and perhaps other schools in Belize, for the teaching of Spanish. Part of the Spanish exercises presented in the book are sections entitled, “Enfoque cultural:…” where snapshot presentations are made of each country in Central America and other several other countries in Latin America, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Chile and others. It is disturbing to read the section under Capitulo 5 entitled, “Enfoque cultural: Guatemala” pg. 137 – 146. This section about Guatemala includes Belize and has this to say: “Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, has many beautiful beaches and coral reefs that attract an increasing number of tourists, particularly those interested in world-class scuba diving. Belize (in Spanish Belice) was once a part of Guatemala, though under British occupation at the time…”

The ongoing crisis in the Ukraine presents strategic lessons for Belize which should guide our response to the “eastward drift” by Guatemala. The Ukraine has for the last couple of years been a covert battlefield for the so-called West as they try to penetrate Russia’s sphere of influence. Under the guise of democracy, the West supported, if not orchestrated, the overthrow of a democratically-elected government solely because that government was, in their view, eastward leaning. It is safe to say that the West, in their zeal to topple Yanukovych, severely miscalculated the likely Russian response. Western leaders have been quick to draw similarities between Russia’s Crimean experiment and Germany’s invasion of Poland. There are significant differences, of course, but this is not the focus of my treatise.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Defender of Rt. Hon. Esquivel
Rt. Honorable Dr. Manuel Esquivel has resigned from the political picture in Belize. Sadly, there are not many who are lamenting. So, so sad. This is the man who straightened out the Belizean ship when the rudderless PUP nearly sailed us into the reef of economic shambles. Many of the PUP party faithful will not agree, but true businessmen could smell the reef coming. No foreign exchange at the financial institutions was the biggest sign. Rt. Honorable George Price was a great politician, but not very adept at financial matters, and as my elders noted, when he tragically lost Mr. Fonseca as financial advisor, he had no one to replace him. Dr. Esquivel came on the scene when Belize needed an administrator more than a politician, ‘cause that’s what he was. Good administrator, bad politician. He straightened out the financial ship, but got beaten at the political game, only to be re-elected a second time by fate’s decree. Beaten again, he resigned.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Claims BTL dividends “cut by over 60%”
The Government of Belize found it in the best interest of the people and the economy of the country to nationalize the national telephone system. As they took possession of management, the directors offered a new issue of common shares to the public. While there were no specific guarantees offered, there also was no warning that the new management would find it necessary to reduce the dividends that previous management had paid to shareholders, leaving the investing public to assume that the rate of dividends would be more or less equal to what had been paid in the past. Since the government takeover, however, the rate of dividends has been cut by over 60% and there are no buyers for the shares. We bought these shares to finance our daughter’s college expenses, and now that she has been accepted by a top college in London, we find that there are no scholarships and we cannot access the money we have saved for this purpose.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Our parasitic elites
I read your editorial dated March 16, 2014 with much interest. I don’t think that most Belizeans understand that our mode of operation as a country is unsustainable and we must collectively do something about it. The problem with Belize lies primarily with our elite, whether educated elites or economic elites. The elites of a country are supposed to move its society forward; that is why they are given so many privileges, so that they have the leisure and the means of production. I don’t want to get too academic, but if you look at history, people like Hippocrates, Aristotle, Galileo, Alexander Graham Bell, Bill Gates, etc. are all members of the elite in their society, even if they were the educated elites. They simply use the resources, hoard them and give very little in return.

The Reporter

For the second time in less than three years two Directors of Tourism in Belize have abruptly resigned. In September 2011, Ms. Seleni Matus, a talented and enterprising Belizean woman, resigned out of sheer frustration. She had been recruited to point the Belize Tourist Board in a new direction, and […] Former NAC Chairman

Kathy Esquivel says her reason for resigning was “personal”
Kathy Esquivel, the mother of Laura Esquivel-Frampton who resigned last week from the Belize Tourism Board, has denied that her reason for resigning as the Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission had to do with Frampton’s resignation. Mrs. Esquivel told The Reporter this week […]

Gary Seawell awaits extradition ruling
Attorney for accused drug trafficker sought by the U.S. state of Ohio Gary Seawell, Arthur Saldivar, hopes to convince Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana of what he could not convince Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith last October: that his client […]

VIP supports Belizean Transparency Reform
Hubert Enriquez, Chairman of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) Party, said Belize should take note of Mexico’s recent reforms to their transparency systems and demand greater transparency and accountability from the government. Enriquez told The Reporter that better legislation is necessary in […]

American teacher arrested, planned sex with Belizean minors
An American teacher was arrested in Florida on charges of enticing two Belizean girls to have sex with him. Federal agents arrested 48-year-old David Wendel Thompson in Miami on Friday during a lay-over after returning to the U.S from Belize. Thompson was denied entry […]

“Multivitamins a waste of money,” experts say
“Enough is enough! Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements,” say medical experts in an editorial of a leading journal that has just published three new studies examining whether routine use of vitamin and mineral supplements brings health benefits. Writing in Annals of Internal Medicine, the editorial authors conclude […]

Does cracking knuckles cause arthritis?
Cracking of joints, also referred to as “popping”, is a form of joint manipulation that produces a popping or cracking sound, as may occur during knuckle-cracking, a deliberate action. People can crack several joints in their bodies, including the hips, wrists, elbows, back and neck vertebrae, toes, shoulders, feet, jaws, […]

PG town councillor found dead at home; no foul play suspected
Simon Paulino, 59, a Punta Gorda town councillor, was discovered dead inside his home on Sunday morning. The former PUP deputy mayor was discovered lying face up shortly before eight a.m. on his bed at his home on Far West Street. While his death […]

Still no charge against Townsend’s alleged killer
More than a month after a 19-year-old resident of Benque Viejo allegedly confessed to the murder of Canadian Seventh Day Adventist Missionary, Brian Townsend, 64, police are yet to charge the individual. The reason given by the Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police Formation Assistant […]

Conflict between market vendors and San Ignacio Town Council over trade license fees.
Some vendors at the San Ignacio Town market say they are at odds with the San Ignacio Town Council over the fees it charges for trade license. The vendors say that they have taken their complaint to the Council but it did not yield […]

Ignacio Prado wins SMART Belmopan Classic
By William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter Mexican rider, Ignacio Prado, of Benny’s Megabytes team won the elite race of the annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday. The race, organized by the Cycling Federation of Belize, and which started on the George Price Highway, finished at the SMART headquarters on the […]

Shalini Zabaneh wins SMART Belmopan Female Classic
By William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter Defending three-time women’s Cross Country Champion and National Road Champion Shalini Zabaneh of the Sagitun team won the 60-mile women’s race from La Democracia. Shalini rode in solo in 3:19:54 to win the $750 first prize, a trophy and a massage at Oltsil Spa. Kaya […]

DPP to share Penner files with COLA
The Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal has reportedly decided to join the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action in their private prosecution against former Minister of State in Immigration, Elvin Penner. The case is scheduled to continue next Thursday, and The Reporter was […]

PetroCaribe arrangement in tact
Venezuela will keep its exclusive PetroCaribe arrangement with 18 countries in the Caribbean and the Americas, including Belize, despite a month-long spate of protests against President, Nicolas Maduro’s government. The upheavals, according to Venezuela’s Ambassador to Belize, Yoel del Valle Perez Mercano, are a […]

Unions call for Bowen & Bowen boycott
Several trade unions have called for a boycott of Bowen and Bowen products this weekend. The move, the unions explained via separate, a but almost identical press statements, is to show support for the Bowen & Bowen workers who were recently terminated from the company. […]


Once again Belize makes top ten happiest countries in the world!
You may remember back in August last year when we reported that the Travel Channel listed Belize as one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world? Well, it’s happened again, the time the March 18th edition of the Wall Street Cheat Sheet, an investor’s guide and lifestyle site e-zine, listing Belize as one of the world’s ten top happiest countries. No surprises there… I mean, just walk around the place…. But it is nice to be recognised again, and, of course, give us one more reason to be happy – we live in one of the top happiest places on earth! Think about that when you wake up tomorrow… Norway (of course), Denmark, Vietnam, Sweden, Holland, Costa Rica Canada, Colombia and El Salvador made the list, but only Belize is so small and intimate with that rare combination of such excellent weather (sorry Norway) close proximity to jungle, beach and Maya archaeological sites.

Lunch at Elvi’s Kitchen on Another Perfect Beach Day
I wasn’t going to eat lunch out…but the call of San Pedro’s best dessert (here are all the winners) was just way too strong for me. Miss Elvi’s Coconut Pie. Warm with iced cream. I headed over to Elvi’s Kitchen on Middle Street.Is pie going to be enough? Hungry, I took a look at their new menu. Elvi’s has been on the island for years…and years. See this tree covered it lights? The original Elvi’s Hamburgers was a tiny outdoor place beneath this tree. Elvi’s is featured in every guide book there is. It’s a spot that could easily sit back and rest on its laurels. But they don’t. Not at all. In fact, in the past few years, Elvi’s has crept into, easily, my top five favorite restaurants. Jennie Staines, hometown girl and the chef at Elvi’s, is SUPER passionate about food, both local and international. She has updated but not changed many of Belizeans classic dishes and made them even more appealing. You’ve got to try it out. Here is just a section of their brand new menu.

“Poetry in Motion” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
On Monday Rose and I had the pleasure of spending time with Esme and her six year old grandson Tyler. Esme originates from Honduras but has lived in Belize for over twenty-six years but in all that time had never visited Ambergris Caye. Caye Caulker yes, but never in all that time has she made the extra twenty minute journey to Ambergris Caye. So, why after such long a long time did she make the trip you’re thinking. Simple, she was delivering the remaining half of a pig that her husband Stephen had butchered (sounds horrible doesn’t it but I’ve never professed to be a vegetarian) for us. Stephen served in the British as a Master Butcher (come on, an army marches on its stomach) and occasionally (very occasionally we understand) can be persuaded to use his skills for acquaintances. And he very fortunately granted us this favour.

Belize Peoples Front Press Release on Sexual Exploitation of Children
In light of a recent news article featured in several US news outlets and Belize’s local news Media – LoveFM that shows a US teacher on spring break visiting Belize to have sexual encounters with underage children. As per WFLA, a local Florida news agency: Federal authorities busted Thompson after they say he used Facebook to entice two teenage girls, 13 and 15, to have sex with him. The Belize People’s Front condemns these actions and hereby calls on Belizean Authorities to become more vigilant against these practices. We commend the US authorities on their efforts to protect our women and children, and to have been so swift in capturing this individual. We call on the Government of Belize to: Start investing in technology and manpower that can assist in better tracking and quelling these incidents. Start an education and support program for families to learn how to recognize warning signs and deal with them, also how to work with the technology in their homes. To institute a full ZERO TOLLERANCE policy to be setup to deal with the Sexual Exploitation of our children as per the call from UNICEF:

The Deading of the Fourth Estate in Belize
I read half of the comments about my blog on the murder Kayla Burgess made by a media colleague and the entire comment by a purported Galen alumni. I was interested in what someone else supposedly close to the parties in the terrible tragedy had to say. My hopes were dashed when I was made the target of their objections….typical “shoot the messenger mentality”. It was well executed. Congratulations! Now as for my colleague, I care nothing about his unctuousness about my blog. As the Galen alumni rightly said, I’m entitled to my opinion. I cannot help but detect a little bit of envy on his part that he wasn’t playing a starring in this one. It is the disgusting and counterproductive behavior of some in Belize’s nascent media environment that I detest. The news is NEVER about the reporter!

Former UB Student Takes Ill-fated Trip Out West to Her Death
Things quickly unraveled after news broke around 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 20th that Kayla Burgess, 24 of Indpendence Village had been kidnapped. Burgess a recent graduate from the University of Belize in Belmopan, left her home in Independence village, Stann Creek District sometime on Thursday morning in her Kia Sorento en route to Belmopan. Her early departure didn’t raise any alarm bells but as families do, Kayla checked in with her brother around midday. She seemed to be in good spirits and nothing seemed ominous. According to a report carried by Patrick Jones, Kayla informed her brother, Caral Pandy that she was heading out west to Bullet Tree Falls village in the Cayo District. A cousin who spoke with Kayla face to face in Belmopan around the same time on Thursday also reported that she was told by Kayla was on her way to Bullet Tree to meet with someone. When questioned by her cousin about her mission in Bullet Tree since it was assumed that she was unfamiliar with the area or anyone from the area, Kayla only said she was going to meet someone there.

An Adventure Through Ancient Mayan Lands – Belize Family Travel Series
What’s next on this Belize vacation? Mayan artifacts, horseback riding through lands once home to an ancient Mayan civilization, and a relaxing respite along a river deep in the jungles of Belize. No experience required for this fun time. Just a sense of adventure, and a willingness to climb upon the back of a horse. Footstools provided for us shorter folk! The adventure begins where an ancient civilization left off – on a citrus farm at the edge of a jungle, the very same grounds ancient Mayans once walked. Imagine life as it might have been in a time long ago. It’s not that hard when your guide and host, both of Mayan descent, narrate life as it was back in “Mayan days.” Witness the remains of a lost civilization. Who knows? Your host might just hand you a piece of history. For real! These are actual Mayan artifacts discovered on the farm. You might find yourself holding the very same obsidian blade quite possibly held by a Mayan farmer long, long ago. Handle with care!

International Sources

Mar Caribe roba costas en Izabal
Here is a link on news regarding a study that was made on effects caused by climate changes in Caribbean coast; link was sent by Central American colleagues of ACCSD. (article is in spanish). Ese fenómeno pone en riesgo a cientos de familias en costas del Caribe guatemalteco, principalmente en Lívingston, Izabal, según un informe sobre vulnerabilidad en el Caribe, que presentó ayer en Costa Rica el Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza. El estudio, presentado en el Cuarto Congreso mesoamericano de áreas protegidas, analiza las costas de Belice, Guatemala y Honduras, con base en datos satelitales comparativos desde 1992 a la fecha, y la construcción de escenarios climáticos a partir de los efectos del calentamiento global. Lenin Corrales, biólogo investigador adjunto del Programa de Cambio Climático y Cuencas, coautor del informe, señaló que entre los impactos directos de esos cambios está la fuerza y frecuencia con que los huracanes y tormentas pueden golpear las costas del Atlántico en las próximas décadas.

Embassy of Mexico to Belize
- Embajada de México en Belice Announces scholarships being offered to Belizeans.

EU bans fish trade with Belize, Guinea, Cambodia over IUU
The EU’s executive arm will on Monday announce a ban on fish imports from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea (Conakry), in a move that could have repercussions for tuna companies such as MW Brands and Pervasa. The ban is part of the EU’s efforts against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The European commission had proposed banning fishery imports from those three countries in November, while also issuing “yellow cards” to Ghana, South Korea and Curacao. The EU fisheries council will now decide favorably on the proposal this coming Monday, said the commission in a statement.

Olson Engage wins top PR honors
Attention-grabbing campaigns for the Belize Tourism Board with a “Breaking Bad” theme and a road rally featuring Oscar Mayer’s popular Wienermobiles earned the Minneapolis public relations agency Olson Engage top honors in its field this week and renewed the Twin Cities’ ticket as a go-to address for PR assignments. Olson Engage, the PR unit of the ad agency Olson, was named “Agency of the Year” in a New York ceremony Thursday evening by the trade publication PRWeek in an awards contest that featured the best PR agencies in the United States. It was the second agency-of-the-year award for a Twin Cities PR firm in as many years — Carmichael Lynch Spong was named the top U.S. creative PR agency by the Holmes Report last year — and added to a long list of gold, silver and bronze awards given to Twin Cities agencies in other contests as well.

The Caribbean’s quest for reparations expands to seek compensation for the genocide of indigenous people
The 360-foot, weather-beaten tunnel, carved out of volcanic rock and leading to the rough surf of the Atlantic, remains one of the few remnants of this eastern Caribbean island’s vexing past. Constructed by shackled black hands in the early 19th century, it served as a pivotal route to ferry sugar to waiting ships. But what Black Point Tunnel, 20 miles north of the capital, doesn’t reveal is the massacre, forced exile and stealing of the native Caribbean people’s lands by colonists to produce the sugar that fueled Britain’s development and wealth.

The Beautiful Bacalar, a Mexican Sanctuary
Bacalar is one of the world´s true natural treasures with turquoise freshwater, white beaches, cenotes, jungle, mangroves, unique ecology, culture, and history. Derived from the Mayan words Bak Halal, “place surrounded by reeds”, Bacalar is a lakeside town 24 miles northwest of Chetumal and 3 hours of Cancun, it sits near the coast just before Belice and the river that divides Belize from Mexico. Bacalar lagoon is linked to the Rio Hondo by the Chaac canal. Bacalar Lagoon, also known as “the seven colors lagoon” for its varying shades of turquois and blue color, is a retirement paradise with a length of some 35 miles from north to south and about 1 mile wide, where fishing, windsurfing, kayaking, water-skiing, rowing, sailing and birdwatching are popular activities.

Fortis Inc. - Dividend Fact Sheet
Overview Fortis Inc. (OTCPK:FRTSF) is the largest investor-owned Canadian-based electric and gas utility. Despite being based in Canada, Fortis also has utility-related assets in the USA (e.g. New York) and in the Caribbeans (e.g. Belize). Fortis trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker "FTS", and also trades on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) under the ticker "FRTSF". Throughout this article I will refer to Fortis as FTS. FTS is part of the S&P/TSX60 index. FTS is a Canadian corporation and therefore pays its quarterly dividends in Canadian dollars. All the following figures are thus in Canadian dollars. Notably, foreign investors will likely be subjected to withholding tax.

Russia Becoming More Visible on Caribbean Shores
Russia intends to take a more active role on the international arena, including in the Western Hemisphere. Russia's base countries in the region are Cuba and Nicaragua. Since the times of the Soviet Union, relations with these countries were perceived by Washington as a threat which must be «neutralized» by any means. After the collapse of the USSR, many Russian embassies, trade missions, and news bureaus in Latin America were closed, and hundreds of specialists on Latin America were out of work. Over the past decade, the Russian government has made significant efforts to rebuild and further strengthen Russia's position in Cuba and Nicaragua.

Retired Boxer Protecting his Daughter Dies After Rogers Park Fight
A retired boxer from Belize who died after a Rogers Park street scuffle Wednesday had been trying to protect his daughter, relatives and witnesses said. Michael Tingling, 59, picked up 15-year-old Masharah Tingling from the Chicago Math and Science Academy, 7212 N. Clark. St., around 1 p.m. Wednesday. The teen had a doctor's appointment later that day, her mom said, and Tingling hoped to sneak in some father-daughter doughnut time beforehand. Masharah was his only child. As the pair walked down the 7100 block of North Clark Street, a man in his 50s began eyeing Masharah. He started to approach the teen, but Tingling stepped in and told him to go away.

From Caye to Cayo: Top 4 Experiences in Belize
The Cayes and the Cayo. Typographically, they may be very similar, but topographically these distinctive regions in Belize are worlds apart. The Cayes (pronounced "keys") are the hundreds of islands that stretch the length of Belize’s coast, ranging from tiny spits of sand and tangled networks of mangrove, to the 25-mile long Ambergris Caye. About half the size of Barbados, Ambergris is a laid-back Caribbean beach town with a decidedly “no shoes, no shirt, no problem” attitude. On its narrow, sandy roads numerous “Go Slow” street signs maintain an orderly flow of golf-cart traffic (there are no car rentals here), while on the water dozens of speedy boats and water taxis whisk vacationers to beachside resorts and some of the best dive and snorkel spots in the world. The Cayo District is western Belize’s rolling, mountainous region, covered with broadleaf jungles that harbor ancient Mayan sites. Nearly two-thirds of the Cayo lies within national parks and forest reserves, creating protected lands that are a haven for hikers, cavers, canoeists, kayakers, and birders. With more than 30 jungle lodges, the Cayo has more close-to-nature accommodations than any district in Belize.

March 21, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Lions donate wheelchairs to Poly Clinic
On Friday, March 14th, the San Pedro Lions Club donated five, much needed wheelchairs to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. On hand to receive the donation was Administrator of the clinic, Owen Vellos and Doctor Javier Zuniga. According to Belize Lions Zone 59 Chairperson, Melanie Paz, this is just the first of many donations from the San Pedro Lions to the clinic. “The plan is for the Lions Club to make additional donations of crutches as well as examination tables to the clinic. We want to give the clinic items that they require and that assist patients with a full recovery,” said Paz. Each wheelchair was purchased at a cost of approximately $700 from the Belize Red Cross and are to be used exclusively by the Polyclinic.

Law enforcement agencies descend on Ambergris Caye
Broaster said that residents and tourists should not be afraid of their presence and that in fact they are targeting rogue people and criminals who are responsible for the illegal activities on the island. “Our operations will include motorcycle patrols, vehicular checkpoints and targeted raids,” said Broaster. He indicated that in just the few hours in to their operations, the team has confiscated over one kilo of suspected cocaine and various amounts of marijuana that has lead to several arrests. “I want to inform Sanpedranos to be on the lookout and to notify us of any suspicious activities they see in their areas. We know the challenges affecting the island and we want to address those issues but we need the community to help. The residents need to notify us about suspicious activities in their neighborhood,” said Broaster. The operations began on March 20th and will run indefinitely until the island can see a sense of peace and normality.

Mexican Government Special Scholarship Program for Foreigners
The Embassy of Mexico presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has the honor to refer to the “Mexican Government Special Scholarship Program for Foreigners” offered through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico. In this regard, the Embassy is pleased lo inform the Ministry that the Scholarship Call 2014 to carry out the Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Public Administration and Policy as well as International Relations for the academic year 2014-20’18 at El Colegio de Mexico is opened and will remain available until May 2nd, 2014 at the following link:

San Pedro rallies to provide better housing for island police officers
Police officers play a vital role in maintaining law and order in a community, but when faced with mediocre living conditions and low pay it can be difficult for them to carry out the responsibilities and morals that are instilled in them while trained at the Belize Police Academy. Police officers on Ambergris Caye face an even greater financial hardship as the island is one of the most expensive areas in Belize to live. Police constables earn as little as $250 per week and only as an officer grows in ranks does their pay raise. This growth can take years, and for many officers that option does not exist. Some officers believe that higher positions are only given to those with strong political ties. No one will argue that living on a $250 weekly budget on Ambergris Caye is easy, and it is even more challenging when an officer has a family to support . Few to no officers are originally from San Pedro Town, many come from mainland Belize. These men and women leave their homes, families, friends and good living conditions in hopes of prosperity and to serve their country.

Ambergris Today

As early at 4a.m. this morning, Thursday, March 20, 2014, the GSU soldiers were already raiding homes, searching individuals on the street, posting traffic checkpoints and confiscating drugs. Residents were alarmed at first but soon realized that the island’s local authorities had responded to their cries and were quick to bring in the GSU to the island after the sudden insurgence of crime on the island. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. commented that after he brought up the request at the last government cabinet meeting, there was a unanimous agreement to bring the GSU to Ambergris Caye. The Gang Suppression Unit is working independently from the San Pedro Police Department, conducting their own searches, raids and checkpoints. They are stopping every person on bicycles to conduct searches, inspecting every vehicle indiscriminately. The Unit has already made several arrests and drug busts.

Ambulance Service Coming Soon to San Pedro
“The ambulance we plan on getting will not be the standard or typical ambulance like they have in the city or the ones you see on television,” stated Dr. Gonzalez to Ambergris Today. “We are planning on getting an all-terrain vehicle, like a Polaris vehicle, which we know would function excellent in the type of roads which we have. It will be fully equipped and functioning as an ambulance.” Dr. Daniel and partners are currently working on a plan and hopes that the business sector of the island will be willing to help financially so as to have the ambulance service available to the entire public free of charge. The new two-storey building will include living quarters for medical staff and four rooms for medical offices and radiology. Building plans and contracts are currently being signed and hopefully this project will kick off as early as next month and should be up and running in about six months. More finalized details on this exciting project will be posted as they become available.

Mexico Offering Bachelor Degree Scholarships
The Mexican Authorities herein offer Bachelor Degree Scholarships [in the fields of (1) Public Administration and Policy and (2) International Relations] for the academic period 2014 to 2018 at the El Colegio de Mexico. The application deadline has been established at May 2, 2014. Further information is available at .

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize and the immigration hustle
We must look at the role of migration in helping to shape the kind of state Belize has become. This is in consideration of the fact that the country has experienced significant emigration and immigration, which have help to define Belize in the last five decades. Greater consideration is given to immigration as Belize continue to attract people to its shores. This immigration has brought up questions of national identity and regional integration. Besides the “immigration hustling” that took place, significant immigration has also highlighted the government 's lack of a coherent immigration policy, although minister Fonseca acknowledge the immigration situation in Belize. There is a political aspect of this immigration, in relation to issues of sovereignty, citizenship, and voting. The arrival of a significant number of Central Americans in Belize during the 1980s corresponded with Belizean independence, and a few years later the economic liberalization of the country. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees played a significant role in resettling thousands of these Central American economic migrants (some legitimate refugees), providing them with aid and assistance. With the acquiescence of the Belizean government (perhaps grateful of the role the UN had played in the road to independence) these immigrants experienced a most favorable context of reception. While they face some hostility from Black and other Belizeans, with the assistance of the UN and Belizean government, these immigrants were given land and provided with generous services. This contrasted with the reception most of their countrymen received in Mexico and other Central American countries. This resettlement eventually led to chain migration.

FISHING REPORT: Week of March 8 – 15th, 2014
Our fishing life intertwines us with some spectacular people and places. Yes, we are in search of a better cast to land the fish of our hearts, but the most precious part of the story is always the people. We were sold out this week with father and sons, father and daughters, mother’s and sons and families enjoying being present with one another. Fishing brought you all together to share this week with us at El Pescador. Thank you. I know it gave me goose bumps as I was wading the flats with Matson, his wife Kathy, Sam (who at 14 can cast 80 easy), Sydney and of course, Sawyer. Sawyer learned to cast 55 ft at 8. But his dad does own Angler’s West – one of the best fly shops in Montana. I heard Matson’s voice travel over the water as he guided his family into fish. It was a very familiar voice as we used to guide the same rivers. I would hear his voice instructing his anglers. And then, here he was, visiting us with his family – and his voice, teaching with joy and extreme patience. Some of the simple pleasures mean so much. Thank you everyone for a great week. Fish On!

All People Matter
The University of Belize joins with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) this March and proclaim that “All People Matter”. The NASW was formed in 1955 in the United States and is perhaps the single largest organization of professional social workers in the world. The month of March has been declared as the month of the social worker and this year’s theme is “All People Matter”. The University of Belize through the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work recognizes the contribution of social workers in Belize and shares in the proclamation laid out by the NASW, further inviting all social workers to reflect in their practice and in the progressive strides of the profession in Belize.

Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association Training Workshop for Fishers
The Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association will be conducting a training workshop for fishers this Friday, 21 March at their Belize City office. The workshop is part of a project funded by the Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Programme (COMPACT) that aims to improve the welfare of coastal fishing communities and increase the conservation, protection and sustainable harvest of marine resources. The workshop will provide fishers with an understanding of the Cooperative Movement, the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy, Climate Change Adaptation and Seafood Handling. The fishers will also learn about Safety at Sea, Basic Outboard Engine Repair and Basic First Aid to further improve their skills in coping with accidents at sea. The presenters at the workshop will include the Cooperative Department, Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, Northern Fishermen Cooperative Society, Belize Meteorological Service, Belize Red Cross, Belize Coast Guard and the Belize Police Dept. The training workshops will also be held in four other communities including Caye Caulker, Sarteneja, Chunox and Placencia.

World Culture Band at Flayva's
The World Culture Band has been playing at Flayva's on Sundays. Burns avenue has a completely new vibe now that Flayva's and Wing Stop work together to bring music and culture to downtown Cayo. They've had a lot of beer specials too, from Heineken to Carib to Kubuli. "Flayva's has had the World Culture Band play on Sunday nights lately, and it's been a really good vibe downtown."

Orquidea Negra Road Trip
Orquidea Negra is going to perform for Maya Day at the Mayan Festival down at Blue Creek in Toledo on Sunday, March 23rd. They've gotten a bus for them and their fans, and the cost is only $35. Call 633-2726 for more information. Have fun on thier grand excursion road trip. "You wouldn't want someone else to tell you about the fun that we will all have right? Please contact us as soon as possible and pay your ticket in..."

"Career Day" at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School
Today was "Career Day" at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School. Various presenters, including representatives of the media, the medical department, business community and the Development Finance Corporation, spent time with the students discussion he various career opportunities. A few of the students expressed an interest in media and should begin writing stories on activities at their school shortly.

Crowdfunding: a valuable financing opportunity for service enterprises
Q1: How can small enterprises, from least developed, developing, and transition economies, access crowdfunding? A1: Service enterprises can use the online clearinghouse Crowdsunite[1] to find crowdfunding sites that serve a particular country, interest, and financing preference such as debt, equity, or donation. For example, Crowdsunite identified Indiegogo[2] as the number one site for Belize. Indiegogo provides services in 193 countries in 26 currencies. Musicians are using the platform to finance recordings and tours. For technologically astute enterprises, the WPMU DEV Fundraising[3] plug-in can expand the fundraising functionality of an entrepreneur’s website. With adequate bandwidth, service providers can reach financial supporters.

The Disrespecting of Manuel Esquivel
Written by: Godfrey Smith. The political insult is not that Sir Manuel Esquivel, a two-time prime minister of Belize and the United Democratic Party's only statesman - living or dead - should have dared to summon a sitting minister to a meeting about his sacked daughter, but rather that that minister crassly disrespected the summons of the elder statesman of the UDP. For those "raised" in the political culture of the People's United Party, it is impossible to comprehend this kind of contemptuous disregard for a person's place in history. If George Price, in retirement, had issued a summons to a sitting PUP leader no less, it would never have been ignored. Price commanded, until his death, saint-like reverence because of his achievements, granite integrity and messianic appeal. The penalty for abjuring his importance would come not from Price, who was powerless in retirement, but in the form of public opprobrium visited upon the offender by his colleagues and the PUP rank and file.

Children’s Festival of Arts held in San Ignacio town
St. Hilda Anglican School of Georgeville has won two gold certificates in the Children’s Festival of Arts which was held at the Santa Elena Primary School on Wednesday. The winning entrants for St. Hilda were a poem entitled “The Rights of A Child” and a dance by the Standard 5 students entitled: […]

Man built church building with illegal workers; gets fined
Jesus Contreras, 51, a nationalized Belizean originally from Honduras, was fined $4,000 by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he pleaded guilty to four counts of employing a person not in possession of an employment permit. Contreras was ordered to pay immediately, in default a year in prison. Prior to sentencing, Contreras told the […]

James Swazo pleads guilty to business swindle
James Swazo, aka “The Chainsaw Man,” who was charged with three counts of obtaining property by deception in a case in which he collected money for a person pretending to be Housing Minister Michael Finnegan, was fined $300 today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer after he pleaded guilty to one of the […]

Venezuela embassy explains Government’s efforts to solve political crisis
The ongoing political crisis in Venezuela has moved into a new phase where the incumbent Government of President Nicolas Maduro has asked for international dialogue, particularly with the United States. This phase of the conflict was addressed today by the local Embassy of Venezuela, whose Ambassador, Yoel Perez Marcano, shared their appreciation […]

BFLA defends activities from Church
Of the four organizations blasted by Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright in his letter to school authorities declaring that they be kept away from Catholic schools, the Belize Family Life Association came in for the strongest criticism. It was accused of promoting abortion and sexual rights for very young children. Today its executive […]

PASCA program winds down
The 5 year program coordinating the Central American response to HIV/AIDS, PASCA ends next week. Today its final meeting took place in Belize City and programme specialist from Guatemala, Giovanni Melendez says the program has achieved its objectives of developing the national response to HIV/AIDS in each Central American country. In the […]

Independence village woman found murdered in Bullet Tree Falls
The worst fears of a family from Independence village were confirmed late this evening when police found the body of 24 year old Kayla Burgess. Previously we had reported her name as Kayla Pandy. The family raised the alarm of her apparent kidnapping after they say a text message was received […]

Opposition PUP appoints new Senators
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) today announced the appointment of two new Senators. They are Attorney- at-Law Anthony Sylvestre, Junior and Belmopan Standard Bearer Patrick Jason Andrews. The new Senators replace Collet Montejo and Karen Bodden who have been serving in the Senate alongside Lisa Shoman. Andrews is an aspirant […]

Corozal schools get donation from United States group
A number of primary schools in the Corozal district have receive much needed teaching aids courtesy a visiting group from the United States. Resource Center International, a group of Rotarians, has been coming to Belize for a while now to help out with much needed assistance to schools, and on this their […]

Kerobe King!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez He was nicknamed the Kerobe King He was attacked for being daring and aspiring During a time when the Garinagu were organizing George Cadle Price was victimizing anyone that opposed him He was a pioneer in the establishment of St John Teacher’s college He and his wife did pioneering work in, Pine Ridge and Succoth and a host of other Villages He was president of the Belize Tourism for the Central America Doing work in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica He can even be called one of Belize's human fathers He pioneered the agriculture show In 1951 San Ignacio Cayo Later it spread to all boroughs

Central Park getting its much needed "face lift" after Carnaval!

Institutional Support to Strengthen the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) Contribution Agreement: DCI-SUCRE-2011/275984 1. The European Union, represented by the European Commission, (the “Contracting Authority”) of the one part, and The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), (the “Organization”) of the other part, (Individually a “Party” and collectively the “Parties”), have agreed to execute the National Project, Institutional Support to Strengthen the Sugar Industry Research and Development institute (SIRDI). The Overall Objective of the project is to promote and to support sustainable livelihoods, particularly in the rural communities of the “sugar belt”, thus contributing to the reduction of poverty in Belize. The Specific Objective is to increase the capability of SIRDI to address the technological, production and quality requirements of producers, manufacturers and associations, by promoting and supporting Research and Development in sugar cane production. 2. IICA intends to hire a national firm or individual for the consultancy to design, build, implement and host a website for SIRDI.

Neon Paint Madness Refix
The Neon Rave at Meluchi's was wild, and Danny Chung was there to get some wicked pictures of the craziness going down. With plastic wrapped around parts of his camera, he got above the crowd and captured some great shots, as always.

Partner Profile: Belcampo Belize
Though still unpaved, the road to Belcampo is one of the nicer ones around Punta Gorda, Belize – which is to say, there are fewer holes. Cross the threshold into the property, and the brush turns into manicured greenery, tilting shanties give way to freshly painted huts for hens (The Eggmobile), and the overgrown wilderness evaporates into clean, green and sprawling acreage. This is Belcampo, a glossy masterpiece of hospitality that sits, serenely, in the middle of the jungle. Belcampo is an elegant agrotourism lodge turned organic farm, but that’s just the short of it. The entire property is a buzzing epicenter of agro experimentation centered chiefly on finding ways to process the premium commodities of Belize: cacao, sugarcane, coffee. 15,000 coffee plants are already growing on the property, and soon there will be more planted up the nearby mountain. The company has also taken on cultivating acres of Criollo—a rare and genetically pure varietal of cacao that is almost never grown or processed on its own. In the coming months and years, a rum distillery, coffee processing operation, and chocolate-making workshop will come into being.

Video: Placencia Small Business Development
SBDCBelize and Compete Caribbean Summary

Video: Land of Belize Tour with Intrepid Travel
Video highlights from Intrepid Travel's 8-day "Land of Belize" tour through Belize and Guatemala.

Video: La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2014
The Race begins....

Video: 2014 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Day 3
3rd day coverage. See the immediate reactions to the controversial start at Double Head Cabbage. Double Head Cabbage to Burrell Boom

Video: Deacon Airborne Observatory in Belize
The Deacon Airborne Observatory of Wake Forest University's SUAS Lab recently took a spring break trip to Lighthouse Reef Atoll off the coast of Belize. While there, it imaged the 2 major land masses on the atoll, Long Caye and Northern Caye, totaling 3 square miles. This data will be used to recreate Dr. David Stoddart's vegetation maps of the islands, initially published in 1962.

Video: Crystal Paradise Resort Hotel - San Ignacio - Belize
Surrounded by jungle, Crystal Paradise Resort is located outside of San Ignacio and boasts on-site hiking trails and tour guides. It also offers free Wi-Fi, bird watching and swimming. Each thatched-roof bungalow at this tropical property is equipped with a ceiling fan, a private bathroom and a terrace with hammocks. They are cleaned daily and have hot water. Guests can eat at the property's open-air dining room, where home-style cuisine is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Activities like caving, bird watching and snorkelling can be arranged at the property, and Xunantunich Archaeological Site is only 19 km away. Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, which offers waterfalls and nature outings, is located within a 1-hour drive, while Philip SW Goldson International Airport is 115 km from the property.

Video: Whalesharks Tom Owens caye
With ReefCI and Blue Reef Adventures

Video: Belize
Belize People this is your place to SPEAK UP, Belize Citizen's comments will not be deleted. Bringing all YouTube Belize Videos to you on ONE channel. AveKay- United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Respect Belize People at all times! Dis Dah Fi We Belize

Video: Gulf Hotel I - Belize City
Gulf Hotel I is located on the Philip Goldson Highway, just a 5-minute drive from central Belize City. It offers a terrace, free on-site parking and free Wi-Fi in public areas. Rooms at the Gulf Hotel I offer tiled floors, cable TV and a private bathroom with a shower. Some rooms also have air conditioning and a balcony. A supermarket and a Chinese restaurant can be found a 5-minute walk from Gulf Hotel I. Belize City's historic centre and marina are within 5 km, while Philip Goldson International Airport is 12 km away.

Video: Chaleanor Hotel - Dangriga - Belize
This quaint hotel is located only 215 yards from the ocean in Dangriga and features complimentary coffee service and an on-site gift shop. The Chaleanor Hotel has free Wi-Fi throughout. This hotel's air-conditioned family rooms feature a cable TV and a private bathroom, and the economy rooms include shared bathrooms. Guests will find a variety of restaurants serving national and international cuisine within 325 ft of the property. The area also features bars. The Cays, where guests will find excellent snorkeling and diving, are only 8.5 miles away and can be reached by boat. Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve is only 12 miles from Chaleanor Hotel. Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport is a 2-hour drive from the property.

Video: D'Nest Inn Hotel - Belize City
In Belama, D' Nest Inn Bed and Breakfast is within a 10 minute drive of central Belize City and its airport. It offers charming rooms and an attractive terrace and garden. Each air-conditioned room at D'Nest Inn has traditional décor and a 4-post bed. All rooms have cable TV, free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the D'Nest's dining room. Restaurants, bars and cafés can be found in central Belize City. Regular buses to the center of the city stop close to the bed and breakfast. The Caribbean Sea is less than half a mile away.

Video: Belize Trip 2014
A few videos from our trip to Belize March 2014

Video: Blue Hole Belize
Diving in the "Blue Hole" in Belize

Video: Our Favorite Cruise Excursions: Airboat Adventure & Belize City Tour
Throttle up for an awesome ride on an airboat and a tour of Belize City during this high-energy shore excursion

Video: Hunting Lionfish in Belize 720p1279

Video: Belize 2014

Video: Great Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the m.

Channel 7

DPP Will Take Up COLA Private Prosecution of Penner
A week from today, COLA is going to Belmopan Magistrate's Court with their private prosecution against Elvin Penner. And the news tonight is that DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal will be joining them. That's what came out of a phone call today - after COLA formally wrote to the DPP asking her to share any evidence she has from the Penner investigation to help with their private prosecution. DPP Vidal has invited COLA and its new private attorney Kareem Musa to meet with her next week Tuesday to go over what they have put forward. Thereafter, she has committed to appear with them in the matter on Thursday. It's a great step towards legitimacy for COLA's private prosecution, which they filed themselves without the benefit of an attorney. And Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner will also be summonsed to appear - since the charges are against him. Specifically, COLA accused him of 2 offences; one, for making a statement which he knew to be a nationality certificate, and for vouching the fitness of an applicant to receive a Belizean passport contrary.

Stevedores Stage The Fried Chicken Strike of 2014
We're calling it the Fry Chicken Strike, that's what 15 stevedores did last night at the Port of Belize. A Seaboard vessel with 95 containers was waiting to unload. The gang goes on at 6:00 pm and can take as much as 24 hours to finish a shift - after which they take home a sizeable pay cheque. But last night they refused to work - and that's because they got served this: pasta salad, barb-que chicken and a dinner roll. The stevedores said they wanted New Asia Fried Chicken and nothing else. The Port Management - which is responsible for feeding the stevedores - wasn't about to provide that, so the stevedores went on a spontaneous and complete strike. They refused to work on even a single container, and when the usual turkey sandwiches were brought at midnight, they refused that as well. It's not until this morning until we are told - chicken tacos were brought that they agreed to start working. All told, they struck for 12 hours, from 6:30 pm to 6:30 am - and seriously delayed the offloading of the biggest cargo ship to Belize - which just had to wait.

Student Who Was Knocked Down Is Improving
Last night's we told you about 8 year-old Kyeisha Joseph, who was knocked down in the road in front of her school, Our Lady of the Way, in Ladyville. Well this evening, the family told us that she is doing much better. We're told that she is on an oxygen tank that the doctors say will help her nose heal, which was smashed when she was hit by the vehicle. Presently, the doctors don't have any surgeries scheduled to treat her broken collar bone, and her fractured skull. They are monitoring her to ensure that the swelling on her brain goes down. The family tells us that she was in intense pain last night, but the doctors have helped her to manage it. Everyone is hoping for a full recovery.

Alleged Child Predator David Wendel Thompson's Belizean Wife?
This is David Wendel Thompson - with and without hair. He is the 48 year old US middle school teacher accused of trying to set up sexual rendezvous with 13 and 15 year old girls in Belize via Facebook. His school in Tampa Florida is currently on Spring Break - and it seems Thompson wanted to use his break to come to Belize - where he has visited 6 times since 2011. But, information obtained by 7News shows that he may have been coming to Belize for more than just illicit pleasures - this marriage notice says that he's married to a Belize woman form Dangriga! It says that David Wendel Thompson of Seffner, Florida, married 21 year old Claudine Crusita Montes of Dangriga Town. That arrangement makes his recent attempt to entice under age girls in Belize even more troubling.

Chainsaw Swazo Pleads Guilty To Impersonating Finnegan
In December of 2012, it made the news when Mesopotamia Area Representative Michael Finnegan accused Goldburne "Easy Glen" Adolphus, and James Swazo, aka the "Chainsaw Man" of trying to hustle business persons in his name by impersonating him. Well, though Swazo denied the allegation to 7News, in Magistrate's Court today, he admitted to doing it on one occasion. Swazo, who was arraigned on December 24, 2012, for two counts of obtaining property by deception, presented himself before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today for trial. But, before the matter could proceed, Swazo changed his plea to guilty for one of the charges. In that instance, Finnegan claims that someone called Salvador Habet Jr., pretending to be him, and asked Habet for $450 for a party for some workers who painted Albert Street.

BREAKING: Kidnapped Woman Found Dead
Tonight, 7News have confirmed with police sources that they have found a body of a female inside of a vehicle in Bullet Tree today. At this time, information is sketchy, but solid reports to us are that a woman was believed to have been abducted this afternoon, and that her family received texts from her known cellular phone number in which a ransom money was demanded from them for her safe return. Information to our newsroom is that police have been combing the Cayo District trying to find the young woman, and that search has led to discovery of a body. At this time, it is unconfirmed if the two incidents are linked, and because police have not released all the details because it is a very preliminary report they're receiving, we cannot release names or show you any who the woman is who is believed to have been kidnapped.

What Did PM Barrow Write To Sir Manuel?
"Quite generous" is how former two term Prime Minister Sir Manuel Esquivel described Prime Minister Dean Barrow's letters to him. He added that the letter had no rancor, but when asked if it suggested any reconciliation, he said, plainly, "That ship has sailed." So that should be the end of this episode, where Sir Manuel and his wife Kathy have made a clean break with the Barrow Administration. Going forward, he is expected to continue to play some role in the UDP - however diminished. But one commentator with some political experience feels Esquivel was major-ly disrespected. Former PUP Minister Godfrey Smith in his Flashpoint column today writes that Manuel Junior Herredia should have gone to meet Sir Manuel and his daughter Laura at Sir Manuel's house because he is the party's only statesman.

Bowen Says A Boycott Will Only Hurt Its 900 Employees
On Tuesday, the Unions called for a Friday boycott against Bowen and Bowen in support of the 13 employees who were fired. Well, Bowen and Bowen has responded, and it is pleading with the public not to support the union in the action on Friday because it will not only not affect their company, but their employees and business partners. A press release from the company says, Quote "It is important to remember that Bowen & Bowen Ltd. is one of the largest single employers in Belize…. a small group of former employees continue to act in a manner which affects the livelihood of over 900 of their former co-workers."

PASCO Made Progress On HIV In Belize
USAID AND PACSA today officially closed a 5 Year Project in Belize. During that time, the group worked with the National AIDS Commission and its local counterparts to strengthen the national and institutional response to HIV in Belize. PACSA's representative from Guatemala discussed the meaningful progress made:.. Giovanni Melendez, Programme specialist HIV/ADS - USAID Guate. "This program is a regional program covering 7 countries and in the last 5 years we had been implementing actions in Belize related to: 1) Strategic information, to collect, gather and to encourage data related to HIV/AIDS." Joan Burke, Vice-Chair National AIDS Commission "There were 22 persons trained in monitoring and evaluation, so we have now 22 persons who we can call upon when we want to embarked on the monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects."

BFLA Says It Will Work Past Catholic Church Blacklisting
And while they are talking about progress made with HIV Awareness, the Alliance against AIDS and other groups just got taken about 20 steps back when the Catholic School Management blacklisted them - saying the NAC, BFLA, UNIBAM and the Red Cross can't enter any of their over 200 schools talking safe sex, condom use or family planning. On that subject we also got a chance to talk to Joan Burke, she's the executive director of the BFLA which was singled out for particular censure from the Bishop. His letter to the schools says that BDLA and the Planned Parenthood movement which funds them, quote, "promote "sexual rights" for children as young as 10 years of age..and in particular their right to abortion without parental notification." Today we asked Joan Burke about how they plan to move forward with such a significant accusation against her organization:... Joan Burke, Executive Director - BFLA "We will not allow what was put out there regardless by who it was put out there by. We will not allow that to deter us from the work that needs to be done. We cannot continue or we should not allow certain individuals or certain values and positions to deny others who are in need and deserve certain services - we should not deny them that and I will be the first to accept that we collectively have failed along the way.

PUP Names New Senators, Sharp As Machetes
It's been 2 year since the last general election, and two years since senators were appointed. And now the PUP is changing their lineup. Senators Collet Montejo and Karen Bodden are being replaced by Anthony Sylvester and Jason Patrick Andrews - who are both candidates in the next general election. Today they were introduced at a press conference at the party headquarters in Belize City:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Opposition Leader - PUP "I am pleased to say that our senators have been we believe very effective. We are very proud of the work that they have done over the past two years, but we believe it is time for us to give others in the Party and opportunity to speak on the national stage." Senator Lisa Shoman "I feel particularly pleased today because I feel like I have been given two new sharp shiny swords with which to cut through some of the rhetoric that comes out in the senate."

Rebuilding The Referendum Effort
In April of last year, the Guatemalans made it official on their Government website, that there wouldn't be the planned Referendum on whether or not their claim to Belize would be taken to the ICJ. Since then, the Belize Foreign Ministry has been trying to rebuild a relationship with that country, in hopes that both sides can reach critical mass to get to a bi-national referendum going sometime in the not too distant future. As we told you, 2 months ago, Foreign Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Fernando Carrera signed a new diplomatic initiative in Washington DC in the presence of OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. That initiative is called the Road Map and Plan of Action. Today, the Belize Referendum Unit and Foreign Affairs CEO Alexis Rosado held a sit-down with the media to give an update on the referendum front. It was an hour-long conversation, but here's a short excerpt where Rosado explained what the new initiative seeks to do in the short term:

Venezuelan Ambassador Pledges Petrocaribe Will Continue
And keeping the focus on diplomacy, the Venezuelan Ambassador today held a sit down with the media. As we've been reporting there's been three weeks of sustained unrest in that country, and so far there have been 30 related deaths. The protests continue, but today in an 80 minute press conference, the Ambassador made the case that it's all a US funded conspiracy to produce a coup -but it's about to be brought under control. H.E. Yoel Perez Marcano, Venezuelan Ambassador to Belize "It was a well plan strategy. The violent street actions and the result was death, resources being destroyed and the objective was to provoke public conflict that would justify the intervention of international organization as the Organization of American States - in a special way the intervention of the government of the United States of America."

Okeke Takes On Cultural Icon TV Ramos
For the last nine months Steven Okeke has been off the media - that is because he has been busy working on his latest major work. It is a monument of Thomas Vincent Ramos - cultural icon and founder of the Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. And this time, there's no fuss no fight...well, not yet at least. Okeke says The monument has been endorsed by the Mayor of Dangriga Town Council along with the family of TV Ramos. Today the media was invited to the unveiling. Stephen Okeke - Sculptor "I choose Mr. Ramos just like I have made selection for other very important Belizean heroes. This is the center of Garifuna Settlement day, this is what is celebrated every year and yet there is no insignia, there is no monument. Don't tell me about the dummy that they had there in Dangriga - there is no monument to signify the greatness of this man, the achievement of this man. So much is made off is name; people made money off his name, people celebrate off his name, in New York is celebrated all over the United States and I thought it's an embarrassment somehow and I don't blame people for not have done it, but it's an embarrassment that this is not there."

Hon. Herman Taking Heat, Opens Computer Lab
This afternoon Wesley Lower School had the official opening of its computer lab - which was made possible with the help of Area Representative Herman Longsworth. Minister Longsworth donated 10 refurbished desktop computers to assist the student's growth in technology. Longsworth - who's currently facing a stiff challenge from Phillip Willoughby told us, he is only giving back to the people he serve. Longsworth says he will be donating computers to James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School and Calvary Temple Primary School in the near future.

Teryl Takes A Turn As a Painter
There is a new art exhibit that was opened today at the House of Culture. It features works from 4 local artists: Terryl Godoy, aka 'Man at Work'; Fred Trejo; Eduardo 'Papo' Alamilla; and Sam Gonzalez. Over the years, we've featured Godoy wearing various hats as a painter and a musician, but today, we attended the exhibits and caught up with him, where he expressed respect for the other 3 artists whose works are being displayed alongside his own. Here's what he told us about why you would appreciate their work: The exhibition runs until the end of March, and some of the works will be available for purchase.

Smuggled Cigarettes In Mexico
We've reported extensively on the fierce jostling for supremacy in Belize's export cigarette market. It is a huge multi-million dollar enterprise, selling - or smuggling - cigarettes form Asia, mostly China, out of the Free Zone sin the North and West and getting them into Mexico. Well tonight Mexico is reporting a major bust with contraband cigarettes from Belize. A Mexican newspaper reports that on 14 March, authorities seized more than 14 million contraband cigarettes, the largest seizure on over a year. They intercepted the cigarettes in a trailer containing 402 thousand cartons of cigarettes. The brands are Bronco, D & J, Royal, Gold Seal Supreme manufactured in Vietnam, India, Paraguay, China and Canada. The vehicle operator, 42 year old Juan Ramirez Sanchez, submitted false invoices for air conditioners - but only cigarettes were inside. News reports say they were smuggled into Mexico through the border with Belize.

Price of Sub-Standard LPG Going Up
Last night we told you that government is trying to negotiate a deal where it can import LPG, or "butane" from Mexico. The idea is to stabilize the price, the quality and the supply. But in the meantime it's business as usual for the central American importers who keep jacking up their prices even though their product is mostly propane - in a ration not approved for sales to homes and restaurants. The new piece increase puts the LPG from Central America at 128 dollars per hundred pound cylinder - same as the price for higher grade butane imported from México.

Canaan And The Mayor
Our next story is about a school career day at Canaan high. Now we don't usually cover these, but this one had a big time guest speaker. Monica Bowden found out more:..

Channel 5

Independence resident found dead in Bullet Tree
There is breaking news tonight, and it is a tragedy which is devastating a family from Independence. Less than an hour ago reports circulated that Kayla Pandy had been kidnapped [...]

Aracely Cahueque returns to court for three counts of abetment to murder
The trial of twenty-two year old Aracely Cahueque continues to grip the nation’s attention. Cahueque, a beauty queen, is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of eighteen year [...]

Prosecution’s main witness refuses to testify
While Dyer remained missing, Cahueque presented the infant to her ex-boyfriend. But according to defense attorney, Dickie Bradley, that is because Cahueque told him that she was allowed to (Quote) [...]

Chief Forest Officer says rosewood operation was part of amnesty program
On Wednesday, we reported on a container of rosewood detected near Trio Village in southern Belize. The operation was suspect because it is widely believed that despite a moratorium placed [...]

Cooperative agreement to be established between Belize and Guatemala forestry officials
Illegal logging, as well as the prohibited trade of rosewood, across both sides of the Belize/Guatemala border has grown to become an international matter for the governments of both countries.  [...]

School girl recovering following traffic accident in front of her school
On Wednesday morning, eight year old Kyeisha Joseph got on her bus in Double Head Cabbage and headed for school in Ladyville. She got off her bus in front of [...]

The private prosecution of Elvin Penner
Just before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ordered the Commissioner of Police to carry out a criminal investigation on the former minister of state, Elvin Penner, for his involvement in the [...]

Will new P.U.P. senator and Lisa Shoman buck heads on UNIBAM issue?
On Wednesday, News Five reported on the appointment of two new P.U.P. Senators. According to Party Leader Francis Fonseca, the official notification has been sent to Governor-General Sir Colville Young. [...]

Attorney Anthony Sylvestre and Standard Bearer Patrick Andrews are new PUP senators
With that issue on the political backburner for the time being, the P.U.P. is concentrating on forging ahead in unity, or as much unity as possible in any political party. [...]

Former Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb McKenzie hospitalized
News Five has learned that former Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb McKenzie is hospitalized, and has been so since last Friday. A family member told News Five that McKenzie started having [...]

Honduran woman charged for immigration offense
A pregnant Honduran woman, who back in December 2013 was charged with using a falsified document, was today before the court for trial after a bench warrant was issued for [...]

GSU descends on San Pedro to fight a crime wave
Early this morning, members of several high-intensity, elite units of the Police, B.D.F. and Coast Guard descended on the island of San Pedro. It is part of an operation to [...]

Belize’s Referendum Unit continues education campaign on territorial dispute
The matter of whether the unfounded Guatemalan claim over Belize’s sovereign territory should be adjudicated in the International Court of Justice was to have been decided during joint referenda on [...]

The official closing of USAID/PASCA Project in Belize
Stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS, a cross-section of government, as well as other non-governmental organizations, including the National AIDS Commission, gathered at the Biltmore this morning to review the [...]

An update on the current state of affairs in Venezuela
The Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela held a press conference this morning to update the local media on the current state of affairs of that country, in the wake [...]

International Day of Forests celebrated with 2-day forum
March twenty-first has been proclaimed as the International Day of Forests by the United Nations General Assembly and it is celebrated by bringing awareness to the importance of the various [...]

Meet the artists at the House of Culture
A group of four Belizean artists, including well-known painter Terryl Godoy, launched a two-week art exhibit at the House of Culture today.  The formal unveiling was done before an audience [...]

Stephen Okeke creates a bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos
Thomas Vincent Ramos, founder of Garifuna Settlement Day, is widely regarded as one of our many national heroes.  While he is remembered during the month of November when Garinagu in [...]

Healthy Living looks at cervical cancer and screening
Cervical cancer continues to be the leading cancer related death among women in Belize. Over the years this has spurred several pap smear campaigns countrywide. According to Gynecologist & Oncologist, [...]


Helpage Center Opens To Entertain The Elder People
The Zenobia Meggs Helpage Center, on Stadium Street, was opened this afternoon and inside was a number of men and women enjoying some good old games. The event is part of an initiative taken up by the Help Age Center to provide senior citizens with a space to socialize and entertain their minds. Here is a look at what it was like for day one of an afternoon shared with friends. Dalila Ical – Reporting It was another warm afternoon but today at the Zenobia Meggs Helpage Center, the ambience was one of laughter and enjoyment. For these approximately twenty senior citizens, it was the first afternoon spent together playing Bingo and Dominoes. At first glance it’s just another gathering organized by the center, but President Arcelia Leiva says there is more than meets the eye.

Initial Stage For Tourist To Flow In Southern Part of Mexico Including Belize
The National Chamber of Commerce, Canaco, in Chetumal and the Consulate of Belize in Mexico, are currently working on a project to attract tourists to the south of Quintana Roo. The target population are foreign tourists such as North American, Canadians and Europeans. The lead representative of local merchants in Chetumal, Ligia Sierra told the Mexican press that through agreement they hope to sign with Belizean authorities on getting foreign tourists to spend a few days in the southern part of the state. They are therefore putting together an attractive package for tourists and this is to include trips to some of the main attractions such as Bacalar, Mahahual and archaeological zones, which will encourage overnight arrivals in the capital city. Sierra indicated that they are targeting these visitors and local tourists who travel the state to visit Belize’s islands. No agreement has been signed yet but talks have been initiated with the Belize Consulate. Sierra adds that there are already three tour operators in the city that can handle the supply of tour packages that are expected to include; transportation, lodging and recreation. Sierra says they have been trying to put this project together for many years and believe that as soon as next month they may be defining steps to finalize it and start implementation.

Gifts Of The Queen To Go On Display
This weekend, a selection over 70 colorful gifts to the Queen from Commonwealth nations is to go on display as part of the build-up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The items to be exhibited include a tapestry from Botswana, a shell collage from the Bahamas, a coconut calabasa bowl from Dangriga, Belize, an Inuit wall hanging, a batik from St Kitts and Nevis, among many others. Many of the items were presented to the Queen in traditional ceremonies by indigenous people during more than 200 visits she has made to Commonwealth countries during her 62-year reign.

San Antonio Government School Receives Donation From Rotarians
Today approximately 11 primary Schools in the Corozal District became the proud recipients of much needed equipment donated to them by a group of Rotarians who call themselves the “Resource Centre International Mission.” Today Reporter Victor Castillo caught up with group in the Village of San Antonio as the equipment’s were installed for use. Amber Fisher - Director Rotary Club Ohio “This is the 7th mission to Belize, this is a project called Resource Centre International but this is my first time on a project in Belize, I brought my daughter along, and we really wanted to go and help and to see what we could do to help the schools throughout the country and we are very fortunate to have Carmen with us who knows about the different school districts so our hope is to get resources to schools that they can use to improve their education or facility education in particular we are hoping that the students are able to use the resources to learn to read and I can emphasis the importance enough the importance of reading, it starts at school and it is important to have it reinforced in homes so we brought a lot of books, computers, educational software and we are hoping that these resources assist you and assist the schools in Belize to achieve their goals.”

Minister Of Education On A Countrywide School Tour
A few weeks ago Minister of Education Patrick Faber took a lot of heat from teachers. The relationship between the boss “per say” and the employees is not a good one but despite that fact Faber continues with his countrywide tour meeting with teachers and students of Rural Schools. The Minister and his entourage travelled further north today as he visited the Santa Clara/ San Roman RC School in the Corozal District as part of his National school tour. Reporter Victor Castillo was on hand to capture the event and filed the following report. Victor Castillo – Reporting Shortly after ten this morning, Minister Patrick Faber arrived at the Santa Clara / San Roman RC School grounds where students stood and welcomed him with a huge applause. Faber is on a country wide school tour visiting with faculty and students from several education institutions. Among the gathered were Education officer for the Corozal District, principals, chairlady of the school’s PTA, and parents. After the short ceremony we caught up with Minister Faber who shared with us the motive and the objective of his tour here in the northern part of the country.


Immigration Offense Result in 4K Fine
Fifty-one year old Jesus Contreras, a building contractor who is a naturalized Belizean originally from Honduras, was fined a total of four thousand dollars today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he pled guilty to four counts of employing a person not in possession of an employment permit. Contreras was ordered to pay forthwith, in default one year imprisonment. When he was asked by Magistrate Cayetano if he had anything to say before sentence is passed, Contreras said that a pastor asked him to build a church and he asked the four men to help him and he was not making any profit. Magistrate Cayetano told him that he should build God church in the right way. Immigration officers charged Contreras when they went to construction site on Faber’s Road yesterday and found the men, all of them Honduran nationals, working without work permits.


UB Student Kidnapped and Ransom Demanded
The body of a female has been discovered in the Bullet Tree Area of the Cayo district. We have no confirmation on who it is at this time but the family of Kayla Burgess are hoping and praying that it is not her. Kayla, a UB student was reportedly...

Ex Bowen & Bowen Employees Explain Why Support Boycott
Bowen and Bowen ex employees were on Rise and Shine this morning to give their side of the story as to why and how they were fired from their posts. The unions have joined with the ex employees to ask the public to boycott Bowen and Bowen products tomorrow...

PUP Replaces Two Senators
The Opposition People’s United Party has chosen to replace two of its three allocated Senators after two years’ service. They are Karen Bodden of Belize City and Collet Montejo of Santa Elena, Cayo. Their replacements are Belmopan standard bearer and youth worker Patrick Andrews and Belize City lawyer Anthony...

COLA Requests the DPP for Files of Investigation on Mr. Penner
COLA-Citizens organized for liberty, had written a letter to the DPP, the Commissioner of Police and the Auditor general, requesting all pertinent files relating to the Elvin Penner Passport scandal as they pursue prosecution of Penner in the courts. COLA says they also invited the DPP to join the...

Minors Ensued in Fight End up Getting Stabbed and Detained
A fight between two minors yesterday in Orange Walk Town left one of them hospitalized with stab wounds to the left forearm and abdomen. According to police reports, on Thursday, March 19th, at around 1:00 p.m. 16 year old Kenny Perez, Belizean Construction Worker, was walking along with two...

Massage Therapist Mr. Kevin Lee Completes Sentence; Back to Freedom
It’s probably been a year since you heard the name Kevin Lee – the massage therapist who was convicted last year of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, after thousands of videos surfaced of his clients being secretly videoed as they undressed in his clinic. Well he is back in...

Mr. Deon Bruce Still Fighting Against Extradition
In January of this year Deon Bruce was ordered to face extradition to the United States on murder charges. But he continues to fight the case. Today he appeared before Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel with a new attorney in his corner. Audrey Matura-Shepherd takes over the case from...

Xunantunich Visitor Center Becomes a Reality
Xunantunich is an Ancient Mayan archaeological site in the West of Belize, in Socouts Village, Cayo District. It is one of Belize’s most visited Mayan ruins and so has become a very crucial site for the tourism industry. As of yesterday, the Xunantunich site has a new Visitor’s Center....

The Guardian

Dan and Luke at War
Operatives within the People's United Party have launched an attack against one of their own. Friendlies of Luke Espat this week highlighted that there are 12 lots which belong to DALT Limited which are being auctioned off by Atlantic Bank which held the properties as surety for Alfonso Salvador Silva and Daniel Silva. Immediately after the intention to auction was circulated via e-mail in came sabelotodo to rescue his nephew. What he did not know is that with him coming to the rescue it did more harm than good. Hector Silva categorically stated that "There is no such Closure, Twelve lots ? Man o Man ! What a foolish campaign strategy, The Daniel Silva I know, does not only own twelve lots but, TWELVE multiplied by TWELVE and carry this number to the TWELVTH TIMES. The Daniel Silva I know owns many businesses that are doing SO GOOD, I once more advise his detractors that this stupid kind of propaganda will not help the instigators of these OLD TRICKS. ( follow my advise )"


A Beautiful Day, A New Bar in Boca Del Rio, San Pedro…Is it BC’s?
Great photos from a stroll around town, plus.... Here’s the scoop from the owner/former BC’s Bartender himself… He originally thought of working with Charlene or buying the beloved BC’s name and palapa himself but it was way beyond his budget. So…he decided to open his own beach bar. That will be opening in the next week or two. This is NOT BC’s Beach Bar. This bar is going to be called… Sandy Toes Beach Bar. Very very cute.

International Sources

Mangrove experts urge restoration, regeneration of organic coasts
When Ulva Takke heard that a foreign-owned firm planned to set up an iron ore mine on the tiny island of Bangka in the province of North Sulawesi, she joined forces with other residents in a protest that went all the way to Indonesia’s supreme court. Takke owns a scuba-diving business on the 4,800-hectare (ha) island, which is populated by fewer than 3,000 people and supports a small tourism industry, as well as fishing, aquaculture and agriculture. Although the community won its appeal against the mining project, news reports indicate that the company is still preparing to begin work, a move that could put pristine habitats at risk, including lowland tropical rainforest, mangroves, freshwater sago swamp and coral reefs. “If so, it’s going to be a big disaster,” Takke said. “Livelihoods of traditional fishermen and coconut harvesters will be destroyed and many people will be displaced.” Takke was among more than 100 delegates debating solutions to the threats faced by Indonesia’s mangrove forests at the Restoring Coastal Livelihoods conference hosted at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) by Indonesia’s Mangrove Action Project (MAP) and the Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program (SWAMP).

Former boxer dies after street fight
A Rogers Park man has been charged with murder and hate crimes after allegedly punching and killing a man during a fight. Michael Tingling, 59, died Wednesday afternoon after he tried to protect his teenaged daughter. Police say Joseph Firek, 59, made obscene gestures towards the 15-year-old girl as she and her father, Tingling, left her school in the 72000 block of N. Clark Street. Tingling stepped in to protect his daughter and Firek allegedly shoved him and then punched him in the chest and made racial comments. Tingling and his daughter fled and walked into a nearby business, where the former boxer from Belize collapsed and was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. Tingling died a short time later.

Chelsea Handler Has a Boytoy at Turtle Inn
CHELSEA Handler brought a “Latin or Italian” boytoy to the The Turtle Inn in Belize. The late night host went to the resort for Valentine’s Day and raised some serious hell. “The more they drank, the louder they got,” a guest reveals. “We heard them going at it all night. When I woke up the next morning, Chelse and her guy were at the bar and she was sitting on his lap, drinking and kissing him.” The source adds that the duo “looked so wasted” and even started making out with the unidentified guy in someone else’s hammock.

Rainforest Fund to Celebrate Its 25th Anniversary
The actress Trudie Styler and her husband, the pop singer Sting, will be joined by more pop stars – Paul Simon, James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, Ivy Levan – as well as a trumpeter, Chris Botti, and an opera singer, Renée Fleming, in the biennial Revlon Rainforest Fund Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall on April 17. The Rainforest Fund, which Sting and Ms. Styler founded in 1989, began as an organization meant to both campaign for environmental preservation and to help the indigenous people who live in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. It has since expanded to include projects in 23 countries, including Belize, Cameroon, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, , Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. A spokeswoman for the organization said that the fund has raised $35 million.

Central America Offers Something For Everyone
There are seven countries in Central America, all smashed into a thousand miles of land between Mexico and Colombia. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says among those seven countries, you can find just about anything you want, from adventures in the wild to full-service resorts. Why Central America? Central America is a culturally-rich place that will give you a different perspective on the world. And, Brumley says, there’s something for everyone. “It’s a perfect place for people who love bird watching, who love culture, who love snorkeling,” he said. “In places like Costa Rica, the kids can go ziplining, canyoning and snorkeling in the morning, and grandparents can go on a nice beach walk, or sit by the pool, or go bird watching.” (Not to limit anyone’s options, we suppose the kids can sit by the pool and the grandparents can go canyoning, too, if they’re so inclined.)

Navigating Through Airport Security – Twelve Tips For Trouble Free Travel
Finally! Your travel day is here. Time to load up the bags and get to the airport. But before you go, have you best prepared yourself to run the airport security gauntlet? One of the more stressful parts of air travel is navigating the sometimes daunting, sometimes overwhelming, airport security check points. However, careful planning and strategically packed carry-ons can help minimize the angst that airport security screening processes often cause. So before you fly again, arm yourself with these twelve tips for trouble free navigation of airport security check points.

Three Belize Getaways
The best places to scuba-dive in the ever-evolving and always spectacular Central American country Any experienced scuba diver will have Belize on their shortlist of the best diving destinations in the world. It's home to the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere, there are hundreds of islands ("cayes," as they are called locally) that dot the 240-mile coastline and give visitors an abundance of diving opportunities. While there are picturesque white-sand beaches, luxury shopping and vibrant culture on land, there is just as much happening underwater.

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